U.S.

September 20, 2013

Female Firsts for Naval Warfare Center

Tags:
Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona Public Affairs

Capt. Eric Ver Hage, background left, and Dr. William Luebke, Senior Executive Service, commanding officer and technical director, respectively, at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Corona Division, pose for group photo with, from left, Cathy Oaxaca-Hoote, Command Operations department head; Kim Kruzel, comptroller; Laura Hewitt, Performance Assessment department head; Penny Campbell, Human Resources director; Dianne Costlow, deputy technical director; and Minhhong Tran, Readiness Information Systems division head, to mark Women’s Equality Day. Kruzel and Hewitt are the first females to head their departments and follow a series of selections where more women have risen to senior leadership positions at NSWC Corona.

NORCO, Calif. – Two Inland Empire women have been tapped for senior leadership posts at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division, the Department of the Navy’s center for independent assessment, measurement science, and range systems engineering, its top officer announced on Aug. 26, Women’s Equality Day established by Congress.

Capt. Eric Ver Hage, Commanding Officer, said the selections of Kim Kruzel as Comptroller and Laura Hewitt as Performance Assessment Department head are well deserved and reflect the progress made in the last several decades to bring more women into all levels of naval service.

“I’m extremely proud of these appointments,” Ver Hage said. “Kim and Laura are the best at what they do, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have them in these leadership positions.”

Kruzel is responsible for overseeing the financial operations of $300 million in annual business, and Hewitt oversees the department that evaluates major fleet exercises, the Navy’s component of the nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System, and other key programs.

Both women are the first females to head their departments and follow a series of selections that have put more women in senior leadership positions.

“I am thrilled to be able to work with such a talented group of dedicated individuals who work hard every day to support our mission requirements,” Kruzel said. “Ensuring that our people have the right resources, training and growth opportunities to become strong financial leaders is one of my main responsibilities.”

The warfare center’s business model- known as a Navy working capital fund – is essentially like a corporation that charges Navy and other Defense Department customers for science and engineering services their programs need. Similar to a corporation’s chief financial officer, Kruzel has to carefully manage the command’s overhead and routine operational expenses – yet unlike its commercial counterparts, end up with no net profit at the end of each fiscal year.

While more women have risen to top posts in business operations, like the financial and legal fields, fewer have made it to leadership positions in technical fields because of the limited numbers in the pipeline, a challenging problem that begins with college graduates.

Historic college enrollment data show far fewer women than men graduating with undergraduate degrees in engineering, and 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal less than 14 percent of engineers employed in the United States were female.

But at the warfare center during the past decade, the number of female engineers has risen from 11.5 percent to more than 17 percent, and the percentage of supervisors has grown by half, now close to 15 percent – almost double the national average less than 9 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Having Laura at the helm in our Performance Assessment Department shows just how far we’ve come by recruiting more females to these fields,” Ver Hage said.

Hewitt started her engineering career in 1977, when even fewer females were pursuing technical careers than today. Now she boasts three decades of experience in military projects and leads one of six major departments.

Deputy Technical Director Dianne Costlow, an engineer and one of the warfare center’s other female leaders, headed two other technical departments earlier in her career and is the first female deputy technical director. She says Hewitt will excel in her new role.

“Laura does not shy away from a challenge. She listens to the varied perspectives and ultimately makes a decision on moving forward – attributes of a good leader,” Costlow said.

Since Hewitt began working at Norco’s Navy base in 1981, being female presented some unique challenges. Early in her career, she was required to assess training exercises aboard ships at sea with all-male crews.

“It was a time when the Chief of Naval Operations had to approve, via Navy message, the request for females to ship-ride on Navy vessels,” Hewitt said. “I decided to forge ahead with the fleet work and do my best. I was committed to getting all the experience I needed. So, I’m prepared for everything, and I’m very excited to be here.”

For years, the warfare center has made diversity a high priority, and these appointments reflect a steady trend of bringing more women to the command.

Kruzel and Hewitt join Cathy Oaxaca-Hoote, the command operations department head, making for three female department heads. Other women have also been promoted to leadership positions among the command’s 1,000 scientists, engineers and support personnel.

Minhhong Tran recently took over leadership of the newly formed Readiness Information Systems Division that is working in the critical cyber security area, and Penny Campbell was recently selected as the command’s first human resources director.

The Pentagon’s top diversity and equal employment opportunity director, Clarence A. Johnson, also noticed the efforts in place during his visit three years ago.

“From what I’ve seen here,” said Johnson, “[Naval Surface Warfare Center] Corona is a model for everyone to follow.”

Ver Hage reflected on how much progress women have made but knows more recruiting needs to be done in science and engineering.

“If I could ask one thing of the public, it’s that if you see young people with potential in these technical fields, nurture it and support it, and let them know they have great opportunities to serve their country as a civilian Navy scientist or engineer. You couldn’t ask for a more rewarding career.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD
Untitled-1

DoD highlights warrior, family care during Warrior Care Month 2014

The Defense Department recently hosted a rehabilitation expo as part of Warrior Care Month as it continues its commitment to supporting wounded, ill and injured troops, their families and caregivers. James Rodriguez, deputy ass...
 
 

Virtual Hope Box mobile app grows in popularity

A free smartphone app that helps people in crisis remember good things in their lives has been downloaded 13,000 times in the past six months, according to data from app stores. That’s good news for experts at the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2), which developed the Virtual Hope Box app to help users...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

Tinker epitomized Native American strength, leadership

Courtesy Photo Maj. Gen. Clarence L. Tinker was a natural leader who personally led his Airmen into combat missions during the early days of World War II. He perished, along with his crew, during the battle of Midway. The natio...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

AF tests first all-electric vehicle fleet in California

(U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice) Airmen from Los Angeles Air Force Base learn how to use charging equipment for the base’s new electric vehicle fleet during a training demo Oct. 31, 2014, in El Segundo, Calif. When not in...
 
 

AF expands digital library content for Airmen

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Airmen at 19 Air Force installations around the world will soon have access to a new 200-title audiobook and eBook digital library, Air Force officials said. The 19 participating installations will help test digital content distribution using the new Air Force eReader AERO; a single portable device developed...
 
 

Air Force officials update AF Instruction 1-1

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force officials approved Air Force Instruction 1-1, Air Force Standards, Nov. 7, to clarify guidance on Airmen’s religious rights and commanders’ authority and responsibility to protect those rights. The changes come as a result of a Religious Freedom “Focus Day” earlier this year when leaders in the Air Force’s chaplain corps...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin