BY SCOTT DUMAS
I cannot express fully into words the honor it has been to represent the National Academy Associates in furtherance of our Mission of providing and promoting law enforcement leadership through training and networking and our Vision of continuously developing the world’s strongest law enforcement leadership network.It is hard to believe in six short weeks, my year as President of this great Association will be coming to an end when we come together in Quebec City July 21-25.
Having just got off of a conference call regarding the agenda for the conference, I am very much looking forward to gathering for the second time in the history of our Association, in Canada. The NY/EC chapter’s conference committee, with the assistance of the National Office, FBI, and the Eventive Group has put together a training conference that will long be remembered. I want to personally thank conference chair Dan Kinsella (241), and his conference committee, co-chair Gilles Martel (242), Mark Gates (232), Randy Carter (257), Scott Fraser (226), Paul Sandy (220), Tony Karam (228), Brett Flynn (253), Bill Carbone (217), Mitch Paurowski (228), Tim Owens (256), Tony Ovchinnikoff (220), Heidi Schelhorn (262), Shawn Blaj, Debbie Clark (219), Sophie Gougeon, Joe Gannon (126), Mike Ryan (238), and Bill Leahy (227), for putting together some world class training and for their tireless effort in preparing for the entirety of this conference.
One of the privileges of being the President of the Association is I get to travel back to Quantico and speak with each graduating class to reinforce the importance of staying involved with the National Academy Associates after they graduate. The police officers, military personnel, FBI agents that I have met during these encounters have been nothing short of remarkable. When asked what they thought of the National Academy experience each have expressed to me, in their own way, that it has been the most valuable experience in their law enforcement career. During my most recent visit, Director Cook and I were taking in all that the “Louisiana Night” had to offer with the 272nd session and were speaking to Ed Mclean out of Missoula, Montana. Ed was showing us pictures of the view from his deck which overlooks a majestic mountain range explaining to us this is where he has coffee every morning and what he is looking forward to getting back to. Ed, who is in his 22nd year of law enforcement, went on to say how reinvigorated he felt by the experience and was enthusiastically looking forward to getting back to work because he already knew some of the things that needed to be addressed in his agency by what he had learned here. He knows any resources he would need would be available at his fingertips with the network that is available through the National Academy Associates. This was a common theme I had heard over the course of the year.
Above I mentioned I had the opportunity to “reinforce” the importance of staying involved with the National Academy Associates because it has been our staff that has been impressing it upon each session for the 10 weeks leading up to my visit the value of the National Academy Associates. In my last article addressing our membership I wanted to briefly highlight these folks that work so hard for our Association. Some are more recognizable than others either due to their longevity or their role, but each is vital for our continued success.
Howard Cook – Howard is our Executive Director. Despite the musical chairs we have had at the helm during my tenure on the board, I believe Howard will be here for a long while. Howard is a graduate of the 224th session and is the first member to ever lead our Association. Howard brings with him a southern hospitality pleasantry and distinctive and sharp business acumen along with a deep understanding of the NAA brand. His leadership will continue to bring our Association forward.
Laura Masterton – Laura is our longest tenured staff member. Laura serves as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director as well the Director of Special Projects. What does Director of Special Projects mean? It basically means anything and everything. Laura is a very talented and will take on every challenge and excel at it. One of her lesser responsibilities but of vital importance to the board, is one of her roles during the National Conference; she directs us where to be, when to be there, who we will be meeting, and how to dress.
Korri Roper – Korri is our Chief Financial Officer. Korri has the overall responsibility of building and tracking our annual budget. She also has the unenviable task of educating the board on the difference between accrual accounting and cash accounting. Korri works with the finance committee and Executive Director throughout the year discussing expenses and revenues to make sure we are as fiscally sound as we can be.
Denise MacLane – Denise serves as our Comptroller which basically means she is the person who is in charge for paying all the bills and making sure we keep the lights on. Denise also acts as the liaison with Verizon wireless and the fallen officer’s fund. She is on top of finding out the best contact person when one of these tragic events occurs and sees to it the check is sent out timely.
Susan Naragon – Is our Academy and Membership Liaison. Susan is loud and proud and that’s why we love her. She sits up front in the academy office and is the first person the session members see when they walk in. She greats them with big smile and big personality and begins the relationship we are seeking with our members. Susan was also the recipient of the first ever coffee club brick presented to her by the 272nd session.
Renee Reynolds – Serves as our Director of Retail Operations. Prior to coming to the National Academy Associates, Renee worked for several years with Walmart in a similar role. Renee has been working hard on optimizing the output in the store to realize its fullest potential not only for the quality of mementoes memorializing your experience here but also as a revenue stream for the Association. Renee is also the primary protector of the NA seal.
Misha Melton and Jennifer Naragon – are two part-time employees that work hand and hand with Renee in the store. You will find these two folks either behind the cash register or engaging with our members when they come in the store helping them to find exactly what they need.
Jennifer Watson – Jennifer is our Director of Membership Engagement. Jennifer has developed strategies for membership enrollment to assist our Chapter Membership Coordinators, Secretary/Treasurers, and Chapter Presidents in communicating with our members that may have fallen off the grid for one reason or another. Did you all know Jennifer does Roller Derby? She may not look it, but she’s a killer and ready to employ any tactic necessary to keep our membership rolls up!
Shirlene McCormick – Shirlene is our newest part-time employee. Shirlene was hired to assist Jennifer with membership engagement. Not a killer yet, but a killer in training. Shirlene brings a great deal of energy and knowledge of both the National Academy and the National Academy Associates.
Suzy Kelly - Suzy is our Director of Marketing and Communications. Her title indicates she is involved in the branding and marketing of our Association as well as being responsible for our social media footprint. She is. Suzy is always looking for a better way to present the National Academy Associates to both our members and partners. What is not immediately evident in her title is the role she plays in partner development, which is what we develop here. Partners are family and Suzy makes sure they know that.
John Kennedy – John is our Director of Education and Training. With the re-focus on meaningful training directed towards contemporary law enforcement issues, John’s experience working with other non-profit law enforcement entities has been an invaluable find. John’s education and background in training has and will continue to allow our members to flourish throughout their career. As every graduate has heard, the National Academy is just the beginning of a journey.
That’s our staff. We could not be more fortunate to have the quality of employees we have here at the National Academy Associates. I wanted to give the membership just a little glimpse of the professionalism and commitment each player brings to the table. Take what I have given you and multiply it tenfold. Although none have worked in the field of law enforcement, they certainly understand the concept of doing more with less. At each event put on for the members here at the academy and particularly at our annual National Conference, it is an all hands on deck event. Each staff member, although assigned a role, does whatever it takes to make the event all it can be for our membership. Presidents and board members will come and go but our staff is truly the foundation, the mortar, and the strength of our Association. When you have the opportunity please let them know you appreciate them as well.
I want to thank you all again for this once in a lifetime opportunity to lead this Association. I hope to see you in Quebec City to welcome in our new President, Chief Johnnie Adams.
Be safe, be strong, be vigilant, and be proud!
Scott A. Dumas
President FBI NAA
Rowley, Massachusetts Police Department
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