Moody hosts women's panel discussion

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Courtney Sebastianelli
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

As Women’s History Month ends, it is important to highlight the ongoing strides women are taking in different leadership roles.

On March 28, 2024, Female leaders from the 23rd Wing and Lowndes County came together for a Women in Leadership open-panel discussion on “Honoring the past, Securing the Future” at Moody Air Force Base. The panel group, made up of seasoned professionals, shared their personal experiences and viewpoints on the specific challenges women navigate professionally.

“I think it’s important to have open conversations because it builds connectedness,” said Maj. Elicia Brown, 23rd Comptroller Squadron commander and panel organizer. “Regardless of if there’s a conversation among women or men, or minorities, there’s a common thread in there. If we’re charged to lead teams, we have to be able to have a conversation and connect to people. Whenever we can have an open conversation across not only women but the entire spectrum of Airmen in general, it will help foster connectiveness and better understanding.”

In addition to Brown, the panel featured Chief Master Sgt. Kathleen Knisley, 23rd Force Support Squadron senior enlisted leader (SEL); Chief Master Sgt. Yucari S. Brown, 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron SEL; Maj. Abby Norwood, 41st Rescue Squadron assistant director of operations; Christie Moore, president and CEO of Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce; Paige Dukes, Lowndes County manager; and Jacinta Howell, 23rd Wing Integrated Prevention and Response director.

The panel members discussed their personal journey, life lessons, and professional experiences that helped shape their leadership philosophies. The themes of the discussion were self-care, knowing one's worth, pushing limits and having a support team to lean on. Further personal insight was shared on understanding the importance of identifying personal and professional priorities, team work and self-initiative.

“We can truly do and be anything we want to do and be,” said Dukes. “Do not let anyone put you in a closed space. Use your resources to figure out what the rules are and how to use them to your advantage to continue to move in the direction you want to.”

Dukes shared how her journey began with Lowndes County through a temp agency. Over the course of nearly thirty years, her personal drive and dedication to team ethic helped her to navigate into the position of county manager.

“No matter how far up the ladder you may climb, don’t ever forget that your people are always watching, and it’s important that not only can you be their leader and do the job to protect them, but you can also still do the job that got you there,” said Dukes. “It’s important that you don’t ever let the discipline that got you where you needed to be lapse.”