2018 - State of the Chapter Message


I want to first wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope that this year will be filled with lots of happiness and prosperity. Some of you may not have been aware that I have been doing work in Puerto Rico shortly after Hurricane Maria decided to bring her full wrath on the island on September 20th.  Since about 3 weeks after landfall, I have been there 4 times, most recently at the beginning of the new year. As Naval Academy alumni, we have always answered the call to help anywhere around the world. In my case, it just so happened that the place that I answered the call was my birth place and the land of my family.

Our restorative efforts here in Puerto Rico, and related communication challenges, have precluded me from reaching out to you sooner. However, my relationship with the Chapter and the role as your newly elected President remains as my ultimate priority upon my return to Dallas at the end of January. To that end, it is my great pleasure be part of this Naval Academy team and community and will work very hard to continue the great legacy that this Chapter has attained.

First and foremost, I want to thank Greg Colandrea for his leadership and his guidance during the last two years in helping the Chapter continue its mission of being one of the best in the nation. We did a considerable number of things that made this Chapter an example for others to follow. I will have big shoes to fill, but with his continued support and the support of all of you, these next two years will be exceptional in many ways.

I have truly enjoyed being your VP of programing and learned how important it was to maintain the creditability of our Chapter and our beloved Naval Academy. I also learned the importance of keeping the attention of the members and to motivate them to continue to support the chapter and all its activities. As your President, I hope to not only continue to motivate the Chapter, but to help it grow its membership and its activities.

But, I can’t do this by myself, I need the help of a great team. I am blessed that many officers have decided to come back and serve again, and a few new members have decided to take up the challenge and serve our Chapter. Please allow me to introduce or reintroduce them to you:

    VP of Membership - Kevin Snodgrass
    Secretary - Carrie Murdock
    Treasurer - Russ Coolman

    General Director - Mark Lambright
    General Director - Wes Caywood
    Trustee - Greg Colandrea

Please help me congratulate them all for taking up the challenge of helping the Chapter grow and thrive. I want to especially add my sincere thanks to Kevin for being the newest member of the team and for stepping up to serve in the Membership capacity as we work hard to bring in new members.

I hope to later in the year introduce to all of you my full Leadership Team which will consist of the above-mentioned individuals and other Alumni that have decided to step up and help the Chapter. Together we will make this year and the ones to follow memorable!

I would be absolutely remised if I didn’t take this opportunity to show my respect and gratitude for all the volunteers that made the last two years as successful as it has been. Without them, we would not have accomplished everything we did. I just hope that we continue to have the same quality of volunteers in the next few years, as we move forward in our quest to become the very best Alumni Chapter at the Naval Academy.

To achieve greatness, you must first follow a path and set some goals. These goals need to have a purpose, they need to be to reasonable, and they need to be achievable. They must also have the support of everyone, so that they can come to fruition and flourish.  I have come up with five strategic goals that I hope will accomplish just that this year. These five goals are:

  • Enhancing programming for young alumni, while not losing focus on the traditions and values of the Chapter;
  • Strengthening relationships with collaborating groups such as the BGOs and the Parents Club;
  • Increased exposure and attention on the charitable/philanthropic aspects of the Chapter;
  • Expanding the leadership team to diversify activities, while packaging responsibilities in more bite-sized roles for consistency and continuity; and
  • Improving the quality of our alumni database.

I obviously cannot accomplish these objective on my own, it must be a team effort. A team made up of the leadership that you have chosen, and all the Alumni combined. Together, we can accomplish anything, and together is how I would like this great Chapter to move towards our quest for greatness.

As I close this letter, I want to challenge all of you to commit to at least one thing this year to help our Chapter grow and flourish. The legacy of this Chapter is for all of us to grow, come help plant the seed!!!

Semper Fi,
Junior Ortiz
LtCol, USMC (Ret.), Class 1981
President, North Texas Chapter
USNA Alumni Association

Go Navy!