Greetings from the New MN DAV Adjutant/Executive Director

Hello Fellow DAV Members,

I wanted to share with everybody what has been happening at DAV of MN.  My first month has gone by extremely fast.  Between CDR Erickson and Assistant Adjutant Dean Ascheman showing me the ropes (it is definitely a long rope) I have learned a lot about DAV of MN and DAV as a whole.  I had the opportunity to travel with CDR Erickson to C & A Orientation (Commanders and Adjutants) at the DAV National HQ in Kentucky in July, where we both learned a lot. We had the opportunity to network with several different departments and share with them all the great things that our DAV chapters and Department are doing. The word is certainly out there that MN DAV is a leading edge organization and thus a lot of interest.  Our Donor Connection program and our new member recruiting success are just examples of programs we have that others want to know about.

In early August, I traveled to National Convention which was held in Las Vegas, NV.  I want to say “Thank you” for those that attended and represented DAV of MN.  This year, DAV of MN and PDC Valtinson was awarded two different awards: Top Department in Division III and the Judge Robert S. Marx Award.  Both of these awards would not have been given to PDC Valtinson and DAV of MN without the hard work and dedication of all of you. Thank you.

This year at National Convention we learned that National DAV changed the “logo” and “Motto” of the DAV.  The new Motto now reads: “Fulfilling Our Promises to the Men and Women who Served.”  Here is a picture of what it looks like. As you can see, they also changed the colors of the lettering.

We also received a new Ford 12 passenger vanwhile we are at National Convention from the National DAV organization in partnership with Ford.  The new van is going to VAMC of Minneapolis to help transport our veterans to and from their medical appointments.  The van arrived at the VAMC on Thursday, August 9th. This van already has the new logo on it so be watching for it while you are driving down the road.

Congratulations also to the Auxiliary of MN and the Hutchinson unit for receiving the State and National award for Mae Holmes in the membership category of 51 – 100 members. This is the first time that Hutchinson Unit #37 has ever won an award at the national level. Congratulations!

Just like every year, new National Officers are selected.  Our new National Commander is Larry Polzin. He held the position of National Sr. Vice Commander last year was selected to become the new National Commander. He was our National guest at our convention in Duluth a few years ago.

All is well in MN. We are busy preparing for our booth at the State Fair. We have meetings of the Finance and Foundation Boards to address our need to smartly invest the monies we have accumulated over the past few years. I also have a 2012 Fall Conference planning meeting with some advisors in next 10 days. I hope we can make it the best it can be.

I have also had a team of folks working on activating a couple of Chapters:

  • Prairie Chapter and Unit 36 will be merging with South Central Chapter 32.
  • We are relocating Redwing Chapter 5 to the Mpls/St. Paul South Metro (Lakeville).

Stay tuned for more progress on these initiatives.

I want to thank the Search committee,  Executive Board and Foundation Board for their trust in me. I am looking forward to serving the DAV in my position and look forward to meeting and working with more of you.

For those that don’t know me or heard anything about me; I come from a background of helping our veterans.  I have spent the last 2+ years working as the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Coordinator. I helped communities establish a solid action plan showing/explaining how that community can support their local veterans and their families, during and after their deployments. I am a life time member of the DAV Chapter 10 in Mankato. I am also a VFW and AL member as well. I am currently serving in the MN National Guard were I have almost 21 years of service.  This is the short version, I am more than happy to share more with you whenever I get the chance to meeting you.

Stephen Whitehead, MN DAV Adjutant/Executive Director

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