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 started in 2005, having gained most of her industry experience with a local motorcoach company. She is our main data entry person, one of our computer experts, and after nine remarkable years simply irreplaceable. Mandy’s position is critical to the smooth operation of our office, as she’s responsible for maintaining all group databases, designing registration websites and reports, printing all materials for registration packets, and scheduling the seasonal staff. She has the patience of Job and is cheerful under any circumstance.

KELLI GOFORTH, EVENT PLANNER

Kelli joined AFR in November 2019, having been an Event Coordinator for Old Dominion University, Molly’s alma mater. Communicating with and coordinating events for 182 student organizations and departments provided Kelli the perfect launch pad for a successful career at AFR, planning reunions and government conferences coast to coast. In over thirty years, no AFR employee has begun a career under more trying circumstances, as Covid-19 invaded our shores and devastated the hospitality industry. Kelli’s positive outlook always shines through, she loves working with our family of military clients, and she’s excited to hit the road in 2021 and beyond.

Donna Kennard, Registration Staff

Donna makes us look good when we’re on-site. She’s in charge of assembling the registration packets, which is no small task: printing programs, attendee rosters, tickets, nametags and then assembling everything while rarely if ever making a mistake. Donna is also one of our cheerful local staff for on-site registrations and tour escorting. With her husband being a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Donna has lived and breathed the military life for many years.

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.

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.

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.

Steve Padgett, Systems Director

Steve brings over 20 years of experience in computer and deep level SQL database programming to the AFR team, and is our go-to programmer.  Steve worked 10 years at the National Institute of Health, and holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Case Western University and certifications in JAVA, J2EE, along with a Master’s degree in computer science at Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering.