Joint base hosts 2013 Surface Force Women’s Waterfront Symposium

Rear Adm. Rick Williams commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, gives opening remarks at 2013 Surface Force Women's Waterfront Symposium.

Rear Adm. Rick Williams commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, gives opening remarks at 2013 Surface Force Women’s Waterfront Symposium.

Story and photo by Brandon Bosworth

Staff Writer

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam held the 2013 Surface Force Women’s Waterfront Symposium on Oct. 3 at Lockwood Hall lanai.

The event was hosted by Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. The symposium featured workshops on stress management, financial management, new parent and youth services, nutrition, fitness and education services. Additionally, there were interactive open forum discussions on leadership and life-work balance.

“The main goal of the symposium is to foster a conversation about how to incorporate a successful work/life balance into a surface warfare career path,” said Lt. Erika Betancourt, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

“Participants directly interacted with successful and knowledgeable women in surface warfare leadership and were able to network with other women. The symposium also focused on professional development of women serving at sea,” Betancourt said.

Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, gave the opening remarks. He spoke of his own experiences as both a leader and a father, trying to balance his professional goals with his personal life.

“Having a quality of life contributes to quality of service,” he said.

Williams stressed how important planning was to maintaining work/life balance.

“Planning is the art of the deal,” he said. “There is nothing I do without a plan. Life is a mission.”

Rear Adm. Nancy Norton, director of the command, control, communications and cyber directorate, U.S. Pacific Command, also spoke.

Among those participating in the panel discussions were Chief Warrant Officer 3 Vanderla Akaka, Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific, and Command Master Chief (SW) Patricia Roebuck, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

Betancourt said she considered the symposium “a great success.”

“There was a lot of networking during the breaks and after the event,” she said. “There was a lot of positive feedback, and the biggest complaint was that the word did not get out to enough people. We will do better next year to make sure this gets widest dissemination.”

It wasn’t just women who benefited from the symposium. “Even though this was geared toward surface women, we had a few males that attended the event,” said Betancourt.

“Overall, the information was relevant to anyone in the service. We had some Coast Guard representation as well. We hope to have more diversity next year,” she said.

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Category: News