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2014 State of the Chapter

Matthew Elias, '78, President of the North Texas Chapter, provides his update on the Chapter. We need your help and your input!

Happy New Year!
I hope you and your families had a great Christmas and happy new year.  As we start a new year, I wanted to communicate to you the state of the chapter looking back at 2013 as well as looking forward to 2014.  Looking back at 2013, I want to highlight several events and actions the chapter took that you should be aware of.

  • First, for the 42nd year in a row, we had a very successful Blue Chip Dinner.  In the four years I have been involved with the dinner it has gotten better every year and I know that isn’t by chance.  It’s the hard work of the Blue and Gold Officers to work with Academy Admissions to identify the ‘blue chip’ candidates, coordination by the officers, involvement of the Parents Club and the overall ownership and passion of John and Leahray Wroten.  The dinner presents the Naval Academy so well to our candidates and their guests, as well showing off the tremendous chapter to the Academy.  In the five Board meetings in Annapolis I have attended as a Trustee, the Blue Chip Dinner has been recognized and praised as the model for all chapter events every time.  The chapter hosted a total of 141 guests including 50 candidates.  A big Thank You to the chapter for your generosity, which allows us to host the candidates and their guests every year.
  • Normally our year ends with that successful Blue Chip Dinner but of course this year we had Navy playing Middle Tennessee State University in the Armed Force Bowl in Fort Worth.  I hope you were able to attend the tailgater before and the game itself. Both were great and thanks go out to the Alumni Association in Annapolis, which did all the work on the tailgater - a great start to game day.
  • The Chapter had its biannual elections for Chapter Officers (two year terms) and one Trustee (four year term) in October for new terms that began on January 1st.
    • Greg Colandrea ’90 and Eric Biggers ’97 reelected to new terms as Treasurer and Vice President of Membership.
    • Carrie Murdock ‘99 and Wes Caywood ’91 elected to first terms as Secretary and Vice President of Programs.
    • Ken Smith ’72 was reelected as one of two Trustees at Large
    • Finally, I was elected to a second and final two year as Chapter President.  According to our bylaws, I am term limited and cannot run again in October 2015.    
Looking forward to 2014, the chapter officers met to plan for 2014 and wanted to make you aware of the following:

Chapter Events:
  • First, starting this month our luncheons are the third Tuesday of every month, a change from the first Tuesday of the month for as long as I can remember.  Our first luncheon was this past Tuesday with LtCol Gil Elan, IDF (Ret.), President and CEO of Southwest Jewish Congress who has spoken to the chapter before and provided his assessment of Israel and the region. 
  • We are committed to a non-lunch event, in addition to our monthly luncheons, each quarter this year. We want to hold one event per quarter around the metroplex in the evening and possibly even the weekend.  The first non-luncheon of the year will be a happy hour on Thursday, March 20.  Please put that date on your calendar and look for more information in the next few weeks.  
  • Navy plays Texas State in San Marcos on September 13, 2014.  Obviously, the Austin Chapter will have the lead on this game but we will be engaged and provide information as it is made available.
  • For the fourth year, Clint Bruce ’97 and Stephen Holley ’00 will be organizing Carry the Load over Memorial Day Weekend. The chapter will again make a donation but this year would like to participate in a more meaningful way.  We are open to ideas on what that means, a team, a relay team or something else.  if you are interesting in participating in this or even taking the lead please contact any one of the Chapter Officers.
Chapter Communications:
  • Our investment in Alumni Magnet for our chapter website continues to pay dividends and we remain very pleased with it. 
  • In addition to it, we are committed to creating and maintaining a Facebook page for the Chapter as well in the first quarter of the year as a means of more effectively communicating with the Chapter. 
  • Currently, there is a North Texas Service Academy LinkedIn page, Academy Alumni Network of North Texas (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=2589176&trk=anet_ug_hm), and we plan to be more engaged with it this year. 
Where you can help in 2014:
  • We are always looking for suggestions for speakers for our monthly luncheons.  Please let any of the officers know your ideas of the topics or individuals you would like to hear from.
  • Quarterly events are probably the area we most need help with.  If any of our of mid-cities or Fort Worth members would like to take the lead on an event in your neighborhood please let us know.
  • We could use help with our communications effort.  We welcome help with the website, Facebook or LinkedIn.  Please let us know if you would be interesting helping with any of these or even taking the lead with Facebook or LinkedIn. 
  • We just debriefed last month’s Blue Chip Dinner and will start planning this year’s event in September.  We welcome any and all of you who would like to help make this year’s 43rd annual Blue Chip Dinner another success. 
  • Finally. If you aren’t already a member, please join.  Your membership provides standing for us nationally with the Alumni Association and provides the resources for what we do as a chapter.  Please click here http://www.usnaaa-ntx.com/memsub.html to become a member. 
Thanks very much for your support over the past year, I look forward to seeing you at a North Texas event this year and hopefully in San Marcos for the Navy football game, too. 
Matthew Elias ‘78
North Texas Chapter
USNA Alumni Association 

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