Dear Sisters and Comrades;
I would like to tell you a little about myself as many of you I have not met before and this may help to know where I’m coming from. I grew up in Colorado where I spent a lot of time in the mountains or running about with my friends, playing softball and other sports. I moved to Alaska with my parents and sister in 1975 and reside in Bethel for now over 30+ years. I went to high school in Bethel and finished up in Anchorage. I tried a little college life, but ended up moving back to Bethel and went right to work for my husband’s family business. Yes, I married my high school sweetheart Jimmy, this year celebrating our 35th anniversary, and we have two wonderful children, Tiffany and Scott, both who are married and I have three wonderful blond haired blue eyed grand boys.
I began my volunteer career with our local VFW Ladies Auxiliary in 1985. I have been the President four times, Treasurer countless times and held many chairmanships, some for many years. I was the Dept. President 1998-1999, held many Dept. chairmanships, all receiving many National Awards, and I was Color Bearer for National President Connie Atkinson. I completed my tenure as National Counsel Member from 2002 to 2004 representing District 16 (Alaska & Hawaii). National Director for Youth Activities and currently running up the Dept. of Alaska chairs a second time, where I am President this year. I’m very excited about the opportunity to be Dept. officer again and welcome the changes in the VFW.
I have been a volunteer in my community for the Camai’ Dance Festival for over ten years, and have been a member of the Chamber of Commerce for over twenty years, and am devoted to seeing that our community strives for the benefit of all people who call Bethel home.
My working career has taken several different roads. I worked briefly for my husband’s family business, Guinn Lumber. I moved from there to work as a travel agent, and not being satisfied with that structure, opened my own agency in 1984, Rainbow Travel. This offered me a chance to run my own business, and all the aspects that go with that as well as travel around the world. When internet access really took off, I saw that as my cue to sell out my business and move on to other adventures. With that, I began working for a local attorney’s office, Cooke, Rossa & Valcarce, and was able to receive my certificate as a paralegal. I have tried retiring a couple of times, but ended up needing more out of life and returned back to work. I am currently the Executive Director for a community health center, Bethel Family Clinic, in my 10th year, and find this very rewarding to know I am helping my community’s healthcare needs.
What’s next? Who’s to say? Regardless, I will continue to do all I can for our great organization, our members, our veterans, their families and our community.