The Defense Alliance of North Carolina (DANC) launched the 1st inaugural Women Business Leaders Forum on Monday, August 21, 2024 in partnership with NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions at the Wilmington NC Cape Fear Community College campus!
In 2009, the All American Defense Business Association was established as a newly formed non-profit trade association led by Joy Thrash. In less than a year, it was renamed the North Carolina Defense Business Association to best represent the fast growing state-wide membership. In 2015, Tammy Everett was appointed the Executive Director.
Tammy was one of the lead executors of a merger between the North Carolina Defense Business Association (NCDBA) and the North Carolina Military Foundation (NCMF), establishing the Defense Alliance of North Carolina (DANC) in 2019 and today it still remains a female led state-wide initiative empowering women to hold positions on the Management Council as Officers, Board Advisors, Committee Chairs and Certified Partners. A salute to these incredible women that volunteer their time, energy and resources to support DANC;
- Ruth Anderson, Secretary
- Allison Blango, Council Advisor
- Wendy Coulter, Certified Partner
- Kathy Sykes, Certified Partner
And last, but not least the newest leader of DANC, Iris Phillips who accepted the chair position for the Women Business Leaders earlier in 2024 and is the epitome of these statements;
The mission of DANC-WBL is simple – Unleash the Potential of Women Business Leaders, propelling the Defense Industry forward with a vision that embraces:
- Purposeful Growth: We seize every opportunity to drive our business to new heights.
- Entrepreneurial Vision: We work strategically on our business, nurturing its expansion.
- Empowered Leadership: We continuously refine our skills, becoming dynamic and influential leaders.
- Innovate to Thrive: Embracing the bigger picture, we implement cutting-edge business practices.
- Stronger Together: We uplift and support each other, fostering a community of growth.
- Connecting Trailblazers: Elevating women by leveraging our diverse network.
- Forge Collaborative Pathways: Creating unrivaled networking and partnership opportunities.
- Ignite Creative Excellence: We adapt imaginative sales and marketing strategies that set us apart.
Thank you to our sponsors and keynote presenters that contributed to the success of the DANC-WBL forum
- NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions
- Grace Federal Solutions LLC
- North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State
- North Carolina Department of Commerce
- Cape Fear Community College
- Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
- Plazabridge Group
- The Art of Moxie
- RNE Consulting
- Liberty Atlantic
- JK Premier Marketing
- Stevenson Consulting Group
- Apple Annie’s Bake Shop
- Jellison Press, LLC
- Pine Valley Market
- Panera Bread
Thank you to the all 104 registrants that included men and women across the state representing industry, academia and the military. Your attendance and feedback will help shape future forums! Tammy Everett, Executive Director Defense Alliance of North Carolina (DANC)
Testimonials from Attendees
Wendy Coulter, President & CEO Hummingbird Creative Group, Inc.“JOY! What a fabulous day in Wilmington, NC at Cape Fear Community College for the Defense Alliance of North Carolina (DANC) Women Business Leaders Forum, organized by Iris Phillips and Tammy Everett. Impactful speakers included Iris, Elaine Marshall, Loree Blue, and Machelle Sanders, sharing insights on navigating the Defense Industry as women in business. “
Iris Phillips, CEO & Founder, Grace Federal Solutions, LLC.“As the Chair of the Defense Alliance of North Carolina (DANC)– Women Business Leaders Forum, I’d like to express my thanks to everyone who joined us. It was a successful day full of inspiring women sharing their stories of success.”
Kathie Sidner, Director Defense & Military Partnerships UNC System Office “I enjoyed hearing from NC Sec of State Elaine Marshall and Sec of Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders at the Defense Alliance of NC’s Women Business Leaders event. It was eye opening to hear about their journeys as women from small rural towns to cabinet level positions in our state.”
Article from Dan Barkin
“While women make up 47% of the workforce in the U.S., Sanders observed, women don’t exceed 25% of the employment at the top five defense contractors. Many workers in the sector are veterans, like the roughly 13,000 to nearly 21,000 who transition out of the military each year from North Carolina bases, and military experience is often a pathway into the defense industry. But more than 80% of the active-duty military is male, and women represent only 12% of the veteran population in the state.”
– Dan Barkin on talk by Michelle Sanders