The June 18, 2020 Luncheon Speakers will be Daniel Gade & Ben Loyola


Daniel Gade - Candidate for U.S. Senate

Same Oath. New Mission.

Dr. Daniel Gade is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, professor, and public policy leader running to serve the Commonwealth of Virginia in the U.S. Senate. During more than 20 years of military service, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts. Daniel graduated from West Point in 1997 and served in multiple locations in the United States and Korea.

In 2004, his unit deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. He led his unit of 150 soldiers on many combat missions, was wounded by enemy fire twice, and was decorated for valor. His second combat wounding caused his entire right leg to be amputated, and he spent the next year in the hospital, enduring more than 40 surgeries.
His new, serious disability was life changing, but he decided to thrive. A year to the day after his injuries, he started his Master of Public Administration, and later went on to earn a PhD in public administration and policy. He served in President George W. Bush’s administration, working on veteran issues and military healthcare, and has since served on several national-level policy councils, including the National Council on Disability and the VA Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation.

He taught political science, economics, and leadership courses at the United States Military Academy (West Point) from 2011 until his retirement from the Army in 2017, and is now a professor at American University in DC.
For fun, Daniel does hard things: he mountain bikes and road bikes and enjoys CrossFit. In 2010, he competed in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, where he won the paratriathlon category. A week later, he completed Ironman Arizona, pedaling the 112 miles with only one leg. Daniel resides in Alexandria with his wife of 20 years, Wendy, and their three children.

His new, serious disability was life changing, but he decided to thrive. A year to the day after his injuries, he started his Master of Public Administration, and later went on to earn a PhD in public administration and policy. He served in President George W. Bush’s administration, working on veteran issues and military healthcare, and has since served on several national-level policy councils, including the National Council on Disability and the VA Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation.

He taught political science, economics, and leadership courses at the United States Military Academy (West Point) from 2011 until his retirement from the Army in 2017. He served in the Trump Administration for 15 months, and is now a professor at American University in Washington, DC.

Ben Loyola

Ben Loyola - Candidate For Congress

Ben Loyola was born in Havana, Cuba and was only two years old when his family fled Communist Cuba to find freedom in America.

Ben decided to give back to the country that gave him everything and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1983. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, Ben went to flight school and subsequently became a Bombardier Navigator for the A-6E Intruder. Ben participated in successful Gulf of Sidra Libyan combat operations and was awarded the Air Medal with Combat Valor for his actions which eliminated Libyan gunboat threats to the Carrier Task Force. Ben also participated in the mission that captured the terrorists who hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro. As a Navy Reservist, Ben has served as Commanding Officer Naval Forces South and deployed his unit to locations in the Caribbean and South America. After 30 years of service to his country, Ben retired as a Captain in the U.S. Navy.

Ben Loyola founded Loyola Enterprises Inc. in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Through hard work and entrepreneurship, Loyola Enterprises is providing the warfighter state-of-the-art Simulation, Cyber Security, Information Technology and Knowledge Management for training, analysis and operations. Loyola simulation and gaming support is helping the warfighter fight smarter and come home safe.

Ben and his wife, Gretchen, live in Virginia Beach with their two daughters. Gretchen is an accomplished violinist who was a member of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra prior to attending Eastern Virginia Medical School where she graduated with a Masters of Physician Assistant. Ben and his family are members of Saint John the Apostle Catholic Church in Virginia Beach.

Ben has been an active community leader since the 1980s and has served in many leadership roles including Vice Chairman, Commonwealth of Virginia Public School Authority; Commissioner, City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission and Board Member of the Virginia Ballet.

The February 20, 2020 Speaker was Congressman Rob Wittman - VA-01


Congressman Wittman spoke to a packed CARMA luncheon for about 50 minutes. He provided many updates on the issues before Congress, and specifically the House, before answering many member questions.

Following is a brief synopsis of his remarks prior to the Q&A session:

a. He never believed that their would be active debate on the topic of socialism in the House. He finds the discussions to be more and more common as the Dems continue to hammer away at social (entitlement) programs and the accompanying erosion of individual rights.

b. President trump remains a major defender of individual rights for the country. The Dems will go to any limits to try and push forward their agenda of entiotlements and socialism. The Senate remains the only barrier to limitless new laws and give-aways.

c. It is expected that there will a very large voter turn out this year. Lines and extensive wait times at the polls are anticipated, and voters are encouraged to vote early if possible. Some areas are expecting as high as 90% voter turnouts.

d. The President's budget makes an effort to reduce the national debt. It is looking at old and out of date programs that need to be defunded and removed. There is large pushback on any of the cutting of programs because of the house members all having their favorites for their home districts.

e. Continuing to rebuild the military is a prime focus of Congressman Wittman. He spoke at length about the changing environment of any conflict, and how the speed of reaction, and ability to meet headon with 21st century weapons and technology is of prime importance. The number of naval support ships is crucial to getting troops and supplies to the conflicts. The need to utilize and refit ships, and aircraft to meet the latest ground and air technology requirements is an urgent need also.

f. The advancement and protection of cyber-technology at home and worldwide is realized as a 21st century priority. Speaking of the fiber optic cables, their placement, their ability to be maintained in a crisis and the need to have multiple defense ready networks is a priority that many do not recognize.

g. He said that it would be impossible to outspend our military adversaries. So, we must look at the spending completely from a strategic level of importance. To be on the cutting edge of weaponry must be the country's stance and position of awareness, yet the Dems do not seem to understand. Congresswoman Luria recently called the Gerald Ford aircraft carrier, a "13 billion dollar barge." It is equipped with many of the new technologies needed to survive modern conflicts and as a retired naval officer, this comment seemed to be totally coming from a Dem, and not from an armed forces and veteran supporting congresswoman.

h. Prescription drug prices - No bill has been brough forward, as a stand alone, to address this issue. The one that had drug prices hung on it, had no chance of passing, and was created by the Dems to say they had looked at the issue and it was stopped by the GOP. More political gamesmanship on their part.


1. What can the average person do to support the GOP? He believes their is more unity in the GOP currently than he has seen in many years because of the actions of the Dems. He suggests supports for local Republican groups in any way possible.

2. Are we moving ahead with a space force? Yes, all space components from the various military units are being focused on one new organization within the chiefs of staff. This will be continuing to roll out in the next several quarters.

3. How important does he feel the dredging of the Chesapeake port is? Extremely! It will allow Norfolk to be the largest and most equipped port on the eastern seaboard. Their is many reasons why it is needed and except that Florida has a larger congressional delegation who wanted a port there, it would be the number one. Work continues, and it is just not a high a priority as the south currently.

4. Describe your feeling about AG Barr & the FBI? Barr is a good leader. He is taking the actions needed in the intelligence community, and while heand the President have different styles, they are both committed to cleaning up a significant number of issues. He believes the President's use of Twitter allows him to keep the media focused on issues of his liking, and currently there isn't any other way to approach the media bias.

5. Are there challengers he will face in November? Currently, he does not have a primary challenger. He is aware of three Dems who have surfaced as opponents. He mentioned that online donations (WINRED) are a big factor in supporting GOP candidates. It has more than doubled what its counterpart is. He says supporters should sign up to go to events and fundraisers. Small donations add up and mean a fgreat deal. He believes Northern Virginia will be a November issue, but with a very high turnout, that can be overcome. An online statistic has show that 17% of the electorate, who didn't vote in 2016, are leaning towards the GOP becuase they have had too much of the carrying ons of the past couple years. He believes grassroot efforts are essential to winning. He noted that Bloomberg has already spent 500 million of his own money.

6. Can we get Pennsylvania to do more to keep the Chesapeake and rivers that flow through Virginia cleaner? He responded that this is a multi-state issue, and yes, PA needs to do more. Too much chemicals are being allowed into the waters.

7. What is the chances for Re-districting in 2020? Virtually none. The House has not taken up a bill in Virginia, and when you control both Houses why would you. The 2020 census will be the guidance for the 2021 election, and it could change a lot of districts, as urban sprawl continues.

8. Congresswoman Luria, your thoughts? I have issues...she signed the letter to impeach BEFORE any document alleging specific violations was put forth. He hopes that the GOP can win back that district.

9. The senate race for Mark Warner's seat, any comments? Will be tough to unseat due to name recognition, and expected campaign funding. With a large turnout, if voters will vote the party line, it is possible.

10. If Virginia continues on its path to many new gun control laws, how would you suggest that they be overturned? The courts, two paths, state and federal, and then to vote out the delegates, senators who voted for it, and elect a governor who respects second amendment rights.

11. Healthcare issues...Congressman Wittman spoke about the shortage of doctors, the wave of specialists who are graduating, and the need for reforms in medical billing, practices, and insurance reform.

Final Comments:

Get out to vote, vote early if you can. Election day will likely be craziness with long lines and delays. Vote ahead, and realize you can do it easily, and at your convenience. Engage people in conversation, and tell them what we stand for. The Republican Creed, may be a good guide.


Serving the First Congressional District of Virginia since 2007, Rob has been focused on strengthening our military and supporting veterans, promoting economic development through fiscal responsibility, fixing our crumbling infrastructure, increasing access to high-speed internet, and promoting workforce development through Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs.

In the U.S. Congress, Rob serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources, where he is well-positioned to represent the needs of Virginia's First District.  He has quickly earned a reputation for being an advocate for our men and women in uniform and for being a champion of the Chesapeake Bay.

On the Armed Services Committee, Rob serves as Ranking Member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.  In addition, as Co-Chair of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus, he is a staunch advocate for a robust Naval fleet and a healthy domestic shipbuilding industry. Rob also served as Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee for four years and as Chairman of the U.S. Naval Academy's Board of Visitors for nine years.

As a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rob brings his professional expertise in water quality, fisheries, and other natural resource issues. He is a champion of the Chesapeake Bay -- for its environmental and economic attributes -- and has introduced legislation that will increase the accountability and effectiveness of cleaning up the Bay. He serves as co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus, which brings Bay issues into focus for Members of Congress.

As a Co-Chair of the House Rural Broadband Caucus, he is leading the way to bring high-speed internet to the unserved areas of the First District and the nation. In 2018, he held two meetings of his Broadband Taskforce, where he brought together national, state, and local stakeholders to focus on finding real solutions that will expand broadband to unserved areas. His other infrastructure priorities include deepening and widening the Port of Virginia, easing congestion on I-95, improving and expanding the Long Bridge, expanding the capacity of the Virginia Railway Express (VRE), and providing sustainable funding mechanisms to Dulles international Airport (IAD) and Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA).

He was re-elected for his sixth full term in the House of Representatives in November 2018 and for more than 20 years, Rob has served in several levels of government, from Montross Town Council to United States Congress. Rob won his first campaign for public office in 1986 when he was elected to the Montross Town Council, where he served for 10 years, four of them as Mayor. In 1995, Rob was elected to the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors and was elected its Chairman in 2003. In 2005, voters in the 99th Legislative District elected Rob to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served until he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2007.

Prior to his election to Congress, Rob spent 26 years working in state government, most recently as Field Director for the Virginia Health Department's Division of Shellfish Sanitation. Earlier, he worked for many years as an environmental health specialist for local health departments in Virginia's Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula regions.

He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Tech.