Captain Dwight Clemons

Dwight "Woody" Clemons

Chief of Staff
Navy Region Southwest

Captain Clemons graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1996 earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. After earning his Naval Flight Officer wings in 1997, he reported to VAQ-129 “Vikings” for training as an Electronic Countermeasures Officer (ECMO) in the EA-6B Prowler.

In 2020, Captain Clemons assumed duties as Naval Base Coronado Executive Officer, fleeting up as Commanding Officer in 2021.

Captain Clemons is currently assigned as Chief of Staff for Commander, Navy Region Southwest.

He accumulated over 2,600 flight hours and 650 carrier arrested landings in the EA-6B Prowler and EA-18G Growler. His decorations include the Legion of Merit (2), Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Strike/Flight Medal (2), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3), and multiple unit, service, and campaign awards. Captain Clemons resides in Coronado, CA with his wonderful wife and two, lovely daughters. Read Full Bio


Brett Crozier

Brett Crozier,
Captain USN (retired)

Chief Operating Officer
Veterans Village of San Diego

Surf When You Can

Brett E. Crozier, Captain, USN, Retired, will deliver the keynote. In 2020, as the Commanding Officer of the deployed aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) during the outbreak of the global pandemic, CAPT Crozier had a unique firsthand view, and experience, with leadership and decision-making in a high-stakes, high-risk, high visibility, and highly contentious environment. Brett became an overnight globally known name for his efforts to care for his crew, under the most extreme circumstances, while facing unprecedented challenges and headwinds in all directions, culminating with his public relief of Command by then-Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly. In a historic moment and remarkable display of gratitude, Crozier’s crew applauded and chanted for him during his removal from the ship. During his keynote address, Crozier will reflect on his experience and share his personal journey and insights which led to his bestselling book, Surf When You Can: Lessons in Life, Loyalty, and Leadership.

Translating Military Skills to Civilian Workforce

Successfully navigating the transition from military service to civilian employment requires effective communication of one's military experience to potential employers. This panel will focus on helping you translate your skillset to facilitate a successful transition to civilian employment.


  • Translating military jargon to civilian workforce
  • How to identify and articulate your transferable skills to successfully transition
  • What are “military-friendly employers” and how beneficial are they
  • Seeking out mentors and networking within the organization


  • Amy Forsythe, Public Affairs Officer - US Marine Corps/US Navy
  • Meg O'Grady, Senior Vice President, Military & Government Affairs - National University
  • Pete Sciabarra, Senior Director of Employment Services - The Arc of San Diego
  • Tony Teravainen, CEO & Co-Founder - Support the Enlisted Project (STEP)
  • MODERATOR - Todd Yates, Area Manager West - Hire Heroes USA


Chris Thorne

Chris Thorne
Chief Executive Officer
North San Diego Business Chamber

LinkedIn to Your Success

This workshop aims to empower Military Summit attendees with the knowledge and tools to leverage social media for building strong and meaningful connections.  Social media platforms can serve as powerful tools for networking, staying informed, and fostering professional relationships when utilized correctly. Chris will touch upon social media etiquette, emphasizing the importance of professionalism and respectful communication in the online sphere, along with best practices for personal branding and how to build a positive online presence.

Importance of Networking and How to Do It (Virtual and Live)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics concludes that “85 percent of jobs are filled by networking” due to many jobs never being posted publicly. That’s why building relationships through networking is crucial in your job search! Since 2020 virtual networking has become even more important. Learn how to leverage the power of both in-person and virtual networking to expand your professional network and unlock hidden job opportunities.


  • Strategies for approaching networking events
  • How do I establish a network?
  • Tips for effective and efficient networking
  • Strategies to utilize social media and online platforms to connect with others and expand your network


  • Sarah Bowen, Chapter President - Gary Sinise Foundation San Diego
  • Wendy DeCesare, Business Development & Partnership Manager - Hire Heroes USA
  • Natahlie Halcrow, Owner - GearBox Websites
  • Brent Ringoot, Realtor - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties
  • MODERATOR - Mike Ragsdale, Board Member - Gary Sinise Foundation San Diego

Insights Into How a Company Hires

Congratulations! Your resume has made it through the initial screening, and you've been called for an interview, now what? From understanding different interview formats to mastering common interview questions, this panel will provide a comprehensive understanding of what to expect and how to best showcase your skills and qualifications


  • Understanding the hiring process
  • My resume is great, why am I not getting responses?
  • The importance of tailoring application materials and responses to the job you are applying for
  • What can I expect in the interview
  • The role networking plays


Leadership and Communication in the Civilian World

You have already fostered the development of strong bonds and exceptional leadership skills, through adversity and shared experience, how are these applicable to civilian careers? Research indicates that both military and civil service leaders face similar challenges, including organizational efficiency, motivating subordinates, and personal leadership. This panel will provide actionable methods for properly transitioning these skills into your civilian job.


  • How to adjust leadership and communication skills in the civilian world, what does it look like?
  • Strategies for relaying leadership styles from the military into the civilian workforce
  • How to crosswalk your competencies
  • Tips on identifying common goals, maximizing individual potential, and working within a team framework


  • Jose Hernandez, Deputy Project Director - Equus Workforce Solutions
  • Christopher Lycett, Vice President San Diego Market - Mechanics Bank
  • Leah Sicat, Global Head of Employee Impact and Regional Community Engagement - ASML
  • Kandi Tillman, Managing Co-Founder - 50strong
  • MODERATOR - Leila Naderi, Associate Director of Employer Relations - University of San Diego

Your Resource Roadmap - Strategies for Success

Leaving the military and entering the civilian workforce can be daunting and scary. There are a lot of questions and thoughts associated with these big decisions and one of the biggest is, what resources are available for me. Today's panel will shed some light on where to begin and questions you should ask yourself as you either transition out of the military or just want to change jobs.


  • Understanding resources available (Operation Connect)
  • Transition assistance programs, career counseling, and education benefits
  • Importance of networking and mentorship
  • Developing a career plan and setting goals


  • Lynn Bigsby, Employer Relations Liaison - MiraCosta College
  • Timothy Mathues, Veteran Outreach Coordinator - County of San Diego, Office of Military & Veterans Affairs
  • Valerie Tay, Holistic Health Practitioner - Willow System Int’l
  • Stephanie Whittenberg, Underwriting Support Manager - Residential Wholesale Mortgage
  • MODERATOR - Laura Bashore, CEO/Executive Coach - Anew Resume and Career Services

San Diego Military Summit features 8 different sessions for attendees.


View Session Details


See which businesses will be at San Diego Military Summit or register your company for an exhibit.

NSDBC Members - $150
Non-Members - $275


More Info & Registration

Strategy Team

SD Military Summit is made possible by a Strategy Team made up of leaders from around San Diego County. Each team member brought diverse thoughts, talent and time to insure the summit has relevant content and subject matter.


Meet the Team

Admission & Parking

Military - $10
(Active Duty, Veteran, Spouse/Family)

Non-Military - $40

Parking - Free

Admission includes coffee, lunch, exhibitors, networking, and all sessions.