SHIPMATE Update, November 2014

Greetings ’02!

We hope everyone has enjoyed the holiday season with friends and family! 2002 has been busy over the past few months – here’s a few updates:

John Ennis delivered a very successful keynote speech at Raytheon LA's Veteran's Day Event:


Ronnie Choe and family welcomed a new addition on October 21st. Little Bennett arrived ten days early, but Ronnie says they’ve decided to keep him anyway. The Choe family is living back in Annapolis and welcomes anyone passing through to look them up!


Extra prayers and thoughts go out to all those standing the watch during the holidays. See you in 2015!!

$2002 Donation to Run To Honor

Below is a text of an email we sent last night, October 28, 2014. If you didn't see it, sign up!


We are excited to announce that the Class will be donating $2002 to Run To Honor on Veterans Day. From their mission statement:

The mission of Run To Honor is to honor Naval Academy alumni lost in combat or military operations. With a spirit of camaraderie and through participation in athletic and memorial events, we perpetuate the memory of our fallen brothers and sisters and express support for the families they leave behind.

Run To Honor's annual Memorial Dinner will be held in Annapolis on Friday, November 14. This is an extraordinarily powerful event with families, friends, and shipmates gathering to share stories of their loved ones, celebrate their lives, and honor their sacrifice. For more information on the event and to purchase tickets, visit Run To Honor's site. Mention '02 in the comments block to be seated with your classmates!

We would like to thank Phil Ujiie, John Karantonis, Scott McCord, and Mike Vlachakis for their work researching potential donation recipients and for providing a recommendation to the board.

Communications Committee

In January we will be creating a short-term committee to make a recommendation to improve our communications within the Class. If you are interested in contributing, please email Josh.

Bravo Zulu

- Graham Plaster founded a company to build an online marketplace for freelance work in national security.
- Nicholas Cassadine's company, Royal Razor Barbershop, was featured in the American Express OPEN Forum.
- (Have news? Email Kate and post it in the Facebook group!)

Josh, Pat, Kate, Cari, John, Charlie, & Chad

Summer Update Email

Below is a text of the email we sent to '02 members a few moments ago. If you didn't see it, sign up!


We hope this email finds you and your family safe, healthy, and happy. A few updates are below on the state of the Class and events since our last newsletter.

Also, please take a brief moment to answer the ten questions on the 2014 Survey of the Class page; we designed it to take less than two minutes. Thank you!

Josh, Pat, Kate, Cari, John, Charlie, & Chad

Dan Cnossen & 2014 Winter Paralympics

The 2014 Winter Paralympic Games closed on March 16, 2014. Dan didn't reach the medal stand, but had extremely strong and competitive results in all six of his events. We are incredibly proud of his performance! 

Class Financial Update

The Class has just under $6,000 in cash and assets. Our only recurring expense is $96/year for the combined and shadowofgreatness.comwebsites. Our Amazon Affiliates program has averaged nearly $120 per month this year. Several classmates have also become regular contributors; some have maximized their donations by using their company's matching program. If you need help setting this up please get in contact!


We're always looking for more help, from major projects (reunion!) to smaller tasks.

Fall Events

If you're planning a tailgater, picnic, or other event and want help in reaching our classmates, we're here to help. Also, remember that the Facebook group is open to all of '02.

Survey of the Class

Ten questions. Two minutes. Thank you!

2014 Survey of Members

We've posted off a short survey to help us better understand our members and their expectations from the Board. If you haven't already, please take a brief moment to complete it – we greatly appreciate it!

If you're so inclined, this is also a good opportunity to update your profile. Their database lists approximately 280 members as O-1s & O-2s. This… doesn't seem accurate. update

We recently shut down as a separate site. We will retain the domain; it now redirects to a page here at

Why the switch? Money and traffic. The site was due a yearly renewal for $96. The site was only averaging about 10 visitors/day, though, and many of the features – our book tour, blog, media events, etc – were either not viewed or out of date. $96 isn't a huge amount of money, of course, but it didn't make sense to pay it when we have a class site that can host the pages we want to describe the book.

If you come across any old links that fail or other weirdness, please let Pat McConnell know so he can fix them.

Winter 2013 Update


We hope this finds you and your family safe, healthy, and happy. A few brief updates are below on the state of the Class and recent events.

Thank you for a great 2013 – but more importantly, thank you for being great classmates and friends. We look forward to working with you all to continue 2002’s amazing accomplishments into the New Year!

Josh, Pat, Kate, Cari, John, Charlie, & Chad

Annual Meeting

The annual meeting was held via teleconference on October 24th; full minutes are posted. We discussed highlights from the last year, including our awesome 10 year reunion, the book (14,000 copies sold!), and our donations to charitable organizations. Notable actions from the meeting were the successful vote to extend Honorary Memberships to Asher Houston & Jessie Cabigon, as well as to the exchange zoomies, woops, & coasties who spent the fall of '01 on the placid shores of the Severn.

Financial Update

On November 27 the board passed a motion to donate $1,000 each to The Matthew Freeman ProjectRun To Honor, and Travis Manion Foundation. The board also voted to pay back the remainder of the loan ($3k) from the Class of '69. These actions will leave the Class with approximately $4,500 in assets and free of debt.

Class of 2002 Logo

As you no doubt noticed, we have adopted a new logo. Developed by a friend of the Class who generously donated many hours of her time, for now it only appears on our website, this newsletter, and our letterhead. Next year we will bring it to shirts and perhaps other gear (hats, stickers, etc), likely using a crowd-funding site. If you have an idea or a contact at a company capable of producing such items, we'd love to hear from you!

Army Navy Game

Check out the USNA '02 Facebook group for details on two unofficial events hosted by our classmates. John Donovan will be tailgating at the stadium in Philly, and Tim Collins & Chris Cisek have set up an event in the San Diego area. 


Ken Neptun's Ring

You will remember that our classmate and friend Ken Neptun passed away from leukemia only five weeks short of graduation. His parents, RADM & Mrs. Dan & Wendy Neptun, USCG, presented the USNA Museum with Ken's 2002 class ring in late August; it now rests in a place of honor with the rings of those who have gone before us.


This information was originally emailed on December 10, 2013; the original is viewable here.

2013 Annual Meeting Summary

Selected items from the Annual Membership Meeting, held on October 24, 2013 from 2100 – 2210 EDT via teleconference.

★ Summary of last year’s activities:

  • Josh Welle: Officer & board elections
  • Pat McConnell: In the Shadow of Greatness
    • 14,000 copies sold
    • Two time Los Angeles Times Best Seller
    • Congratulatory letter from President G. W. Bush
    • Many national and local TV, radio, and newspaper appearances
    • Led to long-lasting partnerships with other organizations
    • Donated all proceeds (over $14,000) to 13 charitable organizations
    • Donation amounts determined by direct (books sold at events) and indirect (emailing members, enabling PR, etc) support
  • Charlie Mello: Why we incorporated US Naval Academy Class of 2002, Inc.
    • Flexibility for book revenues and for the future
    • Only downside was initial cost
  • Charlie: Revised & approved Bylaws; posted to website
  • Pat: Website
    • Inexpensive, easy to maintain
    • Gives us a virtual home and focus point, aids transparency
    • No intent to duplicate features
  • Pat: MailChimp
    • Far more flexible than USNA AA capabilities
    • Free
  • Pat: Amazon Affiliates
    • We are going to continue to push this
    • Received nearly $8,000 to date
  • Cari Murtagh: Annual fundraising resulted in $1,400 for continuing Class operations
  • Kate Kranz: Shipmate submissions
  • Josh: USNA Alumni Association & Foundation’s 2020 Campaign update

★ Financial status: (Cari)

  • Cash & other assets: ~$10,500
  • $3,000 liability to Class of ’69 for loan related to incorporation costs
  • 27th Company members donated $1,500 for Alan Patterson’s (’00) family; none was retained or added by Class

★ Upcoming & planned actions:

  • Chad Somme, Charlie: Alumni Mentorship Program support & advocacy
  • Pat: Run To Honor events and In the Shadow of Greatness
  • Pat: Future of the website & related services
  • Kate: John Ennis to present book to CNO at upcoming meeting
  • Chad: Fundraising for Class & Alumni Association

★ New business & open forum:

  • John Donovan: Will be hosting tailgater at A/N. Coordinating to get barrage balloon.

★ Voting: (Pat)

  • Make exchange cadets Honorary Members. Passed.
  • Make Asher Houston & Jessie Cabigon Honorary Members. Passed.

Annual (virtual) Meeting

Our Annual (virtual) Meeting will be held at 2100 EDT on Thursday, October 24. The meeting will take no longer than one hour.

Dial-in: (218) 632-0550
Participant code: 940228#

The agenda:

  • Summary of activity of last year
  • Financial status
  • Upcoming events & planned actions
  • Voting to offer Honorary Membership to exchange Cadets, Jessie Cabigon, & Asher Houston
  • New business

Thanks, and we look forward to talking with you!


Josh, Pat, Kate, Cari, John, Charlie, and Chad


In the Shadow of Greatness - one year later

One year ago we officially launched In the Shadow of Greatness . In that year:

  • Two-time Los Angeles Times Best Seller
  • 14,000 books sold
  • 63 events, panels, and presentations in 13 states across the country
  • $20,000+ to charities and not-for-profit organizations
  • Numerous national and local TV & radio features

The success of the book is from the tireless efforts of the editors, authors, book team, and other contributors. Thank you  to each and every one of them! 


Neptun Class Ring Donation - 24Aug

Our classmate and friend, Ken Neptun, passed away from leukemia only five weeks short of graduation. His parents, RADM & Mrs. Dan & Wendy Neptun, USCG, will be presenting the USNA Museum with Ken's 2002 class ring at 10:45am on Saturday, August 24th

The brief ceremony is open to the public, and all are highly encouraged to attend.



Kenneth Edward Neptun
USNA 2002
USNA 2002

Revised Bylaws Approved

On May 1, 2013, the Board voted to approve revised bylaws. In addition to making the document clearer, more streamlined, and better formatted, the revision changes the election cycle for officers; it also removes the requirement that the President have served as a member of the Board prior to his or her nomination. 

The full bylaws are posted here.

501(c)(3) Status Granted

Our long wait is over – the IRS has officially granted us status as a tax-exempt organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. We have been operating under the provisions of this code since the Class incorporated, so there will be no changes caused by the IRS making it official.

Our members and any individuals or corporations who donate money may now deduct those donations from their taxes as well.

The tax filing date for not-for-profits is May 15; we will have our return for 2012 posted shortly after that.


VAQ-129 Crash; 3 USNA Alumni Lost

On Tuesday, March 11, three USNA alumni of VAQ-129 were killed when their E/A-6B Prowler crashed in Washington while on a training mission. The three we lost:

LT j.g. Valerie (Cappelaere) Delaney '09, Ellicott City, MD
LT j.g. William McIlvaine '10, El Paso, TX
LCDR Alan Patterson '00, Tullahoma, TN

Craig Patterson '02 (27th Co.) is Alan's brother.

We will likely put something together as a class; we're also working with Run To Honor to make sure all three families have the support they need. Further updates will be posted here and at the USNA '02 Facebook page.

Josh Welle
Pat McConnell

Email List update

To address a few questions:

  • Many of the people on our "missing" list are classmates that did not graduate USNA. Our bylaws say that all people who were members of the Class of 2002 "at any time" are members of the corporation, and we will continue to invite their participation.
  • There are 26 members of the class who have their address marked as "private" in the Alumni Association database. We used a (free) service to send our email because it provided much more power and flexibility than possible through USNA AA. When we exported the class database, though, those addresses were not included. We will add them manually before our next email.

State of the Class of 2002 - 1st Quarter 2013

To receive all future class-wide emails, please subscribe here. We will never sell or share your address.


We hope this announcement finds you well. Our class had an epic 10-Year Reunion in September and we are so excited about the energy and enthusiasm within our ranks. For the 350+ who attended, we were reminded of the value and importance of our school and the friendships we formed. Leah Ward orchestrated an incredibly powerful memorial ceremony, allowing us to remember and honor the classmates we’ve lost since Induction Day. (There are pictures of the event here.) The camaraderie at the parade, the interaction on the Yard, and the fabulous tailgate event reinforced the importance of keeping USNA 2002 strong. Thank you to Kate Kranz and everyone else who worked so hard for such a great weekend.

Following December’s class election there is a new cadre of leaders coordinating class activities. Josh Welle and Cari Murtagh stayed on as class officers, and are joined now by Pat McConnell, Kate Kranz, Chad Summe, John Augusto, and Charlie Mello. There will be many more opportunities to volunteer in the coming years, and we hope you will all find a method to help.

There is much to be proud of as a class! We’ve served our country and our communities with distinction for over ten years, living the USNA mission in and out of uniform. Our philanthropic efforts, both individually and collectively, have been exemplary. Chad Summe headed an incredibly successful fundraising drive for our 10-year class gift. With a class participation of 36% — the average of all classes is 25% — we were able to give $171,926, or 168% of our goal. Over $102,000 of this went to the International Programs Office; the remainder to the Annual Fund. We have also seen massive success of the USNA 2002 book, In the Shadow of Greatness. The class will soon distribute over $14,000 from the book to our partner veterans’ organizations.

Our class is also awaiting designation as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. There are several other classes who are incorporated; we followed their lead for many reasons, including the book and the flexibility it will give us to best support USNA, Navy, and Marine Corps causes. The incorporation of the class (US Naval Academy Class of 2002, Inc.) is an important stepping-stone to capitalize on future opportunities and also frees us of many of the limitations inherent in working through the Alumni Association.

The class leaders are meeting periodically to create initiatives that the class values and that live up to our alma mater’s charge. Initial actions have been to re-launch a class website at This site features organization, bylaws, fundraising information, and occasional news updates on the class and our classmates; it will also include financial information and be used to communicate more effectively. We will expand our activity on Facebook and grow our alumni network within 2002 and the 2000s decade. In the coming months we will formalize our 15-year reunion goals, enlist a 15-year reunion coordinator and committee members, and brainstorm initiatives for 2012-2017. Your participation is needed!

Thanks for reading the 2013 “State of the Class” address – more importantly, thank you for being great classmates and friends. We look forward to working with you all to continue 2002’s amazing accomplishments!
Josh, Pat, Cari, Kate, Chad, John, Charlie

Shipmate Submissions

Don't be shy! Email Kate with your Shipmate submissions. We'd also like to post these at the new; let her know if that's okay when you email.

Amazon Affiliate Program

If you use, you can support US Naval Academy Class of 2002, Inc. and our charitable mission for free. Bookmark; you can read about how it works (and why it doesn't cost you anything). We've earned several thousand dollars from this program thus far.

Missing Contact Information

We don't have an email address for our classmates listed below. If you know how to find them, please forward this email (or link) and ask them to subscribe to this newsletter and update their information with the USNA Alumni Association.

  • Andrew Adams
  • Bradley Adams
  • Mary Adams
  • Roxanne Aguilera
  • Robert Aho
  • Joel Almquist
  • Michael Andreychik
  • Kevin Ann
  • Patrick Atkinson
  • Julie Austin
  • Matthew Baca
  • Marisa Ball
  • Robert Ballard
  • Gerome Banks
  • Jeffrey Banks
  • Sarah Bartek
  • Grayson Bass
  • Ryan Bautista
  • Kevin Beatley
  • Benjamin Beck-Coon
  • Gregory Bellomy
  • Lori Bentzel
  • Kamil Beresniewicz
  • Matthew Berger
  • Stephanie Bill
  • Jason Blackmon
  • Michael Boettcher
  • Timothy Bogdanof
  • Eric Boone
  • Richard Bowles
  • Erik Boyce
  • Clayton Boyette
  • Ryan Bradley
  • Shawn Brier
  • Andrew Brinton-James  
  • Cordrea Brittingham
  • Geoffrey Bronars
  • Lawrence Brooks
  • Christopher Broome
  • Jerome Bryant
  • Matthew Burich
  • Robert Burns
  • Steven Burns
  • John Cady
  • Travis Call
  • Charles Carney
  • Daniel Caroffino
  • William Carr
  • Justin Carrell
  • John Carswell
  • Daniel Casey
  • Javier Castro
  • Jeremy Castro
  • John Cauthen
  • Jeffrey Chang
  • Ryan Chapman
  • Nicholas Chen
  • Kristina Chenery
  • Daniel Choudhury
  • Thad Christofer
  • Abigail Chudzinski
  • Kendrick Chumak
  • Ashley Church
  • Christopher Cisek
  • Brooks Cleveland
  • Gavin Clough
  • Daniel Cnossen
  • John Cocca
  • Jacob Cohen
  • Terence Coleman
  • Jason Condon
  • James Consalvi
  • Nathan Cook
  • Christian Corah
  • Andrea Corral
  • Randy Craft
  • Andrew Craig
  • Marshall Croft
  • John Cude
  • James Culnen
  • Marcus Curtis
  • Ryan Dam
  • Jarrod Day
  • Trevor Day
  • Derek DeBoer
  • Jedediah Deitrick
  • Jeffrey Desmond
  • Christian Diaz
  • Corey Doney
  • Amanda Donges
  • Thomas Douglas
  • Terrence Doyle
  • Colin Dunlop
  • Jennifer Edgin
  • James Elmore
  • Krista Emmett
  • Robert England
  • Michael Esposito
  • Charles Estabrook
  • Jason Fahy
  • Kenneth Faires
  • Michael Farias
  • John Farner
  • Samuel Fellman
  • Jeffrey Fellows
  • Julie Ferris
  • James Field
  • Megan Fine
  • Suzanne Fleeson
  • Christopher Fodera
  • Sylvester Foley
  • Tyler Forrest
  • Matthew Foster
  • Laura Freeman
  • Benjamin Friedrick
  • Jeffrey Gaddy
  • Daniel Gemmell
  • Thomas Genest
  • Brye Gerhardt
  • Douglas Glendening
  • Guy Glennon
  • Nathaniel Goddard
  • Brace Godfrey
  • Winslow Goins
  • Anthony Gontarz
  • Hilary Goodrich
  • Paul Gouge
  • Nicholas Green
  • Joseph Guth
  • Nicholas Guyton
  • Claire Halloran
  • Michael Hammond
  • Christian Hansen
  • Amber Hareland
  • Charles Harris
  • Jason Harris
  • Laura Hayhoe
  • Jennifer Hazelton
  • Kristopher Hefner
  • Matthew Heitman
  • Courtney Herdt
  • Anthony Herman
  • Jonathan Hesener
  • Jason Hickle
  • Benjamin Hobbs
  • Robert Hock
  • Casey Holland
  • Zachary Holt
  • Eric Homa
  • Matthew Hoogewind
  • Patricia Hooper
  • Justin Huber
  • Stephen Huber
  • William Huebner
  • Peter Huffman
  • Patrick Hughes
  • Francis Huguenin
  • Eric Hulbert
  • Peter John Hulson
  • Monica Hundt
  • Robert Hurst
  • James Hutchison
  • John Iaconianni
  • John Jeffery
  • Amos Jo
  • Andrew Johnson
  • Christopher Judson
  • Aaron Katon
  • Michael Keefe
  • Erin Kellogg
  • Christopher Kelly
  • Chris Kiesel
  • Ronit Kinbar
  • George Kinigopoulos
  • Ian Kirschke
  • Jason Klerk
  • Erin Knight
  • Robert Koroly
  • Mark Krakauer
  • Noah Kramer-Dover  
  • Christopher Kwon
  • Kevin Lafrenier
  • James Lagasca
  • Nicholas Lamere
  • Jonathan Lang
  • Andrew Lathrop
  • Theodore Lavarias
  • Matthew Lewis
  • Timothy Lilienthal
  • Joseph Long
  • James Lucas
  • Erica Lude
  • Mary MacDougall
  • Kevin Maddaford
  • Douglas Mallette
  • Christopher Manos
  • David Marino
  • Aaron Martin
  • Hannah Martin
  • Jeremy Martin
  • Shaka Martin
  • Sean Marvin
  • Samuel Mason
  • David Masterson
  • Mark Mattox
  • William Maxwell
  • David McAuliff
  • Patrick McCauley
  • Brian McGillick
  • Anthony McGraw
  • Megan McMahon
  • Christopher Mead
  • Andrew Menocal
  • Lawrence Meyer
  • Sheryl Meyer
  • Michael Mieres
  • Derek Miletich
  • Raphael Miller
  • Todd Mitchler
  • Erik Moeller
  • Kamal Mohiuddin
  • Gary Moody
  • Jared Moore
  • Kathryn Moore
  • Matthew Moore
  • Donald Moors
  • Matthew Mooshegian
  • Heidi Morgan
  • Samuel Moseman
  • Cole Muller
  • Heather Myers
  • Kimberly Myers
  • Robert Neal
  • Brandon Neighbors
  • Bwerani Nettles
  • Douglas Neves
  • Benjamin Newbry
  • Karma Niemeyer
  • Jason Nollette
  • Eric Northam
  • Timothy O'Connell
  • Samuel O'Donnell
  • Matthew O'Hara
  • Daniel Oberlander
  • Jon Olson
  • Edmund Oneal
  • Eli Owre
  • Paul Oyler
  • Matthew Pait
  • Jason Palmer
  • Eugene Park
  • Jonathan Parker
  • Benjamin Partlow
  • Alpa Patel
  • Nathan Peld
  • Zachary Pensinger
  • Lauren Persico
  • Nels Peterson
  • Andrew Pinkerton
  • Luciano Pollastrini
  • Clifton Potter
  • Michael Prato
  • Andrew Prine
  • Brandon Rampani
  • Erin Rathert
  • Lorin Readmond
  • Bryan Reed
  • Conor Regan
  • Daren Reinke
  • Steve Reis
  • Arthur Rhodes
  • Anna Rice
  • Darne Ridgley
  • David Ring
  • Trevor Ritland
  • Saul Rivera
  • James Robb
  • Loren Roberts
  • Christopher Roesner
  • Matthew Rogers
  • Natalie Roland
  • Jonathan Royas
  • Andrew Rutherford
  • Christopher Ryckebusch
  • Craig Salveson
  • William Sandvig
  • Whitney Saunders
  • David Savery
  • Brian Schall
  • Daniel Schlesinger
  • Andrew Schooley
  • Angelina Schulz
  • Chris Scott
  • Nathan Scott
  • Daniel Sears
  • Angie Seay
  • Jeffrey Servello
  • Luke Shank
  • John Sheridan
  • Kevin Sherwood
  • William Shipley
  • Kristina Shiroma
  • John Skovran
  • Lee Smallwood
  • Brian Smith
  • Eric Smith
  • Nicholas Smith
  • Stephanie Smith
  • Matthew Smothers
  • Anthony Snukis
  • Brian Sparks
  • Jeffrey Speakman
  • John Standen
  • Brock Stefura
  • William Stephens
  • Abigail Stiles
  • Eric Stiles
  • Epiphanios Stylianos
  • Shawn Sullivan
  • Jessica Swee
  • Brandt Sword
  • Melanie Swords
  • Cathleen Sybert
  • Enrico Tan
  • Josh Taylor
  • Elnora Tenwolde
  • Russell Thomas
  • Brandon Thompson
  • Nathaniel Thompson
  • Marty Timmons
  • William Tolson
  • Jonah Tower
  • Anthony Tremonte
  • Anthony Triviso
  • Stephen Troy
  • Christopher Tuggle
  • Philip Uranga
  • Christopher Valle
  • Jonathan Van Meter
  • Matthew Varney
  • Patrick Veith
  • Victoria Vince
  • Matthew Voelker
  • Leslie Vojta
  • Peter Vollers
  • Christopher Wallace
  • Brooke Waller
  • Charles Walton
  • Errol Watson
  • Erik Wayne
  • Robert Welch
  • Jeffrey Weller
  • Victor Wells
  • Frederick Wessell
  • Robert White
  • Jeffrey Whitmer
  • Jennifer Whitmer
  • Arion Williams
  • Justin Wilson
  • Thomas Woodward
  • Christopher Work
  • Pritha Workman
  • Laura Yorke
  • Shane Zimmerman
  • Daniel Zuniga

First Board Meeting & Website Soft Launch

At the end of 2012, in accordance with the class' bylaws, an election was held for all Class Officer and Board of Director positions. The results:

President: Josh Welle
Vice President: Pat McConnell
Secretary: Kate Kranz
Treasurer: Cari Murtagh
At-Large Directors: John Augusto, Charlie Mello, Chad Summe

The first meeting was held via teleconference on Sunday, January 13; at this meeting the Board decided to develop and publish a website for the class. It will be used to communicate status, goals, fundraising efforts, news, upcoming events, and other information that may be useful to members of the Class of 2002.