Meeting Minutes - 7/13

July 13, 2020



Board Members:
Present: Bhata Bhatacharia, Jon White Bear, Douglas Carver, Elizabeth Drucker, Pat Kyumoto, Jack Porter, Mary Rifkin and Leslie Zevon
Absent: Melissa Johnson
Quorum present? Yes

Others Present:
Exec. Director: Sheila Swanson
Other: Susan Johns, Consulting Accountant

· Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chair, Elizabeth Drucker
· (Last month's) meeting minutes were amended and approved

· Chief Executive's Report:
- Recommends that if we not able to find a new facility by the end of this month, the organization should stay where in the current location over the winter. After brief discussion, Board agreed.
- Staff member, Jackson Browne, and Swanson attended the National Practitioner's Network meeting in Atlanta last month and gave a brief extemporaneous presentation. Both are invited back next year to give a longer presentation about our organization. After brief discussion, Board congratulated Swanson and asked her to pass on their congratulations to Browne as well.
- Drucker asserts that our organization must ensure its name is associated with whatever materials are distributed at that practitioner's meeting next year. The organization should generate revenues where possible from the materials, too.
- Swanson mentioned that staff member, Sheila Anderson's husband is ill and in the hospital. MOTION to send a gift to Anderson's husband, expressing the organization's sympathy and support; seconded and passed.

· Finance Committee report provided by Chair, Elizabeth Drucker:
- Drucker explained that consultant, Susan Johns, reviewed the organization's bookkeeping procedures and found them to be satisfactory, in preparation for the upcoming yearly financial audit. Funds recommends that our company ensure the auditor provides a management letter along with the audit financial report.
· - Drucker reviewed highlights, trends and issues from the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement. Issues include that high accounts receivables require Finance Committee attention to policies and procedures to ensure our organization receives more payments on time. After brief discussion of the issues and suggestions about how to ensure receiving payments on time, MOTION to accept financial statements; seconded and passed.

· Board Development Committee's report provided by Chair, Douglas Carver:
- Carver reminded the Board of the scheduled retreat coming up in three months, and provided a drafted retreat schedule for board review. MOTION to accept the retreat agenda; seconded and passed.
- Carver presented members with a draft of the reworded By-laws paragraph that would allow members to conduct actions over electronic mail. Carver suggested review and a resolution to change the By-laws accordingly. Kyumoto suggested that Swanson first seek legal counsel to verify if the proposed change is consistent with state statute. Swanson agreed to accept this action and notify members of the outcome in the next Board meeting.

· Other business:
- Porter noted that he was working with staff member, Jacob Smith, to help develop an information management systems plan, and that two weeks ago he (Porter) had mailed members three resumes from consultants to help with the plan. In the mailing, Porter asked members for their opinions to help select a consultant. Porter asked members for their opinions. (NOTE: Zevon noted that she was also a computer consultant and was concerned about conflict of interest in her Board role regarding this selection, and asked to be ABSTAINED from this selection. Members agreed.) The majority of members agreed on Lease-or-Buy Consultants. MOTION to use Lease-or-Buy Consultants; seconded and passed.
- Swanson announced that she had recently hired a new secretary, Karla Writewell.

· Assessment of the Meeting:
- Kyumoto noted that the past three meetings have run over the intended two-hour time slot by half an hour. He asked members to be more mindful and focused during discussions, and suggested that the Board Development Chair take an action to identify solutions to this issue. Chair, Carver, agreed.

· Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
· Minutes submitted by Secretary, Bhata Bhatacharia.

Celebrating the Life of Frank Herd

July 02, 2020

Celebrating the life of Frank Herd

Customized Bricks to Honor Servicemembers

June 01, 2018

We are making some major improvements to our grounds and offering everyone an opportunity to honor veterans.

Our "Walk of Valor" Peace Garden is Phase One and here's what you can do to become a part of it.

We have partnered with Bricks-R-Us and they have set up a website where you can custom order a brick to honor or memorialize a friend or family member. The website is


We deeply appreciate your generous donation in purchasing a "Memorial Brick Paver" as well as our colleagues,Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 3908. We are America's premier organization, representing Disabled American Veterans, enacted by an Act of Congress (501(c)(4), which is authorized to legally represent veterans before the Dept of Veterans Affairs in the quest to file for benefits which the veteran rightfully deserves and has earned. We also work tirelessly to assist any and all veterans as an information outreach resource. Our Veterans of Foreign Wars brethren also work hard to assist and support veterans who have served in foreign theaters of war the world over. The VFW in turn, also "thanks you" sincerely for your thoughtful and generous gift of remembrance.


Our "Walk of Valor" Peace Garden, our Flags of Honor area, and our Fire Pit of Reflection will soon be a reality thanks to your generous donations in the form of a memorial brick of remembrance which will mark the patriotic service of a loved one, family member or friend. While we do not have "limitless" space for the display of memorial bricks...we want to emphasize that NOW is the perfect time to reserve your memorial brick and have it installed when these projects are being completed.


Again, THANK YOU SINCERELY on behalf of all Disabled American Veterans.



Randolph E. Whitmire
DAV Chapter 129

VA Paying Compensation To Victims of Contaminated Lejeune Water

August 24, 2018

Although this story came out in March 2017, we still receive questions about it and are re-posting:

VA has established a rule stating that those who were stationed at Camp Lejeune, MCAS New River, including all satellite camps and housing areas, from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987 who later developed one of the following eight diseases can now receive disability benefits:

  • Adult leukemia

  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes

  • Bladder cancer

  • Kidney cancer

  • Liver cancer

  • Multiple myeloma

  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

  • Parkinson's disease

(please click button below for rest of this article)

Photo: FILE - In this March 19, 2013 file photo, the globe and anchor stand at the entrance to Camp Lejeune, N.C. (AP Photo/Allen Breed, File)


January 03, 2017

Though this article was published January 2017, we still receive questions and are re-posting:

DISCLAIMER: This article was copied verbatim (emphasis added) from information provided by Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD; however the DAV will review your case and prepare your claim for free



If you are a veteran who served at Fort McClellan from 1970 through 1999, and have one of the following medical conditions, it could be related to your military service:

  • Acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy

  • AL Amyloidosis

  • Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)

  • Leukemias

  • Diabetes mellitus, type II

  • Hodgkin’s disease

  • Ischemic heart disease

  • Multiple Myeloma

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

  • Prostate Cancer

  • Kidney cancer

  • Liver cancer

  • Bladder cancer

  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

  • Respiratory Cancers

  • Soft Tissue Sarcoma

  • Aplastic Anemia or other Myelodysplastic syndromes

  • Immune-related diseases

  • Neurological conditions, e.g. Multiple Sclerosis


If you have one of these conditions and you served at Fort McClellan between 1970 and 1999, it could be due to exposures during service. This could mean that you are entitled to substantial VA benefits.


Has your claim been denied or do you have a new claim?


Contact us now to learn whether you may be entitled to VA benefits based on diseases or conditions related to your service at Fort McClellan.


Congratulations Veterans! The Toxic Exposure Research Act is Part of a Bill That Just Passed the House and Senate

January 03, 2017

Although this article was originally published in January 2017, we still receive questions and are re-posting:

On Saturday (12/10/16), the Miller-Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Act, H.R. 6416 passed the senate.  The bill passed both the House and the Senate by unanimous approval and is now on the way to the President's Desk for signature into law.


Included in the legislation are these provisions of the Toxic Exposure Research Act:


Subtitle C---Toxic Exposure:


Sec. 631. Definitions.

Sec. 632. National Academy of Medicine assessment on research relating to the descendants of individuals with toxic exposure.

Sec. 633. Advisory board on research relating to health conditions of descendants of veterans with toxic exposure while serving in the Armed Forces.

Sec. 634. Research relating to health conditions of descendants of veterans with toxic exposure while serving in the Armed Forces.

*For complete text go to


The Toxic Exposure Research Act was first conceived during a telephone conference between members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Agent Orange Committee and Betty Mekdeci, Executive Director of Birth Defect Research for Children (BDRC) in 2009.  BDRC had been collecting data on birth defects and disabilities in the children of Vietnam and later Gulf War veterans' children since 1990.  There were clear patterns of increases in disabilities in both groups, but medical confirmation was needed to prove these connections. 


Betty suggested that a special center should be created where experts on the research of environmental toxins and adverse reproduction outcomes could be brought together to look for medical markers that could define certain birth defects and disabilities that could be related to similar toxic exposures.


The VVA Committee agreed with this idea and spearheaded the seven-year process to turn this concept into law.  Mokie Porter, VVA's Director of Communications (and BDRC board member) held 250 Town Hall meetings all over the country to promote the passage of this bill.


According to VVA President John Rowan, "This legislation, a necessary first step, will lay the groundwork for the research we need on the health of our children and grandchildren, whom we believe have been impacted by exposures during our military service-and in keeping with our founding principle, this legislation will ensure that our newer veterans will not have to wait 50 years for answers."


Betty Mekdeci, 

Executive Director

Birth Defect Research for Children

946 Lake Baldwin Lane

Orlando, Fl, 32814

Military Heroes Fund Emergency Financial Assistance

March 18, 2016

The Military Heroes Fund emergency financial assistance program offers financial assistance for wounded, ill, and injured Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) veterans who are experiencing an unexpected financial setback.

Who we serve:  Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veterans who have a VA disability rating or one in progress.


·         Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and/or Operation Iraqi Freedom

·         Have a VA disability rating

·         Have been honorably discharged

What we support:

·         Mortgage

·         Rent

·         Auto Loan

·         Auto insurance

·         Electric

·         Natural Gas

·         Heating petroleum


-  All past due bills must be at least 30 days in arrears to qualify

-  The Foundation can only  support one emergency financial request per household


Application Process:

·         Review eligibility criteria to see if you qualify

·         Down load Emergency Financial Assistance Application from:

·         Complete and sign the application (no electronic  signatures) and fax to (703) 838-1344 or scan and email to:

·         Email or fax copies of DD214 and VA disability rating supporting documentation

·         Email or fax copy of bill or invoice that is at least 30 days in arrears

·         For late rent – send copy of rental lease

·         Participate in a PenFed sponsored financial counseling session


-  Completed applications may take up to 10 days to process

-  Financial assistance is provided directly to the creditor

-  Emergency financial assistance grants are provided on a one time only basis


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