JOIN US AT OUR FAILSAFE-ERA ANNUAL GRAND TEA
Celebrating Women's History Month
With a panel discussion featuring Denise Willis, Paulette Vance Burton,
Carli Andrews and Kendra Williams discussing why they
chose their field and how they stay grounded.
Saturday March 9th, 1pm-3:30pm
Location: Vision Community Church, 410 Deacon Road, Stafford, VA
$30.00 per person
Meet Our Panelists
Denise L. Willis
Denise L. Willis serves as Director of The Healing Station Counseling Center, a nonprofit 501(c) (3) partnered with Vision Community Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She is a native of Washington, DC and retired federal service employee after 36 years. Denise received her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Trinity Washington University.
Denise serves as a Licensed Resident in Counseling who provides personalized care to children, adolescents, and adults. She specializes in counseling support for women and teens. Denise uses trauma-informed care, person-centered and other evidence-based interventions to help clients find relief and to achieve desired goals. She has experience in providing outpatient, therapeutic day treatment and intensive in-home services.
Denise has developed relationships with local mental health service providers and other community organizations to help direct individuals and families in need of available services and support. Her compassion and commitment to mental health has placed her advocating for underserved populations and being a source of empowerment for clients as they learn the tools to navigate life stressors.
Denise has served on various assignments within the community. She volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children and youth who have experienced abuse or neglect, co-leader of the Girls Teen Mentoring Ministry, and currently serves on the Behavioral Health Forum Board. Denise is married to Bishop Ron Willis, and they are the parents to 3 beautiful children.
Carli Andrews is an American Board Certified Genetic Counselor with clinical, research and industry related experience in pediatric and inpatient genetic counseling settings. She currently works as a Medical Science Liaison at Baylor Genetics. She is from Maryland but currently lives in New York City. She received her Bachelor’s in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Bioinformatics from Towson University and her Master’s in Genetic Counseling from Sarah Lawrence College.
In her current role, Carli works closely with commercial sales, product, marketing, medical affairs, lab directors and other internal teams to provide education and support around Baylor Genetics’ 3000+ genetic tests. Prior to this role she worked as an in-patient genetic counselor at Columbia University Medical Center where she conducted genetic counseling sessions for patients with a variety of indications including cardiac conditions, developmental delay, abnormal movements, altered mental status, abnormal prenatal imaging and/or screening, and multiple other congenital anomalies.
Carli has a passion for mentoring prospective and current genetic counseling students. Her research interests include understanding the genetics of cardiovascular disease, assessing genetic counselors’ experience when transitioning to inpatient care, and evaluating the use of race, ethnicity, and ancestry in genetic counseling and genetic testing.
Paulette Vance Burton
Paulette Vance Burton was appointed as a Veterans Law Judge on 31 January 2022 at the Department of Veteran Affairs, Board of Veterans Appeals.
Prior to assuming this role Mrs. Burton concluded a 27-year, 6 months and 29-day career in the U.S. Army. She retired as a Lieutenant Colonel (LTC). Her final assignment was as Panel 2, Senior Judge with the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) and Executive Officer of the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. She was previously an Associate Judge at ACCA. In May 2016, President Barack Obama appointed, LTC Burton to the United States Court of Military Commissions Review (CMCR). LTC Burton became the Chief Judge of CMCR in May 2017. Her previous assignments include: Staff Judge Advocate, United States Army Criminal Investigation Command; Chief, United States Army Judge Advocate Recruiting Office; Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Aviation and Warfighting Center; Senior Defense Counsel, National Capital Region; Chief of Claims, 25th Infantry Division; Chief of Legal Assistance, 25th Infantry Division; Trial Defense Counsel, Yongsan, Korea; Trial Counsel, Chief of Claims, and Legal Assistance Attorney, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
A native of Simpsonville, SC, Mrs. Burton graduated from Spelman College and was commissioned through the Georgia Technical Institute Reserve Officers Training Corps as a Distinguished Military Graduate. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law, an LL.M. from the Judge Advocate Officer Graduate Course. She is a licensed to practice in the United States Supreme Court, Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, Army Court of Criminal Appeals, United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the State Bar of South Carolina.
Mrs. Burton’s military awards include the Legion of Merit (with one Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (with four Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (with Service Star), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon (with Numeral 2). She is also authorized to wear the Army Staff Identification Badge. In 2022, Mrs. Burton was awarded the Spirt of Hope Award by the Department of Defense.
Mrs. Burton is married to Colonel Dave Burton, United States Marine Corps. They are the proud parents of Wesley (21) and Donavon (19). Colonel Dave Burton is currently assigned as the Senior Military Acquisition Advisor for the United States Marine Corps.
Kendra Williams is a recent Psychology graduate with a strong interest and passion for outreach to young adults and youth. Throughout her years as a young adult herself, she has dedicated herself to a multitude of community service projects and being a companion to those in need. Her biggest goal in life is to be an agent of change and to make an impact in others lives the best way that she can. In which, she has already thrown herself into the work of being directly involved in making a change in those around her lives.
Shortly after graduating high school and moving to Washington, DC for school, immediately Kendra experienced a culture shock that had ignited the passion that had already existed inside of her. It didn’t take long for her to pick up where she left off back home and get out there doing what she loves. Starting off as a campus mentor, by her second year she started to love what she did on campus that made her want to venture out and help students at her university and in the community. Becoming very involved, she became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in the Fall of 2021, where she was able to explicitly use her strengths to help those around her and being even more involved in school in the process.
She also was a scholarship athlete in college and became an ECC Division 2 First team all-conference recipient in 2023. Not to mention she was also a distinguished scholarship recipient of a DC-UP scholarship given to those of academic distinction and was also part of an international honors society.
While still being a positive role model in her community, in 2022, Kendra was also nominated and crowned the 43rd Miss University of the District of Columbia. While in this role she was able to provide leadership for her student peers as well as push policy change for fair practices at the university and local level. In her role as the 43rd Miss UDC, she was able to really stand out and make a change in her community, which she is still to this day a strong advocate for change.
In her spare time, Kendra Williams enjoys mentoring, community service, and journaling. She finds inspiration in helping others in need and believe in the importance of being Service-oriented.