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Veteran Leaders and Employers Honored For Commitment To Virginia’s Women Veterans - Virginia Department of Veterans Services Presents Awards At 2019 Women Veterans Summit 

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services honored two women veterans and four employers with special awards at the 2019 Virginia Women Veterans Summit in Hampton May 16 and 17.

The 2019 Change Maker Award was presented to Nakisha King, marketing director for “Active Veterans With Answers,” a North Carolina-based non-profit organization.  A U.S. Navy veteran, Ms. King was recognized for her “creativity, vision, courage, and tenacity in advocating for and creating change to improve the quality of life for Virginia’s women veterans.”

The 2019 Trailblazer Award was presented to Dr. Francoise Bonnell, Director of the U.S. Army Women’s Museum at Fort Lee. A U.S. Army veteran, Dr. Bonnell was cited for her “exceptional commitment to the advancement of Virginia’s women veterans through the establishment of innovative programs and nurturing networks.”

Four Virginia companies were recognized for their commitment to hiring women veterans. Each of the companies is certified as a Virginia Values Veterans (V3) employer.  Honored for the number of women veterans hired between January and December 2018 and based on the size of each employer were:


  • Enterprise (1000+ Total Employees) – Sentara Healthcare, Inc. , Norfolk


  • Large (300-1000 Total Employees) – Virginia Premier Health Plan, Richmond


  • Medium (51-300 Total Employees) – National Technologies Associates, Inc., Alexandria


  • Small (1-51 Total Employees) – IntellecTechs, Virginia Beach


“Virginia is home to more than 104,000 women veterans and the number is growing,” said John L. Newby II, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Veterans Services. “We are dedicated to assuring our women veterans receive the information and support they deserve for their service. It is very gratifying to honor these two women veterans who share our goals and the four V3 employers who are committed to hiring veterans as they transition from active duty to the civilian workforce. Congratulations to all.”

More than 800 attended the 2019 Virginia Women Veterans Summit at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Hampton Convention Center May 16 and 17.  The purpose of the annual Summit is to bring together women veterans, employers, community leaders and federal, state and local government agencies to raise awareness about the services and benefits available specifically for women veterans. For information, please visit

About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  DVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans.  Today, DVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It also oversees the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit