Defense Acquisition Professionals Alumni Association Jacksonville Chapter (DAPAA Jax) was originally founded as Defense Acquisition University Alumni Association Jacksonville Chapter (DAUAA – Jax) which was founded in 2014. The rebranding occurred in January 2022 in order to serve the broader acquisition and contracting industries.
DAPAA Jax has continued to honor the legacy set forth by DAUAA Jacksonville by providing its members, scholarship recipients, sponsors and partners with the most updated information, trainings and platforms to benefit our current and future workforce. In a snapshot overview of DAUAA Jax’s tenure, the organization prided itself on their ability to provide support via scholarships to local high school seniors in hopes of them continuing their education and becoming vital members of our future workforce. This amounted to $214,000 in scholarships being awarded during its inception. Since the rebranding, DAPAA Jax has continued that mission and collectively has awarded $236,000 to high school seniors, undergraduates and graduates to date. The idea of the scholarship program came from Ms. Elizabeth Nealin, who recently retired as the lead engineer at NAVAIR SYSTEMS COMMAND in Northeast Florida, who has remained a member on the organization’s Board of Directors during both organizations’ tenures. In determining the scholarship options, we wanted to provide, we reflected on our board members and organization’s history and the support we continue to provide to our DoD service members, Military members, their families and our Northeast Florida Community, in an effort to give back. Leading us to the conclusion that there was no better way to pay it forward than to offer those seeking to continue their education in the industries that impacted us the most, scholarships that suited their educational and career goals.
The DAPAA Jax AT&L Open, held bi-annually, raises the majority of the funds needed to make all of our charitable acts possible and is without a doubt our most notable event. The rebranding of the organization did not have a negative impact on the overall outcome of the support we were able to generate. In fact, on the contrary, it allowed for us to make a larger impact in the Northeast Florida community – with more scholarships being awarded and increasing the amount of support we have been able to provide for the other organizations we support. Our opening ceremony, including the presentation of the colors, is a player and sponsor favorite. This event has become our pride and joy and is always a truly enjoyable and memorable event for all the players, sponsors, partners and workers in attendance.
DAPAA Jax, as well as DAUAA Jacksonville, in its existence, wouldn’t be able to do what it has and continues to give back the way it does without the selfless acts of those who have supported and continue to support us in our mission. This includes our sponsors, both corporate and individual, our partners, both for profit and non-profit organizations, our members, our scholarships applicants and our winners. We thank you all for all you do in helping us reach and surpass our goals.