By Debbie Gregory.
On March 25th, the White house named ten female industry leaders as “Women Veteran Leader Champions of Change.” The honor was bestowed on these ladies for their contributions to the public and community sectors of our nation’s businesses.
Female Veterans currently make up 10% of the Veteran population. By the year 2020, their percentage should rise to 12% or higher. This makes women the fastest growing Veteran demographic in the country.
As March was Women’s History Month, it was fitting that we, as a nation, recognized the accomplishments and contributions made by women, particularly female Veterans. Many of these women are responsible for removing barriers that prohibited previous generations of women from claiming leadership roles in the military. These ladies left the military to pioneer and trail-blaze paths for women in Corporate America.
Every generation of Veterans leaves the military with skills and abilities that they can use for the rest of their lives. Military lessons in teamwork, resourcefulness, dependability, leadership, justice and attention to detail make Veterans the ideal leaders in communities and in business.
The Champions of Change program was designed to honor individuals who are taking extraordinary measures to inspire and empower other members of their communities. The “Champions of Change” ladies honored this week were:
Erica Borggren: Director of the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs, Chicago, IL.
Martha Daniel: U.S. Navy Veteran, President and CEO of Information Management Resources, Inc., Aliso Viejo, CA
Mary Johanna Forbes; Col. U.S. Army (Ret): Assistant Director for Veteran Services for the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs, Dupont, WA.
Ellen Houlihan: Vice-Chair, Board of Directors, West Point Association of Graduates, Allen, TX
Sonia Jo Kendrick: Veteran and Founder of Feed Iowa First, Hiawatha, IA
Dana L. Niemela, MSW: Navy Veteran and Coordinator of the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, Denver, CO
Coral Wong Pietsch: Judge, United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Honolulu, HI
Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: CEO and Founder of Gracefully Global Group LLC, Hayward, CA
Deborah Scott Thomas; Col., U.S.A.F. (Ret): Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of Data Solutions & Technology, Inc., Edgewater, MD
Stacey Young-McCaughan, R.N., PhD; Col. U.S. Army (Ret): Director of Research for the STRONG STAR Consortium, Llano, TX