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  • 13 Sep 2019 11:55 | Anonymous

    JWLS September Press Release
    Media Contact: Abigail Kelly, akelly@susandavis.com, 202-414-0782

    Over one thousand military women and men gathered for premier professional development conference for service women


    (Photo by Andrew Noh Photography)


    Washington, DC (September 13, 2019) - The Sea Service Leadership Association (SSLA) brought together over one thousand service women and men at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on August 22 and 23 for the 32nd annual  Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium (JWLS). The symposium is the largest gathering of women in uniform worldwide and welcomed servicewomen and men from all Department of Defense branches and the U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA, international representatives and civilians to directly address the issues faced by those who serve.

    With a list of well-known speakers including 23rd Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James; Maj. Gen. Linda Singh, first African American and first female leader of the Maryland National Guard; Lt. Gens Laura and James Richardson, only married three-star generals in the U.S. Army; and Brig. Gen. Lorna Mahlock, U.S. Marine Corps, first African American female Marine General Officer, this year’s symposium focused on the theme “Building Bridges, Changing Culture.” The program offered a wide range of professional development and leadership seminars, keynote speakers and workshops preparing women to excel in the military of today and tomorrow.


    Sgt. Maj. Robin Fortner, USMC; Brig. Gen. Jill Farris, USA; Brig. Gen. Lorna Mahlock, USMC; Command Master Chief Marisol Dumalo, USN; Col. Bebe Hollingshead, USAF; and CWO Bethannie Kittrell, USCG speak on the Women’s Leadership Panel at the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium in Washington, DC on August 22, 2019. (Photo by Andrew Noh Photography)


    Capt. Martha LaGuardia Kotite, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.), SSLA’s Coast Guard Representative and JWLS co-chair, highlighted the many firsts for women in the military this year in her opening remarks and set the stage for the day’s events which inspired attendees and provided the chance to hold open conversations about leadership in the military and concerns of those who serve. The symposium offered panels on family and health; sexual harassment; culture on the frontlines; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; and an international panel with representatives from Sweden, Denmark and Australia. Some of the panels can be viewed here.

    The program also included past symposium agenda favorites including the Annual Awards Ceremony, where  fourteen servicemembers and civilian employees from all service branches were honored for their leadership and accomplishments throughout their careers. The Senior Leaders Panel was another returning panel comprised of leaders from all five services who talked about their experiences in the military and answered questions from attendees seeking to move up in rank.


    Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, USAF (Ret.) presented Air Force leadership awards to recipients during the Annual Awards Ceremony at the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, August 22, 2019. (Photo by MC1 Sarah Villegas)


    Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, USAF (Ret.) presented Air Force leadership awards to recipients during the Annual Awards Ceremony at the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, August 22, 2019. (Photo by MC1 Sarah Villegas)

    In addition to the two-day symposium, SSLA hosted their second annual Women Veterans Career and Transitioning Seminar on Wednesday, August 21 for service members preparing to retire and transition to a civilian career. The seminar presented guest speakers with insight from their personal transitions as well as a panel of pro-military civilian employers and a panel of women veteran authors on how they told their stories.

    “For 32 years, the Sea Service Leadership Association has been proud to host the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium, the premier professional and personal development conference for women in the military,” said Marine Lt. Gen. Lori Reynolds, Sea Service Leadership Association’s Chairperson of the Board. “Again this year, we left encouraged and empowered by the mentorship, wisdom and networks that were developed through this incredible event.  We look forward to Norfolk in 2020!”

    More photos from the event can be found on SSLA's Flickr page. Photo Credit (unless otherwise noted): Andrew Noh Photography.  More photos are available upon request. To request an interview with a member from SSLA’s Board of Directors, please contact Abigail Kelly, akelly@susandavis.com, 202-414-0782.

  • 10 Jul 2019 18:44 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    JWLS July Press Release
    Media Contact: Abigail Kelly, akelly@susandavis.com, 202-414-0782

    Senior leaders to speak at premier leadership development event for servicewomen

    WASHINGTON, DC (July 10, 2019) – The Sea Service Leadership Association (SSLA) will host the 32nd Annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium, the largest gathering of U.S. military women in the nation, August 22-23, 2019, in Washington, DC. Returning to the East Coast after being in San Diego last year, servicewomen and men from all Department of Defense branches, the U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA, and civilians, are encouraged to register for the two-day symposium taking place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

    This year's theme, “Building Bridges, Changing Cultures,” will offer professional development and leadership seminars preparing women to excel in the military of today and tomorrow. The first day of the conference will be a joint services day followed by day two featuring service specific sessions to allow discussions of branch specific topics.

    “The Joint Women's Leadership Symposium continues to be the foremost professional development opportunity for women in the military, and we are pleased to be returning to Washington, DC this year for the 32nd annual conference,” said Marine Lt. Gen. Lori Reynolds, SSLA chairperson of the board. “This year promises to be as fulfilling as ever, with a top-notch agenda of successful and thought-provoking speakers to challenge and inspire our participants as in years past. We are looking forward to seeing everyone in our Nations' Capitol for an exciting personal and professional reunion.”

    Featured on the main stage will be the International Women’s Panel with SSLA Chairperson of the Board Marine Lt. Gen. Lori Reynolds; a panel on Military Families and Health including Army Lt. Gens. Laura and James Richardson; and a tentative Keynote address by Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer. Breakout sessions will cover the topics of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, sexual harassment, finance, leadership, and stories from those in the LGBTQ community. The full agenda can be found here.

    For the second year, SSLA will host a networking and transitioning seminar at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Wednesday, August 21 from 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. for service members preparing to retire and transition to a civilian career. The seminar will present guest speakers with insight from their personal transitions as well as a panel of pro-military civilian employers. Centurion Military Alliance will be on site to provide valuable insight into resume

    reviews, mock interviews, elevator pitch practice, the art of salary negotiation, mentoring, and networking best practices. Registration for the seminar is available here.

    Registration for JWLS 2019 is available through RegFox, and each service has made available a certain number of free registration spots on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more about the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium and SSLA, visit www.sealeader.org, or follow JWLS’ Facebook, SSLA’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

    The Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium is recognized as the premier professional and personal development conference for women in the military. Past symposia have featured senior leaders from the White House, Department of Defense and the private sector. Attendees have lauded the symposium for its delivery of practical, immediately applicable knowledge and skills, and for the exposure, it has given them to a wide range of high-profile leaders and organizations. This is an event that cannot be missed for women and men of all ranks looking to benefit from networking, mentoring, education, and leadership development training.

    About SSLA

    Established in 1978, SSLA a non-profit, non-political organization recognized by the United States Sea Services and dedicated to providing professional development through networking, education, and mentorship of women from the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

    SSLA is a member of the Navy & Marine Corps Council, which advises the Secretary of the Navy on issues affecting Navy and Marine Corps personnel and their families. Each year, SSLA hosts the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium for all five military services, making it the largest gathering of women in uniform nationwide.

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