Join us in recognizing our local Military Spouses & Little Heroes for their unending strength, personal sacrifices, support for their military families and for their selfless commitment to our communities. The Heroes at Home Military Spouses of the Year & Little Heroes at Home will be chosen from nominees provided by actively serving personnel from all branches of the military, spouse support groups, charitable organizations, friends & family. The finalists and winners for both Military Spouses and Little Heroes at Home will be announced at the awards luncheons in each region.
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Sue Hoppin is a nationally recognized expert on military spouse and family issues working to bridge the cultural gap between government, private and public groups and military communities. She is an advocate, published author and consultant with more than 20 years of experience and expertise in military community programs. She has a proven record of developing programs focusing on military issues, serving as spokesperson for various organizations and committees, and reaching out to train top tier military-affiliated groups, veteran/military services organizations, and key leadership within major military commands. She frequently speaks around the country at conferences and leadership training programs.
In 2012, Sue was appointed by President Obama to the Board of Visitors of the United States Air Force Academy; she completed her tenure in 2018 as the board's Vice Chairman. In 2010, Sue founded the National Military Spouse Network, a professional development and networking membership organization supporting the professional career and entrepreneurial goals of military spouses. Before founding the NMSN, Sue served as the first deputy director for spouse outreach for the Military Officers Association of America, charged with creating and spearheading military spouse initiatives for the 375,000 member association. In 2007, Sue co-authored, “A Family’s Guide to the Military” for the popular Dummies series; the book was selected for First Lady of the Marine Corp’s Recommended Reading List in 2012. In recognition of her accomplishments, Military Spouse Magazine named Sue on both their 2007 and 2008 Who’s Who of Military Spouses list recognizing those who have made significant contributions in the military community for all military spouses; making her the only person to be named on the list two years in a row.
Sue is an avid volunteer having served on as the President of the Madeira School Alumni Council (2017 - present), Board of Directors for Blue Star Families (2010 – 2013) and as Military Family Liaison to Fairfax County School Superintendent’s Business and Community Advisory Council (2009-2012). Recognition for her volunteer efforts include: nominee for USAF’s Joan Orr Spouse of the Year (2007); 76th Airlift Squadron Spouse of the Year, Germany (2002); Volunteer of the Year at McConnell AFB, KS (1999). For 9 years, she served as the Publicity Chairman on the Air Force Charity Ball Committee that has raised over $7.5 million for the Air Force Aid Society since its inception in 2004.
Sue holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of Denver, a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Oklahoma and a certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University.
Stephanie Mayes is a native of Louisiana. She and her husband Gary are both graduates of Purdue University. They have been married over 25 years and have three wonderful children, Gabrielle, Shelby and Garrett. Stephanie is a pharmacist and currently works in research for gene therapies in cancer. She recently completed her doctorate in precision medicine pharmacy from University of Florida.
Stephanie and Gary have survived numerous moves throughout their Navy life together. These locations include Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Jacksonville FL, Washington DC-x6, Coronado CA, and Bremerton WA. She enjoys supporting Navy families both personally and through organizations such as NOSC, CORE, Wings over American and mentoring programs. She has volunteered her time to a variety of organizations but especially likes to be involved with the local community schools and non-profit organizations. In her limited free time and beyond spending time with her family and friends she enjoys music, travel, baking, the art of tea and exercise.
Be Present Where You Are.
This is the way Christine Grady lives her Navy spouse years to the fullest. Being present is the only way to make the most of every opportunity.
In 35 years of Navy life together, the Grady family set up home in 13 different places. Every time she moves, Christine is always actively involved in spouse and local community groups. As an advisor to several spouse groups, TOSA, SOS, Pearl Harbor OSC, Naples Overseas Support Club (NOSC), Naval Services FamilyLine (NSFL), Continuum of Resource Education (CORE), Navy Marine Core Relief Society (NMCRS), Armed Services YMCA, New Flag and Senior Executive Training Symposium (NFLEX) and many others, Christine helps shape the groups to become more inclusive, mission driven, and provide educational conferences. She hopes these efforts will preserve the legacy of the Navy Spouse.
Most recently while living overseas, she was the co-founder of the Naples Spouses Network and Knowledge, an all hands group that attracts spouses of every service and all ranks, to share information at monthly gatherings, learn about a military life specific topic and a talent presented by a spouse.
Christine also believes in advocating for military families at all levels, shining a light on the challenges Navy families face in education, medical care, service member benefits and survival of vital community organizations including base thrift and spouse run shops.
Collaborating with Navy Culinary Specialists, she has combined her cuisine creativity and professional artistic skills to unfold new trends to further her belief in entertaining as mission. An accomplished artist, illustrator and a former creative director, her artistic and graphic design talents are currently used for command coins, logos, invitations, promotional materials, menus and marketing information. Her commissioned art is held in private collections.
"Family first always," is a Grady family motto. Christine and her husband Chris have three grown children and a lovely daughter-in-law.