WID-Michigan Honors Teresa Takai, Receives Personal Message of Gratitude from Secretary of Defense at 5th Annual Black Tie Gala

Nov 20, 2013, 09:46 ET from Women in Defense Michigan

ROCHESTER, Mich., Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- At its 5th Annual Black Tie Gala, Women in Defense Michigan (WID-Michigan) honored its 2013 Excellence In Leadership award recipient, Teresa (Teri) M. Takai, chief information officer, Department of Defense.  In addition to Takai, WID-Michigan honored recipients of its 2013 Horizon Industry Awards, Junior Horizons Award, and HORIZON-Michigan Scholarships.  Also, Takai surprised WID-Michigan with a personal letter of gratitude for its contributions to national defense and security from Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense.

"The WID-Michigan Black Tie Gala is an exciting celebration of innovative, leading women in the defense industry as well as those students committed to moving our industry forward in the future," said Julie Wood, president, WID-Michigan. "The Michigan defense industry is delivering incredible innovations to the market. WID-Michigan award honorees are playing a large role in researching, developing and producing game-changing technologies that are keeping soldiers in the field safe and giving them the tools they need to be most effective in their jobs."

"It was a huge honor to receive personal thanks from the Secretary of Defense," Wood added. "It was great recognition for all of the organization's volunteers who have worked so hard over the past six years to establish and grow WID-Michigan."

WID-Michigan Horizon Industry Awards are given to women in three categories: Product Development, Business Development, and Innovation. This year's winners are Molly O'Malley, ASRC Primus, for Product Development; Carole Kmetz, Navistar, for Business Development; and Melanie Stager, General Dynamics Land Systems, for Innovation.

The organization's Junior Horizon Award honors an exemplary student that is committed to pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This year's WID-Michigan Junior Horizon Award honored Shelby Imboden, a senior at Henry Ford II High School.

HORIZONS-Michigan Scholarships encourage women to pursue careers related to the support of national security and defense interests of the United States, and provide development opportunities to women already working in these fields. To date, WID-Michigan has awarded $78,000 in scholarships. The 2013 scholarship recipients, their field of study and college are:

  • Melissa Galant, materials science & engineering and mechanical engineering, Michigan Technological University
  • Ashly Hofbauer, nursing, Wayne State University
  • Jaclyn Kline, history and anthropology, University of Michigan
  • Amelia McIlvenna, mathematics, Oakland University
  • Caitlin Ploch, mechanical engineering and physics, Hope College
  • Julie Roberts, civil engineering, University of Detroit-Mercy
  • Rebecca Truitt, chemistry, Lawrence Technological University

Women In Defense Michigan chapter (WID-Michigan), is a non-profit professional networking and development organization for women and men across Michigan who contribute to national defense and security. Formed in 2007, WID-Michigan strengthens and influences the defense and national security industries by inspiring women, cultivating leadership, and growing professional relationships. WID-Michigan also assists in the educational development of young women in technical fields through scholarships and mentoring.  For more information, visit www.wid-mi.org.

SOURCE Women in Defense Michigan