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Gravely Celebration Experience



In 1962 Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. became the first African American to take command of a U.S. Navy combatant ship. He continued to break barriers throughout his career, becoming the first African American commander, captain, rear admiral, and then vice admiral of the Navy before he retired.

Each year, the vice admiral’s contributions are celebrated with a themed event honoring the trailblazers of today who exemplify Gravely’s motto:


Education, Motivation, and Perseverance


Who’s Invited: 11th grade high school students (200 seats available)
Cost: Free! – Educators must RSVP for their 11th grade students. (Click RSVP button below.)
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: Battleship IOWA | 250 S. Harbor Blvd. | Los Angeles, CA 90731
Program: Participating students will receive a free box lunch and beverage they can enjoy while listening to a panel of diverse individuals discuss their inspirations and motivations to break through societal barriers and find success.

The panel will be moderated by Tanya Acker, co-host of CBS’ Hot Bench and host of The Tanya Acker Show podcast, and will include a Q&A session during which students may engage directly with the panel speakers.

Click the button below to register or contact Director of Public Programming Tiffany Ellerbeck via email or at 877-446-9261 x749.




Rear Adm. Adams had a fulfilling 34-year active and reserve Navy career and is a graduate from Michigan State University and the Naval War College. She retired in 2015.

She reported to her first ship in 1982 just four years after women could start serving at sea. Her deployments included to Afghanistan where she served as a senior advisor to an Afghan Minster of Defense, and to Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

She served on two ships and numerous operational commands in the Mediterranean, Pacific, and Middle East regions. She was also selected to command Navy units five times.

After being promoted to Rear Admiral (O7), she served primarily as the Deputy Commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command which included 20,000 active and reserve Sailors serving around the world.

In her civilian career, she worked her way up in production and supply chain roles in four large companies. She had responsibility for 2200 employees in North and South America with one Fortune 100 company, and retired in 2018 from a Fortune 30 defense technology company as a Supply Chain Director.

KAMIN SAMUEL PHD, RTT, CLHYP | Rapid Transformation Coach, Speaker, Author

Kamin Samuel began her professional career as the U.S. Navy’s first female African American helicopter pilot. She served in the Navy for more than 9 years with various duties including being a Navy Flight Instructor. She transitioned to civilian life and the professional business world, working at technology and media companies and quickly climbing the corporate ladder, eventually being promoted to Vice President Global Website Operations at a billion-dollar company.

In her role as an International Rapid Transformation Coach & Therapist, Kamin helps entrepreneurs and leaders up-level their success and wealth mindset, be more strategic, more effectively lead their organizations, and be more outcomedriven, heart-centered, and develop stronger team leaders.

A sought-out expert by other coaches and leaders, Kamin’s unique expertise is to help her clients’ clear hidden barriers to achieving greater success and fulfillment in their businesses, as well as all areas of their life. Kamin serves on the faculty of Steve Chandler’s Online Prosperity School teaching wealth and success mindset. In addition to working with clients and teams, Kamin is a keynote speaker and conducts workshops on various leadership topics for corporate and military, and is a frequent podcast show guest.

She has a PhD in Positive Neuropsychology, three Master’s degrees in Information Systems, Spiritual Psychology, and Spiritual Science. Kamin’s unique background combines the technical and soft skills, allowing her to assist individuals in taking practical action in the real world that gets dramatic results.

Kamin is a bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include of Increase Your Abundance Starting Today!, the Wealth Transformation Journal, the Success Transformation Journal, coauthor of The Conscious Luck Workbook and now Wealth Creation for Coaches with Steve Chandler.

She is a philanthropist and is passionate about assisting educational organizations. Kamin has sat on several boards and is currently on the Board of EduCare Foundation, one of Los Angeles’ largest after school program providers. Kamin and her husband, Mark, make their home in Southern California.

COMMANDER WARREN WRIGHT, USCG (Ret.) | Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton

Warren is a native of Bronx, NY. He is a 2002 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in  Logistics & Intermodal Transportation. While at the Academy, he served as Class President and lettered in Football, Basketball and Lacrosse.

Accepting a Coast Guard Commission at graduation, Warren’s first assignment was to commission the Maritime Safety & Security Team 91103 in Long Beach, CA where he conducted Port Security missions, in advance of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Warren was selected for Naval Flight Training and transferred to NAS Pensacola in 2004.

He received his “wings of gold” in 2005 and reported to CG Sector Corpus Christi where he qualified in the HH-65B. Warren had follow-on aviation assignments at CG Air Station Kodiak, and CG Air Station Barbers Point. He is an Alaska-qualified Aircraft  Commander in the MH-65D with over 1800 flight hours. His staff assignments included the Office of Congressional Affairs in Washington, DC, where he served as a Military Fellow assigned to the office of Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK); CG District Fourteen, where he served as the Chief of External Affairs and the principal liaison for Indo-PACOM Theater Security Cooperation; and District Eleven where he served as the Deputy Chief of Incident Management and the Aviation Program Manager for most of the West Coast.

In September 2023, Warren retired from his last operational assignment as the Logistics Department Head and Commanding Officer of Military Personnel, at Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach. He is now an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, in the Global Defense Services division.

Warren also serves as the Head Lacrosse Coach at Wilson High School, in Long Beach, CA. He has a Juris Doctor from the University of Hawaii, Richardson School of Law, a Command and Staff Diploma from the Naval War College and is a DHS Certified Acquisitions Program Manager.

His personal recognitions include the Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal and various service and community awards.

Warren has four children, Nicholas, Kaden, Amirah, and Callen.

Featuring Messages From

ADMIRAL MICHELLE HOWARD, USN (Ret.) | First Woman Four-Star Admiral


A 1982 Naval Academy graduate, Adm. Michelle Howard became the first black woman to command a U.S. Navy combatant ship, USS Rushmore (LSD 47) (1999). She was the first woman promoted to the rank of four-star admiral (2014). Upon her promotion, Howard became the highest ranking woman in U.S. armed forces history and the highest ranking black woman in Navy history.

She served as Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) from 2014 to 2016. Howard also became the first woman four-star admiral to command operational forces when she assumed command of both U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Naval Forces Africa and Allied Joint Forces Command Naples (NATO) from 2016 to 2017.

Howard retired from the Navy in 2017, after nearly 36 years of service.

REAR ADMIRAL SINCLAIR HARRIS, USN (Ret.) | Vice President, Client Relations, LMI

Sinc Harris is LMI’s client relations executive for the defense sector. He retired as a rear admiral after a 34-year career in the U.S. Navy. His service culminated as the vice director for operations to chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During his distinguished career, he led joint, combined, multinational, and interagency organizations both at sea and ashore across all aspects of defense, including full-spectrum operations, program management, strategic planning, and execution. He also commanded the U.S. Fourth Fleet, leading U.S. naval forces assigned to the U.S. Southern Command.

Sinc has been published in numerous journals on the topics of surface warfare, combat logistics, irregular warfare, and leadership. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from James Madison University, a Master’s in operations research from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a Master’s in defense and strategic studies from the University of Madras, India. Sinc voluntarily serves as national vice president of the Navy League of the United States, chair of the National Defense Industrial Association’s Expeditionary Warfare Division, president of the National Naval Officers Association, board member for the Surface Navy Association, and member of the Northern Virginia Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

Event Host

TANYA ACKER – Attorney, Author, Podcast Host

TANYA M. ACKER is a co-host of Tribunal Justice on Amazon Freevee as well as host of The Tanya Acker Show podcast. She is also the author of Make Your Case – Finding Your Win in Civil Court (Diversion Books 2020).

Tanya is an experienced civil litigator who has represented a wide array of clients, from major automobile manufacturers in high stakes product liability litigation to media companies in hotly contested trade secret disputes.

In addition to serving as a Trustee of the Pacific Battleship Center, which operates the Battleship USS IOWA Museum, Tanya maintains an active involvement in various other philanthropic, civic and business organizations. A volunteer with Love Takes Root, she has traveled to Haiti to work in a clinic and orphanage founded by that organization. She is a member of the Beverly Hills West (CA) chapter of The Links, Incorporated and additionally serves on the boards of Public Counsel; the Western Justice Center; the Boy Scouts of America; and PacWest Bancorp. She is also a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy.


Gravely Student Luncheon Sponsors

Gravely Scholarship Sponsors

Ambassador Robert C. O’Brien
CA State Treasurer Fiona Ma
Admiral Michelle Howard, USN (Ret.)
The Honorable Eric Garcetti

Argyros Family Foundation
Stephanie C. Hill
Bruce DD MacRae
Marathon Petroleum

Collier Walsh Nakazawa, LLP
Surface Navy Association

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