NDIA Amazing Grace Event

In August 2017, the Jacksonville tri-base region welcomed a long overdue collaborative Defense group, the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA).  Prosser | PRIME AE was key to starting the new chapter, NDIA First Coast, as an integral part of our strategy to reenter the DOD sector.  By leading that effort and recruiting others from the region to create a charter Board of Directors, Prosser | PRIME AE created access to National defense leaders and was instrumental in building a cohesive collaborative defense community bridging the different missions (Army to Navy and more) and garnering support for our First Coast defense community

NDIA, is comprised of 1,700 corporate and 70,000 individual members, is a non-partisan, non-profit, educational association that was founded to educate its constituencies on all aspects of national security.  Chapters exist near all industrial militaries, small and large, in the United States and internationally and the First Coast chapter was long overdue.

Just the facts - NDIA Mission Statement:

NDIA is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit that engages thoughtful and innovative leaders to promote the best policies, practices, products, and technology for warfighters and others who ensure the safety and security of our nation.

  • Champion issues that contribute to the strength, resiliency, and capacity of the defense industrial base
  • Build a vigorous, responsive, and collaborative community in support of Defense and National Security
  • Convene legal and ethical forums for the exchange of ideas, information, viewpoints, and capabilities

Working alongside Dr. Brett Ulander (who Elizabeth recruited as the chapter President out of the Orlando Modeling and Simulation community) and USAF Gen Craig McKinley (who had just retired to Ponte Vedra from the National NDIA President position), the 3 built a charter Board comprised of industry leaders. Per Gen McKinley’s advice the charter board organized an annual event (versus having monthly meetings in a meeting saturated region) for leaders from across the country and regionally to attend to collaborate across military missions and organizations.  The event was named the “Amazing Grace Defense Symposium” by Elizabeth May who sought to inspire others using the innovative RADM “Amazing” Grace Hopper, considered “the mother of computing” as a role model.  Amazing “Grace” broke every glass ceiling in the Navy by overcoming every obstacle imaginable through sheer intellect and innovation. She is also known for her numerous quotes which live through time with two favorites being “Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one's superiors; care for one's crew” as well as “The most dangerous phrase in the language is "We've always done it this way”." For more on RADM Hopper: Click Here

On February 24th and 25th, NDIA First Coast Chapter hosted it’s 2nd Annual “Amazing Grace” Defense Symposium (attended by members of our Federal Team) hosting numerous DOD Senior leaders to include: Mayor Lenny Curry, RDML Dean VanderLey (Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic), Mr. James Balocki (Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy -Installations, Energy and Facilities), Brig. Gen. Patrice A. Melançon (Executive Director, Tyndall Air Force Base Reconstruction PMO), Maj Gen James “Jim” Boozer (EVP, National Defense Industrial Association), RDML Gary Mayes ( Commander Navy Region Southeast), Col. Rachel McCaffrey (Vice President NDIA Membership & Chapters and Executive Director, Women in Defense) and many more.

Elizabeth May has served on the Charter Board since Aug 2017 and on 25 February at the conference – she was awarded the NDIA Outstanding Service Plaque by MG Boozer, Col Rachel McCaffrey and Rick Hoffman (incoming NDIA FC President and National Maritime Association.)  Elizabeth also took the initiative to submit Dr. Brett Ulander (outgoing NDIA FC Chapter President) and Mr. Jason Hayes (Congressional Liaison and CM Rutherford’s Brother-in-Law) with highly coveted and rare Gold and Bronze medals respectively. She also composed the citations that complimented the medals and coordinated Outstanding Service recognition for all of the charter BOD Members.

Elizabeth also volunteered for and work alongside CAPT Mike Monreal, NAVFAC SE Commander, for months recruiting speakers for and building out an AEC track in support of the conference which also resulted in attendees receiving Professional Development Hours. She recruited, Keith Ball, from SIEMENS a few months in to manage speakers’ presentations and also garnered support from Jason Wynn for graphics and printing as well.  While this work was very intensive – every bit of it was highly appreciated and acknowledged by CAPT Monreal who also works very closely with Elizabeth and other NAVFAC SE members on Society of American Military Engineer’s projects as SAME JAX Post President. CAPT Monreal is due to retire to our local community this summer and will pass on and promote our Prosser legacy of hard work and great ethics to the incoming NAVFAC SE Commander.

Our Prosser | PRIME AE leadership has shown great vision in promoting Prosser | PRIME AE team members support of activities that growth trust and gratitude from our DOD and other sector clients as well as tremendous access.