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President's Message

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  • 01 Aug 2022 9:41 AM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Hello everyone,

    I hope this message finds all of you well!

    We have a lot of exciting things to share this month. Lisa Cooper, Paul Daymond, Paul Franklin and I had the opportunity to go to the FBICAAA National Conference in Norfolk, VA in June. Not only were we fortunate to accept the Chapter of Excellence Award for 2021 (see photos). Thanks to all of you who weathered the “Covid” storm and helped Paul Franklin and last year’s Board earn this Award!

    We also came away with some great ideas to propel our Chapter forward. What we need from you is a little bit of your time to help us keep the momentum we are gaining. Please take time to review the FBIBCAAA Alerts our communication team puts out weekly to find areas where you can serve our chapter and our communities.

    We are working to put together a TogGolf fundraiser in the spring. Our goal is to have the same day scheduled at the TopGolf locations in Huntsville and Birmingham. We will start by inviting our friends at the FBI and follow up by reaching out to other local law enforcement agencies. Our plan is to make this an annual fundraiser. If you would like to assist in coordinating this event and have some experience in Fundraising, please contact me at 205-914- 7075 or email me at President@fbicaaa-bham.org. Be watching for more information.

    One of the FBIBCAAA missions is to assist the WellHouse in providing opportunities for restoration for female victims of human trafficking. Be sure to see our WellHouse feature in this Newsletter.

    If your organization would be willing to provide job training or employment opportunities for these women please e-mail, Jim Stroud at jim.stroud88t@gmail.com. Jim not only serves on our board of directors, but also serves on the board for the WellHouse. If your organization would be willing to help it would truly be a blessing.

    Please check out the alerts and the newsletter for ways to get involved. We look forward to seeing you all soon! Our next board meeting will be held in Alabaster on August 16 at 6:00 at the Shelby County Instructional Services Center. All members are welcome to attend!

    Thank you,

    Jennifer


  • 01 Jul 2022 9:25 AM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Hello everyone!

    I hope that everyone is enjoying the summer while also surviving the heat. Many of you are getting excited about the World Games coming to Birmingham! I know many of our alumni have put in a lot of work to make sure Birmingham is represented well. I will be attending Drone Drag Racing and can’t wait to see what it is all about.

    Thank you to all who came out recently to our Members Only dinner in Cullman in June. A special thank you to Matt Tootle for sharing information on Elder Abuse. Agent Tootle also talked about the FBI’s response to the shooting at St. Stephen’s where three people were killed. Thank you to the FBI and all the first responders for what you do every day to keep our communities safe and assist in tragic situations like this.

    I hope to have much more to share in my next column following the FBICAAA National Conference. In the meantime, please enjoy your summer and stay safe!

    Blessings,

    Jennifer


  • 25 May 2022 7:13 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Hello fellow alumni,

    I am overjoyed to announce the graduation of 23 new alumni from the Spring FBI Citizens Academy. It has been two years since we have been able to have a class graduate from Huntsville. We had a large representation of attendees from our Board of Directors on graduation night May 17th to meet and greet the new alumni and we are excited to see what they will be able to contribute to our Chapter. The graduating class, as all are (thanks to the great Paul Daymond), is a very talented and dynamic group!

    With every graduating class comes a revitalized energy for our membership. As I told the group on the night of graduation, they are the future of our association, our Board, and our mission. We hope that ALL alumni make a commitment to stay involved and we are working hard behind the scenes to organize more events for our members.

    I want to give a HUGE thank you to Bobby Blankenship at Twin Peaks for the outstanding catering. It was some of the best food we’ve had for a graduation dinner. Huntsville alumni, you’ve got to go by Twin Peaks and try their roast and their salmon. It is exceptional! Thank you also to all the board members that were able to attend!

    Details will be coming soon on a members only meeting scheduled for June 21st in Huntsville. We hope to see many of you there! Be watching for an announcement. Enjoy your summer and be safe!

    Wishing you many blessings,

    Jennifer


  • 30 Apr 2022 6:58 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Greetings Alumni!

    I am excited to announce there will be a new group of FBICA participants graduating from the Huntsville class on May 17th! We are looking forward to having members of this class join the FBICAAA. We have been fortunate to have a board member attend almost every class in Huntsville and it has been a pleasure to see the energy of the group. I know these graduates will bring a lot of energy to our chapter!

    The World Games are quickly approaching and we still need volunteers for the May 12th and June 9th surveillance training classes. If you are able to participate, please e-mail me at president@fbicaaa-bham.org. You won’t regret it!

    Our organization relies on volunteers to stay in compliance with our National Chapter and Bylaws. Our board members contribute their time to meet monthly to help plan events and review important issues to ensure our chapter is a Chapter of Excellence. Currently we are looking for an active alumni to help manage our membership database. This is a very important role for our chapter and we need someone who can commit to the task. Please contact me if this is something you would be willing to do or if you would like more information.

    We hope to firm up some membership meeting dates for you soon. Stay tuned!

    Thank you all for your continued dedication to our chapter!

    Jennifer

    FBICAAA President, Birmingham


  • 30 Mar 2022 7:05 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Greetings All!

    Are you interested in getting more involved in the FBICAAA? Are you computer savvy? Our chapter is in DIRE need of a Membership Chair to help keep our membership database up to date. If you would be interested in serving our chapter in this role, please e-mail me at President@fbicaaa-bham.org.

    It is an exciting time for our Chapter as we have a new FBI Citizens Academy Class taking place in Huntsville. This is the first class the FBI has been able to host in Huntsville in two years! Many of our board members were able to attend the first class and greet the attendees. It is our hope they will want to continue on as active alumni upon graduation.  We also held our March Board meeting the night of the first class and we are firming up some great activities for the rest of the year! We would like to give a special shout out to alumni member, Bill Honea, for providing dinner for the opening night of the Spring FBICA class. Thank you, Bill!

    With the World Games coming up soon, we have been asked for help in offering actors to assist in the Surveillance Detection Course. We need 8-10 volunteers on May 12 and June 9 to help with this training. Volunteers will need to report to the Riverchase Galleria from 9-3 on these dates. Your mission will be to gather as much surveillance in the mall throughout the day without getting caught. Several members helped with the last training and it was a BLAST!!! You can even bring props to change your appearance. PYou will not only have fun, but you will be helping agents train to be able to identify potential threats.  If you are able to volunteer for either or both of these days, please let me know.

    Our chapter was able to serve the FBI in providing lunch recently to the NIEF (National Improvised Explosives Fundamentals) class attended by state and local bomb technicians. When it comes to these training sessions we are happy to help any way we can. A special thanks to FBICA Treasurer, Lisa Cooper for representing our chapter and making sure lunch went smoothly.

    If you have not yet had the opportunity to tune in for one of the Link and Learns you are missing out. March’s topic was Made in Bejing: The plan for Global Market Domination. The programs are free and open to the private sector partners across North Alabama. Be looking out for information on the next event!

    I hope you are all happy and healthy and I hope to see many of you soon!

    Blessings,

    Jennifer Cofer

    FBICAAA President, Birmingham


  • 27 Feb 2022 7:43 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Greetings!

    I hope this newsletter finds everyone healthy and happy!

    February has been a fun month for many of our alumni. On February 1st, several alumni members helped FBI Birmingham and a National Guard WMD (weapons of mass destruction) Civil Support Team in training in preparation for the upcoming World Games. In this exercise, members went between Legion Field and Headquarters playing victims, witnesses and interviewees . It was a lot of fun and we appreciated the opportunity to assist in this exercise. We plan to have other opportunities to assist in training as the World Games approach.

    Also in February, we held an in person members meeting at the Fish Market in Birmingham with special guest, Patrick Davis, Special Agent in Charge USSS Birmingham. SAC Johnny Sharp was also in attendance and expressed, again, his commitment and appreciation to our organization. Agent Davis shared with the group the extent of planning that is going into security during the World Games. It was fascinating to hear about the magnitude of security that will need to be in place for this event. It was a great presentation and felt good to be face to face with alumni and friends again.

    FBICAAA, Huntsville InfraGard Members Alliance and the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency hosted another Link and Learn. Supervisory Special Agent Nicolas Forst, a profiler with Behavioral Analysis Unit-2 presented: An Overview of the FBIs Behavioral Analysis Unit. We had close to 50 in attendance for the virtual presentation. Stay Tuned for March’s topic.

    If you are receiving this newsletter and you have not yet paid your dues for 2022, please do so today! We have a lot of great things coming this year, including alumni gatherings, opportunities to assist in preparing for the World Games, Range Day, Link and Learns and more. Renew TODAY!

    Thank you,

    Jennifer


  • 26 Jan 2022 6:55 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Greetings!

    I hope that 2022 has found each of you healthy so far.

    I’m excited to report that the FBICAAA Board held its annual Strategic Planning meeting in January.  We welcomed our new board members and reviewed our plans to have more events in 2022, whether in person or virtual. I  know we are all ready to get back to some semblance of normal. It was great to sit around, even virtually, and talk about the plans for our chapter going forward. The energy of our board is contagious! We are ready to take on the year and do great things!

    If you have not yet paid your membership dues for this year, I ask that you please renew TODAY! You can find the link to renew on our website. A link is also provided in this newsletter. Once you are activated as an active member you will have access to participate in our members only events. We plan to host our first membership meeting February 15 at the Fish Market Restaurant in Birmingham. Not only can you participate in these events, your dues help us support many of our chapter commitments such as supporting our efforts supporting the Wellhouse, natural disaster community relief, fallen officer response, and much more. With more active members we can do more for our communities!

    It is our intention to increase our member engagement this year in Birmingham and in Huntsville. The board is actively planning a members only event in February for Birmingham and an event in Huntsville in April. We hope to be able to alternate events every month and also meet in the middle a couple of times a year. This spring the FBI will welcome a new Citizen’s Academy cohort in Huntsville and we look forward to supporting them through their 9 weeks and having them become a part of our organization upon graduation.

    As this pandemic seems to mutate and change with the wind, so we venture into 2022 trying to navigate it’s path while continuing to serve our communities in partnership with our FBI Field Office. We are so fortunate to have the support of SAC Johnny Sharp and COS Paul Daymond. They never hesitate to support our chapter and our efforts. Thank you!

    I would like to thank each of you reading this newsletter for your continued engagement in our chapter.

    Stay well,

    Jennifer


  • 28 Dec 2021 2:25 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Season Greetings FBICAAA members!

    With this being my first column as the new FBICAAA Board President, I thought I would take a moment to tell you a little about myself.

    I’ve worked in the field of education for 21 years and currently work for Shelby County Schools as Student Services Supervisor. I work with a wonderful team of professionals to help administrators in areas of discipline, attendance, school safety and any other areas where we can serve students and their families.

    On a more personal note, I live in Pelham with Buddy, my husband of 8 years, and our two dogs. My sweet mom also lives with us with her dog so we have a total of three fur babies under the roof. I am blessed to have two wonderful stepchildren, their spouses, and two beautiful granddaughters, all of whom I refer to as my own.

    I graduated from the Birmingham Class in 2016 and have been an active member in the association since. I’ve tried to take advantage of all the opportunities the FBICAAA has to offer outside of the class. From Range Day, to After Dark Events, a trip to FBI Headquarters in DC, and so much more, I have continued to learn more about the FBI and all they do to serve our great country. I hope that in 2022, we can all have more opportunities to partner with them and find ways to serve our communities in the wake of the pandemic.

    The FBICAAA Board will be meeting in January to plan out events for the upcoming year. Please make a resolution in 2022 to participate in as many events as you can. A reminder about paying the dues for 2022 will be coming out soon.

    I pray that all of you have a wonderful holiday season and get some much needed rest! I’m looking forward to seeing you all in 2022.

    Blessings,

    Jennifer


  • 01 Dec 2021 1:03 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    The end of the year approaches, and we are abuzz with activity – in just the last week, we had a fabulous members meeting in Huntsville and a board meeting from Birmingham; we've also been engaged in the nominating committee process, selecting nominees for next year's officers and board of directors, and to top it off there's been the inevitable sheaf of end-of-year reports and forms and such matters and things to deal with.

    And lest I forget to mention it up-top, we have our Annual Meeting coming up on Thursday, December 2, at the Golden Corral in Cullman. I sincerely hope that you'll be able to make the short trek to Cullman to join us. Finding the location (especially given the prevalence and ease of GPS) is simple: I-65 to exit 304, follow East on Cherokee, and just as Cherokee is about to intersect with US 31, there's the Golden Corral. We have a good program and an excellent speaker (Jacqueline Gray Miller), so come on out, please, We'd all love to see you, and you can help transact some important chapter business as we spend time together.

    And now to the other Big Deal. As I approach the end of the third year of my two-year term, this will be my final column as your President. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you – one of the great highlights of my adult life. I want to take a moment to thank all the board members and officers who have so generously given of their time and talents to serve the chapter. I want to offer my special thanks to the FBI personnel who have made the time and the task go so very easily – SAC Johnnie Sharp, Jr., SAC Roger Stanton, ASAC's Todd Bobe, Andy Loftin...and so many more. Special thanks go to COS/PAO Paul Daymond, without whom the job would be impossible.

    Over its history the Birmingham chapter of the FBI CAAA has been awarded time and time again as a chapter of Excellence, a Chapter of Distinction. What means much more to me is that in recent years we have been repeatedly awarded for our heart – we have had several of our members singled out for national recognition for their exceptional service to the community. In fact, the national organization created a new award – the Humanitarian Award – solely to recognize our chapter for its efforts to aid those in great need. So I'm proud of that, but also for our history of innovation. We were the impetus for the national CAAA to create a committee to work on human trafficking. And we – our chapter – initiated the efforts to provide relief and material aid for injured or slain law enforcement officers. And now that effort has gone national. We are hosting monthly “Link and Learn” programs on counter-terrorism. We started the “Coffee With and Agent” events that other chapters are beginning to hold. We were the first chapter to co-host Bomb-Making Awareness seminars...I could go on, but you get the idea. We get there first and we do it better. I am so proud to be a part of this chapter. I am so proud to be a partner with the FBI, helping to keep our people safe and informed. I am so proud of the people that I've been working with these several years, and all that we have accomplished together. And I am so, so proud to have held an office in this organization, and to have played some small part in all that we have done together.

    So as I take my leave, please indulge me – I want to thank you, dear reader, personally. It is because YOU have taken this organization seriously, because YOU have supported the chapter – with your dues, with your attention, with your time and talents over the years – that any of this has happened. It has been a difficult and trying past two years, but because you knew the task was important and that the work we do matters – because you have stayed with us, we are still standing. We are doing more and more each month, and hope we will be back to something close to “normal” again in the near future. Please come out. Please take part. Please continue to support our chapter and to support our board and our officers as we continue to strive toward greatness. We simply can't do it without you.

    Thank you again for your support. I wish you all the best.

    --- Paul H. Franklin, President FBI Birmingham CAAA


  • 03 Nov 2021 5:42 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Greetings, all.

    Let me tell you about some good things that happened in October. The first is that I’m still exhilarated over the training session that our members conducted with the Department of Homeland Security, where we (a cadre of FBICAAA volunteers) did role-playing as a team of bad guys, conducting adverse surveillance while trying to elude security force trainees in anticipation the upcoming World Games. We spent a half-day at The Galleria in Hoover, casing the place, taking photos, and being sneaky and menacing while trying not to be caught as we gathered information about secured and unsecured entrances, CCTV locations, as we sized up where to place explosives or ram a vehicle into the mall, what the police and security presence at the mall was...It was absolutely fascinating – our team built a texting group with our coordinator, and we passed information back and forth among ourselves, and even did a “dead drop” of a package...all while trying not to be spotted by the security trainees. At the end of the exercise, we had the opportunity to do a “debrief” with the trainees and their instructors to go over methods and observations. It was time well-spent; I think all our FBICAAA role-players thoroughly enjoyed the day, and I hope the experience was useful for the trainees. I highlight this event because I was told that they plan to do at least two more of these training sessions between now and Summer of 2022, when the World Games come to town. We’ll be looking for more volunteers. Don’t miss out!

    The second is that we held another in our now recurring Members Meetings, this time in Birmingham at the Fish Market restaurant. Our speaker was Don Lupo, who presented us with a vast amount of information about the aforementioned World Games. If you were not aware, the World Games are likely to be the largest gathering of visitors ever to occur in North Alabama, and they will draw athletes, representatives, heads of state and other officials, and spectators from around the globe. The opportunity for the FBICAAA to play an important role is genuine, and I hope and trust that we will rise to the occasion and be a positive force in making the Games a huge success. But back to the meeting...Don did a fine presentation, the food was good, the company excellent, and chef George Sarris himself greeted us toward the end and distributed dessert – fresh baklava for each of us. A fine evening, enjoyed by all. Do plan to attend the next one, will you? We should be announcing a similar evening in Huntsville soon.

    Our nominating committee is working on a slate of proposed officers to 2022-23 and nominees for open board seats for the upcoming term. And note that you will have a voice in this process because the members elect the board. The nominees will be presented at our Annual Meeting, on December 2nd in Cullman (because it’s halfway between Birmingham and Huntsville). There’s more about this meeting to come soon in an official announcement, so watch for that.

    As we approach the end of the year and I look back on 2020 and 2021, the two things that amaze me most are that we’re still standing and that you’re still with us – you’ve stuck with us through the most difficult period this organization has ever endured. Your unwavering support of the FBI and your belief in the mission of the FBI CAAA is inspiring. I can’t thank you enough.

    --- Paul H. Franklin, President

    FBI Birmingham CAAA


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


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