Leadership News

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Officials Step Up Patient Safety Efforts

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

March 30, 2010 - While most people may shy away from broadcasting their on-the-job errors, Air Force Col. Christian Benjamin hopes his employees take a different stance.

Benjamin, commander of the 99th Medical Group at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., encourages his staff to report their errors and "near misses," an effort he believes has boosted patient safety in his hospital. "We have one core belief: If you wait for an error to investigate a process, than you are behind," he said. "We are very proactive at tracking near misses -- errors that never happened because they're caught in time. The more you pay attention to near misses, the more actual issues will be avoided.

"It's OK to make and identify an error," he added, "It's not OK to cover up an error."

Benjamin's thinking marks a shift toward a more proactive approach to patient safety, one that's being echoed throughout the Defense Department. And it's paid off for his group, which was recognized with the 2008 and 2009 Air Force Medical Service Best Inpatient Facility Patient Safety Program awards and the 2010 Military Health System Patient Safety - Culture Measurements, Feedback and Intervention award.

"We need to get out of the shame-and-blame system and get into what the rest of the world is doing," said Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Donald W. Robinson, director of the Defense Department's patient safety program, "and that's providing information on near misses, providing information on what's going on with patients, and then looking at the severity."

Defense officials have adopted several new initiatives and programs aimed at bolstering patient safety at all levels — from the caregivers on up to the hospital leadership.

As an example, Robinson described an "off-the-shelf" computerized error reporting system, called Patient Safety Reporting, which in the initial implementation stage. Users input their errors or near misses into the program, and the data is sent to the hospital and on to service headquarters for analysis. This information can be used to drive new programs and initiatives to decrease the numbers of errors and near misses, he added.

"Right now, [error reporting is] a paper system," he said. "We need to get away from that and go to a computer system. The data will be way more voluminous than what we have now, and the data will be able to really drive a change." This system is slated for full deployment in late summer, he added.

Defense officials also have launched a patient safety learning center Web site designed to bring everyone who has a role in patient safety together, Robinson said. The site, which features a chat room and vaults for file sharing, offers a "great space" for health professionals to collaborate and share best practices from their hospitals and service branch.

Robinson also described a complete revamping of the basic patient safety managers course, which is designed for patient safety managers on the "front lines" at the hospitals

For more than a year, officials have examined standards across the states and within universities and master's programs. "Whoever is doing it better, we emulated and then advanced what they were doing," he said. "We've come up with a brand-new, world-class program."

The new, five-day course will begin next month, and feature topics such as proactive risk analysis and statistical analysis.

Along with new initiatives, Robinson expressed his confidence in existing programs such as Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety, also known as TeamSTEPPS, a collaboration between the departments of Defense and Health and Human Services. This system emphasizes the value of teamwork to ensure the best patient care. Health care teams work together to establish situational awareness, solve problems and resolve conflicts.

"It looks at the processes that are most important to teams, and it looks at ... the necessary competencies to be a high-reliability organization, a high-functioning team, and it meshes all those together in a health care environment," he explained.

At Nellis, Benjamin said, the TeamSTEPPS concept plays a significant role in the operating room and during patient handoffs. In the operating room, the medical team "huddles" to discuss the surgery as well as during a handoff, whether it's from the OR to intensive care unit or emergency room to ICU. "We want to ensure everyone is on the same page," he said. These huddles enable medical team members to point out potential errors or misunderstandings in patient care.

"What we're trying to do is develop a culture where folks aren't afraid to say what they see," Robinson said. "Not ducking errors because we're going to be chastised. It's not about the provider, it's about the process. TeamSTEPPS helps to strengthen the process in such a way that we decrease the severity of errors."

Robinson gave an example of an error that can arise when people decline to speak up. He recalled when he was an instructor for the Army Trauma Training Center at the University of Miami. In a training scenario, he had a patient with a simulated mangled lower right extremity that would require a below-the-knee amputation. When his Army students were in the room, he announced, "I'm going to do a left, above-the-knee amputation." Although the injury was on the right leg and he had identified the wrong leg for the procedure, no one spoke up.

"I did that to illustrate a point: I make mistakes like everyone else," he said. "The purpose of TeamSTEPPS is to ensure that if mistakes are made, they're caught early. It teaches folks to speak up right away to catch errors like that. It gets folks to communicate."

Communication is a key component, yet medical professionals have strayed into habitually using too-complicated terminology, Robinson said, noting that it's a culture he's working to change. "Now we're going back to Square One, back to something very simple. We want physicians to be able to talk to physicians and then talk to nurses and technicians. We need to break it down so everyone is using a common language."

This also extends to the patients, who have the biggest stake in their care. "Patients have to be actively involved in their care," Robinson said, which covers everything from medications to precautionary measures to treatment options.

"I put everything on the table so they can understand their options," he explained, "and then say, 'You are going to make the decision.'"

Patients' input also is solicited. At Benjamin's hospital, patients are asked for the feedback by patient safety representatives both during and after their care. "We take patient comments to heart," he said. "We ask, 'Are there areas where we can do better?'"

With understanding at all levels of care, the possibility for errors and near misses is bound to decrease, Robinson said.

"Error is inherent in our DNA," he said. "Everyone makes errors. But we've seen a decrease in severity of errors and an increase in reporting. And that's exactly what we want."

The bottom line, he noted, is that "everyone in our country, leaders at all levels, want to ensure the best possible care is provided to our servicemen and women. And that's how it should be."

Recognizing Nonverbal Indicators of Comfort and Stress

While attending a recent task force meeting, I became amazed at how insensitive the team leader briefing the assembled officers on an upcoming operation was to the nonverbal stress indicators displayed by the group. He charged ahead, clearly making his point and obviously promoting his own personal agenda. I observed that the requests he delivered to the assembled group far exceeded the relationship he had with the individuals in the room. As each minute passed, more and more people averted their glances; angled their bodies away; and, in some cases, simply folded their arms, tilted their heads down, and either compressed their eyebrows or closed their eyes entirely. Even though the atmosphere said no, the oblivious team leader said yes.

Read On

The Badge of Trust

By John L. Gray

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in my office on a beautiful, calm Friday afternoon. Like all good chiefs and sheriffs, I was trying to come up with a plausible excuse to skate out of the office and start the weekend a little early. But, my scheming was interrupted when a secretary buzzed the intercom and said that the academy director was on line three. My first reaction was to chuckle and say, “OK who is it really?” To my horror, she replied, “I’m serious. It’s the director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), and she wants to speak with you.”

Read On

Friday, March 26, 2010

Army Aviator Ends 43-Year Career

By Eric Durr
New York National Guard

March 26, 2010 - When Chief Warrant Officer Herb Dargue joined the Army as a helicopter pilot, the Beatles' "Penny Lane" topped the charts, the UH-1C Huey was the hottest "chopper" flying, and actor William Shatner was "Star Trek's" Captain Kirk on prime time TV. Forty-three years and 21,000 flying hours later, Dargue today will make his last flight as a military aviator. He's capping a career that has included a year in Vietnam, another year in Iraq, and service in the active Army, Army Reserve, and New York Army National Guard.

"It's the end of an era for this flight facility and this unit," said Army Lt. Col. Mark Slusar, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Assault Helicopter Battalion. "The lessons and the experience this guy can pass on will be greatly missed."

The unit plans to mark Dargue's last flight -- after more than 5,300 hours of military flight time -- with a fire truck salute and the traditional champagne soaking when he steps out of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter for the last time.

For Herb Dargue, flying is in the blood.

His grandfather, also named Herbert Dargue, became an Army pilot in 1913, received the first Distinguished Flying Cross. Two weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was flying to Hawaii to assume command of some Army units based there when he died in a plane crash.

Dargue's father, Donald, was a B-17 bomber pilot in World War II, was shot down, spent time as a German prisoner of war, and then went on to serve in the Strategic Air Command.

Dargue ended up flying Army helicopters because the Air Force wanted him to have a college degree, and back in 1967 the Army didn't care.

"I went to the recruiter's office in Patchogue," he recalled. "I walked in the Air Force door and said, 'I want to fly.' They said, 'Do you have a college degree?' I was a young punk, 19 years old. I didn't want to finish college. I went next door to the Army, and they signed me up."

In 1968, Dargue went to Vietnam where he flew Hueys for six months with the 3rd Squadron, 17th Air Cavalry, and then six months with a VIP transport unit. He left active duty in 1970 and joined an Army Reserve aviation unit, flying everything from tiny OH-23 observation helicopters to the CH-47 Chinook.

At the same time, he pursued a career as a civilian pilot, flying traffic report helicopters and charters of all kinds, before winding up in Iran in 1977, training Iranian army helicopter pilots.

That job lasted for two years until the Islamic revolution. He and the other contractors were evacuated.

"We were in the heat of battle getting out of that place," Dargue said.

He moved back to New York in 1980, went to work for Island Helicopter Corp., and joined the New York Army National Guard helicopter unit at MacArthur Airport here. Since then, he has also flown for Thompson Industries and most recently Lehmann Brothers, while continuing to fly helicopters with the New York Army National Guard.

In 2005, he deployed to Iraq as part of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade. As an aviation liaison officer, he worked in the 42nd Infantry Division Tactical Operations Center in Tikrit, tracking Army flights across an area of Iraq the size of West Virginia.

With the 3-142nd deployed to Iraq in 2008 and 2009, Dargue got an extension on his retirement date because the New York Army National Guard needed experienced helicopter pilots at home, too.

His years of experience flying in New York City's congested airspace have made him an invaluable asset to every pilot at the Long Island Army Aviation Support Facility, said Slusar, his battalion commander.

"He just gave me my New York City orientation last week," Slusar said. "He told me what was going to happen before the tower would tell us."

Flying around New York is tricky, because there are so many aircraft and so many airports, he explained. "You have to have exact procedures. Otherwise, it creates chaos."

Army Chief Warrant Officer Vic Figliuolo, a standardization pilot with the 3-142nd, said Dargue is a bit a of a legend in the New York City and Long Island aviation communities.

"He is known on a first-name basis to all the [fixed base operators] in New York City. Everybody knows Herb," Figliuolo said. Dargue also has been an exceptional mentor to young pilots, he added.

"He's always been one of those guys who are extremely reliable -- never anything short of that," he said.

In his years as an Army pilot he's seen plenty of change, Dargue said. The UH-60 has two engines, while the UH-1 had just one. And Huey navigation, he said, was all dead-reckoning and looking out the window and back at the map. Now, pilots have scrolling electronic maps that tell them where they are.

And in combat now, helicopters always fly in pairs.

"You're never out there by yourself; you always have a wingman," Dargue said. "In a lot of operations in Vietnam, you'd be out there by yourself all alone."

Leaving the Army after so many years is "bittersweet," Dargue said. He said he has loved military flying and the camaraderie, but he knows it's time to leave.

"All my peers have gotten out," Dargue said. "It has a different atmosphere to it. The Vietnam vets, they were just a little crazier than the generation nowadays -- a little more fun. They're a little more business-like now. The atmosphere is not the same."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Leadership Award

The Jacksonville Division has selected Mr. Robin O. Sorenson to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award.

March 25, 2010 - Mr. Sorenson is the chief executive officer of Firehouse Subs, Inc. Mr. Sorenson has a long history of offering support to the public safety community in Northeast Florida. In addition to the support provided through Firehouse Subs' Public Service Foundation, Mr. Sorenson has given direct personal assistance to help agencies develop resources that otherwise would have been unattainable. His extended involvement and contributions to the Police Athletic League have furthered the goals of the program to deter juvenile delinquency and promote education and involvement as a means to a productive life for the youth of our communities. He annually funds and sponsors the Fraternal Order of Police's Guns and Hoses event and their annual tennis tournament, which raise funds for law enforcement needs and provide emergency items to fire and rescue departments that cannot afford them. Through his direction, the Public Service Foundation provides scholarships and resources such as fire engines, drug dogs, diving equipment, AEDs, and other equipment necessary for an efficient safety operation.

In addition to financial contributions, Mr. Sorenson is a servant leader, having participated in Habijax building programs, serving as an officer for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, personally delivering food to areas destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, and arranging for food to be flown from Jacksonville to Ground Zero to support the workers involved in the cleanup process following the events of 9/11. When a project or need is brought to his attention, he goes to great lengths to assist and work for a successful conclusion. He does not consider any task beneath him and participates in a hands-on manner.

Through his integrity and selflessness, he has contributed to the safety and well-being of the residents of Northeast Florida. Many small agencies have been greatly aided by the equipment they have received through his Public Service Foundation. Larger organizations have been able to expand their capabilities thanks to these contributions.

Many times Mr. Sorenson underwrote the cost of unsolved murder reward flyers and donated Firehouse Subs meal certificates to crime victims. He has also helped to obtain greatly-needed computers for the Justice Coalition. The Justice Coalition has reached out to Mr. Sorenson, and he and his family have, without fail, generously responded with their time and resources. He has provided money and food to victims, and when an 8-year-old girl was murdered, he paid the family’s electric bill. When the Justice Coalition traveled to Putnam County for a nationally televised press conference to announce an $8,000 increase in the reward being offered for information about Haleigh Cummings, Mr. Sorenson and his team provided food for all the family, media, law enforcement personnel, and judicial representatives in attendance.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Delivering Value for Leaders

Editor’s Note: Richard Botkin is a former USMC Major.
By Richard Botkin

March 24, 2010 - Andrew Harvey and Raymond Foster have crafted an exceptionally outstanding learning resource--it is far more than a 'book' if the reader accesses all that is available through their generous and dynamic leadership website--for leaders of every experience level. "Leadership Texas Hold'em Style" is a great read for the young leader starting out with its wealth of ideas and thought-provoking real-world situations. For the very same reason the book has as much or more significance for seasoned folks in positions of responsibility who simply need to continue to improve their level of expertise and excellence.

As I read the book and was underlining idea after idea, I was struck by how critical the information contained in it is for young people. I immediately thought of my oldest son who is set to graduate from college and how valuable the knowledge included herein is. Clearly he will receive a copy from his dad--his own copy since I will continue to refer to the gems identified as I go back to it again and again. Similarly I can think of any number of friends operating at all levels of business who would benefit by the dozens of ideas and practical issues covered.

"Leadership Texas Hold'em Style" is, as mentioned above, the kind of resource, very much like the Bible, something to return to again and again. Be prepared to read it through once highlighting as you go. Then go back and drill down into those portions most germain to your own situation. Check out the incredibly dynamic supplemental website the authors have created and continue to update. This 'book' truly is a superior investment for everyone who is interested in improving his or her impact/positive contribution to any organization--be it family or business or governmental. Harvey and Foster deliver incredible value. Well done!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Leadership Award

The Miami Division has selected the Anti-Defamation League, Florida Region, to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award.

March 23, 2010 - The Anti-Defamation League is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all people. This organization fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry in the United States and abroad through information, education, legislation, and advocacy. Listed below are several initiatives which warrant recognition:

L.E.A.R.N. —The Law Enforcement Agency Resource Network website is a comprehensive and regularly updated database that tracks actionable information on extremist activities for local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Information on hate symbols, extremist incidents and arrests, and training can be found on this website.

A World of Difference Institute— This initiative provides anti-bias education and training with curriculum and materials for pre-k through the university level, community groups, civic associations, and religious organizations.

Bearing Witness Program— This is a partnership with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Archdiocese of Washington that provides Catholic school educators with the training and resources necessary to teach students about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. This program is also responsible for maintaining relationships and dialogue with international, national, and local religious leaders of all faiths.

The Anti-Defamation League’s commitment to scrutinizing and exposing extremists and hate groups, fostering interfaith and intergroup relations, and developing educational programs that support these aims is exemplary and merits this award.

Leadership Award

The Mobile Division has selected Dr. Henry W. Roberts, II to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award.

March 23, 2010 - Dr. Henry W. Roberts, II contributes greatly to his community both as an individual and as the pastor of the Word of Life Community Church, which he describes as a need-meeting church. Dr. Roberts founded the now-annual "Stop the Madness Rally" in response to the increase of violent acts among the youth within the African-American community. The rally is held at a local park and is used as a platform to reach and advise youth that violence is never the answer for the issues that confront them. Hundreds of people attend and are treated to various fun-filled activities geared towards fostering a greater understanding and respect for each other. Several community leaders, including pastors, city council members, and public school administrators, participate in providing encouragement and support for this outreach event.

Dr. Roberts utilizes various ministries to provide relief and assistance that ignite hope throughout the community. He established a food and clothing bank in order to serve people who have little or no resources to afford these basic staples. Under his guidance, the following outreach ministries have been implemented to address other much-needed services: a child care center; a free tutoring program for all ages; an adult education program geared toward enabling individuals to obtain their high school diplomas or GEDs; and a leadership academy. He is also respected and well-known in the law enforcement community as a result of weekly visits to inmates who are incarcerated in Mobile Metro Jail. During his visits, he expounds upon the merits of becoming and remaining productive and viable citizens upon their release.

He has been described as having an impeccable work ethic and integrity. His spirit of excellence is evident in every facet of his ministry and community outreach initiatives. “He serves as a benchmark for other organizations,” said fellow colleague Dr. Fred Primm, Jr.

Dr. Roberts is a native of Mobile and graduate of McGill-Toolen High School. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in fine arts/communications from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He obtained a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Ministry and PhD in religious philosophy from Friends International Christian University. Dr. Roberts has also served in the Mobile County Public School System as a special education instructor.

Leadership Award

The Knoxville Division has selected Mr. William M. Shory to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award.

March 23, 2010 - Mr. Shory is currently the news director for NBC local television station WBIR, Channel 10, in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is a member of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the board of directors of the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters Association. He is also a fellow of the Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Journalism.

Since moving to East Tennessee, Mr. Shory has been a staunch advocate of safe communities by developing partnerships between community stakeholders and his television station. As a true community activist, he works tirelessly to engage the community. His commitment, as a member of the media, to keeping the public informed of the FBI’s priorities and missions is evidenced by the numerous broadcasts he has done that feature the FBI.

Under his direction, WBIR has won numerous awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for Overall Excellence and one National Edward R. Murrow Award. The Society of Professional Journalists also honored WBIR with both the Horace V. Wells Community Service Award and the Golden Press Card Award for investigating corruption in Knox County government.

From 2007 until the present, under Mr. Shory’s leadership, WBIR has aired approximately 673 segments featuring the FBI. Many of the segments were in-depth feature stories highlighting a number of Knoxville’s community outreach initiatives, including Citizens’ Academy classes and Teen Academy classes. Special Agent in Charge Richard Lambert and Public Affairs Specialist Stacie Bohanan have been invited to the WBIR set for live interviews in support of the FBI mission. The station sent two photojournalists, who had completed the Citizens’ Academy program, to Washington, D.C. to produce a feature story about the FBI Knoxville Alumni Association and its annual trip to Washington.

All stories featuring the FBI have been posted to the WBIR website, where thousands of additional viewers have been able to learn about the FBI. Many of the stories have earned honors as the “Most Read Stories” of the day after being posted on the station’s website.

Leadership Award

The Salt Lake City Division has selected the Salt Lake Area Gang Project to receive the Director's Community Leadership Award.

March 23, 2010 - The Salt Lake Area Gang Project was established in 1990. It is a multijurisdictional law enforcement task force represented by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The mission of the Salt Lake Area Gang Project is to identify and investigate street gangs and members in the state of Utah; divert gang members into positive programs and activities through education and community support efforts; provide law enforcement agencies with information and assistance leading to apprehension and prosecution of gang members; and suppress gang activities through proactive enforcement efforts.

The Gang Project hosts the Utah Gang Conference, administering the tattoo-removal program; coordinating the Serious Habitual Offender Comprehensive Action Program (SHOCAP); managing the Public Enemy #1 Program; and providing community education classes, elementary education pilot programs, graffiti intelligence meetings, and parent education classes.

The annual Utah Gang Conference is the second-largest conference in the West with over 900 attendees. Participants receive 14 hours of training from subject-matter experts.

The tattoo-removal program is a team effort with the University of Utah Hospital doctors and staff removing tattoos of gang members who desire to put gang life behind them. The Gang Project screens applicants for suitability, and the hospital staff volunteers provide the laser removal process.

The detectives assigned to work with the SHOCAP work with counselors, educators, court workers, and law enforcement. This group selects at-risk youth and develops a corrective action plan, then follows up with the youth and monitors their compliance with the plan through school, home, and institutional contacts.

The Public Enemy #1 Program is an example of the positive results of law enforcement and the community working together. This program selects a violent wanted gang member to be designated Public Enemy #1. The pertinent information about the wanted person is broadcast by local news media. The feature solicits community support for information regarding the subject. Through the use of this process, 95 percent of those featured have been apprehended.

The Gang Project detectives deliver approximately 100 presentations per year reaching over 7,800 individuals with information about gangs and gang-related activities. This class is designed to help community members recognize and understand gang membership and the effects on the community. The project has also developed a presentation aimed at helping parents identify the signs of gang membership and intervene if necessary.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Leadership Award

The Minneapolis Division has selected Dr. Saeed Fahia to receive the Director's Community Leadership Award.

March 22, 2010 - Dr. Saeed Fahia is the executive director of the Confederation of the Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM). The CSCM was established as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit in 1994 by a group of diverse Somali leaders who recognized the need to meet the significant resettlement and self- sufficiency needs of Somali refugees. Over the past 16 years, CSCM has evolved into the predominant multiservice Somali organization in the state of Minnesota, focused on providing services and advocating for the estimated 50,000 Somali immigrants and refugees who now reside in the Twin City metropolitan area. Since 1994, CSCM has been based in the Brian Coyle Community Center, situated in Minneapolis' Cedar‑Riverside Neighborhood, across the street from 1,800 mostly subsidized Riverside Plaza and Minneapolis public housing apartment units.

CSCM offers programs from three Cedar-Riverside neighborhood sites, including the Coyle Center (Headquarters), Riverside Plaza (African Women’s Center), and the People’s Center (youth program site). CSCM’s mission is to enhance the lives of Somalis in Minnesota. The organization has four primary goals: ensuring access to appropriate basic need and self-sufficiency services; uniting all Somali groups residing in Minnesota; preserving Somali traditions and culture; and educating the community-at-large about Somalis.

CSCM provides services to any Somali community member, regardless of age, gender, class, ethnic group, or political affiliation. CSCM forms a critical bridge between the Somali community and state and local agencies such as the police, the health care system, schools, and the general public. The organization is featured regularly on the local Somali cable television program, and the executive director of CSCM is frequently interviewed by the mainstream media for the Somali community’s perspective on a wide range of community issues. CSCM was the first Somali organization to develop sustainable programming for Somali girls; this has been a catalyst for programming related to health issues. The organization frequently gathers input and approval from elders in the community in order to implement programs and address community concerns.

In addition to all his community work, Dr. Fahia has been an advocate and friend of the FBI. He attended the Minneapolis Division’s first Citizens’ Academy in 2005, and since that time he has been a supporter of the Bureau. Since 2005 he has been an active Citizens’ Academy alumnus and attends all of that organization’s events.

Leadership Award

The El Paso Division has selected Virginia McCrimmon to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award.

She has served as the point of contact for The Salvation Army's Anti-Human Trafficking Program. Mrs. McCrimmon, who has a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling, taught school for 37 years. She was then hired by The Salvation Army for its Anti-Human Trafficking Program. In addition to providing for the basic and social needs of human trafficking victims, she has also been responsible for providing community education through an outreach and awareness program in which human trafficking information is given to the general public, law enforcement, and social service providers.

Thousands of individuals have been directly reached through scores of training sessions she has conducted for personnel in both private and governmental organizations. As a member of the El Paso Human Trafficking Task Force, she helped coordinate three multi-day regional human trafficking conferences for local, state, and federal law enforcement.

She has closely collaborated with government and social service partners in New Mexico and across the border in Mexico. She has hosted numerous international guests at the request of the U.S. State Department, which considers the El Paso Human Trafficking Task Force a model anti-human trafficking program.

Although the number of individuals educated by Mrs. McCrimmon can easily be documented and counted, her most selfless and generous acts of compassion are seen mostly through the eyes of the victims and potential victims of human trafficking. The El Paso FBI's Violent Crime/Civil Rights squad has witnessed and benefited greatly from Mrs. McCrimmon's assistance to the victims in cases they investigate. In addition to providing the expected services as outlined in her job description, Mrs. McCrimmon goes beyond the call of duty, spending countless hours of her personal time and even money to help victims in need. She has taken victims who have nothing but the clothes on their backs and provided for their food, safe shelter, clothing, medical and mental health treatment, transportation, job training, and employment.

Leadership Award

The Albany Division has selected John P. Halligan to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award.

March 22, 2010 - On October 7, 2003, John Halligan's son, Ryan Patrick Halligan, took his own life at the age of 13. Ryan Halligan was a victim of cyberbullying. He was taunted, harassed, and humiliated by classmates.

John Halligan and his wife, Kelly, taught their children Internet safety rules. The rules included: no chatting with strangers; no sharing personal information with strangers; no sending pictures; and no secret passwords. One last rule was that the children were to use a password that their parents selected for them, and these passwords were to be used for any and all accounts they signed up for.

Shortly after Ryan's death, John Halligan began searching for answers to his questions. Because of the password rule that he and his wife had instituted, he soon learned of the torture that his son was experiencing when he signed on to his son's instant messaging (IM) account. While online, he discovered a folder filled with IM exchanges. He quickly realized that his son was the victim of bullying and cyberbullying. Classmates had taunted him, and Ryan felt isolated.

John Halligan became one of Vermont's strongest advocates for young teens by channeling his grief and bringing attention to his son's senseless passing.

Through his efforts, the state of Vermont enacted the Bully Prevention Law, Act 117. This law was signed on May 18, 2004, and it established prevention procedures and policies for schools within the state.

John Halligan continues to focus his attention on this very important issue. He speaks on bullying and teen suicide to national audiences through television shows and radio broadcasts, and he makes public appearances at schools across the country. He also meets with legislators to discuss laws that will protect young people from the tragedy that struck his son.

Leadership Award

The Portland Division has selected Josefina Salma Ahmad to receive the Director's Community Leadership Award.

March 22, 2010 - Mrs. Ahmad is a native of the Philippines who moved to the United States in 1967 after graduating from nursing school. As a long-time resident of the Portland, Oregon area, she has been very active in a number of organizations and programs designed to repair and strengthen relations among various ethnic, religious, and social groups, as well as with law enforcement. Her work and service have helped to provide stability, peace, and understanding among different communities. In particular, she has worked recently to stimulate and energize positive relations between the Muslim leadership in the area and the FBI.

Mrs. Ahmad has served as the president of the Islamic Society of Greater Portland (ISGP) since 2003. This is the oldest official Muslim organization in Oregon. The ISGP aims to promote greater understanding among all Muslims in the greater Portland area, to foster cordial relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, and to promote the understanding of Islam among non-Muslims.

Mrs. Ahmad also serves as the treasurer of the Institute of Islamic and Interfaith Studies, an organization founded to promote understanding and respect among all races, cultures, and religions through education, research, and service. In addition, she is a founding member of the Bilal Mosque Association; a member of the Human Rights Council of Washington County; a member of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon; a member of the Interfaith Action Network of Washington County; a member of the Center for Intercultural Organizing; an advisory board member for the Muslim Educational Trust; a member of the American Civil Liberties Union; and a partner with the World Affairs Council of Oregon. She speaks frequently at gatherings in Oregon and has traveled throughout the United States to promote interfaith understanding and harmony.

Mrs. Ahmad, as a recent graduate of the FBI Citizens' Academy program, has worked diligently to take what she has learned from the FBI and share it with her community. Likewise, she has worked to increase the FBI's understanding of and communication with the Muslim community in Oregon. Most recently, she organized and hosted a meeting with the incoming and outgoing FBI officials in Oregon and the Muslim leadership from a number of different mosques and social service agencies. Old relationships were renewed while others were initiated.

Leadership Award

Oregon Woman Honored with FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award

March 22, 2010 - Washington, D.C.—In a ceremony today at FBI Headquarters, Director Robert S. Mueller, III recognized the recipients of the 2009 Director’s Community Leadership Award. These leaders, selected by their area FBI field office, have demonstrated outstanding contributions to their local communities through service.

"Those honored here today represent people from different backgrounds and beliefs, from different corners of America, but share some things in common: a willingness to lead, a commitment to improving the lives of their neighbors, and a desire to make the nation safer for their fellow citizens,” said Director Mueller.

In Oregon, the FBI's Portland Division selected Josephina Salma Ahmad, a leader within the Oregon Muslim community, for her commitment to promoting peace and cooperation between people of all beliefs. Mrs. Ahmad is a native of the Philippines who moved to the United States in 1967 after graduating from nursing school. As a long-time resident of the Portland, Oregon, area, she has been very active in a number of organizations and programs designed to repair and strengthen relations among various ethnic, and social groups as well as with law enforcement. Her work has, through her long history of service, helped to provide stability, peace and understanding among different communities.

"Mrs. Ahmad is a dedicated civic leader who has demonstrated her selflessnes by ensuring meaningful dialogue and action in service to the community," said Arthur Balizan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

Mrs. Ahmad has served as the President of the Islamic Society of Greater Portland since 2003, the oldest official Muslim organization in Oregon. She also serves as the Treasurer of the Institute of Islamic and Interfaith Studies, an organization founded to promote understanding and respect among all races, cultures and religions through education, research and service. In addition, she is a founding member of the Bilal Mosque Association; a member of the Washington County Human Rights Commission; a member of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon; a Member of the Interfaith Action Network of Washington County; a member of the Center for Intercultural Organizing; and an advisory board member for the Muslim Educational Trust. She speaks frequently to gatherings in Oregon and has traveled throughout the U.S. to promote interfaith understanding and harmony.

Click here to see a photo of Mrs. Ahmad receiving her award from Director Mueller.

“For the FBI to recognize a Muslim woman and an immigrant is indeed an honor. The extra effort made by the Bureau to reach out to all minority communities, such as the Muslim community, is very much appreciated and needed to dispel misplaced fear and mistrust," said Mrs. Ahmad. "What we do not know, we will fear, and the easiest way to feign fear is through dislike. By starting with the construction of this bridge of trust and with continuous dialogue, there will be a healthy interaction between the two parties. The FBI and the Muslim community will face challenges but with God's blessings and mercy, and with our good intentions to foster better relations, we will succeed."

"As American Muslims we have a moral obligation to uphold the safety and security of this country. I call on my Muslim brothers and sisters and do our best as individuals and citizens of any country as our faith has always taught us to do. I graciously receive this award and thank God for giving me this privilege to enjoy the freedom this nation is known for."

Leadership Award

The Birmingham Division has selected Cedric D. Sparks, Sr., to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award.

March 22, 2010 - Mr. Sparks is the executive director for the City of Birmingham Mayor's Office-Division of Youth Services (DYS). He was appointed to DYS in 1998 while serving as administrative assistant to the mayor. He was promoted in June 1999 to the position of operations manager. In August 2000, he was named director of operations, and in July 2002, he was appointed executive director of DYS. During his leadership, in 2008 Birmingham was named as one of the 100 best communities for young people in America.

Mr. Sparks also serves as the program facilitator for Project Corporate Leadership, a leadership program designed for high-potential middle managers, sponsored by the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Some of his many honors include:

• Named by the Birmingham News as one of the "15 Leaders of the Future"
• Presented by Ebony magazine with a "Top 30 Young Leaders of the Future Award"
• Presented with the Birmingham Business Journal "Top 40 Under 40" Award
• Awarded "Mentor of the Year"

• Mr. Sparks serves as president of the Birmingham Chapter of 100 Black Men and also serves on that organization’s National Board of Directors.

Birmingham's DYS programs have grown substantially under Mr. Sparks. He has established several creative programs that have helped nurture the youth in Birmingham, including:

• Kids and Jobs Program;
• Caught Doing Good Campaign, which partners with the Birmingham Police Department and the Municipal Court System;
• Spotlight onYouth Television Program, which airs four times a week on a local cable network;
• Programs that Work Awards, which are given to excellent youth service providers; and
• Freeality Check, a program that gives a dose of reality to young people who are making bad choices.

Leadership Award

The Seattle Division has selected Dawn Bennett to receive the Director's Community Leadership Award.

March 22, 2010 - Dawn Bennett has been an advocate for children and teenagers for most of her career. Ms. Bennett currently serves as liaison for the Support, Prevention, and Intervention (SPI) portion of Family and Community Engagement to African-American Families. Ms. Bennett is the "go-between" for the school and district staff and the student and family so that relationships are enhanced and all are engaged to bring their best proposals to the table.

Ms. Bennett is dedicated to building a strong family-based approach that aids the student’s learning as well as the overall educational process. Her immense contributions and sheer determination for at-risk youth have made her an individual that stands out in the crowd.

Ms. Bennett's passion for African-American youth fosters in each student a motivation to become an advocate for their own education through providing an environment where there are role models and tutoring and mediation between students and teachers to ensure a successful high school graduation and possible college entrance.

Over the years, Ms. Bennett has spent endless hours providing liaison to the African-American youth and community to provide and connect with each student so that they can be an example and leader in their community. Ms. Bennett's energy is contagious and motivates others to be engaged and get involved to make youth a priority.

Ms. Bennett was part of the 2009 Citizens' Academy for the Seattle Division of the FBI. She also serves as an active participant in several other community outreach programs where she organizes and plans music, sporting, and cultural events for youth in the greater Seattle area.

Marine Sets Example for Other Women

By Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Katesha Washington
2nd Marine Logistics Group

March 22, 2010 - When women were first allowed to enlist in the Marine Corps in the 1940s, they did not qualify with weapons and they were not required to learn hand-to-hand combat, but they received instruction on etiquette and how to wear makeup. Marine Corps Cpl. Amy Gentry is a prime example of how much life for women serving in the Marine Corps has changed. A fire team leader with 2nd Platoon, Military Police Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, Gentry has deployed twice to Iraq's Anbar province.

She served solely as a heavy machine gunner from August 2007 to March 2008, and as a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle driver and heavy machine gunner from February to September in 2009.

Though the 23-year-old Marine is a combat veteran who loves to fire weapons and lead Marines, her quiet demeanor can fool people into thinking she is just a soft-spoken young lady.

Marine Corps Sgt. Brenden Colley, Gentry's platoon sergeant, said that although she is not like the mostly rambunctious Marines in his platoon, he sees a lot of potential for her to develop into a strong leader.

"She has a very quiet confidence about her," he noted. "Because she is [so] competitive on paper, in competitions, and during deployments and field operations, we utilize her to guide new Marines when they check in."

Gentry volunteered to be a part of the regiment's team during the Camp Lejeune 2010 Intramural Small-Arms Competition early this month. She earned second place in the individual pistol competition and contributed to the team's overall second-place finish in the rifle competition and fourth-place pistol title. It was her first time participating in the competition.

Her passion for firing weapons was clear from the time she decided to forego college life and enlist in the Marine Corps.

"I've always loved the Marines, so when I did my research, I went to my recruiter and asked, 'What's going to let me shoot the most guns and deploy the most?'" she explained.

Gentry said she'll pass on her deep affection for the Corps to her young Marines by continuing to lead by example.

"I want to make sure I take care of my Marines at all times and to teach them to stick to the basics," she said. "Things like customs and courtesies, staying focused on completing the job and learning everything you can to be a better leader are things that I know will make them better leaders and, in turn, better Marines."

Leadership Award

The Cleveland Division has selected Second Chance to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award.

The Toledo, Ohio area has a significant juvenile prostitution problem, with numerous local child victims identified and recovered through the FBI's Innocence Lost National Initiative. Though smaller in population than the other cities participating in this initiative, Toledo, with intersecting highways and a high poverty level, has been determined to be a hub for the problem, with many of the nation's child prostitutes originating from the region.

Second Chance, a Toledo nonprofit organization, has worked closely with the Northwest Ohio Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force to assist the child victims in these prostitution cases. Second Chance was responsible for the 2009 recovery of a juvenile female—a key witness in an ongoing child prostitution case—after she left a foster home to go back into prostitution.

Second Chance follows the Social Work Code of Ethics while offering services to girls victimized by prostitution, girls at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking, and girls who have actually been victimized by sex trafficking. Second Chance has assembled a team of experienced social workers, trained survivors, undergraduate and graduate interns, and other professionals who advocate for victims at the local, state, and national levels.

The team develops individualized service plans for each woman or youth in need of assistance. Plans are modeled on treatment and recovery practices that support women and youth in healing from trauma, that support learning and developing a strong sense of self, and that challenge the women and youth to develop healthy and authentic relationships.

Second Chance's mission is to offer supportive services to women and youth affected by or at risk for involvement in sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation; raise awareness about the issues of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children; and advocate for women and youth throughout the country to secure and provide resources for treatment and services for victims of sex trafficking and exploitation.

Second Chance has worked with the FBI on numerous occasions, providing emergency and long- term services, such as counseling and referrals for housing, to victimized girls and women in Northwest Ohio.

FBI Director Recognizes Local Somali Community Leader

March 22, 2010 - In a Washington D.C. ceremony today at FBI Headquarters, Director Robert S. Mueller, III recognized the recipients of the 2010 Director’s Community Leadership Award. These leaders, selected by their area FBI field office, have demonstrated outstanding contributions to their local communities through service. Included among the awardees was Dr. Saeed Fahia of Minneapolis for his work as executive director of the Confederation of the Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM). Under Dr Fahia’s leadership, the CSCM, a non-profit organization established in 1994, has prospered as a multi-service organization aimed at providing services and advocating for the growing number of Somali immigrants and refugees in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. He has been instrumental in carrying forth the CSCM mission to enhance the lives of Somali-Americans through a continuum of innovative and effective programs including Youth Services, Refugee Settlement Services, Health and Wellness Services, Employment Services, Elder Services, and Women’s Services. His efforts have fostered critical bridges between the Minnesota Somali community and area state and local agencies in areas such as law enforcement, health and social services, and education. Dr. Fahia’s selfless service and tireless advocacy for a wide range of issues pertinent to the Somali community has helped to set the stage for the success and happiness of Somali immigrants and for Minnesota Somalis for generations to come.

“Those honored here today represent people from different backgrounds and beliefs, from different corners of America, but share some things in common: a willingness to lead, a commitment to improving the lives of their neighbors, and a desire to make the nation safer for their fellow citizens,” said Director Mueller.

Ralph S. Boelter, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis office attended the ceremony. “The Somali-American community in Minnesota is a proud one and Dr. Fahia has dedicated his life to bringing dreams of freedom and prosperity within the reach of countless members of this community. He is a role model for youngsters and others in the community who may find themselves at a critical crossroads in their American journey.”

Leadership Award

Justice Janine P. Geske Receives FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award

On March 19, 2010, former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine P. Geske joined other community leaders from around the United States in a special ceremony held at the FBI’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Justice Geske is the 2009 Milwaukee recipient of the FBI’s Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA), presented annually to an individual or organization that has furthered the efforts of law enforcement. Justice Geske joined other honorees who were nominated by special agents in charge (SAC) from FBI field offices from across the nation.

Justice Geske served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1993-1998. She currently serves as a Distinguished Professor of Law at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. Justice Geske leads the efforts of the Restorative Justice initiative through Marquette University’s School of Law.

The initiative has brought community focus to the law school by providing the students with substantial leadership training. It has also become a resource for other restorative justice organizations in the state, formed partnerships with local community groups that work with criminal justice issues, and provides victim/offender dialogues for crimes of severe violence through powerful healing circles.

Justice Geske has been a powerful leader in the Milwaukee community and is well respected throughout Wisconsin for her proactive efforts in crime prevention to end the circle of violence brought on by repeat offenders who leave correctional institutions and return to a life of crime, creating more victims of violent crime in the process.

The DCLA is presented by FBI Director Robert Mueller, III, and was created in 1990 as a way to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence in America.

Lead-America.org Launches Summer High School And University Programs In Law & Criminal Justice

Youth leadership development programs set high school students on path for career in legal field

March 22, 2010 -- Lead-America.org, the leader in youth leadership development programs, announced a Law & Criminal Justice Career Conference for high school students. The summer high school and university programs in law and criminal justice is a 10-day summer program set to be held at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore MD from June 19-28, 2010. Students who attend will be able to explore the world of the criminal justice and legal system.

This LeadAmerica national conference offers high school students the ability to investigate crimes and see the entire process into the court room. The summer high school and university law program is a hands on 10-day summer program offering a rare glimpse at the fast paced life of criminal attorneys and the legal system in America. Students also learn what it’s like to live in a college environment and earn up to two college credits. Tuition includes housing, schedule of classes, hands on simulations and transportation to field excursions as needed. For more information, please visit Lead-America.org.

“The law and criminal justice youth leadership development programs help show our youth the way the legal system works. It helps high school students develop an early understanding of what it’s like to prosecute the bad guys and help our country follow laws set by our forefathers,” said Giselle Basantes, Director of Admissions. “Each of our 10-day summer programs give high school students and young adults the opportunity for hands on training and experience needed to grow to their full potential.”

About LeadAmerica:
LeadAmerica is the nation's premier youth leadership organization. Our mission is to inspire and empower the next generation to achieve their full potential and instill a sense of purpose, integrity and personal responsibility. Through the youth leadership development programs, goals for teens are set and we are able to empower high school students and young adults with knowledge and experience. For the seventh straight year, LeadAmerica has won the seal of approval from the National Association of Secondary School Principals. A distinction shared by very few.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Leadership: Texas Hold ‘em Style

“one that should be read, re-read and intellectually digested.”

A few weeks ago, Charles Ashbacher, a Top 50 Reviewer on Amazon.com posted a review of Leadership Texas Hold ‘em Style. According to Amazon.com, a “Top 50 Reviewer” identifies Ashbacher as having “helped his fellow customers make informed purchase decisions on Amazon.com with his consistently helpful, high-quality reviews.” Charles Ashbacher has reviewed over 4,800 books and received nearly 14,000 votes from readers with an 88% ranking as finding his reviews helpful.

He said, in part, about Leadership: Texas Hold ‘em Style, “This is without question one of the best books on effective leadership ever written and it is profound and entertaining as one of the most unusual yet best possible analogies is used.” And, “Many books on leadership tend to be correct in their content but dull in their delivery. In this case the content is superb and the delivery is even beyond that, the comparisons between poker and quality leadership are apt, educational and make this book one that should be read, re-read and intellectually digested.”

Friday, March 19, 2010

Patriot Academy Student-Soldiers Earn Diplomas

By John Crosby
Camp Atterbury Public Affairs

March 19, 2010 - Patriot Academy, the military's first accredited high school, graduated its first class here yesterday. The program provides troubled youth with an opportunity to earn their high school diploma, join the Army National Guard and contribute to their community. After a year of planning, the vision of retired Army Lt. Gen. Clyde Vaughn, former director of the Army National Guard, to turn high school dropouts into student-soldiers became reality in June with the funding and support of the National Guard Bureau.

"This is about the young men and women who will have a second chance," said Army Maj. Gen. Raymond Carpenter, acting director of the Army National Guard, on the program's opening day in August. "Our mission at the Patriot Academy, very simply, is to educate and train these young men to become the best citizen-soldiers in the Army National Guard."

Students of the Patriot Academy come here after completing Army basic training. They continue to collect active-duty pay, taking classes to earn their high school diploma, while simultaneously honing their military skills before graduating and shipping out to learn their military job.

"It's really a good opportunity," said Army Sgt. 1st Class William Long, an instructor and assistant platoon sergeant. "The average National Guard soldier drills one weekend a month, two weeks a year. These guys do almost a year of active duty before they meet their unit. These guys are going to have a better head start to that."

Additionally, the course is designed to prepare the student-soldiers to contribute to society.

"There were three objectives when they came here," said Patriot Academy Commandant Army Col. Perry Sarver. "First one, of course, was to get their high school diploma. Second was to expand on their military skills that they learned in basic training, and finally, they provide eight hours of community service in and around the Jennings County area."

The program was implemented during a "dropout crisis" in America, as over 1.2 million students, equating to 7,000 per school day, either drop out or do not earn their high school diploma, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education.

"There's hundreds of thousands of young men and women who have not achieved their high school diploma, and the Army National Guard provides these young men and women an opportunity to do that," Sarver said.

Today's graduating class consisted of 43 of the original 47 student-soldiers from 16 states who started the course. They will return to their respective states' National Guard after receiving military occupational training.

Plans are under way for the program's growth. "We are trying to diversify our next class," Sarver said. "What we want to do is grow our enrollment from 47 from this past year to try to graduate 300 men and women from the 54 states and territories."

The graduates' families, command sergeants major and recruiters attended the graduation ceremony to show their support. The class valedictorian said his newly earned high school diploma was a new beginning for him.

"It's a great opportunity to be here," said Pvt. Mario Guillen of the California National Guard. "I hope to make the best of it. Before I came into the Patriot Academy, I worked for a low salary. [The course] has changed my life. I can pass the obstacles that I have in front of me. Now I have a better view of my future because of the education I got here." Guillen will move on to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., to for truck driver training.

Fellow student Pfc. Scott Mix of Fort Wayne, Ind., said he came to the program to better himself by getting his high school diploma to expand his opportunities and horizons.

"It's been an adventure," he said. "A lot of military training and a lot of schooling and [physical training], but it was definitely worth it."

Mix said he did not have enough credits to graduate from high school with his class, and wanted to earn more than a general education diploma. He went to an Army National Guard recruiter and joined the Patriot Academy at age 18.

"I definitely grew up a lot," he said. "My maturity level has increased an awful lot. I was getting into a lot of trouble, and I wasn't staying focused. Since I came here, everything is more straight-edged and disciplined. Everything is always business. My whole mentality has changed. I'm definitely a lot more focused now."

Mix's mother said she couldn't agree more.

"He is a lot more disciplined," Christa Wilfong said. "I've noticed he has a lot more respect for others. He seems to really be looking toward the future instead of just living for the day. He is setting a lot more goals."

As the first graduating class packs its bags, including their newly achieved high school diplomas, the instructors, commanders and creators of the Patriot Academy stay committed to taking lost or misguided potential and molding it into positive contributions to society.

"They get a chance for a do-over," Sarver said. "Society has given up on some of these young people for whatever reason, and they were led to believe that they would never achieve their high school diploma.

"When they first came in, back in June and July, they were lacking the focus," he continued. "They were lacking the confidence. When they leave here they believe they can accomplish anything in their lives. When they leave here, they will be a more mature adult to assume their role in society as they get back home."

Latino Officers Association Florida

On April 9, 2010, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature President Alex Martinez of the Latino Officers Association Florida.

Program Date: April 9, 2010
Program Time: 2100 hours Pacific
Topic: Latino Officers Association Florida
Listen Live: www.americanheroesradio.com/latino_officers_association_florida.html
About the Guest
Alex Martinez is the founder and current president of the Latino Officers Association Florida. President Martinez has been involved since 1993 with Hispanic representation in Florida. A member of the law enforcement community since 1989, he is currently in the service with Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department and the Miami-Dade Police Department Metropolitan Police Institute as a Field Training Officer, Crisis Intervention Teams Trainer and Firearms Instructor. President Martinez has demonstrated strong and exceptional leadership in moving the Latino Officers Association Florida forward. President Martinez is a Christian and married with 3 children and one granddaughter.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is Police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. American Heroes Radio brings you to the watering hole, where it is Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in Law Enforcement, public policy, Public Safety Technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in Law Enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole:
Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA

FBI Director Recognizes Distinguished Community Leaders

In a ceremony today at FBI Headquarters, Director Robert S. Mueller, III recognized the recipients of the 2009 Director’s Community Leadership Award. These leaders, selected by their area FBI field office, have demonstrated outstanding contributions to their local communities. The FBI is grateful for the work of each of these individuals and organizations on behalf of their communities.

“Those honored here today represent people from different backgrounds and beliefs, from different corners of America, but share some things in common: a willingness to lead, a commitment to improving the lives of their neighbors, and a desire to make the nation safer for their fellow citizens,” said Director Mueller.

Recipients of the 2009 Director’s Community Leadership Award include:

• John P. Halligan (Albany)
• Judy Wagner, Wagner Valuation and Financial Forensics (Albuquerque)
• Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis, (Anchorage)
• WAGA FOX 5 News (Atlanta)
• E. Keith Colston, Executive Director, Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs (Baltimore)
• Cedric D. Sparks, Sr., Executive Director, Division of Youth Services (Birmingham)
• Bob Ward, Reporter, FOX 25 News (Boston)
• Kenyatta T. Cobb, Pastor, Hananiah Lutheran Church (Buffalo)
• Greensboro Crime Stoppers Program (Charlotte)
• Bill Kurtis, Host and Producer, Kurtis Productions (Chicago)
• Dr. Creighton Wright (Cincinnati)
• Michelle Riggs, West Virginia Child Abduction Prevention Program (CJIS)
• Second Chance (Cleveland)
• Tyrone W. Baker (Dallas)
• Stacey Hervey (Denver)
• Virginia McCrimmon, The Salvation Army (El Paso)
• Kids Hurt Too (Honolulu)
• YMCA of Greater Houston (Houston)
• Liberty Roberts, Collier-Magar & Roberts (Indianapolis)
• Cheryl Keeton Shelton (Jackson)
• Robin O. Sorenson, Chief Executive Officer, Firehouse Subs, Inc. (Jacksonville)
• Greg and Missey Smith, Kelsey Smith Foundation (Kansas City)
• William M. Shory, News Director, WBIR (Knoxville)
• Manohar “Mike” Vaswani, President, Asian American Group and Asian American Coalition of Las Vegas (Las Vegas)
• Judge Mary Ann Gunn, Washington County Drug Program (Little Rock)
• Zully Roman, Expediente Rojo Project (Los Angeles)
• Jeffrey D. Feld, Executive Director, Memphis Jewish Federation (Memphis)
• Anti-Defamation League, Florida Region (Miami)
• Justice Janine P. Geske, Distinguished Professor of Law, Marquette University Law School (Milwaukee)
• Dr. Saeed Fahia , Executive Director, Confederation of the Somali Community in Minnesota (Minneapolis)
• Dr. Henry W. Roberts, II, Pastor, Word of Life Community Church (Mobile)
• Rafael Goyeneche, III, President, New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission (New Orleans)
• Devorah Halberstam, (New York)
• Jacob S. “Josh” Elkes, President, Direct Title & Closing Agency (Newark)
• Veronica McMillian, Founder, Let’s Talk, Inc. (Norfolk)
• Bilal A. Khaleeq, President, Islamic Center of Omaha (Omaha)
• Nu-Juice Foundation (Philadelphia)
• Mike Watkiss, Reporter, News Channel 3 (Phoenix)
• Craig Poole, Manager, Holiday Inn Airport (Pittsburgh)
• Josefina Salma Ahmad, President, Islamic Society of Greater Portland (Portland)
• Tinh Duc Phan, Owner, PNC Group (Richmond)
• Mohamed Abdul-Azeez, SALAM Islamic Center (Sacramento)
• Salt Lake Area Gang Project (Salt Lake City)
• C. Jill Oettinger, Chief Executive Officer, Good Samaritan Community Services (San Antonio)
• Jerry Crosby (San Diego)
• Old Skool CafĂ© (San Francisco)
• Dawn Bennett, Liaison, Family and Community Engagement to African-American Families (Seattle)
• John Z. Hecker, President, Champaign County Crime Stoppers (Springfield)
• Bill Wilkerson, Executive Director, Reach Out St. Louis (St. Louis)
• Matilda Garcia (Tampa)
• Nawar Shora, Legal Director, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (Washington Field)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What is a Hero?

What is a Hero? This collection of short stories indirectly asks the question - what is a hero? Each of the 13 authors wrote about a specific person whom the author identified as an American Hero. Each author had a different take - some heroes were thrust into danger; others were comedic, yet heroic; still others were role models because of their heroic nature. While all different, there is a common thread: heroism.

Demystifying the “real deal” in profession, leadership, management, strategy, and business, as well as offering the clearest blueprint!

By © Copyright 2010 Andres Agostini – All Right Reserved – At www.linkedin.com/in/AndresAgostini
As follows:



Contact me at

Baldrige Program Funds Four State Efforts to Teach Performance Excellence

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Baldrige National Quality Program (BNQP) has announced that four state quality programs will receive funding for the development of Baldrige-based and performance excellence curricula targeted at education or manufacturing organizations. The awards, totaling $160,000, advance one of the BNQP’s strategic priorities—supporting the Baldrige-based state and local quality programs.

MassExcellence (Massachusetts), the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence, the Vermont Council for Quality and the Washington State Quality Award will develop the new curricula. The Massachusetts and Tennessee recipients will focus their performance excellence outreach on manufacturing firms while the ones in Vermont and Washington will direct their efforts toward educational institutions. Eight proposals for curriculum development were submitted in a competition for the funds; the four organizations receiving awards were selected based on evaluations done by the Alliance for Performance Excellence, a nonprofit network of state and local Baldrige-based award programs.

Among the plans for the four curricula are: course modules on leadership, communication and strategic planning; Web-based video lessons with self-paced learning; protocols for implementing the Baldrige Criteria; “train the trainer” programs; and descriptions of real-life case studies and best practices. The new curricula are expected to be in place by Dec. 31, 2010. Although they are being created primarily for the 40 state and local quality programs now in existence, the curricula will be made available by the BNQP to any group wishing to make use of them.

The one-time awards will be managed by a contractor, Key Teknowledgy Corp.

For more information, contact Bob Fangmeyer, robert.fangmeyer@nist.gov, (301) 975-4781.

County Supervisor Mike Antonovich Endorses Chris Lancaster For State Assembly

March 16, 2010 - Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich today endorsed San Gabriel Valley Businessman Chris Lancaster for State Assembly in the 59th District.

“Chris Lancaster is the best choice to represent us in the 59th Assembly District,” said Supervisor Antonovich, who served as a Past Chairman of the California Republican Party.

“He has the business experience needed to cut wasteful spending in Sacramento and address the serious financial challenges we face here in our local communities,”

“I support Chris Lancaster because local Republicans deserve a State Assembly Representative who will provide steady leadership and uphold the highest standards of personal integrity,” declared Antonovich.

“Supervisor Antonovich is one of California’s most trusted Republican leaders,” stated Lancaster. “It’s an honor to receive his support for my candidacy.”

The 59th Assembly District includes portions of both Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, including the all or part of the communities of Apple Valley, Arcadia, Bradbury, Claremont, Glendora, Hesperia, Highland, La Crescenta, La Verne, Monrovia, Redlands, San Bernardino, San Dimas and Sierra Madre.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

We Need Leaders Like This to Succeed

Lean Six Sigma for Law Enforcement takes more than just a group of people that can interpret data or write up a good business case case. It takes great leaders who are willing to create and champion a climate for change. Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Sheriff John Rutherford, is such a leader. Sheriff Rutherford understands the difficult challenges that a culture shift brings with it, and discusses some of those challenges during his speech at the 2007 Shingo Awards.

Click the hyperlink below to watch Sheriff Rutherford's speech:


lean six sigma

What's in your leadership toolbox? Is it enough?

Search Amazon.com for leadership

What's in your leadership toolbox? Is it enough?

Supervisors never "earn" the privilege to be disrespectful to subordinates simply because they have achieved a higher rank. This can be an indication that they have been promoted beyond their ability to lead and digress to using intimidation as a resource to get things done. If you find yourself using positional authority to get things done, it might be time to re-evaluate the tools that are in your leadership toolbox.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Academy for struggling teens now accepting applications

March 10, 2010 - A no-cost alternative program for "at-risk" youth, the Wisconsin Challenge Academy is now accepting applications for its next class of cadets entering on July 22, 2010. Located at Fort McCoy, Wis., the Academy offers teens that are at risk of not graduating a chance to earn their High School Equivalency Diploma, learn essential job and life-coping skills and, most importantly, develop the strength of character to become responsible citizens.

To qualify for this program, which is no cost to families, applicants must be at least 16 years and nine months old but not yet 19, have dropped out of school, been expelled, or become at least a year behind in credits. Candidates must not have been convicted of a felony and cannot be on adult parole or probation at time of entry.

"If I didn't come here, I probably would have kept going down the wrong road and landed in jail where my friends are," a current Challenge Academy cadet said. "I needed to do something different and change my life, and this is a great way to start."

For someone who has the desire to get his or her life back on the right path, the Challenge Academy may be a step in the right direction. Call the Admissions Department at (608) 269- 4605 for an application, or visit the Challenge Academy's website at http://www.challengeacademy.org/.

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Green Backpack

I really wanted that green backpack. It had green and white stripes with a large “ecology” symbol on the back. The symbol was essentially an upside down peace symbol within a circle. Its aluminum frame and nylon construction weren’t particularly comfortable, lightweight or even useful; but, in 1972 it was groovy. I imagined I would explore the wilderness with it on my back. I never imagined the journey it would take me on.

Read On

Wisconsin Army National Guard names Soldier, NCO of year

March 8, 2010 - A field artillery Soldier in the second year of his military career and a maintenance company repairman were named the Wisconsin Army National Guard's Soldier of the Year and Non- Commissioned Officer of the Year Sunday (March 7).

Pfc. Randy Fendryk of Waukesha and Sgt. Cody Brueggen of Oconomowoc will advance to the regional Soldier of the Year competition in May, where they will face their counterparts from six other states for the right to advance to the National Guard Bureau's Best Warrior Competition in August.

"The competition was unbelievably tight - again," said State Command Sgt. Major George Stopper. "I will tell you it always works that way, and it always comes down to the last minute, the very last event, to figure out who the winner is. If you kept your head in the game and applied yourself the whole iteration, you never know."

Fendryk and Brueggen earned the distinction of being the Soldier of the Year and NCO of the Year by completing a rigorous schedule of a dozen events - completing a physical fitness test, qualifying on M-4 automatic rifles, competing in hand-to-hand combat drills and answering questions on military knowledge before a panel of three sergeants major. This year's competition included a stress-fire event - in which competitors with an elevated heart rate fire their weapon at a target, simulating real demands in the urban warfare seen overseas - for the first time. Stopper applauded the competitors who did not advance to the regional.

"What an accomplishment," he said. "Those of you not walking out of here with any hardware, walk out of here with your head held way high."

Brueggen said that winning the NCO of the Year competition required a lot of effort. "The competition was very tough," he said. "It's an unbelievable feeling to be standing here."

Brueggen credited his unit leadership and his sponsor, Sgt. Josh Baranczyk - also of the 107th - with his success.

"Without them getting me prepared, telling me where to be, what time, what uniform, I wouldn't be here right now," he said.

Fendryk said winning the Soldier of the Year award was a big deal, and praised his sponsor, Sgt. Troy Kind for his assistance from the battery-level competition on up.

"He told me what I need to study, what areas I should focus on more," Fendryk said. "Everything I've learned in basic and AIT, everything's helped. It's not one thing or another - it's really an accumulation of your Army history."

Stopper recognized each sponsor with a coin and words of praise.

"If you could have sat back and watched the mother hen looks on your faces when your competitor was going into the breach, it was awesome to see Soldiers care that much about fellow Soldiers, worry that much about their performance," he said.

Fendryk, who joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard in February 2009, appreciated the meaning of his selection.

"It's just so rare," he said. "Not many people can say they come up to Fort McCoy for a Soldier of the Year competition. It's just a great feeling to tell [people] it's just going to be me and a few other guys competing to see who's the best Soldier in the National Guard at the state level."

Both Brueggen and Fendryk acknowledged areas they intend to improve before heading to the regional, such as their performance before a board of three sergeants major.

As tough as the state competition was, Stopper said it was a warm-up for the regional, which like the state event will be held at the Wisconsin Military Academy at Fort McCoy.

Stopper said the competition gives the best Soldiers the chance to showcase their skills and compete against their peers. It also gives senior non-commissioned officers the opportunity to interact with some of the best enlisted Soldiers in the Wisconsin National Guard.

"We generally walk around for four days with big smiles on our faces," he said. "Our Soldiers are absolutely phenomenal. Our Midwestern work ethic is evident in all our competitors. Those that endure will come out on top."

Spc. Seth Winchel of Detachment 1, 107th Maintenance Company in Sparta was named 1st Alternate for Soldier of the Year. Sgt. William Atkinson of Headquarters Troop, 1st Battalion, 105th Cavalry in Madison, was named 1st Alternate for NCO of the Year.

Last year, Spc. John Wiernasz of Vadnais Heights, Minn., won the annual Soldier of the Year competition and Sgt. Raymond B. Heilman, Spooner, won the Non-commissioned Officer of the Year competition. Both are members of Detachment 1, 950th Engineer Company, a Spoonerbased unit that specializes in mine clearance. Wiernasz advanced to the Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition last August at the Warrior Training Center, Fort Benning, Ga.