Building Tomorrow Now

Women in Science and Engineering Symposium

Major General Amy S. Courter

Amy S. Courter served as the National Commander and CEO of the all-volunteer Civil Air Patrol, a federally chartered nonprofit corporation and the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force headquartered at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL from 2007-2011.

Her primary duty was to lead CAP’s 61,000-plus volunteers in fulfillment of the organization’s three congressionally chartered missions: Emergency Services, Cadet Programs and Aerospace Education, as well as CAP’s increasing role in America’s homeland security.

As CAP’s commander, Courter served as a Major General (2-star), the highest ranking CAP Officer, and was the first female to have attained that distinction in the 69 years of CAP’s history. Maj. Gen. Courter was also a member of the CAP Board of Governors, and led the CAP National Executive Committee and CAP National Board – CAP’s governing and advisory bodies.

In 2007 Maj. Gen. Courter was appointed Acting and then Interim National Commander, and was elected in 2008. In 2006 she had been elected National Vice Commander, and additionally served as the National Chief of Staff for a portion of that year. Her commitment to public trust and transparency in governance aided CAP during an unanticipated transition, thereby stabilizing the organization. She energized a new staff structure, with clearly articulated expectations and processes, and cast a wide net across the organization for the best qualified resources. Courter also focused the organization on best practices, including fiduciary duties, strategic planning, diversity and inclusion, and generating internal and external opportunities and partnerships. For Fiscal Year 2008, CAP received its first unqualified “A+” audit after integrating over 1500 units’ financial transactions into a common system. Under Courter’s leadership the scholarship funding increased over 50%. Courter joined CAP’s Michigan Wing in 1979 and served as commander of the wing from 1999 to 2002.

In her career, Courter has a very rich and diverse background that includes 20 years leadership at Valassis, a former billion-dollar public marketing services corporation. First as a manager, and last as Vice President of Information Technology, Courter set strategy and oversaw all Information Technology (IT) operations and projects, and led her team to a 10-year record of over 95% of all projects being completed on time and on budget. Courter also was asked to lead the Telecommunications Division where she forged a collaborative environment in which the teams worked in harmony, sharing workload and cross-training for advanced development of the employees. Courter was responsible for all IT employees, and she coordinated the IT systems, processes, and Business Recovery for Valassis world-wide. In addition, she developed company-wide programs to enhance the corporate working environment and employee retention, assisting Valassis to be recognized in Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” lists year-on-year and into the “100 Best” Hall of Fame. Courter was named “Top 100 Premier IT Leader” by ComputerWorld Magazine in 2002. Since 2006, Courter has worked in the healthcare, not-for-profit, technology and the manufacturing arenas. She has been selected to positions on numerous boards, serving both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. She serves as a Past President of the International Air Cadet Exchange Association’s board, and also shares her expertise through instruction and executive coaching with Inforum’s Next4Vets program. Currently, Courter is COO of inerTRAIN, bringing online personalized workouts to clients from certified fitness trainers. She also is honored to serve as National President of the Women In Defense, a National Security Organization and affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association.

Courter attended Kalamazoo College, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in psychology and education, and secondary teaching certification in psychology, computer science, and mathematics, as well as coaching certifications in volleyball and field hockey. She studied abroad in Strasbourg, France.