Sea Services Leadership Association

SSLA Postpones In-Person Annual Symposium, Extends Award Nomination Period

SSLA Press Release
Media Contact: Laura Stegherr, SSLA Public Affairs Officer,

The Sea Services Leadership Association, the nation’s premier professional development organization for women in the sea services, has postponed its in-person annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium (JWLS), originally scheduled for August 31-September 1, 2021 in Norfolk, Va.

“The COVID environment has affected businesses, teams and non-profit organizations globally; in turn, COVID has greatly impacted how SSLA has operated for the past year,” said SSLA President Col. Jenny Storm. “We are committed to the health and safety of our members, and all who make JWLS the nation’s premier leadership development event for women and men in uniform. After careful consideration, we have determined that this commitment to our members’ health and well-being, as well as the immense uncertainty inherent with the COVID environment, will not allow us to hold an in-person symposium in 2021.”

While JWLS is postponed until 2022, SSLA remains committed to its mission of providing the quality mentoring and professional development that members have grown to expect from the organization.

“We take very seriously our responsibility to our members to continue to provide mentoring and professional development,” continued Storm. “We are taking this opportunity between now and JWLS 2022 to reflect and improve upon what it means to serve our members and prospective members – reinvesting in our organizational structure, bylaws, and other administrative matters.”

SSLA Vice President and JWLS Chair Lieutenant Corinne Powers noted that SSLA is also using this time to focus on JWLS 2022.

“We will be maximizing our time over the next few months to refocus our efforts on hosting an in-person 2022 JWLS, seeking a broad and diverse range of speakers, sponsors and participants that share our commitment to mentorship and leadership development,” said Powers.

SSLA will also continue to offer opportunities for mentoring and professional development for members and future members, including holding SSLA’s monthly Book Club, “Continuing the Conversation” sessions, and taking part in virtual speaker events and seminars with like-minded organizations.

SSLA Extends Annual Award Nomination Period

To ensure SSLA continues to recognize inspirational leaders from a variety of backgrounds, SSLA has extended the nomination period for several annual awards.

Recognition of strong and inspirational leaders in our services – women and men who are our mentors and advocates – is of critical importance to our organization and to all who serve. To ensure we are able to recognize these exceptional members on a national stage, SSLA has extended award deadlines so all who seek to nominate an exceptional leader can do so,” said Storm.

Nomination deadlines for the Emerging Leader Award, the Compass Award, and the North Star Award, recognizing military and civilian leaders of a variety of ranks, are extended to May 15. Award recipients will be recognized virtually later this year. More information on these awards and nomination forms are available on our website at

“We appreciate the support of the military services, our organizational sponsors, and most of all, our members, for their continued support to the important work SSLA does in furthering the mentorship and professional development of men and women from the sea services and beyond,” said Storm.

About The Sea Services Leadership Association (SSLA)

Established in 1978, SSLA is a non-profit, non-political organization recognized by the United States sea services, dedicated to providing professional development to growing service women as individuals through access to networking, mentoring, and opportunities to unleash their leadership potential and increase the effectiveness of the organizations in which they serve. SSLA is an officially recognized affinity group for the sea services, and continually advises the services about issues affecting Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel and their families. Each year, SSLA hosts the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium for all the military services, making it the largest gathering of women in uniform nationwide. To learn more about SSLA and the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium, visit, or follow JWLS’ FacebookSSLA’s FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

Graphic Postponement

4 Responses

  1. Please advise how I can be placed on the mailing list to receive info on the 2022 JWLS? Thank you in advance for your time.

    1. Hi Angela! I recommend you stay tuned to our social media pages as we’ll post regular updates on all our organization’s activities and events there. Additionally, if you’re not already, please consider becoming a member of SSLA! You can join at Thanks!

  2. Hello, will we have to resubmit nominations since the 2021 symposium has been postponed or will the awardees still receive recognition this year?

    1. Hi Mimi! SSLA plans to recognize winners of the 2021 annual awards even without an in-person symposium — no need to resubmit any existing nominations! We’ve received some outstanding awards nominations and will be announcing winners soon, so stay tuned!

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