Breaking Barriers: Women in Defense

Join us as we listen in on each woman’s journey as they broke barriers and faced challenges to get to where they are now.

View/Register via the Eventbrite link HERE

This First Tuesday event will cover the number of women in each panelists specified field and how it has changed over time. Panelists will be asked where they see themselves in 5 years in each of their respected fields. Panelists will be asked to provide advice for other young women looking to be a supporter of the warfighter.

A special thank you to Federally Employed Women for sponsoring this event!

Moderator: Maureen Sims-Strong – Maureen is currently serving as the COR Certification Manager for Crane in the Contracts Department, she has been at Crane for 20 years and has been with the government for a total of 35 years. Maureen is Married to Edward Strong and they have seven children together, which they keep her very busy. She loves Crane because Crane is truly a family, we work hard and take care of each other!

Panelist: Lori Zipes – In 2019 Ms. Zipes transferred to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Indiana, to serve as the Chief Engineer for Cybersecurity in the Expeditionary Electromagnetic Warfare division. In March 2021 Ms. Zipes was selected as Crane’s Command Chief Engineer. In this position she is responsible for focusing on Crane’s technical rigor, continuing to implement and improve the technical career competency program, and guiding the transformation to a fully digital engineering organization.

Panelist: Dr. Angela Lewis – Dr. Lewis serves as the Division Technical Director for Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) and is an appointed member of the Senior Executive Service. Dr. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, both from Ball State University and a Ph.D. in Management from Sullivan University. She also received a Public Management Certification from Indiana University. She was selected by the Indiana Commission for Women as a Torchbearer in 2015 for significant achievements as a woman in government and for her contributions to her employer, local community, and state. She is a member of the Southern Indiana Section of the American Society of Naval Engineers, a member of the Crane Chapter Federal Manager’s Association, and a lifetime member and past president of the Hoosier Hills Chapter of Federally Employed Women. She recently served eight years as President of the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence County.

Panelist: Colonel Santee B. Vasquez – Colonel Santee B. Vasquez assumed command of Crane Army Ammunition Activity on July 13, 2021. Since joining the Army, Col. Vasquez has held a number of leadership roles, ranging from Platoon Leader, and Battalion S4 Officer; Brigade Adjutant, Company Commander; Assistant Support Operations Officer; Small Group Instructor; Supply and Services Officer; Brigade S4 Logistics Operations Officer and Brigade Support Battalion Commander; and, Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command.

Panelist: Monica Hutchins – Experienced Chief Strategist with a demonstrated history of working in the Defense & Space industry. Skilled in Government, Intelligence, Operational Planning, Knowledge Management, and Leadership. Strong business development professional graduated from Bridging the Gap – Department of the Navy – Executive Management Program.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Samantha Nelson, Program Manager, Purdue Foundry at WestGate, at


Nov 02 2021


4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


WestGate Academy
Training Center, 13598 East WestGate Dr., Odon, IN 47562


WestGate Academy
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