Director Bios | AFBA

Director Bios

Ralph E. “Ed” Eberhart served as Commander, U.S. Northern Command and Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. He retired from active duty after more than 36 years in the United States Air Force. General Eberhart has been a member of AFBA since 1987 and has served on the Board of Directors since 1997. He served as the Chairman from October 2002 – November 2004. On December 1, 2004, General Eberhart was appointed by the AFBA Board as the President of AFBA. In 2009, he was appointed the Chairman & President of AFBA. He retired as President in March 2020 but remains Chairman. General Eberhart also serves as Trustee and Chairman of 5Star Life Insurance Company. 

Larry O. Spencer spent more than 40 years in the Air Force, beginning his career in the enlisted ranks and rising to become a four-star general. General Spencer’s last assignment was as the Vice Chief of Staff of the US Air Force where he assisted the Chief of Staff in organizing, training and equipping 690,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces. After retiring from the Air Force in 2015, General Spencer served as President of the Air Force Association until 2019. General Spencer received his Bachelor of Science Degree in industrial engineering technology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and has two Master of Science degrees. He currently serves on the boards of Whirlpool Corporation, Triumph Group, Inc., and Haynes International, Inc. General Spencer became a member of the AFBA Board in February 2020. He was named AFBA President in March 2020 and 5Star Life Insurance Company President in June 2020. To read his full bio, click here.

John S. Butler has been the Fire Chief for the Fairfax County, Virginia Fire and Rescue Department since September 2018. He previously served as the first internal fire chief for Howard County, Maryland and was the first chief to have held every rank within that department. He sits on the Northern Virginia Fire and Rescue Leadership Development Institute Advisory Board, National Fire Academy Board of Visitors, and executive board of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association. He is a Marine Corps veteran with 20 years of service, including two combat tours.  

Cathy L. Lanier spent her 26-year law enforcement career with the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, beginning in 1990. Much of her career was in uniformed patrol, where she served as Commander of the Fourth District, one of the largest and most diverse residential districts in the city. She also served as the Commanding Officer of the Department’s Major Narcotics Branch, Vehicular Homicide Units, and the Special Operations Division, where she is credited with creating the Department’s Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism Bureau. Named to the top post in 2007, her strategies are credited with reducing violent crime in Washington DC.

Craig R. McKinley retired as a four-star general in 2012 after a 38-year career in the Air Force. His last assignment was as the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, where he also served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that capacity, he served as military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council. He has served on the 5Star Life Board (affiliate of AFBA) since December 2019. He currently serves as National Chair of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

Alford L. McMichael served in the United States Marine Corps for more than 36 years and was named its 14th Sergeant Major in 1999. His military career culminated in his appointment as the first senior non-commissioned officer for NATO. He is a managing director of Pinnacle Five, LLC, a consulting company providing advisory services related to veteran and Department of Defense issues.

Kenneth O. Preston served as the 13th Sergeant Major of the United States Army.  He is the longest serving Sergeant Major of the Army with more than seven years in the position.  He retired from active duty in 2011 after serving 36 years.  Previously Sergeant Major Preston served as the Command Sergeant Major for Combined Joint Task Force 7 in Baghdad, Iraq.  He is a graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy and earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from Trident University International.  After retiring from active duty, Sergeant Major Preston served as President of Homes for Our Troops from February 2012 – January 2013.  He then joined the AUSA national staff in May 2013 and is currently the Director of NCO and Soldier Programs. He is currently an AFBA Board member, and a member of the Compensation and Personnel Committee, and Planning and Governance Committee. 

James A. Roy served as Chief Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force, the 16th Chief Master Sergeant appointed to the highest non-commissioned officer position.  He retired from active duty in 2013 after serving more than 30 years.  Previously he served as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader for the U. S. Pacific Command.  Chief Roy graduated from Park College with a degree in Engineering Management and earned a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Troy State College.  After retiring from active duty, Chief Roy joined Scientific Research Corporation, Integrated Systems and Solution Division and is currently the Air Force Senior Program Manager. He is currently an AFBA Board member, and a member of the Planning and Governance Committee.

Allyson R. Solomon is a former Assistant Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard. Since enlisting in the Maryland Air National Guard over thirty years ago, she has risen through the ranks and broken barriers. Gen. Solomon has served as the first female Colonel, the first female and African American Brigadier General, and the first female and African American Assistant Adjutant General in the Maryland Air National Guard. Since 2015, she has served as President of the National Guard Youth Foundation whose mission is to work with at-risk youth providing them with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed in life. 

Patricia A. Tracey served as the Director, Navy Staff before retiring from active duty in 2005. She served over 35 years in the United States Navy. Admiral Tracey’s previous assignments included Chief of Naval Education and Training and Director of Naval Training. She graduated from the College of New Rochelle with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and earned a master’s degree in  Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Admiral Tracey completed Women Officers School and was commissioned as an ensign in 1970. She was the first woman in the U.S. Navy to achieve the rank of Vice Admiral. Admiral Tracey has been a member of AFBA since 2006 and is currently an AFBA Board member and a member of the Audit Committee.

Thomas W. Walsh has over 40 years of auditing and accounting experience. He began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in 1970, retiring in 2007. Prior to his retirement in 2007, Mr. Walsh served as the audit engagement partner on numerous SEC registered and private financial services industry clients including insurance companies; commercial and retail bank holding companies; and, securities broker/dealers. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from DePauw University and holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Mr. Walsh is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI) and Certified Bank Auditor (CBA). Prior to becoming a Director on the AFBA Board, Mr. Walsh served as a Senior Advisor to the Board from 2010-2015. He is currently an AFBA Board member, Chairman of the Audit Committee and member of the Compensation and Personnel Committee.