AFA Nominees 2019-2020

July 1, 2019

The Air Force Association Nominating Committee met on May 4 and selected candidates to send forward for National Officer positions and National Director positions on the Board of Directors. The Committee consists of three past Chairmen of the Board, one person selected by each of the two Vice Chairmen of the Board, two persons representing each geographic area, and one person each representing the Total Air Force, Air Force veterans, and aerospace industry constituencies. The slate of candidates will be presented to the delegates at the AFA National Convention in National Harbor, Md., in September.


Gerald R. Murray, King Mountain, N.C., nominated for a first-year term as Chairman of the Board, joined AFA in 1994, becoming a Life Member in 2002. Murray served 29 years in the Air Force, culminating as the highest ranking noncommissioned officer in USAF, the 14th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. Prior, he performed various duties in aircraft maintenance and logistics with F-4, F-16, and A-10 aircraft, and as a command chief master sergeant at wing, numbered air force, and major command levels. Murray’s previous AFA involvement has been as a National Director, Membership Committee, Chapter 331 President, Force Capabilities Advisory Group, AFA National Director At Large, and as the Georgia and Utah State Delegate. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Saint Leo University in Florida and an associate of applied science in aircraft systems maintenance technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Murray has received the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, a Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four AF Meritorious Service Medals, and three AF Commendation Medals. Additionally, he was the 1991 recipient of the Air Force Gen. Lew Allen Trophy. He has volunteered as an AFA Emerging Leader Mentor, with the AFA Focus on Defense Forum, and with the Top of Utah Military Affairs Committee. Murray currently serves on the USAA Board of Directors, the Air Force Association National Board of Directors, the Air Force Museum Foundation Board of Trustees, the Air Force Enlisted Village Development Council, and the Air Force Memorial Foundation.


F. Gavin MacAloon, Nashua, N.H., nominated for Vice Chairman of the Board for Field Operations for a fourth one-year term. A Life Member, Mac­Aloon (“Mac”) joined AFA in 1984. He served for three years as the Central East Region President and served on the Field Council as Chairman of the e-Business and the Emerging Leader Program Subcommittees. He is a Founding Member of AFA’s Wounded Airman Program and served in national-level positions on the Nominating Committee, and as Supervisor of Elections, and in several chapter and state positions, including President of the D.W. Steele Sr. Memorial Chapter in Northern Virginia and Vice President for Fund-raising, Virginia State AFA. He has received an AFA Chairman’s Citation, an Exceptional Service Award, a Medal of Merit, and numerous awards from the region, state, and Chapter, most notably the 2012 Virginia Member of the Year. Mac earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University. He served in the Air Force for 22 years as a Master Air Battle Manager on AWACS and the Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center (ABCCC) aircraft, accumulating 3,000 hours, including 500 combat support hours. Mac­ also served in the Pentagon on the Air Staff and on the initial cadre of Joint Task Force Four in Key West. Following USAF retirement, he completed a second career with a large aerospace company as a business development manager, working with AWACS, C-17, and UAS programs. Mac is currently a senior acquisition Program Manager for the PEO, C3I & Networks/HNX, at Hanscom AFB, Mass. He is a member of the Association of Old Crows, the National Defense Industrial Association, Military Officers Association of America, and The River Rats.


James T. Hannam, Burke, Va., nominated for a second one-year term as Vice Chairman, Aerospace Education, an AFA Member since 1976. Hannam earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering science from the United States Air Force Academy, a master’s degree in applied mechanics from Stanford University, and a master of business administration from Auburn University. He was a fighter pilot with 100 combat missions over North Vietnam in F-105 Thunderchiefs. He also flew F-4 Phantoms in Southeast Asia and Europe and F-16 Falcons in Europe. Hannam served as an Assistant Professor in Engineering Mechanics and as a Flying/Soaring Instructor at US Air Force Academy, in Europe as Wing Director of Operations, IG Director of Inspection, and Aviano Group Commander, and on the TAC and Air Staffs in Fighter Requirements, retiring as a colonel. After Air Force retirement he worked in business development. He is a member of the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association, MOAA, and Daedalians. Hannam serves on the Executive Committee of the D.W. Steele Chapter, and previously as Steele Chapter President, Virginia State Secretary, Central East Region President, Director AFA Board of Directors, Long-Range Planning Committee, Chairman Strategic Planning Committee, and for the many years, Vice Chairman, Aerospace Education Council. AFA Awards include Medal of Merit, Exceptional Service Award, President’s and Chairman’s Awards, and AFA Member of the Year.


Richard W. “Rick” Hartle, Layton, Utah, nominated for a second one-year term as National Secretary. An AFA Life Member since 1998, Hartle has served AFA on the national level as a National Director at Large from 2011 to 2014 and 2017 to 2018. He currently chairs the Audit Committee, has chaired the Development Committee, and served on the Strategic Planning and Transition Constitution Committees. Hartle has been the Utah State President, Utah Aerospace Education Foundation President and Board Chair, AFA Utah Industrial Associates VP, and Ute-Rocky Mountain Chapter President. He has received a national-level Medal of Merit, the AFA Utah State Presidential Citation, and the Utah AEF Exceptional Service Award. He and his wife, Amy, are AFA Thunderbird Society members. His community involvement includes board positions with the Utah Defense Alliance, Strategic Deterrent Coalition, and the Top of Utah Military Affairs Committee. Hartle earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University and completed National Defense University and Boeing Leadership Center courses in management, business development, finance, and leadership. Hartle is retired from a 35-year career with an aerospace contractor.


Steven R. Lundgren, Fairbanks, Alaska, nominated for a third one-year term as National Treasurer. An AFA member for more than 30 years, Lundgren was AFA National Treasurer from 2005 to 2010. He serves as AFA Alaska State Treasurer. Lundgren has been a Northwest Region President and served on the national-level Finance, Audit, and Executive Committees. He received AFA’s Member of the Year Award in 2011 and was awarded a Presidential Citation in 2003. His volunteer and civic organization work includes the Alaskan Command Civilian Advisory Board, the American Bankers Association (ABA) Community Bankers Council, the Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation Board, and the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Board. He is vice chairman of the Alaska Committee for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program. Lundgren, who was president of the Alaska Bankers Association 2015-16, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Oregon State University and has attended ABA professional-school courses. Lundgren began his career in banking in 1978 and is president and CEO of a community bank in Fairbanks.


The Nominating Committee submits four names for National Director at Large. Two will be elected for a three-year term.

Joseph M. Burke, Centreville, Va., a Life Member, joined AFA in 1985. He has held numerous elected or appointed offices at the chapter and state levels, currently as the Virginia Vice President for Communications. He also serves AFA at the national level on the Field Council Technology Committee, Membership Committee, and Advocacy Committee. He previously served as President of the General Charles A. Gabriel Chapter. Burke has received an AFA Exceptional Service Award, Storz Award, Medal of Merit, and numerous region, state, and chapter awards, most notably being selected as Virginia Member of Year and Central East Region Member of Year. He earned a bachelor’s degree in management (cum laude) from University System of New Hampshire Granite State College and a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University. He is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with specialized experience in project management and program management of software development, system/software test, software IV&V, and information technology services. He is a former Civil Air Patrol cadet and veteran of both the US Coast Guard and the US Air Force. As an Air Force NCO, Burke served as a power production specialist in CE, was selected for “Operation Bootstrap” and Officer Training School, then served as an Air Force commissioned officer in ICBM Missile Operations. He is presently a vice president of business development for a woman-owned, small disadvantaged business. Burke has over 40 years of progressive experience in the military and private industry, including both senior operations and executive business development positions for aerospace and defense companies.

Cristina Lussier, Alexandria, Va., joined AFA in 1995, becoming a Life Member in 2012. Lussier has been involved in AFA since she was an AFROTC cadet over 24 years ago. She has held numerous EXCOM positions at the chapter level and has received a myriad of AFA awards and honors, to include being selected as an inaugural member of AFA’s Emerging Leader Program in 2014 and serving on AFA’s National Strategic Planning Committee. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Pepperdine University and a commission in USAF, she went on to earn a master’s degree in leadership from the University of San Diego; a master’s in defense decision making & planning from the Naval Postgraduate School, and an executive master’s of business administration from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School. She currently serves as the D.W. Steele Chapter President in Northern Virginia, is a retired veteran, and most recently a member of USAF civil service.

James Navarro, Colchester, Vt., an AFA Life Member since 1988 when he joined the Arnold Air Society. Navarro has served as the CyberPatriot Vice President for the Green Mountain Chapter and the State of Vermont for the past six years and previously worked as their Community Partner lead. He was awarded an AFA Medal of Merit in 2017 for his work with CyberPatriot and the Chapter’s successful partnership with Champlain College. Navarro was selected as an AFA Emerging Leader in 2018, participated as a member of the Wounded Airman Program Committee, and participated in Strategic Planning and Field Council meetings. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Syracuse University and has a master’s in public administration from Troy University. Navarro spent over seven years in the Air Force as a targeteer, three years in the Air Force Reserve, almost 20 years in the national security industry, and was awarded the National Intelligence Certificate of Distinction. Navarro currently splits his time between Vermont and Virginia where he is the chief operating officer of a national security and defense consulting business.

Molly Mae Potter, Austin, Texas, joined AFA in 2006. Potter is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where she was an active member of the Silver Wings Challenger Chapter. She served on Active Duty in USAF from 2007-2013 as a test engineer. In October 2016, she was crowned Ms. Veteran America 2016 and supported its mission to raise awareness about and advocate to end homelessness among women veterans. Potter serves as the Austin Chapter AFA President and was selected as one of the 2016-2017 AFA Emerging Leaders. She is currently on the Board of Trustees and has served as a national administrative consultant for 10-plus years as a member of the Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings. Locally, she has served the city of Austin as a commissioner for veteran’s affairs, active in promoting veteran entrepreneurship and start-ups. In 2017 she was named a National Military Influencer in Entrepreneurship. Potter was recently appointed to the board of directors for the Vetted Foundation, which places proven transitioning military leaders into corporate leadership roles. She earned a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Florida and a master’s in business from the University of Texas. Currently living in Austin, Texas, she leads business operations for client engineering at a multinational technology company.


The Nominating Committee submits one name for National Director, Central Area, for a three-year term.

James W. Simons, Minot, N.D., an AFA member and Community Partner since 1995. Simons has over 24 years of field experience from the chapter to the regional level, serving as the David C. Jones Chapter President and Treasurer, North Dakota State President, and the North Central Region President. He was a charter member of the AFA Field Council and also served on the National Membership Committee. Simons has received the AF Medal of Merit, Exceptional Service Medal, Chairman’s Citation in 2009, National Member of the Year Award in 2014, and the Mary Anne Thompson Award in 2009. He is currently the David C. Jones Chapter Vice President for Leadership Development. Simons earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University, a master’s in systems management from the University of Southern California, and a master’s in administration of justice from Wichita State University. A retired US Army Military Police Officer, Simons is currently a financial adviser for a financial services company.