President’s Message

Department of Virginia President Dr. Lisa Chaplin

Dear Department of Virginia ALA Members,

     As we enter our Centennial Year, I want to first thank everyone for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your Department President during this exciting time for our great organization. The theme I have chosen for this year is intentionally simple such that the focus is on our 100th Anniversary – 100 Years of Honoring Service. Next I want to share my vision for our year together, and to let you know that plans are already being made by Department Officers, Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, Committee Members, and the Past Department Presidents who serve as our advisors.

     One major focus for this year is to provide information in a timely manner to all members using a variety of avenues. We will be communicating through Constant Contact to include all members who have current email addresses on our membership roster; we will be providing notifications, bulletins, and resources on our Department website; and we will be using social media to share information as appropriate. Mailing will, of course, still be available by subscription to those who request it. Monthly newsletters will be reinstated with program updates, reminders, shared ideas, and success stories. The Department Programs Action Plan, report forms and supplemental forms will be soon be available to members only through the member portal in order to protect the private and confidential information contained therein. All Zone Workshops are scheduled to occur early in the Auxiliary year in order to share this year’s plans right away so that members can begin planning their work and activities to deliver the ALA mission.

      My President’s Project for this ALA year is fundraising for a 501c3 non-profit organization, founded and run by veterans called Veterans and Athletes United, whose mission is to “Empower wounded, injured and ill veterans to fully live their lives and honor our fallen military heroes”. If you were able to attend Leadership College, you had the opportunity to hear first-hand from their Founder and President, James Howard. You can donate to this project by sending your check to Department Headquarters c/o Secretary/Treasurer at 1708 Commonwealth Avenue Richmond, VA 23230 and be sure to include in the memo line Veterans and Athletes United or President’s Project.

We as a team will be trying some new things this year while also keeping those we know to work to see if we can engage more members, in more ways, and strengthen our Department and Units. This has been a hallmark year with the recent signing of the LEGION Act into law, which extends American Legion membership eligibility to all honorably discharged veterans who served since December 7, 1941 through present day. This should likewise be a hallmark year for our organization as this enhances potential for increased ALA membership as well and it is critical that we reverse the membership decline. We must remain an action-oriented, mission-driven organization in order to fulfill our pledge and promise to our veterans, the military and their families. Without risk there is no possibility of success so consider some new ideas in addition to what you know works for your Unit. Our goal is not merely numbers, it is mission delivery.

For God and Country,

Dr. Lisa Chaplin

Department President’s Project