Michael Hert, DAV Wisconsin Commander
Our Journey Continues
Upon the dust settling and with the Wisconsin State Convention in the books for another year, your leadership team went forward and continued the next step of the journey for the coming term. The next phase for newly elected leaders is to attend Commanders and Adjutants training at the DAV National Headquarters. Know by the acronym “C&A”, this event provides a phenomenal opportunity to gain information regarding the organization plus meet one’s peers and discover what others are doing across the Nation.
Representing your Department was Adjutant Larry Hill, Assistant Adjutant John Polk, Senior Vice Commander Matt Kampainen and myself. The schedule is quite busy; however our National team ensures that it will be a successful event for all. We learn about the DAV mission, organization, capabilities and operations. As a leader, it’s imperative, that we have the most current knowledge to bring back to the Department and Chapter level so to ensure together we move in one direction forward.
An example Dan Clare, National Communications Director, shared all the different modes used to connect with the public and DAV membership. I was quite impressed whether it’s our bi-monthly publication, social media or billboards along our major highways. DAV continues to communicate with others and spread the message of ensuring our Veterans lead high quality lives of dignity and respect. What had the biggest impact to me is our DAV National Webpage. If you go on to “quick links”, it has key components for a Chapter to gain a major operational advantage for the coming year. We did obtain Dan Clare’s presentation and our plan is to share it at our upcoming Fall Conference.
The DAV National Membership Department is led by Doug Wells. He walked us through the past year plus the opportunities and challenges that occurred with the revision of the membership program. Doug shared with us tools that the Department can use to gain new members plus the success stories achieved within our ranks. In terms of Wisconsin under the leadership of past Senior Vice Commander, Stan Kogutkiewicz, we did make goal plus 2 members above! A Commanders Salute to Stan for his tenacity and professionalism. His eyes never left the completion of the mission.
At the C&A, we discovered our number for the coming year is to add 511 new members to our Wisconsin rolls. While the bar has been set high, I have total faith in the membership plus the abilities of our new Senior Vice Commander Matt Kampainen.
As indicated, C&A provides a superb occasion to connect with one’s counterparts and discover what is occurring in other States. A lesson that I walked away with is that other places across the Nation, actively utilize their Chapter Service Officers (CSO) in a variety of approaches. Whether it’s conducting and promoting local community information seminars regarding Veterans benefits, making themselves available to conduct home visits or hanging their shingle at a local restaurant or grocery store. The bottom line, CSO’s are dynamically engaged promoting the mission of ensuring that Veterans obtain their benefits and that America’s promise made to the men and women who served is kept.
In summary, we received first class training at C&A. Our game plan is that we will pass it down at the Fall Conference which is being held October 10-12 in Stevens Point. This coming year will be an exciting and memorable time for our membership.
Lastly, “Together Forward!” as we step forward into the 2019-2020 term.