Dr. Berdie Cowser


rsz_021916_spe_berdiecowser_fortyunderforty03.jpg ... Committed to Serve


​Dr. Berdie Cowser is director of the Bureau of Housing at the Center for Veterans Issues Ltd.​ (CVI).

Among Dr. Cowser's affiliations and awards: 

  • Board Member, Milwaukee County War Memorial 
  • Chapter Commander, National Association for Black Veterans, Inc. (NABVETS) 
  • Advisory Council Member, Cardinal Stritch University
  • Links, Inc., Cream City (WI) Chapter 
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Epsilon Kappa Omega Chapter
  • Wisconsin First Jurisdiction Young Women Christian Council
  • 40 Under 40 Award Winner, Milwaukee Business Journal
  • Black Excellence Award, Milwaukee Times Newspaper

​Dr. Cowser earned both an MBA and PhD from Cardinal Stritch University; Master's Degree in Organization Development and Leadership from Springfield University; and Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Military Science, from Alabama State University, graduating with highest honors. 

​What inspires your passion for these issues?​

​My upbringing and military foundation are what has made me who I am today. I am a person who is committed to a life of service.​ My parents raised me to believe in the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, personal courage, honor, and integrity. Their foundation is what helped me to dedicate my talents and skills to serving in the military and now serving others. ​

My motto is, "committed to serve and leading to serve #LeadN2Serve," I have put this into action every day by coming to work to serve the men and women who have served our country. Service and excellence have in common perseverance, never quitting and following through to the very end.​ 

As a female, it has always been my duty to bring other ladies along the way. I believe in empowering other women to become their best self. Those women who have assisted me in becoming my best self and the woman I am today, are my mother, my grandmothers, my sisters, my aunts, my female cousins and those sister-friends who I work alongside each and every day.  

I started doing this work when I began​​​ working with the Center for Veterans Issues, Ltd. 19-years-​ago and started to work with homeless female veterans. I saw the impact that I was making as women worked extremely hard to improve their life situation. ​It was at that point where I decided to always be a person who women would look up to. I started to share any and all information with the females that I came into contact with.

My goal is to share vital information to empower and uplift women, ensuring each is equipped to live her best life. I believe they can live their best life by maintaining a growth mindset, spending quality time with self, challenging yourself, serving others, remembering to be positive, creating a personal vision, considering others, and participating in active listening.  

I have had many struggles in life, but looking at all the women who had those same struggles and to see their triumphant victories, I have to be strong for the generations coming after me, I will not stop!

What has been your greatest success?

The greatest successes come when someone secures housing, completes a school program, fulfills their life dream and goals. 

W​hat resources do you need to continue to move this work forward?

Because we house homeless veterans, there is always a need for hygiene products, linen, and towels.  Individuals may also inquire if they would like to volunteer or donate. ​Learn more: http://www.cvivet.org 

What would you say to other women and girls who want to make or support change in their community, state, world?

Start with the end in mind and work your way backward. If you want to make or support change, DO IT NOW, even if you are afraid, DO IT NOW, DO IT AFRAID!!

​Inspired by the centennial of the 19th Amendment, would you like to comment on voting or have a story to share?

Make sure you VOTE, it is the least that we can do after all the sacrifices that were made on our behalf.​​​