Military Affairs Council

Mike Kelly, 2017 Military Affairs Council Chair
Assistant Vice President, Military Advocacy, USAA


The Military Affairs Council focuses on building ties between the business community and local military organizations. We support the many military missions accomplished in San Antonio, and provide support for service members, retirees, and their families. Our mission is to promote San Antonio by engaging the greater San Antonio community and especially its business community to demonstrably celebrate, support, maintain, and grow the military presence in San Antonio.

For more than 100 years the Chamber has worked to create a business-friendly climate while focusing on passionate and sustained support for our military installations and service members.  The Chamber’s Military Affairs Council works year-round to support the men and women of our armed forces ensuring they know their community recognizes and celebrates the sacrifices they and their families make in support of our nation and our community. We do this through:

  • Promoting/enhancing military-local business and community relations
  • Conducting programs/events/initiatives to celebrate, support, maintain, and grow the military presence in San Antonio
  • Executing key engagement programs like the Chamber Liaison Program
  • Providing oversight to military focused committees to include:
    • Senior Enlisted Advisor Committee
    • Woman to Woman, Leader to Leader Committee
    • Military & Veteran Community Council

To learn more about how you can join a committee within our Military Affairs Council (MAC), contact Lori Stinson at lstinson@sachamber.org or call 210-229-2122.

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Celebrate America’s Military (CAM) Committee

Charles Poole, 2017 Committee Chair
Government Business Development Specialist, Allbrite Construction

For 46 years, the Chamber has hosted its annual salute to the military, which occurs in early to mid-November and involves more than 35 events. The CAM Committee coordinates, executes, and promotes multiple events to highlight service men and women across all branches of service, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. Many of these events are free to all Active, Guard, and Reserve military service members and showcases the great appreciation San Antonio has for the service and dedication of our invaluable military partners within Joint Base San Antonio.

A cornerstone event is the Chamber’s Spirit of America Dinner, with 450+ attendees, an inspiring recognition of veterans, and a patriotic address by a high-ranking military official. We are also known for the annual CAM Golf Tournament, now a partnership event with The PGA’s Birdies for the Brave, at TPC San Antonio.

For more information, visit the Celebrate America’s Military website.

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Senior Enlisted Advisory Committee (SEAC)

Jackie Contreras, 2017 Committee Chair
Work/Life Specialist, Department of the Air Force

The Senior Enlisted Advisory Committee is a forum for select Senior Enlisted Leaders from all military branches to communicate across service lines with business and community partners to support organization leaders. It is also a forum to communicate military member needs and issues to the business community and a vehicle for the business community to communicate opportunities and resources available to military.

Woman to Woman Leader to Leader (WWLL)

Jimmie Keenan, 2017 Committee Co-Chair
Senior Vice President of Enterprise Clinic Operations, WellMed Medical Management

Diane Warren, 2017 Committee Co-Chair
CEO/Founder of Bounceology

WWLL strives to connect Transitioning Women Military Leadership with key Women Industry Leaders in and around San Antonio. This committee is designed to encourage a collaborative sharing of culture and to provide those women in transition the tools and connections they will need to prepare for the civilian sector challenges. The goals include how to translate some of the skills from the military into civilian language, and how to build a strong community network that will enhance the network that is already in place from their military “family.”

COMPONENTS:

  • Industry Participation: Women Leaders, CEOs, Presidents, Partners from San Antonio area successful businesses
  • Company Sizes: All
  • Industry Participation: Requires a broad scope of industry to include but not limited to; Environmental, Legal, Healthcare, Marketing, Staffing, Engineering, Logistics, IT, Financial Services, as well as, any industry linked to the Department of Defense.
  • Military Service Leaders: Both transitioning and key leaders
  • Meetings: 
    • 6 Annual Meeting
    • Time – Evening with rotating locations
    • Composition – Each month we highlight the hosting organization briefly and have brief introductions of members where they explain their interest in the group.  Many times this is the opportunity for military members who plan to separate to share their career history and job interest after retirement.

This committee encourages women military leadership to transition and stay within the San Antonio community, develop networks with woman-owned businesses, grow interest in community participation, assist in the growth of new women owned businesses, and encourage the women-owned businesses to work more collaboratively to enhance their lines of business.

Chamber Liaison Program (CLP)

The Chamber Liaison Program (CLP) is designed to educate key community/business leaders about the varied missions of San Antonio military installations and units while fostering a supportive relationship with the community by increasing military involvement in civic endeavors and organizations. This program provides an excellent opportunity for San Antonio business leaders and community stakeholders to enhance their awareness, understanding and appreciation of the military while establishing a strong relationship with local military leadership.

The program is designed to serve as one of the many ways our local business community engages, supports, and develops relationships with military leadership. However, with more than 200 missions at Joint Base San Antonio, it is vital to have an established purpose, process and oversight to manage it properly.

  • Strengthens ties between the San Antonio Chamber and the military
  • Provides a personal contact within the business community for commanders during their assignment in San Antonio
  • Enhances the personal connections that commanders have to the San Antonio area
  • Civilian liaison serves as a source of information and one that can bring important matters to the attention of your Chamber leadership in a discreet manner
  • The program helps integrate commanders and their spouses into the social community of San Antonio though invitations by the civilian liaison to get the commander “outside the fence”
  • Civilian liaison serves as an avenue for garnering business support for initiatives by the commands
  • Reinforces the San Antonio Chamber’s commitment to supporting our men and women in uniform

Want to become a member of the Chamber?