New PVA Leaders

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News April 2014

Leadership change is on the way to Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) this summer.

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Al Kovach Jr. was elected as the new president of PVA during February’s 68th Annual National Convention in Orlando, Fla. Serving as national senior vice president for the past three years, Kovach will replace Bill Lawson, who has been president since 2009.

“I actually see myself as a runner in a relay and Bill has handed the baton off to me,” Kovach says. “I’m going to continue to do what [Lawson] did and just put my own little spin on it.”

A PVA member for more than 20 years, Kovach sustained a spinal-cord injury on a training mission with the Navy SEALs in 1991. The 48-year-old San Diego resident is a graduate of Indiana University and competed in the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics in handcycling.

One of the key areas Kovach would like to focus on is PVA’s relationship with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He believes developing stronger communication between the two groups will help improve aid to veterans.

“I understand the squeaky wheel gets the oil and we’re a very squeaky wheel,” Kovach says. “Sometimes VA forgets we’re there until we get squeaky again.”

Also elected to the executive committee with Kovach for the July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015, PVA fiscal year are:

Senior Vice President

David Zurfluh

Vice Presidents

Charles Brown

Ken Weas

Tamara Lawter

Joseph Fox


Larry Dodson


Tom Wheaton

Immediate Past President

Bill Lawson

The new executive board will officially take office July 1.


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