A sponsor, in the U.S. Navy, is the title given to a prominent citizen chosen to christen a naval vessel. In recent history, all U. S. Navy ship sponsors have been female. In addition to the ceremonial breaking of a champagne bottle on the bow, the sponsor remains in contact with the ship’s crew and is involved in special events throughout the life of the ship.
Throughout her association with the military, Mrs. Winnefeld has been actively involved in the health and welfare of military and veteran families as well as the policies and procedures that affect their lives.
Through her personal experience as a military spouse and mother, she has a keen awareness of the hardships that affect military families – especially the stress involved with casualty, illness, multiple deployments and numerous moves.
She currently serves on the board of directors for the Cohen Veterans Network, Elizabeth Dole Foundation, USO Metropolitan Washington, The Pathway Home National Advisory Committee, and an Ambassador for Easter Seals, as well as an Ambassador for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). Mrs. Winnefeld served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) and Newman’s Own Foundation grant committee.
Prior to dedicating her life to volunteerism, Mrs. Winnefeld was employed by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for over 17 years, serving as a program manager for NATO as well as a member of SAIC’s Ethics Board.
Mrs. Winnefeld is the recipient of both the Department of Defense and Department of the Navy Meritorious Public Service Award.
Mrs. Winnefeld holds a BA from the University of San Diego and a MA from San Diego State University. She is a proud spouse of a military veteran and the mother of two wonderful sons.