MAY 2019
Michael Hert, DAV Wisconsin Commander


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.”
DAV National Commander featured speaker at State Convention.  Learn More.
Service Officer School will be June 5-6 in Green Bay.  Learn More.
DAV Marshfield Van Relocates.  Learn More.
See April DAV Legislative Alerts: Support These Important Bills. Take Action.
DAV holds Veterans Employment Fair May 16 at Miller Park. Learn More.
Let's honor those who came before.  Learn More .
Membership Update for April. Learn More.
DAV Wisconsin 2018 LVAP Winners Announced. Learn More.
Recent DAV testimony before Congressional Committees. Read Here.
Spring is really here! Time to prepare for State Convention. Read More.
DAV WI supports SB 85: Conservation License for disabled veterans. Learn More.
DAV and Simcakowski Foundation to open Tomah VA Golf Course. Learn More.
DAV WI Commander Hert testifies before Joint Finance Committee. Learn More.
Our Annual State Convention is a month away and it’s time for all the last-minute preparations. Make sure you reserve your room at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center Green Bay as soon as possible in order to get the DAV rate. Block closes May 15th or when all rooms in block have been filled. Should you need assistance after May 15th contact our Office Managers at 920-338-8620. Registration and Banquet Fees for the Convention close May 24th so let’s get them in. After May 24th there is an additional charge.

Reminder to our Executive Committee, District Executive Committee, and selective Committee Chairs that the budget input for 2019-2020 is due May 7th. Treasurer Rapos needs this in order to prepare next years recommended budget, which he will brief the membership on at the Convention. 

At the Convention we will once again elect our leadership for the upcoming year. We do have nomination information sheets available for selected positions. To date we have Commander Hert running for Commander. This is the first year that the Commander can run for a second year if nominated and elected. For Senior Vice Commander we have current Junior Vice Commander Matt Kempainen and Department Executive Committeeman Rob Hilliard; for Junior Vice Commander – Department Executive Committeeman John Wellman, Chapter 55 Commander Darell Hainline, and Assistant State Adjutant Greg Palo; for Judge Advocate – incumbent Stan Panek; and Benefits Protection Team Leader – incumbent Al Labelle. It’s still not too late to obtain a nomination information sheet from State Headquarters and submit it in time to run for a position. The intent is to provide the information sheets to the Nomination Committee prior to their meeting to assist them in the interview process.

Our new website is up and running ( ). If you haven’t viewed it yet, check it out. Our contractor did a great job with the new site. We have also trained some of our personnel to upload and keep the site updated.

We still have work to accomplish in preparing for the convention. Our Office Managers, Shelby Sigli and Deirdre Flynn really go above and beyond this time of year to ensure everything is in place and the convention runs smoothly. Thank them for doing so when you see them. We sure can’t get there without them!

See you at the Convention!
Wisconsin DAV Headquarters
1253 Scheuring Road Suite A
De Pere, WI 54115
Phone: 920.338.8620
Fax: 920.338.8621
  You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of every email.