November 2013

2013, Corporate Appreciation Reception

AUSA Greater-New York Statue of Liberty Chapter
Celebrates its Corporate Members at the 2013 Corporate Appreciation
By Diane Dady
November 6, 2013

Each year the AUSA Greater-New York Statue of Liberty Chapter meets to celebrate its corporate sponsors, and to recognize and honor these vital participants whose membership supports the chapter’s soldiers and their families throughout the Greater-New York area. This year proved no exception, even as the partial government shutdown came to a conclusion the same day chapter sponsors, members and distinguished guests gathered on October 17, 2013 for the Annual Corporate Reception & Recognition Dinner at the Mutual of America Building in New York, NY.

SGM Richard Burke, Priscilla Johnson, CSM Arthur Maggs, MG Thomas Garrett

Bob Vormittag, Diana Farkas, LTC Bob Farkas

The event, which was hosted by Corporate Member, Mutual of America for the 10th year, was a resounding success as attendees gathered to celebrate its sponsors. President LTC Francis Kairson Jr., together with Bob Vormittag, Liberty Chapter vice president of corporate affairs and CEO of chapter corporate sponsor, VAI, were emcees for the ceremony. The evening commenced with a sensational buffet and cocktail reception followed by a program that kicked off with a prayer from Chaplain Colonel Edward Kane and the singing of the National Anthem by all.

Mr. David Surface was the evening’s Keynote Speaker. Mr. Surface is the founder and director of the Veterans Writing Workshop, which partners with Fordham University’s Veterans Initiative, Common Ground, and other organizations to provide free writing workshops to all U.S. veterans in the New York Metropolitan area.

Distinguished Guests

The writing workshops also provide a means of sharing veterans’ writing with the public through publications, readings, and special events. In collaboration with other established veterans writing programs, such as the NYU Veterans Writing Workshop and the Veterans Writing Workshop of Columbia University, Mr. Surface is currently creating a professional development and technical support network for start-up veterans writing programs throughout the United States.

Distinguished Guests

Mr. Surface’s keynote address was followed by the corporate recognition ceremony, when LTC Francis Kairson and Bob Vormittag recognized attending corporate members who remain dedicated to furthering funding for the Liberty Chapter Soldiers and their families.

David Surface

They reminded all in attendance of the importance of new member recruitment even as we continue to honor existing members whose support remain critical to providing assistance and aid for those who selflessly serve in our military.

Bob Vormittag, LTC Francis Kairson Jr., David Surface

This year’s corporate honorees were; Capacity Benefits Group, Inc., Command Security Corporation, Mutual of America, New York Oil Heating Association, Inc., Old Guard of the City of New York, Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’ Coast Guard and Airman’s Club, Inc., Stand Beside Them, Inc., Veteran Corps of Artillery, and VAI.

LTC Francis Kairson Jr., Matthew Malm

Corporate member and sponsor Bob Vormittag, president and CEO of VAI, stated, “It is an honor to be here tonight in the presence of fellow corporate sponsors who are dedicated to our troops and to this great nation. The terrific work that the AUSA Liberty Chapter corporate community does in support of our troops much be recognized, and tonight we encourage the corporate community to expand further for even greater participation.”

LTC Francis Kairson Jr. Richard Steckler,
Lou Barbera, Raymond Winckowski, Bob Vormittag

Chapter President LTC Francis Kairson Jr. welcomed all to the event and expressed his sincere thanks to the corporate representatives in attendance. Following the event, Kairson stated, “The corporate night was a great evening for me as it was my first official event since becoming the President of the Statue of Liberty Chapter of AUSA. I was glad to see many of AUSA’s supporters and members out for the evening. I feel it is always important to say thanks to those who support AUSA and this Country. I trust everyone who attended enjoyed themselves and felt the event was worthwhile and rewarding.”

Col Bruce Laue, Susan Frederick, Robert Frederick

Col James Whalen, Stephanie Richmond, Col Michael King

The AUSA Greater-New York Statue of Liberty Chapter thanks Chaplain Col Edward Kane for the opening invocation and closing blessing, Keynote Speaker David Surface for his presentation, corporate sponsors in attendance who continually support the Citizen Soldiers and their families, distinguished guests for coming out to celebrate our sponsors, and most especially, Corporate Sponsor Mutual of America for generously hosting the event.

<a href=" read more.png”>Honorary Col Phillip Gilson, MG Thomas Garrett, CSM Arthur Maggs, SGM Richard Burke

Maj M. Carl Dionou-Weiss, Col Bruce Laue, Col Mary Westmoreland,
Col Arthur Gallagher, Col James Whalen, Julius Stein

AUSA is a private, nonprofit, professional and educational association of over 101,000 individuals, businesses, military and organizational members strong: Soldiers, Officers, NCOs, Active, Reserve, Guard, Army Civilians, Retirees, ROTC Cadets and representatives from other services. For more information about the AUSA, visit

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