FEBRUARY CHAPTER HIGHLIGHT: Utah Chapter, by Ariel Bambrough, Chapter President
What are your plans for the Chapter this year?
The Utah Chapter co-hosted the National PDI in Denver, sending 23 members to serve as the Hospitality Committee, with two serving as Chair and Co-Chair. Additionally, three other members represented our chapter, one served as Vice Chairman of PDI Committee and two others as Assistant Instructors. We also volunteered at the Hill AFB Airshow, launched the first Annual Utah Chapter Golf Tournament as a major fundraiser, and began volunteering monthly with the “Burrito Project”, a non-profit organization providing burritos to the homeless of Salt Lake City. Our chapter hosts an annual Regional PDI and conducts several Early Careerist events throughout the year. This year, we implemented a new approach to our monthly luncheons and began hosting them on-base, with catered or brown bag options; this has increased our attendance. We also have a great line-up of luncheon speakers and we continue to do our best to bring value to each of our members.
What event or program has had the best response from your Chapter?
The annual mini-PDI has evolved into a Regional PDI with attendees from Hill AFB, Tooele, Utah Air National Guard, Mountain Home AFB, with additional chapters across the western region expressing an interest in attending the 2019 event. In 2016, our chapter worked closely with the Pikes Peak Chapter to acquire mini-PDI best practices, this helped us to expand our event. Annually, we host 266 attendees from finance, cost, budget, accounting, audit, program management, and contracting. The event is held at the Davis Conference Center which provides a professional environment, amazing lunches, and plenty of coffee (we went through 13 gallons at the last event). This upcoming year we are even adding a social hour. This event has gained a lot of attention; it has increased our membership as well as chapter involvement. Our board members increased from the primary five with a few helpers to a total of 18 and this is excluding the 10-15 individuals that support the Regional PDI committee.
How have you been able to engage and grow your membership?
As previously mentioned, the annual Regional PDI has been a great contributor to our membership growth. Our early careerist base is expanding and our chapter is responding, the Early Careerist Chairperson hosts quarterly events, such as speed mentoring. The speed mentoring events have helped many early careerist engage senior FM leaders from across the base and learn more about the career field. Another significant contributor to increasing our membership and participation was volunteering for the National PDI Hospitality Committee. The chapter volunteers were 90% “first-time attendees” to the National PDI with many of them also being early careerists. This experience opened their eyes to the breadth of their career field within the DoD and inspired them to stay active in the ASMC.
What is your favorite chapter memory?
I know our chapter has many favorite memories, but one that many of us can attest to was when we had our Regional PDI keynote speaker, Mr. Jason Hewlett, corporate headliner, author, and motivational speaker. Mr. Hewlett was our closing speaker and he was speaking on being true to our commitments in life, whether it be at work or at home. He explained how people around us depend on us to do our “signature moves”, meaning people depend on us to not slack in the things we typically do and are known for. Mr. Hewlett, of course, tied in his impressions, which had the audience in fits of laughter. In his closing, Mr. Hewlett decided to sing “God Bless the USA-I’m Proud to be an American” and one by one, the 266 attendees began to stand up on the lyric “and I proudly stand up!” and joined in singing. It is truly difficult to capture the essence of the moment in words. Mr. Hewlett had us go through a range of emotions that day, from laughing to crying to ultimately leaving that event with a new sense of pride in our career choice as Active Duty and Civilian Airmen serving our country. Mr. Hewlett left such a lasting impression that Mr. Al Runnels decided to incorporate his show into the 2018 San Diego PDI.