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November 8, 2011

(l to r) Julie Wood, VP, Monica E. Emerson, Amy Courter, President

Women In Defense (WID)-Michigan recently announced the winners of its Horizon Industry Awards for exceptional individual and team work, as well as its HORIZONS-Michigan scholarship recipients.

The awards were presented during its third annual Black Tie Gala held Friday, Nov. 4. The event also recognized WID-Michigan’s Excellence in Leadership honoree Monica E. Emerson, Navy diversity officer, U.S. Department of the Navy and assistant secretary of the Navy, Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

“We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to host our Black Tie Gala again this year,” said Major General Amy Courter, president of WID-Michigan, USAFX/CAP and chief information officer, VisionIT. “It’s a great way to celebrate the defense community and recognize current and future professionals in our industry.”

The Horizon Industry Awards recognized those who have distinguished themselves in their field and have assisted their organizations in developing new ideas and exceeding business goals. Winners include:
• Product Development Award – Jillian Warner, BAE Systems;
• Business Development Award – Karen Arondoski, Michael Arondoski, Bobby Freeman and Jeff Maxwell, I.F. Metalworks;
• Supply Chain Development Award – Muge Cody, ManTech International; and
• Innovation Award – Joanne Cavanaugh, Kelli Baranski, Scott Hall and Katie Post, General Dynamics Land Systems Maneuver Collaboration Center (mc2) team.
In addition, WID awarded two HORIZONS-Michigan scholarships, totaling $17,000.

Established in 2009, the scholarship program encourages females to pursue careers related to the national security and defense industries of the United States and provides development opportunities to women already working in these fields. The recipients of this year’s scholarships include:
• Jamie Lee Schaub; and
• Vitora Djokic.


July 21, 2011
Women In Defense (WID)-Michigan chapter is pleased to announce its 2011 Excellence in Leadership Recipient – Ms. Monica E. Emerson, Navy Diversity Officer

U.S. Department of the Navy, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

Established in 2009 by WID-Michigan, the Excellence in Leadership Award recognizes women who have made significant contributions to U.S. defense and national security. Recipients are honored at the organization’s Annual Black Tie Gala, and have previously included an Executive Director and Chief of Staff at TACOM Life Cycle Management Command. View previous recipients.

In her current role, Ms. Emerson was appointed as a Highly Qualified Expert (HQE) by Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus in August 2009. She is the principle advisor to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) on all matters relating to internal and external diversity, providing authoritative vision, expertise and leadership to diversity strategy, policy, planning and activities. Ms. Emerson also provides executive oversight for Department of the Navy-wide diversity programs and initiatives.

Prior to this appointment, Ms. Emerson was the Executive Director of the Global Diversity Office at Chrysler LLC where she held the most senior level position for diversity and inclusion at Chrysler LLC and DaimlerChrysler for over twelve years.

Please join WID-Michigan in honoring Ms. Emerson at the 3rd Annual Black Tie Gala on Friday, November 4, 2011 at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, Mich.

February 1, 2011

The Women In Defense (WID)-Michigan chapter recently received its first donation to support its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program. The $10,000 donation from General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) in Sterling Heights, Mich., will be used for the support of the key initiatives developed by the WID-MI STEM committee. One of the initiatives is supplying a book to give the young women insight into technical careers for the Explorathon program in April.
Sonya Sepahban, Senior VP Engineering Design & Development for General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) and an advisor to the WID board of directors, presented the donation to WID-MI chapter President Amy Courture at the defense contractor’s state-of-the-art Maneuver Collaboration Center (MC2) in February 2011.

"At GDLS we are committed to helping with STEM initiatives to secure the future of our nation. We believe WID will also ensure diversity in STEM which is another area of focus for us at GDLS."

WID launched its STEM program in 2010 to support the national STEM Education Coalition Program by adding a board position for a director of STEM. The WID-MI STEM committee, which is made up of volunteers from industry, small business and academia has a goal to assist in the educational development of young women in technical fields in support of STEM to encourage them to pursue a career in the defense industry. The committee would like to thank GDLS and Sonya Sepahban for believing in this initiative.