AMVETS National Convention

Annual Family Gathering
The National Convention is where AMVETS leaders and members will be given a chance to shape the future of our great organization. From electing new leaders to voting on resolutions that set the foundation of AMVETS, the National Convention sets the stage for the coming year.

Speakers

Sponsors

Schedule

  • 04 August
  • 05 August
  • 06 August
  • 07 August
  • 08 August
  • 09 August
  • 10 August
  • 11 August

Marion Polk

National Commander
AMVETS
National Commander Marion,

08 August

10 August

Marvell Ruppel

National President
AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary

07 August

10 August

Harold Collins

National Commander
Sons of AMVETS

10 August

Dr. Carolyn Clancy

Executive in Charge
Veterans Health Administration
Dr. Clancy serves as the Executive in Charge, Veterans Health Administration (VHA), with the authority to perform the functions and duties of the Under Secretary for Health.

She was previously the Interim Under Secretary for Health from 2014-2015. She is a highly experienced and nationally recognized physician executive.

As the Executive in Charge, Dr. Clancy directs a health care system with an annual budget of approximately $68 billion, overseeing the delivery of care to more than 9 million enrolled Veterans. VHA is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,240 sites of care, including 170 VA Medical Centers and 743 VHA outpatient clinics to over 9 million Veterans enrolled in the VA health care program. VHA is the nation's largest provider of graduate medical education and a major contributor to medical and scientific research. More than 73,000 active volunteers, 127,000 health professions trainees, and more than 306,000 full time health care professionals and support staff are an integral part of the VHA community.

Prior to her current position, she served as the Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Organizational Excellence overseeing VHA’s performance, quality, safety, risk management, systems engineering, auditing, oversight, ethics and accreditation programs, as well as ten years as the Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In 2015, Dr. Clancy was selected as the Outstanding Federal Executive of the Year by Disabled American Veterans.

Dr. Clancy, a general internist and health services researcher, is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She holds an academic appointment at George Washington University School of Medicine and serves as Senior Associate Editor, Health Services Research. Dr. Clancy has contributed to eight academic text books and authored, co-authored and provided invited commentary in more than 225 scholarly journal articles. She served as member of the National Quality Forum, Board of Directors, as the Chair of the AQA Alliance and served on the Board of Governors, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Clancy was most recently presented with the 2014 Quality Champion Award, National Committee for Quality Assurance and was also named as Honorary Fellow, American Academy of Nursing.

Joe Chenelly

National Executive Director
AMVETS
Joseph R. Chenelly was appointed national executive director of the nation’s fourth largest veterans service organization in May 2016. In this capacity, he administers the policies of AMVETS, supervises its national headquarters operations and provides direction, as needed, to state and local components. Joe previously served as AMVETS’ national communications director.
Joe Chenelly is the first veteran of combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq to lead one of the nation’s four largest veterans service organizations’ staffs.
A native of Rochester, N.Y., Joe enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in March 1998, serving with the 1st Marine Division, and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in April 2006. He is a combat veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, having served in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Kuwait, East Timor and the Horn of Africa.
Joe became a veterans advocate, a journalist, and a political adviser after his time in uniform. He covered military and veterans matters on staff with Leatherneck magazine, the Military Times newspapers, USA TODAY and Gannet News, reporting on operations in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, Africa, as well as disaster relief in the United States.
Joe was named one of the 100 “most influential journalists covering armed violence” by Action on Armed Violence in 2013. He was the first U.S. Marine combat correspondent to step into enemy territory after September 11, 2001, as a military reporter in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He also reported from the front-lines with American and allied forces in Kuwait and Iraq as that war began. He was on the ground for the start of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Joe served as AMVETS’ national communications director in 2005, and for the past eight years as assistant national director for communications for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) in Washington, D.C. leading grassroots efforts through social networking and new media.
He has also served as president of Social Communications, LLC, and as a public affairs officer director for the Department of Navy. Joe is an alumni of Syracuse University and Central Texas College. He resides in Fairport, N.Y., with his wife Dawn, a service-connected disabled Air Force veteran, and their five children.

Sherman Gillums Jr.

Chief Strategy Officer
AMVETS
Sherman Gillums Jr., a retired U.S. Marine, was named earlier this year chief strategy officer of American Veterans (AMVETS)

Gillums began his military career in the U.S. Marine Corps when he enlisted at the age of 17 and quickly ascended into leadership, retiring as a chief warrant officer. During his military career, Gillums earned two Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Drill Instructor Ribbon, and Global War on Terror Service Medal. He was recognized as “Battalion
Drill Instructor of the Year” and meritoriously promoted to the rank of staff sergeant in 1999, followed by appointment to the rank of warrant officer a year later.

Four months after the September 11, 2001, attacks, as he prepared to deploy to Afghanistan with the 1st Marine Division, he was involved in a vehicle collision at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and became severely disabled at age 29. Gillums received an honorable discharge from military service and went on to pursue a new career in advocacy for veterans and their families.

He began his career in veteran advocacy as a national service officer in San Diego, where he developed Department of Veterans Affairs benefits claims and clinical appeals for veterans and families in the area. Gillums continued his work in the VA benefits claims arena as an appellate representative at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in Washington, DC. He was promoted to associate executive director of
Paralyzed Veterans of America’s veterans benefits department in 2011 and subsequently served as the organization’s executive director for two years.

Gillums holds a master’s degree from the University of San Diego School of Business Administration and completed his executive education at Harvard Business School.

Lana McKenzie

Chief Medical Executive
AMVETS
In a move that signaled the organization’s effort to take the lead in veteran healthcare advocacy, American Veterans (AMVETS) announced earlier this year the hiring of Lana N. McKenzie as Chief Medical Executive. In her role, she focuses on shaping and improving upon VA policies related to mental health, traumatic brain injury, and polytrauma care for veterans.

Before joining AMVETS as Chief Medical Executive, she worked as the Associate Executive Director of Medical Services & Health Policy for Paralyzed Veterans of America, where she championed the construction of seven VA specialized care centers and led a team of clinicians and architects on hundreds of site visits, resulting in vast improvements in access to and quality of care for catastrophically disabled veterans, as well as policy revisions that helped standardize how these veterans received care.

Mrs. McKenzie also served as chairperson for seven consecutive years for the world’s largest continuing education conference for neuromedicine healthcare professionals, bringing together nearly 900 leading clinicians and researchers in specialized healthcare. She also successfully championed the addition of 1,000 nurses to specialized VA healthcare through the development of a new nurse staffing methodology that changed the way VA delivered care for the country’s most vulnerable veteran population.

“After leaving war-torn Vietnam with my family once Saigon fell, I was determined at a young age to do my part to heal those heroes in uniform who’d aided in our family’s journey to the land of opportunity. That journey has taken me from the bedside to the boardroom as an advocate for veterans who have no voice. I’m proud to be affiliated with an organization whose name says it all, American Veterans, that shares my values on our obligation to those veterans.”

Mrs. McKenzie received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Loma Linda University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Southern California. In January 2016, she earned a second Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration from Walden University. AMVETS is the nation’s largest and oldest Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization that is open to and fights for all veterans who served honorably, including reservists & guardsmen. AMVETS has been a nonpartisan advocate for veterans and their families for more than 70 years.

Christine Kirkley

Chief Development Officer
AMVETS
An accomplished and knowledgeable Executive with over fifteen years of experience in non-profit development, business development, marketing and fundraising. Proven track record in managing staff, developing new business, meeting revenue and fundraising goals. Skilled in developing donor retention programs and growing new and existing corporate relationships.

Duayne Driscoll

Deputy National Service Director
AMVETS

Amy Webb

National Legislative Policy Adviser
AMVETS

09 August

10 August

10 August

Harry Neal

National Membership Director
AMVETS
Join today as a Member-At-Large: www.AMVETS.org

09 August

09 August

Karla Lathroum

National Programs Director
AMVETS

09 August

09 August

John Hoellwarth

National Communications Director
AMVETS

09 August

Fertie Brand

Executive Director
AMVETS Dept of Florirda
Fertie Brand is the 2018 AMVETS Convention Chairperson. Brand was born in Easley, SC, and is the seventh of 10 children. She is also the mother of two sons and five wonderful grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Brand moved to Florida in 1972 and began her career in Financial Management at the University of South Florida, retiring after 33 years of service as the Assistant Director of Research Compliance.

Fertie joined the United States Army Reserves in 1974, retiring after 21 years as a Master Sergeant.

She joined the AMVETS in 1990. Through her dedication and hard work she worked her way through the chairs and was elected and served as Department Commander from 2002 – 2004. She was the first Black female to ever hold this office in the State of Florida. Fertie was elected National Finance Officer and served from 2008 – 2010. She currently serves as the Department of Florida’s Executive Director.

USAA

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Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is a leading health care company that offers a wide range of insurance products and health and wellness services that incorporate an integrated approach to lifelong well-being. By leveraging the strengths of its core businesses, Humana believes it can better explore opportunities for existing and emerging adjacencies in health care that can further enhance wellness opportunities for the millions of people across the nation with whom the company has relationships.

Bass Pro Shops

Sad Sacks/Sackettes

Sad Sacks Executive Scrimmage

09:00 AM 12:00 PM Boca V-VIII

Sad Sacks Executive Scrimmage
Sad Sacks/Sackettes

Sad Sacks Scrimmage

01:30 PM 04:01 PM Boca V-VIII

Sad Sacks/Sackettes

Sad Sacks–Hosted Hospitality Suite

06:01 PM 11:03 PM Villa Tower IV

Ladies Auxiliary HQ Office

08:00 AM 04:30 PM

Sad Sacks/Sackettes

Sad Sacks /Sackettes Joint Memorial Service

09:00 AM 12:00 PM Boca V-VIII

Sad Sacks/Sackettes

Sad Sacks /Sackettes Joint Opening

10:01 AM 10:31 AM Boca V-VIII

Sad Sacks/Sackettes

Sackettes Registration/Fracas

10:31 AM 03:01 PM Boca V-VIII

Sad Sacks/Sackettes

Sad Sacks Executive Scrimmage

10:31 AM 12:01 PM Boca V-VIII

Sad Sacks/Sackettes

Sad Sacks Nominations/Elections

10:31 AM 12:01 PM Boca V-VIII

Sad Sacks/Sackettes

Scrimmage (if necessary)

01:31 PM 03:01 PM Boca V-VIII

Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary Finance Committee

06:00 PM 08:00 PM Boca 1

Sad Sacks/Sackettes

Sad Sacks–Hosted Hospitality Suite

06:01 PM 11:01 PM Villa Tower IV

Pre–Con Meeting

09:00 AM 10:00 AM Bonaire 1

Convention Chairs & Staff Only, please
Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary National Officers Meeting

09:00 AM 11:00 AM Boca 1

Offices setup

10:00 AM 04:00 PM Antigua 1, Boca I, Boca V

AMVETS
Ladies Auxiliary
Sons of AMVETS

Bag Stuffing

11:00 AM 12:00 PM Caribbean Ballroom III

Help us stuff registration bags and enjoy free pizza after!
Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary Honors and Awards

01:30 PM 04:00 PM Boca 2

Ladies Auxiliary

History and Scrapbooking

01:30 PM 04:00 PM Boca 3

Sad Sacks–Hosted Hospitality Suite

06:01 PM 11:01 PM Villa Tower IV

Yoga

06:30 AM 07:30 AM Boca Patio

AMVETS

AMVETS HQ Office

08:00 AM 04:30 PM Antigua 1

AMVETS

National Service Foundation Meeting

08:00 AM 09:30 AM Bonaire 3 & 4

The AMVETS National Service Foundation holds final meeting of fisclay year 2018 to approve its 2019 budget.
AMVETS

Convention Registration

08:30 AM 12:00 PM Grand Sierra Foyer

Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary Registration

08:30 AM 12:00 PM Careibbean Reg West

Quartermaster

09:00 AM 05:00 PM Caribbean Ballroom I & II

Expo

09:00 AM 05:00 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom A-D

Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary Scholarship Judging

09:00 AM 09:45 AM Regents Boardroom

Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary Membership Service Committee

09:00 AM 09:45 AM Boca 1

Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary Americanism Committee

09:00 AM 09:45 AM Boca 2

Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary Pages/Uniform Committee

09:00 AM 09:45 AM Boca 3

AMVETS

AMVETS Charities Board Meeting

09:30 AM 10:30 AM Bonaire 3 & 4

AMVETS Career Fair (Open to Public)

10:00 AM 04:00 PM Caribbean Ballroom III-IV

Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary Hospital/VAVS Committee

10:00 AM 10:45 AM Boca 1

Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary Community Service Committee

10:00 AM 10:45 AM Boca 2

Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary Child Welfare Committee

10:00 AM 10:45 AM Boca 3

AMVETS

National Finance Committee Meeting

10:45 AM 12:00 PM Bonaire 3 & 4

Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary Constitution & By-Laws Committee

12:30 PM 01:30 PM Boca 3

AMVETS
Juniors
Ladies Auxiliary
Riders
Sons of AMVETS

Joint First Timers Orientation

01:00 PM 01:45 PM Bonaire 5

AMVETS
Juniors
Ladies Auxiliary
Riders
Sons of AMVETS

NFC – Convention Bids

01:00 PM 02:30 PM Bonaire 3 & 4

AMVETS

Convention Registration

01:30 PM 04:00 PM Grand Sierra Foyer

Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary Registration

01:30 PM 04:00 PM Careibbean Reg West

POW & MIA Committee

02:00 PM 02:45 PM Curacao 1

Traditions Committee

02:00 PM 02:45 PM Curacao 2

VAVS & Medical Committee

02:00 PM 02:45 PM Curacao 3

Community Services

02:00 PM 02:45 PM Curacao 4

Ladies Auxiliary

Training: “Paint the Palette”

02:30 PM 03:30 PM Careibbean 6 and 7

Uniform Committee

03:00 PM 04:00 PM Curacao 1

Diversity Committee

03:00 PM 04:00 PM Curacao 2

Suicide Prevention Committee

03:00 PM 04:00 PM Curacao 3

Civil Service Committee

03:00 PM 04:00 PM Curacao 4

AMVETS

Grievance Committee (Closed)

03:00 PM 04:30 PM Regents Boardroom

Closed session
Ladies Auxiliary

Auxiliary Council of NEC

04:00 PM 06:00 PM Careibbean 6 and 7

Speakers

AMVETS
Juniors
Ladies Auxiliary
Riders
Sons of AMVETS

Veterans Townhall with HEAL Team

06:30 PM 08:30 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom E-I

Yoga

06:30 AM 07:30 AM Boca Patio

AMVETS

NEC Registration

07:30 AM 08:30 AM Outside Bonaire 1

AMVETS

Convention Registration

08:00 AM 11:30 AM Grand Sierra Foyer

AMVETS

AMVETS HQ Office

08:00 AM 04:30 PM Antigua 1

AMVETS

NEC Meeting

08:30 AM 10:00 AM Bonaire 1 & 2

AMVETS National Executive Committee meets in its annual pre-convention meeting.

Speakers

AMVETS
Juniors
Ladies Auxiliary
Riders
Sons of AMVETS

Expo

09:00 AM 05:00 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom A-D

Quartermaster

09:00 AM 05:00 PM Caribbean Ballroom I & II

Women Veterans Committee

10:30 AM 11:30 AM Curacao 1

Americanism Committee

10:30 AM 11:00 AM Curacao 2

Honor Guard Committee

10:30 AM 11:00 AM Curacao 3

Armed Services Committee

10:30 AM 11:00 AM Curacao 4

Personnel Committee

11:15 AM 11:45 AM Curacao 8

Resolution Committee

11:45 AM 12:00 PM Curacao 7

AMVETS

Convention Registration

12:00 PM 05:00 PM Grand Sierra Foyer

AMVETS
Juniors
Ladies Auxiliary
Riders
Sons of AMVETS

Joint Opening Ceremony

01:00 PM 03:00 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom E-I

AMVETS
Juniors
Ladies Auxiliary
Riders
Sons of AMVETS

Joint Memorial Ceremony

03:00 PM 03:45 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom E-I

AMVETS

First AMVETS Business Session

04:00 PM 05:00 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom E-I

Florida Fun Night

05:00 PM 11:00 PM Caribbean Ballroom III-V

Yoga

06:30 AM 07:30 AM Boca Patio

AMVETS

AMVETS HQ Office

08:00 AM 04:30 PM Antigua 1

1st Vice Cmdrs

1st Vice/Recruiting Training

08:00 AM 08:50 AM Curacao 1

Speakers

2nd Vice / Programs

2nd Vice/Programs Training

08:00 AM 08:50 AM Curacao 2

Speakers

3rd Vice /Legislative

3rd Vice/Legislative Training

08:00 AM 08:50 AM Curacao 3

Finance Officer

Finance Officer/Bookkeeping Training

08:00 AM 08:50 AM Curacao 4

Service Officers

Service Officer Seminar

08:00 AM 08:50 AM Curacao 5

Public Relations Officer

Public Relations Officer/Media Training

08:00 AM 08:50 AM Curacao 6

AMVETS

AMVETS Convention Registration

08:30 AM 11:30 AM Grand Sierra Foyer

Register in advance online to save time in line. http://bit.ly/2JuwvlA
AMVETS

Convention Registration

08:30 AM 11:30 AM Grand Sierra Foyer

AMVETS
Juniors
Ladies Auxiliary
Riders
Sons of AMVETS

Expo

09:00 AM 05:00 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom A-D

Quartermaster

09:00 AM 05:00 PM Caribbean Ballroom I & II

1st Vice Cmdrs

1st Vice/Database Training

09:00 AM 10:00 AM Curacao 1

2nd Vice / Programs

2nd Vice/Reporting Training

09:00 AM 10:00 AM Curacao 2

3rd Vice /Legislative

3rd Vice/Resolution Writing Training

09:00 AM 10:00 AM Curacao 3

Finance Officer

Finance Officer/IRS 990 Training

09:00 AM 10:00 AM Curacao 4

Service Officers

Service Officer Workshop

09:00 AM 10:00 AM Curacao 5

Public Relations Officer

Public Relations Officer/Social Media

09:00 AM 10:00 AM Curacao 6

AMVETS

2nd AMVETS Business Session

10:30 AM 12:00 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom E-I

  • Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Executive in Charge, Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
  • HEAL Program Strategic Plan Presentation
AMVETS

2nd AMVETS Business Session (cont)

01:00 PM 02:00 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom E-I

1:15 pm - First Nominations for National Officers
AMVETS

Convention Registration

01:00 PM 04:00 PM Grand Sierra Foyer

1st Vice Cmdrs

Membership Roundtable

02:30 PM 03:30 PM Curacao 1

Speakers

2nd Vice / Programs

Programs Roundtable

02:30 PM 03:30 PM Curacao 2

Speakers

3rd Vice /Legislative

Legislative Roundtable

02:30 PM 03:30 PM Curacao 3

Speakers

Finance Officer

Finance Roundtable

02:30 PM 03:30 PM Curacao 4

Public Relations Officer

Communications Roundtable

02:30 PM 03:30 PM Curacao 5

Speakers

3rd Vice /Legislative

Bylaws Committee

03:45 PM 04:45 PM Curacao 7

2nd Vice / Programs

Poster Judging

03:45 PM 04:45 PM Curacao 2

AMVETS
Juniors
Ladies Auxiliary
Riders
Sons of AMVETS

“No Greater Love” film screening

07:00 PM 10:00 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom E-I

Yoga

06:30 AM 07:30 AM Boca Patio

AMVETS

AMVETS HQ Office

08:00 AM 04:30 PM Antigua 1

AMVETS
Juniors
Ladies Auxiliary
Riders
Sons of AMVETS

Expo

08:00 AM 01:00 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom A-D

Quartermaster

08:00 AM 01:00 PM Caribbean Ballroom I & II

AMVETS

Convention Registration

08:00 AM 11:30 AM Grand Sierra Foyer

AMVETS

3rd AMVETS Business Session

08:30 AM 12:00 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom E-I

CBL & Resolution Review

Speakers

Council of Past National Commanders/Awards

10:00 AM 11:00 AM Regents Boardroom

AMVETS

3rd AMVETS Business Session (Continued)

01:00 PM 02:00 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom E-I

Continued from the morning session only if necessary.

Speakers

District I Meeting

02:30 PM 03:30 PM Curacao 1

District II Meeting

02:30 PM 03:30 PM Curacao 2

District III Meeting

02:30 PM 03:30 PM Curacao 3

District IV Meeting

02:30 PM 03:30 PM Curacao 4

District V Meeting

02:30 PM 03:30 PM Curacao 5

District VI Meeting

02:30 PM 03:30 PM Curacao 6

Credentials Committee

03:30 PM 03:45 PM Bonaire 5

2nd Vice / Programs

Career Center Team Meeting

03:45 PM 04:15 PM Curacao 7

Convention Rules

03:45 PM 04:00 PM Bonaire 6

Banquet Registration

05:30 PM 07:00 PM Grand Sierra Foyer

General Reception

06:00 PM 07:00 PM Grand Sierra Foyer

AMVETS
Juniors
Ladies Auxiliary
Riders
Sons of AMVETS

Commander/President Banquet

07:00 PM 09:30 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom A-D

Purchase your banquet tickets online now at http://bit.ly/2JxOiIB.

Speakers

Yoga

06:30 AM 07:30 AM Boca Patio

Baggage Storage

07:00 AM 04:00 PM Antigua 2

AMVETS

AMVETS HQ Office

08:00 AM 10:00 AM Antigua 1

AMVETS

Convention Registration

08:00 AM 10:00 AM Grand Sierra Foyer

AMVETS

4th AMVETS Business Session

08:30 AM 11:30 AM Grand Sierra Ballroom E-I

10 am election of officers
AMVETS

NEC Registration

11:30 AM 12:30 PM Outside Bonaire 1

AMVETS

Post NEC Committee Meeting

12:30 PM 01:30 PM Bonaire 1 & 2

AMVETS
Juniors
Ladies Auxiliary
Riders
Sons of AMVETS

Joint Officers Installation Ceremony

02:00 PM 03:00 PM Grand Sierra Ballroom E-I

AMVETS

National Service Foundation Post Meeting

03:30 PM 04:30 PM Bonaire 1 & 2

Commander’s Hospitality Suite

03:30 PM 11:00 PM Villa Tower IV