Thank you for participating in the 2017 elections for Class of 2002 Officers and Directors! We are lucky enough to have several classmates interested in serving, whatever the capacity. Those candidates appear multiple places on the ballot, but only provided one statement below.

The ballot is at the bottom of this page, following the candidates' statements. If you have any questions about the elections please contact Cari Murtagh


David Gravseth


I am formally putting my hat in the ring for the position of Class President for the USNA Class of 2002. I am dedicated to making the most of my term including ensuring our class contributions go towards worthy charities and helping our school produce the next crop of our Nation’s leaders. 

I would also like to increase our presence at the Academy, Navy Football Games, and within the Brigade of Midshipmen. The Class of 2002 should sponsor a company, and I will make sure that happens! I would like to start a lecture series by the Class of 2002 giving the opportunity for our class to pass on our experiences and lessons learned to Midshipmen graduating  in 2002 + 20. I will promote participation by our classmates, but I will not hound or over pressure you. 

I think Josh did a great job representing us and would like to build on his success and leadership!

My wife and I are heavily involved with the Naval Academy and the Brigade of Midshipmen. This school has given us so much! I am dedicated to doing whatever I can to give back!

I am a Blue and Gold Officer, my wife owns a company that delivers cakes and care packages to Midshipmen (The Yum Yum Club), and we currently sponsor 8 Mids (2- 2/c, 2-3/c, and 4-4/c). We live in Arnold, MD (about 7 min drive to USNA) and we are constantly on The Yard or at the Brigade Sports Complex keeping a pulse on what is going at USNA.

Here is a little about me, my family, and what we have been up to since graduation:

I married the amazing girl who I met in Missouri during Thanksgiving leave, our Plebe Year (1998). This Thanksgiving makes 19 years that Tara and I have been together! We married in February, 2003 and have 2 of the most beautiful girls you have ever seen. Carmen is 10 and Reme is 4. They are truly the loves of my life (and the reason for most of my gray hairs)!!!

Following graduation, I served on the USS John L Hall (FFG-32) in Pascagoula, MS and the USS Germantown (LSD-42) out of San Diego, CA.

For my final shore tour, I was stationed at SPAWAR in New Orleans, LA and transitioned from Military Service to Government Service in 2008. I was blessed and was able to transition from uniform to civilian clothes at the same location, performing similar duties. It was really the easiest transition anyone could wish for!

While working at SPAWAR, I earned my MBA with an emphasis in Technology Management, a Master’s of Science in Engineering Systems from the Naval Postgraduate School, and my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

I established a program within SPAWAR and was the lead for promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in K-12 for the Greater New Orleans region. I volunteered over 1000 hours over the 6 years I was the SPAWAR STEM Champion, supporting activities including robotics competitions, school presentations, and establishing a free STEM summer camp for disadvantaged youths in New Orleans.

For about 2 ½ years, my wife and I were members of HELP! Search and Rescue Dog Team, based out of Slidell, LA. This was a volunteer team that is called upon to search for missing persons with our trained dogs, giving families much needed closure following the loss of loved ones.

In July, 2015, I moved my family to Maryland for current position as the Chief of Operations and Sustainment for Defense Military Information Exchange (DMIX) within the Defense Health Agency (DHA). My systems consolidate DOD, VA, and Civilian medical records and provides a portal for DOD and VA clinicians to support our soldiers and sailors with full medical histories.

Please give me your support and your vote! Thanks!

Very Respectfully,

David Gravseth

(also willing to serve as Secretary, Treasurer, or At-Large Director)

Andy McCann

Class of 2002,

To begin, I would like to thank our current class officers for doing a fantastic job representing the class of 2002.  For those who do not know me, my name is Andy McCann. I spent our first two years at the Academy in thirtieth company and finished off the remainder of our time in fifth company. At the Academy, I spent most of my academic career in Michaelson and Chauvenet halls studying Political Science. Outside of academics, I played squash for four years on the Varsity team, and served as team captain our Firstie year.  I chose to become a Surface Warfare Office and spent eleven years in the fleet on an FFG, DDG, and finally a CG out of Yokosuka, Japan. On shore, I enjoyed time at the Surface Warfare School in Newport, RI as the lead Full Mission Bridge simulator instructor.  After I left the Navy, I enjoyed several years as a Department of Defense contractor on the OPNAV staff in the N96 Surface Warfare Directorate before I transferred to the N2N6 Information Warfare Directorate. Additionally, one of the most rewarding opportunities post-graduation has been my time as the Assistant Varsity Squash Coach for the Naval Academy Athletic Association.

Serving as the President of our class’ Board would allow me the opportunity to give back to the classmates and institution that shaped the man and husband I am today.  Living and working in the D.C. area allows me to stay in touch with the pulse of the Academy, a valuable insight for the board. One of the many perks of working on the OPNAV staff is being surrounded by so many fellow graduates. As the class of 2002’s President, I will use my network to foster relationships that not only support our class but the Naval Academy as well.  

Our past class representatives did a fantastic job building the foundation of the 2002 alumni organization through tailgaters, Facebook groups, class email rosters, Shipmate articles, and more. As the next class President, I will build upon my predecessor’s successful framework while also bringing new ideas such as regional networking events and spring time tailgaters. I am sure the fifteen year reunion is still fresh in everyone’s mind, and from the looks of it, it was a smashing success. Had it not been for my wedding on the same day, I would have loved to see everyone there (“no excuse sir,” I know).  Twenty years will be here before we know it, and it is never too soon to begin planning how to make our twentieth reunion the best yet. There is nothing I love more than a good Navy tailgate!

Our class is full of extraordinary people all across the globe. It would be an honor to represent each of you as our next class President.

Thank you for your consideration.

Andy McCann

(also willing to serve as Secretary, Treasurer, or At-Large Director)

Patrick McConnell

The Class of 2002 is acknowledged within the alumni community for our outstanding performance and leadership. As class president, I will continue and expand on that reputation. We had an outstanding team this past term, and I know the team for the next five years will be awesome as well.

My goals for the term:

1- Communicate better and more frequently with the Class.

2- Track down our missing classmates.

3- Run an effective organization. Not a change — I hope! — but be a resource for classmates, and make donations when able, and have a decent website, and fundraise for whatever we decide to fundraise for, and do things like establish a class store when they make sense and not establish a scholarship fund when they don't make sense. Build a team to do the things behind the scenes that we all expect even if we haven't stopped long enough to consider that we expect it.

4- Improve on an already-amazing reunion for our 20th!

I hope I've earned your vote with my last five years on the board — but either way I can assure you Kate has earned your vote as VP and Charlie as an At-Large Director.

Joe Thompson

Upon graduation I served seven years as a Surface Warfare Officer, completing two Arabian Gulf deployments and an impromptu IA assignment to a C-IED Joint Task Force in Afghanistan. While stationed at Carnegie Mellon University as an NROTC instructor, I attained an MBA from the Tepper School of Business and learned that sleep deprivation can have its benefits. After separating from the Navy, I created a LLC and executed short-term proprietary trading strategies for the next several years. It was a rapid departure from the structure of the military and I enjoyed the independence that trading offered, but also longed for the connection forged through service. In 2016, I began working for Team Rubicon, a veteran led disaster response organization that is cultivating a narrative of continued service and community leadership for veterans. It would be an honor to serve on our class’s behalf and to further the achievements of our predecessors. If elected as the next President of our class, I will work with our class officers to advance the following:

  • Increase class donor participation by 10%
  • Increase annual donations by 20%
  • Continue to showcase service / volunteer opportunities
  • Build on the success of the 15 year reunion for the 2022
  • Increase our Social Media exposure / interaction

Joe Thompson
USNA Class 2002

(also willing to serve as Treasurer)

Vice President

Kate (Kranz) Jordan

It has been an honor to serve as the Secretary for the Class of 2002 for the past 5 years and I would like to continue to be involved in the Class leadership during the next term as the Vice President. 

Over the next 5 years, the leadership has the opportunity to lead the class to make a real impact for the Naval Academy Foundation and the future generations of midshipmen through our 20-year class gift project, for alumni and veterans through our annual charitable contribution, and for our fellow classmates by organizing and delivering an enjoyable and memorable 20-year reunion weekend. 

As Vice President, my priorities will be to continue to improve class communications by reigniting and reorganizing the company rep system and building on the energy from the 15-year reunion.  Improved communications will ensure that the 20-year class gift project is thoroughly laid out and explained to the entire class to ensure 100% outreach and participation and will help us to create a 20-year reunion weekend that involves as many classmates in the planning process as possible.

Our class has the potential to really make a difference in the next 5 years and it would be a privilege to continue to represent the class as part of the leadership.

Dominic Nicolini

Dear Class of 2002,

My name is Dominic Nicolini and I am running for Vice President of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2002. Unlike many of you that had long and or distinguished military careers, my career was neither. After less than 2 years of active duty while in primary at NAS Corpus Christi, I was NPQ’d out of the flight program and subsequently given an involuntary release from active duty. It was very difficult for me to accept this sudden change. All I could think about were my classmates who were serving in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and various waters around the globe.

 I soon realized that perhaps it was my duty to serve in other ways. As one of the first of our class to venture out into the civilian world, I have counseled and networked with dozens of classmates during their transition out of the military. I welcome and embrace the opportunity to speak and meet with USNA candidates, offering them the advice and guidance that they may not be able to receive from brochures and websites. And in a somewhat more official role, I am the Alumni Director for the Friends of Navy Baseball organizing our annual alumni game, events, and providing networking opportunities for current and former Navy Baseball players. I also spent two years in the Naval Reserves.

Living in nearby Baltimore with my wife Kristin, our daughters Sutton and Campbell, and our son Quincy, I am extremely fortunate to be in close proximity to Annapolis. I have been a football season ticket holder since 2004 rarely missing a game. I find myself on the yard quite often, whether in some sort of official capacity for a baseball function or networking event or for just some pictures of monuments or mid-store trip with my family. Outside of my family, there is nothing that gives me greater pride than being a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. I appreciate your consideration for this position, and I would be honored to serve as your class officer.

Very Respectfully,
Dominic J. Nicolini

(also willing to serve as Treasurer)


Kristi (Tjoa) Laughlin

I was a member of the awesome swim team while we were at USNA. After graduation I rocked driving ships. I then went on to my shore tour at EUCOM in Germany where I met my sweet husband. I currently serve in the reserves and raise two adorable children. I want to take this opportunity to give back to USNA and our class.  I will use my experience in administration to make sure you won't be disappointed when you open up your Shipmate magazine. That is all. Thanks!


(also willing to serve as Treasurer)


Kristi (Tjoa) Laughlin

Andy McCann

Dominic Nicolini

Joe Thompson

At-Large Directors (3 positions)

Elizabeth (Kreft) Brienza

Class, thanks for all you continue to do for our nation both in and out of the uniform. We are all busy with work, family and a thousand other commitments, but taking the time to get together (and use our growing network for good) always ends up being worth the effort. So, I'd be more than happy to help as an at-large director for our class over the next few years. 

As an added bonus, my family and I will be in the DC area for at least the next decade, and as I've helped our class navigate previous projects, proximity to Annapolis and the Pentagon has proven quite helpful. 

I hope you all are well and please let me know if I can be of assistance to you or your families!

-Elizabeth (Kreft) Brienza

Sean McClintock

Hello Classmates!  I am volunteering to serve our class as one of the Directors at Large.  Our current class officers and board have done an outstanding job the past 5+ years, especially with our 15 year reunion, and I would like to carry on that tradition.  I currently live in Annapolis and attend as many USNA events as possible and it is great catching up with our classmates when they are in town.  As one of our class’s board members, I will work to build upon all the great work our class is doing both in and outside of the Navy.  Specifically, I will work to increase our class’s communication via Shipmate magazine and social media, help organize class-wide events such as tailgates and reunions and work to promote our class’s philanthropic efforts.  Thanks for your consideration for one of the Director at Large positions.  Go Navy!  Beat Army!    


Charlie Mello

Classmates it’s been an honor to serve you on the class’ board during my previous term.  A few highlights over the past 5 years include forming the 501(c)(3), ensuring the money raised through book sales and other means of fundraising went to veteran related charities where it would make the largest impact, and helping to push the classes mission to volunteerism and service beyond the uniform.

I’m running for re-election to continue on the foundation of great work we have done.  I would like to see an expanded push to encourage volunteerism amongst the class.  We also need to continue the development of a database of classmates who have started and run businesses and help facilitate networking opportunities amongst classmates with common interests.  And finally ensure our class hits the 20 year gift funding goal to help ensure USNA maintains its margin of excellence.

I appreciate your support!


Voting will remain open until December 15. If you desire to amend your vote before that date, simply re-do the survey below; only the most recent ballot from each voter will be counted.

As mentioned above, we are lucky enough to have several classmates interested in serving, whatever the capacity. Those candidates appear multiple places on the ballot. You may vote for them twice, but they will assume the highest office. In that event, your vote will be transferred to your next preferred candidate.

Example: Your first choice Treasurer won a higher office. Your second preference for Treasurer will then be counted.

If the embedded form below isn't working for you, go to