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Ship Sponsor, Maids of Honor & Flower Girl

Ship Sponsor

The Honorable Meredith Berger

After growing up in South Florida, Meredith is proud to be the sponsor of the future USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28).

Meredith is the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment. She also served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Department of the Navy during the Obama-Biden Administration, where she advised the Secretary of the Navy on the formulation, prioritization, and execution of Department-wide strategy, policies, plans, and standards. Prior to assuming the role of Deputy Chief of Staff, she served for two years at the Pentagon as a Defense Fellow, providing support to key offices in the Department of Defense. She joined the Obama-Biden Administration in 2011 as Policy Advisor at the Environmental Protection Agency where she worked on the Presidential Task Force focused on the long-term recovery of the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She began her career in public service at the state of Florida Chief Financial Officer’s office where she developed and executed state policies on climate, insurance, risk, energy, public finance, and housing.

Until recently, Meredith was with the Defending Democracy Program where she worked to protect democratic processes, people, and institutions from cyber-enabled interference while advancing norms of responsible behavior in cyberspace. Meredith has been a non-resident Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is the recipient of the Secretary of the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency Gold Medal for Exceptional Service. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies and Spanish from Vanderbilt University, a Juris Doctor from Nova Southeastern University, and a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Maids of Honor

Charlotte Summer Berger

Maid of Honor, Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28)


Charlotte Summer Berger is seven years old and resides in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She is in the second grade and “loves everything” about school. Charlotte has a wide variety of interests and loves having new experiences. She enjoys spending time in the Everglades where she kayaks through the unique ecosystem and photographs the wildlife. She also enjoys writing and illustrating her own books. She is inspired by mermaids, unicorns, and magical spells. She is an animal lover and has many pets that include a dog, cat, two snakes, and her tortoise Donny.





Katherine Olivia Messing

Maid of Honor, Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28)


Katherine Olivia Messing is eleven years old and lives in Lake Worth, Florida. She attends Christa McAuliffe Middle School where she is in the school chorus. Kate enjoys taking dance and tennis lessons and spending time with her friends. On the weekends you can find her enjoying a good book, practicing her tennis game, or caring for her golden retriever and her pet bunny. Kate is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the christening of the future USS Fort Lauderdale.





Molly Elizabeth Messing

Maid of Honor, Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28)


Molly Elizabeth Messing is eight years old and resides in Lake Worth, Florida. She attends Manatee Elementary School and is in the third grade. Molly enjoys performing and taking lessons in acrobatics and playing tennis with her sister. She loves nature and enjoys frequenting the many environmental preserves located throughout South Florida with her family. Molly is happy to be able to take part in this special celebration of the future USS Fort Lauderdale.

Flower Girl

Grace Rebecca Tanner

Flower Girl, Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28)


Grace Rebecca Tanner is the daughter of shipbuilder Lee Tanner, General Foreman, Carpenters, who has worked at Ingalls for 13 years. Her mom, Katie Tanner, works for Jackson County School District. Grace has a long line of family members who have worked at Ingalls including her grandfather, JB Garrard. Grace attends East Central Upper Elementary where she really enjoys studying math. Grace enjoys putting her athletic skills to the test by playing on her all-star softball team. She has a love for animals and frequently tunes in to watch The Incredible Dr. Pol as he cares for the animals on his show. Grace cares for her own pet, her dog named Eve. She chose that name because Eve became a part of Grace’s family on Christmas Eve.  Grace has two brothers, Gavin and Zachary, and one sister, Whitley.