Sunday, August 16, 2015

Agenda for Tuesday, 8/18/15


0700-0730:  Introductions & Networking Assistance.

0730-0800:  Speaker - Joanna Walters (USNA '94)

This week Joanna Walters (USNA '94) will talk about her new book -- Girl at Sea:  A Story of Courage, Strength, and Growth from One of the First Women to Serve on U.S. Warships.

Thanks to Kurt Schlaefer (USAFA '70) for arranging to have Joanna speak with us this week.

Here's an abstract on Joanna's book, as found on the book's Amazon page:

A Naval officer’s memoir about finding one’s voice.

Women have bravely served in the U.S. Navy for nearly a century, but they have only been allowed to serve in combat roles for the last twenty-five years. When the combat exclusion law was lifted in 1993, women in the Navy soon had a new range of opportunities available to them. The repeal of the law finally gave women the chance to serve on combatant ships for the first time.

Among the first women to step onto these warships as a new crewmember was Joanna Sprtel Walters. In her memoir Girl at Sea, she shares her story beginning with training at the US Naval Academy through her service in the fleet aboard combatant warships. As a member of the class of 1994, she was among the first group of women out of the Academy to have selected warfare specialties. This real-life account sheds light on a ground-breaking time in our country’s history as gender barriers continue to be torn down within all divisions of our Armed Forces.

Walters’s story will resonate with anyone who has ever had to bump their head against a glass ceiling and then fight their way through it. Her story covers difficult topics such as a sexual assault and extortion case at the end of her time at the Academy; struggling to prove herself on a ship where men felt women were invading their spaces; earning the hard-fought respect of her first division; recovering from the career suicide of engaging in a forbidden relationship; fighting to stay in the Navy and then thriving in the most difficult of environments; and her eventual blossoming into a strong Division Officer with an MBA under her belt. Through her successes and failures, Walters hopes to inspire others to reach beyond what they thought they were capable of and find their own inner strength.

8/18/15 (this week):  Joanna Walters - see above.

8/25/15:  TBD/Open Networking.

If there's a speaker you'd like to invite for the 25th or any future Tuesday, just let me know at and I'll put it on our schedule. 


Have a great week.

Joe Paniccia (USMA '84)
Service Academy BizNet of Denver meets weekly on Tuesdays at 0700, in the Marriott Hotel at the Denver Tech Center. From I-25, exit Belleview east, then turn north onto Syracuse Street. The Marriott lots are paid parking (approx $2-4), however you can park for FREE across the street at Garcia's Restaurant (we have their permission). Look for us in the seating area inside the Marriott's coffee shop. RSVP is not required. Dress is casual. Attendance is open to graduates of the federal service academies (USAFA, USCGA, USMA, USMMA, USNA). There are no dues or fees. Our schedule, roster and other information are posted at

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