Commander Erickson’s October Department Update

The year continues to fly by!! Things are happening at a very fast pace!!!!!  We have had an extremely busy past couple of months and it doesn’t look like it is going to slow down.  Some of the Department’s recent highlights

  • We have hired two new employees in DAV MN HQ with the approval from the Executive Committee. Director of Operations (Josh Vrtacnik) and a new DSO (John Carson) are the new folks onboard. I have been extremely impressed with their work and we all look forward to making a difference for MN DAV!
  • We had a great turnout at the DAV/DAVA Fall Conference in Willmar, MN and I appreciated all of the members that came to this event. The Fall Conference was very successful. The Adjutant/Executive Director and his staff did a great job.
  • Sr. Vice Greg Peterson and I extended the Department New Membership incentive program until December 31, 2012. The incentive is that the Department will give a $100 towards a new life membership (paid in full) DAV member.  We also encourage each chapter to continue their own incentive. GO GET NEW MEMBERS!!!!
  • Our State officers have attended Department training and are standing ready for invites to Chapter meetings. Commanders/Adjutants I ask that you all schedule a State officer at one of your meetings and allow them about 20 minutes of your time.
  • I am extremely excited about having Adjutant/Executive Director Stephen Whitehead on board. He clearly has passion for serving veterans and the DAV of MN. This young man is clearly going to make a difference.
  • I sincerely thank interim Adjutant/Executive Director Dean Ascheman for his efforts during the past 10 months and for the training he is providing the new team. I also thank PDC Bob Connor for his assistance during this time of transition.
  • We have  reorganized and reactivated Red Wing Chapter 5 (Now known as South of the River Chapter 5). We have a group of energized members willing to lead that chapter to new heights. The upcoming meetings for that Chapter are being held at the VFW in Lakeville MN!! The Chapter has been renamed South of the River Chapter and PDC Dennis O’Gorman is the newly elected Chapter Commander
  • The MN DAV Donor Connection program coordinator (Gerry Falkowski) is a 24/7 coordinator who has taken on complete and effective ownership of this ”born and raised” MN program. It is being publicized nationally and locally.
  • I have been spending a lot of time in the office as part of my duties as your Commander. I see, witness, observe and hear about great things happening across our Chapters. Many of you are clearly focused on our mission and doing a darn good job of doing it. At the same time some of the chapters are struggling and we are hopefully addressed that with some help at the Fall Conference.

Keep up the great work… and remember as disabled veterans… IT IS NOT THE PRICE WE PAY FOR MEMBERSHIP, IT IS THE PRICE WE PAID TO BE ELIGIBLE.

Serving you and MN DAV,
Bob Erickson, State Commander

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