Two pioneering military women will be honored at the eighth Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) conference in Denver on Nov. 14-16. Together, they serve as role models for other military women and veterans.
Sergeant Major Cynthia A. Pritchett, U.S. Army (Retired), was the first senior enlisted female to serve as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader of a sub-unified combatant command in a time of war (Combined Forces Command Afghanistan). Brig. Gen. Linda Singh is the first woman, and the first African American, to be appointed as the Assistant Adjutant General for the Maryland Army National Guard. They will be honored during the conference’s opening ceremony.
The conference is hosted by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF). Founded by Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management with the support of the U.S. Small Business Administration, V-WISE provides cutting-edge entrepreneurship training to women veterans from any branch/era of military service, active duty military (including National Guard and Reserve) and female spouses/partners of active duty personnel and veterans looking to start a business venture. The program empowers participants to find their passion and learn business skills to turn their ideas or existing businesses into growth ventures. V-WISE integrates the leadership, integrity, focus and drive of the nation’s female veterans through premier educational training with accomplished entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship educators from across the country.
Currently, women represent about 15 percent of active duty military, 20 percent of the Reserves, 16 percent of the National Guard and 20 percent of new recruits. More than 11 percent of U.S. forces serving in Afghanistan are women. States with the largest number of women veterans are California, Texas, Florida, Virginia and Georgia. V-WISE has impacted more than 800 female veterans and military spouses in over 40 states and across all service branches and eras, with more than 56 percent V-WISE graduates starting or growing a venture after attending the conference.
About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families is the first national center in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Through our focus on veteran-facing programming, research and policy, employment and employer support, and community engagement, the institute provides in-depth analysis of the challenges facing the veteran community, captures best practices and serves as a forum to facilitate new partnerships and strong relationships between the individuals and organizations committed to making a difference for veterans and military families.