2013-2014 Board of Trustees

President Al Cantu, Texas
District 10 (AR, NM, OK, TX)

Vice President Jim Mueller, Missouri
District 6 (KY, LA, MO, MS, TN)

Dave Ouellette, New Hampshire
District 1 (ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI)

Warren George, New York
District 2 (Europe, NJ, NY)

Larry Wade, Pennsylvania
District 3 (DE, DC, PA)

Yvonne Crawford, West Virginia
District 4 (MD, OH, WV)

Jack McDermott, Florida
District 5 (AL, FL, GA, Latin America/Carib., NC, SC, VA)

Merridy Lewis, Michigan
District 7 (IA, MI, WI)

Dave Havely, Indiana
District 8 (IL, IN)

Tom Tweet, Minnesota
District 9 (MN, NE, ND, SD)

Barbara Stodgell, Kansas
District 11 (AK, AZ, CO, KS, MT, Pacific Areas, UT, WY)

Virginia Carman, Washington
District 12 (CA, HI, ID, OR, NV, WA)

Ex-Officio Trustees

VFW Commander-in-Chief John Stroud 
Ladies Auxiliary National President Ann Panteleakos
VFW Adjutant General John Hamilton
VFW Quartermaster General Robert "Bob" Greene
Ladies Auxiliary National Secretary/Treasurer Jan Owens

2013-2014 Board of Trustees Candidates

Deadline for Ballot: 10 a.m. September 24
Election final: September 26
Term: 2014 - 2020

Note - Michael McGrath is running unopposed for District 8 Trustee, so ballots will not be issued.

District 5 - Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Latin America/Caribbean

Kenneth Thie, Florida
VFW National Home for Children Life Member:  #1004227  Effective: 8/9/2001
Endorsed by VFW Department of Florida
Good Standing – VFW National Membership
     Kenneth served 22 years in the US Navy and is an active member of the VFW since 1973.
Decorations include: Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (twice), Combat
Action Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Enlisted Surface Warfare Insignia, Good Conduct Medal (five times), Marksmanship Ribbon, Distinguished
Instructor Award, National Defense Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, and several letters of commendations/unit awards.
During the 21 years as a State Service Officer, Kenneth represented veterans and their families for the VA & State benefits allowed.  In 2001, he was promoted to the Director of the Florida Department VFW Service Offices.  Upon retirement in 2013, he received the “Outstanding Achievement Award” from Florida CVSO Association and “Service Officer of the Year Award” from the State CVSO Association in 1992, 1999, and 2001.  He served many National, State, District, and Post positions to include; National Veterans Service Vice Chairman, National Aide de Camp, National Legislative Committee, State Chief of Staff, State Legislative Committee, State Hospital committee, District/Post Chairs, District/Post Commander, VFW Post Chaplain, MOC Grand Surgeon, MOC District Commander, and Pup Tent Seam Squirrel.
Kenneth is married to his wife, Debbie, of 39 years and has two children,
Rebecca & Kenneth Jr., and one grandchild, Raymond. Michael “Bruce” Edwards, North Carolina
VFW National Home for Children Life Member:  #2046015   Effective: 12/9/2002
Endorsed by VFW Department of North Carolina
Good Standing – VFW National Membership
     Bruce Edwards spent 21 years in the Army, where he obtained his eligibility for the VFW
during the invasion of Grenada (Operation Urgent Fury) in 1983.  Bruce has been a member of the VFW since 1993 and a life member of the National Home since 2002.
His VFW positions over the years include Post Commander, Post Adjutant/Quartermaster,
District Commander, District Adjutant/Quartermaster, State Adjutant/Quartermaster for the
Department of North Carolina, National Chairman of the National Military Services Committee, National Vice-Chairman of the National Buddy Poppy Committee, and Member of the Commander-on-Chief’s Special Committee on the Future of the National Home.
Bruce is also a member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, American Airborne
Association, and the U.S. Army Ranger Association.  Bruce has earned his Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of Florida
and his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Long Island University.
Jeffery Friar, North Carolina
VFW National Home for Children Life Member:  #2134386   Effective: 9/30/2009
Endorsed by VFW Department of North Carolina
Good Standing – VFW National Membership 
     Jeff Friar retired from the U.S. Navy in 2000 as a Commander in the Civil Engineer
Corps, where he maintained many bases and thousands of family housing units
during his Navy career. 
Jeff also possesses superior facilities knowledge and understanding of the industry.
Jeff’s formal education includes a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Clemson University,
and an MBA, Naval Postgraduate School. Jeff is a licensed Professional Engineer in Maryland, Virginia,
and in North and South Carolina.
Jeff worked for Central Piedmont Community College as their Executive Director of Facilities Management. In 2011 he joined Charlotte-Douglas International Airport as Design Manager for construction.
Jeff is a life member of the VFW and the National Home.  Jeff has served as Post and District
Commanders and held committee chairs at the Department level.  Jeff will tell you his role as National
Home Chairman for North Carolina is his favorite. 
While representing the National Home at a ceremony, Jeff’s efforts resulted in a large regional donation.
Proud to serve the rich history of the National Home and the lasting impression it continues to make on
our service families would be a privilege.
Darlene Mays-Tittman, Virginia
VFW National Home for Children Life Member:  #2073816   Effective:  6/19/1973
Endorsed by Department of Virginia Ladies Auxiliary 
Good Standing – VFW National Membership
     Darlene Mays-Tittman has been a Life Member of the National Home for over 40 years. Darlene’s first
personal contact with the National Home was in 1960.  Her father, the Department Youth Chairman,
took the State Marble Champion to a Tournament in Eaton Rapids. Darlene’s parents took three small
children from Virginia to the Home in 1960, and met the Virginia Cottage housemother. In 1963, they took two more children to live at the National Home.  Darlene became good friends with the housemother of Virginia Cottage. In 1968 the VFW National
Convention was in Detroit, and Darlene visited the National Home. She is a strong supporter and advocate
for the National Home. Darlene is a 58-year Life Member of the Ladies Auxiliary to VFW Post 176 in Virginia.
She currently serves as President of her Auxiliary. Darlene is a Past District President, Past Department President (1970-71) and Past Southern Conference President (1992-93).
Darlene is a 40-year MOCA member serving as Grand President (1995-96) and has served as Grand
Secretary for numerous terms. Darlene is currently serving her thirteenth year as Department VAVS
Representative to Hampton VAMC.

About the Board of Trustees   

     Comprised of 12 elected and 5 ex-officio members, the VFW National Home for Children Board of Trustees serves as the governing body of the corporation. Individuals who serve as trustees are Life Members of the National Home and work together to oversee the management and operation of the Home.

     Elected trustees represent one of 12 National Home Districts, and are selected by the National Home Life Members in that District's VFW Departments for 6-year terms on the Board. Five ex-officio members of the Board include the VFW Commander-in-Chief, Adjutant General, Quartermaster General, Ladies Auxiliary National President and the National Secretary Treasurer. All 17 trustees attend periodic board meetings either at or near the National Home campus and are commissioned to set policy for the National Home and recommend necessary Bylaw changes.

     Trustees are expected to be the liaison within the Departments they represent by attending various Department functions, set example for annual giving, encouraging contributions to the National Home, actively promote the National Home and its mission to the members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Ladies Auxiliary and to encourage members of the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary to become Life Members of the National Home.

     The Board of Trustees annually elects a President and Vice President of the Board who lead the National Home and the Board through the year October through September.

     The National Home Board of Trustees Committees serve to contribute to the efficient operation of the Board of Trustees and to assist the Board with its overall responsibilities, governance and fund raising. The Committees function to develop and recommend agency policy, select and evaluate the Executive Director, provide financial oversight, develop resources, conduct strategic planning and to promote positive community-agency relationships. Through their appointment to committees, Trustees maintain familiarity with the opportunities and challenges presented to the National Home and act upon them accordingly.