UNLV Women Veterans Combat Trauma Conference, May 25-26, 2011
Nevada Women Veterans Summit 2011: High Tea
March 11, 2011 - The Governor’s Mansion, Carson City
NOVS will host the Summit in partnership with the VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare System in honor of Women History Month and to educate and celebrate Nevada’s women veterans. All female National Guard, Reservists, active duty and veterans are invited. Program updates will be posted on the web site.
2011 Summit Keynote Speakers
Shoshana N. Johnson
First African American Woman POW
On March 23, 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Shoshana Johnson was in a convoy that was ambushed in the city of an-Nasiriyah. Specialist Johnson received bullet wounds to her ankle, causing injuries to both legs. She and five other members of the 507th Maintenance Company were captured and taken Prisoners of War, making Johnson the first African American woman POW.
House raids conducted by US Marines in the city of Samarra, Iraq, resulted in the successful rescue of seven POWs on the morning of April 13. Three days later, Specialist Johnson, together with six former POWs, came back to a hero's welcome in the US with a cheering crowd of over 3,000 people.
Specialist Johnson retired from the Army on a Temporary Disability Honorable Discharge on December 12, 2003. Her awards and decorations include the US Army Service Ribbon, Army Commendation Ribbon, National Defense Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, and the Prisoner of War Medal. US Army officials identified Specialist Johnson as the first female POW of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the first black female POW in US war history.
Since her return to the United States, Specialist Johnson has received numerous awards and recognition for her courage, valor and service. She has been recognized with standing ovations from small groups to over 65,000 people at select events hosted by: the President of the Republic of Panama, The Congressional Hispanic and Black Caucuses, NAACP, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Glamour, and McDonald's, and has appeared at college football games, NHL and MLB games, and most recently was the New York Mayor’s Special Guest at Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Specialist Johnson also penned a memoir, I’m Still Standing: From Captive US Soldier to Free Citizen – My Journey Home, detailing her capture, rescue and the psychological aftermath of the ordeal. Calling Johnson “a true American hero,” Larry King describes I’m Still Standing as “a compelling, inspirational read.”
Specialist Johnson continually generates media attention and has participated in major national interviews with the Associated Press, Reuters, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, as well as foreign media outlets in the UK, Germany, France, Panama, Japan, China, Brazil, India, Russia, Canada, and many other countries around the world.
Donna McAleer graduated West Point in 1987, and served as an Army officer in a variety of leadership positions in Germany. She left the service in 1991 to pursue an MBA at the Darden Graduate School of the University of Virginia and a career in the private sector.
Donna’s professional career includes a variety of roles in public, private and not-for-profit corporations. She began her career with the Novations Consulting Group, later moving to Mercer Consulting Group. Donna then became Vice President of Global Logistics and Support Services at GenRad, a leading producer of electronic test equipment. There Donna was responsible for the development and implementation of a global logistics and customer support strategy.
In February 2000, she resigned her position at GenRad and moved to Park City, Utah, to begin an intensive training regimen. For the better part of two years, she committed herself to the pursuit of a lifelong dream and a unique opportunity—to represent the United States in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in the medal debut of Women’s Bobsled. As a Bobsled Driver, she finished 4th in Olympic trials.
Wanting to give back to her community, Donna became the Executive Director of the People’s Health Clinic, a non–profit based in Park City. In this capacity she led strategic business model transition and financial turnaround to ensure financial stability for this organization’s commitment to providing quality medical and health care for the uninsured. Donna is on the advisory council of the Women’s Business Institute at Salt Lake Community College. Currently, she is a PSIA and ACE Level 2 ski instructor at Deer Valley Ski Resort in Park City, Utah, and serves on the board of directors of the Professional Ski Instructors of America – Intermountain Division.
Actively involved in the West Point community, she serves as Class President and is an Admissions Field Representative. She was elected to the boards of directors of the West Point Association of Graduates, the West Point Women’s Network, and is an advisor to West-Point.org. She is the co-founder of Bugle Notes. Donna is involved in several organizations including Journeys Within Our Communities, a nonprofit she helped initiate to assist a school and orphanage in Siem Reap, Cambodia. An avid outdoor enthusiast with a particular passion for skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, hiking, golfing and traveling. Donna lives in the mountains of Park City, Utah with Ted, her husband, Carlyn Ann, their daughter and Col. (ret) Thayer, their dog.