Director, Veterans Education, Transition and Employment, Virginia Department of Veterans Services
Annie Walker is an 18-year employee of the Commonwealth of Virginia. She is the Director of Veterans Education, Transition and Employment (VETE). VETE is one of six directorates under the Virginia Department of Veterans Services.
Executive Director, 757 Angels
As Executive Director, Monique worked with the Board to launch 757 Angels. Since launching in 2015, 757 Angels has grown to one of the larger angel groups in the country with over 100 members/investors and injected over $30 Million of capital into startup and early-stage companies. Through 757 Angels’ regional platform, Monique has leadership roles in building and strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Barron is a recently retired Department of Defense (DoD)
Senior Civilian, who graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Ms. Barron spent her career as a military leader and civilian manager, organizational strategist and planner, trainer and training developer, and leader in counter-terrorism, cyber planning, and policy for the DoD and the Interagency.
SAA Lead Manager - Virginia Department of Veterans Services
Ms. Bobbie Blakely is an Operation Enduring Freedom (O.E.F). U.S. Navy Veteran having served six years active duty, five of which were onboard the U.S. Naval Carrier the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) based out of San Diego, California. Ms. Blakely has since worked for the Commonwealth of Virginia for 10 years in various positions to include Business and Financial Management.
Senior Director, Mission United
Tanya Canty, Chief Yeoman, United States Navy (Retired), currently serves as the Senior Director, Mission United – a strategic initiative that helps service members and their families succeed as they pursue the next chapter of their lives in Hampton Roads. Tanya is committed to military families that are vulnerable to financial, employment, homelessness, substance abuse, and legal related difficulties and works tirelessly to redefine the meaning of "military friendly community".
Senior Vice President, Head of Team Member Philanthropy - WellsFargo
Chanty Clay began her career with Wells Fargo in May 2008 and was recently named the Head of Team Member Philanthropy. In this role, Chanty manages enterprise-wide strategies and programs supporting community involvement and workplace giving campaigns that provide opportunities for Wells Fargo team members to make a meaningful, positive effect in their communities.
Talent Program Manager, The Virginia Department of Transportation
Cheryl is a champion for diversity and inclusion within VDOT. She developed and implemented the VDOT Veterans Network (also called VetNet) and the “Putting Abilities to Work” program within VDOT which focuses on finding work opportunities for DARS and DBVI clients within VDOT. Cheryl believes that “a melting pot” of ideas, backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and education makes a healthy and happy workplace.
Founder & CEO, The Paradigm Switch
Justine Evirs is the Founder & CEO of The Paradigm Switch, a digital eco-system, filled with exclusive content, engaged community members, and resources that empower military spouses to work anywhere in the world.
As a Navy veteran & Navy spouse, Justine is proud of the work she has accomplished within military communities across the nation ranging from higher education, entrepreneurship, innovative program development, grassroots community building, to nonprofit management.
SheNesia S. Ewing
Life Coach, Speaker, and Author, Uncovering The New U, LLC
SheNesia Ewing, is a Certified International Speaker, Transformation Life Coach, business strategist, and published author. Life Coach Nesi started UncoveringTheNewU, LLC in 2010 and completed life coaching school in June 2016.
LaTesha (Tesha) Ford has over 14 years of cybersecurity, project management, crisis management, strategic planning and implementation, risk management, and human capital experience with a focus on solving complex issues and delivering quality service and solutions to a broad range of clients. Prior to joining LTC2 Consulting, Ms. Ford was as a Consultant with Guidehouse LLP (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Public Sector) and served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy.
Program Manager, Virginia Department of Veterans Services - Virginia Transition Assistance Program
Alison Foster currently works as the Program Manager for the Virginia Transition Assistance Program and has been in that role for over two years. She is also currently serving in the United States Army Reserve as a Master Sergeant at a training unit at Ft. Lee. After a long journey through college amid two deployments to support combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Alison graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011 with a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations.
City Impact Manager, Mission Continues
Chief Executive Officer, Service Women’s Action Network
Dr. Ellen Haring is the CEO of the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN). SWAN is a nonpartisan, non-profit that supports, connects, and advocates for servicewomen; past, present, and future. She is also a senior fellow at Women in International Security where she directs the Combat Integration Initiative. Haring’s research and work focus on women and gender in the military.
Executive Director, Center for Women Veterans
Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd serves as the primary advisor to the Secretary on
Department policies, programs, and legislation that affect women Veterans. In addition, she oversees the Center’s activities, which include monitoring and coordinating VA’s administration of health care, benefits services, and
programs for women Veterans; serving as an advocate for cultural
transformation (both within VA and in the general public).
Military Employment Program Manager, ADP
Meg Hendricks is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’(FCA) Military Employment Program Manager. In this role, Meg is responsible for all FCA’s programming related to the recruitment, hiring, and retention of veterans. She conducts “Business Case for Hiring Veterans” training, builds relationships with Universities, connects with local Veteran Service Organizations, provides guidance on related programming, and serves as a subject matter expert for other recruiters and hiring managers.
Clinical Dietitian, Salem VAMC
Sarah Holdren has been a clinical dietitian with the VA for over 10 years working in four different facilities along the southeast. She has held positions in both an inpatient and outpatient capacity working with female veterans in a variety of life stages. She is currently teaching MOVE and Gerofit nutrition classes along with spearheading the healthy teaching kitchen incentive at the Salem VA medical center.
Senior Resource Specialist, Virginia Veteran and Family Support
Kristi Holt has worked for the Virginia Department of Veterans Services Virginia Veteran and Family Support Program (VDVS VVFS) since 2012. Kristi now serves as the Senior Resource Specialist where she provides support to staff and the VVFS West Region with a team that monitors and coordinates behavioral health, rehabilitative, and support services for veterans, service members, families and caregivers since 2012.
Col. Carlos Hopkins
Secretary, Veteran and Defense Affairs (VADA)
Carlos Hopkins currently serves as Virginia’s Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, the state’s top official for coordinating state and federal resources to support Virginia’s veteran community and liaison with federal defense facilities.
Military and College Recruiting Lead, PenFed Credit Union
Miranda spent six years in Active and National Guard components of the US Army. Her stateside duty assignments include: Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Lynchburg, Virginia, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Overseas assignments include: Kosovo and Iraq.
Upon leaving the service, Miranda has worked with University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in various capacities throughout many campuses: Germany, South Korea, Adelphi, and Largo Maryland.
CEO & Founder, LTC2 Consulting
Ronald (Ron) Lewis is a recently retired, Army general who graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Ron has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College. Ron spent most of his career working as a strategist, military leader, organization manager, and director of plans and operations. The organizations he led ranged in size from 30 to 20,000 personnel.
President and Chief Strategist, Johnnie Lloyd & Associates
Johnnie is a financial guru who can build wealth in an empty field. She specifically partners with female CEOs, executives, entrepreneurs unleashing their superpowers. Specialized areas of concentration are money, communication, and people. She makes hard things understandable and relatable. Dynamic high energy speaker, author, coach, and facilitator. Providing inspirational keynotes and breakout sessions, empowering audience development, growth, and transformational opportunities.
Women Veterans Program Manager, Hampton VA Medical Center
Patrice Malena has been the Women Veterans Program Manager (WVPM) for the Hampton VA Medical Center, Hampton, VA, since 2012. She is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner, specializing in Women’s Health. Her BSN is from ODU in Norfolk, and her MS from VCU in Richmond. Her clinical practice includes caring for women Veterans with bladder issues, and fertility concerns for both male and female Veterans.
Executive Director, Capitol Post
Emily McMahan is the Executive Director of Capitol Post. Capitol Post is a nonprofit that teaches military veterans and their spouses how to think and act like entrepreneurs, to the benefit of their own businesses or their employer’s. Capitol Post provides the coaching, business acceleration programs, and network, and office space to test, derisk, and achieve their goals.
Executive Director, 757 Accelerate
Evans is passionate about solving problems through innovation and collaboration. As an attorney, she helps growing businesses rethink their options and knock down the hurdles in their path towards growth. Most of Evans’ opportunities have materialized because she was willing to say “yes” and then get to work.
Prior to becoming the Executive Director of 757 Accelerate, Evans worked as an attorney counseling big and small companies at all stages of growth from entity formation through IPO.
J.D. Myers, II
Senior VP and Region Manager Virginia, COX Communications
A telecommunications industry leader with more than 30 years experience in operations, marketing, and sales, JD joined Cox in 2006 and leads the Virginia Region, including approximately 2,200 employees across three markets - Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia, and Roanoke. His prior Cox roles include market vice president and vice president of Cox Business in Northern Virginia.
Active Veterans With Answers (AVWA)
With over 25 years of active military service, Pollyanna served during Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Operation Vigilant Sentinel, Operation Southern Watch, Intercept Operation, Operation Northern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF), Operation New Dawn during the Global War on Terrorism.
John Newby, II
Commissioner, Virginia Department of Veterans Services
John L. Newby II serves as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. In this senior executive role, Mr. Newby leads an 800-member Agency located across more than 40 Virginia locations, delivering employment, education, benefits, behavioral health, and long term health care services to Virginia’s Reservists, Guardsmen, transitioning service members and 725,000+ veterans.
Governor Ralph Northam
Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Before he was inaugurated as the 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ralph Northam served as an Army doctor, pediatric neurologist, business owner, state Senator, and Lieutenant Governor. A native of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Governor Northam was educated at the Virginia Military Institute, where he graduated with distinction. After graduation, Governor Northam was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army.
Lieutenant Colonel Director of Communication, U.S. Army Soldier for Life
Lieutenant Colonel Olivia Nunn was commissioned as an ROTC Military Graduate through Radford University ROTC program in 2001. LTC Nunn has served in command and staff positions within the United States Army, including three combat deployments to Iraq. LTC Nunn has served as an official Army spokesperson, executive officer to the Chief of Army Public Affairs and as the lead Strategic Communication Planner for the Office of the Chief of Army Public Affairs.
Investment Director, CIT GAP Funds
Jennifer O’Daniel joined CIT GAP Funds in 2003, where she leads seed and early-stage investments in tech companies for CIT GAP Funds, concentrating on cybersecurity and enterprise software. O’Daniel also leads investments for MACH37, a cybersecurity accelerator. O’Daniel is the co-founder and managing director of VT Investor Network (VTIN) a 75+ member angel group that invests in Hokie-led startups.
Director, Transition and Employment Programs, Virginia Department of Veterans Services
Charlie M. Palumbo is the Director of Transition and Employment Programs at the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS), where she serves as primary lead on developing and overseeing the creation of a transition and employment programs at the DVS.
Marine for Life Representative - Northeastern USA, Marine for Life Network
Heather Redenius has been dedicated to assisting transitioning service members and their families with navigating post-military careers since leaving active duty service with the Marine Corps in 2014. Through her work as an executive recruiter and a veteran hiring program lead, Heather has worked with hiring teams across the corporate landscape to improve Veteran hiring and retention programs within their organizations.
Charmin N. Rickards
Chief Executive Officer, Teachable Learning Solutions, LLC
Charmin N. Rickards is a retired Lieutenant Commander who served over 22 years in the United States Navy. As a Medical Service Corp Officer. Charmin built her sterling reputation as a fair and influential Naval Officer and Leader while serving in a myriad of positions from Administrative Officer, Emergency and Project Manager, Department Head of Human Resources, Detachment Director, and Deputy Diversity Officer.
Founder and CEO, Mutt's Sauce LLC
Charlynda Scales is a dynamic motivational speaker, brand ambassador, Air Force Veteran, social media influencer, and the founder and CEO of Mutt’s Sauce, LLC, a company that makes “the sauce for every meal.” Mutt's Sauce was the Grand Prize Winner of Bob Evan's Farms' 2017 Heroes to CEOs Contest.
Director, Entrepreneurship & Small Business, IVMF
Stutsman is the Director of the Entrepreneurship and Small Business portfolio at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University. Within this role she is charged with building the Center of Excellence for Veteran Entrepreneurship as well as the Coalition for Veteran Owned Business.
Raquel Riley Thomas
Owner, An Officer and Gentlewoman, LLC
Raquel Riley Thomas is an Entrepreneur, PageantQueen, Veteran and Beauty/Fashion Expert. She is the Owner of An Officer and Gentlewoman, LLC, a Veteran-owned production with 8 subsidiaries. She is also Mrs. America 2011 (1st Runner-Up)and Mrs. Maryland America 2010. Raquel is currently a re-occurring beauty and fashion segment guest on ABC 7-News -WJLA “Let’s Talk Live” and “Good Morning Washington.”
Mayor, City of Hampton
Donnie Tuck was born August 16, 1954, in Chapel Hill, NC. He graduated from Chapel Hill Senior High School in 1972 and from Duke University in 1976 with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Studies. He is also a 1993 graduate of Old Dominion University with a Master of Public Administration degree.
He has had distinguished careers in broadcasting, sports information/athletic public relations, technical writing and local government.
President and CEO, Image Builders, Inc.
DeNita is President and CEO of her own company, Image Builders, Inc., which works to establish a more effective and positive self-image as well as brand.
She has been a marketing specialist for multiple Fortune 500 companies. She’s also been featured on ESPN, NBA Today and the Washington Business Journal for her talents.
Yoga and CrossFit Trainer
Mariza was born in Mexico and moved to the United States at the age of 16. Two years after graduating from HS, she joined the Navy and proudly served on active duty for eight years. Mariza attended Hawaii Pacific University, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Relationship Manager, Public Sector, LinkedIn
With over 15 years of experience in the media industry - with stops in book publishing, magazines, and newspapers - Rob has always been interested in how quality content brings people together, and how communities are formed around the sharing of information & ideas. Not unlike these "traditional" businesses, on LinkedIn hundreds of millions of members are creating networks around bonds of shared experiences, interests, and goals.
Human Resource Specialist, Department of Homeland Security Office of Civilian Human Resource Operations
Kelly Wilken is a native of Youngstown, Ohio. She currently works for the Department of Homeland Security as a Human Resources Specialist (Recruitment/Placement/Classification). Prior to this position, she was The Director of Classification and Special Programs for Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA.
Women Veterans Program Manager, Salem VA Medical Center
Beth Holt Wright, LCSW has been the Women Veterans Program Manager at the Salem VAMC since 2009. She has also been a licensed psychotherapist for over 20 years. She obtained her BA in Psychology from the University of Richmond in 1994 and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Georgia in 1997.
Membership + Marketing Communications, The MilSpo Project
Nikki James Zellner is the founder of Where Content Connects – a boutique content consultancy based in Virginia Beach, VA. Nikki has a knack for designing experiences that create immediate + long-lasting impact for personal and professional brands. She has spent the last 20 years launching 15 lifestyle magazines, helping 100s of businesses with their marketing and advertising, and leading military spouse mastermind groups + events.