Falcon Foundation
Falcon Blast

February 2015

Falcon Foundation Trustees,

We hope your Holidays were great and you are now all charged up for a super 2015! We have a few items to bring to your attention to keep you well informed.

  1. Our Fall 2014 meeting went very well and we sent our past Chairman, Gen Speedy Martin, and past Vice Chair, Bruce Whitman, off in fine style. Chairman Gene Renuart now has “the stick” and we are spooling up for the New Year. Trustee Hugh Williamson is flying wing as our new Vice Chairman.

  2. You will recall that the Foundation has been considering Post Graduate Scholarships for the past couple years. We brought that matter to closure with some very fine discussion at our Fall meeting. While the notion of funding Post Grad Scholarships is clearly a worthy endeavor, it is NOT within the Mission, Vision or Purpose of our Foundation. Therefore it was decided to remain focused on helping young men and women to enter USAFA and to refine and improve our efforts in that regard. It would be a good idea for all of us to remind ourselves of our Mission, Vision and Purpose from time to time, by taking a look at them on our Foundation website.

  3. As we continue to improve our Prep School Scholarships, we have adopted Standards and Criteria which we will use to continually assess their performance. Those standards and criteria have been deployed and the initial self-assessments are in. Our Scholarship Committee will review those self-assessments and we will coordinate follow-up visits with each school. These school visits will not only provide an opportunity for Trustees to become better acquainted with the schools and our Falcons, but also get all of us more involved with our primary mission…helping young men and women enter USAFA! We can even take this one step further and align each of our Trustees with a specific prep school based on proximity, such that presentations, mentoring, and familiarity with each of our prep schools is enhanced and thus Trustee engagement with the mission, vision and purpose of our Foundation is significantly improved.  Slightly more than 50% of our Trustees are within 200 miles of one of our Prep Schools.

  4. 2016 Budget. We are building our budget for the next Fiscal Year (2016). Among the major considerations is the expected increase in cost of scholarships (with the new scholarship regimen that was put in place for the first time this academic year, 2014-15). In addition we are approaching that five year interval where one normally refurbs or replaces the essential IT components, e.g., computer. As we consider the heightened cost of scholarships with the annual increases in school costs, we will be considering an MOU with the USAFA Endowment and laying the foundation for any potential fund raising that may be appropriate in the near future.

  5. With our new Chairman we have a splendid opportunity to review Foundation structure and alignment, along with continuing to refresh officers, committees and chairs throughout the Foundation. Among these might be a good look at what we do and how well we do it. You may recall the Foundation has collected various data on Falcon performance almost from our very beginning. That effort was improved significantly in the early 2000’s and we benefit from that today. But is all that data collection (which we get from USAFA) relevant to what we are supposed to be doing? Or is it addressing some other perceived need? So, a good scrub of Mission, Vision, and Purpose v data on performance toward those ends, might be a worthy endeavor. We will be considering that in the year ahead.

  6. We continue to move more and more into the computer age by using the internet as our primary means to “get the word out”, e.g., this Falcon Blast, and to offer our Trustees the opportunity to respond on-line. We hope this is helpful for you. However, it also heightens the importance of our Trustees in checking their email and being attentive to these efforts. Please let us know if this is helpful for you and provide us any suggestions you might have to improve our efforts! Along this same line, we are taking a look at systems that enable a visual compliment to the many conference calls within our Foundation. Could be using web cams or other devices. More when we have it!

  7. Our 2013 Audit is complete and final. The IRS 990 tax form is also done and submitted. The Audit Report and the 990 will be posted to our website for public review.

  8. Recognition.

    1. Former Vice Chairman Bruce Whitman was recently honored by the Living Legends of Aviation, as one of The Living Legends.  The event was the 12th annual awards function held at the Beverly Hilton, chaired by John Travolta.

    2. Trustee Don Shepperd has a new book out, “The Friday Pilots”.  “The book is a collection of first–person accounts by “old pilots” of an “old Air Force”. The Friday Pilots have done something few do.  They have written their stories for their families and friends.  Strap in and enjoy the ride.”

    3. President Emeritus, Ben Bellis, was recognized by the State of Wyoming, with Lt Gen Ben Bellis Day for Wyoming, 27 Jan 2015. The event occurred in Governor Matthew Mead’s office.  Ben was recognized for his contribution to aviation and national defense.

  9. Spring Meeting:  committees will meet on 30 April and the Board of Trustees meet on Friday, 1 May.

  10. We always welcome your thoughts and suggestions and quite simply staying in touch! Please let us hear from you!!

Sincerely,

Jay W. Kelley
Lt Gen, USAF (Ret)
President
Falcon Foundation