Institute for Veterans and Military Families Recognized for its Work Empowering Women as Entrepreneurs and Leaders

Army Women’s Foundation honors Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship program

16466611006_8c0757df4d_zIn a ceremony on Capitol Hill last night, the Army Women’s Foundation recognized the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) for its support of women veterans and servicemembers.

IVMF’s Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program received a Special Recognition Champion Award for its work empowering women veterans to realize their dreams as entrepreneurs.  Dr. Mike Haynie, Vice Chancellor of Veteran & Military Affairs and Executive Director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, accepted the award on behalf of the V-WISE program.  U.S. Army Colonel (ret.) Jill Chambers, a member of the IVMF Board of Directors and founder of This Able Vet, LLC, was inducted into the Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame.

“As an Army woman myself, I’m very proud that V-WISE has earned this recognition from the Army Women’s Foundation,” said Meghan Florkowski, V-WISE program manager. “This honor is a testament to the many women veterans and military spouses who have graduated from V-WISE and gone on to be business and community leaders.”

Since 2011, IVMF has partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Whitman School of Business at Syracuse University to host 12 classes of V-WISE with over 1,000 women participating in a 15-day online course, followed by a three-day entrepreneurship conference. Over a weekend of intensive workshops led by successful entrepreneurs and business professors, V-WISE teaches women veterans and military spouses how to leverage their military experience and develop new skills to launch and grow their own small businesses.

VWISE_web“V-WISE is such a celebration of the female veteran experience,” said Chambers. “Every class I’ve spoken to has had so much energy, vision, and drive.” Chambers, a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Army who many years spent advocating for wounded warriors, is a past graduate of IVMF’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Disabled Veterans (EBV). She now speaks at V-WISE conferences about her experience launching and growing a business.

Every iteration of V-WISE honors pioneering military women who earn the title FIRST. Five of these role models will attend the Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: BG Wilma Vaught,  CSM Cynthia Pritchett, MG Gina Farrisee, BG Belinda Pinckney, and Force Master Chief Nancy Hollingsworth.

Today Dr. Mike Haynie, IVMF executive director and Vice Chancellor for Veteran and Military Affairs at Syracuse University, will speak at the Army Women Foundation’s seventh annual summit focused on business opportunities, career transitions, and leadership issues impacting Army women. Haynie will address employment, entrepreneurship, and the many ways women veterans are succeeding in the workforce as employees and as business leaders.

The Army Women’s Foundation summit begins today at 8 a.m., and takes place at The Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.


About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)

The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Through our focus on veteran-facing programming, research and policy, employment and employer support, and community engagement, the institute provides in-depth analysis of the challenges facing the veteran community, captures best practices and serves as a forum to facilitate new partnerships and strong relationships between the individuals and organizations committed to making a difference for veterans and military families. Learn more at

About the U.S. Army Women’s Foundation

The U.S. Army Women’s Foundation is the premier center for educational excellence, the national network for today’s Army women, and a dynamic advocate for telling the history of Army women. The Foundation is a 501(c) (3) organization whose mission is to promote public interest in the Army and recognize and honor the service of all Army women through programs, research and scholarships. For more information, visit