Sector North Carolina holds 4th Annual Women’s Symposium

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — Attendees of Coast Guard Sector North Carolina's 4th Annual Women's Symposium listen to a presentation by Lillian Cockrill, a family advocacy specialist from the Health, Safety and WorkLife Field Office in Portsmouth, Va., March 13, 2012 here. More than 75 attendees participated in the event. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Post written by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lindsey Neumann and Lt. Timothy Braun.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina held their 4th Annual Women’s Symposium March 13 at Miller’s Landing aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. 

Attendees were primarily from the sector and its subunits, with guests from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and the Special Missions Training Center at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. The symposium, which was open to all personnel, had a strong turnout of women with many men in attendance as well.

The event began with an icebreaker activity led by Lt. Tim Braun, one of the event’s organizers and crewmember from the sector, acknowledging the numerous achievements of the diverse group of women in attendance.

Seaman Kate Webb, a crewmember from Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet, N.C., gave the day’s first presentation. She opened with motivational quotes and leadership highlights from her experience attending the 2012 Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium in Washington D.C., in March.

The next presenter was Lillian Cockrill, a family advocacy specialist from Health, Safety and WorkLife Field Office in Portsmouth, Va., who gave an educational speech about the hardships single parents encounter and the resources available to assist them. Health and wellness representatives Jeanett Torrens and Capt. Richard Shumway, also from the field office, then provided guests with a workshop detailing healthy living habits and personal fitness.

In addition, a leadership panel consisting of Coast Guard women in senior enlisted and officer positions shed light on their experiences and lessons learned throughout their careers. A question and answer session allowed attendees and panel members to share stories and thoughts on the issues women encounter in a male-dominated profession.

Retired Master Chief Petty Officer Angela Rodriguez, former command master chief of Sector North Carolina, was the honorary guest speaker during the event.

“Her knowledge, motivation and kind heartedness were evident and her speech was inspiring,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Lindsey Neumann, a crewmember from Sector North Carolina.

Finally, a speed mentoring session was held as a way to connect senior presenters and attendees with more junior personnel. The symposium was concluded with closing remarks by Capt. Anthony Popiel, commander of Sector North Carolina.

“This event is a great way for Coast Guard women to share their individual perspectives on a variety of issues and topics,” said Popiel. “It’s equally valuable for the many men who attended.”

“The symposium was a great success,” said Neumann. “The information and support provided left me feeling refreshed and motivated to conquer the next step in my Coast Guard career.”

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