USS Minneapolis-St. Paul hosts Maryland Deputy Commerce Secretary during Fleet Week

15 September 2022

From MC1 Daniel Cleary

U.S. Navy and Maryland Department of Commerce leaders met onboard USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (LCS-21) to discuss and celebrate women leaders in business during Maryland Fleet Week and Flyover Baltimore Friday, September 9.
U.S. Navy and Maryland Department of Commerce leaders met onboard USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (LCS-21) to discuss and celebrate women leaders in business during Maryland Fleet Week and Flyover Baltimore Friday, September 9.

Rear Adm. Nancy S. Lacore, Commandant, Naval District Washington, opened the meeting by affirming to the members that the Navy is intertwined with the state of Maryland

“It is important to connect with people like you- leaders in the community- to strengthen our relationships through shared experiences, in this case as women in leadership roles,” said Lacore to tour members. “Most of our missions take place overseas, where we cannot show the American people the Navy’s work, so I hope you will share this experience and anything you learn about your Navy with your family, friends, and co-workers.”

The group was comprised of Signe Pringle, Deputy Secretary at Commerce; Tom Riford, Assistant Secretary of Tourism, Film, Arts, Marketing and Communications, Maryland Department of Commerce; Allison Mayer, Deputy Chief of Staff & Infrastructure Director, Maryland Department of Commerce; members of the Naval District Washington and Department of Commerce Staffs; and leadership of USS Minneapolis St. Paul.

"Maryland Fleet Week is always exciting because it allows us to welcome the U.S. Navy back to Baltimore in a big way—and to celebrate Baltimore’s special connection to naval history through the War of 1812," said Pringle. "The state is thrilled to support Fleet Week, and today we recognize the role of women in leadership and the impact they make across the Navy and Maryland.”

As impactful as the tour was for the Women Business Leaders Office leaders, so was the opportunity for the Sailors and officers aboard to meet them. Cmdr. Alfonza White, USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Commanding Officer, expressed how it meant much to him to engage with the group as a father of a 15-year-old daughter.

“It means a lot to be able to tell my daughter she can do anything she applies herself to and be able to tell her about other women who have done the same,” said White.

Lt. Jeanelle Seals, weapons officer aboard Minneapolis-Saint Paul, echoed that sentiment.

“It was inspiring to see so many women who are leaders in their communities and professional fields,” said Seals. “Meeting them and talking about what we’ve been able to accomplish in our respective careers was the highlight of my trip to Baltimore so far.”

Maryland Fleet Week and Flyover Baltimore is an opportunity for the citizens of Maryland and the City of Baltimore to meet Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, as well as see and experience firsthand the latest capabilities of today.

For more information on ways to enjoy MDFW fleets, flights, and festivals, visit mdfleetweek.org. Follow @mdfleetweek on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter for an insider perspective through virtual ship tours and behind-the-scenes experiences.

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