Middle Tennessee Chapter Newsletter September 2018
Editor: COL Doug Minton, USA Retired
MOAA Middle Tennessee Chapter Meeting
MTC Monthly Luncheon Program
Old Natchez Country Club, 115 Gardengate Drive, Franklin, TN 37069
25 September 2018; 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
"Puerto Rico Recovery Operations”
Ms. Patty Coffey
Deputy District Engineer, Nashville District US Army Corps of Engineers
Patty Coffey is the deputy district engineer for the Nashville District. In this role she serves as the Chief of the Planning, Programs, and Project Management Division. She assists in directing all the water resource activities of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers throughout the Cumberland River Basin, and navigation and regulatory matters in the Tennessee River Basin, an area of more than 59,000 square miles, with 49 field offices touching seven states and a work force of over 750 federal employees.
Patty Coffey was appointed as the Deputy District Engineer for the Nashville District in July of 2017. In this position, Ms. Coffey is responsible for the District business management and program delivery, assuring that assigned local, regional, and national programs are executed within budget and schedule. Patty also provides District leadership in establishing and maintaining processes to manage the scope, quality, budget and schedules of all district projects. She manages and directs all programmatic activities, including program and budget development, preparation for Congressional testimony, oversight of program execution and reprogramming actions. Further, she is responsible for all civil works planning functions for the District, including plan formulation, economics and environmental resources.
Ms. Coffey has served in a variety of capacities for Nashville District and the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division. Prior to assuming this position, she served as the Deputy Chief, Operations Division, Nashville District. Beginning in 2011, Ms. Coffey assisted in the management of operations and maintenance activities of 10 multi-purpose projects throughout the Cumberland River Basin, and navigation and regulatory matters in the Tennessee River Basin, an area of more than 59,000 square miles, with 49 field offices touching seven states and a work force of about 500 federal employees.
She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1984. She obtained her Master of Science in Biology from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee in 1998 and received a mini-MBA at Belmont University. Ms. Coffey received her Certified Project Management Professional in 2008.
In 2017 the Commanding General of the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division selected Patty Coffey to deploy to Puerto Rico in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' grid restoration mission. Ms. Coffey served as the Deputy District Engineer for Task Force Power from December 2017 through February 2018. Patty's ability to empower multidisciplinary teams enabled the continued success of the $2.153 Billion effort to restore temporary power in Puerto Rico to over 1.41 million clients or 95.8% of power clients by the end of her tour of duty.
MTC President's Message
30 August 2018
It was great to see another strong turn-out for our August meeting and it was special to have Commissioner Many Bears Grinder as our speaker. She gave us an excellent update on Veterans Services in Tennessee including news about some new facilities that are coming soon. Tennessee veterans have seen their conditions and opportunities improve significantly under her leadership. She announced that she will be retiring from her position as Commissioner when Governor Haslam leaves office, so I believe she deserves a special thank you from all of our members.
We sent out the Scholarship solicitation letters just a month ago and the response has been fantastic. I am pleased to announce in just a month’s time we have collected $3725 in donations. As you probably know we support scholarship efforts at Lipscomb, Belmont and with the MOAA national scholarship program. At our local universities we give scholarship grants to disabled veterans and or vets if there is not disabled applicant. Your participation is still needed if you have not already made a contribution. Thank you for your strong and generous support.
As we are aware, it is election year and we should be preparing to vote for the candidate of our choice. If you are like me, you never miss the opportunity to vote and I encourage everyone to get out and vote. If you have not already registered to vote, in TN you have until October 9th to register. The chapter does not support specific candidates, but we encourage everyone to exercise your right to vote.
Many of you will remember that Congress recently passed the VA Mission Act and the President signed the legislation on June 6th. The new law will eliminate the Veterans Choice Program. The new law will streamline the community care program and replace Choice and consolidate multiple care programs currently managed by VA into a single program. To accomplish these changes the VA must be on an aggressive time line to comply with the mandates of the law. Recently the VA rolled out their proposed timeline to complete three phases of elimination by June 2019. There are many decisions being made and MOAA wants to have an input. They are requesting input from potential users. They need you to send them your questions about the VA Mission Act that you want the VA to answer. Here are a couple of the questions that MOAA has communicated to the VA for answers already.
How can veterans expect VA to communicate with them as progress is made in implementing the MISSION Act and how can veterans provide feedback throughout the process?
What does walk-in care mean, and will I be charged for getting this care outside of my VA medical center?
During our meeting this month we will welcome Patricia Coffey, Deputy Director Nashville District US Army Corp of Engineers. She will provide an update on the Corp in Nashville and a Puerto Rico hurricane recovery update. Look forward to seeing everyone on September 25th at Old Natchez Country Club for our regular meeting.
Message from your Board:
The Middle TN Chapter Board and Membership has a mandate to always remain politically nonpartisan as an affiliate organization of MOAA National. As such, we do not support or oppose any candidate for political office. We will periodically provide notice that a member is continuing to serve by running for office; however this is not to be construed as an endorsement of his or her political views.
Normally during this time frame we would organize visits to our elected officials when they are home during Congressional break and when the TN State Legislature is out of session. However, this being an election year we are unable to accomplish these tasks without being drawn into the election fray.
So, while the Chapter cannot become actively involved in supporting a candidate, we whole heartedly support the individual involvement of our members on a personal basis.
An informed and active electorate is important to the success of our state and nation, so it is up to each of us to become informed on the issues and to vote, and to encourage all that you know to do so as well
MTC Membership Updates
Please join us in welcoming the following new members, who have joined the Chapter during the 2018 membership year: