Chapter President’s Update 10-04-2016

Posted: 10/4/2016

Subject: USNAAA Virginia Peninsula Chapter update October ‘16


This year we updated our Chapter’s bylaws and stayed in line with the standard template that the Alumni Association provided.  This process resulted in 3 changes from the past:

  1. Widows are now life members of our Chapter for free.
  2. We are authorized to invite a couple of people to join our Chapter as Associate Members. These can total up to 10% of our total membership, or 4-5 generally.  Utilizing the Alumni Association’s guidance … “Prospective Associate Members are nominated for membership based on having demonstrated active support of the Naval Service, the Naval Academy, or the Alumni Association…”  we invited 2 people locally to become our initial Associate Members.
  3. Our name changed to “Virginia Peninsula Chapter”; this was intended to reflect our desire to include alumni throughout our peninsula from New Kent / Charles City down through Hampton / Newport News Counties.


This past year we diversified the format and had a few successful events: from the Army – Navy game at Two River’s CC to visiting Gauthier Winery and an AleWerks Microbrewery tour.  We also had a Dark Age’s get together for lunch at Peter Chang’s restaurant where Mo Gauthier talked about starting up a winery, Al Whitaker explained his expertise in beer and shared the latest news from AleWerks, Spence Witten told us about turning his family’s homestead into a Bed & Breakfast and Bill Riffer shared his insight on Christopher Wren, having been very active as an instructor and President.


Monday October 3rd we recently held our Founders Day Luncheon at Patriots Colony in Williamsburg.  Rob Wittman, our 1st district Representative was the Keynote speaker.  In the general Town Hall Meeting forum Rob shared his insights from inside the beltway.  During lunch he spoke about the recent changes at the Naval Academy along with their plans for change over the next several years.


Next on our Calendar is an Army – Navy Party at BJs Restaurant & Brewhouse in Newport News on Saturday December 10th.


We are soliciting ideas for 2017 and tentatively have:

  • A Williamsburg “Dark Ages” Luncheon 1st or 2nd Saturday in February. Possibly at La Tienda Best of Spain in Williamsburg.
  • Bi-monthly Happy Hours in Newport News at BJ’s Brewhouse. We started to gain some traction this year and hope to grow participation at these Thursday after hours get togethers.
  • Some of our Golfers will be attending the Hampton Roads Chapter’s spring and fall tournaments at Little Creek.
  • March luncheon / dinner event based on surveys & inputs.
  • Sponsoring and participating in the Plebe Recognition dinner at Sewell’s Point in late May.
  • July event at a local microbrewery or winery. Night at the dog Track?
  • October Founders Day Luncheon with Congressman Wittman.



  • If you haven’t already; it is never too early to pay your 2017 dues.
  • You may send your check payable to:
    • USNAAA VA Peninsula Chapter

c/o Ben Francisco,

3 Popeley Ct,

Williamsburg, VA 23188.  

  • If you haven’t been paying dues but enjoy the Chapter activities, please consider officially joining this year.  Current members get a free lunch at our Founders Day annual event, and a new Additionally, our Chapter donates money to Honor Flight, Tidewater Plebe Recognition Dinner and sponsors local prospective candidates for the Academy’s Summer Program.


The Board is soliciting ideas and will continue to evolve in 2017.


I’d like to personally thank Jack Greenhalgh, Steve Jasper, Howard Russell, Rich Johnson and Dave O’Conner for all their work this year on our board.  We are currently looking for new board members; let us know if you would like to be on the board or even help arrange an event for next year.



Ben Francisco

President / Treasurer

USNAAA VA Peninsula Chapter

(757) 784-0786