Everything is finally wrapping up for year 2013-2014. It was another incredible year of success, growth and end results. This year’s convention in Rochester, MN was a great convention. I want to Thank Chapter 28, Mayo-Hiawatha for hosting the hospitality room and all the support they gave the Department. Like many other Chapters, you have a great set of DAV programs in Rochester area and the Chapter is extremely well known in the community.
Some fiscal yearend highlights I would like to mention:
- We lead our division once again with membership recruitment results. Thanks to all for a great year of new member growth!
- Our MN DAV Foundation Old Glory Run / Walk in Cold Spring, MN May 17th was a HUGE success. National Commander Joe Johnston and National Adjutant Marc Burgess were in attendance. Over 1000 participants registered. Thanks to the St. Cloud / Willmar DAV volunteers.
- Our DAV Foundation Golf Classic is all ready to go next week June 4th at the Wilds in Prior Lake. This year’s event has reached over $60,000 in sponsorships and the best ever. I thank Dean Ascheman, Mark Jaruszewski, and Harry Wisdom for their efforts in coordinating this event. We have 144 golfers destined to have a great day.
- We have a great slate of officers elected at our May convention. Congratulations to Commander Dave Valtinson in being elected State Commander for a second time. I also congratulate PDC Rob Hartley for a great year. I learned a lot from you my friend.
- Our business enterprise results continue to provide us (Department and Chapters) with funds to perform our mission and purpose. Our success in these enterprises are so important to our programs and to those we serve.
- Our DAV transportation program continues to lead the nation in volunteer hours, and miles driven. Our National Commander, in his visit spent time looking at our results and thanking our volunteer drivers who are the backbone of that program. Many veterans awake each and every morning with a better quality of life because the transportation we provide to them.
This summer I plan to attend the National Convention with Commander Valtinson August 9th through the 12th. The annual DAV Day at the Twins is set for July 27th at Target Field, and then the State Fair will close out the summer. In October the Americans Disabled for Life veterans’ memorial in D.C. will be dedicated in October.
Over the summer we will be working with the leadership team (officers and Foundation Board) to focus on:
- Department and Foundation Strategy
- Department Officer / Foundation Board orientation / training
- A Chapter C&A Conference (Commanders and Adjutants)
- Continue to plan and develop our MN DAV Outdoors events
- Continue our focus on our Statewide veterans transportation program to ensure we maximize effectiveness and efficiencies.
I’m looking forward to a great year with the new Department Officers that were elected. We’ve got an excellent staff here at headquarters; at the VAMC’s; and at the NSO office to help accomplish the DAV MN mission, helping the disabled veterans and their families.
Have a great summer!!
Stephen Whitehead, Adjutant / Executive Director
DAV of MN