Michael Hert, DAV Wisconsin Commander
TOGETHER FORWARD TO STATE CONVENTION!
It’s hard to believe the passage of time but our DAV Department of Wisconsin State Convention is coming upon us in less than a month! This has been truly a memorable year for us as we keep a solid stride into the future. A few items to share in this article:
At the 2018 Convention, it was voted by the body to go from 7 Districts to 5 Districts. One never knows how changes such as this will roll out. I was very pleased to see it was a very orderly and coordinated transition and much credit goes to the outgoing District Executive Committee persons for that achievement.
In terms of membership it will go right down to the wire if we make Department goal. However this was a year of change for membership requirements and I’m pleased to see Chapters eventually responding to it. It’s interesting to note, that if those Chapters with 4 or less required numbers makes goal, the Department itself will be at 100%. A “shout out” goes to Senior Vice Commander (SVC) Stan Kogutkiewicz for all of his time and effort on this matter.
We will be receiving the Division 3 Local Veterans Assistance Program (LVAP) award at the 2019 National Convention in Orlando, Florida. Great job to the Chapter LVAP Coordinators and Junior Vice Commander (JVC) Matt Kampainen for their tenacity in our receiving this superb honor.
Our Women’s Veterans Committee has hit a huge stride this last year. Whether attending community events, visiting VA facilities that have specific Women Veteran services or speaking with elected officials, our Department Women’s Veterans Committee has been on the forefront. Commander’s salute goes to Sandy Pharis, Committee Chairperson, for her leadership and commitment.
Our DAV Department Benefits Team Protection Leader (BPTL), Al Labelle, is a phenomenal voice and Veterans advocate in the Legislative arena. Whether it is our presence at the Mid-Winter conference in Washington D.C., visiting the State Capitol in Madison, or visiting with an elected official at their office, Al Labelle has been a real blessing with being our legislative voice on both the Federal and State level.
Our Department this last year, engaged in its first event Strategic Planning session. This was a bold step for the organization, as we pulled together a solid road map of the Way Forward in the coming years.
Prior to the Convention itself, we will have Chapter Service Officer Training being conducted by Brian Wilson, National Service Officer Supervisor, from the Milwaukee office. The Chapter Service Officer position is important as it may be for many Veterans the gateway to future involvement with DAV.
The 2019 Convention itself looks to be an exciting and impressive event. Our National Commander Dennis Nixon will be in attendance. This is a true honor to the DAV members of Wisconsin. Commander Nixon is an inspirational figure and this will provide a wonderful opportunity for members to engage him on an individual basis.
This convention will also have the inaugural of the Department LVAP awards. LVAP is part of our Department culture and it makes sense to provide formal recognition to those Chapters who have led the way within their Divisions. The coordination of the LVAP Awards falls under JVC Kempainen and the presentation ceremony will occur at the Saturday night banquet.
We will also have the election of Officers for the 2019-2020 year. I’m pleased to share that we have a full slate of Candidates, which is a great sign of the healthiness of the organization.
We also have a wealth of speakers that will provide us updates on Veterans issues and the care of Veterans. This year’s Convention is not for the faint of heart, there is no lag time in the schedule so be ready and let’s move “Together Forward.”