After Naval Intelligence School in Denver, my first assignment was as the Intelligence Officer in an anti-submarine warfare aviation squadron – VP-44 – based out of Maine. I was the only woman with about 250 men and one of only three women line officers on the entire base. We were among the first small handful of women to deploy. It was a good thing I had a sense of humor, thick skin and was athletic. I could out run most the guys, having run track and cross country at OSU.
Fast forward through a 22 year career in Naval Intelligence, both active and Reserve, I served in numerous positions as an analyst, manager and director, at agencies such as the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon. I left active service for the Reserves because I decided that switching careers to be a full time mom was just as important. We had four children in 5 ½ years and had a blast raising them. I wouldn’t trade that time spent for any awards or accolades. They’re all professionals in their own rights and on their big adventures.
I stepped back into the full time work force first as the Project Manager on a large defense contract at a local pharmaceutical manufacturing company after 9/11. That position quickly expanded into the Director of Production and Logistics, and then the whole project, involving four companies and interfacing with the FDA and HHS. It was a very challenging environment and I learned a lot! I also discovered that the corporate gig wasn’t my goal. Instead, it was time to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit… and become what I was looking for and couldn’t find.