AFA’s Scott Van Cleef Emerging Leader Program

The Air & Space Forces Association Scott Van Cleef Emerging Leader Program (ELP) is designed to identify, motivate, develop, and encourage emerging leaders to serve actively in AFA by providing hands-on experience and unique insights into how the Association operates and is governed. AFA needs an infusion of committed new leaders to bring a fresh perspective to the organization.

The Emerging Leader Program is intended to accelerate the development of field leaders and to inspire them to serve at all levels of the Association. It is also designed to be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience for the participants and a program that will attract and retain our finest members.

Nominate an Emerging Leader

Region Presidents may nominate as many candidates for the program annually from within their regions. It is required that the Region rack the candidates in order though for the ELP Sub-Committee after all region submissions. Region Presidents shall ensure their region’s nominees:

  • Are active AFA members;
  • Are volunteers who are committed to long-term membership and support of the Association;
  • Have demonstrated potential to serve in leadership positions;
  • To the best of their knowledge will be able to participate in a year-long program;
  • Have the dedication and desire to serve in leadership positions in AFA;
  • Have a plan for the ELP once they complete the program.

The Field Council Sub-Committee will select the most qualified candidates among those nominated, regardless of geographic location.

Current Emerging Leaders

  • Dr. Cleveland Brown, Texoma
  • Bryan Foulk, Southwest
  • Walter Kula, Jr., Texoma
  • Mike Maxwell, Central East
  • Laurie Orth, Southeast

Past Emerging Leaders


Colin Ballein, Great Lakes 
John Conner, North Central 
Emily Sawicki, Rocky Mountain
Nicole Iatropoulos, South Central 
Lori Earl, Texoma


Damita Stevens, Rocky Mountain
Caty Rozema, Rocky Mountain
Tim Tanbonliong, Central East
Ahna Arcturus, Florida
Roman Hund, North Central
Kristine Richardson, South Central
Savannah Wheat, North Central


Jordan Arcturus, Florida
Chris Gage, South Central
Marc Granville, EU
Ed Hood, Southeast
Caroline Jok, Texoma
Kevin Long, Southwest
Janelle Stafford, Texoma


Jennifer Deinhart, New England
Jeff James, Texoma
Brian McMahon, Central East
Jeff Payne, North Central
Holly Talley, South Central
John Thompson, Central East
Susan Toy, Texoma


Mitzi Morrison, Texoma
Robin Thompson, CER
Paul Hendricks, Texoma
Jamie Navarro, NE
Gilberto Prez, FL
Sonora Vasquez, SCR
Chris Pineda, SCR


Gabbe Kearney, CER
Hannah Richmond, CER
Sonya Yelbert, Texoma
Chris Hinds, SW
Dustin Lawrence, Eur
Paula Penson, SCR
Mario Rios, Roch Mtn
Marc Stewart, Texoma
Llyod Swede, CER
Nathan Wages, NCR


Molly Potter, Texoma
Gabbe Kearney, CER
Hannah Richmond, CER
Rachel Samples, Texoma
Evan McCauley, CER
Sonya Yelbert, Texoma
Chris Hinds, SW


Buster Douglas, CER – VA
Brad Wilkins, CER-VA
Sharon Branch, Florida
Robbie Welsh, Texoma
Devon Messecar, New England
Paul “Pablo” Weseloh, Texoma
Tyler Worley, SWR


Chris Talbot, New England
Dan Whalen, CER
Debbie Landry, Texoma
Emilie Stewart, RMR
Emily Shay, New England
Jamie Thurber    
Jeremy Trotter, SER
Mike Liquori, Florida
Shannon Farrell, CER


E Miranda Hernandez, CER
Cristina Lussier, CER
Juan Cruz, Far West
Leanne Babcock    
Tyler Johnson, CER
Tim Tichawa, FWR