National HQ Moves to Washington, DC
As a result of the resignation of Charles Woolhouse as Executive Secretary on 12 December 1986, to be effective 1 August 1987, a proposal was made at the Denver Convention on 29 August 1987, by a Delegate from the National Capital Chapter, to move the National HQ to the Washington, DC area. Member William C Goforth, an Attorney-at-Law with an office in Alexandria, VA, offered to function as Association Executive Director, provide administrative support and sublease a portion of his office space for the National HQ. The National Capital Chapter offered volunteer time by chapter members to make the move work. The move was approved on 29 August 1987. Goforth was appointed Executive Director, effective 1 January 1988, and the corporate address was changed to Alexandria, VA. Shipment of all records, files and equipment to the new National HQ was not completed until 30 September 1988. In that intervening year, Woolhouse continued to function and maintain the files and records of the Association.
The Association was reincorporated on 12 October 1988 as a Virginia Corporation, due to relocation of the National HQ to Alexandria, VA, with Goforth as the Registered Agent. To reflect the Association’s growing status, the Executive Committee was converted to a Board of Directors. Regrettably in 1995, Goforth died and his law practice dissolved, essentially leaving the National HQ without a home. Soon after, the National HQ became in a sense a virtual operation with the new Executive Officer, Richard F. Law, and the volunteer staff operating from their homes. Volunteers from the National Capital Chapter continue to staff the National HQ and support the production of the Global Alliance. Following the death of Robert J. Sheeran in 1997, Richard F. Law also assumed the duties of Editor of the Global Alliance.
National HQ Activities
By mid-1988, it became evident that the support of a data services bureau was required in two specific areas that could not be managed by volunteers from the National Capital Chapter, i.e., maintaining a computerized membership mailing label list and production of the annual Membership Directory. The mailing label program was required essentially 7 times annually — for the quarterly production of the Global Alliance, the annual membership dues mailings and the annual directory mailing. A temporary committee was formed to review bids for this service and made a recommendation to the Board of Directors, which approved a commercial contract for this support. The process continues to be contracted out, presently to a firm in Oklahoma City, OK, where the Global Alliance is printed and mailed.
In 1992, two volunteers created and maintained, on their personal computer systems, a master listing (both alpha and numeric) from a paper record started in 1966 of all members commencing with Member Nr. 0001 (Robert L Beckner). They also created and maintained (alpha and numeric) listings of all current members, which were updated weekly, for use in the National HQ. These computerized lists did not contain information on the individuals themselves beyond their name, Member No., current address and membership status. With the breakup of the National HQ’s physical office in 1995, this process was continued by one of the volunteers so there is an available electronic register of current and past members for management purposes.
A Necrology of Former Members of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations is maintained by a volunteer and published in pamphlet format, current as of the latest available information, upon request by a member for a cost of $3.00 paid to the Association. The listing is of all known deceased former AFOSI personnel and not just members of the Association. The genesis of the list was the names published on the occasion of the 2 August 1988 Memorial Ceremony at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington (VA) National Cemetery. This list has been supplemented by death reports submitted by Association members and other published notices and obituaries. This pamphlet is responsive to direction from the Board of Directors given at the 1991 Philadelphia Convention that a Necrology be initiated and maintained at the National HQ.
With the breakup of the National HQ’s physical office, the use of electronic mail became more important in coordinating the work of the volunteer staff for the HQ as well as the volunteer staff of the Global Alliance. As the ubiquity of E-mail among the membership became ever more apparent, a volunteer at the National HQ developed first a project of collecting and publishing members’ E-mail addresses to make them more widely available to all members. This evolved to the establishment of an E-mail Database for the Association. This then evolved into dissemination of information from the Association to the E-mail capable members on illnesses, deaths, job opportunities, etc., on an occasional basis. As the database grew to more than 900 members, publishing the addresses in the Global Alliance became unproductive and an electronic E-mail Directory was established and is maintained on the web site of the National Capital Chapter available to all Association members.
The National HQ staff continues to provide support in a wide variety of activities: such things as conducting the biennial election of Association officers, preparing and conducting the biennial General Membership Meeting, supporting chapters in preparing for conventions they sponsor, recruiting new members, keeping members mailing addresses current, resolving members problems, and responding to a myriad of inquiries, etc.
In 1997, a proposal to contract out the tasks performed by volunteers to a small association management firm was explored. The result was the discovery that such a contract even on a minimum basis would exceed current costs by an estimated $10,000 annually — not a realistic use of members funds. An Association website was launched in approximately 2000 by Earl Middaugh which contained information relative to members. Unfortunately, Earl died in approximately 2003 and efforts to find a new webmaster were unsuccessful. The old website while still available, was not current or functional. In 2010 a new webmaster was located and a new website has been developed.