Every year, thousands of family reunions are held in all sizes, in different locations, and some even have specific themes. The goal of any family reunion is to create a welcoming atmosphere where relatives can gather together to strengthen relationships, forge new ones, and ultimately make lasting memories. This year's American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC) Professional Development Institute (PDI) themed: Catch the wave: audit ready, held 31 May through 2 June in San Diego, certainly had that family feel.
Over 1500 Air Force financial management (FM) and auditing attendees congregated at the San Diego Convention Center for the three-day event to celebrate accomplishments, actively participate in workshops and mini-courses, and expand their professional networks. The events held throughout PDI served to grow your skill sets and increase your value in the FM community. Prior to the defense-wide training days, each Service hosted a Service Day on 31 May. The entire day was devoted to the relevant topics and challenges to the respective Service's fiscal environment and unique missions. Air Force Service Day began with Chief Master Sergeant John Writer, Executive for Enlisted Matters to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller, welcoming a record attendance to San Diego, during the Air Force general session.
For those who were unable to attend, I will do my best to describe the atmosphere in the large ballroom inside the San Diego Convention Center used for the general session. Imagine if you will: the Beach Boys' tunes flowing through the speakers providing good vibrations and blending harmoniously with the sounds of laughter and chatter from numerous overlapping conversations; two large projector screens playing a continuous slideshow showcasing various members of the FM community in action; the buzz in the air heavy with anticipation for the senior leaders of the family to grab the microphone, officially kicking off the festivities. If you closed your eyes, you could be in any public park or recreational facility attending your own family reunion. OK! Now that you're mentally there, I'd like to expand on a few parallels to the FM family or "FaMily" reunion atmosphere I observed during my first PDI experience.
Family members reside in locations across the globe, have different last names, and possess specific professional talents. Regardless of proximity, surname, or job title...