Nicole Malachowski


Wednesday, October 16, 2019


7:30 pm

Ticket Price




Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.) defies stereotypes. Yes, she was a jet fighter pilot, but if you think you know her based on that, you’d be wrong. A leader, a combat veteran, the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, a White House Fellow, and an inductee into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, Nicole’s distinguished 21-year Air Force career exceeded her wildest dreams. But the dream came to an end when a devastating tick-borne illness left her unable to speak or walk for ten months. An indomitable spirit, Nicole fought back against overwhelming odds and prevailed. Drawing on stories from her career and personal life, Nicole will inspire you to rethink everyday challenges during her presentation, “Harnessing Headwinds of Change.” Her message will address three key beliefs: failure and risk is the price of entry for achieving something great; sometimes you need to yield to overcome; and her personal mantra – “nobody wants to lead a scripted life.”


5:30 pm - $35, $25 members


Join us for a buffet dinner served in newly renovated Grand Upton Hall before Nicole Malachowski's presentation and enjoy an unhurried meal while socializing with others in the community.


Dinner begins at 5:30 pm and includes:

  • Mixed greens with roasted butternut squash, craisins, and cider vinaigrette

  • Carved sirloin tri-tip

  • Cranberry chicken

  • Horseradish Parmesan potatoes

  • Broccoli

  • Rolls and butter

  • Apple pie.


At 6:30 pm, a 30-minute panel discussion hosted by Lest We Forget and Lake Michigan College Veteran Services features local female veterans with military service over the past few decades. These veterans will discuss their unique perspectives on serving in the armed forces. Panelists include:


CDR Marian Cioe, Navy Nurse Corps (Moderator)

In 1987, there was a need for Operating Room Nurses in the Navy up to age 46. CDR Cioe was a Registered Nurse, Masters prepared, with 22 years of Operating Room Nursing experience. A love of country and a sense of adventure motivated her to apply as a Nurse in the Navy Reserves at age 44. She was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1987 and retired as a Commander in 2010.


Susan Balmes, Navy

Susan served as a Yoeman in the U.S. Navy from 1978 to 1982 in Norfolk, VA. After leaving the Navy she worked for a few years doing clerical work then earned an Associates of General Studies degree from Lake Michigan College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences, a Master of Science degree in Biology, and a PhD in Biology from Western Michigan University. Then, she did post-doctoral research at University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Following that, she began and is still serving as a biology faculty member at Lake Michigan College.


Tiffany Bohm, Air Force

Tiffany Bohm served in the U.S. Air Force from 1999 to 2006 with a final duty assignment at the Pentagon in the A4 Logistics branch. She was assigned to numerous units as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer responsible for fighter and cargo transport aircraft. Tiffany was the youngest and first female squadron commander assigned to the 379 EMOS at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. She was recognized as the Company Grade Officer of the Year and as the Leo Marquez Company Grade Officer winner for the 379 Expeditionary Maintenance Group. While completing her reserve assignment at the Pentagon, Tiffany began teaching political science in Las Vegas. She completed her doctorate at Northern Illinois University and then joined Lake Michigan College in 2016 as the lead political science instructor.


Sarah Marie Deal, Marine Corps

While studying Aerospace Flight Technology at Kent State University, Sarah Deal joined the Marine Corps. She attended Officer Candidate School in the summer of 1991, and following graduation from Kent State in 1992, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. While she was attending Air Traffic Control school, women were granted permission to fly combat roles. Sarah wasted no time in submitting an application to the fleet accession board and was selected. After completing ATC school, Sarah was transferred to NAS Pensacola for flight school, training on helicopters. In April 1995, then 1st Lt. Deal was winged as a Naval Aviator and became the first female Marine Corps Aviator, flying the CH53E Super Sea Stallion in the Fleet Marine Corps. After 12 years on active duty, Major Deal elected to transfer to the Marine Corps Reserves and is serving her 16th year as a Reservist. She has completed five deployments, three of which were combat.


Tamara Metzger, Navy

Tamara joined the Navy after graduating from high school in 1990. She became an Electronics Technician working on radar systems. She served for seven and a half years, and had the privilege of serving on the commissioning crew of the USS Benfold (DDG-65). This was the first ship to be built to accommodate women in combat roles.


Following dinner, ticket holders for Nicole Malachowski will take a short walk through The Mendel Center to the Mainstage where your reserved presentation seats await. Volunteers and wheelchairs will be available to assist those with mobility issues.


Seating is limited. Dinner and presentation tickets sold separately.

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