Sylvia Gethicker is originally from Buffalo (NY), and currently serves as the Strategic Communications Manager for the Department of Defense in Health Affairs.
Prior to assuming her current position in August 2015, she was the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the VSE Corporation (Alexandria, VA) and its subsidiaries Energetics Incorporated (Columbia, MD), Akimeka, LLC (Kihei, HA and Maitland, FL) , G&B Solutions, Inc. (Reston, VA) and Wheeler Brothers, Inc. (Somerset, PA).
From 2003-2007, she was a Senior Account Manager at Devillier Communications, Inc. PR and Marketing firm in Washington, DC.
Gethicker retired from the U.S. Marines and held positions as Spokesperson/Media Relations Chief, Camp Lejeune (NC); Command Master Chief, Fleet Home Town News Center, Norfolk (VA); Public Affairs Officer, Marine Corps Air Station, New River (NC); Northern Bureau Chief, Okinawa (Japan); Public Affairs Chief for Marine Corps Recruiting Station, Long Island (NY); Public Affairs Officer Henderson Hall (VA); Community Relations Chief, Presidential Inaugural Committee; Newspaper Editor and Media Relations Chief, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego (CA); and Marine Corps Combat Correspondent, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany (GA).
She received her journalism education through the Department of Defense Information School now headquartered in Fort Meade (MD) in basic photo-journalism, Public Affairs Supervisor, Newspaper Editor, and Advanced Photo Journalism. She also is well educated in the field of Leadership attending Marine Corps University resident courses in Albany (GA), San Diego (CA) and Quantico (VA). She served as a leadership training instructor at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps in Washington, DC; and media relations subject-matter expert trainer throughout her Marine Corps career. She graduated from Ashford University (Iowa) Magna cum Laude in 2013 with a B.A. degree in Mass Communications and Journalism. She currently attends the University of Florida in pursuit of a Master’s of Mass Communications degree in Social Media and scheduled to graduate May 2016.
Personal awards – Marine of the Month, Marine of the Quarter, two Navy Achievement Medals; two Navy Commendation Medals; Good Conduct Medal (6th Award); Joint Service Commendation Medal; New York State Conspicuous Service Cross; two Department of Defense Thomas Jefferson Awards for journalism excellence; three Gold Hermes Awards by the Public Relations and Communications Society of America (2010-12); VSE Corporation Employee of the Year (2011); and the American Business Awards Corporate Communications Professional or of the Year in 2010 and 2012 (runner-up in 2009, third place-2013, second place-2014).
Sylvia has two grown children living in Tampa and one college senior at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. In her free time she just started a 501(c)3 non-profit, “Loving Life Ministry” which provides special group support for those suffering from emotional trauma.