2016 Women’s History Month

The National Women’s History Month Theme  --  Working to Form a More Perfect Union:  Honoring Women in Public Service and Government

The Broward County Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will observe National Women’s History Month, March 1st  – 31st with a proclamation presentation from the County Commission, Governmental Center, March 8th Good and Welfare Meeting, 2PM, Commission Chambers, Room 422. To further celebrate National Women’s History Month, an exhibit titled “Meet Broward Women Veterans” will be featured in the Governmental Center lobby, 115 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, to honor these Veterans and their contributions to form a more perfect union.

Meet the Women Veterans of Broward County


Michelle Albae-LaneMichelle Alban-Lane

Michelle Alban-Lane was appointed Vice President, Corporate Communications in February 2010. In this role, she oversees NBCUniversal’s Hispanic Enterprises and Content’s domestic business and media trade strategy execution for TELEMUNDO and internal communications and executive communications for Hispanic Enterprises and Content.

Michelle Alban-Lane possesses a strong sense of service to the community, currently serving as Communication Chair and Board Member for the National Wheelchair Basketball Association and an Advisory Board Member for the Broward County Commission on the Status of Women. She has also volunteered in several organizations such as Women of Tomorrow, the American Red Cross and the South Florida leader for the NBCUniversal Veterans’ Network and the GE Women’s Network. 

Michelle is an Air Force Veteran serving under Operation Desert Shield, and was a Mass Disaster Coordinator for the American Red Cross during the Oklahoma City Bombing Crisis.

She is a graduate of the School of Journalism at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg and resides in Lighthouse Point with her husband Phil Lane and her twin boys Ben and Nicolas.

Toye Allen-JackmanToye Allen-Jackman

Sergeant First Class (retired) Toye Allen-Jackman served meritoriously more than 20 years in the United States Army in the medical and the human resources fields. She is most proud to have served our nation and epitomizes the ideal that women can and do serve our country in positions of authority and responsibility. Sergeant Allen-Jackman had the honor of serving with some of the most compassionate, intelligent and talented servicewomen and men and cherishes her journey of service in the United States Army.

She is married with two children, Damere and Nyla, and one grandchild, Eremad, and a black labrador retriever named Hershey.

Colleen BatesColleen Bates

Colleen (Lynn) Bates, a native of Oregon, joined the United States Navy in March of 1973 and separated in November of 1977. She met her husband Dennis in Navy Communications School and married him in Iceland where they both were assigned. They were then deployed to the Island of Puerto Rico where she served out her tour as a Radioman 2nd Class.

While in Puerto Rico, Colleen had the distinction of being the first woman assigned to security and the first woman to be entrusted with the position of “Watch Traffic Chief." She supervised naval communication personnel. She was also the first woman Sailor of the Quarter and nominated for Sailor of the Year.

Today, Colleen Bates is the adjutant of Marshall LaBree American Legion Post 304 in Dania Beach, a position she has held for eight years. She was named the 9th District (Broward County) American Legion “Adjutant of the Year” for outstanding service in the performance of her duties for the American Legion.

Kersandra BrooksKersandra “Sarge” Brooks

Kersandra Elaine “Sarge” Brooks was born July 19, 1956 in Statesboro, Georgia. She moved to Fort Lauderdale at the age of six and attended Dillard Elementary School, Everglades Middle School (currently named William Dandy Middle School) and Nova High School. Sarge went on to attend Sheridan Vocational Law Enforcement School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Broward College.

In 1979, Kersandra Brooks enlisted in the United States Army and honorably served until 1994, earning the rank of Sergeant. During her service, she provided support in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Shield and served with the United States Customs Service. While in service, Sarge received numerous awards, including the National Defense Service Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Sharpshooter Badge with M16 Rifle Bar.  

Kim CowardCaptain Kimberly D. Coward

Captain Kimberly D. Coward is an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA), attached to the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, 6th Air Mobility Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. She assists in providing legal advice to the six Air Mobility Wing and 38 mission partners including United States Central Command and United States Special Operations Command.  

Captain Coward received a direct commission as a Reserve of the Air Force in the Judge Advocate Corps on April 15, 2009. She earned her law degree from the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law in 2002. Prior to law school, she received her Masters of Education and Education Specialist degrees in Counselor Education from the University of Florida in 1998; thereafter, became a Guidance Counselor in Pasco County, Florida. Captain Coward is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of Florida, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals. 

Her awards include the Air Force Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal and was decorated with the Air Force Training Ribbon.

Captain Coward currently resides and practices law in Fort Lauderdale.

Danielle GiaccoDanielle Giacco

Danielle Giacco originally from Bronx, New York, currently resides in Pompano Beach. She served for five years in the United States Navy as a Special Operation Explosive Ordinance Disposal Diver. Danielle served the United States at a very volatile time in our recent history protecting us abroad and here in our homeland.

Her Naval achievement awards include “Navy Achievement Medal,” “Sailor of the Year” and other awards and accomplishments. She proudly served and quite often was one of the few females in her missions and assignments.

Today, Danielle is owner of Total Training for Life, a rehabilitation, fitness and nutrition business that specializes in neurodegenerative conditions and sports injuries, with a focus on alternative methods to help children with cerebral palsy and autism.

Jennifer JohnsonJennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson is a resident of Tamarac. She is currently the City Clerk of the City of Parkland, as well as an active member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve where she serves as the Chief Public Affairs Officer and drills on a monthly basis. Jennifer has been active in the United States Coast Guard since 2003 when she began as a Public Affairs Officer in Honolulu, Hawaii.

As the primary point of contact for major breaking-news events, she currently works with the media on local issues, as well as threats happening along the Florida peninsula. In the past, she has been the media contact on a wide range of events from illegal human smuggling to the BP Deep Water Horizon incident.

Jennifer is a proud mom of a son currently serving in the United States Air Force and a young son in elementary school.  

Heidi O'SheehanHeidi O’Sheehan

Heidi O’Sheehan enlisted in the United States Army in June 1985, served four years on active duty and then transferred to the Ohio Army National Guard. She attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in June 1992, and transferred to the Florida Army National Guard where she served until her retirement in 2005. 

While in the Florida National Guard, Heidi served as Senior Training, Advising and Counseling Officer at Officer Candidate School. She also served on multiple state hurricane relief and security missions, as the officer in charge of the South Area Command Emergency Operations Center after 9/11, and as a Company Commander for a one year deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Adriane ReeseyAdriane Reesey

In the late 1970’s, Adriane Reesey enlisted in the United States Army. She was accepted into the United States Military Academy Preparatory School at West Point while still in Basic Training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. During her career, she served as a Sergeant stationed at Leavenworth Prison, where she was the first woman to ever serve on the prestigious Special Operations Response Team, subduing prison riots and providing staff training for other correctional facilities. She served as President of the Broward Human Trafficking Coalition and Chair of the Broward County Human Rights Board.

Adriane has received a number of awards including “Humanitarian of the Year" from the Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame for outstanding service throughout her career, and the Ruby Award from the Soroptomist International Club, a global women’s organization whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls.

She is currently a proud member of American Veterans for Equal Rights and a United States Coast Guard Auxiliary active member with Flotilla 3-2, also serving on the Selective Service Board for the Southeast Florida Region, appointed by President Obama and Governor Rick Scott.

Carol SemplisCarol Semplis

Logistics Specialist Petty Officer First Class Carol Semplis enlisted in the Navy through the Los Angeles, California Military Entrance Processing Station on December 4, 1989.

Trained through on-the-job training as a Logistics Specialist, Semplis’ afloat assignments have included the USS Cape Cod in San Diego, Seal Team Five in San Diego, USS Mason in Norfolk, Virginia and the USS Enterprise. Ashore, she served at Trident Training Facility, Bangor in Bremerton, Washington; Assault Craft Unit Four in San Diego, California; Norfolk Navy Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia; and Aviation Support Detachment in Norfolk, Virginia.

Logistics Specialist Carol Semplis’ personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards) and the Good Conduct Medal (six awards).

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