WASHINGTON D.C. (WAVY) — An entrepreneur and honored military spouse originally from Portsmouth will be Sen. Tim Kaine’s guest at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address in Washington D.C.
Lakesha Cole, who was named Military Spouse of the Year in 2014 by Armed Forces Insurance, has established herself as an astute businesswoman and champion for the military community — particularly military spouses looking to start their own business.“The biggest lesson I’ve learned as a military spouse is the importance of creating a career path of my own,” she told the Greenville News in 2014. “I am eager to share my experiences and assist spouses in starting, surviving and succeeding in small business, while handling the daily challenges a military lifestyle presents. I believe you’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”
She has also been featured on several other media outlets, including The Today Show.
Kaine says he hopes her presence lets military spouses know the country is grateful for their service.
“After five transfers herself, Lakesha knows first-hand how much military spouses sacrifice in service to our country, and the toll that can take on a spouse’s career and their family,” Kaine said in a press release. “She has gone above and beyond the call of duty, and is not only thriving as a successful small business owner, but also mentors other military spouses and aspiring entrepreneurs.”
Kaine added that one of his top focuses this past year has been on reducing military spouse unemployment.
Each Senator and Congressman is allowed to invite on guest to the address. Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Democrat from northern Virginia, announced he’ll bring a high school student who was brought to the U.S. by her Bolivian parents when she was a year old. He says her future in the U.S. is uncertain after President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
To learn more about Lakesha and her initiatives, click here.