Convention Journal

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News July 2018

Minneapolis was the perfect setting to complete plenty of business and enjoy some downtime during PVA's 72nd annual convention.

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Uplifting words, elections, awards, resolutions and plenty of camaraderie all came together during Paralyzed Veterans of America’s (PVA) 72nd Annual Convention in Minneapolis in May. The JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America played host to PVA’s annual gathering of its executive committee, board of directors, national staff, chapter members and guests. The iconic Mall of America proved to be an extremely accessible location for an event that requires such a large level of accessible accommodations. Presiding over his first convention since his election last year, PVA National President David Zurfluh guided the board and attendees through another busy agenda. That important list of things to do included hearing from a prominent congressman, who had kind words of gratitude for the PVA members.

A Manifestation Of Sacrifice

Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) was the keynote speaker at this year’s convention and as the ranking member on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, he’s well aware of how important PVA is to veterans’ care and well-being. Addressing the sea of veterans, Walz opened by saying what an honor it was to be at the convention in his home state and expressed his admiration of PVA. 

“You are the visual manifestation of sacrifice,” Walz said.


PVA hands out several honors and awards during each convention, but there are some that stand above others. The Speedy Award easily tops that list and is PVA’s highest honor. There were two Speedy Awards handed out at this year’s convention, and both were in the member category. Stan Brown was presented with one of the awards, and Richard Glotfelty was give one posthumously. Both men epitomize the meaning and value of the award. The PVA Gateway Chapter president and national director since 2004, Brown has amassed 18,641 volunteer hours with the chapter and national organization (equivalent to more than two years of 24/7 service). The Army veteran was presented with PVA’s Harry A. Schweikert Jr. Disability Awareness Award in 2017 and has been a professor of legal studies at Webster University in St. Louis. An Air Force veteran who sustained a spinal-cord injury while conducting air support missions during the Vietnam War, Glotfelty served with PVA for more than 30 years. He oversaw PVA’s veterans benefits operation and its national service officer program. Glotfelty died May 6, 2014, at age 66 and was buried with full military honors in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Pennsylvania. To see the award winners, order the July 2018 PN. 

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