Letter from the President
Posted: November 9, 2016
Dear Foundation Members and Friends:
Your Foundation wishes you the very best as we enter this holiday season. We entered 2016 with the optimism of new possibilities. With our improved investment portfolio now working for us, we are addressing the necessary long-range planning to protect and enhance our future. The Board of Directors that was seated in June broke into two committees, one focusing on our strategic vision and value proposition, and the other aiming at the elements necessary to execute and administer that vision. These committees are doing the hard work to carry us forward on a sound and sustainable path.
The health of our Foundation can be measured in terms of its membership. Our membership remains steady, and is intensely loyal and supportive. However, as our membership ages we must offset normal declines with new members if we are to remain viable. This is a daunting task, as it is universally recognized that younger folks do not tend to join organizations like ours. Early on the Board recognized that we must improve our outreach efforts if we hope to increase membership. Accordingly, a major focus this year has been to promote our Foundation’s message in a variety of ways.
- For the past ten years, it has been our practice to conduct, often on a single day, the presentation of our major awards—The Spaatz, Holley, and Doolittle Awards—followed by an awards banquet. Accordingly, the Board decided to increase exposure and expand our audience by splitting the events into three separate components. The first this year was the Doolittle Award presentation, held on September 27th, which is covered in depth elsewhere in this issue. By all accounts it was a resounding success: well attended by our members and veterans of the honored 100th Air Refueling Wing, and well supported by our corporate partners.
- Recognizing that the Foundation may have become a bit too “Washington centric,” the Foundation went “on the road” to the United States Air Force Academy on November 3rd for the year’s second event, presentation of the Spaatz award to Dr. Donald B. Rice, 17th Secretary of the Air Force. The newly opened Center for Character and Leadership Development provided the fitting venue for showcasing our Foundation and demonstrate our support of Air Force values and its future officers.
- The third event of the year, presentation of the Holley and major writing awards, will return to the DC area at a date to be determined. We will again change up our format to either a late PM “beer call” or a luncheon, depending on the schedule of our keynote speaker. By refocusing our awards programs, we hope to attract more interest in our mission of knowing the past to shape the future.
- Finally, our social media programs, which are more attractive to younger membership candidates, are steadily growing stronger. Many of you receive our daily ”This Day in Air Force History” emails, and our response to this effort has been very positive. To spread that effort a bit further, our daily vignettes are re-broadcast via Face Book and Twitter which opens our exposure an audience at least three times beyond just our email format. It is encouraging to see the many conversations that develop from the image and caption we deliver. We are enhancing our reputation as the reliable source for accurate and accessible history of the United States Air Force.
As always, let me thank you for the part that each of you played in the history and legacy of Air Power, and for your support. It makes our role that much easier, knowing you stand behind us. This is your Foundation. We need to hear your comments and suggestions as we continue to grow in the coming New Year. “Come up on voice”—ANYTIME!
Dale W. Meyerrose, Maj Gen, USAF (Retired)
President and Chairman of the Board