South of the Border Guests Get all the “Canadiana” that they Could Handle

Photo by Capt Yvette Grygoryev -RMCC Public Affairs Officer

Joint Services Academies Alumni Executive Conference (JSAAEC 2014) Canada Style!

This year’s conference participants numbered 32 participants and 11 spouses from the six JSAAEC members. The conference is as much about relationship building and networking as it is about exchanging best practices and ideas. To that end, the conference was enhanced by quintessential Kingston social activities. The Meet and Greet was held at the Battery Bistro at Fort Henry on Wednesday evening which was highlighted by the City’s Town Crier, Chris Whyman, who never fails to make a positive impression.

The conference meetings commenced on Thursday morning with a wonderfully warm welcome from the Commandant, BGen Meinzinger, in Currie Hall. Following that, the conference divided into five break-out groups which catered to the CEOs, Finance, Development, Communications and Marketing, and Alumni Relations. It was amazing to see how much each of the organizations has in common and to share best practices!

On Thursday evening, everyone was treated to a wonderful boat cruise to the fabled 1,000 Islands while being entertained by the talented and amusing Billy Bridger who also provided incredible retirement memories for two long serving JSAAEC members!

8838 Ross McKenzie (Class of 70), the RMC Museum Curator, played a key role in providing our American colleagues with a much better appreciation for both Kingston and RMC. First he provided the on board narration during the guided trolley tour from the historic downtown to the Fort Henry. He later provided a more detailed briefing on Kingston’s strategic military contribution to the evolution of our country and Kingston’s prominent role during the War of 1812 and its consequence which brought the enhanced fortification of the city.

First of all, a Bravo Zulu for our Adjutant of the Old Brigade, 5611 Gerry Stowe, for acting as a tour guide on Friday and again to Ross hosting the private tour of the Museum in Fort Frederick.

As well, many thanks to Commandant, College and the four Cadets for their enthusiastic support and for being such wonderful ambassadors. The presence of Cadets was certainly popular; not only did they act as guides but they also interacted with the conference attendees and allowed them first hand to compare the differences and similarities between cadets.

The conference successfully concluded on Friday with all of our American guests American guests getting all the “Canadiana” that they could handle. Everyone came away enriched with a much clearer understanding of RMCC as well as an appreciation for the beauty and historical significance of Kingston. Fuelled with new ideas and friendships, the conference succeeded in prominently showcasing the College while also deepening the bonds that Canada enjoys with our American counterparts.

Bryan Bailey and Rod McDonald

Photos from 2014 JSAAEC by Curtis Maynard – Here


  • David Obedzinski

    June 9, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Thank you to all of our hosts for a wonderful conference. We enjoyed the city, the college and the collaboration the experience afforded.

    Dave O.

  • Jim Sylvester

    June 9, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks for a marvelous conference. Peg and I went to Mass on Saturday night in Toronto and the last hymn in the hymnal was “O Canada” and I proudly sang it solo …so low no one heard me but PROUDLY! Jim S

  • E.P. McLoughlin

    June 9, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Wonderful to see how this association of our North American Military Colleges has blossomed over the years. As I may have told you(if so, please forgive), when I was president, I met the DOC from West Point at our Usual February weekend, and suggested that maybe we should all try and form some form of association as we all have similar interests.

    Their DOC was a six foot six black brigadier, a very dominant figure if I ever met one.
    He thought it was a great idea. Within two weeks Don Strong and I were doing the rounds of the West Point Alumni Association in New York. Here were we, little old RMC with a President and one Executive Director, facing thirteen Alumni vice presidents for every sort of area. In true American style they told us everything we needed to do to maximize our effectiveness, raise money and influence government policy. Thus the association started and has grown ever since. TDV, Peter