Diane Duscheck Department of Wisconsin: Abendroth-Connolly Unit 282
Eligibility: Through the World War II service of her father, Roland Duscheck. Offices Held: Served many duties, offices, and chairmanships at unit, district, and department levels. National: NEC, Central Division National Vice President, and chairman of Constitution & Bylaws, Junior Activities, ALA Girls Nation, Legislative, Leadership, National Security, Community Service, Public Relations, Americanism, Education, Children & Youth, and Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation. Currently serving as national vice president, designated director on ALA Foundation Board of Directors, Future Focus vice chairman, and on National Strategic Planning Committee.
Professional/personal background: Retired in 2014 after a 34-year career teaching seventh and eighth grade science in parochial and public schools. Helped with contract negotiations and was her school's union representative for 12 years. Besides her volunteerism with the American Legion Auxiliary, Diane donates her time at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Domes and Easter Seals Society’s camps for physically handicapped children and adults, and manages and maintains investment property.
Kathy DunganDepartment of Mississippi: Drane-Prine Unit 79
Eligibility: Through father Wittie Card, a WWII veteran. Offices Held: Served most offices and chairmanships at unit, district, and department levels. National: NEC and chairman of Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, Children & Youth, Leadership, Constitution & Bylaws, Education, ALA Girls Nation, Legislative, Auxiliary Emergency Fund, Junior Activities, and Poppy. Currently serving on National Strategic Planning Committee and the Centennial Strategic Plan as a strategy captain.
Professional/personal background: Is a 41-year member of the Auxiliary. She and her husband, William, have one son, Christopher; two grandchildren, Lauren, 6, and Lawson, 2 -- 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. Is active in her church and continues to be active in her department and local Auxiliary unit.
Trish WardDepartment of Kansas: Unit 250
Eligibility: Through father John Brusati, Army, WWII; and grandfather Edmund Lindberg, Navy, WWII.
Professional/personal background: Is an 18-year member of John P. Hand Unit 250 in Louisburg, Kan. Currently employed as a field operations manager for CenturyLink, a global IT company. Is a 1983 graduate of the University of Southern California and 2001 graduate of the University of Kansas. Is a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians.
Karyn Porempski Department of New York: Kensington Unit 708
Eligibility: Through husband Joseph Porempski, Army, Vietnam; father Albert E. Kramer, Pearl Harbor Survivor, WWII; and grandfather Albert F. Kramer, WWI.
Professional/personal background: Retired from Federal Reserve Bank and as secretary of the county American Legion office serving 12,000 Legionnaires. Serves on the town Veterans Committee. Her husband is a past department vice commander; serves as county and district finance officer, and department Audit chairman. Her deceased father was a WWII veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor. Deceased mother Lorraine, daughters Tracy and Holly, and granddaughters Rebecca and Jenna are members of the ALA. Grandson Jared is a Sons of The American Legion member.
Peggy MillerDepartment of Wyoming: Unit 42
Eligibility: Through father, husband, brothers, and sons. They served in the U.S. Army and Air Force.
Professional/personal background: Has a business degree and worked for Safeway for 29 years, 10 years as a manager. Is a life member of the ALA and DAV. Served in the ALA in three states: North Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. Has four boys, four daughters-in-law, five granddaughters, three grandsons, one grandson-in-law, and three great-granddaughters. Is retired and spends most of her time with the ALA and volunteering with the VA hospital and outreach clinic and homeless veterans. Drives the DAV van to take veterans to their appointments and shopping. Belongs to the USBC and bowls on four leagues.
Diane SpencerDepartment of Kentucky: Nathan Caulder Unit 132
Eligibility: Through deceased grandfather Harvey Jackson, Army, WWII.
Professional/personal background: Works for the University of Kentucky, 36 years of that time at Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Alzheimer’s Disease Center as a research administrative coordinator/clinical for research on Healthy Brains Longitudinal Research Study. Is the coordinator of recruiting new participants into the study along with doing neuropsychological testing on the participants of the study. Has been a member of Nathan Caulder Unit 132 for 24 years. Is a member of the First Baptist Church in Versailles, Ky., a member of the famous Honorable Kentucky Colonels, Ladies Social Club, and co-chair of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorder Advisory Council of the State of Kentucky. Became a widow in 2016. Has two sons: Ozon and Jermaine; four grandchildren: Ryan, Cheyenne, Tyler Nicole, Briana; and is a great-grandmother to baby girl Kyan.
Nancy MichalskiDepartment of Nevada: Unit 40
Eligibility: Through husband Ronald L. Michalski.
Professional/personal background: Worked for TWA for 25 years. Born in Chicago. Married husband Ronald in 1959; they have three children and six grandchildren. Volunteers at the Boulder City Veterans Home and VAC SE Clinic in Henderson. Works for veterans through ALA and other veteran organizations.
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 MetzingerDepartment of Missouri: Unit 21
Eligibility: Through U.S. Air Force husband Maj. Donald D. Metzinger (Ret.).
Professional/personal background: For many years, served as a restaurant general manager, traveling to restaurants in the central part of the country. Certified employees for Serve Safe, a food and sanitation course. Also traveled when new menus rolled out to train employees on the proper way to serve and prepare the new items. Loved what she did and had a very supportive husband. She and her husband have two children. Their daughter, Kelsea, is a member of the Auxiliary. Kelsea’s sons are members of the SAL. Their son, Kent, is a veteran serving two deployments. Kent’s sons are SAL members, and his daughter is an Auxiliary member.
Cheryl ParkDepartment of Oregon: Milwaukie 180
Eligibility: Through father, Virgil Brown, WWII; and daughter, Becky Crosby, Gulf War.
Professional/personal background: Retired administrative assistant for Kaiser Permanente. Attends Bethel Baptist Church. Belongs to Salon 302 of the 8 & 40. Is a widow with two daughters, four grandsons, four granddaughters, one great-grandson and one great-granddaughter. All female members are Auxiliary members of Milwaukie Unit 180. Enjoys scrapbooking in spare time and teaching classes. Volunteers help with craft classes at two senior care facilities.
Evelyn EspinolaDepartment of Colorado: Unit 209
Eligibility: Through husband Helder Espinola, Army, Vietnam Era.
Professional/personal background: Has worked all her life in customer service. Married to her veteran for 40 years. Has two children and five grandchildren. Has worked in and around her community with veterans and with children for the past 20 years. Holds a position on her church board, which, in turn they support all that she does in the Auxiliary. Has been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary for eight years and loves everything she does and has achieved so far as goals. When she was department chaplain, she had the greatest experience. Being able to pray and comfort someone is one of the best experiences of her life. Served as chaplain for department for three terms before moving up into higher positions.
Karen A. HickmanDepartment of Indiana: Unit 120
Eligibility: Through brother, Cpl. Thomas Steven Hickman, KIA in Vietnam on Aug. 26, 1970.
Professional/personal background: Employed 25 years in long-term care. President of Gold Star Siblings Inc., 2005-ongoing. Coordinator for Martin County Wreaths Across America. Very active with veterans and siblings of fallen heroes. From Karen: “I lost my mother, Norma A. Hickman, six years after my brother was KIA, to suicide. It broke my heart when both of them died. I also work to help families that are dealing with suicide.”
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.
Susan CampbellDepartment of North Carolina: Edward G. Bond Unit 40
Eligibility: Through deceased first husband, Stephen L. Mench, Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon; and through second husband, Richard Campbell, Airman 1st Class, Air Force, Vietnam.
Professional/personal background: Has been a computer operations supervisor, a data services office manager, a laboratory office technician, and currently an assistant director of elections for Chowan County, N.C. Has lifetime memberships in the DAV Auxiliary and the VFW Auxiliary, and is an active member of Cape Colony Church of Christ. Has one son and four stepchildren, four grandchildren and six step-grandchildren, and six step-great grandchildren, with almost all of them in the Legion Family.
When are ALA national officers elected?
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 Convention.
American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters