Department Update from Commander Erickson

1/3rd of our fiscal year is behind us and we have the momentum we have enjoyed over past years!! Things are happening!!!!!

  • We have two new veterans transportation vans, compliments of the DAV at the Minneapolis VAMC
  • We had a great MN turnout at the National convention in Vegas and I appreciated all the MN applause when MN was presented two major recruiting awards for being 1st in our Division as well as 1st in the Nation. A very proud moment indeed.
  • Sr. Vice Greg Peterson ( and State Membership Chairman ) has kicked off his recruiting program and efforts are underway. The challenge I have put out there is to meet our goal by December and EXCEED it BIGTIME over the remainder of the year.
  • Our State officers have attended Dept 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.
  • The State Fair weather was fantastic this year and DAV volunteers at our DAV booth greeted 1000’s of folks over the 10 days. Thanks to all volunteers.!
  • 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.
  • Adjutant Whitehead has announced to the Executive Committee that he has hired a new Director of Operations for MN DAV, this position was formed as we looked at organization, did some consolidation, streamlining and centralized all key management into Dept. HQ. The new executive will serve as Ass’t adjutant and focus on our fundraising enterprises. We want to capture our opportunities to grow and build the ongoing business management skills in-house.
  • I sincerely thank interim Adjutant/Executive Director Dean Ascheman for his efforts during the past 9 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 efforts underway to reorganize and reactivate Red Wing 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… looking forward to success!!
  • We have a Fall Conference plan underway and our target audience are the Chapter Commanders and Adjutants ( although all members are invited ). October 12 and 13th at Willmar Holiday Inn
  • We have unveiled a new website ( thanks to development grant from IBM ) and have hired a part-time webmaster to make this website the best it can be for communications from Dept and Chapters/Unit. Let’s now make it work!
  • 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 going to address that with some help at the upcoming 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

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