Prelude: My Aviance brothers and sisters let me start off by saying thank you to Juan Aviance, Mother to the Children of the House of Aviance®. My first encounter with Mother Aviance was back in the summer of 1990. I was a high school sophomore trying to escape the affluent suburbs of Maryland by venturing into the urban jungles of Half Street in Southeast D.C. to the infamous nightclub “Tracks DC.” It was here at Tracks DC that I studied and learned the art of Voguing by meticulously observing from a distance Mother Juan Aviance, Kevin Aviance, Jerome Aviance, Phrankie Aviance, Jean-Philippe Aviance, SisterFace Aviance, Papa Joe Aviance, Joel Aviance, Gustavo Aviance, and Antonio “DJ Toney Da Tiger” Aviance Voguing in their very own unique trademark and style to the beats of House music. Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and occasional Sunday I would enter the magical wonderland of Tracks DC in search of my teachers to enlighten this young and eager apprentice willing to embrace the culture of the underground. For months I watched the club children turning it out on the dance floor while the masters battled against one another in a friendly duel underneath the DJ booth. I practiced for weeks at home before I had the courage to finally bring it to the dance floor and show the club children what kind of style and moves I had up my sleeves. I recall the moment when I became a member of the House. It was a Saturday evening in mid-December and I was hanging out in the larger dance floor with my back against the wall underneath the DJ booth when I heard KC Flight’s “Voices Inside My Head” blaring from the overhead speakers. Something bizarre caught wind of me and transformed by mind, body and soul into another dimension. I threw my arms and hands into the air and started moving to sounds of the drumbeat. I twirled, dipped, bounced, posed and contorted by body into several awkward positions that caught the attention of the Aviance children and yours truly Mother Aviance. After it was all said and done, Mother Juan approached me with poise and asked me to join the House of Aviance®. I accepted the invitation and to this day I am extremely proud to call myself an Aviance! Being an Aviance isn’t about the fabulous moves you can strike on the dance floor or even about the amount of trophies you can snatch at a ball. Being an Aviance is about being part of a family. Being an Aviance is about having authentic love for your family members. Being an Aviance is about integrity for one self. Being an Aviance is about understanding and realizing that the actions and words we speak have a profound influence on the lives of others. Whether those words or actions are directed towards our brothers and sisters within in the House of Aviance® or another member from a myriad of other Houses. We, as the children of the House of Aviance® have an obligation to one another to set the standards of excellence for past, present and future generations of Aviance children. A family can only function and grow in a positive nature when great role models are leading the way. One particular role model is the Mother to the House. Mother Aviance has always been that great role model along with being the voice of reason in the life of her many talented children. With words of encouragement, compassion and patience and the love for the House of Aviance®, Mother Aviance has created a house full of young and seasoned veterans who bring a wealth of talent and professionalism in representing the Aviance name. This is the true essence of courage and representation in sounding out the Aviance name. It’s not about one individual but about a family of friends who all share the same vision for the House. My decision to join wasn’t based on the fact that I wanted to belong to a House. It was based on the value of meaningful relationships and friendships that I would create for years to come. I can’t leave this prelude without saying a special huge THANK YOU to Antonio “DJ Toney Da Tiger” Aviance. If you’re reading this Toney, you know exactly what I mean. Forever Brothers and Sisters no matter where we are in life. With that in mind I bow out gracefully and leave you with some words for thought. May you be happy; may you be healthy; and may you be free. Forever Aviance! - Vong Aviance-Khamvongsa Biography of Vong Aviance-Khamvongsa: Vong Aviance-Khamvongsa serves as a Program Analyst with the United States Federal Government. He brings a combination of experience and record of leadership in both the public and private sectors. In his current position, he serves as the planning champion for the development of measures for current enterprise-wide initiatives. He currently serves as the project lead for process mapping of internal communications within the Office of Administration. Most recently, Vong Aviance-Khamvongsa served as a consultant in the development of policy and procedure decisions on Occupant Emergency Planning. Since 2007, Vong Aviance-Khamvongsa has served as an office manager, helping to direct Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) and change in corporate culture within the 1423-person organization. He provides strategic alignment of initiatives and goals with organizational values, vision and mission while ensuring that the workforce is properly engaged and trained. Previously, he held the position of Special Assistant to the Director of a National Biometrics Program under the Department of Homeland Security. In this capacity he served as the program liaison to embassy officials and other government entities along with external stakeholders to enhance the political relations with foreign and domestic partnerships. Prior to his assignment with the department, Vong Aviance-Khamvongsa received an Honorable Discharge from the United States Army. He was stationed at Ft. Stewart, Georgia’s 4th Battalion 64th Armor Regiment as a 19 Kilo Specialist on the M1-A1 Abrams tank of Headquarters & Headquarters Company (HHC). He served under Lieutenant Colonel Guy C. Swann III and provided tactical consultation during field training. Prior to his reassignment to HHC, Vong Aviance-Khamvongsa served under Captain Watson of Delta Company’s 4th Platoon, as the driver of the M1-A1 tanks. Vong Aviance-Khamvongsa was instrumental in supporting the company commander with qualifying his tank crew as the top M1-A1 tank crew during field operations and training in the summer of 1995 and 1996. During his tour of duty with Delta Company, Vong Aviance-Khamvongsa was deployed to Egypt to participate in “Operation Bright Star,” a joint training exercise led by American and Egyptian forces. Prior to his orders to report to his official duty station, Vong Aviance-Khamvongsa graduated in the top 1% of his class from One Station Unit Training (OSUT) at Ft. Knox, Kentucky where he received his Excellence in Armor (EIA) recognition award and promotion amongst his peers of 2500 soldiers for providing superb leadership skills and knowledge during Advanced Individual Training (AIT). In addition, he excelled rapidly in gaining rank by being promoted from an E-1 to E-2 during Basic Combat Training (BCT). Other medals include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Lapel Button, Army Service Ribbon, and Expert Badge in Rifle and Grenade. During Basic Combat Training (CBT) at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, Vong Aviance-Khamvongsa served as the Platoon Guide to 56 soldiers of Alpha Company 214. His professionalism reflects great credit upon him, his unit, and the soldiers that he led during Basic Combat Training (BCT). Vong Aviance-Khamvongsa is Associates Certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) from the George Washington University and received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Maryland at College Park. Vong Aviance-Khamvongsa currently lives in Washington, D.C. with his partner of 11 years. When they are not traveling abroad, he and his partner donate their time and energy to political causes that support the LBGT community.