DAV Virtual Fall Conference 2020

Virtual Fall Conference-

The DAV MN is proud to announce the rollout of our Virtual Fall Conference 2020 content. The current pandemic forced us to cancel Convention and Conference, but we wanted to ensure you got the updates and information you need. The Executive Committee and staff have put together an excellent set of content on topics that are important to DAV MN members and leaders in professionally shot and edited video.

Starting 10/9/2020 all content, updates, and links will be here:

Topics Include:

  • Commander’s Report
  • Membership
  • Clothing Program
  • New Tool to Easily Complete Your Chapter AFR
  • Transportation
  • Outdoors
  • And MORE..

The DAV MN will also hold Live Virtual Sessions for you to hear more on certain topics and ask questions if you have them. If you would like to submit your question to be answered during the event in advance please send them to [email protected] 

Click on Event Picture for Zoom Meeting Info

Chapter Officer Guides: Copies of the Chapter Officer Guides (Updated) have been mailed to the person listed on your Chapter Officer Report to receive mail. 5 copies per chapter. Most of the questions chapters have regarding duties, timelines, roles, etc.. can be answered by the updated version of the Chapter Officer Guide.

UPDATED Chapter Officer Guide mailed to Chapters 10/5/20

Greetings from Adjutant Dilks July 2020

Greetings,

First, and foremost, I hope you all have a fun, and safe, 4th of July. I know this year will look different for many of you, but it is always a great time to look back on where we have been as a country and look forward to where we are going.

I have been doing something very similar for the DAV of MN the last couple of weeks as we approach the holiday. As many of you know our new year as an organization starts July 1st. That means this is the time of the year to look back on where we have been as an organization, and look forward to where we are going.

As we look back, it has been a tough year. A truly unprecedented year for our 100-year-old organization, as we have seen our Chapter’s cancel meetings, our Department Convention cancelled, our National Convention cancelled, our major fundraiser ground to a halt as the economy closed down, but the one thing that wasn’t cancelled is our mission. You cannot cancel our devotion to serve Minnesota’s disabled Veterans and their families. You will see in this newsletter articles from each of our programs highlighting what we as an organization have been doing to continue to achieve our mission, even in these unprecedented times.

As I look back, I am incredibly proud of how we have handled this pandemic, I am proud to be a member of this organization, and I am truly fortunate to have the opportunity to serve as your Adjutant.

Looking forward is the other major part of this time of year, and I am as excited as ever for where our organization is headed. We will continue to expand our services into new areas, continue to pursue new opportunities for new types of service, and continue to remain focused on our mission. The Department of Minnesota anticipates we will spend over $1 million dollars on veterans’ services in FY 20-21 alone. That is a major accomplishment, and something we can all be proud to be a part of.

There will be challenges, and the pandemic appears to be far from over, but I am confident we have built something strong enough to overcome any challenge we may face. We will remain focused on what matter most, serving our Veterans and their families.

Have a safe and joyful 4th of July,
Trent C Dilks, Adjutant

Commander’s Message July 2020

The Fourth of July is a cause for celebration. Fireworks, fairs, barbecuing with family and friends, parades, you name it. We often look forward to this day for months because of all the fun that it brings, but we must not forget why we celebrate in the first place.

We celebrate because on July 4th 1776 we declared our independence from England, as the 13 original colonies, and started what we know today as the United States of America.  So, while we celebrate in different ways with our parties, with families, friends, fireworks, and fairs remember what it truly means to be an American and to be free.

Remember our Veterans, brothers and sisters that fought for our freedom. It’s not just a three-day holiday, it is a time to give thanks to all of our Veterans now in the present and in the past.

During this pandemic the way you celebrate may be different from what you’re used to doing. There may not be fairs to gather at, a fireworks display in town, or large parties but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate America’s birthday at home. Remember to social distance yourself at least 6 feet away from other individuals not in your home, to safely and correctly light fireworks by following the proper procedures, and to stay safe.

We wish we could be celebrating with you all, but it’s important to stay safe during these hard times. Whatever way you decide to celebrate remember to wash your hands often, wear a mask when appropriate, and practice safe social distancing.

Happy 4th of July to you all, stay safe, have fun and celebrate America’s birthday.

Scott Berndt, Commander

Adjutant Update

Greetings DAV Leaders;
It is hard to believe how quickly the summer is flying by. The Commander, Senior Vice, and I recently returned from the Commanders & Adjutants training at National HQ in Cold Spring, Kentucky. This was a great opportunity to learn more about DAV from the National Staff and network with leaders from other Departments around the country.

One thing became very clear to me while visiting with Departments from around the country; what we have here in Minnesota’s DAV is special. Minnesota has a national reputation for excellence and I was approached many times from other Departments’ wanting to know our “secret”. I told them no secret, it is the amazing dedication of our members, a history of strong leaders (State and Chapter) setting a solid course, a slate of current leaders dedicated to our mission, and a dedicated staff working with a true passion for what we do.

The strength of Minnesota’s DAV will once again be on display as over 50 of our members attend DAV National Convention 2019. I look forwarded to participating in a loud cheer from our section as our own Stephen “Butch” Whitehead seeks the opportunity to become the DAV National Commander. We at the Department are very proud of Butch, and will support him as he takes this next momentous step.

There is so much to cover, but I don’t want to make this too long, so I will hit some highlights here:

  • The DAV MN has added a second vendor for our clothing program, which has helped us continue to succeed in an everchanging operating environment. Huge thank you to all of the chapters who have shown flexibility to ensure our continued success.
  • Planning for Fall Conference is well underway. Information on Conference can be found at: https://davmn.org/Events/dav-mn-fall-conference/
  • Please submit attendees who will be at the annual Chapter Service Officer certification to [email protected] or HQ at 651-291-1212. A detailed note on training was sent to Chapter Commanders and Adjutants.
  • Department Headquarters will be staffed during National Convention; however, it will be less people so please have patience if we are a little difficult to reach by phone. Email is always good.
  • Membership goals have changed; every chapter is a minimum of 10 members. It appears likely the delegates at National Convention will vote to raise membership price starting 2020, so sign up new members now.

I am sure I am missing some items, as there is always so much going on. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Department Headquarters staff.

Quick note in closing: I had the opportunity to participate in a “live-load” in Hutchinson this week and I have to tell you, I walked away so impressed with what our membership can do. The hard work and dedication you all show in your communities is nothing short of amazing. I am proud to be a part of this organization, and grateful to have the opportunity to be your Department Adjutant.
Regards,
Trent C Dilks
Department Adjutant  

Commander’s Update

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.

Thanks,
Scott Berndt, Commander

Greetings from Commander Berndt

State Commander Scott Berndt

Greetings Comrades,

                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