Sea Services Leadership Association

SSLA Hosts Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium in San Diego

SSLA Press Release
Media Contact: Lt. Kathleen Barrios,

San Diego, CA – The Sea Services Leadership Association (SSLA) is excited to announce the 34th annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium (JWLS) being held at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California from June 29th to July 1st.

JWLS is the largest gathering of women in uniform nationwide, and has been recognized as the premier professional and personal development conference for women in the uniformed services.

“We are proud to provide this unique opportunity for service members from all eight uniformed services to explore and celebrate all the ways women engage in their communities, their teams and their units,” said SSLA President Capt. Emily Bassett. “Our theme for JWLS 2023 is ‘Find Your Fit.’ The agenda for this year’s symposium promises to be the best yet!”

The first day of JWLS on June 29th includes a morning yoga session, service-specific breakout sessions, leadership workshops and discussions about healthcare and family planning, mentorship, improving communication in the workplace, and finding your fit. The second day, June 30th, features a 5k fun run/walk, joint keynote remarks, and discussions including DoD policy updates, resilience and stress management, the power of connection, and finding success through failure. We are proud to introduce Career Development Day on day three, July 1st. Career Development Day will include transition workshops and a career fair presented by Hiring Our Heroes as well as amazing workshops focused on professional development.

The SSLA Awards Program was established to recognize exceptional members within the uniformed services who embody the spirit, mission, and vision of SSLA. During the symposium, four awards will be presented to deserving service members: The Rising Star Award, The Emerging Leader Award, The Compass Award, and The North Star Award.

The winners of the awards are:

The North Star Award – Lieutenant General Mary O’Brien, USAF

The Emerging Leader Award – Lieutenant Tara Mark, USN

The Compass Award – Chief Master Sergeant Chris Dawson, USAF

The Rising Star Awards – MIDN 1/c Beverly Dempsey, MIDN 1/c Savannah Houdeshell, MIDN 1/c Sierra McNall, MIDN 1/c Juliet Liao, MIDN 1/c Malinda Beason

“We are looking forward to celebrating these incredible leaders and highlighting the positive impact they are having in their commands and communities,” said Bassett. “At SSLA, we believe in the mission of Mentor, Inspire, and Lead. We hope our participants want to continue the conversation post-JWLS and join SSLA!”

SSLA was established in 1978. It is currently the only non-profit organization in the United States dedicated to providing professional development through networking, education, and mentorship of women from all four maritime uniformed services – the United States Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and NOAA Corps. SSLA is a national non-profit and non-political organization and an officially recognized affinity group for the sea services, continually advising the services about issues affecting Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and NOAA personnel and their families. SSLA also maintains partnerships with the Navy’s Women’s Policy Office and the Coast Guard’s Gender Policy Advisors, as well as the United States Marine Corps’ Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management Branch and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Women’s Association (NOAAWA).

To learn more about the SSLA Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium and SSLA, visit and

SSLA Press Release
Media Contact: Lt. Kathleen Barrios,

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