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DVIDS – News – OSCWI and Boeing Present Military Spouse Empowerment Summit

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OAK HARBOR, Wash. – The Officers’ Spouses’ Club of Whidbey Island (OSCWI) and the Boeing Company partnered with one another in order to organize the Whidbey Island Military Spouse Empowerment Summit held in the Victory Terrace Community Center on Oak Harbor, October 17.

The Military Spouse Empowerment Summit is a collaboration between the OSCWI and Boeing that includes several organizations that provide informative panels, inspiring keynotes and valuable networking opportunities for military veterans and spouses in the progression of their careers, and to create a mindset of empowerment, inspiration, and encouragement within the community.

Samar Arny, honorary president of OSCWI, commanding officer spouse of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI), began the event with opening remarks welcoming those in attendance.

“Inclusiveness, diversity and connectedness are our building blocks to empower each other,” said Arny. “It’s a local and national responsibility to stand by, and empower, our military families and spouses while our Sailors deploy to serve the nation.”

Arny reached out to Boeing earlier this year and communicated with Rachel Peterson, a regional advocacy expert, to tour their facilities and make the event possible. The OSCWI toured the Boeing headquarters and extended an offer to their senior executives to start an initiative focused on the military spouses and veterans on Whidbey Island.

“I believe military spouses have a tough job where sometimes the career of the spouse may not come first, but by being here today they can discover a career that incites passion and connection with those in the business community, or other spouses, to achieve their goals,” said Gina Breukelman, senior manager of Boeing Global Engagement. “We are proud to be here to open those pathways, and form those relationships.”

More than 7,000 service members, veterans and spouses in Washington received workforce transition services from Boeing-supported programs this year, with more than 15% of employees being Washington veterans.

The summit was segmented into discussion panels. Each room within the Victory Terrace Community Center was divided into sessions focused on assistance for military spouses and veterans transitioning to the civilian job sector. Classes included subjects on strategic volunteering, networking, personal branding, resume reviews and a photography station for portfolios. Complementing the panel discussions, the organizations in attendance showcased static displays engaging military veterans and spouses with networking opportunities.

During the lunch program a global corporation’s panel was conducted with several executive veterans that included Danny Chung, chief of staff and business manager for military affairs at Microsoft, Kristin Saboe, principal senior talent strategist and Boeing advisory committee member, Christopher Schmidt, manager for global social impact & military affairs of Starbucks, and Bernell Zorn Jr., senior manager of program management of Nordstrom. The panel discussed several topics such as how to form and maintain relationships when pursuing a new career. The panel included a question and answer segment where each panelist was asked to share tips on how to set their resume apart from the competition as well as share personal stories on how each person obtained the position they have now.

When Chung was asked what message those in attendance should take away from the panel, he stated that, those in attendance are not “just” military spouses. Without the spouse the servicemembers would not be able to serve their country and that their support was the backbone that keeps the military force going.

As the summit came to an end, Arny introduced Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller III, commander, Naval Air Forces, and his wife Mrs. Ellen Miller who thanked the OSCWI members who organized the event. Those members included Amber Pearce, president, Lauren Minckley, events coordinator, Stephanie Brooks, communications, Samantha L., vice president, and Arny.

“I want to thank you for your service,” said Vice Adm. Miller. “Not just for what you are doing today for the empowerment, inspiration and connectiveness, but your service because without it husbands, wives and spouses would not be able to serve.”

The summit concluded with a raffle draw with prizes as tokens of appreciation for those who attended the event.

For the last 45 years, the OSCWI has preserved to serve military spouses and the Whidbey Island community and has donated more than $110,000 dollars to military spouses, students and local nonprofits.





Date Taken:10.17.2019
Date Posted:10.18.2019 23:19
Story ID:348303
Location:OAK HARBOR, WA, US 




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