Reasons & Remarks: A Historic Harking Back

Reprinted from PN June 2002

Very few things happen at the right time and the rest do not happen at all. The conscientious historian will correct these defects. — Herodotus (484-425 B.C.)

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Recently, some young turks in PVA (as well as members getting long in the tooth) asked when, why, and how the organization's leadership was created. The why is simple. When those hearty souls met in 1947 and founded the organization, they adopted a system of three officers: president, vice president, and secretary/treasurer.

As PVA grew in stature and in membership, with more chapters as well as financial success, it was necessary to have a management team to conduct the daily business. At that time the Board of Directors (BOD) representing the chapter directors met three times a year. In 1971, PVA was awarded a congressional charter and became a respected voice for veterans—especially SCI vets—on Capitol Hill and set up offices in Washington, D.C. The organization also became an influential voice in the disability community.

In 1977, PVA adopted a reorganization plan creating a Corporate Board of Management (CBM) to carry out the organization's ongoing business. The CBM replaced the three-member National Executive Committee (NEC) that was introduced in 1967 but only met with the BOD at the regular meetings. The NEC probably served best for grooming potential national-office seekers and keeping an eye on those serving at the time.

The CBM consisted of seven members: president, senior vice president, three vice presidents at large, secretary, and treasurer. On April 7, 1977, at PVA's spring meeting in Washington, D.C., President Ed Jasper activated the CBM by retaining his office and naming Joe Romagnano senior vice president; R. Jack Powell, John Madsen, and Jim Peters vice presidents; Frank Rigo secretary; and Hugh Pendleton treasurer. This year, Frank celebrated his twenty-fifth year as secretary; Ed (Bay Area & Western) and John and Hugh (California chapter) are deceased. The group served until the following July at the 31st PVA Convention in Dearborn, Mich. All the incumbents except Vice President Madsen (who was replaced by Mike Delaney) were formally elected to the new CBM.

This view of PVA's history was reported by my predecessor, close friend, and mentor Bob Webb, in 1977. Bob died on April 8, 1978. There are many versions of PVA's history; this one is according to PN.

Subsequently, the positions of immediate-past president (1980) and fourth vice president (1987) were created. The name for PVA's officers was eventually changed from the Corporate Board of Management to the nine-member PVA Executive Committee. Watch for announcements of PVAers volunteering to seek election or re-election to lead the organization in 2002-2003 in the July print version of PN.


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Reasons & Remarks: A Historic Harking Back


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