2017 CCME Professional Development Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia

Message from the CCME President:

Where is your CCME today?

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of our CCME family. I cannot believe we are into a new year. Where did 2016 go? With the New Year, we are closer to our Symposium in Atlanta GA. Board members are hard at work putting together the finishing touches to the general and concurrent sessions of the Symposium. To say we are excited as we approach March 6, 2017 is an understatement, not because of an exciting agenda but the opportunity to once again collaborate and meet friends we have not seen for over a year. CCME is truly a family of educational professionals with a core value of helping our military "communities" realize educational goals.

For those that have not made your hotel reservations as of yet, rooms have sold out at our host hotel, the Marriott Marquis. We have contracted for overflow hotels, the Hyatt and Sheraton. If sold out rooms are an indicator of attendance, we are once again excited that we will have a higher turnout than last year.

To avoid the onsite rush to register, register before arriving. Not having to stand in a long line will give you more time to meet, greet and chat with colleagues. Also, we still have opportunities to sponsor and exhibit.

As CCME evolves into the new year so must we increase our mission towards helping our Veterans realize their educational goals. In doing so, as a focus of our upcoming Symposium, we will present a higher sense of visibility on their educational needs. Opening our Symposium, we have the pleasure and honor of having the following keynote speakers:

Jared Lyons, President and CEO of Student Veterans of America (SVA). A Navy Veteran, Jared served as a submariner and diver, taking part in multiple deployments around the world in support of the Global War on Terrorism. He has earned an Associate’s degree from Brevard Community College, a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University, and a Master of Public Administration from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs - Syracuse University.

Bryan Anderson, Iraqi Veteran, Author and National Spokesman - Quantam Rehab. Bryan enlisted in the Army in April 2001. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and was stationed in the Baghdad area obtaining the rank of Sergeant in the Military Police. In October 2005, Bryan was injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) resulting in the loss of both legs and his left hand. He has appeared in numerous documentaries, television shows, movies, and is an Ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation. Bryan is a true testament as to why we do what we do.

Dawn Bilodeau, DOD Chief of Voluntary Education will once again give us an update and direction DOD VOLED will be taking for 2017. Also on the agenda, Ms. Bilodeau will define the new Institutional Compliance Program.

Brigadier General John Kem, Provost of the Army University. The Army University was first introduced at last year’s CCME Professional Development Symposium in San Antonio TX. This year General Kem will be providing us an update as to the status of the Army University.

The Honorable Curtis L. Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity Veterans Benefits Administration. Secretary Coy will deliver from a policy position, how the VBA is meeting the needs of our Veterans through the GI Bill, Vocational rehabilitation for wounded warriors and disabled Veterans, and Veteran transition and employment issues.

Several general session discussions, of tremendous interest to our membership, will include Academic Presidents Panel, the DOD Education Service Chiefs Panel, and a Senior Enlisted Panel.

Finally, with over 60 concurrent sessions to choose from and six Round Table topic sessions covering a gambit of subjects, our attendees will leave fulfilled with the professional development they were seeking.

We are all excited about the new Presidential administration and the direction they may take towards higher education. The excitement, I believe, comes from a newly elected President and the changes that may come. 2017 for CCME will be a transitional year and anticipation mounts. Is change ever good? You bet, with change comes new challenges, challenges that help each of us grow professionally and personally.

I will see each of you soon. Please make sure that when you see me, stop me and let's have a conversation.

A’ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia,


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