At every annual American Legion Auxiliary national convention, delegates elect the women who will lead the organization’s national offices of president, vice president, division national vice presidents, chaplain and historian. Here are the candidates vying for 2013-2014 national office:Information presented on this page was provided by candidates.
Nancy Brown-Park, Department of California
George Tadlock Unit 472 Eligibility: Through father Richard D. Brown, a WWII Army Air Corps veteran, and through husband Jim Park, a Navy Vietnam War veteran.
Offices held: 65-year member. Served most offices and chairmanships at unit, district and department levels. National: NEC, national vice president and chairman of Junior Activities, Public Relations, National Security, Constitution & Bylaws, Membership, Children & Youth, Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation.Personal/professional: Husband Jim is a Legion member of Santa Clara Post 419. They own and operate a sales and marketing company. Background in retail includes buying for major department stores and working for a large textile mill. She and Jim have two children who are part of The American Legion Family. Member of the California Girls State Foundation Board and involved in other community affairs.
Janet Jefford, Department of Connecticut
Goodale-Rameker Unit 56 Eligibility: Through father William Lucas, a WWII Army veteran, and through son Jeff, a Desert Storm Army veteran.Offices held: 45-year member. Served most offices and chairmanships at unit, district and department levels. National: NEC and chairman of Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, Children & Youth, National Security, ALA Girls Nation, Education, Public Relations, Americanism, Auxiliary Emergency Fund. Also served on special committees: Ethics, Communications/Marketing, National Presidents’ Scholarship, Long Range Strategic Planning. Personal/professional: Currently employed as a vice president at Goodwin College in East Hartford, Conn., in charge of Strategic Planning and Assessment, Program Development, Compliance, Accreditation, and Institutional Research. Serves as a commissioner on an agency that accredits schools and colleges. Serves as president and chairman of the Board of Connecticut Training Center, a community-based nonprofit training center. Has two children and two grandchildren, Morgan and Lucas. All are members of The American Legion Family.
Donna Ray, Department of Ohio | Central Division
Halker Flege Unit 69 Eligibility: Through husband Robert A. (Bob) Ray, Navy.Offices held: 28-year member. Served most offices and chairmanships at unit level. District and department: president, several offices and chairmanships. National: NEC and Central Division chairman of several committees; currently serving on ALA Girls Nation Committee.Personal/professional: Is a retired office manager of a major paper distribution center. Has worked with the VA hospital in Cincinnati as a VAVS volunteer and is chairman of the Holidays Committee. She and husband Bob have seven children, 17 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren as well as a border collie named Coco.
Margaret (Maggie) Mc Mahon, Department of New Jersey | Eastern Division
Walker-Dwyer Unit 181 Eligibility: Through father Leo Mc Mahon, a WWII and Korean War Army Air Force veteran.Offices held: Served all offices at unit level and several offices at district/county and department levels. National: NEC.Personal/professional: Has worked as an armed nuclear security officer for the past 16 years at the second-largest nuclear plant in the country. Has been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary since birth. Most of her family are members of The American Legion Family. Her great-grandmother was a Gold Star Mother. Both grandmothers, all aunts, a sister, and nieces are members of the Auxiliary. Her father, grandfather and brothers were and are members of The American Legion. Is the first third-generation Past Department President of New Jersey, following in the footsteps of her great-aunt Patricia Vignali (1976-1977) and her mother Patricia Long (1992-1993).
Patricia J. Steranka, Department of Colorado | Northwestern Division
Ovie Vernon Unit 2 Eligibility: Through father William Bert Roberts and brother William Scott Roberts, both Navy—father during WWII and brother during Vietnam.Offices held: Unit and district: chaplain, secretary, treasurer, president. Department: president.Personal/professional: Currently is the treaty compliance officer at an Army installation. Has five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Also is a member of the Elks, although her 17 years in the American Legion Auxiliary have taken up most of her free time. Currently serves as membership chairperson for her unit and believes that membership is important because none of the programs can be done without members.
Angela S. Kilcrease, Department of Mississippi | Southern Division
Walthall County Unit 56 Eligibility: Through husband Jack L. Kilcrease, a retired 32-year Army veteran who served four tours in Vietnam.Offices held: Served most offices and chairmanships at unit level. District: president and vice president. Department: most offices and chairmanships. National: NEC and member of several committees; currently serving as national historian.Personal/professional: Retired public relations officer for College of Arts and Letters at the University of Southern Mississippi. Holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in business administration from same university (1990); post-baccalaureate studies in journalism and public relations. Has held numerous university, civic and arts-related committee appointments during professional career. Member of Tylertown Baptist Church. Co-chairman of town’s Centennial Committee and member of local Historical Society and Arts Council.
Ginger Cox, Department of Arizona | Western Division
Pat Tillman Unit 117 Eligibility: Through husband Larry K. Cox (Vietnam), father Harold L. Brimm (WWII), and son Steven N. Allen (Desert Storm).Offices held: 22-year member. Served most offices and several chairmanships at unit, district and department levels. National: NEC and Western Division chairman of Membership and Public Relations committees.Personal/professional: Took an early retirement from Aetna Insurance Co. with position as training consultant for the western states. Retired again after many years as a project accountant for a commercial building contractor in Phoenix. She and husband Larry have four children and four stepchildren, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Comes from a long line of veterans and now leads a very busy life serving The American Legion Family working for veterans and children.
Lynda Horton-Turk, Department of Texas
Farris Anderson Unit 75 Eligibility: Through late husband Edward “Jack” Horton who served in the Army for 28 years, and through current husband Carroll C. Turk, Army.Offices held: Served most offices and chairmanships at unit, district, and department levels. National: NEC, Southern Division National Vice President, and member of several committees, as well as Southern Division chairman of several committees.Personal/professional: Works part-time for Ken Engle CPA. Had retired from Crabtree, Crabtree & Lynn CPAs after 31 years where she was the office manager and staff accountant. Recently completed two years as president of the Mineral Wells Zonta Club, an international business and professional organization. Also served as vice president and chaplain. Is very active in the 11th Avenue Church where she was responsible for starting a homebound visitation and prayer service for the shut-ins in her community. Has taught Sunday school for pre-teens for many years. Serves on the Board of Directors for Hope Inc., a home for battered women and children. Has served as president, vice president and chaplain for the Palo Pinto Republican Women’s Club and other organizations in her community. Has served on the Texas steering committee for both former President Bush and sitting Gov. Rick Perry. Has one grandson (she lost her only child 12 years ago with complications related to diabetes). Has three stepchildren and four step-grandchildren.
Shelley Riggs, Department of Ohio
Zanesville Unit 29 Eligibility: Through father Bernard C. Harris, Army.Offices held: 32-year PUFL member. Served several offices at unit level. District: president, Children & Youth chairman. Department: most offices and chairmanships. National: NEC and member of several committees, as well as Central Division chairman of several committees.Personal/professional: Married to husband Joe for 35 years. They have one daughter and two grandchildren. All are members of The American Legion Family. Retired from Genesis Healthcare as an X-ray tech after 34 years of service. Member of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church where she served on church council. 20-year charter member of Bethesda Credit Union Board of Directors where she served as president and secretary.
Gayle Janson, Department of Wisconsin
Brask-Fossum-Janke Unit 185 Eligibility: Through father Alton Egge, Navy Seabees, (WWII), husband Bill Janson, Air Force (Korean War), son Matthew Janson, Air Force (Desert Storm), and grandson Philip Goldman, Air Force.Offices held: Served most offices at unit, district and department levels. National: NEC.Personal/professional: Mother of five boys and three girls (two sons have returned to God). Has 17 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Widow. Retired as an accountant from Bremer Bank and as the clerk for her township. Member of I.C. Catholic Church where she has been a communion distributor, reader and lay leader of prayer. Has been a lay teacher and religious coordinator for more than 25 years. Treasurer for the SW Deanery CCW for the Superior Diocese.
Cindy K. Newton, Department of Louisiana
Leander J. Kinchen Unit 47 Eligibility: Through self and father, both Navy.Offices held: Served most offices and chairmanships at unit and district levels. Department: president. National: NEC and member of several committees.Personal/professional: Graduated from Ponchatoula High School in 1972. In 1973, she entered the U.S. Navy and served three years. While in service, she studied to be a secretary, bookkeeper, librarian, attended 16mm movie school, driver for a rear admiral and was a special service worker. On her return home after having her first child, she continued to her studies, doing accounting for three years. Is an honorary member of Unit 47. Married her U.S. Marine buddy Bryon K. Newton on Nov. 30, 1974. Together they have two children, both veterans, and three grandchildren.
Sharon L. Doran, Department of Arizona
David C. Johnson Unit 93 Eligibility: Through brother Ronald Wm. Embly, Air Force (Korean War), brother Jack Berry, Navy (Vietnam), husband Gary E. Doran, Army (Korean War), and daughter Jessica Jaramillo, Army Reserve.
Offices held: Served most offices and chairmanships at unit level. District: most offices and Budget and Constitution & Bylaws committees. Department: member of several committees. National: NEC and Western Division Community Service chairman.Personal/professional: Semi-retired from Mahon’s Comprehensive Tax Accounting where she held the position of head bookkeeper and office manager for 20 years. Works part-time to help through the tax season. Has 10 years of civil service experience in cost accounting and real estate in Anchorage, Alaska. Is active in her community by being the parade chairman for major events and will be assuming a volunteer position with the Army Reserve as family readiness support group liaison and will be attending training in Boston.
Hazel Lockhart-Breeding, Department of Nevada
L.D. Lockhart Unit 14 Eligibility: Through husband Clifford Breeding and the late James Lockhart (both Korean War).Offices held: All offices at unit level; secretary-treasurer for 30 years. District: president, 1st vice president and secretary-treasurer. Department: president (twice), 1st vice president, and historian. National: NEC and Western Division National Vice President.Personal/professional: Attended two years of college; career in bookkeeping and accounting. Member of Eight & Forty, Western Division Le Demi Chapeau Nationale, and Secretaire-Cassiere for 16 years. Has received many awards for Auxiliary programs on each level.