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L-R Jim Muller, President; and speaker CAPT James Mills, Commanding Officer of NIOC Hawaii

L-R Jim Muller, President; and speaker CAPT James Mills, Commanding Officer of NIOC Hawaii

AFCEA Hawaii was honored to welcome April keynote speaker Captain James Mills, Commanding officer of Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii. Captain Mills provided a command mission snapshot for NIOC Hawaii. He reviewed the context of the naval environment, and the maritime strategy, challenges, trends, and game changers. Topics of the presentation also included the strategic relevance of cyberspace, its imperatives and the trends and implications of Cyberspace becoming the new domain of warfare.

We were pleased to recognize this month’s well-deserving awardees:

AFCEA Student of the Month: Jediah Conachan, Island Pacific Academy. Jediah Conachan has an innate knack for mathematics. He is intrigued with how the use of electronics is growing in the modern world, and is considering a major in electrical engineering. This past summer he competed for and earned an internship with the University of Hawaii at Mānoa College of Engineering. He worked in the Rapid Prototyping Lab in the Electrical Engineering Department and devised a project to create laser tag remote control cars manipulated through smartphone Bluetooth capabilities. His experiences not only provided him with a summer of intellectual problem-solving entertainment, but an opportunity to collaborate with others and hone his leadership skills.

At Island Pacific Academy he is wholeheartedly involved in encouraging the love of math amongst his classmates. Even though Mu Alpha Theta, the National Math Honor Society, was founded the year before he enrolled at IPA, he was immediately elected Vice President. This year he has continued his leadership as President. They have started a math tutoring program at the school and host entertaining math contests throughout the year.  He is also a leader in the IPA Math League. He singlehandedly recruited a teacher to advise the team, and organizes team practices. Jediah Conachan is a quality student and individual who is motivated to help others. He is a driving force behind the development of a physics course in his school. During his senior year, IPA added IB Physics SL to the course offerings, and he jumped at the chance to take it even though he would only have the first year of the two-year course.

Young AFCEAN of the Month:  Maj Chante Pondexter, USPACOM Major Pondexter holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and a Master’s Degree in Information Technology; his military education includes the Signal Officers Basic Course (SOBC), Signal Captains Career Course (SCCC) and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC).

Assignments include Platoon Leader, Charlie Company, 327th Signal Battalion; Battalion Signal Officer (S6), 1st BN (ABN), 321st Field Artillery Regiment; Brigade Comptroller, 35th Signal Brigade; Brigade Signal Officer (S6), 89th Military Police Brigade; Commander, 268th Network Support Company, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, Deputy Signal Officer (G6), 20th Support Command – Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosives (CBRNE); and currently serves as a plans, exercise and engagement officer for the for the USPACOM J6 and Joint Cyber Center (CYBERPAC), Camp H.M. Smith Hawaii.

Major Pondexter has been deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and his awards and decorations include the Bronze Star medal (One Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation (One Oak Leaf Cluster), National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal (Two Bronze Stars), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon and the Parachutist Badge.

AFCEAN of the Month:  Mark Godfrey, General Dynamics 

Mark Godfrey is a 1993 graduate of University of Virginia, with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a concentration in economics. He joined GTE Government Services in 1996 as a Project Support Engineer in Chantilly, Virginia. After a brief project at Hickam Air Force Base Hawaii, he transferred to a full time status with GTE to work for Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) SC as Project Support Engineer. He was the Pacific OEM Coordinator 2001, responsible for major manufacturer warranty support where not otherwise present, due to clearance requirements or remoteness. In 2005 the additional responsibility of General Dynamics Hawaii-Guam Area Manager was added. He became the General Dynamics Program Manager for DIA contracts in Pacific AOR in 2009. Since 2006 he has been the Project Manager for General Dynamics OCONUS OEM support.

Executive of the Month:  David Newman, AT&T

Dave Newman leads the Joint Hawaii Transfer System (JHITS) program providing the primary telecommunications and data services for the Department of Defense in the state of Hawaii. He is a results driven executive skilled in operating Profit & Loss (P&L) businesses, Business Development, Life Cycle Management, and restructuring in a Global Environment.

Mr. Newman’s career spans over 30 year in the communications industry. Throughout his career he has been sought out, and seized opportunities throughout the world. Career highlights include: 1) Program Management and Operations of HITS and JHITS program Honolulu, HI. Mr. Newman is responsible for program management requirements including contract compliance, organization development / management, operations, engineering, customer satisfaction, service delivery, service assurance, network development / management, and business P&L of a standalone communications business. 2) Developed and launched green field (new) business / network for AT&T in the United Kingdom (UK). Mr. Newman was sought out and selected as one of a small team U.S. communications professional to develop, build, and launch business in the UK. Responsibilities included business and management plan development, network design, deployment, Customer Service and Network Operation team development and life cycle operations after launch. 3) Region Manager / System Engineer for Philips/Ericson joint venture in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Responsibilities included communications network support including network software / hardware and knowledge transfer as part of the international technical development / support team and business manager for eastern region of Saudi Arabia. 4) Project Management organization development and launch for AT&T Network Systems, USA. Developed and supported first Project Management organizations roll out for the business.

Mr. Newman is a native of San Mateo, CA and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business with concentration in IT management from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is married to Leta of Honolulu HI., and has 4 daughters living in Hawaii and Arizona.

March AFCEAN of the Month:  Christopher D. Vaughan, GS-13 Quality Assurance Team Chief, Plans and Program Division (PC2) DISA-PAC 

Mr. Vaughan is currently employed as a Telecommunications Specialist at the Defense Information Systems Agency Pacific (DISA PAC) where he serves as the Quality Assurance Team Chief.  He deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, from November 2010 – May 2011, as the Deputy OIC, DISA Support Element- Afghanistan where he partnered with US Forces-Afghanistan, International Security Assistance Force, and the Afghanistan civil sector to restore/build new Afghan telecommunications capacity.

As the Quality Assurance Team Chief, Mr. Vaughan effectively provides consulting services to the Warfighter, Combatant Commands, and Military Services in the DISA PAC area of responsibility.  He ensures awareness of quality assurance issues that may affect the reliability and availability of the Department of Defense Information Network and ways to mitigate them.  He works with internal and external customers to facilitate high quality solutions, provides options/alternatives (when available) to afford the customer the best value and most cost effective solutions.  Prior to assuming this position, Mr. Vaughan worked as the Long-Haul Circuit Manager for Pacific Air Forces at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. Mr. Vaughan also served in DISA PAC as the Command’s Senior Enlisted Leader where he served as the principal advisor to the DISA PAC Commander and staff in the formulation of polices concerning morale, welfare, health, training, discipline and effective utilization of 109 joint-service military personnel and 350 civilian/contractor personnel.

Before retiring from the United States Air Force in 2009, Mr. Vaughan served as a Wideband Radio Technician and Communication-Computer Systems Control Specialist.  His assignments included: 1961st Communications Group, Clark AB, Philippines; 1901st Communications Group, Travis AFB, California; Det 12, 2006th Information Systems Group, Sahintepe, Turkey; 1961st Information Systems Group, Clark AB, Philippines; 22nd Combat Communications Squadron, Patrick AFB, Florida; OLC, 374th Communications Squadron, Camp Zama AIN, Japan; Defense Information Systems Agency Pacific Japan Field Office, Yokota AB, Japan; 325th Communications Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Florida; 374th Communications Squadron, Yokota AB, Japan; 435th Communications Group, Ramstein AB, Germany; Defense Information Systems Agency Pacific, Wheeler AAF, Hawaii.

Mr. Vaughan has a Master of Science in Information Technology Management from Trident University International (2009), a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Technology from the University of Maryland (2002), and Associates in Electronic Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force (1992).

Mr. Vaughan has received numerous military and civilian decorations including the Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

L-R Craig Chang, Outgoing AFCEA Hawaii Chapter Treasurer; Cory Lindo, Outgoing AFCEA Hawaii Chapter President

L-R Craig Chang, Outgoing AFCEA Hawaii Chapter Treasurer; Cory Lindo, Outgoing AFCEA Hawaii Chapter President

Additionally, pictured above is Craig Chang, the outgoing AFCEA Hawaii Chapter Treasurer, along with Cory Lindo, the outgoing AFCEA Hawaii Chapter President and new AFCEA Hawaii Board member.