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West Point Grad News

West Point Graduates are some of the most accomplished individuals in the world.

Class Notes Updates This Week

Posted: February 16, 2018, 8:05 pm

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1954 | 1973 | 1979 | 1990 | 2003 | 2007. Class Notes

Goblirsch '79 Named SDS Executive Director

Posted: February 16, 2018, 5:03 pm

Michael Goblirsch '79The South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (SDSRPC) and the South Dakota Soybean Association (SDSA) Name Michael D. "Mit" Goblirsch as the new executive director of the two organizations. "I look forward to helping South Dakota soybean growers increase access to global markets and work with our directors to strategically lead and serve soybean producers throughout the state," said Goblirsch.

"Mit is a proven leader who has a strong grasp of the soybean industry," says Jerry Schmitz, a Vermillion farmer and SDSA President. "He has broad international and U.S. experience with multi-national processors. He understands international markets at every level - as a commodity broker, global importer and as a commodity trading analyst for the U.S. Soybean Export Council. Mit's experience will be a tremendous asset in developing, assessing and promoting soybean policy"

Mit has spent more than 30 years working in raw commodities - distribution, exporting, trading, marketing and logistics. He got his start working for Cargill and ConAgra, first in plant management state-side, then moving into international sales, trading and global marketing of commodities living and working in Panama and throughout Central America. Most recently, Goblirsch worked as a commodity futures and options broker-trader for the integrated agri-business sector financial management organization, Commstock Investments. He and his wife, Jennifer, have a grown daughter, Helen. Read More

Vote Army-Navy for Best Sports Tradition

Posted: February 16, 2018, 4:50 pm

We are currently ranked #2, Army-Navy is America's game!

Sports and tradition have long gone hand in hand, and many of the country's top teams–collegiate and professional alike–have their own unique traditions both on and off the field. Vote for your favorite sports tradition once per day until polls close on Monday, March 5 at noon ET. The winning traditions, chosen by your vote, will be revealed on Friday, March 9. Read the official Readers' Choice rules here.

According to Dwight D. Eisenhower, "The Army and the Navy are the best of friends in the world 364 ½ days a year, but on one Saturday afternoon, we're the worst of enemies." He's talking about the Army-Navy game, when the Cadets and Midshipmen take turns marching onto the field–a spectacular sight from the stands. Vote Every Day! Click to VOTE!!!

BG Buckner '90 Promoted to Head Army Cyber Command

Posted: February 15, 2018, 7:06 pm

BG Jennifer Buckner '90Brigadier General Jennifer Buckner, deputy commander, Joint Task Force-ARES, United States Cyber Command, Fort Meade, Md., has been promoted to director of Cyber, G-3/5/7, United States Army, Washington, District of Columbia. Buckner is a native of Downers Grove, Ill., Her military education includes the Military Intelligence Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Electronic Warfare and Signals Intelligence courses, Airborne and Jumpmaster schools, Air Assault and Rappelmaster schools, Command and General Staff College, and Joint and Combined Warfighting School. She holds two graduate degrees, served as the U.S. Army War College Cyber Fellow at the National Security Agency, and most recently completed Harvard's Executive Education Program in Cybersecurity.

Buckner is a career intelligence officer. She has had numerous assignments in the 82nd Airborne Division, including collection and jamming platoon leader, battalion S-3 air, battalion S-4, and company commander. At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, she also served as the S-2 for 159th Combat Aviation Group, in the 18th Aviation Brigade (Airborne). She has served overseas in Korea, as TENCAP officer with the 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, and in Puerto Rico, as U.S. Army South's analysis and production chief and later secretary of the General Staff. After a tour in the Pentagon as Executive Assistant to the Army G-2, she commanded the 303rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, at Fort Hood, Texas, and in Iraq.

Her awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (Five Oak Leaf Clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Achievement Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medals, Korea Defense Service Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Staff and Joint Staff Identification Badges, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Australian and Honduran Jump Wings. Buckner is a collegiate All-American swimmer, former All-Army triathlete, and now aspiring sommelier.

Hines '03 Honored by St. John's Prep

Posted: February 14, 2018, 6:01 pm

Derek Hines '03First Lieutenant Derek Hines was not only a hero on the battlefield, he was a fierce competitor at the hockey rink. An Army Ranger, Hines was killed in action on Sept. 1, 2005 while serving in Afghanistan. St. John's Prep of Danvers, honored the Newburyport native by retiring his hockey jersey. It was a prestigious and emotional honor for a man who gave his life in service of others.

"It is our privilege as a school to retire Derek's Number 23 from the Eagles hockey program," said Edward Hardiman of St. John's Prep. Hines was a two-sport captain at St. John's Prep. "St. Johns was such a special part of who he was," said his father, Steve Hines. "I couldn't be more proud of my son for what he stood for and what he's done." His father said Hines "tried to make a difference in his short life."

Hines' jersey now hangs next to ALS survivor Pete Frates' jersey Number 3. Both men played a major role in popularizing the Ice Bucket Challenge. Their numbers are the only ones that have been retired in the school's 110-year history. "Derek's legacy as Peter's will go on long after we are gone," Hardiman said. Also, St. John's Prep will install a bronze-and-granite memorial in Hines' honor. Hines was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for his service. Read More

Tronc Takes Majority Stake in Faw’s '07 BestReviews

Posted: February 12, 2018, 6:15 pm

Ben Faw '07Tronc, formerly known as Tribune Publishing, recently purchased a majority share in BestReviews for $66 million in cash and stock. BestReviews, which publishes in-depth reviews of consumer products, was co-founded by West Point grad Ben Faw '07. Founded in 2014, BestReviews is similar to other review sites like the Wirecutter and Consumer Reports in that it buys products for reviews, instead of relying on company-provided samples, and publishes detailed articles with information about how items were tested and ranked. The site claims it now has more than five million monthly unique visitors. Read More

Class Notes Updates This Week

Posted: February 9, 2018, 6:36 pm

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1948 | 1956 | 1957 | 1959 | 1968. Class Notes

Carroll '62 Authors "Building Your Leadership Legacy"

Posted: February 9, 2018, 6:18 pm

Building Your Leadership Legacy - by Robert Carroll '62Robert Carroll has released the book Building Your Leadership Legacy. A ground-breaking book for any leader at any level and for any teacher of leadership from company classroom to MBA. “Character” -- often viewed as too moralistic, lofty, or fuzzy -- is presented as a clear and very workable concept that can significantly enhance leadership. Building Your Leadership Legacy is a book for improving your personal leadership by examining what kind of leadership legacy you are creating. It is based on the premise that the people whom you are currently attempting to lead will trust you based more on who you are as a person than on what you did or can do. It's all about character. The notion that character plays a huge part in leadership is well known but little understood. The book presents an air-tight argument for why character is essential to building the trust necessary for people to follow. The concept of character embodies a set of traits or values such as integrity, accountability, openness, respect, teamwork, grit, moral courage, and others.

The author clarifies that leadership character is made up of traits that build trust in followers, as opposed to those that are drawn from a moral tradition. (Respecting others makes the list; loving your neighbor does not.) A comprehensive review of the leadership literature and of the leadership curricula from business schools, consultancies, training companies, and company trainers reveals a huge body of work in this field. The problem is there is little proof that current texts and classes improve anyone's leadership. Moreover, virtually all of the information conveyed in these channels focuses on leadership competencies, namely, skills, knowledge or things to do, not on character. The prescribed competencies or actions may differ based on where the leader is in the hierarchy and on various challenges or circumstances the leader faces. These can be broad, like how to lead large-scale strategic change, or narrow, like how to conduct a coaching session. But they are actions for a leader to do, not character traits for a leader to strive to develop.

The book is written for those engaged in the study, research, and teaching of leadership, namely professors, instructors, teachers at any institution who wish to enhance markedly the effectiveness of their leadership classes. Available on Amazon.

Class Notes Updates This Week

Posted: February 2, 2018, 7:24 pm

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1946 | 1954 | 1968 | 1972 | 1990. Class Notes

Renfro '54 Honored at Lacrosse Officials Winter Meeting

Posted: February 1, 2018, 8:03 pm

Dick Renfro '54 honored at Bluegrass Lacrosse Officials Winter Meeting 2018The Dick Renfro Distinguished Official Award “Exemplify the highest standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and moral character”. Named in honor of Dick Renfro who in the early 1990’s was the only USILOA trained and approved Lacrosse Official and Trainer in Kentucky. Dick was the original instructor for Lacrosse Officials in Kentucky and was instrumental in providing the guidance for the Organization which became BLOA. Dick played at Army 1951 thru 1953, and became an Assistant Coach in 1954.

While his career serving his country took him to many areas of the US and around the world, Dick was able to continue with his passion for lacrosse as an Official in the North East: New York; South West: Texas; overseas in England; returning to the North East and finally settling in Kentucky in early 1989. Dick officiated many levels from High School to NCAA as well as the International World Lacrosse Games in England in 1978.

This award seeks to recognize and honor officials who have a distinguished record of excellence and integrity on the field, leadership in BLOA, and a commitment to work for the growth of Boy’s Lacrosse. All of the Characteristics exemplified by Dick Renfro. This Award is Recognizing Dick for his instrumental help in getting Lacrosse Officiating in Kentucky off the ground. It is with Honor we present to Dick Renfro the original Julip Cup that will be used as the trophy to honor the future recipients.

WPAOG Announces 2018 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipients

Posted: January 31, 2018, 4:14 pm

The West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG) has named the 2018 recipients of the Distinguished Graduate Award. This annual award is bestowed upon those West Point graduates whose character, distinguished service and stature draw wholesome comparison to the qualities for which West Point strives, in keeping with its motto: "Duty, Honor, Country."

The awards will be presented in a ceremony at West Point on May 22, 2018.

The 2018 Distinguished Graduate Award Recipients are:

Dana G. Mead '57
Thomas C. Barron '65
Larry R. Jordan '68
William S. Wallace '69
Sloan D. Gibson '75
Douglas E. Lute '75

Fath '90 Named President of the Somers Point BOE

Posted: January 30, 2018, 7:48 pm

Todd Fath '90Todd Fath is the new president of the Somers Point Board of Education. He was chosen to lead the district by Atlantic County Executive Superintendent of Schools Richard Stepura. Fath is serving his third year on the board, and is field engineer for Linde LLC, an industrial gas and engineering company. Read More

Capofari '72 Receives the Morgenthau Award

Posted: January 29, 2018, 4:35 pm

Paul Capofari '72 Chief Assistant District Attorney Paul Capofari has been given the prestigious Morgenthau Award for his devotion to justice and public safety. "His years of military service in the U.S. Army were instrumental in helping my administration to establish the borough's first dedicated Veterans Court part, which has flourished under his leadership and allowed his fellow veterans to connect with much-needed resources," McMahon added.

As an assistant district attorney, Capofari was a major consistent of multiple pivotal cases, including prosecuting various homicides, members of a prominent cocaine drug ring, and was lead counsel in a 2003 multi-defendant state prosecution of Ronell Wilson - who assassinated two undercover police officers, and who was ultimately convicted in federal court, according to a press release from the Office of the District Attorney.

Capofari's 19-year career included assignments in the Investigations Bureau, the Criminal Court Bureau as a deputy bureau chief, and as the chief of the Supreme Court Bureau, where he offered his experience and knowledge while supervising ADAs in the prosecution of felony offenders. Capofari's tenure ended in 2012, but he was asked by McMahon to join his new administration as chief assistant district attorney in 2016. Read More

Class Notes Updates This Week

Posted: January 26, 2018, 7:39 pm

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1956 | 1964 | 1968 | 1969 | 1973 | 1982 | 1992. Class Notes

Gibbs '92 Named Head Coach at LaGrange High, GA

Posted: January 26, 2018, 4:19 pm

Chuck Gibbs '92Chuck Gibbs was named the new head football coach at LaGrange High, and he takes over a program that has struggled of late. Gibbs, who has been a head coach at Scottsdale Christian Academy in Phoenix for the past four years, is familiar with the proud tradition of the LaGrange football program since he grew up close by in Auburn. It's up to Gibbs to try to get LaGrange's program back on track, and he's ready and eager for the challenge.

"Straight up, we're going to take back the city," Gibbs said on the phone from Arizona. "That's my mission, and that's my mantle that's on me. I know there are two other great schools there. We've got to get it going back in the right direction. There's a ton of talent there, it's how to we coach'em up and love'em up and put them together so they can perform together on a Friday night and start to experience a little bit of success on the field."

In 2004, Gibbs gained some valuable coaching experience with the Atlanta Falcons as part of an internship program. Gibbs was not only able to work with an NFL team for six weeks, but he also coached alongside his father, who was the offensive-line coach with the Falcons at the time. In 2005, Gibbs was an assistant coach at Kapolei High School in Hawaii, and he moved to Arizona the following year and spent a season as a coach at Arcadia High School in Phoenix. In 2007, Gibbs founded the Arcadia Youth Football Program, and as the head coach he guided the team to four league championships and a 42-8-1 record.

Gibbs added that "we're going to restore that Granger pride. We're going to defend the star." Gibbs said he wants the players he'll coach to know that he cares about them not just as football players, but as people. Gibbs said he has been, and will remain open, to meeting with anyone he thinks can help him get LaGrange football moving back in the right direction. Read More

Shull '73 on 18 Leaders to Watch in 2018 List

Posted: January 22, 2018, 7:42 pm

Tom Shull '73Tom Shull, Director and CEO, Army and Air Force Exchange Service has been named to the Retail Leader 18 leaders to watch in 2018 list. Retail Leader offers a subjective look at 18 individuals influencing their organizations and the retail industry in unconventional, diverse, less than obvious and potentially profound ways in the coming year.

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is often overlooked in conversations about retail competitors, but that is a mistake with Tom Shull serving as CEO. He led a major digital effort that opened a new competitive front for AAFES in late 2017 that is estimated to have an annual sales impact of $200 million.

Long restricted to only serving shoppers on military posts and overseas locations, AAFES increased its addressable market by about 18 million people in November when honorably discharged veterans became eligible to make online purchases from AAFES. Prior to a Department of Defense ruling in early 2017 only active duty, reserve and Guard members, 100% disabled veterans and their dependent family members could shop with AAFES. Read More

Class Notes Updates This Week

Posted: January 19, 2018, 7:37 pm

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1959 | 1962 | 1965 | 1990 | 2014 | 2016. Class Notes

Thul '14 & Glesener '16 Selected in the MLL Draft

Posted: January 19, 2018, 4:21 pm

Garret Thul '14 and John Glesener '16Garret Thul '14 and John Glesener '16, former Army West Point Lacrosse players, were selected in the Major Lacrosse League Supplemental Draft on Wednesday night.

Thul returns to the league with the Ohio Machine. He was selected as the ninth pick in the second round as the 18th overall.

Glesener was picked up by the Chesapeake Bayhawks as the fourth pick in the seventh round. He was tabbed the 58th pick overall.

For more information on the draft, please follow this link to majorleaguelacrosse.com

Dodson '90 Named VP at Thinfilm

Posted: January 17, 2018, 8:17 pm

Kevin Dodson '90Kevin Dodson has been hired as VP Channel Solutions at Thinfilm. Dodson oversees the management of convertor/packaging firms, digital agencies, and other channel partners. He is a veteran strategy, business development, and product management executive with more than 20 years of experience working for early-stage Internet technology companies. Most recently, he was VP of Strategy and Partnerships for Beckon, a data management and analytics SaaS platform for enterprise marketers. Prior to Beckon, Dodson co-founded two startups – YapMap, a search engine for social content, and In.Vu, a search engine for machine-generated data. He was VP of Product for Quigo Technologies, a contextual ad network (acquired by AOL), and a Sr. Director of Strategy and Analytics for the advertising agency, Razorfish, where he started the digital analytics practice. Dodson holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. Read More

Class Notes Updates This Week

Posted: January 12, 2018, 4:45 pm

West Point Class NotesThe following classes have added updates this week/last week to their Class Notes pages. 1952 | 1953 | 1956 | 1959 | 1960 | 1965 | 1966 | 1978 | 1981 | 1993 | 2005. Class Notes

LTG Ulmer '52 "A Military Leadership Notebook"

Posted: January 11, 2018, 2:22 pm

LTG Ulmer '52 "A Military Leadership Notebook"LTG Walter Ulmer releases the book, A Military Leadership Notebook: Principles into Practice.

Within formal organizations like the military, individuals in charge rely on two sources of authority to get the job done: granted statutory power and personal power, which is gained by earning trust. Good leaders use both.

In A Military Leadership Notebook, Walter F. Ulmer Jr., who retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant general, explores what makes a great commander. While he focuses on the military, the leadership lessons he shares work in war and peace, on land and at sea, and in small and large organizations.

Ulmer defines leadership, shares his personal philosophy of leadership, reveals tips on measuring a leader's success, and outlines behaviors that can lead to success--as well as those that can lead to disaster.

He also wades into the debate over whether leaders are born or made, explains why it's important to respect the authority and responsibility of subordinate leaders, and how to manage organizations and large staffs.

No matter what your military rank--and even if you're a civilian leader--this guide will be a leadership teaching tool that you'll refer to for years to come. Available on Amazon.

Mantz '05 Authors "The Beauty of a Darker Soul"

Posted: January 10, 2018, 3:07 pm

The Beauty of a Darker Soul - Joshua Mantz '05Joshua Mantz published the book The Beauty of a Darker Soul: Overcoming Trauma Through the Power of Human Connection. This is a journey of finding beauty within darkness. Former Army Major Josh Mantz reaches into the deepest corners of the human soul to expose the most difficult emotions associated with traumatic experiences. Mantz was shot and killed by a sniper on the streets of Baghdad and flatlined for fifteen minutes. He leverages his profoundly vivid near-death experience to help others overcome life's most difficult moments. This deeply inspirational work empowers us to find meaning within suffering and demonstrates the vital role we all have in creating hope for others. Available on Amazon.

COL Davis '78 Named Principal Deputy Assistant

Posted: January 9, 2018, 5:18 pm

COL Addison Tad Davis '78Addison D. Davis IV has been appointmented to the Senior Executive Service, and for assignment as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment. Davis was previously chief executive officer for the U.S. Army Reserve and served as deputy assistant secretary of the Army for environment, safety, and occupational health. Davis is a former Army Ranger, and Harvard University graduate. Read More

Dillman '81 Appointed Emerald Health Therapeutics VP

Posted: January 8, 2018, 4:48 pm

Paul R. Dillman, Jr., was appointed the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. Mr. Dillman will be responsible for marketing, sales, and customer service, and will lead Emerald's brand strategy and execution as the Company prepares for anticipated legalization of adult use cannabis in Canada by July 2018.

"Paul has been instrumental in preparing for and executing sales growth as a senior leader at some of the world's most successful fast-moving consumer packaged goods companies. His strategic and tactical marketing expertise will be invaluable as we position Emerald for leadership in the Canadian and global cannabis industry," said Chris Wagner, Chief Executive Officer of Emerald.

Mr. Dillman brings three decades of experience in global marketing, sales, and general management to Emerald and has held senior leadership positions at The Coca-Cola Company, AB InBev, Philip Morris, and Kraft Foods.

"I'm thrilled to join the dynamic organization that Emerald is building," said Mr. Dillman. "With its current expansion projects and product innovation plans, Emerald is poised to be a premiere provider of cannabis for medical and adult-use consumers. I look forward to planning and executing a marketing and sales strategy that will contribute to this goal." Read More

Smestad '92 Named VP at Otter Tail Corp

Posted: January 2, 2018, 5:51 pm

Jennifer Osgood Smestad '92Otter Tail Corporation announced that Jennifer O. Smestad will assume the roles of Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary.

For the past 17 years, Smestad has served in roles of increasing responsibility for the corporation's manufacturing and electric utility platforms. "Jennifer came aboard initially as an attorney for our manufacturing companies, then transitioned to support renewable and transmission expansion projects at the utility, and for the past four years has excelled as the General Counsel of Otter Tail Power Company," said Otter Tail Corporation President and CEO Chuck MacFarlane. "Jennifer is a proven leader with deep knowledge of Otter Tail Corporation. I have every confidence in Jennifer and look forward to her becoming a key member of our executive team."

Smestad will be responsible for the legal affairs of the corporation and will retain her role as General Counsel at Otter Tail Power Company. The electric utility is the corporation's largest subsidiary. Smestad earned her juris doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin. She served in the Medical Service Corps and Judge Advocate General. Prior to joining Otter Tail Corporation, Smestad worked as an associate and partner with the Pemberton Law firm. Read More