Kathy Dungan Department of Mississippi: Drane-Prine Unit 79Eligibility: Through father Wittie Card, a WWII veteran. Offices Held: Served most offices and chairmanships at the unit, district, and department levels. National: Currently serving as national vice president. Served as national chairman: Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, Children & Youth (also served as Southern Division), Leadership, Constitution & Bylaws, Education, ALA Girls State (also served as Southern Division), Legislative, Auxiliary Emergency Fund (also served as Southern Division), Junior Activities, Poppy (also served as vice chairman), NEC and alternate NEC; served as ALA Centennial Strategic Plan strategy co-captain, Long Range Strategic Planning Committee, vice chairman of Future Focus Committee, and member of American Legion Auxiliary 100th Anniversary Committee.Professional/personal background: Is a 42-year member of the Auxiliary. She and her husband, William, have one son, Christopher; two grandchildren, Lauren, 7, and Lawson, 3 -- all members of The American Legion Family. Their daughter-in-law is Megan. Retired from the Mississippi Supreme Court after serving 22 years. She was a judicial assistant to a Supreme Court Justice. Attended Delta State University and is active in her church and continues to be active in her department and local Auxiliary unit.
Nicole ClappDepartment of Iowa: Ehrig-McTurk Unit 127Eligibility: Through grandfather, Roger Schroeder, a seaman in the Navy during WWII. Offices Held: Served in several unit, district, and department level positions. National: served as Honorary National Junior President 1987-1988, national Finance chairman five of seven years on the committee, Children & Youth chairman, Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation chairman, Human Resources Committee member, Finance Committee liaison to Audit Committee, Finance committee liaison to the ALA Foundation, Future Focus Committee member, and ALA Centennial Strategic Plan Committee member.Professional/personal background: Raised by her parents, Darrell and Jeanne Paustian, on a farm. Graduated with a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in nursing administration from the University of Iowa in 1993 and 1996, respectively. Is board certified in healthcare management and a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Volunteers with the Lions Club, PEO, Peace UCC, and the ALA. Nicole truly loves cheering on her alma mater, the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Members elect five national division vice presidents, one from each ALA division.
Teresa IsenseeDepartment of Wisconsin: Walter Nelson Unit 326Eligibility: Through husband, Steve Isensee, a Vietnam veteran. Professional/personal background: Married to Steve for 27 years and together, have three daughters; one son; and 10 grandchildren -- all are members of The American Legion Family. Has worked as an IT project manager/programmer analyst at National Presto Industries for 27 years and has an associate’s degree in accounting and programming. Other activities: served as economic development chairman, Village of Boyd trustee, Boyd Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Lions Club.
Rita BarylskiDepartment of Connecticut: Mayotte-Viens Unit 13Eligibility: Through husband Andrew Barylski, Jr., Vietnam veteran; father, Owen Peppin, WWII Army veteran.Professional/personal background: Retired from banking career in 1994 after 30 years. She is a Putnam Catholic Academy graduate 1964, Dudley Hall Business Career Institute 1965, and American institute of Banking 1967. Member of St. Mary’s Church of the Visitation. In addition to husband and father, son Dennis is a 20-year Army veteran, son Michael is an 8-year Marine veteran, and father-in-law was a Pearl Harbor survivor. She has one grandson and one great-granddaughter.
Ruth MorganDepartment of Connecticut: Hughson-Miller Unit 71Eligibility: Through husband Wayne Morgan, U.S. Navy Vietnam era.Professional/personal background: Has been an ALA member for over 28 years. Married to husband, Wayne, for 41 years and have two sons and two grandchildren. Has an associate’s degree in nutrition and has been a diet technician for 28 years and recently retired in 2017, but is still active in her unit. Over the years, has helped at nursery school, been a soccer/basketball mom and very active in Scouts as a den mom and anything else needed. Volunteer at a local Veterans Affairs hospital for 19 years.
Laura SantinoDepartment of Connecticut: Seicheprey Unit 2Eligibility: Through father Richard Wm. Anderson; grandfathers Alexander Konopka and John Anderson. Professional/personal background: Paralegal and notary public since 1998; moderator and town committee member since 2008; president, Employees Club since 2008; Justice of the Peace since 2012; independent consultant, Thirty-One Gifts since 2013; volunteer and donor, Friends of Fisher House CT since 2014; volunteer and donor, Ronald McDonald House, New Haven, Conn. since 2015; senior counselor American Legion Auxiliary Laurel Girls State 2007. Married to Anthony Santino, Sons of the American Legion Squadron 2 member.
Barb VetterDepartment of South Dakota: Cresbard Unit 213Eligibility: Through father Loren Heidenreich, Army, WWII; husband Wayne (Red) Vetter, Army, Vietnam Era and Desert Storm.Professional/personal background: Retired elementary teacher who taught for 40 years. Attended Concordia College, St. Paul, Minn. and Northern State University, Aberdeen, S.D. Auxiliary member for 35 years. Married to Wayne (Red) Vetter (State Commander 2003-2004) for 45 years. Has three sons/five grandchildren. Sons are members of SAL, daughters-in-law are Auxiliary members, and granddaughters are Junior members. Has a part-time job at local drugstore.
Information coming soon.
Mary Lou Lopez Department of New Mexico: Duran Y Gallegos Unit 69 Eligibility: Through son Gerald (Jerry), a former Marine; other son, David, was in the Coast Guard; stepfather served in the Navy during WWI.
Professional/personal background: Worked in commission sales for all of her working years. At JC Penney, retiring after 23 years and American furniture store for eight more. Has two sons, David and Jerry, one daughter, Rosa Lee, a granddaughter, India Archer, a grandson, and six great-grandchildren. Spends time volunteering at the VA, the New Mexico Veterans Integration Center, a two-year homeless veterans program, and Alameda Elementary School.
Janet Romero Department of New Mexico: Unit 25Eligibility: Through father, Vincent Lovato, Army during Korean War; oldest brother served in the Marines in Vietnam; another brother served in the Army in Panama; another brother was in the Navy. Professional/personal background: Previously worked banking/finance as branch service manager/senior loan officer, has 36 college business credit hours, and currently working in property management and running two properties. Other activities: Serving as ambassador for Chamber of Commerce, served on board of directors with United Way, participated in Clovis Leadership class, was a cadet in Citizens Police Academy, and taught Sunday school. Currently Legion Riders Chapter 2 secretary, longest standing secretary in the state. Chairman for 100th Anniversary Convention 2019. She has been married since 1985 and has two daughters, three grandsons, two granddaughters. Son-in-law is currently in the Army Reserves, served in Iraq.
American Legion Auxiliary chaplains express our founding principle of service to God and country and celebrate diversity among people and faiths. They also provide spiritual and emotional guidance, sending dignity and respect to the occasion.
Gayle Metzinger Department of Missouri: Unit 21Eligibility: Through husband Maj. Donald D. Metzinger (Ret.).Professional/personal background: Served as a restaurant general manager for many years, traveling to restaurants in the central part of the country. Certified employees for Serve Safe, a food and sanitation course. Traveled when new menus rolled out to train employees the proper way to serve and prepare the new items. Has two children. Daughter, Kelsea, is a member of the Auxiliary, and sons are members of the SAL. Son, Kent, is a veteran serving two deployments. His sons are SAL members and his daughter is an Auxiliary member.
Jan BruceDepartment of Tennessee: Unit 159Eligibility: Through husband, Thomas Bruce, Marine Corps, during Vietnam.Professional/personal background: Attended Chattanooga Community College, studying voice and sings at patriotic/memorial services including two at National Convention. Attended six Washington, D.C. Conferences. She and her husband are active members of Sale Creek Church of God, where she serves on the ministry board and as assistant choir director. She also serves as substitute teacher for Hamilton County Department of Education in Chattanooga and volunteers at Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, VA Outpatient Clinic in Chattanooga. She has two children and five grandchildren.
Dr. Deborah Blanch Department of Virginia: Unit 368Eligibility: Through father Wilbur Jones, Army, 25th Infantry Division, Korean and Vietnam wars. Professional/personal background: Is an adjunct professor with Saint Leo University and has been a loyal Auxiliary member since birth. Her father was with the Army 25th Infantry Division, Korean, and Vietnam wars. He is also the lifetime chaplain for Post 368 as well as her mother who was the first page with the Department of Virginia and also a chaplain.
The national historian completes a historical record of the administrative year in which she serves, maintains, and updates the historical records of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Brenda W. CollinsDepartment of South Carolina: Unit 3Eligibility: Through husband, John F. Collins, Vietnam Era. Professional/personal background: Served as president of the Greenville Police Wives Auxiliary 1975-1976. Owned her own business for 19 years before retiring to serve as administrative assistant to the pastor of her church. Is now retired. She and her husband have a music ministry and have traveled to 26 states singing and lifting up the name of Jesus. Has two adult sons and daughters-in-law and four grandchildren (Christopher, Carter, Sophia, and Alexander)
These national officer positions serve one-year terms and are elected at National Convention each year. These officers will serve until adjournment of the following National Convention. In addition to these candidates endorsed by their states’ departments, any member in good standing may be nominated for these national offices from the floor at National Convent
American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters