WID-TVC Celebrates 2020 Annual Event

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.”

Online Community for Defense Professionals, NDIA Connect, Launches

NDIA Connect, an online community providing resources for defense professionals, is the newest member benefit from NDIA and its affiliates. The NDIA team is excited about our new online resource and all it enables, including conversation, connection, and collaboration.

NDIA Connect will provide a reliable source of information for topics related to the defense industrial base and supply chain, news about association happenings and event updates, and broad content related to national security and defense. We are confident that NDIA Connect will foster progress and innovation in your personal and professional lives by expanding both your knowledge base and network.

Roll-out began on April 6 with “The Agenda,” a community where NDIA, NTSA, and WID members can read, post, and share knowledge and insights from across the National Security Enterprise. NDIA will continue by rolling out smaller, more specialized communities based on specific interest areas and Division and Chapter participation.

Leaders from across NDIA, volunteers and staff, are excited about the expanded opportunities for engagement and collaboration NDIA Connect will provide as we continue to pursue our mission of supporting American warfighters.

“I’m extremely excited about the introduction of NDIA’s new online community, NDIA Connect,” said Rachel McCaffrey, WID National Director. “I know NDIA Connect will provide an online space for members from different chapters to collaborate, exchanging ideas to enhance WID’s mission of supporting our warfighters by ensuring women play a key role in US National Security. I’m counting on our amazing members to get involved on the website, sharing their ideas and best practices to help make all of us more effective. NDIA Connect will further WID’s efforts to ensure our members achieve the professional goals they set for themselves.”

Connect today by going to NDIA Connect at Connect.NDIA.org and logging in with your NDIA username and password!