The 2015 year is coming to an end and what a year it has been. There has been a lot of challenging times for the DAV MN but there also has been many success stories. The DAV MN continues to focus on building our organization to be more efficient and successful when it comes to helping the MN Veterans and their families. Since Department Convention, your Department Officers have been extremely busy evaluating the overall business structure of the DAV MN organization. The Department is focusing on rebuilding our business programs to ensure that the DAV MN is operating the most efficient manner as well as compliant with all requirements. While the DAV MN is a Non-Profit and the services we provide to veterans and their families are extremely important, the organization needs to make sure that we do so with the highest legal, ethical and professional standards. This year, for the second year in row, the Department held a “Key Leader” development-training event. At the event, the training focused on helping the leaders of our Chapters better understand the roles and responsibilities of not only the Chapter but also that of effective DAV MN Officers. One of the key topics of discussion was understanding the state requirements relating to operation of a Non-profit. Part of that was making sure attending members understood what forms they must file with the State of MN in order to be compliant. This year, we had 19 out of the 29 Chapters in attendance. We are hopeful that next year we can increase the number of attending Chapters. The DAV MN continues to improve our branding and methods of letting our sponsors, supporters, and the public know about how the DAV MN is helping the veterans and their families. The Department has been sending out our bi-weekly eNewsletter for quite some time now. If you are not receiving the e-News, please go to our website and sign up to receive the current news. This past year, we had a few Chapters share their local stories with Department. The stories that the Department receive reach a large number of supporters that want to hear about all the great things the DAV MN is doing. So please, send us a short news clip about how your Chapter is supporting local veterans and their families. As the year of 2015 ends, do not forget that membership is the organization’s bloodline. There are over 350,000 veterans here in MN that the DAV MN continues to look for ways to help. Just remember that each of these veterans may be eligible to join our wonderful organization. If we do not explain who and what the DAV MN is all about, these veterans may never know. Each one of us needs to be continuously searching for ways to attract new members.
As your Department Adjutant and Executive Director, I would like to express my EXTREME GRATITUDE to the Department Officers and membership for putting their trust in me and the HQ’s staff. The DAV MN headquarters office is here to support every one of you. It is truly my honor and privilege to serve and represent the DAV MN. Keep up the great work that each one of you are doing at empowering veterans to lead highquality lives with respect and dignity. Stephen “Butch” Whitehead, Adjutant/Executive Director