Reserve Officers Association convention to be held Cape Coral
The Reserve Officer’s Association’s Department of Florida has chosen Cape Coral for its 2011 Spring Convention, featuring Maj. Gen. Keith L. Thurgood — deputy chief of the United States Army Reserve — as the keynote speaker.
Scheduled for Tarpon Point Resort on April 30, Cape Coral was chosen for the event because it will be home to a new Army Reserve Center, according to Vince Cummings, president elect of the ROA.
Cummings said the Cape “reflects the values” of the U.S. Army Reserve.
“It’s a reflection upon the city’s emergence as a strategic center for the U.S. Army Reserve,” Cummings added.
Thurgood will be joined by local officials Mayor John Sullivan, Councilmem-ber Bill Deile and Lee County Commis-sioner Frank Mann.
Cummings said the rest of City Council, along with U.S. Rep. Connie Mack have also been invited but have not responded.
Cummings, a 22-year veteran of the Armed Forces and a 1990 graduate of Cape Coral High School, said the new U.S. Army Reserve Center will have a significant “economic impact” on the city.
Although the reserve center is still technically waiting funding from Congress, it will eventually occupy 15 acres of land on Corbett Road, across from soon to be operational Veterans Administration Clinic.
Part of the overall “Veterans Investment Zone,” a theoretical one-mile area surrounding the clinic, the reserve center could help to solidify that area as the future of development in the city.
Vince Cummings agreed.
“Those dollars are going to be crucial,” Cummings said. “It’s a unique opportunity to showcase the city as a military community. It’s really the only variable that separates Cape Coral from the rest of Lee County as far as identity and potential greatness.”
Thurgood, currently the deputy chief of the US Army Reserve Command, is scheduled to give a presentation as well as partake in an “interactive session” with the audience, according to Cummings, during the evening banquet on April 30.
“It’s an opportunity for the guests who are willing to attend to dialogue with the general,” he added.