McGrath is Installed As New
Navy League National President
By DAISY RIDGWAY KHALIFA, Special Correspondent
The Palm Springs, Calif.,
Council, led by President John
Easton, welcomed more than 530
registrants and a record 51 council
presidents to the 2007 Navy League
National Convention in Palm Desert,
Calif. The 105th convention, held
Oct. 31-Nov. 4 at the Desert Springs
JW Marriott Resort & Spa, served as
the setting for J. Michael “Mike”
McGrath’s installation as the Navy
League’s new national president,
while outgoing President John A.
Panneton capped his productive
tenure by presiding over a series of
meetings, awards ceremonies and receptions. McGrath was sworn in
during a Board of Directors meeting
Among key events during the
convention was the approval by the
Board of Directors to return to two
meetings per year, a reversal of last
year’s decision to eliminate the
Navy League’s winter meeting. The
change would mean that, in addition to the national convention,
there will be an “expanded” board
of directors meeting, likely during
the spring. The date, scope and
structure of the additional meeting
have yet to be determined.
In other convention business,
Corpus Christi, Texas, was the
choice for the 2009 Navy League
National Convention. Suzy Williams, South Texas Area president
and chair of the 2009 convention,
said the council is extremely excited
about hosting the meeting.
Williams noted that south Texas has
three naval air bases, and that the
Port of Corpus Christi is one of the
nation’s busiest commercial ports.
She said regionally there are some
2,000 Navy League council members. The 2008 convention will be
held in Kansas City.
Other developments at the 2007
convention included the unveiling
of the Navy League video production, and an in-depth membership
survey conducted by outgoing national vice presidents Robert A.
Ravitz and William A. Kopper.
The five-minute video, developed
by the Navy League’s staff, highlights
Navy League history, its mission and
its wide-ranging programs. A DVD
copy of the presentation, to be used
for promotional, educational and
recruiting efforts, will be sent to all
council presidents, and is available
for viewing and downloading on the
Navy League Web site.
The membership survey was conducted as part of the Navy League’s
ongoing efforts among councils to
expand membership and develop
initiatives aimed at educating and
attracting individuals of all ages
and demographics, and, likewise,
SANDY HUFFAKER JR.
New Navy League National President J. Michael McGrath addresses
the National Convention’s closing dinner Nov. 4. McGrath took the helm as
national president from John A.
Panneton a day earlier.
SANDY HUFFAKER JR.
Coast Guard Rear Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara, commander, 14th Coast Guard
District, and James Price-Jordan share a laugh during the Navy League Sea
Services Award luncheon. Price-Jordan’s wife, Navy Lt. Deserine S. Price-Jordan, received the Captain Winifred Quick Collins Award.