San Diego Veteran Named Co-Chair of SLDN Board of Directors
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Zeke Stokes (SLDN): 202.621.5406 or firstname.lastname@example.org
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) today announced that Captain April Heinze, a retired Naval Civil Engineer Corps officer with more than 23 years of active duty service, was named Co-Chair of its board of directors during its November board meeting in West Hollywood, CA. Heinze is a 1982 NROTC graduate of the University of Virginia’s school of engineering and has served in various public works management, facilities engineering, real estate services, energy management and construction contracting positions on Navy installations.
"As a veteran, I understand the service members' dedication and sacrifice, and I am honored to help lead fight for equal rights and benefits for all LGBT service members," said Heinze.
Heinze served on several senior staffs including the Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Naval Facilities Engineering Command and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she was responsible for various base operations support policies and programs.
“The board of directors of SLDN is pleased to welcome Captain Heinze to this leadership position. In her short time on the board, she has emerged as a powerful and eloquent voice in the fight to achieve full equality for our nation’s LGBT service members,” said Michael Magee, SLDN Board of Directors Co-Chair.
Heinze was a leader in the integration of women into the military’s civil engineer and construction forces, and in 1989, she became one of the first female officers assigned to a Navy Construction Battalion (SEABEE). In 1990, she deployed to Saudi Arabia as a Company Commander during the first week of Desert Shield to support the Marines Expeditionary Force. In 1991, she was one of the first officers assigned to disaster recovery in Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines following the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. In 2003, she became the third women ever promoted to Captain in the Civil Engineer Corps and she was assigned as the Executive Officer of the Navy Public Works Center, San Diego, where she was responsible for 1600 employees providing $400 million dollars of facility, vehicle and utility services annually to multiple bases in the region.
During her Navy career, she completed advanced education including a Master of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Washington, Naval War College (off campus program), and the Advanced Executive Program at Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University. She is a licensed Mechanical Engineer in California.
Captain Heinze's military awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Navy Commendation Medals and the Navy Achievement Medal.
Following retirement from the Navy in 2005, Heinze joined Carter & Burgess (now part of Jacobs Engineering) as a Vice President for Federal Programs. Since 2007, she has worked as the Director of General Services for the County of San Diego, California responsible for public facilities operations and management, capital programs, real estate transactions, energy and sustainability programs, and public fleet management.
Heinze served on the SLDN Military Advisory Council from 2009 to 2010 and joined the Board of Directors in 2010. She replaces retired Navy Commander Zoe Dunning as co-chair of the board.
For a downloadable photo, click here.
ABOUT SLDN: Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. Since 1993, our in-house legal team has responded to more than 11,000 requests for assistance. To learn more, click here.
SLDN FREE HOTLINE: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members with questions are urged to contact the SLDN hotline to speak with a staff attorney: Call 1-800-538-7418 or 202-328-3244 x100. SLDN’s Freedom to Serve: The Definitive Guide to LGBT Military Service, may be found here.