Battalion Chief Tiffanye S. Wesley, our keynote speaker, is celebrated as a leader and a trailblazer. The internationally certified John Maxwell speaker, trainer, and coach is also a fire/EMS battalion chief with the Arlington County (VA) Fire Department. She is the first African American female to be promoted to this level of leadership in the department’s 78-year history.
As a 25-year veteran of the Arlington County Fire Department, Wesley has served in numerous positions. The most notable of these include being a nationally certified bomb technician, bomb commander, and station commander for the largest and busiest firehouse in Arlington.
Wesley was profiled in the Internet feature “Breaking the Glass Ceiling,” shared first on the campus of Georgetown University. The Internet feature ultimately led to her guest appearance on the Harry Connick Jr. Show as a “Leading Lady.”
Though known for putting out fires, she has also ignited audiences as a presenter at some of the most prestigious fire service conferences. These include FDIC International, the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute, the I-Women Conference, the Virginia Equity and Diversity Conference, and the Women in Public Safety Conference. She has also served as a keynote speaker for Arlington County Women’s History Month, the Rotary Club International Month, and the United States Defense Security Service African American/Black History Month.
Wesley wrote the book anthology No More Chains. Her story can be seen profiled in a 2017 documentary under the same title.
This “Woman on Fire” is an inspiration to people all over the world because of her transparency, story of determination, and commitment to a career no one ever thought she would survive. Her “No matter what” and “If they say I can’t, I will prove that I can” attitude has helped her to climb the ladder of success, even when the odds were stacked against her.