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Women in Defense, a National Security Organization.

Cultivating and supporting the advancement and recognition of women in all aspects of national security is the purpose of Women In Defense, A National Security Organization. Members of this professional organization, including men and women, have careers related to the defense of the United States.

WID is an affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association. WID members automatically become members of NDIA.

Members represent three main categories: large and small defense companies and other businesses, all branches of the armed forces, plus federal government agencies, academia, associations and professional services.

Members receive:

* A forum for expanding professional networks and for mentoring.

* Early access to potential promotion opportunities and career advancement.

* Educational and professional development opportunities.

* Entree to distinguished government and industry officials in open discussions.

* A source for scholarships.

Established in 1985, this volunteer-run organization is governed by a board of directors elected by the membership. Appointed committees help carry out the association's mission.

Chapters exist in several parts of the nation, and others are being considered. Chapters present a local means of serving members and the defense community, while fulfilling the association's mission. Chapters host programs in cooperation with local military installations, provide professional development for members through leadership opportunities, and support community based charitable endeavors, members of the armed forces and defense-related educational pursuits.

Some chapters have developed around military installations. The Iowa/Illinois Chapter is centered around Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., and the Picatinny Chapter attracts employees from Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. Also in New Jersey, WID members have formed the Monmouth Chapter around Fort Monmouth. The majority of members in these chapters are military or government.

In southern Maryland, industry representatives make up the majority of the Chesapeake Bay Chapter, which draws participants from the Naval Air Station Patuxent River and its supporting defense industry. In the Tennessee Valley Chapter, where just over half the members represent industry, activities center around Huntsville, Ala., home of the Redstone Arsenal. Members in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area belong to the Capital Chapter.

Growth and expansion have characterized Women In Defense in recent years. During its most recently completed fiscal year ended March 31, WID reported 779 members, an increase of 29 percent from the previous year. In only seven years, membership has grown more than 200 percent. The development of six chapters since late 2001 has fueled most of this growth.

Scholarships. Since 1987, Women In Defense has been encouraging the pursuit of careers in support of national defense and national security through giving HORIZONS scholarships. HORIZONS scholarships are awarded to candidates pursuing higher education who demonstrate significant leadership potential that can lead to contributions in the science, engineering and business disciplines. Fundraising events and corporate and private donations support HORIZONS. Since 1990, HORIZONS has made 75 awards of nearly $49,000 to deserving recipients.

More information. For details about activities and to join Women In Defense, visit

2004-2005 Leadership


President: Carolyn H. Becraft, Becraft Associates

Vice President: Jane M. Walter, Booz Allen Hamilton

Treasurer: Cynthia L. Williams, Booz Allen Hamilton

Secretary: Susan W. Ebner, Buchanan Ingersoll

Horizons Managing Director: Lois F. Brand, American Staffing Association

Past President: Janice M. Menker, Concurrent Technologies


President: Nancy Toohill, Joint Munitions Command

Vice President: Diana Balmer, Headquarters, Operations Support Command

Treasurer: Trudy Hallgren, Headquarters, Air Force Systems Command

Secretary: Patty Vyncke, Rock Island Arsenal


President: Barbara Machak, U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Command

Vice President: Barbra Thomas, STG Inc.

Treasurer: Nancy Campoli, L-3 Communications

Secretary: Mary Comerford, Defense Contracting Management Agency

Vice President, Programs: Gayle Pierson


President: Dawn Rich, American Electronics Inc.

Vice President: Gail Gonzales, Booz Allen Hamilton

Treasurer: April Tsirigotis, Eagan, McAllister Associates Inc.

Secretary: Valerie Schlickbernd, Booz Allen Hamilton


President: Lisa Gilbert, U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command

Vice President: Brenda Jordan, Enabling Technologies

Treasurer: Yazmin Carroll, SAIC

Secretary: Mary Anne Thomas, SAIC

CAPITAL CHAPTER (Founded 2003)

President: Amy Gaudry Gray, KEI Pearson

Vice President: Michelle Hertz, Holland & Knight LLP

Treasurer: Lois F. Brand, American Staffing Association

Secretary: Ann Elise Sauer, Lockheed Martin Corporation


President: Mari C Kovach, U.S. Army Research Development Engineering Command

Vice President: Kathleen M. Reidy, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command

Treasurer: Linda A Longo, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command

Secretary: Claudia DeCarlo, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command
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Title Annotation:Affiliates
Publication:National Defense
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2004
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