Rosemary Freitas Williams - Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs.
As assistant secretary, Rosemary Williams provides oversight for the department’s public affairs, media relations, consumer affairs, community outreach and engagement including Veteran homelessness and county and state Veterans offices and Tribal Nations. She also represents VA on the executive committee of the National Alliance for Suicide Prevention.
Prior to coming to VA, Rosemary served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy. In that position, she was responsible for policy, advocacy and oversight of all community support to service members, their families and survivors, child care and youth programs, family violence prevention and intervention, casualty and mortuary affairs, MWR programs, commissaries and exchanges, military spouse career advancement, and state liaison office.
Williams previously worked in government as director for communications and public liaison at the Office of Personnel Management, and as the senior advisor for strategic communications to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. During her time at VA, Williams also served as the Department of Veterans Affairs representative to the White House Council on Military Families. Prior to that, Williams worked as communications director for the non-profit, Blue Star Families. Her work with military families and veterans follows a 25-year broadcast journalism career, during which she received numerous awards including a National Emmy Award for Team Coverage of the attacks on September 11th as Executive Producer at MSNBC covering Washington, DC and Politics..
Ms. Williams was awarded fellowships in Ethical Decision Making at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and in National Security at the Air War College. She has been published on the topic of mental health and today’s military families and is author of the local history book, Maritime Annapolis – A History of Watermen, Sail & Midshipmen.
Frank Shankwitz is best known as the creator and founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an extraordinary charity that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. From humble beginnings, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is now a global organization that grants a child's wish somewhere in the world on an average of every 28 minutes. Frank is a U.S. Air Force veteran and has a long and distinguished career in law enforcement. He began as an Arizona Highway Patrol Motorcycle Officer, and retired as a Homicide Detective with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, with 42 years of service.
Frank has been featured in numerous publications and television shows numerous and received several awards, including the White House Call To Service Award From President George W. Bush. In 2015 Frank joined six U.S. Presidents, as well as Nobel Prize winners and industry leaders as a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In December 2015, Frank was presented with an Honorary Doctorate Degree, Doctor of of Public Service, from Ohio State University. On December 30, 2015, Frank was identified as one of the "10 Most Amazing Arizonans" in a front page article in the Arizona Republic newspaper. On January 5, 2016, Frank was identified in aForbes Magazine article as a Top Ten Keynote Speaker. Frank's life story will soon be featured in the upcoming Universal Studio's motion picture, "An American Hero". Further information is available on Frank's website - wishman1.com.
CORIE B. WEATHERS
Corie Weathers, licensed professional counselor (LPC), is a sought-after speaker, consultant and author of Sacred Spaces: My Journey to the Heart of Military Marriage. Corie has focused her career for the last 15 years as a counselor specializing in marriage, divorce, women's issues, PTSD, and substance abuse. Together, she and her husband, a US Army Chaplain, have worked together to support service members and families involved with the War on Terrorism.
In 2015, Corie was named the 2015 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year® where she advocated for mental health issues and served as a media correspondent writing online and print publications, consulting for command teams, and speaking to groups on issues like PTSD, grief, and marriage. She traveled to Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to visit troops and see deployment conditions.
Today, Corie continues to encourage others through her inspirational blog and podcast. She also co-hosts marriage retreats with her husband and offers an online marriage program designed to improve intimacy and connection.
We could not be more thrilled to introduce to you, Erin Voirol! Erin was one of the earliest supporters of The Milspo Project opening doors for TMP to speak at a conference by Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN) and later to join the Spouse Ambassador Network - part of the DoD's Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP). Additionally, Erin serves as a chapter leader in the Virginia Beach area challenging other military spouse entrepreneurs to start and grow their own businesses. Erin's support of The Milspo Project has already propelled us far, and we look forward to this coming year with her on our Board.
Erin Voirol is the Chief Executive Officer (COO) for Corporate America Supports You (CASY) and the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN), two unique non-profit organizations that provide employment readiness and job placement assistance for all veterans, military spouses, National Guard and reserves, transitioning military, and caregivers of war wounded.
Erin has been an Army spouse for 19 years. Having no previous experience with military life, Erin quickly adapted to the life of a military spouse. She is an entrepreneur, military family activist, and civic leader, and holds a degree in Business Administration and Marketing.
The owners of Bottle Breacher have been married over 10 years and live and operate their business in Arizona. They have constructed the simplicity of a .50 caliber bullet casing, into a product success story. Bottle Breacher began in a 1 car garage while Eli was Active Duty and
aired on Shark Tank a year and half later. They love to hire vets and reinvest in those that have served.
Eli Crane is a former Navy SEAL turned entrepreneur. He specializes in product development and has a solid mission of giving back to non-profits, military, and veterans. His commitment to hiring veterans and manufacturing quality products in the United States is at the forefront of
Jen Crane has had a passion for business ever since graduating from the University of Arizona Eller College of Management in 2006. She successfully shaped the foundation of Bottle Breacher on Etsy in 2012. Jen oversees the marketing and design team and specializes in social media
management and accounting at Bottle Breacher.
Michele Bradfield is a marketing specialist who finds creative ways to promote brands. She does this by writing compelling copy, creating beautiful design, and coordinating innovative events.
A marketing career spanning ten years, Michele is a multidimensional communications expert with experience in both private and freelance industries. She has written newsletters for an international nonprofit, press releases for an Army public affairs office, blogs for a health and wellness campaign, articles for a state university, and website copy for small businesses. Additionally, she co-coordinated a nonprofit gala that earned $700,000, a social media campaign that reached 40,000 people in one week, and a virtual summit that recruited 2,000 participants.
After eight years as an Army spouse, Michele found herself needing a career that would fit their transient lifestyle, so she established Michele Bradfield, LLC. Today Michele works remotely offering freelance services in web design and content strategy and creation. She is also co-founder and executive director of InDependent, a military spouse nonprofit health and wellness campaign.
Michele earned her BS in marketing and communication from Boise State University, a Master’s in Business from Northwest Nazarene University, and is a graduate of the V-Wise Entrepreneur Program from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. View her portfolio at michelebradfield.com.
When not in the midst of a creative campaign, you can find her traveling with her husband, exploring the great outdoors with her pup, cooking up a healthy meal, or hitting the gym.
Taylor Wallace is the cofounder of WeVue, a software company that helps bring organizational culture to life through the power of mobile photo and video sharing.
After studying English Literature at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and working as a poet, playwright, and producer, Taylor saw the future of storytelling evolving online. He moved to New York to figure out how the internet worked, and quickly started working with the big data and advertising technology that helped power companies like Google, AOL, and Yahoo. That soon led him to designing photo and video sharing apps for large public and private events, and eventually a tool for organizations to connect their teams via the same technology we use to share visual stories in our personal lives.
Today, Taylor brings his background in storytelling, visual art, design, and technology to the culture conversation, helping companies and non-profits change the way they communicate and engage with their stakeholders.
With a career spanning from work in architecture, the fashion industry, graphic design, public affairs, and web design, Leslie Brians brings a unique design philosophy to all of her projects. Leslie married into the military in 2009 and has enjoyed living both Stateside and in Europe. She has a BA in Historic Preservation from the University of Mary Washington, and a MArch degree from Texas A&M University. In 2013, Leslie co-founded the non-profit InDependent, which provides military spouses with health and wellness support and resources. She currently serves as it’s Creative Director. She is also the owner and founder of Leslie Brians Design, a design consultation and paper goods studio. Leslie was named the 2016 Armed Forces Insurance Ft. Bragg Spouse Military Spouse of the Year.
Laura, a Special Education graduate of Lee University has almost a decade of event and program management experience. Prior to Wise Advise, Laura worked as an executive assistant and event coordinator for an international non-profit. In addition, she currently serves on the boards of two non-profits. When she is not volunteering, she also serves as a coach to 50 women about social retail marketing. Skilled at quickly assessing needs, developing a plan and implementing effective solutions that met the client’s goals. Laura is passionate about creating events, products, and companies that tell a compelling story.
A proud military spouse originally from St. Louis, Founder + Trainer Claire Yanta-O¹Mahoney started Fleur de Lis Fitness as a way to help clients seize the day and transform themselves into the healthier person they deserve to be. She offers personal training, small group training, and healthy nutrition coaching to clients both in the Virginia Beach, VA area as well as across the country live online. One's health is the absolute best thing to invest in for both oneself and loved ones because without it, we have nothing. Claire tailors her programs to clients' individual goals and needs so that it fits THEIR lifestyle, whether that means meeting up in person or connecting online.
Claire is an American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Masters of Science in Developmental Psychology from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.
Other than sharing her passion for fitness and nutrition with clients, Claire loves spending time with her Marine Corps husband, family, friends, traveling, reading, spending time at the beach, and cooking.
Katie was born and raised in Northeast Wyoming’s coal country and grew up with a pioneering spirit and a fondness for wide-open spaces. She’s always loved budgeting, organizing, and planning and graduated from Grove City College in just three years with highest honors in Finance. During her professional journey, she has gained experience in small business, personal finance and leader development. Katie is a natural entrepreneur and thrives when finding and conquering physical and mental challenges. Her love for learning and heart for service is evidenced in the various certifications she has attained in order to help others live their best life. Katie loves finding, and conquering, physical and mental challenges and can be often times be found out on a long run or taking a hot yoga class. Katie understands the joys and struggles of being a working mother as she works to balance raising two young boys while maintaining a professional identity. Katie’s mission is to help people and organizations leverage their talents to be more effective in both their personal and professional lives.
DR. PATRICE CARTER
Dr. Patrice J. Carter resides in Fayetteville, NC and is proudly married to the love of her life, Dalton, an Army Veteran and mother to son Miles.
She is a multifaceted Milspopreneur who has served in the United States Army Reserves and is a:
Certified Professional Christian Life Coach and Founder of Breakpoint Coaching, Motivational Speaker and Radio Show Host of In Your Face and In Your Ear Published Author, C.E.O. of Carter Multimedia Consulting, Inc. and, Minister.
Dr. Carter’s passion is to speak, coach and inspire others to develop, strengthen and empower their authentic selves so they experience breakthrough and success in all areas of their life!
As an Author, Dr. Carter completed her first book, in 2010, entitled, “SUPERb Woman: From Bad Girl to God’s Girl” which is a devotional and self-guided journey that focuses on worthiness and self-esteem; and a deconstructed view of the Proverbs 31 woman for women of all ages, whether single or married.
Dr. Carter has 30 years of combined experience in the areas of Business, Military and Healthcare. She holds the following academic designations: PhD in Organization and Management, Capella University, M.B.A, Webster University and an M.S.A. in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University.
Cameron Cruse is a mother, designer and proud Army Wife. Growing up just outside of Atlanta, GA armed her with an appreciation for culture as well as a seemingly southern mindset. Upon completing her Masters in Architecture from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010, she did what most Military families do: she moved. An opportunity in disguise, as the one thing that might ruin a career actually paved the way for a much more impassioned and fulfilling path. In a small attic above her home near Ft. Merrill, GA, Cameron and fellow Military Spouse, Lisa Bradley, founded R. Riveter.
Lindsey Germono, President of Germono Advertising Company, is an expert in traditional and new media advertising with extensive experience working with small and medium-sized businesses. She has over a decade of traditional media planning, placement and management experience, and has stayed on the forefront of advancements in new media marketing. In addition to running her business she is also a sought after speaker on marketing and advertising. She has presented to the Women in Defense organization, The Milspo Project, Retail Alliance, and military organizations from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, and has lectured on panels at Old Dominion and Regent University. She has been featured in articles on Forbes Online and NextGen Milspouse and made appearances on both the IMA and Copy That Pops podcasts. Lindsey serves on the Board for The Milspo Project and advocates for military entrepreneurship.