Women's Appreciation Award

This award recognizes and honors AFCEA members, regardless of gender, who have gone above and beyond to further the careers of women. AFCEA contributions will be more heavily weighted than professional performance in the decision process. Winners are selected by members of the Women's Award Committee. The award will be presented at the annual Women's Appreciation Event held at WEST each year. AFCEA staff are not eligible for this award.

The Women's Appreciation Award nomination will be graded on the following:

  • Supported the development of female business and/or government professionals by facilitating introductions with prospective experienced mentors
  • Personally acted as a mentor to one or more female students or business/government professionals
  • Actively supported and promoted STEM scholarships and careers (in business and/or government) to female students at any educational level
  • Sponsored or advocated a highly-qualified female candidate for a new or increased position in her company or government
  • Actively developed, or contributed to developing, shared opportunities for females in business and government to network, learn new skills, share best practices, celebrate accomplishments, and develop professionally


  • Must be a current AFCEA Member
  • Must have been an active participant and leader in AFCEA at the chapter and/or HQ International level for at least two years before being nominated for this award
  • Individuals cannot nominate themselves


Nominate a candidate


Women Appreciation Award Winners 2019

From left: VADM Nancy Norton, USN; DeEtte Gray; Award Winners Jenniffer Minks, Szu-Moy Toves and Kathy Swacina; LtGen Lori Reynolds, USMC

Donatella Dominici

Department of Civil, Construction-Architectural & Environmental Engineering, University of L'Aquila

Yolande Fong

AFCEA Hawaii Chapter
DISA-PAC GS-14 (Retired)

Jenniffer Minks

Coaition Interoperability Division Chief
Deputy Directorate for Cyber and C4 Integration, Joint Staff J6

COL Kathy Swacina, USA (Ret)

Senior Federal Program Executive
Unitech Consulting, LLC

MSgt Szu-Moy Toves, USAF (Ret)



Women Appreciation Award Winners 2018

From left: Tamara Greenspan, Kathleen Berganski, Ashley Becker, Abigail Wilson, Sharon O'Malley Burg

All winners were recognized at the Fifth Anniversary Women's Appreciation Event at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 during AFCEA/USNI WEST in San Diego.

Ashley Becker

Manager, Union Square Innovation Center, Ernst & Young

Kathleen Berganski

Senior Manager, Cyber Operations Division, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Tamara Greenspan

Vice President, Oracle Corporation

Sharon O'Malley Burg

Senior Advisor, C.A.C.I. International Inc.

Abigail Wilson

Government Cyber Security Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers


Women Appreciation Award Winners 2017

From left: Alvie Johnson, Dr. Marion Michaud, CMSgt Diane Slazinik, USAF, Col Kim Montfoort, USAF (Ret), Mary Allison Yourchisin

These winners include the first male recipient recognized for his support of women in the IT field. All winners were recognized at the Women's Appreciation Event from 4-6pm on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 during WEST in San Diego. Read here for more information on this annual event.

Mr. Alvie Johnson

Director, Business Development, Leidos

Marion Michaud, Ph.D.

Technical Director, Cyber Security Technical Center, The MITRE Corporation

Colonel Kim M. Montfoort, USAF (Ret)

Technical Support Lead, Telos Corporation

Chief Master Sergeant Diane Slazinik, USAF

Superintendent, 375th Communications Group, United States Air Force

Mrs. Mary Allison Yourchisin

Vice President, Special Operations and Joint Agencies, AC4S


Women Appreciation Award Winners 2016

Denise Desien

President, Business Development Technologies

Teresa Duvall, CDR, USN (Ret)

Navy Authorizing Official Division Head, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command

Natalie Givans

Senior Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton

Charisse Stokes

Vice President, Cybersecurity and Network Management, Telos Corporation

Tiffany Tremont

President and CEO, SiloTech Group


From left to right: Ashley Becker, co-chair Women in AFCEA; John Meincke, Vice Chair of the Board of AFCEA International; Denise Desien, award winner; Lt Gen Robert M Shea, President and CEO of AFCEA International; and Andi Fehl, co-chair Women in AFCEA

From left to right: Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch, master of ceremonies and past winner; Ashley Becker, co-chair Women in AFCEA; Natalie Givans, award winner; Teresa Duvall, award winner; Kathy Kleiman, keynote speaker; and Andi Fehl, co-chair Women in AFCEA

From left to right: Ashley Becker, co-chair Women in AFCEA; John Meincke, Vice Chair of the Board of AFCEA International; Charisse Stokes, award winner; Lt Gen Robert M Shea, President and CEO of AFCEA International; and Andi Fehl, co-chair Women in AFCEA


Women Appreciation Award Winners 2015

Shirley Adams

Vice President, General Dynamics Information Technology

Norma Corrales

Former Senior Director of the Educational Foundation

Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch

Senior Vice President, Inmarsat

Doreen Jakubcak

Educational Foundation Board of Directors

Women's Appreciation Award 2014 winners

Shirley Adams and Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch with their women's appreciation awards at WEST 2015

Norma Corrales and Doreen Jakubcak were not able to attend but submitted the following remarks.

Norma: Although I am surprised and honored by this award, it has not been earned by me alone.  I believe in TEAM AFCEA - all caps!  Particularly, in the field of education, AFCEA education, it has been the TEAM of AFCEA International, the Educational Foundation, and the wonderful AFCEA chapters that has made all efforts possible.  That TEAM should also include the many AFCEA friends in academia, the military academies and military educational institutions, as well as the incredible Foundation staff and the loyal and dedicated volunteers who support our goals: the Board of Directors, Education Committee members, and scholarship judges.  Without these individuals, we are mute.  I would like to share this honor with all of them, too many to name individually.

Doreen: Thank you to AFCEA and the selection committee for this wonderful honor.  AFCEA has been and always will be special for me.  Through this great organization I have made lifetime connections and friendships.  There aren't many organizations where you can be across the globe, step into a chapter event, and immediately feel welcomed and at home.  In the 30+ years of my affiliation, AFCEA has continually embraced new initiatives to foster participation of women and minorities and identify better ways to serve our membership.  It has been a privilege working with the Educational Foundation for the past several years.  There is no organization more dedicated in their mission to provide educational opportunities in STEM disciplines, and it has been very gratifying to see the stories of how the Foundation has positively impacted students.

Women Appreciation Award Winners 2014

CAPT Danelle Barrett, USN


Sue Hoffman

Booz Allen Hamilton

Becky Nolan

Former Executive Director, AFCEA International


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