Broward Council Members and Friends
Welcome to the Broward County Navy League Council Web Site. As the Council President for 2014, I welcome you to the gateway to our Council.
My thanks to all that were able to make it to our April joint dinner meeting with the Fort Lauderdale Council at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club that featured Captain Austin Gould, US Coast Guard Sector Miami Commander, as guest speaker. We learned about all the the missions that the Sector carries out, including the challenges of intercepting illegal migrants trying to enter South Florida by boat from the Bahamas, and hearing current information about an oil spill in the Port of Miami entrance channel that occurred the night before but didn't get much media attention. We also welcomed back Connie Christensen as a Council member, and new member Fran Messina, whose son serves aboard the USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH. I received a number of positive comments from Ft Lauderdale Council members about the joint meeting format, and have been working with Lynn Drucker to schedule a joint meeting that we host. We also held a great Easter Egg Hunt for Coast Guard families on Saturday, April 12th at Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale. While I couldn't be there due to a conflict with the Florida Region meeting in Tampa that same day, the photos on our website and Facebook page tell the story. A special thanks to Shelley Beck for organizing the event, and to the other members that helped out. While you're checking the photos on our Facebook page, also take a look at the recent videos and photos from our two adopted US Navy ships, the USS BATAAN and USS LEYTE GULF; great job Marianne!
Our next dinner meeting will be on Thursday, May 8th at Tropical Acres, and our guest speaker will be Tim Lewis, Col. USAF Retired. Tim is currently the Deputy Federal Security Director for the Transportation Security Administration at Miami International Airport, and was previously the Federal Security Director at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Prior to joining TSA, Tim retired from the US Air Force after spending much of his career supporting Special Operations units. I hope you will join us for what will be a very interesting speaker.
As noted, I attended the Florida Region Navy League meeting led by Florida Region President Skip Witunski on April 11th and 12th in Tampa. The meeting was held at the Grant Hyatt Tampa Bay near Tampa International Airport, the location of the 2015 National Convention. The focus of the meeting was to nominate the slate of National Officers and Directors from Florida (including Rudy Oetting, Simone Ramos, and Chuck Black from the Ft Lauderdale Council), hear about best practices for membership recruitment and retention being used by Councils throughout the state, and to discuss local concerns with the current direction of the National organization and the limited information available on proposed changes to the National By-Laws that will be considered at the National Convention in June in San Diego; one of the proposals would reduce the number of National Directors. Bill Waylett, Senior Director of Regional Activities, also attended and provided some good information for Council Board members. Lynn Drucker was also recognized as the Florida Council President of the Year for 2013.
Fleet Week 2014 is now here, and the results of months of planning and hard work by Broward Navy Days and the numerous other volunteer organizations (including many members from our Council) will be shown as we welcome the USS NEW YORK, USCGC DEPENDABLE, and USCGC BERNARD C WEBBER to Port Everglades. I hope that you will come out to the Junior Officer Party on Tuesday, April 29th at Briny's Pub that our Council is hosting, as well as the numerous other events. Our Council will also be setting up a booth during the week to sell water and soda to the ship visitors as well as to tell them about the Navy League; thank you again to our members who volunteered to assist.
Finally, there are a few other events coming up to get on calendars. LT Paul Turner will be relieved by LT Mark Ketchum at the Change of Command at Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale on Friday, May 2nd, and long time Council supporter CAPT Rick Kenin will be retiring on Friday, May 23rd, at USCG Air Station Miami. Let me know if you didn't get an invitation to attend either of these events and I will forward one to you. While invitations aren't out yet, please add our adopted unit USCG Air Station Miami Change of Command on July 2nd to your calendar.
As always, please feel to contact me at 718-619-7402 or at email@example.com if you have any ideas on what our Council should be doing to make your membership more valuable to you.
CAPT, US Coast Guard Retired