Supporting Our Veterans...and the Culture of Excellence

Blue Angels Air Show

I wrote a post earlier this year about GE’s support for military veterans. We view the veteran population as a highly skilled and disciplined talent pool of natural leaders, and our GE Veterans network works with this community seeking to employ new business leaders for our company.

In addition to recruitment, GE is a proud sponsor of various causes that support the men and women of our armed forces. For example, during the week of May 18—appropriately, just prior to Memorial Day—we sponsored the first annual Blue Angels Invitational Golf Tournament at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

John Chehansky
John Chehansky and Sergio Galindo teamed up to put this event together.
Everything about the event was in true Blue Angels style, adhering to a "Culture of Excellence."

The tournament—established to raise money for wounded vets trying to put their lives back together after being medically discharged, having given all in support of their country—was the result of a teaming between the Blue Angels Foundation and the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni. And, since our director of business development, John Chehansky, is a current member of both organizations, he was right there in the middle of everything.

By all accounts, the event was a tremendous success and represented a great opportunity for corporate sponsors to provide a unique “treat” for senior leaders, key employees, and special customers. In turn, they provided the Blues Foundation with a donation that was passed directly to the Warrior Foundation, which the Blues Foundation supports nationwide.

Developing a “Culture of Excellence” experience

John was involved in planning and execution for the tournament. He also had the pleasure of meeting with Vice Admiral Ted Carter, the Superintendent of the Naval Academy, with whom he discussed the relationship established between the Blue Angels Foundation and the US Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation. Admiral Carter was impressed and interested in how to develop and exploit the concept of a “Culture of Excellence Experience,” which is shared by both the Blues and Naval Academy institutions. The Blue Angels flight demonstration over the Academy drove the point home and represented an excellent example of how “focus, determination and dedication” can stimulate the desire to strive for perfection not only in the military, but in any company or organization.

VADM Carter
VADM Carter attended the Air Show and we were honored by his presence.
His words of encouragement and inspiration made the effort seem all more than worthwhile.

Looking to the future, the Admiral suggested continued teaming with the USNA to make this an annual event and hosting similar “Culture of Excellence Experiences” at other Blue Angel show sites around the country.

Following the tournament, the Blue Angels Foundation hosted the wives and families of the present Blues team, former Blues, senior Navy leadership and representatives from sponsor companies in a VIP tent on the Naval Academy grounds for a special viewing of the Blues flight demonstration. Each day ended with a Sponsors’ Reception at the USNA Alumni House.

Blue Angels reception
Many former Blues were in attendance for the dinner on Wednesday evening.
Highlight by VADM Carter's presence, along with Blue Angels XO Rob Flynn and Blue Angels Boss Tom Frosch.
The Severn River Inn was a spectacular setting for a spectacular closing to year one of the East Coast Invitational.

Besides John Chehansky representing GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, GE also sent representatives from GE Water and Process Technologies and GE Aviation, which is appropriate since those guys supply the engines for the F/A-18 Hornets the Blues fly. There is also tremendous synergy between GE and the Blue Angels since we share a similar culture: striving for excellence in leadership and in execution.

We will likely spend some more time with our friends in the Blue Angels Foundation and I look forward to next year’s tournament.

Rubin Dhillon

Rubin has spent over 20 years in the embedded computing world, in roles ranging from support to sales to product management and even garbage collector. He experienced the huge growth (and crash) of the telecom industry, and he's spent time dabbling in medical, industrial, transportation and military applications. Rubin figured he has so many stories to tell, he should get into marketing and so he is now our Global Director of Marketing for all things embedded. Connect with Rubin on LinkedIn and he'll explain the "garbage collector" story…

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