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Our branch meetings are  held on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 PM in the TCC/City Joint – Use Library, 1700 College Crescent, Bldg L., Virginia Beach, 23453 unless listed otherwise.  *Note change from regular meeting date or time.


**Saturday,April 22, 2017 (1pm to 4:30pm)
Dr. Nancy Welch

“If we rid ourselves of fast food, the health outcome would be so great there will be little need to talk about insurance.”
Dr. Nancy Welch;  Inside Business, January 10, 2014

As you can see from the quote, Dr. Welch, our April speaker is a woman of great common sense, as well as one with a wonderful sense of both humanity and humor.  She received her Medical Degree from Duke University in 1972, her Masters in Health Administration from the University of Colorado in 1981, and her Masters in Business Administration from ODU in 1997. She has been the director of the Chesapeake Health District since 1987. Dr. Welch is Board Certified in both Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine and a retired colonel in the Army Reserve. She is also an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at EVMS. Like many in her position she has had a number of her professional papers published in various medical journals. Unlike most, she is also the author of a very personal story of raising the two children from the Ukraine whom she adopted when she was in her 50’s. “Healing Emotional Wounds” is the sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes joyous story of the often-tough times that she and the children have faced together. It is available from Amazon and Google in hard cover, soft cover and e-reader format.  She’ll be talking to us about the factors that influence our health and the health of the community in these unsettled times. And, of course, there’ll be the usual opportunity for your questions and her answers.

**Saturday, March 25, 2017 (1pm to 4:30pm)
CDR. Mariah Rule, USN – Pictured here with
daughter Amelon

Ever see one of those Navy planes with what looks like a flying saucer on top of it? Ever wonder what the heck it was? Next time you see one, you might want to wave. Our March speaker, Commander Mariah Rule, USN, might wave back.   Come to the branch meeting and meet the woman who can tell us all about those strange looking birds officially and what it’s like for a woman officer flying in them. She has spent most of her career, since she graduated from Officer Candidate School in 2000, either on or in support of the Airborne Early Warning planes officially known as E-2C Hawkeyes.
Mariah has extensive experience in carrier based flight operations, weapons and tactics aboard ship, in the air and ashore. Her current job is one that every teenage computer wonk would die for. She’s with the team that designs and executes war games at Norfolk’s Fleet Forces Command.
Her awards include two Air Medals, the Joint Commendation Medal, the Army and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two stars and the Navy and Marine Corps Acheivement Medals with two stars along with other individual, campaign and unit awards.
She’s married to Cdr. Ethan Rule, a Surface Warfare Officer, and is the mother of Amelon and Jack who, not surprisingly, love playing airplanes and boats.

**Saturday, February 18, 2017 (9:30am to 1pm)
Denis Watson – Reporter, The Virginian-Pilot
“Hidden Figures” and other Back Stories

Denise Watson will share a great story on the “Hidden Figures” women  as she did in the  Daily Break.   Denise Watson has been a reporter for The Virginian-Pilot for 25 years and spent one muggy one at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida. She has been privileged to write about the famous, celebrities, such as Alan Alda, and cultural icons like James Farmer, Maya Angelou and Betty Friedan. She’s also written about the infamous, including one of America’s most notorious spy rings led by John Walker Jr. She has won national and state honors in Virginia and Florida, including a first place honor from the Society of Feature Journalists. Her six-part series on the fight to integrate Norfolk schools won first place from the Virginia Press Association and was nominated for the Pulitzer. She is a Norfolk native, Norfolk State University graduate, and mother of two.

**Saturday, January 28, 2017 (1pm to 4:30pm)
Ginny Werner, Branch Member
Yoga with Ginny

While it’s always nice to have outside speakers, it’s a special treat when one of our own is the presenter. That will be the case at our January branch meeting when Ginny Werner, our AAUW Funds chair, will do a program on Yoga.  It’s something she’s been practicing for a long time and in which she has instructed others for the past two years.  She’ll give us a brief lesson in Yoga history as well as demonstrate some of the program’s moves and give us a chance to try them. Of course we’ll have one of our always interesting Q and A’s. Ginny promises that even if you’re a bona fide couch potato, there’s something in Yoga for everyone to like.

Wednesday, mary-witwerNovember 16, 2016
Mary H. Witwer, MSW
Crisis Intervention

Our November program deals with an issue that has caused a great deal of concern nationwide in the past year: that of police interaction with mentally ill individuals.  For several years now the Virginia Beach Police and Mental Health Departments have been in the forefront of a program to train officers in dealing with persons suffering from hallucinations, delusions and other symptoms of severe mental illness.  Our speaker for the November 16 meeting will be Mary Witwer, MSW, the person who provides that training. Mary, who has more 25 years of experience working with persons experiencing mental health crises in Virginia Beach, is currently the supervisor of the Mental Health Department’s Emergency Services unit.  In addition to her training for police officers, Mary is responsible for overseeing the unit that provides 24/7 mental health crisis intervention in our city. While she will be focusing on her work with the Police Department, I’m sure that she’ll be willing to respond to questions you have about her department’s other services.

Francina_HarrisonWednesday, September 21, 2016
Francina R. Harrison – The Career Engineer
Don’t Get Anxious – Get Prepared, Career Re-engineered

Francina R. Harrison, MSW, is the visionary behind The Career Engineer® (TCE) & a nationally recognized and award-winning Virginia SWAM business.  TCE helps career seekers and entrepreneurs increase their “bottom-line” with career/business re-engineering, strategic business/brand growth, social media/technology platform building and REALationship networking.  The Career Engineer (retired Navy Spouse) has over 15 years of empowering transitional career and business professionals.  She also holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and undergraduate “Summa Cum Laude” from Norfolk State University.