National WID Manual
Our chapter governance
The Women In Defense Space Coast Chapter (WIDSC) was founded January 21, 2013. Since then, we have grown substantially thanks to our members and community partners who have made a commitment to supporting this high-impact organization.
WIDSC provides networking and professional development opportunities to promote the role of women in national defense and security, to support military service members, and to encourage partnerships within the local contractor community, defense industry and military personnel.
The Space Coast is a gateway to the wonders of science and unending possibilities. We are home to industry leaders with significant operations. Our military presence includes Patrick Space Force Base, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Naval Ordnance Test Unit (NOTU) as well as many private companies, such as SpaceX.
Our diverse economy is comprised of private space and defense companies with lucrative government contracts. We excel in intelligence, surveillance, aircraft, reconnaissance, missiles and launch assets. We also provide combat capabilities through launch, range and expeditionary operations.
We are considered the world’s premier gateway to space and we have seen great growth in the space and defense economy. Our production includes vehicle, satellite, missile and aircraft manufacturing. We also test missiles and assemble and launch vehicles.
The Space Coast is booming thanks to space and defense companies that offer high-paying tech jobs, a rich supply chain and talent pool that are key drivers in our industry businesses.
Since starting the Space Coast STEM Scholarship Fund, WIDSC has awarded more than $60,000 in scholarships to women in the community who have pursued studies to advance their careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
To learn more about WIDSC and our STEM Scholarships, please contact one of our Board Members below.
Connect with our 2021-2022 WIDSC volunteer board of directors.
A Space Coast native, Inga Young founded 8-koi on August 8, 2008 to offer an easier and more efficient option to the government. She credits her success to the encouragement she received from her parents who immigrated from Asia and pursued advanced degrees in science and technology, with her mom fulfilling a lifelong career as a Sr. Scientist for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
8-koi now specializes in Training/Technical and Administrative Support, Construction and Design Engineering, and Healthcare-Related Services as an 8(a) EDWOSB headquartered in Melbourne. With employees across the United States, the company currently serves customers such as DHS, US Army and Navy, VA, IHS, and NASA. In March 2019, Inga acquired Cape Design Engineering Co. (CDE) as a wholly-owned subsidiary.
Inga is the proud show dog mom and breeder of American Kennel Club Grand Champion Cotons de Tulear. She is also an active Pokémon GO player with the Melbourne Raiders Discord group she co-founded.
A proven Project Management Professional, Elizabeth “Lizi” Huy is the Director of Service lines at Alluvionic, where she utilizes her 17 years of experience developing and implementing projects to fulfill business needs.
Elizabeth is a driven and strategic leader and collaborator, as well as an accomplished public speaker and communicator. Her skills include economic development, business development, program management, public speaking, leadership, marketing, strategic planning, and fundraising.
Huy is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing. She is also a PMP (Project Management Professional) and a graduate of Leadership Brevard. She has held positions at companies such as Coldwell Banker Commercial, ACG Promotions and Specialties, and the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, where she directed an existing industry program of work leading a team of three full-time direct reports. Additionally, she represented the organization as a public speaker in multiple venues and media interviews.
Elizabeth has been recognized by LEAD Brevard as a 4 under 40 finalist in 2013 and 2018, as well as being named “One to Watch” by Florida Today in 2014.
Sirena Hendrickson is President & CEO of Atrax Technologies, specializing in accounting and bookkeeping for small businesses. Prior to starting her own company, Sirena gained valuable work experience in government accounting and finance at 8-koi where she began her career as an intern while in high school. Sirena is QuickBooks Certified and earned several professional certificates from Eastern Florida State College to include Accounting Technology Management, Accounting Technology Operations, Accounting Technology Specialist, and Business Management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Central Florida. After successfully completing weVENTURE’s IGNITE 360 mentoring program, Sirena says she feels more confident in helping other business owners with their accounting needs so they can focus on running their business.
Kathy’s career includes Corporate Controller, Financial Analyst, Auditor and Retail Regional Manager. Customer service continues to be a top priority for internal and external customers, no matter what the job. Her approach is to staff talent and let them use their abilities, while supporting them with training and by removing obstacles. To work and cross-train in a supportive environment is essential to timely, accurate financial reporting and business success. I keep the team on track.
A graduate of California State University, San Marcos, Kathy earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. Kathy received her MBA from Webster University. She is a CPA in California and Florida. A member of Toastmasters International for fifteen years, Kathy is a Distinguished Toastmaster and as a skilled presenter has served in many officer positions in her district and club. Kathy is also an Adjunct Accounting Instructor at Keiser University, Melbourne, FL campus, and at Florida Tech in Melbourne.
Kathy and her husband Mark own and operate Pineapple Manor in Melbourne Beach, Florida. These are fully furnished vacation apartments and have a loyal following. “All you have to do is make yourselves at home” when staying at www.PineappleManor.com.
David Jackson currently serves as the Director of Community Relations for U.S. Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL 8). As Director of Community Relations he acts as liaison to District 8 constituents, state and local elected officials, and business and community leaders. He began working for Congressman Posey on January 3, 2011, and previously worked for three years as Economic Development Specialist for the City of Cocoa, Florida, and for Brevard County’s Pretrial Release Program for nearly nine years. David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University and a Master of Arts degree from the George Washington University both in Washington, D.C.
The Programs Director will solicit a committee of members to facilitate the planning and execution of chapter sponsored events. This will include, but not be limited to, monthly meetings, speaker engagements, fundraisers, scholarship programs, conferences and support to local/national events. The nominee should be a member in good standing for at least one year.
Awards & Recognition
Leslie joined WID, Space Coast Chapter in 2015 and has held various roles on the Board of Directors over the last 5 years. She joined Community Credit Union of Florida as Vice President of Commercial Services in August, 2019, proudly supporting the CCU mission to “Always improve the financial well-being of our members and make a positive difference in the community.” Having previously served the community for 18 years as part of the Bank of America Consumer and Small Business organization, Leslie has volunteered for numerous community causes, including serving as a small business mentor with WeVenture powered by FL Tech, and supporting the United Way of Brevard, Junior Achievement of the Space Coast, and the Melbourne Regional Chamber. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Whittier College and an MBA from the University of Central Florida.
Leslie and her husband, Tim, live in Suntree and have three sons.
The Director of Sponsorships is responsible for finding sponsors for the monthly meetings and to draft and update the Sponsorship level package(s), helps with sponsorships for the golf tournament for STEM promotion, works with the Program Director and the Awards and Recognition Directors to promote funding for programs. The nominee should be a member in good standing for at least one year.
As a senior level practitioner, Gail understands the critical importance of communication plans that support business objectives, increase branding awareness, and effectively engage internal and external audiences. She possesses keen business and financial acumen, diverse project and people management capabilities, and a professional-level technical skill set. With extensive experience in business development, internal and external communications, and corporate marketing, advertising design, and brand management, Gail excels in building effective teams, managing successful projects, and communicating skillfully.
Kim is a certified VA Claims Agent and has a passion for helping former military personnel find and secure the benefits that were promised to them in exchange for their service. With a background in business and entrepreneurship, Kim has been working with her husband Garren Cone (USAF ret.) to run AVET Project, a non-profit organization they started to help empower military veterans and their families with educational workshops that focus on veterans’ benefits, mental health, counseling for those suffering from PTSD, resources on jobs, Medicare, wills and Social Security. A Space Coast resident for 15 years, Kim loves living by the ocean and being very active in her local community with her family and friends.
The Special Projects Director will assist the Program Director, as needed, and support the President and the General Membership to promote the mission of the Chapter as well as National. Assignments may be very short in duration or for the remainder of the term in office as determined by the Board. The nominee should be a member in good standing for at least one year.
Because of speakers like you, our participants gave this event an impressive 90% overall satisfaction rating, with some of our speakers receiving a 95% rating in appreciation for their motivating and engaging presentations. Your individual ratings and feedback comments are attached for your review. Bottom line: This event was possible because of your support. We thank you for sharing your expertise and passion with other STEM professionals
We truly appreciate your efforts in supporting our extraordinary science teachers. This is the 16th year that we have been able to honor our exemplary science teachers in Brevard County, and our hope is that we will be able carry on this tradition for many more years. We were delighted a representative could attend the event. Thank you again and we look forward to partnering with you in the futures.