September 2022 Council and Chapter News

September 2022 Council and Chapter News

Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here. Send updates about your affiliate’s activities to for possible inclusion in future editions.


Congratulations to the 2022 Levels of Excellence Award and Individual Award Winners!

MOAA is pleased to announce the winners of the Levels of Excellence Awards, Colonel Steve Strobridge Legislative Chair/Liaison Award, and Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award.


Out of just over 400 MOAA affiliates, 161 councils and chapters nominated themselves for Levels of Excellence (LOE) award recognition this year. Despite a difficult year of transition from the COVID-19 pandemic, these councils and chapters adapted and improvised when necessary to support and foster programs that directly support the MOAA mission and their communities.


All LOE nomination packages were independently evaluated by two members of the Council and Chapter Affairs Committee of the MOAA board of directors. Throughout the grading process, it was very clear that our councils and chapters didn’t just maintain satisfactory performance but rather excelled in their mission and determination. Presidents of these winning chapters have been invited to attend MOAA’s Annual Meeting and Levels of Excellence Awards Ceremony in Kansas City, Mo., in October.


View the list of winners on MOAA’s website.


MOAA’s 2022 individual award winners will also be formally recognized at the annual meeting and Levels of Excellence Awards ceremony. Those recipients are:


Colonel Steve Strobridge Legislative Chair/Liaison Award

  • Council: Col. Michael Kelly, USAF (Ret), Kansas Council of Chapters
  • Chapter: Dr. Ron Sarg, Dover (Del.) Chapter


Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award

  • Council: Patricia Bergquist, Tennessee Council of Chapters
  • Chapter: Judith Thomas, Houston Chapter


This year’s competition was incredibly strong. We want to also congratulate all of those exemplary volunteer leaders who were nominated for both of these prestigious awards.


New Member of Council and Chapter Affairs Team

We are so pleased to welcome Fahria Hossain as our newest member of the Council and Chapter Affairs Team. Fahria has assumed Candice Young’s portfolio of chapter visit coordination and individual and organizational awards. After working at several other nonprofit organizations, Fahria started at MOAA as a member service representative and is coming to us from her role as an accountant for MOAA’s Development team. Fahria can be reached directly at


Surviving Spouse Corner: What’s In a Name?

Not only has their name changed from auxiliary members to surviving spouses, but the mission, efforts, and accomplishments of this group of MOAA members have continued to grow.


By Suzanne Walker, staff advisor, Surviving Spouse Advisory Council


For many years, spouses of MOAA members were referred to as auxiliary members when their spouse member died.


When MOAA established the Auxiliary Member Advisory Committee (AMAC), a focus group of auxiliary members to advise the association’s president on matters of importance to those who had lost their military spouse, the committee suggested it might be time to move away from the term auxiliary. The military was starting to refer to family members who had lost a military member as “survivors.” The definition of auxiliary, as “giving help or support, especially to a more important person or thing,” was not how spouses felt. They were the ones who had managed the household, made frequent moves, gave up careers, and raised families while the military member served. They were “survivors.”


Therefore, in 2013, MOAA’s board of directors voted to change the name auxiliary member to surviving spouse and declared them full members with all the rights and privileges of membership, including a position on the board of directors.


Since then, two surviving spouses have served on the board of directors: Joyce Hart, who was succeeded by Gail Joyce. In addition, Capt. Kathy Thorp, USN (Ret), is a surviving spouse on the board of directors.


The AMAC became the Surviving Spouse Advisory Council and remains at the forefront of leadership in MOAA for all surviving spouses. Through their dedication and hard work, they implemented the training module for surviving spouse liaisons for MOAA’s regional leadership conferences, contribute monthly columns to The MOAA Newsletter, chartered the Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter, advocated for the successful elimination the SBP/DIC offset, established the annual Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award, and conducted the first Spouses and Surviving Spouse Summit at MOAA’s 2021 annual meeting.


The Surviving Spouse Advisory Council also has expanded focus from advocacy only to a comprehensive development of services benefiting the spouse and surviving spouse community within MOAA.


We hope you will join the Surviving Spouse Advisory Council at the second annual Spouse and Surviving Spouse Summit at MOAA’s 2022 annual meeting in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 28.


The Surviving Spouse Advisory Council looks forward to continued support to educate, encourage, and engage spouses and surviving spouses of MOAA.


Read past Surviving Spouse Corners.


Upcoming Events

Monthly Chapter Leader Virtual Roundtable: Join us Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. Eastern for a discussion on Levels of Excellence Award changes for 2022. Click here at the time of the meeting.


Find a complete list of Council and Chapter Affairs events online.


Central Region Leaders Workshop, Omaha, Neb., Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Council and chapter presidents, membership chairs, legislative chairs/liaisons, and surviving spouse liaisons from Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wyoming have been invited to register by Sept. 6 for this two-day forum to receive updates and ask questions of MOAA leadership, participate in break-out sessions on chapter administration, legislative liaison training, or surviving spouse liaison training, and  enjoy networking opportunities with fellow volunteer-leaders. For more information, contact


Did You Know?

Awards to Recognize Chapter Leaders: National MOAA offers the opportunity for chapter leaders to nominate members for several types of awards. The available options to recognize extraordinary leadership include the Leadership Award, the Outstanding Service Award, the President’s Award, and the Chairman’s Award. We also offer 100-year birthday certificates! Submit your award request online.


Chapter Visit Program: Starting in 2022, council and chapter visit reports will be considered as part of the overall judging process for the Levels of Excellence Award. These reports, designed to document and focus tailored national support of our affiliates, are only completed when a council president, national board member, or staff are invited to visit a council or chapter. Our visit program is designed to accommodate a national-level visit to a council every year and to a chapter every two to three years. If you are due for such a visit, use this link to submit a request and Fahria Hossain will facilitate the request for scheduling. For documentation purposes, all requests for a national MOAA visitor need to be submitted using this form.


From the Field

MOAA chapters give back to their communities through fundraising efforts, community-service projects, scholarship programs, and other initiatives. Here are some recent activities.


The Maryland Council of Chapters presented its Guard Unit of the Year award to the 175th Air Wing Mission Support Group of the Maryland Air National Guard in early June. Col. Amy Kremser, ANG, commander, accepted the award.


The Palm Springs (Calif.) Chapter held its annual Junior ROTC awards ceremony in April to recognize the outstanding leadership displayed by selected high school cadets in throughout the Coachella Valley. This year’s event also named the winner of the chapter’s inaugural scholarship in the name of Cpl. Hunter Lopez of Indio, who was killed in Afghanistan in August 2021.

The Charlotte Harbor (Fla.) Chapter recognized four cadets with Junior ROTC medals and awarded four scholarships to students with military connections at its May dinner.


The Charter Oak (Conn.) Chapter is partnering with the World Affairs Council of Connecticut to host the “Global Security Forum 2022: Age of Instability,” Friday Sept. 23, at Goodwin College in East Hartford. Presenters will include top military leaders, experts, and thought leaders who will explore areas of emerging global instability and how our institutions, leaders, and businesses can confront the challenges posed by an uncertain future. Speakers will address Russia’s war in Ukraine, defense industry innovation, the global food crisis, shifting power in the Pacific, and more. Learn more at (MOAA members can use promo code “MOAA” for discounted tickets.)


Get Newsletter Content From National MOAA

Need some content to supplement your chapter’s newsletter? The White Label Newsletter Template includes information, articles, and helpful tips from national MOAA that already are formatted for inclusion in your newsletter. The content is updated every month to ensure you are receiving timely, relevant information.  


National MOAA Travel Schedule

Here are the councils and chapters MOAA leaders will be visiting over the next few months.


Contact the associated chapter if you would like to attend any of the following scheduled visits:

  • Sept. 12-15, New York Council of Chapters Conference, Alexandria Bay, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), Council/Chapter and Member Support, and Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), Council and Chapter Affairs (CCA)
  • Sept. 15, Coronado (Ariz.) Chapter, Sierra Vista, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Sept. 15, Don Root-Tularosa Basin (N.M.) Chapter, Alamogordo, speaker TBD
  • Sept. 16, George Marshall (Va.) Chapter, Lexington, Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO; Col. Jim O’Brien, USAF (Ret), MOAA COO; and Alan English, Communications
  • Sept. 17, Illinois Council of Chapters, virtual, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Sept. 18, Central Oregon Chapter, Redmond, Capt. Marvin Heinze, USN (Ret), MOAA board of directors (BoD)
  • Sept. 20, Kings Bay (Ga.) Chapter, St. Marys, Rear Adm. Richard Buchanan, USN (Ret), BoD
  • Sept. 21, Northern New Jersey Chapter, Picatinny Arsenal, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Sept. 22, General Green (Pa.) Chapter, Latrobe, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Sept. 22, Halifax Area (Fla.) Chapter, Daytona Beach, Col. Jeri Graham, USA (Ret), BoD
  • Sept. 28, Mojave Desert (Calif.) Chapter, Victorville, Sept. 28, Capt. Marvin Heinze, USN (Ret), BoD
  • Sept. 30­–Oct. 1, Mid-U.S. Chapter Leader Workshop, Omaha, Neb., Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), Council/Chapter and Member Support, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA and staff
  • Oct. 1, Fort George G. Meade Chapter (Md.), TBD, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 4, Greater Lubbock (Tex.) Chapter, Lubbock, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 6, Palm Beach-Martin Counties (Fla.), Palm Beach, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 8, Cape Coral (Fla.) Chapter of MOAA, Cape Coral, TBD
  • Oct. 8, Louisiana Council of Chapters, Lake Charles, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 12, Alabama Council of Chapters, Montgomery, Oct. 12, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 13, Luke (Ariz.) Chapter, Goodyear, Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO
  • Oct. 14, Orange Empire (Calif.) Chapter, Redlands, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 15, Central New York Chapter, Syracuse, Capt. Kathy Thorp, USN (Ret), BoD
  • Oct. 18, Southern Delaware Chapter, Lewes, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 20, Brazos Valley (Texas) Chapter, Bryan, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 20, Central Pennsylvania Chapter, State College, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), Council/Chapter and Member Support
  • Oct. 20, Huntsville (Ala.) Capt. Paul Frost, USN (Ret), Financial Education/VSO
  • Oct. 20, Pensacola (Fla.) Chapter, Pensacola, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Oct. 29, Heart of America (Mo.) Chapter, Kansas City, Capt. Erin E. Stone, JAGC, USN (Ret), CCA


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