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AFPAAA Updates

Here are some updates on association developments or news about AFPAAA members. Click or tap on a headline below for more details.

2022 Public Affairs Awards Winners Announced...

SAF/PA Director Mr. Jerry Renne has announced the winners of the 2022 Air Force Public Affairs Awards for Communication Excellence, including the winner of the Brigadier General James W. Hart, Jr. Best of the Best Award, sponsored by the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. AFPAAA joins Mr. Renne in congratulating the winners of these prestigious awards.

Mr. Kenneth J. Raimondi, 3d Audiovisual Squadron, JBSA-Lackland, Texas was the "Best of the Best" in 2022. Mr. Raimondi was recognized as the outstanding enlisted, officer, or civilian member who best demonstrated professional excellence and contributed significantly to the effectiveness of the Department of the Air Force public affairs mission. In honor of his achievement, AFPAAA will present Mr. Raimondi with the Brigadier General James W. Hart, Jr. Best of the Best Award trophy, a $1,000 check, and a lifetime membership in the association.

In addition to recognizing Mr. Raimondi as the "Best of the Best", Mr. Renne announced the individual and team winners of the 2022 awards. Military winners of individual awards are eligible for the Air and Space Recognition Ribbon, and civilians are eligible for the Air Force Recognition lapel pin.

The individual award winners are:

(AFGSC) Outstanding Communication Airman:
SrA Colin A. Hollowell, 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas.

(AFPAA) Staff Sergeant Christopher S. Frost Outstanding Communication Noncommissioned Officer:
TSgt Anthony C. Kuhn, 3d Audiovisual Squadron, JBSA-Lackland, Texas.

(AFSOC) Outstanding Communication Senior Noncommissioned Officer:
MSgt Cody H. Ramirez, 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

(ACC) Capt. Bradley R. Schuldt Outstanding Communication Company Grade Officer:
Capt Sarah J. Johnson, 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall AFB, Fla.

(AFPAA) Outstanding Communication Field Grade Officer:
Lt Col Karl J. Wiest, 3d Audiovisual Squadron, JBSA-Lackland, Texas

(AMC) Outstanding Communication Civilian Category I:
Ms. Abigail A. Cole, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill.

(AFPAA) Outstanding Communication Civilian Category II:
Mr. Kenneth J. Raimondi, 3d Audiovisual Squadron, JBSA-Lackland, Texas.

(HAF) Outstanding Communication Civilian Category III:
Ms. Laurel P. Falls, SAF/PA Media Operations Division, Pentagon.

(AFPAA) Brig Gen James W. Hart, Jr., Best of the Best:
Mr. Kenneth J. Raimondi, 3d Audiovisual Squadron, JBSA-Lackland

The team award winners are:

(ACC) Brig Gen Harry J. Dalton, Jr. Award for the most effective unit-level communication program:
57th Wing Public Affairs, Nellis AFB, Nev.

(AFGSC) Maj Henry H. "Hap" Arnold Award for Public Affairs Communication Effectiveness:
90th Missile Wing Public Affairs, FE Warren AFB, Wyo.

(USAFE) Brig Gen Ronald T. Rand Award for Best Crisis Communication:
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs, Spangdahlem AB, Germany.

(USAFE) Best Innovation:
Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa Public Affairs, Ramstein AB, Germany.

Meet 2022's Best of the Best — Ken Raimondi...

From: January 2023 News and Notes

Ken Raimondi, lead producer and director for the 3d Audiovisual Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland has been named this year’s winner of the AFPAAA Brig, Gen. James W. Hart, Jr., Best of the Best Award.

As the award winner, Raimondi will have his airfare and hotel paid for by the association to attend the 2023 annual meeting in Tampa, Fla., a $1,000 cash award, an engraved trophy and an AFPAAA life membership. Additionally, Raimondi’s name will be added to the plaque with the names of all of the award winners on permanent display in the Brig. Gen. H.J. Dalton, Jr., Conference Room in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force (Public Affairs).

Raimondi was selected the most outstanding public affairs person from the nominated bandsmen, broadcasters, multimedia and public affairs specialists.

Ken Raimondi

Raimondi is responsible for producing high-quality staff and major command video productions. He works independently with senior level officials in determining communications goals, target audiences, and distribution methods for audiovisual productions. This includes writing scripts, shooting video, and editing the products. He also produces live event broadcasts and directs crews of as many as 20 production personnel.

“I am incredibly honored and in all honesty, surprised to have won this award!” Raimondi said. “I've spent most of my career Public Affairs adjacent. I worked for AFN, Air Force Recruiting Service and the 3d Audiovisual Squadron. In each of these capacities, I've created products for Public Affairs efforts but only in recent years do I feel like I've had the opportunity to shape how those products are used. In that capacity, I have felt more empowered and seen more success than I ever had before. I hope that by earning this award, as a non-traditional PA, others in the enterprise feel empowered to use their expertise and knowledge to shape how and where their talents can be most effective for the Public Affairs mission.”

Raimondi was assigned as the lead producer and director in September 2022. Prior to that, he had been working as a producer/director with the 3d AVS for five years. He recently earned a Lonestar Emmy nomination for his work on a docuseries titled, “Basic.” (You can watch it here.)

He has earned multiple civilian of the year honors and was named a “Top Ten Outstanding Young American” by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce in 2017.

He served in the Air Force, leaving as a master sergeant. His distinguished military career includes being a two-time Levitow Award winner — once at Airman Leadership School and once in the Noncommissioned Officer Academy. He served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and served two years in the Republic of Korea.

His work while in uniform was recognized with multiple annual awards to include being named Air Force Recruiting Service’s top enlisted airman and competing for the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year. He’s also won a number of Air Force and DoD Media Contest awards.

His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Thomas Edison State University and a master’s degree in fine arts in film from the Vermont College of the Fine Arts.

Memorial Service Held for Brig Gen Dick Abel...

A celebration of life service for former SAF/PA director and AFPAAA Hall of Famer Brig General Dick Abel, who passed away on August 31, 2022, was held at Liberty Live Church in Hampton, Virginia on Saturday, December 3, 2022. Burial will be at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery.

The service was live streamed and a recording was made. A link to it will be posted here once it is available.

General Abel was inducted into the Air Force Public Affairs Hall of Fame on October 21, 2021. You can learn more about his unique life and distinguished career in his Hall of Fame page, and you can read his obituary here.

Donations in Gen Abel's honor can be made by clicking on either of these links:

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Military Ministry of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ)

Six Recipients Earn First Dalton Scholarships...

The Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association has selected the first recipients of the Brig. Gen. H.J. Dalton Scholarship Program.

2022 is the inaugural year of the program and AFPAAA and General Dalton’s family are excited to assist scholarship recipients in improving their public affairs skills, furthering their career, and enhancing their value to the U.S. Air Force.

AFPAAA had originally budgeted for five $1,000 scholarships per year. However, the applicants in this first year of the program were so outstanding, the board approved all six Air Force PA members who applied. The six recipients are:

A1C Janae Masoner
Mass Communications Specialist, 139th Airlift Wing
Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, Missouri

Maj (Lt Col select) Natassia Cherne
Deputy Commander, Air Force News Agency
Joint Base San Antonio – Randolph, Texas

Capt Victoria Wright
Public Affairs Officer, 87th Air Base Wing
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey

SrA Joseph Morales
Mass Communications Specialist, 87th Air Base Wing
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey

SSgt Haley Phillips
Public Affairs Specialist, 315th Airlift Wing
Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina

CMSgt John Herrick
Senior Enlisted Advisor, 4th Combat Camera Squadron
Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina

Chuck Merlo, chairman of AFPAAA's Dalton Scholarship Committee, said "We were very happy to see a mix of applicants that included active duty and Air National Guard, enlisted and officers. All received high praise from their supervisors for both their duty performance as well as their initiative to improve themselves on their own time."

Interested in applying for a Dalton Scholarship, or know someone deserving of consideration? You can learn more about the program's requirements and application procedures here. Information about the program is also contained in the August 2022 edition of the SAF/PA Quarterly Newsletter.

Applications for the 2023 program will be accepted from March 1st to May 31st, 2023.

Meet 2021's Best of the Best — Jennifer Green-Lachoney...

Almost a dozen years ago Jennifer Green-Lanchoney saw a job announcement to fill a student hire position in the Public Affairs office at Vandenberg Air Force Base. She applied and after being interviewed she was hired. Little did she know that this step would shape her new professional life.

Jennifer soon developed an appreciation for the career field and changed her college major to communications. Then, with the support of the PA chief and staff at Vandenberg, she was selected for the Air Force’s Palace Acquire Program.

Palace Acquire is an internship program for recent college graduates that provides an opportunity to get a foot in the door that could lead to a career in Air Force Public Affairs. Those in the Palace Acquire internship program serve 1.5 years at a wing and 1.5 years at major command Public Affairs offices. After her time at Vandenberg at wing level Jennifer went to Air Force Space Command Headquarters at Peterson AFB.

Jennifer K. Green-Lanchoney
Col Denny Davies, 86th AW/CV, presents the 2021 Best of the Best plaque and trophy to Jennifer.

Between the demands of the internship program, her husband’s military career, opportunities to move to various learning experience assignments, and her family, Jennifer had a very busy and full life.

From 2014 through 2020, when she settled into her current position at Ramstein as the GS-11 Chief of the 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Command Media Operations Section, Jennifer held multiple position in and out of the military. They included: Community Engagement Section Chief, Hanscom AFB; Research Program Publicity, Apogee Engineering LLC, United States Air Force Academy: Public Affairs Specialist, USDA Rural Development, Santa Maria, California, and Community Engagement Section Chief, Vandenberg AFB.

Has her career decision impacted Jennifer and her family?

“Being married to someone in the military takes a significant toll on a military spouse’s ability to stay on a stable career path. Because of both my husband’s career and my wish to keep our family together, I had to jump around a bit. I am extremely grateful for the experiences and positions I have held as they shaped my view of the Air Force and the world,” she observed.

“Military moves take a huge toll on a family. I like to think that moving and seeing the country and the world has made my five children more understanding and resilient, but it would be naive of me to think it hasn’t had an effect on them during their formative years. I am constantly impressed with how they have handled all the change and what great humans they have become.”

Jennifer’s assignment to Ramstein was fortuitous, “Once my husband retired from active duty (he now works for a tenant unit’s Inspector General at Ramstein) and I saw an opportunity to move my family overseas and take on a challenging position in Germany I jumped on it.”

Shortly after Jennifer arrived, Ramstein became one of the world’s major media centers as the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan began and rapidly and chaotically grew in intensity. Before they knew it, Jennifer and her team were handling a massive influx of national and international media covering what was now known as Operation Allies Refuge.

“Our biggest challenge was the sheer number of requests, emails, calls and the media waiting at our gates. The transparency afforded to Ramstein by USAFE and OSD was amazing,” she recalled.

“We were able to set the tone at the local level and respond authentically to media members from across the world. The information we shared shaped the public perception of thousands of people headed to the U.S., many for the first time. It was incredibly important that we got it right.”

In a six week span Jennifer led her team in an effort that supported 22 press conferences and 222 reporters from 53 outlets who conducted 151 interviews during 36 media visits. They also answered 156 queries related to OAR.

“It was a massive undertaking and it could not have been accomplished without the work done by the amazing leadership and team we have here at Ramstein, they deserve the credit as well for what we did” she said.

That effort was the key to Jennifer being selected by SAF/PA for the Brigadier General James W. Hart, Jr., Best of the Best Award as the top Air Force Public Affairs military or civilian practitioner for 2021.

Each year AFPAAA’s Best of the Best Award recognizes the top officer, civilian, or enlisted person in Air Force Public Affairs for professional excellence and significant contributions to the effectiveness of the Air Force mission. Funding for the award is provided by Lockheed Martin Corporation. In addition to the trophy, each recipient receives a $1,000 check and a Life Membership in AFPAAA.

Four AFPAAA Members Receive Diverse Honors and Awards...

Mark Foutch

It was not a coincidence that July 29th was his 80th birthday and Mark Foutch Day in Olympia, Washington.

The Olympia City Council picked that date to honor Mark, an AFPAAA Lifetime Founder, for 35 years of service to the area as a community activist, neighborhood association president, member of the City Council, and the mayor of Olympia, as well as other civic activities.

Mark fell in love with Olympia while assigned to McChord AFB’s 25th Air Division in 1971-72. When he retired from the Air Force in 1985 he settled there. He joined his neighborhood association and had the opportunity to observe and interact with the City Council.

In 1991 he ran for the council and began his 16 year council membership, which included ten years as the council appointed Mayor Pro Tem and a four-year term as elected mayor.

Mark said that everything he was involved with during the 35 years was important but being Board President for the Association of Washington Cities while he was mayor was particularly significant.

“It added the opportunity for even more interaction and influence with state officials than being the capital city’s mayor and carried into my work with the National League of Cities, especially at the annual meetings in Washington, D.C., where we met with our senators and representatives to lobby on city issues,” Mark said.

As mayor he made ‘sister city’ trips to Japan and a Washington state trade mission to China and Hong Kong. His military career made him a logical choice to be Olympia’s liaison with Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“My wife, Janet Charles, thoroughly enjoyed being Olympia’s First Lady,” Mark recalled. “She went with me to as many as five events in a day in town, at JBLM, and meetings around the state and nation, as well as on overseas trips --none at taxpayer expense.”

Reflecting on a lengthy civic career that far exceeded his time in the Air Force, Mark observed. “The pay was nothing much but the ‘psychic income’ was terrific, and the IRS hasn’t figured out how to tax that yet.”

Bob McCullough

AFPAAA Life Member Bob McCullough has been elected to the Public Relations Society of America’s prestigious College of Fellows.

The College of Fellows is an honorary organization of PRSA. Bob and the twelve others elected for 2021 are among 350 Fellows within the 30,000 member PRSA. Selection as a Fellow recognizes an individual’s contribution in extraordinary ways to the advancement of the communications profession through proven accomplishment, leadership, and mentoring expertise.

An accredited member, Bob joined PRSA in 1983 and is a past president of PRSA’s San Antonio Chapter and the Texas Public Relations Association. His honors include three awards in the PRSA Silver Anvil competition and the Tex Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bob had a 30 year active duty and reserve career in Public Affairs. His assignments included AIRMAN magazine and mobilization assistant to the Air Force News Agency’s commander. He retired in 2002 as a colonel.

In 2010, he joined the unique Morgan’s Wonderland theme park in San Antonio, Texas. He is now communications director for Morgan’s Inspiration Initiative, a non-profit that coordinates planning, fundraising and communications for Morgan’s Wonderland and related ventures designed for the special-needs community and built for everyone’s enjoyment.

Before that Bob headed public relations for SeaWorld San Antonio and corporate communications for CPS Energy, greater San Antonio’s electricity and natural gas provider.

Ron Rand

“I’m humbled by this amazing hometown recognition and honored to be included with such distinguished generals. Hopefully, this bridge and park will inspire young Quincy men and women – today and tomorrow – to choose paths in life that include military service,” said AFPAAA Life Member Ron Rand.

He was among 18 general officers raised in the City of Quincy, Massachusetts enshrined in its new Generals Bridge and Park September 11.

The park in downtown Quincy has statues of its three highest ranking generals – Army Chief of Staff General James C. McConville, retired Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and retired General Gordon Sullivan, an Army chief of staff.

Ron has one of four busts in the park’s plaza. The other busts are of Massachusetts National Guard Major Generals Francis McGinn (Army) and Stephen Keefe (Air Force), and Air Force Major General Charles Sweeney, who piloted the B-29 in WW II that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

McConville, Dunford, McGinn, Sullivan, and Ron delivered remarks at the ceremony.

The names of the eleven other generals, dating back to the 1700s, including John Hancock, are engraved in the park’s commemorative stonework. The seven-foot bronze statues and the busts are by world-renowned sculptor Sergey Elanbekov.

Ron had a 32 year career in uniform, retiring as Director of Public Affairs. He became Pratt & Whitney’s vice president for communications and then senior vice president for communications of Lockheed Martin. He was the president and chief executive officer of The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation from 2014-2018 when he retired.

John Terino

John Terino has been selected by the Intercollegiate Sailing Association of America (ICSA) for its 2021 Outstanding Service by a Volunteer Award.

The ICSA is the governing authority for all sailing competition by 200 colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada.

The Outstanding Service by a Volunteer Award honors an individual who has volunteered their time, talent and resources to advance the interests of college sailing at the club, team, conference or national level.

He received the award for his work in behalf of his alma mater Fordham University’s sailing team. Shortly after the Fordham University Sailing Association was formed 20 years ago John, an AFPAAA Lifetime Founder, became secretary of its board of governors, a post he still holds.

He is responsible for the Association’s directory – keeping track of its more than 300 Fordham sailing alumni and benefactors that support the team. The directory is a vital tool in recruiting high school sailors and fund raising to help maintain the boats and equipment, and for travel and other team expenses.

As an undergraduate, he was commodore of the team in 1959-61 and a two-time letter recipient.

John’s name, as well as those of the 2021 College Sailors of the Year and this year’s other ICSA award recipients, will be added to those already in sailing’s hall of fame.

The ICSA College Sailing Hall of Fame was established in 1969 and is in the Robert Crown Sailing Center at the United States Naval Academy.

Hall of Famer Alice Price Passes Away at 95...

Alice Price with Hall of Fame Trophy
Alice with her Air Force Public Affairs Hall of Fame trophy.

Alice Price, curator of the Air Force's Art Collection for almost two decades, died on January 21 after sustaining a fall at her home in San Antonio. A member of the Pioneer Class of the Air Force Public Affairs Hall of Fame, a Lifetime Founder of AFPAAA, and the 2002 recipient of AFPAAA's Mike McRaney Distinguished Service Award, Alice was known and loved throughout the Air Force.

You can read Alice's obituary here.

A memorial service for Alice was held on Friday, February 18th, and interment followed at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

If you were unable to attend or view the livestream of Alice's memorial service, a recording of the service is available. You can view the recording here.

To learn more about Alice's amazing career, visit her Hall of Fame page and read her fascinating Oral History.

Memorial Service Held for Brig Gen Jerry Dalton...

A service to celebrate the life of Brig General H. J. “Jerry” Dalton, who passed away in 2020, was held Saturday, October 30th, 2021 at the Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church in Richardson, Texas. General Dalton was an active member at Canyon Creek for 40 years.

The service and accompanying slide show was recorded and can be viewed here. The story below the video contains links to more information about the passing of this PA legend.

PA Legend Brig General Jerry Dalton Passes Away...

Brigadier General H.J. "Jerry" Dalton passed away on Sunday, November 1st, 2020. He was 93.

General Dalton was the first career Public Affairs Officer to attain the rank of Brigadier General and become SAF/PA Director.
Gen Jerry Dalton
A San Antonio, Texas, native, he had a 30-year Air Force career that began as a distinguished military graduate of the AFROTC program at the University of Texas in Austin. In retirement he continued to excel, holding senior aerospace industry public relations positions. He was president of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in 1990 and the founding PRSA Foundation president in 1991.

In 1974, the Aviation/Space Writers Association named him the outstanding public information officer in the military, and in 2007 PRSA presented him its highest honor, the PRSA Gold Anvil Award, in recognition of his lifetime of service advancing the practice of public relations. In July 2019, SAF/PA and AFPAAA joined together to honor him when the SAF/PA conference room was named the “Brigadier General H.J. Dalton, Jr. Conference Room”.

The Chairman of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association, Jay DeFrank, issued the following statement on behalf of the association’s Board of Directors:

“Brigadier General Dalton was more than a legend in Air Force Public Affairs. He was an inspiration, a mentor, and an incredible leader respected and beloved by those of us lucky enough to work with him and know him. His enormous legacy lives on to this day, and will endure in how he structured and shaped Air Force Public Affairs to be a major positive force in helping the Air Force accomplish its mission in the challenging decades since he led our field. He will be warmly remembered for his immense knowledge and competence matched by his great good humor and how clearly he so deeply cared about those of us in our career field.

Our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences go out to the Dalton family during this very difficult time.”

Read General Dalton's Oral History here.

Go to his Hall of Fame page.

Read his Official Biography here.

Read his obituary in the Dallas Morning News here.