2017 Juneau Area Women’s Leadership Symposium

A group photo of attendees at the 2017 Juneau Area Women’s Leadership Symposium.

A group photo of attendees at the 2017 Juneau Area Women’s Leadership Symposium.

In honor of Women’s History Month and the many contributions of women throughout American history, the Juneau area Coast Guard held its 2017 Women in Leadership Symposium. The symposium, attended by both men and women, provided an opportunity for Coast Guard members to discuss family and military life, as well as network. Participants joined in focus groups and a panel discussions on gender related topics with workforce members and senior leaders.

Sally Smith, the morning key note speaker, kicks off the 2017 Women in Leadership Symposium.

Sally Smith, the morning key note speaker, kicks off the 2017 Women in Leadership Symposium.

This year’s morning key note speaker was Sally Smith, who has worked for four Alaska governors, directed two state agencies, staffed the Juneau regional field office for former U.S. Senator Mark Begich, represented Fairbanks in the Alaska State House and served as Juneau’s mayor from 2000 to 2003. Her inspirational life story of how she arrived in Alaska 48 years ago with only a music teaching certificate, a couple of suitcases and a guitar, was a highlight of the symposium.

The event included focus group roundtable discussions that covered topics, such as successful mentoring, temporary separation and transitioning to the civilian workforce, stress response, blended retirement system and self defense.

A panel discussion with Senior Chief Petty Officer Joel Sayers, Cmdr. Kathy Hamblett (retired), Petty Officer 2nd Class Lacey Miller, Petty Officer 1st Class Heather Stemmerman and Lt. Cmdr. Kimberly Hess.

A panel discussion with Senior Chief Petty Officer Joel Sayers, Cmdr. Kathy Hamblett (retired), Petty Officer 2nd Class Lacey Miller, Petty Officer 1st Class Heather Stemmerman and Lt. Cmdr. Kimberly Hess.

Guest speakers included both Rear Adm. Michael McAllister, 17th District commander, and Capt. Laura Dickey, 17th District Chief of Staff. They discussed expectations of senior officers, senior enlisted leaders, and leadership skills and roles in the workforce.

“Women’s leadership and leadership in general is really something important for the Coast Guard and for me personally,” said Lt. Yvonne Yang, project officer for this year’s symposium. “I think in general having leadership events like these are important to have people to network and identify issues that us as a workforce are facing as a whole, both men and women.”

With the theme of building on the past and leading into the future, the Women Leadership Symposium provided a great venue for leadership discussions that will stick with the attendees well into the future.

Attendees broke off into groups in the afternoon discuss a variety of topics that included mentoring and professionalism in the workforce.

Attendees broke off into groups in the afternoon discuss a variety of topics that included mentoring and professionalism in the workforce.

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