By Molly Hayden, U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr Public AffairsMarch 28, 2011
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany - It's a man's world, but not without the help of extraordinary women. In honor of these extraordinary women, more than 50 Grafenwoehr community members gathered at the Main Post Tower Inn Conference Center, March 23, for the Women's History Month Workshop.
Throughout the workshop, guest speakers addressed the crowd regarding an array of topics that directly impact women within the community, including financial readiness, resiliency and women's health.
"As women we must be mindful of how we nourish our bodies," said Tamara Smiley, spouse of Col. Vann Smiley, commander, U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr, spoke on the topic of nutritional health. "It is important to read labels and know what we are eating and as caregivers, what we are feeding our families."
Additionally, six distinguished women within the Grafenwoehr community shared stories of overcoming obstacles to gain success. Each spoke candidly about their personal experiences, each very different from the next, and offered advice to the crowd.
Workshop speakers included Col. Glenda Lock, commander, U.S. Army Health Clinic Vilseck; Command Sgt. Maj. Kristine Purnell, 69th Signal Battalion, 7th Signal Brigade; Sylvia Durcholz-Wilhelm, Grafenwoehr Garrison Equal Employment Opportunity manager; Erika Roth, a management employee relations and labor relations specialist at the Main Post Civilian Personnel Advisory Center; Jolly Miller, chief of Army Community Service; and Jennifer Weekes, a licensed clinical social worker currently working with the Department of Behavioral Health and Social Work Services.
"There are no do over's in real life," Purnell said during her speech. "You have to do the best you can."
After each speaker's presentation, participants asked questions, creating a panel discussion and fluid conversation.
"This type of forum provides an outlet for the community to talk, mingle and get ideas to help them grow personally and professionally," said event coordinator Robin Blair-Johnson, adding the event was tailored toward women, in honor of women and to celebrate women and the long road taken for equality.
"It's about empowerment," said Blair-Johnson. "And these women are empowered."
Perhaps it isn't a man's world after all.