By: Pat Smith, Department Adjutant

The 93th annual department convention is now history. And as they say, “A grand time was had by all.”

The convention delegates elected a new slate of department officers for 2012-2013 as follows:

Commander Jim Gates:

Jim is an Air Force veteran with 24 years of service to The American Legion. Jim belongs to Longmont Post 32 and he resides in Longmont with his lovely wife Judy. He has extensive experience at the department level and has served many years on the national Americanism committees. His theme for the year is “America’s Youth – America’s Future” His project will be to raise funds for the Colorado Youth Foundation.

Sr. Vice Commander Carol Kennedy:

Carol was a career Air Force officer. She has 9 years of service to The American Legion. She lives in Westcliffe, Co with her husband Bob and belongs to Westcliffe Post 170. She has been the department membership chairman for the last year and as a result we have achieved our national goal thanks to her efforts. She will once again be active with the membership program leading us to even greater heights.

Jr. Vice Commanders:

Robb Smith was re-elected to the office of Jr. Vice Commander for another term. Robb was a career Army veteran of the OEF/OIF eras. He has 19 years of service to The American Legion. He was instrumental in starting a brand new post in his city of Loveland, CO, Loveland Post 2000. He currently resides in Loveland with his wife and kids. Robb will be serving as the Legion Riders Chairman for Commander Gates this year.

Lee White was re-elected to the office of Jr. Vice Commander for another term. Lee is a Army veteran and live in Cedaredge, CO with his wife Sandy and belongs to Cedaredge Post 104. Lee has 9 years of service to The American Legion Lee will be serving as the POW/MIA chairman for Commander Gates.

Richard Humphrey was re-elected to the office of Jr. Vice Commander for another term. Richard has been a member of The American Legion for 15 years. He and his wife Nora live in Aurora, CO and he belongs to Paul C Beck Post 23 in Aurora. Richard will be serving as the Foreign Relations & National Security Committees chairman for Commander Gates.

Larry Johnson was elected as a Department Jr. Vice Commander. Larry is no stranger to the American Legion serving for over 35 years as a member. He jumped back into the department level after a few years absence. He will be concentrating his efforts on improving our membership in the coming year. Larry is the Adjutant of his Post 209 Colorado Springs and the Adjutant of District 7. He will be busy this year.

Tom Florez was elected as a Department Jr. Vice Commander. Tom is from Ordway Post 94. He has 21 years of service to The American Legion. Tom is responsible for revitalizing District 1. Thanks to his hard work every post in District one achieved their 100% membership goal. It was the only District in Colorado that achieved this honor. Tom will be working closely with the membership committee this year.

Lou Brackett was elected as a Department Jr. Vice Commander. Lou is an Army veteran and has 19 years of service to The American Legion. Lou is an educator by trade and will be co-chairing the Colorado American Legion College program for the coming year with Robb Smith. Lou was instrumental in the formation of Fruita Post 2006 where he is a charter member.

The delegates elected Brandt Erickson as the Department Finance Officer for a two year term. Brandt is a 30 year member of The American Legion and belongs to Denver Post 1. Brandt was a Navy veteran. Brandt, and his wife, Dianne live in Denver.

The delegates re-elected Historian Eleanor Allen for another one year term Ellie is a member of Denver Post 1 and has 27 years of membership in The American Legion. Ellie served in the Army.

The delegates re-elected Chaplain Tim Grabin for another one year term. Tim and his wife Gwenn live in Canon City, CO and he belongs to Canon City Post 35. Tim was in the Navy, Army, Guard and Reserves in a long military career. Tim has served in various positions at the department level for over 21 years to include past department commander.

The Department Executive Committee re-appointed Photographer Darrell Myers for another one year term. Darrell served in the Army and has over 15 years of service to The American Legion. He is currently post commander for Aurora Post 23.

The Department Commander appointed Jimmy Walker of Arvada Post 161 as Sgt-At-Arms. Jimmy is a Navy veteran. He has 7 years of continuous service to The American Legion. Tony Abbott was appointed as Asst-Sgt-At Arms. Tony is a Navy veteran and belongs to Loveland Post 2000;

The convention delegates considered 13 resolutions. Those resolutions are printed in this publication for your review.

The delegates also passed a motion to bestow upon Larry Decker the title of Honorary Past Department Commander. Larry was scheduled to become our Department Commander except for his untimely death.

The delegates passed a motion to advance the name of Past Department Commander Doug Wooddell for consideration as a National Vice Commander for the years 2013-2014. If the motion is accepted by our national organization Doug will run for that high office at the national convention in Houston next year.

The delegates voted for Fort Collins as the site for the 2013 department convention and Colorado Springs was chosen as the site for the 2013 mid-year conference.

National Vice Commander Merv Gunderson of Montana was a special guest and spoke to our delegates. The SAL invited their National Commander Jim Roberts from Florida to address our audience and take part in the convention activities.

The leadership is now in place for another successful year. We look forward to positive outcomes from the entire body of the Colorado American Legion Family. If you missed the convention this year, be sure to put June 21-23, 2013 on your calendar. You won’t be sorry.