Brig. Gen. Rebecca Halstead to Speak on Leadership at YWCA Bergen County’s Annual Awards Dinner
By Mel Fabrikant Saturday, March 31, 2012, 04:50 PM EDT
2012 Tribute to Women & INdustry (TWIN) Will Be Headlined by First Woman General in U.S. History to Command in Combat
Brigadier General (U.S. Army, Ret.) Rebecca Halstead will be the keynote speaker for the YWCA Bergen County’s 38th Annual Tribute to Women & INdustry (TWIN) awards dinner to be held on Thursday, April 19, at 5:45 p.m. The TWIN awards honor women for significant contributions to their companies and recognize their sponsoring companies for providing women with opportunities for advancement. This year’s gala event will take place at the Sheraton Mahwah Hotel.
Brig. Gen. Halstead was the first female Commanding General in U.S. history to command in combat at the strategic level by leading troops in Iraq. She is also the first female graduate of West Point to be promoted to General Officer and the first woman to have a room named after her at West Point’s famed Thayer Hotel. She now heads her own leadership consultancy company, STEADFAST Leadership, based in Virginia.
“Becky’s inspiring story of personal service and leadership aligns perfectly with the goals of the YWCA’s TWIN awards program,” said Helen Archontou, CEO of YWCA Bergen County. “The women business leaders who receive these awards exemplify Becky’s message that if you work hard and have strong values, you can do anything you want to do.”
Halstead grew up in the one-light town of Willseyville, N.Y., aspiring to become a high school girls’ athletic coach. Her mother, however, encouraged her to apply to West Point in 1976 after reading that the Military Academy was accepting women. Becky was a member of the second academy class that included women. She went on to command more than 25,000 soldiers and civilians dispersed among 50 locations throughout Iraq and Kuwait. Her advice for young women today is succinct: “There are two rules to life. Rule Number One, don’t quit. Rule Number Two, refer back to rule Number One.” She lives by her motto, “The first person you must lead is you!” and encourages others to do the same.
The TWIN awards program honors women for significant contributions to their companies in managerial, executive or professional roles. It also recognizes their sponsoring companies for establishing progressive personnel policies and for providing women with opportunities for advancement.
Proceeds from the event help to support the YWCA Bergen County’s diverse women’s health programs. The organization’s childcare programs and summer camps also receive support, as well as the YWCA’s Rape Crisis Center, which provides comprehensive services ranging from prevention programs to 24/7 crisis intervention for victims of sexual violence.
Since its inception in 1975, TWIN has recognized more than 2,000 women and 200+ companies. Corporate sponsors are still being accepted for the 2012 TWIN, and information about sponsorship is available by contacting Jeanne Patrican at (201) 881-1720. Businesses in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic counties in New Jersey and Rockland County in New York are eligible. Individual tickets are $175 and can be purchased by visiting www.tributetowomen.eventbrite.com.