Meet The Staff

Ted Dey, Founder

Ted founded the company in 1988 after serving five years with the Norfolk Convention & Visitors Bureau. In 1984 he initiated the nation’s first marketing campaign directed at the military reunion market. Having spent over 30 years working with reunions, it could be said that Ted’s got seniority on everyone in the industry. Using decades of experience in hotel contracting, he guides groups to top reunion destinations and reunion-friendly hotels. He co-authored AFR’s own hotel contract that is accepted nationwide by a select network of partner hotels.

Molly Dey, President

Molly joined AFR in 1989, straight out of college. Having started AFR the year before, Ted was in need of someone who could handle the planning and execution of the reunions rapidly coming aboard. Today Molly is the widely recognized leader of the nation’s leading military event planning company. She oversees the Event Planners for reunions and DoD events, as well as the administrative staff. Over the years Molly has developed terrific relationships with reunion chairman and allies in the Pentagon and within the defense contractor industry.

CHARLEY DEY, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Charley was born into the military reunion business. Ted and Molly’s second son, Charley attended quite a few reunions in the Fall of 1994, in utero. His mother, Molly, was AFR’s first employee and we are so happy that Charley has joined the team – in what is truly a family-owned and operated enterprise. After graduating from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, Charley spent four years in business-to-business sales in Denver and Charlotte, but he always knew he’d return to his homeport of Norfolk and carry on the tradition of serving our nation’s veterans. We are fortunate to have Charley’s marketing skills steering AFR into future decades of serving new generations of reunion-goers.

Mandy Lee, Office Manager

Mandy joined the AFR team in 2005, having gained most of her industry experience with our local motorcoach partner, Venture Tours. Her knowledge of the tourism industry is indispensable. Mandy is AFR’s software guru and in-house computer expert. She designs our clients’ registration websites, manages group pre-registrations, ensures the accuracy of AFR’s databases, oversees the staff that prints and assembles group registration packets and onsite materials, and ensures that AFR’s office hums with precision. In partnership with Molly, she keeps our Event Planning staff on target and on time. She is perhaps the most irreplaceable member of AFR’s team – the cog in the wheel so to speak.

KELLY BRIDGEMAN, EVENT PLANNER

Kelly joined AFR Team in 2021, after serving for 20 years as a Catering and Convention Services Manager at two of our favorite Norfolk hotels. Kelly serviced large conventions, military reunions, family reunions, weddings, and all types of corporate and association meetings. Prior to her career in Norfolk she worked in Gainesville, FL for the University of Florida Hotel and Conference Center, and now is forever a Gator. Her vast experience and commitment to the hospitality industry make her an outstanding addition to our Event Planning Team. Kelly is thrilled to be “on the other side” of the industry (being an Event Planner for events nationwide), and is looking forward to travel opportunities that are such a big part of what AFR does.

AMY LEE, EVENT PLANNER

Amy comes to AFR with 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. She has held nearly every position within the industry, including Chef, Fine Dining Restaurant Manager, and Director of Catering & Convention Services.  For the past 20 years she worked in hotel convention services in Norfolk and Crystal City, serving social, corporate, association, religious and military groups. Amy’s extensive background provides a strong foundation to make the jump to event planning with AFR. Military reunion groups are closest to her heart, and she is herself a proud military spouse. She most recently served as the Ombudsman for Task Force 68 in Rota, Spain, where she personally assisted families with the strenuous transition from CONUS to OCONUS life in the military.

SHANNON HEISLER, AFR TOURS DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Shannon joined AFR Tours as Director of Operations after many years with coastal Virginia’s previous tour operator. Shannon has worked in destination management for decades. She began her career in Hawaii, serving as Account Administrator working with fortune 500 companies as well as major association groups. She moved to Norfolk in 2001 and served for 20 years as Director of Operations for Phillips Tours. She directs all operational logistics and coordinates vendor relations for military reunions, inbound motorcoach tours, cruise lines, associations, and corporations. Shannon brings unique knowledge and expertise to the team that drives AFR Tours’ excellence in execution.

Emily Dale, Event Coordinator

Emily is one of our dependable travelers and on-site managers. She began her tenure with AFR in 2007 after many years involved in event planning with the Virginia Chorale, the only professional choral group in the State. A real go-getter with such a delightful personality, Emily is an often-requested onsite representative for both reunions and Yellow Ribbon events.

Katherine Whitley, Event Coordinator

Katherine has worked in the travel industry for 40 years, and as an author has been published in the Travel Age West and Travel Weekly trade publications as well as local San Diego papers. For 30 years she worked as an International Tour Manager escorting tour groups around the globe. Katherine now represents AFR onsite at reunion and Yellow Ribbon events nationwide.

Glenda Knowles, Event Coordinator

Glenda has worked seasonally for AFR since 1992 and is another of our seasoned travelers. She’s also a licensed local tour guide and schedules guide staffing for groups meeting in Hampton Roads. We think of her as our special projects go-to person. Always there for us and always dependable, she especially likes working with the Yellow Ribbon groups.