Newly Elected Department Commander Jim Kessler is shown at the left during the RAGBRAI event in Winterset. Commander Kessler was elected on Sunday morning of the Department Convention in a roll call vote.
Commander Kessler will lead his team of Department Vice-Commanders Bob Waugh (Post #494), Dick Hogan (Post #298), Bob Onken (Post #278), Stan Merrell (Post #562) and Joe Jardon (Post #88) for the next year.
Appointed officers that will serve with Commander Kessler are Adjutant John Derner (Post #20), Finance Officer Ken Danilson (Post #211), Service Officer Scott Zach (Post #663), Chaplain James Fenceroy (Post #64), Historian Stan Elliott (Post #37), Sergeant-at-Arms David Honse (Post #321) and Judge-Advocate Dwight Dinkla (Post #124). Jerry Sebben (Post #211) and Dennis Soppe (Post #15) were re-elected to their positions of National Executive Committeeman and Alternate.
Marvin Behrens was recognized for his generosity to the Headquarters Parking Lost Fund. Marvin was the driving force behind the earlier matching donation campaign and now has made a significant donation over and beyond that campaign. His total donation is now well into the six figure category. Marvin is a PUFL member of Post #176 in Waverly.
Cliff Ripke of Post #288 in Hartley was chosen as Legionnaire of the Year. Post #53 of Grinnell and Post #556 of Carson finished at the top and in second place in the Commander’s Membership Sweepstakes. Post #430 of Durant was recognized for 43 years of continuous growth and 42 years of consecutive All-Time-High in membership. The LifeServe Blood Drive netted a total of 22 donated pints of blood. The Centennial Commemorative Pistol was won by Ron Woodard.
Sweepstakes winners were; $5,000 – Ed Goergen, Sioux City, $2,000 – Marvin Jamison, Clive, $1,000 – Dickie Wells, West Chester, $500 – Dominic Ellis, Des Moines, $50 – Bob Wenger, Atkins $500 – Merlin Stanton, Sibley and $500 – Clyde Chelsvig, Boone.