2021 Board of Trustees Election

Vote For Your Representation
U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees Election Information

Vote in this year’s Alumni Association Board of Trustees election. Your input strengthens our association and our shared future. Those elected will join the board for the Spring 2021 meeting.

If you reside in the Mid Atlantic or Western regions, you will receive a ballot via mail for the 2021 Board of Trustees election. Printed ballots will be sent to regular members by an external vendor, Yes Elections, with complete voting instructions for mail, phone and online options. You may opt out of a paper ballot and vote electronically starting in mid-March should that be more convenient for you. Please take a few moments to read the biographies below of the candidates for Trustee. Voting closes on 21 April 2021 by 5 p.m. EDT.

Click on a candidate's name to read their complete bio:

Candidates for Mid Atlantic Region Trustee

Lieutenant Colonel Vince Balderrama '78, USMCR (Ret.)

Commander Gregory Glaros '86, USN (Ret.)

Commander Juliana R. Vida '94, USN (Ret.)


Candidates for Western Region Trustee

Captain Barbette Lowndes '80, SC, USN (Ret.)

Lieutenant Commander Francis I. Ebong '03, USNR



LtCol Vince Balderrama '78, USMCR (Ret.)

Hello, Shipmates! I am Vince Balderrama, Class of ’78. I am one of three candidates vying to be your Mid-Atlantic Trustee.

I am deeply connected in the USNA and Alumni Association and have the background, experience, and skills needed to represent you. I will use that experience, knowledge, and connections to serve Mid-Atlantic alumni and successfully support the USNA mission.

The Alumni Association is your association. It – and its sister organization, the Alumni Foundation – can only thrive and succeed in their missions to support the Naval Academy, by your commitment and engagement. To remain committed and engaged, you need to be informed alumni and satisfied that your opinions and recommendations are heard. Today, we are bombarded by a variety of newsletters, e-mails and letters telling us what is happening. As a Trustee I will continue to keep that information flowing but with a twist. I commit to asking what you think. Communication must be two-way. You have my commitment to always listen. I also commit to being seen. You’ll likely catch me at some of your local chapter meetings - present, approachable, and with my ears open. 

As Mid-Atlantic Trustee, I will represent you. As a Midshipman and a Marine Corps officer, my duty was to look out for my sailors [Mids] and Marines. If I did it well, the mission always got done. It’s been no different throughout my military career and in the business world. It will be the same should you choose me to be your Trustee.

If you have made it this far with your reading, I hope you’ll continue and see my bona fides:

I am an Annapolis resident, retired Marine, semi-retired businessman, Midshipman sponsor, former Foundation Major Gifts Officer (MGO), and Blue and Gold Officer (BGO). Those experiences allow me to keep the pulse of the Academy and the Alumni Association and Foundation. They also help me create an extensive network of contacts that will allow me to make significant contributions to the Association, Alumni and USNA.

1978 Class Secretary since 1989, I have been told that I may be the second longest serving among USNA Class Secretaries. In my Class President’s absence, I have represented ’78 on the Council of Class Presidents (COCP). In doing so, I have become familiar with many of the Class Presidents across the decades. It has permitted me to be involved in the actions of the COCP and positioned me to be more knowledgeable about the business of the Alumni Association, The Foundation, NAAA and the Naval Academy.

I am well versed in Chapter organizations and their activities. With other alumni, I helped re-establish the Connecticut Chapter and served as its Treasurer. I have also been a member of the Western New York Chapter and am currently a member of the Greater Washington DC, Hampton Roads and Annapolis Chapters. I am an active member of four parent chapters’ social media sites across four states. I am a member of the Naval Academy Minority Association (NAMA) Shared Interest Group (SIG). I sit on their Fundraising and Pre-Admission Committees. I am a former Blue and Gold Officer and served for several years on a Congressman’s Service Academy Selection Committee. For over 10 years, my wife and I have enjoyed sponsoring and mentoring Midshipmen. They help keep me aware of Midshipman perspectives of “real” life in the Yard and of their aspirations to be Naval Officers and beyond.

I recently served as a Naval Academy Foundation Major Gifts Officer (MGO). I am well informed about the recent fundraising campaign and its goals, as well as the current USNA strategic plan. For a little over five years as an MGO, I engaged with hundreds of alumni and parents across seven states to inform them about them about the goals and benefits of the Campaign and solicit their financial support. I also worked with Foundation Board members to conduct regional Campaign activities in support of the Campaign. By the time I left, I had successfully secured several million dollars toward the recent Campaign.

I received my MBA from the University of Connecticut (UCONN). Always one to get involved, I was a member of UCONN’s Board of Director of its School of Business’s Alumni and Friends Association. I helped write its by-laws and planned and participated in alumni outreach strategy and activities.

Officially a “retired” Marine – I am always a Marine. I was born into the Corps, courtesy of my late Sergeant Major father. During my 28 years of combined active duty and reserve service, I flew assault support helicopters (CH-46E), served in staff billets; and deployed globally. Among those deployments I served in support of Multi-national Peacekeeping mission in Beirut during the height of U.S involvement. I am a “plank holder” at the Marine Corps Systems Command, where I served as an Acquisition Specialist and its first Non-Standard Aviation Programs Officer. A graduate of the then twenty-week Defense Systems Management College’s Program Manager’s Course (now Defense Acquisition University), I am a program professional. For twenty-five years I was a program professional and successful aerospace industry executive in domestic and international business. I managed major business sectors worth hundreds of millions of dollars and led major business captures totaling over $1 billion.

It was my Sergeant Major dad who, by his example and words, instilled in me the foundations of character, leadership, and service. The Naval Academy validated and expanded upon those lessons. It further influenced my development and gave me the education and skills to succeed and overcome any adversity I encountered – or as we Marines say, to “adapt, improvise and overcome.” It was not just the Academy, but Shipmates who also helped along the way. Today, Shipmates continue to “be there for me” just as I am for them. Serving as your Mid-Atlantic Trustee would provide me further opportunity to “give back” to the Naval Academy – to serve it and you, my Shipmates. I hope you will give me your vote. Go Navy! Semper Fidelis.


CDR Gregory Glaros ’86, USN (Ret.)

CDR Gregory Glaros served for twenty years in the U.S. Navy as a Strike/Fighter Pilot and dual qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer. His active duty career was rewarded with four combat tours spanning the sands of Desert Storm to the mountains of Afghanistan. He is a 1986 U.S. Naval Academy graduate earning a degree in Aerospace Engineering, received Space System and Electrical Engineering Master of Science degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School, attended the Naval War College and was an Airwing Strike Leader graduate of the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center “Top Gun”. He was privileged to perform the duties of a Program Executive within the Department of Defense’s Directed Energy and Operational Responsive Space programs (now known as Space Force) and was the principle pioneer who recognized the importance of space in future warfare by providing SpaceX with its first rocket contract in 2004.

Following his Naval service Glaros founded and later became the Chief Executive Officer of SYNEXXUS, Inc. an American System Design, Manufacturing, and Lead System Integration Company building cyber secure electronics and stealth ships as well as serving as the Chairman of the Board for EmPower a market leader in the monitoring, metering and security of our Nation’s Power Grid.

For the past decade Glaros returned to dedicating himself to further the mission of the Naval Academy by serving as a member of the U.S. Naval Institute Foundation Board of Trustees (donating yearly Proceedings subscriptions to the Brigade of Midshipmen), as a Trustee of the Naval Academy Athletic and Scholarship Foundation, and as an active promoter of S.T.E.M., USNA Engineering Capstone and Woman in Engineering throughout the U.S.

Most importantly Glaros is the proud father of ENS Konstantine Glaros (USNA Class of 2020) and humble sponsor to dozens of his 19th Company Classmates residing just outside of Gate 3 as caretaker of the Ripley House in daily earshot of the murmurings and soundings of the Brigade.


CDR Juliana R. Vida ’94, USN (Ret.)

Dear Alumni – I am honored to have the opportunity to represent you and your varied personal and professional interests as the Mid-Atlantic Region representative on the Board of Trustees. My non-traditional career path across various warfare communities, and the private industry roles I’ve had in continuous support of the US public sector, make me uniquely qualified, suited, and motivated to serve ALL of you.

My fifty years on this planet have taught me to ask for what I want. I’m asking for your support and your vote.

Non-traditional career path? You bet. I was enlisted as a Russian linguist for two years before joining the great class of 1994. Over my 20 years as an Officer, I served as both a designated SWO and Naval Aviator, then alongside the Information Professional and Information Dominance officers on the OPNAV N6 – turned N2N6 staff in the Pentagon (4 years in uniform, 4 as a GS-15 civilian). Upon retirement in 2012 I became the Navy’s Deputy Chief Information Officer and played a large role in IT policy and governance. That role set me up with the technical chops and cross-government relationships to propel me into senior level advisory roles in industry, first at the technology research company Gartner (NYSE: IT) and now at market leading, high-growth software company Splunk (NASDAQ: SPLK).

Committed to serve? Absolutely! My commitment to helping Academy alumni and veterans of all kinds is evident in how I’ve chosen to share my time, talent and treasure over the past 3 decades:

• Served as director then Vice President of the Alumni Association Greater Washington Chapter
• Provided corporate sponsorship of two Greater Washington Chapter social events when I could no longer commit to board membership
• Played on the Navy’s “Yard Dawg” softball team in a DC-based league of college and university teams
• Actively mentor a 2010 graduate through the Academy Mentorship Program–contributing to her own pivot from Naval aviation to wild success in a growing software startup, ID.me
• Actively support veterans at all stages in their transition from military service:

° Spoke at three Service Academy Career Conferences, encouraging and empowering veterans facing their military service transitions
° Actively participate in online veteran support and transition efforts, most notably HireMilitary.
° Routinely gives 1:1 advice, endorse and champion, and otherwise empower veterans, including numerous USNA alumni

• Support through financial contribution and public endorsement a variety of alumni-owned small businesses, including LauraHatcherPhotography, HiveMindedConsulting, Jet Girl USA.
• October 20, 2020, I participated as an alumni speaker during this year's virtual "Character of a Warfighter Alumni Fire Side Chat Series" presented by the USNA Professional Development Department.
• I have served on the USNA Reunion Committees for the class of 1994 over the past 12 years, in roles including onsite reunion event support and Class Historian. I plan to continue this work indefinitely as we hold our reunions every five years.
• In July 2020, I participated in an oral and video history project through the USNA Museum.

What do my career path and life pursuits have to do with my ability to serve you? Most of you have also served in similarly challenging and diverse ways, with a variety of years and experiences in uniform and out. I commit to you that I will leverage the multi-faceted lens that is uniquely mine across warfighting, operations, policy, governance, technology and business to make comprehensive, inclusive contributions and decisions in matters of Alumni Association business.

With gratitude and appreciation, I thank you in advance for your support and your VOTE!

~Julie Rosati Vida



CAPT Barbette H. Lowndes '80, SC, USN (Ret.)

Captain Barbette Lowndes ’80 retired from federal employment after 35 years. She served 27 years active duty in the Navy and 8 years as a Navy civil servant.  During her military career as a Supply Corps Officer, Barbette served at 10 commands including two tours at sea on USS MCKEE (AS-41) and USS CAPE COD (AD-43). She was the Commanding Officer of Defense Contract Management Area Boston. As a civil servant, Barbette was the Director of Total Force Management for Space and Naval Warfare System Command (now called Naval Information Warfare Systems Command). 

Barbette graduated from USNA in May 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Oceanography. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Business Management from Webster University and a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. She is a graduate of the Senior Executive Institute at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School. 

Barbette is currently the President of the USNA Women’s Shared Interest Group (SIG) and was formerly the President of the San Diego Chapter and a Trustee of the Alumni Association Board of Trustees. She serves as a non-Trustee for the Admissions, Membership and Alumni Services, and Governance Committees for the Board of Trustees. Barbette was a member of the Special Committee on Alumni Culture, Diversity and Inclusion. 

She also volunteers for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society San Diego, the Armed Services YMCA San Diego, and in various roles for her church.


LCDR Francis Ebong '03, USNR

LCDR Francis Ebong serves teams at X (formerly Google X), where he focuses on scaling early stage projects to solve some of the world’s hardest problems. Prior to this role, he was Director of Global Operations & Partnerships at Facebook, where he oversaw consumer operations for Emerging Services, a global team responsible for the launch and engagement of new and emerging businesses (including FB Live, Marketplace, Messenger, ‘M’ Artificial Intelligence & Workplace).

Before joining Facebook, Ebong held key leadership roles in operations and business development at Apple and Postmates, building out supply chains for iPhones 4s through iPhone 6, and leading operations, partnerships, and go-to-market teams at Postmates. Prior to Apple, Ebong worked as a management consultant for both public and private sector clients at Deloitte, where he focused on go-to-market strategy & operations.

Ebong graduated from the Naval Academy in 2003, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in General Science. He began his career living in Japan, East Africa, and Washington D.C. serving as a Naval Supply Officer, leading teams in global supply chain management, operations, and contract negotiations with local businesses and governments; he also served as an air traffic controller for helicopter landings during global humanitarian missions.  Upon completion of active duty, Francis transitioned to the US Naval Reserves, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Ebong earned a Master’s in Business Administration from The George Washington University School of Business, and serves on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula. He previously served on the board of directors for the Silicon Valley YMCA and advises a number of non-profit organizations supporting veterans as they transition from active duty into the private sector. Francis was born to a Nigerian family in Omaha, Nebraska, and currently lives in San Francisco with his wife and three children.