Manistee native Lt. Gen. Fedder speaks to PLM crowd

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Judith A. Fedder, a Manistee native and graduate of Manistee Catholic Central, spoke to a crowd on Thursday at the Manistee Golf & Country Club, sponsored by the Professional Ladies of Manistee.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Judith A. Fedder, a Manistee native and graduate of Manistee Catholic Central, spoke to a crowd on Thursday at the Manistee Golf & Country Club, sponsored by the Professional Ladies of Manistee.

MANISTEE — The Professional Ladies of Manistee hosted Manistee native Lt. Gen. Judith A. Fedder for a dinner gathering and conversation on Thursday at the Manistee Golf & Country Club.

Fedder is Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support at U.S. Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C. She is responsible for leadership, management and integration of Air Force logistics readiness, aircraft and missile maintenance, civil engineering and security forces, as well as setting policy and preparing budget estimates that reflect enhancements to productivity, combat readiness and quality of life for Air Force people.

On Thursday, she talked about the similarities between the PLM and the U.S. Air Force, and told those present about the importance of always having a wingman.

“A good wingman really does fill a lot of different roles,” Fedder said. “A good wingman, for all of us here, uniformed or not, provides the role of being a colleague, coach or mentor, encourages for what we do, advocates for what we do, or (is a critic).”

During her presentation, Fedder discussed her more-than 30-year career in the U.S. Air Force, and how she has made decisions based on advice from others and her own instincts. In college at Michigan State University, she didn’t consider joining the armed forces until an ROTC troop jogged past her one fateful day.

“All of a sudden, I had a flashback of living on a U.S. Army base in Alaska, and thought ‘I need to belong. I need to belong to something,'” Fedder said. “Something about the visual of those (ROTC joggers) made me think that I belonged there.”

Fedder also talked about the balance many women face between raising children and their professional careers. After her prepared words, she engaged the audience for questions and a two-way conversation.

Fedder, a graduate of Manistee Catholic Central, joins a list of PLM speakers who have included U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, chief executive officer of Huron Medical Center Jan Sternberg and others.

“We are really interested in connecting, educating and growing,” said Janet Duchon, PLM co-founder. “She just exemplifies all of those (desires). Her testimony about where she went (is impressive), and I’m certain it was a man’s world when she went through the ranks. We just thought she would be really motivating and an interest to all who listen to her.

“She’s from this area, and people who are that decorated and that successful have a story to tell. We’re always really excited to hear about it, about her personal and professional growth.”

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Posted by Eric Sagonowsky

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