2015-2016 National Membership Ambassador
I am so excited and grateful that the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary has achieved 100% Plus in membership for the first time since 1993. More than 467,000 male and female members representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several foreign-based Auxiliaries have stood united in support of our nation’s veterans, active-duty service members and their families.
I am so proud of my fellow Auxiliary members for achieving our shared goal of more than 100% in membership this year. The work we do is one of the greatest legacies we can pass on to future generations. It provides the assurance that our veterans will be taken care of now and for years to come. As a result of your dedication, commitment and “Unwavering Support,” our organization is much stronger and healthier.
Each Department in the United States made a pledge last year to grow our organization and you stood by that commitment and made our organization stronger than ever. The membership of this organization has shown true dedication to the mission of the VFW Auxiliary of improving the lives of veterans and their families. I believe this dedication will be carried on this next year and for years to come.
However, we still have a little more work to do. There are more 15,000 continuous members who have not paid their dues. Every Department in the United States has these members. We owe it to our veterans and our organization that all continuous members who have not paid their 2015-2016 dues pay their dues by June 30, 2016. If dues are NOT paid they are going to lose their continuous member status and have to rejoin (meaning fill out another application, show proof of eligibility and start their years of service all over again). Please take these next two weeks and focus on seeing that we leave no member behind. Also, remember that if you are 101% Plus by June 30th your Department will receive $500. Let’s work together these next two weeks and bring everyone across the finish line at the National Convention in North Carolina. There is “No Excuse…..Just Recruit!
This has definitely been a remarkable year of growth and positive change for our organization. Reaching our goal of being 100% in membership this year was a collective effort by everyone. However, I need to publically acknowledge and say “thank you” to all of you.
A special “thank you” to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Our parent organization made it possible for us to reach this record-breaking goal by allowing males into our great organization. Many VFW members recruited their family members to join us, along with friends and community members. The VFW Auxiliary is stronger as a result and, for that, we are forever grateful.
Thank you to the Conference Chairmen for your support and for being so very motivating and supportive to the entire membership. They were amazing and I would like to thank the four of them for their hard work: Jennifer Viestenz (Western Conference), Bonnie Eichelberger (Eastern Conference), Leona McDermott (Southern Conference) and Marilyn Malick (Big 10 Conference). They were always available by email, text, Facebook and conference calls. They are truly an example of what it means to be a positive role model to our organization and membership. Each of them went that extra mile in helping all of us reach this remarkable goal. They provided support, motivation and guidance to the entire membership, which was a huge part of the success of the membership program. I want to thank them so much for their friendship as well.
Thank you to every Department, District and Auxiliary Membership Chairmen for promoting and working the membership program. You were “key” to the success of this organization reaching the membership goals. You took the information presented to you and shared it with the membership with pride and in a fun and light-hearted way. I will forever be grateful to you for your hard work.
To each and every Treasurer, what can I say? How do you say “thank you” to individuals who worked tirelessly, gave up holidays, family time, and endured lots of sleepless nights? You did all of this to make sure that each membership transmittal was processed and accurately accounted for in a timely manner. Without you we would have never made our goal. Thank you so much. We will forever be indebted to you.
Thank you to the National Certified Recruiter Trainers for providing outreach, education and training on the proper way to recruit members. Your efforts truly made a difference in the number of new members recruited into our wonderful organization. Many of you traveled throughout your Departments, using your own monies and equipment to make sure our membership is effective in their recruitment efforts. Through your training and outreach efforts, non-members became excited about the opportunity to join and to become a part of something much greater – which is service to veterans.
Thank you to all Department, District and Auxiliary Presidents for leading your Auxiliaries in the right direction to achieve our membership goals and for keeping membership at the forefront. It goes without saying that your leadership was instrumental in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary reaching 100% Plus.
Thank you to the National Staff: Jan Owens; Cara Day; George Martin; Janice Criswell; Sandy Scearce; Connie Wahlen, Megan Zinn-Sanchez, Amanda Cook, Brian Sullivan, Ericka Loman, Sheldon Moon and Veronika Dawson. Words cannot express my gratitude to all of you for your support not only given to me, but to the overall membership of our organization. Each of you were there all along the way motivating everyone and providing encouragement and guidance. You have amazed me (and I am sure the overall nation) on your genuine commitment to the organization and especially to veterans and their families. I thank you so much for believing in me and providing me with the tools needed to have a successful year, whether it be media outreach, member incentives, membership stats, reminders of deadlines, etc. I am truly blessed to have each or you in my life.
Thank you to Brian Sullivan, National Membership Development Coordinator. You have been my “morning coffee”; almost every day for the past year we have spoken about membership. You have given me more than you will ever know. Your support and suggestions truly have been so inspiring and I will forever be grateful. I am honored to call you my friend.
Thank you to all of the National Line Officers for promoting the membership program, for recruiting members and sharing the importance of membership throughout your travels. You have truly been an inspiration to our overall membership.
Thank you to National President Francisca Guilford for having confidence in me and appointing me as National Membership Ambassador. It truly has been a pleasure working for you. Your gentle and kind spirit made my job easy. Thank you for going around the county and promoting not only membership, but all the wonderful programs of our organization. You have represented the organization in a first class manner. Job Well Done!
To the entire membership of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary: Saying “thank-you” does not even come close to how grateful and appreciative I am for your work on the Membership Program this year. I am so humbled by your service to others and your compassion for our organization and in particular, for our veterans. You have inspired me to not only want to do more in my own Auxiliary and the overall organization, but to be a better person.
I know there were many times that you might have wanted to quit but you didn’t. Your dedication, determination, and overall love for our veterans and the organization has been so inspiring. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have gotten to know many of you and to work with all of you. I know in my heart that we will ALL be right back recruiting next year so we can keep our organization growing. After all, it is our commitment to veterans that is the strength of our organization.
I look forward to seeing each of you as you cross the finish line in North Carolina. Many Department Presidents will be presented a Membership Medallion in front of their peers. Each member of this organization will be remembered as part of the team that set the direction for the future of where our organization is headed. However, the greatest award you will receive is the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference in the lives of veterans and their families.
Thank you all so much!