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Posted: March 15, 2018 9:36 a.m.
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“Keeping it Real” for International Women’s Day

Sgt. Arjenis Nunez /

Capt. Elizabeth A. Brunette, an assistant intelligence officer assigned to the 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 3rd ID and senior representative of The Women’s Mentorship Network, introduces panelists Leah Poole, Edna Jackson, Sanjeet Joshi and Jessica Neeley at the “Keeping it Real Event” celebrating International Women’s Day, March 8, at Fort Stewart.

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In honor of International Women’s Day, the 3rd Sustainment Brigade, hosted a four-person panel discussions titled “Keeping it Real,” at Fort Stewart, March 8. 

The panel featured female leaders from the coastal Georgia and Savannah region and were invited to speak with the female leaders of 3rd ID about mentorship: how they reached their level of success and how the women of the division can accomplish their goals.

Edna Jackson, the 65th mayor of Savannah, Leah Poole, the chief executive officer of the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau; Sanjeet Joshi a simulation and software engineer at Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and Jessica Neeley, a money management counselor and co-founder of the "Women Rock! Nation" annual conference were the panel participants for the conference. 

The panel was selected for their professionalism and commitment to the local community by offering mentorship and empowering women to overcome any fears they may have about reaching their goals. 

Each of the women on the event’s panel are distinguished leaders in the local community and gave their perspective on how they have been successful, said Capt. Elizabeth A. Brunette, an assistant intelligence officer assigned to 3rd SB.

Jackson was the first African-American woman mayor of Savannah and held the position from 2012 to 2016. She spoke of her efforts for the civil rights movement and how the struggles of her fellow African-Americans motivated her to persevere in the face of adversity. 

“No one person is a village,” Jackson said. “Working together alongside the men on equal footing, having the bravery to ask for help and being selfless enough to support your fellow women fosters success.”

Pvt. Diana Brown, a mortuary affairs specialist assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd SB, and a Charlotte, North Carolina native, said providing a tangible source of failure and success made it easier to receive the guidance and wisdom many of the Soldiers in attendance felt they needed.

“This panel reminded me of my mom,” Brown said. “These are women who had their own personal obstacles to overcome, but they remained focused. Even though my mom had me very young, she worked through the difficulty of being a young parent and continued her education.”

Additional themes of the event included building a community around yourself and being selfless. 

Cohesion was echoed by Brunette and panelist Poole. 

“I think for females from any generation it’s important for them to remember to be wise in who they surround themselves with,” Poole said. “Your environment can impact your potential to succeed so surround yourself with strong men and women who can guide you along your path to reaching the goals you have set for yourself.”

Brunette is a senior representative of  The Women’s Mentorship Network, which is a nonprofit organization comprised of female service members across various installations. 

 “I think there will be more positive change for women in uniform when more female leaders who want to help those around them are developed,” Brunette said. “Both men and women benefit from positive role models and positive examples and when someone volunteers to be a role model to mentor someone professionally, the organization grows as a result.”


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