Why Don’t We…

From Your Spaatz Association National President

“Why don’t we. . . .

Recipients of the General Carl A. Spaatz Award are, almost by definition, creative and energetic “mover and shakers..  When Spaatzen gather there is this fantastic burst of creative synergy!  Ideas and suggestion flow almost at light speed!

“Why don’t we. . . .”

New programs, fund raisers, Cadet activities, exciting and enticing new initiatives. All of these emerge from a group accustomed to engaging with other organizations and reinvesting themselves in the world around them?

“Why don’t we. . . .”

We simply hear more great ideas than we have champions to bring them to reality.  But we want to hear about “the next big thing”! But we also need to know “who will plan and carry it through”?

“Why don’t we. . . .”

And so, what do we look for in successful ideas? Ideas that make a difference.

Our programs and initiatives are strategic investments in the future. In terms of time and effort, each requires an expenditure of capital, both financial and human. Simply put,our money is not unlimited. The discretionary personal time of our very busy leaders is not infinite. We have to invest these resources wisely.

Each program should be:

  • High Impact –have a “Bang for the Buck,” benefiting the largest number of Cadets per dollar or man-hour spent.
  • Inclusive — provide a meaningful opportunity for the most diverse cross-section of qualified Cadets possible.
  • Marketable — resonate well with the benefactor community. Having enough “marketing hooks” to be attractive and excite continuing support.
  • Sustainable — delivering a value beyond the immediate experience; a lasting career impact, for example.
  • Return on Investment – Yield a measurable return. Metrics might include the obvious, like direct donations or memberships raised. They may be less obvious, but measurable, nevertheless. Other metrics mightinclude the number of members involved, man-hours invested, thenumber of people served, etc.

“Why don’t we. . . .”

Examples of successful programs include our Aerospace Leadership Scholarships. Entering its second decade, it is under the championship of Col. Bob Mattes, USAF (ret.) and his scholarships team. They offer our members “turnkey” leadership and fully handle this critical program from nearly end to end.

Another is our Annual Dinner and Awards Event in Washington, DC. Program Director Janon Ellis and Program Manager Syed Karim, assemble an exceptional support team that has delivered a premier fraternal and fund-raiser for ten years now.

Both of these came about because someone said: “Why don’t we. . . ”

Then took concrete steps to champion, plan and implement them.

In closing, we want your ideas, your thoughts and suggestions. We want you plans, programs and initiatives. We love your energy, your synergy.  There is nothing we cannot accomplish!

If you have a new “great thought” to share, let us know. More importantly, bring us your plan to bring it to reality.

You’ll find yourself welcomed warmly and fully supported



Stephen Austen, #161

National President

Your Spaatz Association

About the author: Mike Hower

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