Women Veterans Forum 2012

"Charting a Course for Success"



On May 11th , 2012, Northern Nevada Women Veterans gathered at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada for a luncheon and Forum sponsored by the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care Systems Women's' Health Program. The purpose of the Forum was to inspire, educate and motivate Women Veterans to aspire to and achieve greater success in their lives.

SSgt Genevieve ChaseThe over 130 participants at the Forum were treated to a morning information gathering session, with over 30 tables representing a range of Veterans and community organizations.  The displays ranged from the federal government agencies, including VASNHCS, the Reno Office of VBA, the Reno Vets Center,  and Nevada Office of Veterans Services to local organizations offering employment and educational opportunities such as Veterans Business Outreach, Horizon Trucking, Sam's Club and e-Women. 

The afternoon began with a welcome Ceremony with the Colors presented by the VA Women's Color Guard (as pictured above) and welcoming remarks by both Dr. Kurt Schlegelmilch, Director of VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System and by Mr. Ed Russell, Director of VBA Reno, NV. During luncheon service, the forum participants enjoyed  a wonderful networking exercise by Kymberlee Simantel of e-Women.

After lunch, Maj General Cindy Kirkland (Ret), gave an inspiring message of her service, including stories of her achievements as the first female Adjutant General of Nevada. General Kirkland then introduced the Keynote speaker for the Forum, SSgt Genevieve Chase.

SSgt Chase moved the audience with stories of personal experience as a combat veteran and a Purple Heart recipient. She sustained  injuries in an IED attack in Iraq in 2006 and returned home to a struggle for normalcy. As part of her commitment to the women and men who serve in the Armed Forces, she began an organization, American Women Veterans, and continues to reach out to veterans across the country.


Women Vet Forum May 2012 WWII honoreesThree local World War II Women Veterans (all Navy) were honored during opening ceremonies.

Seated from left to right, WWII Navy W.A.V.E.S. Carol McGee, Jewell Talkington, Nina DeVore


SSgt Genevieve Chase 

SSgt  Eve Chase stayed after the formal program ended and discussed topics of interest with Forum participants.

The Women Veterans Forum was sponsored by the VASNHCS Women Veterans Program.

The Forum Committee was composed of VA employees, community partners and women veteran volunteers. Thank you to all the Committee  members for their tireless work and service to the Women Veterans of Northern Nevada.


Women Vet forum may 2012 chase ferg smithFrom left to Right, Zola Ferguson, Women Veterans Program Manager, SSgt Genevieve Chase, and Charley Smith, Mistress of Ceremonies

In order to better serve the Women Veterans Community of Northern Nevada and parts of Northern California, the VA Women's Health Program is developing and will maintain an e-mail list of contacts who would like to be informed about events like this one, of interest to Women Veterans. The list would be kept securely and will not be sold or given to any outside agency. If you are interested in being on the list, and we do not have your e-mail address from the recent Forum, please e-mail Zola Ferguson at the VA.  Zola.Ferguson@va.gov .

Thank you again to all participants and community partners who helped make this forum a great success.         Zola Ferguson, PA-C, MS, Women Veterans Program Manager, VASNHCS