meet the speakers

Kim Minor

State of Nebraska '22

Speaker

Kim Minor is the Women Veterans Program Manager for the Nebraska-Western Iowa VA Health Care System. Her focus is on outreach and increasing awareness of the services the VA offers Women Veterans. Kim is also in charge of the programs the women’s health team offers and expanding services. She is a service level advocate for Veterans and can assist with navigating the VA health care system. Kim has been a nurse for 18 years and spent the last two as a PACT RN for the Women’s Health Clinic in Omaha prior to becoming the WVPM.

Dr. Mary Hawkins

State of Nebraska '22

Speaker

Dr. Mary Hawkins joined Bellevue University in 1995 as Vice President for Enrollment and Outreach and was named the University’s fourth president in 2009. Since her arrival, Bellevue University has changed dramatically in enrollment, geographic reach, scope of programs and services, and in the strong national, international, corporate, and community partnerships it is developing.
During her tenure, Bellevue University has experienced record enrollment growth and has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best institutions for working adults and military personnel. Dr. Hawkins is credited with establishing Bellevue University’s “Real Learning for Real Life” applied learning approach that helps undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level students master in-demand professional skills and knowledge. Her keen interest and focus on the needs of working mothers, military spouses and those juggling careers and families while pursuing their education has led the University to continually innovate in ways that provide students with access, as well as the opportunity to advance and make a better life for their families.

Naviere Walkewicz

State of Nebraska '22

Keynote Speaker

NAVIERE WALKEWICZ ‘99
Senior Vice President, Alumni Relations and Business Development
United States Air Force Academy Association of Graduates

Through a unique lens of experience, Naviere Walkewicz brings 20+ years of combined military, private sector, non-profit and entrepreneurial insight to the Association of Graduates. As Senior Vice President of Alumni Relations and Business Development, Naviere leads a talented team of professionals providing relevant and value-added support to Air Force Academy graduates. Additionally, she seeks mutually beneficial partnerships with organizations sharing our core values of integrity, selflessness, and excellence. Naviere specializes in change management and building cultures of excellence.

Prior to joining the Association of Graduates, Naviere served as the Women, Peace and Security Advisor to the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, standing up the first Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion office. Additionally, Naviere was crowned Ms. Veteran America 2019, serving as the key ambassador for Final Salute, Inc., a non-profit providing safe and suitable housing for homeless female veterans and their children, and currently owns her own group fitness studio in Bellevue, Nebraska. Naviere is a graduate of the Air Force Academy Class of 1999 (“Gold Will Shine!”), wife to law enforcement officer, Dan, and mom of three sons, Arden, Asher, and Camden.

MG Cassie Strom

State of Nebraska '22

Speaker

Major General Cassie A. Strom retired in 2015 as the Air National Guard Assistant to The Judge Advocate General. In this position, she was the principal adviser and liaison to The Judge Advocate General on Air National Guard legal matters and provided leadership, strategic planning and management of the Air National Guard Judge Advocate program. After six years of active duty, General Strom transferred to the Air Force Reserve Component. She deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina twice, augmenting the Army Civil Affairs mission and later the Election Appeals Sub-Commission. She worked a variety of international peacekeeping exercises, served in the Department of Defense Office of General Counsel in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and acted as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, United States Transportation Command. On the civilian side, General Strom established the Veterans Advocacy Project under Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry at Saint Louis University Law School. It provided the greater St. Louis area homeless and lower income Veteran community with legal representation to remove the legal barriers to obtaining housing, employment, and benefits. She is admitted to practice law in the State of Missouri.
General Strom is also involved with a variety of veteran organizations in Missouri, including Jefferson Barracks Heritage Foundation, the Missouri Veterans Hall of Fame, and the Gateway Community Veterans Engagement Board. She serves as The American Legion, Department of Missouri, Judge Advocate. General Strom is a 2019 Center for Women Veterans Trailblazer and has been recognized as a 2021 St. Louis Woman of Achievement for Veterans Advocacy. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas, Creighton Law School, and American Graduate School of International Management.

Taylor Ullom

State of Nebraska '22

Speaker

Taylor Ullom is the National Development Director, and Regional and Nebraska Chapter Coordinator for Guitars For Vets (G4V). She started the first G4V Nebraska chapter in Omaha in 2016, and in 2018 a chapter in Lincoln. She was recently promoted to the National Development Director due to her talent for chapter growth, team motivation, and fundraising efforts.

Her career includes 10 years in the United States Air Force, from 1993 to 2003. Assignments included Whiteman AFB, Missouri (1994-1999) and Offutt AFB, Nebraska (1999-2003). Assigned to the 509th Services Squadron, she deployed to Aviano, Italy in 1994 in support of “Operation Deny Flight”; in 1997 she cross-trained into the Education and Training Management field, being assigned to the 393rd Bomb squadron as the Education and Training Manager. In 1999 she was a part of the mission that first launched the B2 Stealth Bomber into active service during the Kosovo collapse, “Operation Noble Anvil”. In 1999, Ullom was assigned to Offutt AFB, 55th Logistics Support Squadron, as an Education and Training Manager for squadrons; 1ACCS, 55 MXS, and 38th RS.

Upon leaving the USAF, Ullom focused on raising her three children and volunteering in her local community. Her motto is, “No matter how big or small, everyone can do something to make the world a better place.” Her passion is battling the “22 a day” statistic in the veteran community and works to unite other organizations in the same battle.

Alyssa Flood

State of Nebraska '22

Speaker

Alyssa Flood is the Founder and President of Bombshell Patriots, a 501(c)(3) organization for women of service based in Colfax, Iowa. Driven by the death of a friend, Alyssa founded Bombshell Patriots with the mission to support women of service through camaraderie and education, as well as, educating the community, employers, and others as to the needs of females in service. Alyssa believes that Bombshell Patriots is the voice needed for women of service, to bring awareness to what they do in service and the needs that arise from their service. In order to provide this voice, Alyssa utilizes the knowledge learned from her Bachelors degree in Political Science with a minor in Pre-Law from Grand View University, along with her experiences as a trained Paralegal and a certified Veteran Service Officer. To ensure her mission is being heard, Bombshell Patriots hosts the annual State of Iowa Female Veterans Conference every September in Des Moines, Iowa.