Women Veterans of Colorado is dedicated to providing training and support to enable female veterans to transition from military service to civilian community involvement. This support includes skills training and assistance in obtaining suitable employment, housing, and healthcare benefits leading them to self sufficiency.
Women Veterans of Colorado is currently an all-volunteer organization comprised of women veterans whose focus is on applying their time and treasure alleviating potential poverty and changing the lives of women veterans in Colorado.
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Theresa Blumberg, President, COL (Ret.), U.S. Air Force Reserves
Theresa Z. Blumberg is the President and Co-founder of Women Veterans of Colorado, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation whose mission is focused on serving needs unique to women Veterans.
She is a retired United States Air Force Reserve officer having served 30 years. Theresa entered active duty as a member of the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG) serving in prosecutorial and defense counsel positions.
Upon leaving active duty, Theresa transferred to the Colorado Air National Guard serving as a JAG at the Group, Wing, Headquarters and State level for 17 years while simultaneously practicing law in Denver. Her private practice included commercial litigation and non-profit corporation representation.
Selected as Total Quality Management Director for the Colorado National Guard, Theresa left private practice to focus on deploying this new management philosophy throughout the 5ooo member organization. She then assumed the position of 140th Mission Support Group Commander in the Colorado Air National Guard where she commanded 400+ members serving in Security Forces, Personnel, Recruiting, Services, Communications and Civil Engineering. Theresa ultimately deployed to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan as Mission Support Group Commander with similar responsibilities.
Her final assignment was Chief of Joint Staff for the Colorado National Guard where she worked directly for two successive Adjutants General of Colorado supervising the Joint Operations Center, the 8th Civil Support Team, the Joint Counterdrug Program, the International Partnership Program with the Republic of Slovenia and Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Human Resources, Judge Advocate General and Public Affairs Offices.
Throughout her career, Theresa served on various advisory committees at the local, state and national levels. Most notably, she served with the Denver Metro Combined Federal Campaign for over 7 years to include chairing the Board and successively raising over $3 million per year to benefit local charities.
Theresa attended the University of Texas at Austin where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Education with emphasis in Political Science and Spanish. She then earned a Juris Doctorate from Creighton University Law School. In her spare time, Theresa is an avid community and church volunteer.
She is married to a 1971 United States Air Force Academy graduate, Bill. They have a son and a daughter.
Kathryn Wirkus, Vice President, LTC (Ret.), U.S. Air Force
Kathryn Wirkus currently serves as Constituent Services Representative for Congressman Ed Perlmutter (7th District). Her areas of responsibility for the Congressman include military, veterans, NASA, and aerospace issues. She was born and reared in Miami Florida and received her BA in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She received her MA in Guidance & Counseling from Webster University, St Louis, MO. She also received certificates for completion of the U.S. Air Force Air Command & Staff College, Howard AFB, Republic of Panama and the USAF Air War College, Buckley AFB, CO; senior service schools for strategic planning and military studies.
Kathryn served in the USAF for 27 years on active duty, the Guard and Reserve components, serving in various capacities as an education & training and personnel officer. During her Air Force career, Kathryn was stationed in Alabama, Washington DC, New Mexico, California, the Republic of Panama, Florida and Colorado. During her tour at the Air Reserve Personnel Center, Denver, CO, she deployed to Bogotá, Republic of Colombia.
While deployed, she served as the Deputy, Training Mission, U.S. Military Group (USMILGP), U.S. Embassy, Bogotá, Colombia. She retired from active duty at the permanent rank of Lt Colonel in 2006 from her last duty assignment at the USAF Academy, Colorado Springs, CO.
Subsequent to her retirement from the USAF in 2006, she began a second career as a Colorado State Veterans Service Officer, and served as the Colorado State Women Veterans Coordinator. She is also a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1, American Legion Post 206 and Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Kathryn served as chair of the planning committee for the first Colorado Women Veterans Conferences 2011, 2012 and 2013. (www.cowomenveteransconference.org ) The mission for these events was to give women veterans an opportunity to network, obtain information and access to their VA benefits including healthcare, education and employment.
In June 2010, Kathryn co-founded the Women Veterans of Colorado (WVOC), a Colorado non-profit organization, where she serves as President. (www.womenveteransofcolorado.org ) The WVOC mission is “connecting women veterans.” The organization provides assistance in transition to civilian life, obtaining an education, finding suitable employment, and preventing homelessness. In August 2013, the organization received their IRS designation as a federal nonprofit 501 (c) 3.
Kathryn’s military awards include the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Defense Meritorious Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal w/ 2 Bronze oak leaf cluster (OLC), National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 bronze star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award w/ 3 bronze OLC, Meritorious Service Medal w/ 1 bronze OLC.
Patricia A. “Trish” McHugh, United States Air Force, Colonel (Ret) /Treasurer
Trish is an attorney who retired from the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps on October 1, 2015 after 26 years of total force service, including 22 years active duty and 4 years as a member of the reserve component in the Washington and Montana Air National Guard.
Trish received her commission upon graduation from Officer Training School in 1989. She was initially designated as an Information Management Officer. Upon her transfer to the reserve component in 1994 to attend law school, she served as a Public Affairs Officer until her voluntary recall to active duty as a Judge Advocate in 1998.
Following her designation as a Judge Advocate, Trish served in numerous positions including Staff Judge Advocate at base and deployed locations; Chief, Government Contracts, Labor Law and Administrative Law; Area Defense Counsel; Appellate Defense Counsel; Chief, Executive Services Division, Office of The Judge Advocate General; Legal Advisor for a NATO Allied Air Component Command Headquarters; Air Staff Counsel for the Air Force Inspector General’s Senior Officer Inquiries Directorate; Senior Military Assistant to the Air Force General Counsel; Military Deputy for the Administrative Law Directorate, Office of The Judge Advocate General; and deployed Chief of Staff for the Office of the Defense Representative to Pakistan, U.S. Embassy-Islamabad, Pakistan. Her last duty assignment was as the Deputy Chief Prosecutor for Motions and Appeals, Office of Military Commissions, which involves prosecuting federal capital criminal cases against international terrorists.
She received her JD, MA, and BA from the University of Montana; and an MA from Air University, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Her military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Meritorious Service Medal (7 awards), Air Force Commendation Medal (2 awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (with 1 device), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the NATO ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) Medal.
Trish serves on the Board of Directors for the Women Veterans of Colorado and also for her Homeowner’s Association. She and her husband moved to Colorado in 2015 following her retirement from active duty.
Darlene Gonzales, United States Navy, Senior Chief Petty Officer (ret) | Secretary
Darlene is a graduate of Metropolitan State University, Denver, Colorado, with Bachelor of Science Degree in Management.
Her Navy career included four years of active duty at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Her other tours included Colorado, England, Spain, Germany, and Afghanistan. She was deployed to Afghanistan under Operation Enduring Freedom as the Director of Contracting performing humanitarian aid missions and promoting Afghanistan women’s issues. Some of her Navy duties included Command Chief, Command Career Counselor, Senior Enlisted Advisor, Training Officer, and Civic Action Coordinator. Darlene retired from the US Navy Reserves, as a Senior Chief Petty Officer (E-8), with over 21 years of military service.
Darlene retired from the federal government as a Contracting Officer with over 36 years of federal contracting experience with both DoD and civilian agencies. During her federal career, she negotiated, awarded, and administered construction, supply, service, and architect and engineering contracts, including Federal Supply Schedule task/delivery orders.
While working for DoD, Darlene worked with the Department of Defense, TRICARE, on the military healthcare system contracts for our military personnel. Since her retirement, she volunteers as an advocate for Women Veterans who need a “hand-up”. She targets her efforts by working with 3 organizations – Veterans First Ltd (VFL) and Phoenix North Valley Women Veterans, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona and Women Veterans of Colorado (WVOC) headquartered in Denver, Colorado. She serves on the Board of Directors for Women Veterans of Colorado and also the Phoenix North Valley Women Veterans. Her other interests include hiking, golfing, and tennis.
Darlene is also a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. She resides with her husband in Denver, Colorado in the summer and in Anthem, Arizona in the winter.