On May 13, Volunteers of America hosted its sixth annual panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The substantive and provocative discussion, which examined the challenges women veterans face and the opportunities and solutions available to help them achieve strong, successful civilian lives, attracted more than 300 attendees, including Congressional staff, federal agency leadership, military officers, leading nonprofit executives, and the media. Several Volunteers of America executives, including National Board Chair Dawn Batts, Chesapeake CEO Russ Snyder, Massachusetts CEO Tom Bierbaum, Greater Ohio CEO Dennis Kresak, and national board members Aggie Aurbach and Nancy Gofus, were also in attendance.
Jatrice Martel Gaiter, Volunteers of America executive vice president of external affairs, served as the master of ceremonies. Elisa Basnight, director of the Center for Women Veterans at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, opened the event, sharing her experiences as a veteran making the difficult transition from military to civilian life. Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” and co-anchor of “PBS NewsHour,” did a masterful job of moderating the expert panel, which included Kimberly Dozier, contributing writer, “The Daily Beast”; Dr. Susan McCutcheon, national mental health director for family services, women’s mental health and military sexual trauma, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Heather Pritchard, senior manager, national partnerships, The Home Depot Foundation; and Dr. Jonathan Sherin, EVP, military communities, and chief medical officer, Volunteers of America.
Read answers to audience questions that couldn’t be addressed during the panel discussion due to time constraints. Thank you for your interest.