Honorary Board Chairwomen
WIMSA is proud to have the support of these pioneering women.
Vice Admiral (Retired) Vivien Crea was the 25th Vice Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, holding the second highest position in the Coast Guard, and she is the first woman to do so. She was confirmed by the Senate to her historic post in June 2006. VADM Crea retired on August 7, 2009.
Vice Admiral Crea was the first woman to attain flag rank in the United States Coast Guard. In 2010, she became the first Coast Guard aviator to be inducted into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame.
VADM Crea assumed command of Coast Guard Atlantic Area on July 16, 2004 giving her operational command of all Coast Guard activities in an area of responsibility spanning the Eastern and Midwestern United States from the Rocky Mountains to Maine and Mexico, out across the Atlantic and through the Caribbean Sea. VADM Crea previously served as Commander, First Coast Guard District, overseeing all Coast Guard operations in the Northeastern United States, from the Maine-Canada border to Northern New Jersey. Prior to that she served as Director of Information and Technology of the Coast Guard as Chief Information Officer and oversaw the Coast Guard’s Research and Development program.
Earlier assignments include Chief, Office of Programs in Coast Guard Headquarters, Commanding Officer of Air Station Clearwater, Executive Assistant to the Commandant of the Coast Guard; Commanding Officer, Air Station Detroit; Operations Officer, Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico; Coast Guard Aide to President Reagan (the first woman from any service, as well as the first service member from the US Coast Guard to serve as the Presidential Military Aide); and many other operational assignments. As a Coast Guard aviator, Vice Admiral Crea has flown the C-130 Hercules turboprop, HH-65 Dolphin helicopter, and Gulfstream II jet.
VADM Crea earned a master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as one from Central Michigan University, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
General (Retired) Ann E. Dunwoody is a senior advisor to the Foundation. She was the first woman in U.S. military history to achieve a four-star officer rank. Her last assignment prior to retiring was a commander of one of the Army’s largest commands, the US Army Materiel Command with more than 69,000 employees and a presence in, or impacts to, all 50 states and 145 countries. Her other military firsts include being the first woman to command a battalion in the 82nd Airborne Division in 1992, and she became Fort Bragg’s first female general officer in 2000. Dunwoody was also the first woman to command the Army’s Combined Arms Support Command.
She commanded at every level, at home and abroad. She also supported the largest deployment and redeployment of US forces since WWII. She is the highly acclaimed author of and lecturer on the book, A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from America’s First Female Four-Star General.
General (Retired) Dunwoody is currently the president of First 2 Four, LLC and serves on the board of directors for L-3 Communications, Republic Services, and Logistics Management Institute. General Dunwoody is also serves on the Council of Trustees for the Association of the United States Army. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the State University of New York College at Cortland and Master’s Degrees from the Florida Institute of Technology and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Admiral (Retired) Michelle J. Howard served 35 years in the United States Navy. She led Sailors and Marines multiple times in her career as the Commander of: a ship, an Expeditionary Strike Group, Task Force, and a Naval theater. Her last command was from 2016 to 2017 as U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa. She simultaneously led NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Naples with oversight of missions from the Western Balkans to Iraq. Operations in her career include: NATO peacekeeping, West African Training Cruise, Indonesia Tsunami Relief operations, and the rescue of the Maersk Alabama from Somali Pirates. Michelle J. Howard is a Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran.
In 1999 Admiral Howard became the first African American woman to command a ship in the Navy. In 2014, she was the first woman to become a four-star Admiral in the U.S. Navy and the first woman to be appointed to the position of Vice Chief of Naval Operations (the second highest position in a Military Service). She is the first African American woman to reach the rank of three-star and four-stars in the Armed Forces.
Admiral (Retired) Howard has a Bachelor’s Degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master’s of Military Arts and Science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College as well as honorary degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, American Public University and North Carolina State University.
Admiral Howard has received numerous awards in recognition of her public contributions including the Women of Color (STEM) Career Achievement Award, USO Military Woman of the Year, Thurgood Marshall College Fund National Hero Award, French Legion of Honor, Order of Naval Merit Brazil and the Atlantic Council Distinguished Military Leadership Award.
Lieutenant General Carol A. Mutter is a senior advisor to the Foundation. She was the first woman in the history of the U.S. Armed Forces to be nominated to the three-star grade. He last active duty assignment was as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower and Reserve Affairs at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington D.C. Lieutenant General Mutter graduated from the Woman Officer Basic Course and began her career in data processing. She served as the Project Officer for Marine Air Command and Control Systems at Camp Pendleton, CA and as a Financial Management Officer at Quantico, VA.
As a Colonel she was assigned to the J-3 Operations Directorate in Colorado Springs, CO and became the first woman to gain qualification as a Space Director, later becoming the Division Chief for operation of the Space Command Commander in Chief’s Command Center. She later was assigned to the III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Okinawa Japan. As a Brigadier General she became Deputy Commanding General, Marine Corps Systems Command and Program Manager for Command and Control Systems. Again assigned to Okinawa, she was the first woman general officer to command a major deployable tactical command, the 3d Force Service Support Group, III MEF, U.S. Forces Pacific. In 1994 she was the first woman in the Marine Corps promoted to Major General and in 1996 she became the first woman of any branch promoted to three- star.
LTG (Retired) Mutter received a Bachelor’s in Mathematics Education and an honorary doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado. Additionally, she has a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, Newport Rhode Island and both an M.S. and honorary doctorate degree from Salve Regina University also in Newport.
Other activities have included the National Advisory Council of the Alliance for National Defense, National Academy of Sciences Committee on American Youth Population and Military Recruiting, National President of the Women Marines Association.
General (Retired) Janet C. Wolfenbarger is a senior advisor to the Foundation. She is 35-year veteran of the Air Force and the branch’s first four-star female general. She commanded the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio from 2012 until her retirement on July 1, 2015. Among the Air Force’s largest major commands, the AFMC employs roughly 80,000 people and manages $60 billion annually in its efforts globally to maintain Air Force preparedness. Wolfenbarger was also the vice commander and director of the AFMC Intelligence and Requirements Directorate at Wright-Patterson AFB.
She began her career as a technical intelligence analyst in the armament division at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. As part of a decorated and pioneering military career, which included being among the first female cadets accepted into the Air Force Academy in 1976, General Wolfenbarger served as the military deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition and as the service’s director of the Acquisition Center of Excellence at the Pentagon. She also directed the B-2 System Program Office and commanded the C-17 Systems Group for the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson.
General Wolfenbarger holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a Master’s Degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master’s Degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces as well as an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.
Board of Directors
Espey (Ted) Browning, is the Chair of the Audit Committee. He currently serves as an Executive Lecturer in the College of Business at James Madison University. He has been a Partner at Ernst & Young, as Partner at Johnson Lambert, LLP, an Adjunct Professor at The College of William and Mary Raymond A. Mason School of Business, Montgomery College and the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business. In addition to his support to the Women’s Memorial, Mr. Browning currently serves on the Joint Trial Board of the American Institute of CPAs. He has served on other boards of Directors and committees to include chairing the Professional Ethics Committee of the Maryland Association of CPAs.
Mr. Browning is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. He holds a BS in Accounting from Smith School of Business and an MS from the University of Maryland University College. He Co-Authored the United Way Guide to Implementation of New Accounting Standards as well as multiple articles on ethics and gifts-in-kind.
Master Sergeant (Retired) Melissa Crane is a member of the Foundation Audit Committee. Melissa entered the Marine Corps in 1982 and served in several key administrative positions to include with the Division Inspector General, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton and as Administrative Chief to the 12th and 13th Sergeant Majors of the Marine Corps. She was later assigned as the Audit Chief and as the Assistant to the Director of the Marine Corps Non-Appropriated Fund Audit Service (MCNAFAS), Headquarters Marine Corps. She retired from the Marine Corps in 2003 after 21 years of service.
She is currently with the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, DC. and serves as the Assistant Director, Assurance and Financial Reporting. In this assignment she is responsible for providing financial support to the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters’ offices to include the Office of the Secretary, Executive Management, and the offices within the Under Secretary for Management. She has previously served as a Senior Auditor at the Department of Transportation and Auditor-In-Charge at the Department of Justice. Her other non-profit contributions include serving as the Treasurer for Young Marines.
Mrs. Crane is a Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Government Auditing Professional. She holds both a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Accounting.
Brenda D. Davis is a member of the Finance and Investment Committee for the WIMSA Foundation Board of Directors. She served in the United States Marine Cops from 1984 until 1990. While her military occupational specialty was ground supply, she also filled Training non-commissioned officer billets as several secondary billets.
After her active duty time, she continued her involvement with the Maine Corps by serving as a Key Volunteer. This affiliation propelled her into other volunteer arenas including leadership positions in the Greater New Orleans Council of the Navy League, Joint Family Readiness Program, Joint Task Force Civil Support, and Marine Forces Reserve. Brenda joined the Maine Corps Family Team Building staff for Marine Forces Reserve (MFR) in 2011, traveling throughout the country facilitating Lifestyles, Insight, Networking, Knowledge, and Skills (LINKS) for families of Marines and life skills curriculum for the Marines, Sailors, and their family members serving within MFR. In 2014, she became the Family Readiness Officer for Marine Forces Reserve, executing the family readiness vision of the Commander, MFR.
She also served as the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Coordinator for MFR, insuring that deployed Reserve members and their families were given an opportunity to properly reintegrate. Brenda resigned her position in 2016 to assume a full-time volunteer role with the Young Marines, a national youth organization promoting team-work, discipline, and leadership for youth between the ages of 8 until graduation of high school. Their drug demand reduction mission and veterans support agenda are of particular interest to her. She assists with the execution of national events, mentors and advises program participants, develops curriculum, and facilitates both youth and adult volunteers.
Major General (Retired) Jan Edmunds is the Chairwoman of the WIMSA Foundation and heads the Board’s Development Committee. MG Edmunds served 32 years in the US Army as a logistician culminating her career as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Headquarters Department of the Army. Other key general officer assignments included commanding a Theater Support Command in Korea, Command of the 13th Corps Support Command at Fort Hood Texas, and Command of the Army War Reserve Support Command in Rock Island, IL. After retiring she was Senior Vice President for Logistics and Services with Cypress International, consulting in the Defense and Aerospace market for 7 years and still supports clients part time.
Her other activities include the Board Directors for BRTRC, a Defense professional services company, Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Old Dominion University’s Research Foundation, and a previous member of a Defense Science Board Task Force assessing options such as small modular reactors and other alternative energy sources for energy delivery at forward and remote operating bases. She holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Edinboro State University and an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology, is a graduate of the US Army War College and holds a commercial pilots rating.
Dr. Julie Englund, is the Foundation Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee. She is a board member and active community volunteer with broad experience in higher education, public policy research organizations, and not-for-profits.
Formerly she was Executive Vice President and Secretary to the Board of Achieving the Dream, a non-profit dedicated to reforming practices in community colleges. She served as Chief Financial Officer of the National Academy of Sciences, Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration at The Catholic University, Dean for Administration at Harvard Law School, and Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration at The Brookings Institution, Senior Vice President for Finance, Administration, and Membership with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and Associate Vice President at Hood College. Her career also includes federal service.
She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Cedar Crest College, a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Wilson College for nine years where she served as the Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee, Chair of the Investment Subcommittee, member of Executive Committee, and member and Treasurer of the Board of the Humane Society University.
Julie earned a Masters of City Planning degree and a Doctorate in Education from Harvard University. Her BA degree, magna cum laude, is from Briarcliff College. She is the daughter of WWII military pilot Irene Englund, Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs).
Brigadier General (Retired) Barbara A Goodwin, USAF, (Ret) is the Foundation Secretary and a member of the Finance and Investment Committee. Her thirty-year career as an Air Force officer and nurse provided numerous opportunities for experiences at all levels of organization and leadership positions, culminating with her selection as Chief, USAF Nurse Corps. In 1992, following retirement she joined the American Red Cross and was a member of the Blood Services department as a Collection Specialist until retiring in 2013. In addition, she earned credentials in the Travel and Tourism industry and continues to serve as a Travel counselor with a local agency in Maryland.
Over the years she has continued to be an active participant in community organizations with emphasis on Women and Veterans associations including Business and Professional Women’s Foundation; Military Officer Association of America (MOAA); a former director on the Board of the Air Force Retired Officers Corporation which oversees a Continuing Care Retirement Community (Falcons Landing), and local parish ministries.
General Goodwin earned a MSN from University of Colorado, BSN from University of Pennsylvania and a Diploma in Nursing from Boston City Hospital School of Nursing. She is a graduate of the Air War College.
Rear Admiral (retired) Nancy Lescavage is the Vice Chair of the Board and a member of the Foundation Governance Committee. Nancy most recently served as the Deputy Secretary for Quality Assurance for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In this role, she planned and directed the policy, operations and execution of the Bureau of Facility Licensure and Certification and the Bureau of Community Program Licensure and Certification.
She served on active duty in the United States Navy for over 35 years and rose to the rank of rear admiral while holding a variety of leadership, business, education, clinical and legislative liaison roles. Most notably, she was the 20th Director of the Navy Nurse Corps and was the Director of TRICARE Regional Office – West, overseeing managed care support contracts and an integrated health care delivery system covering 21 states and 2.7 million eligible TRICARE beneficiaries.
Nancy earned her graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania along with a Certificate of Management from the Wharton School of Business. She obtained a baccalaureate degree from the University of Maryland and a diploma in nursing from Saint Joseph Hospital in Reading, Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of numerous military, civic, academic and leadership awards including the Outstanding Federal Health Care Executive Award.
Brigadier General (Retired) Eden Murrie is a member of the Foundation Governance Committee. Her “day job” is the Chief Operating Officer of Operation Stand Down Tennessee a 501(c)(3) that focuses on helping Veterans and their families by engaging, equipping, and empowering them with a wide range of services, including employment assistance, VA benefits assistance, networking, housing, and more.
Eden is the Board Chair for Rock The Street Wall Street. She is also a board member for the Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes, Mission Getting to Next Foundation, Centerstone Military Services and the Davidson County Veterans Court Foundation. Additionally, she is an adviser for the Nashville YWCA Dress for Success program.
Prior to her current position, Brigadier General Murrie culminated a 29-year Air Force career as the Director of Air Force Services in Washington, DC. As a member of Air Force’s executive management team, she was responsible for the development and execution of a $2 billion portfolio of worldwide programs. She has senior executive experience including working on the National Security Staff for the White House, serving on the staff of a Member of Congress and leading multinational organizations.
Eden is also a master navigator with over 2400 flying hours, her flying career included serving as an instructor and evaluator in three different aircraft. She is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and has MAs in Political Science and National Security Strategy and an MBA from Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management. She has a Certificate from Georgetown University in Legislative Affairs; a Certificate from Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy with a Certification in Fundraising Management and is a graduate of Harvard’s Executive Fellows Program.
Mariah S. Sixkiller is a member of the Foundation Development Committee. She is Managing Partner of Sixkiller Consulting LLC, where she formulates public policy strategies for high profile private and non-profit clients with defense, veteran’s affairs, intelligence and foreign policy equities.
From 2006 to 2014, Mariah was National Security Advisor to a senior leader in the House of Representatives. In that role, Sixkiller advised her boss and other Members of Congress and helped manage committee activity related to foreign policy, defense, homeland security, and intelligence issues.
Prior to that role, Mariah worked as a Senator’s foreign policy advisor, providing support on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and in the Senator’s office; and also for another Senator as her Director of Research. Earlier in her career, Mariah held a political appointment at the White House Office of Management and Budget, and worked as a government affairs analyst in both the non-profit and private sectors.
Mariah is originally from Boston, graduated with honors from Brown University, and now splits her time between Seattle and Washington, DC.
Brigadier General (Retired) Allyson Solomon is a member of the Foundation Governance Committee. An experienced non-profit leader she is also President of the National Guard Youth Foundation. Allyson served nearly 36 years as a member of the Air National Guard as an enlisted woman and then as an officer. Among her many accomplishments as a trailblazer and leader, she was the first African-American women to be appointed as a senior commander in the Maryland Air National Guard. In 2003 she became the first woman and the first African-American woman to be promoted to Colonel in Maryland National Guard History. In 2006, Allyson was selected to serve as the Chief of the General Officer Management Office at the National Guard Bureau, Washington, DC. Reporting directly to the Chief, NGB, her office was responsible for managing the careers and training of over 350 general officers nationwide. Later she become the first female and African-American brigadier general, as well as the first female and African-American assistant adjutant general, in the Maryland National Guard’s 374-year history. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, she moved to Maryland with her family in 1971. Allyson received a B.A. in Business Administration from Loyola University and M.A. in Public Administration from Auburn University at Montgomery. She has been recognized as a professional and role model by the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame for civic programs in the community. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated, the National Guard Association of the United States, and the National Guard Association of Maryland.
Lieutenant Commander (Retired) Kimberly Torbert is on the Foundation Development Committee. Kim served over 27 years in the United States Coast Guard. She began her career as a Machinery Technician in 1989 and received her Commission in 2000 through the Coast Guard Reserve Direct Commission program. Her assignments have included all aspects of Coast Guard operations from force allocation to deployment operations. Additionally, she served as the primary liaison to the Department of Defense and Homeland Security developing contingency operations for specialized force deployments and served as lead for the Atlantic Area Operations and Deployable Operations Group.
Other assignments included Protocol Officer to the Commandant of the Coast Guard and External Affairs Officer at the Deployable Operations Group. Kim holds a degree in Geology and Environmental Monitoring from the University of Hawaii, Winward Community College and a Bachelor’s in Business Management, Marketing and Related Support Services from American Military University. As an entrepreneur she is co-owner of KinderBike, the leading U.S. manufacturer and innovate of quality run bikes.
The Honorable Caryn Wagner is a member of the Governance Committee for the Foundation. She has over 35 years of experience in the intelligence, national and homeland security fields. She served at the intersection of national and homeland security as the Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security, responsible for meeting the intelligence and information needs of the Department and also of State, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement officials.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Wagner was responsible for intelligence analysis for the Department of Defense, as the Deputy Director for Analysis and Production at the Defense Intelligence Agency. She also served as the first Chief Financial Officer for the National Intelligence Program after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was created in 1994, after serving as the head of its smaller predecessor organization, the Intelligence Community Management Staff. Ms. Wagner served five years on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as a Sub-Committee Staff Director and as Committee Budget Director. She began her intelligence career as a Signals Intelligence officer in the United States Army, serving in Texas, Arizona and Germany.
Caryn received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History from the College of William and Mary, and a Master of Science degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.
Chief Warrant Officer Five (CW5) (Retired) Phyllis J. Wilson is the President of the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation. She was selected to assume the role of President as of September 1, 2019. During more than 37 years of active and reserve service, she has served at all echelons from tactical to strategic, with duty in Germany, Iraq and the United States. In August 1990, she was mobilized to support OPERATION DESERT SHIELD/ OPERATION DESERT STORM and served as the Signals Intelligence collection manager for XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, NC.
In December 2002, she mobilized in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM as a senior Counter Terrorism Analyst. She served six years at U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, FL as an intelligence analyst in support of Information Operations focused on the War on Terrorism.
CW5 Wilson became the 5th Command Chief Warrant Officer (CCWO) for the United States Army Reserve July 2, 2012. In this role she represented and advised the Chief of the Army Reserve/Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command on matters pertaining to training and education, career management, leader development and warrior transition issues for warrant officers within the Army Reserve.
Chief Wilson holds a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University, two Bachelor of Science degrees: nursing (registered nurse) and liberal arts (sociology/German) and three Associate of Science degrees. She has attended the Defense Language Institute for German and Spanish as well as the Defense Strategic Debriefer Course. She is a 2008 graduate of the Warrant Officer Senior Staff Course and has studied at the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany, completing the Program for Advanced Security Studies in 2009. She also holds a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University.