By: Pat Smith, Department Adjutant
The 92nd annual Department Convention concluded on Saturday June 25 at the Doubletree Hotel in Colorado Springs with the election of a new Department Commander, James “Jim” Gillis. Jim previously served as our Senior and Junior Vice Commanders.
Jim is a U S Air Force veteran, retiring as an officer after 28 years. Jim is originally from Nova Scotia and while on a visit to the United States got drafted into the service. Instead of taking the draft route he elected to join and spend the next 28 years of his life in service to his new country. Jim is a member of the American Legion Post 1992. He was active at his post level and at the district level before he decided to step up and run for department commander.
Jim and his wife Anne live in Aurora. Jim’s daughter is the new post commander of Aurora Post 1992. She served in the U S Army.
Jim has ambitious plans for the year. Chief among those plans is to increase our membership base. With over 400,000 veterans in Colorado he feels we have an excellent opportunity to convince those veterans to join The American Legion in our quest to maintain the benefits veterans earned and deserve.
Serving with Jim will be Larry Decker as Sr. Vice Commander from Pueblo West; Jr. Vice Commanders Carol Kennedy from Westcliffe, Lee White from Cedaredge, Ken Willard from Grand Junction, Gary Moody from Colorado Springs, Robb Smith from Loveland and Richard Humphrey from Aurora.
Also elected was Historian, Ellie Allen form Denver; Chaplain, Tim Grabin from Canon City; Sgt-At-Arms, Patrick Reinard from Loveland. Bill Woods remains as Finance Officer, Ralph Bozella was re-elected as NEC and Neal Thomas was re-elected as Alternate NEC. Charles Pat Smith remains as the Department Adjutant and Tom Bock as Deputy Adjutant. Darrell Myers was appointed as Department Photographer and Tony Abbott and Dan Diefenderfer were appointed as Assistant Sgt-at-arms.
Longmont was chosen as the site for the 2012 Mid-Winter conference and Grand Junction was chosen for the 2012 Department Convention. The delegates to the convention passed 4 resolutions that will be sent to our national convention. The Department Executive Committee approved a change to the Department by-laws that reorganizes the Legion Riders with a new corporate structure.