Pamela Bolado

Branch: Air Force

Duty Station: Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Number of Deployments: 1

Number of PCS's: 2

Share your military spouse story:
Life seems to always have ups and downs. Whether you are a military spouse or not. I was born in Canada 1978, with a cleft lip and with that comes insecurities that you probably wouldn't understand, unless you are also a clefty. To be honest, it was very difficult to believe others when they would compliment me. I simply thought they were just trying to make me feel better about myself. At 19, I became an Esthetician to make people feel beautiful about themselves, however, I too felt better. I would never take my cleft journey away. It has made me strong and confident over the years. In 2000 at the young age of 21, I married a Muslim man. We met in Canada, moved to London and then in 2001, I moved to Kuwait. I had my first son in 2002, just before 9-11. In 2003, while still residing in Kuwait, the US attacked Iraq. I built a shelter in my home, and amongst the chemical weapon threats and war sirens, I prayed it would pass...and thankfully it did! This was definitely the most anxiety I have ever felt. I lived and worked in Kuwait for nearly 9 years before moving back to Canada. I moved back to Kuwait in early 2015 to work for a hospital and to be closer to my two boys who had gone to reside with their dad. One evening I met this incredibly handsome man at a restaurant on the Kuwait seaside. We soon fell in love, however, I may have loved him a bit more because he also loved my kids. In Feb. 2016, we married and I moved to the US and became a military spouse. It didn't take me long to understand what that meant in terms of strength. The frequent missions and deployment came quickly. I soon discovered how truly resilient and strong I am. I have felt the insecurities and anxieties before, I knew how to rise through all of it. It wasn't long after our first pcs that I knew I wanted to give back to my military community. I am now on year three hosting a Wellness & Wisdom Summit for Women of the Military. I am now proud to shout that I am a military spouse entrepreneur!

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
As a Master Medical Esthetician and Entrepreneur. I was honored in June 2018 as Esty of the Year on the cover of SkinDeep Magazine. I was photographed in the hangar standing proudly in front of the C-17 and was highlighted as a successful military spouse. I have built my own brand of skincare which gives back to clefty's to help cosmetically camouflage their clefts. I have risen up as a leader and single handedly created and executed a successful summit for my military sisters. Each year it becomes increasingly impactful and the feedback is always heartwarming. I have gained partners in the military community who see the same vision. I've been given a gift that I am able to adapt easily and handle whatever life hands me. It would be an honor to hold the title of military spouse of the year. I would carry that title very proudly and use it to create greater opportunities to build more relationships in and out of the military community for Wellness Wisdom Summits.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
At JBMDL, I hosted military spouse coffee mornings in my home. We moved to WA in Dec. 2017, it was important for me to continue to show my support for my fellow military spouses. In early 2018, I created a free conference for military spouses, active duty and veteran women. Women-Wellness-Wisdom Conference was born. This was created to provide a day of wellness resources, inspiration, connection and lots of gifts! I love giving gifts! This past WWW 2019, I hosted 400 women of the military plus helped launch and spread awareness for The Rosie Network Seattle Chapter. I am a partner to the USO, and have volunteered my time as a entrepreneur mentor to the USO Pathfinder Program at Camp Lewis. This past December, I traveled back to Kuwait and with the help from fellow US Expats was able to deliver home cooked goodies to our troops for the USO at Camp Arifjan. I am currently planning Wellness Wisdom Summit 2020 and it's going to be like none other by bringing all branches together!

Describe how you support your community:
My entire goal and platform through Wellness & Wisdom for Women of the Military is to not only include ALL military spouses, but also include women active duty members and veterans. It is always such a beautiful feeling to see a room filled with military sisters from all branches, whether they are a spouses, a servicewomen in uniform or veteran. My ultimate goal is to celebrate us all, inspire and empower while sharing wellness resources. This year, I am proud to share that my Wellness & Wisdom will be touring to installations on the East and West Coast, as well as the Southern States. It is my ultimate goal to be able to spread this incredible summit all across US installations and hopefully abroad. Within my Summit, the 2020 tour will include several military spouse run organizations and also introduce new non military partners in the wellness industry. Collaboration Not Competition! My Mission is To Build, Ignite and Inspire Wellness and Purpose For My Sisters of the Military

What do you advocate for? Why?
I don't advocate for a particular platform as I am partners with several deserving and well respected organizations. Within the Wellness & Wisdom Summit, I provide wellness, entrepreneurial/career resources, empowering speakers and advocates within the community. I am proud that this years Wellness platform will be powered by InDependent and The Wisdom platform will be powered by AMSE, The Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur in the wellness industry these two pillar platforms 'Wellness' & 'Wisdom' are an essential element to the Summits success for 2020. In 2019, I launched the platform 'Military Women Who Do Wonders'. I am proud to highly deserving women of the military and help them shine their light! At 41 years young and after three kiddos, I recently competed in my first bikini body building competition during my husbands deployment. I hope I was able to inspire other milspouses about the importance of self care and the power of confidence.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I have been featured in the national SkinDeep Magazine where I spoke about my role as an Air Force Spouse, Entrepreneurship and my Summit. In 2018 & 2019, The Northwest Airlifter/Ranger newspaper have featured my story and mission with Wellness & Wisdom to spread the word and encourage registration. I have been privileged for the past couple of years to partner with incredible sponsors who have advocated and assisted in promoting the Summit. Staying up to date on social media and posting frequently regarding the mission and purpose of the Summit is critical in communicating with sponsors, partners and military women involved in the Summit. I have remained involved in my community outside the military as members of my local Chamber of Commerce, Washington Center for Women Entrepreneurs and women advocacy and support groups in Seattle. This past December, I was honored to be nominated by Seattle's Illuminating Women Community for Woman of the Year for Empowerment.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
Firstly, I would be honored to carry this title. I am cheering for all the other incredible spouses who have also been nominated especially the ones I nominated! I have followed the journey of the 2019 recipients and could not be more proud of their advocacy for all spouses. They represented so well, the shoes to fill are big! I think it would be an opportunity not to pass up, as I see myself using the title to do even greater good in my community and to spread the awesomeness of Wellness & Wisdom Summits to as many military installations as possible! I would truly be humbled and proud.