On October 21, 2020, Women In Defense Tennessee Valley Chapter celebrated its 2020 Annual Event & Scholarship Awards Ceremony at The Jackson Center. This socially-distanced and mask-friendly event was a great success!
WID-TVC President Allison Rhen shared chapter updates for the year, recognized the 2020 Board of Directors, and announced upcoming events. Additionally, WID-TVC STEM Director Gayla Suddarth provided a presentation on the support of many STEM initiatives that our chapter has provided to the local community.
Our 2020 scholarship recipients were Maria Martins, a pre-law student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Civic Engagement Leadership from the University of Alabama and Amanda Mimms, a student pursuing a Master of Science in Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management from Athens State University. Congratulations to both recipients!
Our special thanks goes to our keynote speaker, Mrs. Vergenia Shelton, President of INTUITIVE. She spoke to our members on key tips on being a successful business woman in the defense industry.
First, it is crucial to have a mentor and to be a mentor. Mrs. Shelton has been mentored by two women since joining INTUITIVE and is grateful for their support and guidance in her career. Through both having and being a mentor, she has learned how to be resilient and use personal strengths to her advantage.
Secondly, it is important to pay attention to what is going on in your professional and personal environments so that you can be fully present and contribute in meaningful ways.
Next, pay attention to where your influence is coming from. Make sure that your role models are those you truly believe in and admire. It is also important to work for a company that you believe in and that has the same values as you. Surround yourself with people who will push you. Build others up, and they will do the same for you.
Ms. Shelton also spoke on the importance of taking initiative. Raise your hand, take risks, and step outside of your comfort zone. Ask for new opportunities and take charge of your life!
Finally, Ms. Shelton encouraged our members to lead like women and follow their instincts. As women, we have natural gifts of empathy, patience, and natural problem solving skills. Use your strengths to your advantage, and be the kind of leader you would like to follow.
Ms. Shelton has successfully taken her own advice to heart, ensuring INTUITIVE is a workplace where its employees can truly thrive and excel in their individual careers. In September, INTUITIVE was recognized by Fortune and Great Place to Work US as the #2 Best Workplace in the Country for Women in Small to Medium Businesses. This is the company’s fifth year to make the list.
“As a woman, I urge you to be bold in your dreams and interests,” Ms. Shelton said. “Find ways to explore and grow. The future is very bright for women in the defense industry.”