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ASMC Aviation Chapter, AFMC Financial Management host Mini Professional Development Institute; award winners recognized

  • Published
  • By Sarah Gwaltney, Air Force LIfe Cycle Management Center

The American Society of Military Comptrollers Aviation Chapter and Headquarters, Air Force Materiel Command Financial Management, co-hosted the 26th annual Mini Professional Development Institute here, April 25.

Nearly 175 individuals attended the one-day, in-person professional conference featuring presenters including: Brig. Gen. Frank Verdugo; AFMC Comptroller; Jeffrey Glover, AFMC Intel Analyst; Ronald Taylor Deputy Director, Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center; Teresa, Bickett, Director, Budget Investment, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller; Kimberly Keck, AFMC Deputy Director of Financial Management;  Teresa Frank, Chief, Cost and Economics Division, AFMC; Todd Baker Director, Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System (DEAMS) Functional Management Office; and Marjana Zupcsan, Director, Financial Management & Comptroller, AFLCMC.

“It’s important for us to have pride in what we do,” said Verdugo during opening remarks. “It’s professional development events like this, big investments into our people, that China is not making. This is our time. This event is for us. This is to help make us better at our profession.”

The theme of this year's Mini PDI was "Reflect, Reconnect, Recalibrate." It was the first in-person Mini PDI since 2019 and was met with great success and positive feedback from an audience eager to reconnect with their peers, many of whom hadn’t seen one another for three years or more.

“I am very passionate about connecting with people– whether I’m at work or on my personal time,” said Dawn Holding, Aviation Chapter President. “The reason I wanted to take on the position of Aviation Chapter President this year was because I really felt that I could bring an emotional connection to this position, to try to reconnect with everyone.”

The event began with an unclassified Intelligence threat brief by Glover who presented the big picture of significant international realities facing our country.

Each brief that followed showed how different aspects of financial management were related to the threats present in the current environment, and to the bottom line of supporting the warfighter.

Another highlight of the Mini PDI was the presentation by Bickett who flew in from Washington D.C. to present the Pentagon’s view on the prior, current, and future year defense budgets, each of which walk in tight alignment with Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall’s Operational Imperatives.

Throughout the conference, attendees had the opportunity to hear presentations on topics such as revolutionizing our processes, high-level strategy alignment, data analytics, leadership in a changing world, and the Foreign Military Sales mission to arm and equip our allies in support of our National Defense Strategy.

“The field needs this connection,” Holding said. “I am truly grateful for all who helped make today happen. All you have to do is turn on your T.V. to see how significant our military’s mission is to the world. There’s a lot going on, and we serve a great purpose. Thank you all for being in that partnership with me.”

The local chapter also recognized 12 local award winners:

  • Marilyn (Beth) Jankowski, AFMC Accounting
  • Josh Winner, AFLCMC Acquisition/ Cost Analysis
  • Jonathan Pepples, AFAA Audit
  • Scott Wilson, AFLCMC Budgeting
  • John Trimboli, SAF/FM Contractor Support
  • Erin Dippold, AFRL Finance
  • Christopher Hensley, representing the KC-46 Financial Management Team for AFLCMC Large Team
  • Laura Berger, AFMC Resource Management
  • Jonathan Spencer, AFAODC Data Analytics Team for SAF/FM Small Team
  • Sarah Gwaltney, AFLCMC Trainee of the Year award

The Aviation Chapter also recognized six national winners:

  • Distinguished, Josh Winner and Sarah Gwaltney
  • Meritorious,  Alex Porter, Jonathan Pepples, Charles Edson and John Trimboli

Additionally, Andrea Blair won the Elsie Steffany CDFM Scholarship award, meaning all her study and test materials for the Defense Financial Manager certification are provided for by ASMC national.

The ASMC Aviation Chapter is a non-profit organization that provides education, training, networking, and community service opportunities to individuals involved in financial management within the U.S. Defense Industry. The Mini PDI is an annual conference which provides the occasion to be informed on topics related to the FM field directly from their leaders.

Planning for the 2024 Mini PDI is already underway. For more information on ASMC Aviation Chapter opportunities and local events, please visit

*Contributed Story