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A Message from the President February 2020

28 Jan 2020 7:23 AM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

Greetings. I hope this issue finds you well and happy. It seems I’ve just had my first deep breath of this month – it’s really been busy around here. We had our first board meeting on the 12th of January, followed by the Annual Meeting later in the afternoon. Thanks to all of you who came out to join us at the Vestavia Hills Library. I hope you enjoyed Dr. Joe Popinski’s program, which was an excellent overview of the Bomb-Making Awareness Program, which will be one of our signature projects in the days to come. A highlight for me was the opportunity to present well-deserved Chapter Leadership Awards to Bill Conway, Joe DiNoto, Chris Karlson, and Dr. Joe Popinski, for their outstanding efforts over the past year. And let’s take the opportunity to welcome Jennifer Cofer (our new Membership chair), Jacqueline Gray Miller, Chris Huys, James Watts, Tim Johns, and Gary McCullors to our Board of Directors. We look forward to working with them for the coming years.

We followed that meeting up with an all-day Strategic Planning session at Lake Guntersville State Park’s Lodge. You should have been there – it was magic. We got so much accomplished, and have so much in the works that we’ll be rolling out for you soon. One of the things we found was...we love Lake Guntersville State Park. We love it so much that we’re thinking in terms of hosting a gathering there in the fall. We are likely to call it The Summit at the Lake, and we’ll likely invite several other chapters to join us for social time, informational presentations and discussion groups, outings in the beautiful natural settings, and networking opportunities. Look for more information as the date approaches.

At the end of the month, I got a call from our Executive Director, Sandy Mangold, concerning the two police officers who were shot and killed in the line of duty in Waikiki, Hawai’i. The Honolulu chapter had never dealt with a situation anything like this, and Sandy asked me to help out. I called their President, Jason Fujihara, and we struck up a working relationship that became a firm friendship over the several days and the several long conversations. We leveraged some of our (unfortunate) experience from having assisted in three police shootings and a child abduction in 2019 to help the Honolulu chapter navigate the process of supporting the law enforcement groups involved in the case – providing food, beverages, and more to the investigators and the affected precinct, and in raising $20,000 in donations to go to the survivors of the two officers. It’s a source of considerable pride, that when a crisis occurs and the chips are down, the FBI Birmingham CAAA is where they look for leadership and direction.

And you’ll surely remember that I’ve been harping on the need for more and more frequent opportunities for our members to gather. We’re on it. Look for news of a social event in Birmingham in February, followed closely by an event in Huntsville. There’s great things happening in our chapter. We hope to see you at an FBI CAAA event soon. Be well.

--- Paul H. Franklin, President

     FBI Birmingham CAAA

            The FBI Birmingham Citizens Academy Alumni Association (FBIBCAAA) is a nonprofit organization separate and apart from the FBI.

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