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News | April 11, 2016

Defense Federal Community celebrates 2016 National Women’s History Month

By Mislin A. Hampton DLA Land and Maritime

The EEO Federal Women’s Program (FWP) joined in the celebration of National Women’s History Month, hosting a Women’s Leadership Summit for the third consecutive year March 23 in the Armed Forces Reserve Center (Building 2) on the Defense Supply Center Columbus installation. 

The summit paid tribute to generations of women whose sacrifice, dedication and contributions have proved to be invaluable for society.  In conjunction with celebrations held throughout the country, the theme in 2016 is “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.”  It honors women who have shaped America’s history and its future through their public service and government leadership. 

A total of 124 employees from the federal community participated in this summit. Welcoming remarks were provided by Navy Rear Adm. John G. King, commander, DLA Land and Maritime.  King discussed the significant contributions through history by women serving their country who are “role models with great vision.

“We’re celebrating women’s advancements to be treated as equal and their full participation in the federal government,” King said. “Public service is interesting, challenging, frustrating, but very rewarding. As public servants, we’re powerful.” 

The summit offered two workshops and a panel of four extraordinary women with diverse backgrounds in military, government and public service, sharing their career experiences to enable participants to enhance their leadership skills.  The topic for the panel discussion was “Women in Public Service Tell Their Stories,” and the panelists were: Caroline Z. Worley, Columbus Chamber Board Trustee of the Westerville Chamber, co-founder of the Women’s Small Business Accelerator and owner of Worley Law; Barbara Smoot, President & CEO Women for Economic and Leadership Development, advisory board member for the Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity and Honorary Board Member for the Women’s Business Center of Ohio; Air Force Capt. Joy Ella A. Bourassa, director of personnel, 178th Wing, Springfield, Ohio; and Dr. Marlene De La Cruz Guzman, director of Office for Multi-cultural Student Access and Retention, Ohio University.
The workshops were: “Are you a Leader?” by Cornell Lewis, executive director of Expanding Visions Foundation (EVF); and “You’re Built to Compete…You just didn’t know it,” by Rose Marilyn Handon, Ph.D., chief executive owner and president of Empowerment Network Circle.

During his lecture, Cornell said “A leader is someone who motivates other people. You need to have an emotional understanding of people.  Leadership is not doing everything.  You need to plant suggestions.  Empower people; trust them and be enthusiastic about it.” 
Handon spoke candidly about the thrills of being a competitor and how it helps in the workplace. Being a competitor, she said, allows a woman to endure and succeed. 

“Don’t allow people to put you in a box,” Handon said. “Enjoy being creative. Take advantage of being a government employee. Remember that you were born to compete, you’re strong, you’re winners and you have a critical voice,” Handon said.

Emcee for the summit was Army Capt. Miracle Lopez Garcia, Land and Maritime Price Pending Team supervisor, and the National Anthem was sang by Army Lt. Col. Clydellia S. Prichard-Allen, battalion commander for Columbus Recruiting Battalion. 

For more information related to the Federal Women’s Program (FWP) activities please contact EEO FWP Chair, Debra A. Hobbs, at (614) 692-5263 or EEO FWP Coordinator, Foronda S. Hall, at (614) 692-2434.