I recently returned from the Commander and Adjutants training at National Headquarters in Cold Spring, Kentucky. I was able to learn a lot of important information and discuss how different Departments operate around the country.
There were some announcements about Membership I’d like to cover. The first one was the new goals for Chapters will be a minimum of 10 new members. The Department Goal is 489 new members, both full-Life and partial paid members count toward this goal. Second, there is a very good possibility that the National organization is going to change the life membership to a flat rate of $300.00 starting in 2020. Nothing on this is certain, currently it is a resolution and will have to go through the committee process and a floor vote (if passes committee) at National Convention. New members over 80 years old will still be free.
Membership is the livelihood of your Chapter; without new members your chapter is failing. Last fiscal year we did have a few Chapters that did not make goal. I will be talking to each Chapter Commander and Adjutant on how the Department can help them get more new members.
I learned how much our Department has spoiled our chapters with all they do for us. Our Department Staff is very professional and keep everything running as smoothly as possible. In my discussions, with over 15 other Departments, it became clear Minnesota’s Department staff is by far one of the strongest in the Nation. Many Departments are trying to figure out how we are so strong year, after year, and much of the credit goes to our full-time staff.
Saver’s has given the Department a change in the quota for the remainder of the year. Adjutant Trent Dilks and Deputy Adjutant Josh Vrtacnik are working hard at adjusting the program to adapt to the ever-changing operating environment. We have many chapters that are loading 53-foot trailers for Saver’s and our new vendor, Simple Recycling. The Department is working diligently to find workable solutions to keep everything moving in the right direction.
With the New Fiscal year starting the time clock for getting National Financial Report ready and turn in by September 30, 2019. Please remember you only need to submit the final bank statement ending on June 30 to Department or National. And please double check the math and don’t rely on Excel program for getting your numbers.
We are conducting Chapter Service Officer training on Thursday before Fall conference. We need to have names turned into Department to make sure there is enough material for all attendees. Hope to see you all at the Fall Conference this October in Brooklyn Park, MN.
Scott Berndt, Commander
We have been working over 5 years to eliminate the 8 year limit on the surviving spouses provision of the property tax value exclusion. Check out the Video to see some exciting news!
Well with the Department Convention over, I would like to thank the Nomination Committee and the governing body of the Disabled American Veterans, Department of Minnesota for electing me as the State Commander. I am honored to be selected; it’s been a long road for me. I am very proud and will work hard for all the members. I would also like to congratulate my wife, Nancy, on the start of her second year as Auxiliary Commander.
The last time the Disabled American Veterans Department of Minnesota had a Husband and Wife as Commander’s was back in 1949. We will travel a lot this year visiting Veterans homes, Veterans Care Center, and Chapter and Unit’s.
As the Commander I feel we already have a Great Staff for our Organization in place. There are some minor changes in our largest fundraiser, our clothing program with Saver’s, I will address early in my year as Commander. I am confident with the guidance of the Full-time staff, the Finance Committee, and Executive Committee we will take care of business.
I truly believe, together as one team, we need to start thinking outside the box to come up with additional ideas for fundraising. If you have thoughts on some additional ways we could secure funds, please bring them forward.
I have two primary goals I would like the Department to achieve during my year. My first goal is to have Department make membership goal. My second goal is to help strengthen our Chapters and not lose any charters. We are all one team in the state and I look forward to working together for our ultimate goal, assisting our disabled Veterans and their families.
Any Chapter Commander or Adjutant can call me and talk about problems they might be having. If there are problems, I want to find a solution together as a State.
Scott Berndt, State Commander 2019-2020