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National Council of Administration

Meeting Minutes

18 April 2009

Springfield, IL

The Council of Administration meeting was opened by Commander-in-Chief David V. Medert at 7:40 pm. The opening prayer was offered by PCinC James Pahl, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by CinC David Medert. The roll of Council of Administration was called, with the following recorded as present:

Voting Members Present

Commander-in-Chief David V. Medert
Council Member Eric Schmincke
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Leo F. Kennedy
Council Member Henry Shaw
National Secretary Donald D. Palmer, Jr.
Council Member D. Brad Schall
National Treasurer Max L. Newman
Council Member Robert Petrovic
National Quartermaster Danny L. Wheeler

Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief James Hanby, PCinC Charles Kuhn and Council Member Perley Mellor were excused by the Commander-in-Chief

Non-Voting Members Present

Executive Director David Demmy
PCinC Donald E. Darby
National Counselor Robert Grim
PCinC PCinC James B. Pahl
PCinC Stephen A. Michaels
PCinC Edward Krieser
PcinC Keith G. Harrison
PCinC Al Loomis

Guests of the Council of Administration

DC Bill Vieira – Dept. of Rhode Island

Eric Schmincke, Jr. (son of Council Member Eric Schmincke)


Old Business

Commander-in-Chief David Medert requested an update on development of electronic change of address forms. Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Leo Kennedy stated that this was in work and more information will be coming.


New Business

Commander-in-Chief Medert mentioned that there are at least five candidates running for two, maybe three seats on the Council of Administration. In order to prevent a protracted election process, the Commander-in-Chief was looking for some guidance in conducting the elections. PCinC Jim Pahl offered his opinion that if a single election is held for all open seats, that written ballots be cast. National Secretary Don Palmer noted that there may be one seat open for less than a three-year term, so a single election may not be appropriate. After some discussion, the Council of Administration came to a consensus that separate elections will be held for the open seats.

The Commander-in-Chief noted that the BANNER Editors term will expire at the National Encampment and a process must be defined for seeking a BANNER Editor for the next three years. Several Council members offered their opinions that the BANNER is the best that it has been in recent memory. The Commander-in-Chief asked BANNER Editor Steve Michaels if he was interested in serving another term. PCinC Michaels responded positively. Motion by National Quartermaster Danny Wheeler, second by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Leo Kennedy, to re-appoint PCinC Michaels as BANNER Editor. Motion passed.

Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Kennedy presented the Program & Policy Committee recommendations for revisions to the BANNER Policy. PCinC Don Darby and Council Member Henry Shaw identified several items that should be corrected. Council Member Bob Petrovic voiced his opinion that the BANNER should not offer a page for Auxiliary news due to the limited space currently available for Camps and Departments. Motion by Council Member Petrovic to add a provision to the BANNER Policy that prohibits the BANNER Editor from offering a full page to Allied Order organizations other than the SUVCW. No second was offered, so the motion failed. Motion by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Kennedy, second by National Quartermaster Wheeler, to accept the Program & Policy Committee recommendations as amended. Motion passed.

The Commander-in-Chief called for a break at 8:50 pm. The meeting re-convened at 9:00 pm.

Commander-in-Chief Medert opened a discussion regarding criteria for the War Medal. The Program & Policy Committee offered two options for War Medal criteria. The first was the listing provided in the Program & Policy Committee report and the second was the criteria used by the American Legion. PCinC Pahl noted that the National Encampment specified that a combat theater ribbon is required, which is consistent with VFW rules.

Commander-in-Chief Medert followed up a discussion brought about last November regarding purchase of a printer for the National Quartermaster. PCinC Pahl recommended that the Commander-in-Chief task the National Quartermaster with obtaining a list of options, along with quotes, and provide to the Council of Administration for review and action. Commander-in-Chief Medert concurred and tasked PCinC Wheeler with obtaining the information requested.

Commander-in-Chief Medert raised an issue regarding current National Members-at-Large (NMAL) who now reside in states that fall within Department jurisdictions and want to remain as NMAL. PCinC Pahl noted that the Constitution stipulates that members in states overseen by Departments cannot be NMAL.

The Commander-in-Chief brought up the Rituals and the question whether or not they should be incorporated into the Constitution & Regulations. PCinC Keith Harrison noted that the question that needs to be answered is why the Rituals are not in the National website. A discussion followed focusing on the Rituals and whether or not they are considered “secret”. The consensus amongst the Council members was that the Rituals should not be considered secret. The Commander-in-Chief so ruled, and requested that the Rituals be placed on the website.

Commander-in-Chief Medert noted that there are a number of individuals in our Order that deserve recognition. He requested assistance in identifying members whose contributions are worthy of an award.

The Commander-in-Chief noted that the Graves Registration database is back up and running again with limited capacity. The Communications & Technology committee has a recommendation to upgrade the database at a cost of about $80 per year. Motion by Council Member Henry Shaw, second by National Quartermaster Wheeler, to accept the recommendations of the Communications & Technology Committee. Motion passed.

The Commander-in-Chief then requested that the meeting break into Executive Session. As a result, all guests were requested to temporarily vacate the meeting.

By action of the Council of Administration, the license currently held by Given Camp #51 from the Department of Ohio was revoked. Given Camp may no longer produce Camp and Department flags for the SUVCW.

National Treasurer Max Newman reported that the IRS is currently examining the Form 990 returns from 2003-2005. He noted that expense accounts were shown as wages by mistake. Audits are now being conducted for the 2005-2006 administrative year. Brother Newman also noted that due to health issues, he will resign his position effective at the upcoming National Encampment in Louisville. He commented that the responsibilities of the position have grown significantly in having to manage the accounts and handle tax returns and IRS audits. Brother Newman offered to assist the new National Treasurer in addressing the IRS issues. PCinC Pahl noted that it may be time to look at a paid position to handle the taxes/audits to reduce the workload of the National Treasurer. This would be a scenario similar to that established a number of years ago when the Executive Directors position was established to reduce the workload of the National Secretary.

PCinC Don Darby noted that the transcriber for National Encampment proceedings currently receives $3 per page in compensation. She currently receives $4 per page in work she does for her county of residence. Motion by Council Member Henry Shaw, second by National Quartermaster Danny Wheeler, to increase the proceedings transcriber compensation to $4 per page. Motion passed.

National Quartermaster Danny Wheeler brought up the issue regarding miniature Past Camp Commander and Past Department Commander badges and the fact that they did not meet the Regulations. As a result, they have been pulled off the National website as merchandise items. Commander-in-Chief Medert tasked the Constitution & Regulations Committee to draft language to allow these miniature badges.

Council Member Brad Schall noted that the Memorial Grants Committee has received eight requests for funding during the current administrative year. A discussion ensued about additional funding requested to support the GAR Hall in Peoria, IL. Motion by Council Member Schall, second by National Quartermaster Danny Wheeler, to take $500 out of the GAR Special Projects Fund to support the Peoria GAR Hall. Motion passed.

PCinC Steve Michaels presented a certificate of completion to PCinC Danny Wheeler for attending the Leadership Conference hosted by the Department of Wisconsin.

PCinC Keith Harrison reported that all Department webmasters can now upload files to the National website. Also, protection software was distributed to those National officers who received laptop computers from the National organization.

Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Kennedy provided a summary of additional items under review by the Program & Policy Committee, including: (1) policy on items for sale by Camps and Departments, (2) Camp meeting changes – recommend two per year, and (3) Memorial University program prospectus – based on Program & Policy Committee approval, the Commander-in-Chief tasked the National Webmaster to place the Memorial University program on the website.

National Secretary Don Palmer reported that he received a letter from the Department of Iowa accepting the transfer of the merchandise license held by Twombly Camp #2 to produce embroidered hats. The Council approved the transfer. The National Secretary also distributed a package of information submitted by the Department of Maine supporting their nomination of Merrill Worcester/Worcester Wreath Co. for the Founder’s Award. The Council had questions and tasked the National Secretary with obtaining the clarification requested. Finally, National Secretary Palmer announced his intention to run for the office of Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief when his term expires at the 2010 National Encampment.

Rhode Island Department Commander Bill Vieira reported on resolutions adopted by the New England Regional Association. He also reported on activities at the recent Rhode Island Department Encampment.

Commander-in-Chief Dave Medert made some announcements regarding the conduct of the upcoming National Encampment. First, there will be no reading of recommendations if they are included in the officer’s reports. They will go directly to the Encampment Committee on Officers Reports for review and action. Also, visitations by Allied Order organizations at the National Encampment will take place at 1:00 pm on Saturday. Finally, the Commander-in-Chief stressed the need to help members who are suffering from the current economic conditions with dues payments if it becomes a matter of losing these members.

With no further business to come before the Council, Commander-in-Chief Medert asked PCinC Jim Pahl to provide a closing prayer and subsequently adjourned the meeting at 11:25 pm.


Respectfully Submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty,

Donald D. Palmer, Jr., PDC

National Secretary, SUVCW

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