There hasn’t been any rest for the Global SOF Foundation Fellow since my last blog. It has been a solid 3 weeks of engagements, events, medical appointments, and family events.
GEOINT 2018 was my first “rodeo” (re: trade show) with GSF. The team linked up “bright and early” (civilian style) at 10am to meet with existing Corporate Partners and members, and ready to present Foundation benefits and literature to perspective members – all while continuing to get the word out about the GSF Huddle.
Placement is everything. While I was walking the show with Stu he introduced me to executives from Peraton and AC4S; Vice Presidents from GDIT, Spatial Networks, SAIC and Radiant Solutions; senior managers from Fulcrum; and business development managers from Axiologic and PAE-ISR. I was able to spend enough time with each of them during GEOINT to have meaningful conversations about my military transition and various topics in the business world of the defense industry.
On day 3 of GEOINT, GSF hosted its first “GSF Huddle” in the Waterfront Room at Jackson’s Bistro. I worked the registration desk and was able to meet most of the 150+ guests. It was a tremendous evening with a beautiful view of downtown Tampa.
On 1 May I attended a ceremony for the opening of a 50,000 square foot facility at Kratos, a new GSF Partner, in Orlando. It was an awesome event with a full tour of their multiple facilities and demos in different flight simulators – even a mini-gun simulator over a “bad-guy” village that need some fire support. Kratos is a “veteran heavy” employer and many of the folks presenting the different capabilities were veterans. Kratos, among many other things, makes flight simulators for all military branches. Also in attendance were: BG Cole, CO of PEO-STRI; HON Darren Soto (D-FL) of the 9th Congressional District, and a Special Assistant to Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL). I enjoyed the event and again benefited from an opportunity to expand my professional network.
In between these events I had some medical appointments, attended a promotion ceremony for one of my colleagues back at SOCCENT, finalized the food for my retirement ceremony, attended my 14-year old’s volleyball county championship series, and attended my oldest daughter’s graduation from Florida Gulf Coast University.
In the weeks to come I have signed up for some business courses given by the Hillsborough County Entrepreneur Collaboration Center, two retirement ceremonies to attend, my own retirement ceremony to execute, and the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) that will be held at the Tampa Convention Center on 22-24 May.
On 21 May THE BEST networking event of SOFIC week will be held at the Port Tampa Bay Cruise Terminal 2. GSF will hold their annual reception which is FREE to my active-duty military brothers and sisters. This year we will premiere a very cool form of “SPEED NETWORKING.” Don’t miss it!