These national officer positions serve one-year terms and are elected at National Convention each year. These officers will serve until adjournment of the following National Convention. In addition to these candidates endorsed by their states’ departments, any member in good standing may be nominated for these national offices from the floor at National Convention.
Department of Kentucky: Latonia Unit 203
Eligibility: Through father, William Kaelin Jr., U.S. Army Korean War Era veteran.
Offices Held: Served in several unit-, district-, and department-level positions. National: national vice president; national committee chair: Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, Children & Youth, Poppy, National Security, Americanism, Membership, and Leadership; national committee vice chair: Junior Activities; NEC and alternate NEC.
Professional/personal background: Kathy has two daughters, four grandchildren, and two sons-in-law. She recently retired from a Fortune 500 company after more than 33 years where she worked in the information technology department. She earned her bachelor of science degree in information technology from Northern Kentucky University. Other organizations she’s part of include the Fellow Life Management Institute where she served as president for two years; served as president for one year with the Bellevue Veterans Auxiliary; Fraternal Order of Eagles, Bellevue, Ky.; Kentucky Colonel; and American Legion Riders Chapter 203.
Department of Indiana: Boonville Unit 200
Eligibility: Through husband, James “Jim” E. Koutz, U.S. Army Vietnam veteran (in country).
Offices Held: Served in several unit-, district-, and department-level positions. National: NEC, Strategic Plan Committee, Future Focus Committee; national committee chair: Auxiliary Emergency Fund, Poppy, Legislative, ALA Girls State chair/ALA Girls Nation director, National Security, Membership, Constitution & Bylaws, Education, Children & Youth, and Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation; national committee vice chair: Leadership, Community Service, and Junior Activities.
Professional/personal background: Vickie has been married to Jim for 49 years and they have one son, Michael. She graduated from Boonville High School and currently works as a legal assistant/receptionist at Fox and Lutz LLC, Attorneys-at-Law. Other organizations she’s part of include VFW Auxiliary and Elks Ladies. She’s a member of the Baker Chapel United Methodist Church.
Dr. Coral May Grout
Department of Massachusetts: Lifelong member of Eugene M. Connor Unit 193 in Winchendon
Eligibility: The service of her father, Charles E. Grout (World War II), and her grandfather, Stanislas Laplante (World War I).
Professional/personal background: Dr. Coral May Grout holds a bachelor of arts degree from Mount Holyoke College, a master of education from Boston College, and a doctor of education from the University of Massachusetts. Throughout her professional career, Coral has dedicated her talents and leadership skills to the education sector and is a retired superintendent of schools. Coral has held numerous positions at the unit, district, department, and national levels within the American Legion Auxiliary, including department president for three terms, nine national chairmanships, and national historian. She also has served as an elected director of the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation Board of Directors.
Department of Illinois: Ervin A Borlick Unit 1109
Eligibility: Through father, Raymond L. Spano, a U.S. Army Korean War Era veteran. Membership began as a Junior member 66 years ago when mother Marilyn Spano Lee served as charter president of the unit.
Offices held: Currently serving her 30th term as department treasurer and 40th term as district treasurer, along with decades of positions on all local levels. Currently a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation Board of Directors where she served as vice president and secretary/treasurer prior to becoming national treasurer, along with multiple years on the Strategic Planning Committee.
Professional/personal background: Marybeth has been married to Don for 38 years. One son and two grandsons with a great-grandchild due in December round out the immediate family. She is currently director of administration for the Peter Troost Monument Co. in Hillside, Ill. Prior to coming to Troost 16 years ago, she was vice president of Paschen Contractors Inc. in Chicago.
Department of Indiana: Gary Unit 279
Eligibility: Through father, George Evans Jr., U.S. Navy World War II veteran, who served in the Pacific; late husbands William J. Delaney, U.S. Marine Korean War veteran, and John Wrolen, U.S. Army Vietnam veteran.
Professional/personal background: Denise is a graduate of Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Ill., and a graduate of Indiana University Northwest with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. She retired in 2016 after 20 years teaching fifth grade. Denise currently teaches computers to students in grades kindergarten to fifth grade. She is a widow, mother of two sons (one is deceased), and a grandmother to six granddaughters and one great-grandson. She has memberships in Indiana’s Retired Teachers Association and the 8 & 40.
Dee Dee Buckley
Department of Minnesota: Ben Krueger Unit 49/Pequot Lakes
Eligibility: Through father, Loren V. Lien, U.S. Navy WWII veteran, and son Matthew Karvonen, U.S. Navy veteran of Kosovo campaign.
Professional/personal background: Dee Dee is retired from Defense Industries. She attended Bemidji State University with an emphasis in mathematics education. She serves as treasurer and membership chair for Arcade-Phalen American Legion Riders Chapter 577. Her memberships include VFW Auxiliary, DAVA, and Polish American Club. Dee Dee enjoys performing in community theatre and with Alive & Kickin, the Twin Cities premiere senior rock ‘n’ roll ensemble. Dee Dee also enjoys tending to her many perennial flowerbeds. She has one son, Matthew.
Department of Georgia: Unit 192, Evans
Eligibility: Through late husband, Sgt. 1st. Class (Ret.) Maurice “Mo” Barnett, a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran.
Professional/personal background: Gabriele has three sons and six grandchildren who are all members of The American Legion Family. She is a Past Department President of Georgia (2014-2015) and currently serves as assistant director of ALA Girls State for the department and the Southern Division Children & Youth chair. Gabriele is the American Legion Riders director for Chapter 192 Evans and also the 11th district director for the third year. She is a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church and also a member of the La Femmes. Her professional background includes working as a senior HR specialist for the Department of the Army. She is a regular volunteer at both Charlie Norwood Veterans Hospitals and the Georgia War Nursing Home (Blue Goose) in Augusta, Ga. Gabriele holds a bachelor of science degree in management from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in human resources from Troy State University.
Department of Idaho: Bonneville Unit 56 — Idaho Falls
Eligibility: Through husband, Arthur L. Gimpel, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) Vietnam veteran; father, Thomas Keith Bowcutt, U.S. Navy WWII veteran; and son, Keith M. Gimpel, U.S. Air Force post-Gulf War veteran.
Professional/personal background: Toni is a 28-year Paid Up For Life member of the ALA, and her entire family has membership in The American Legion Family where they work together to support the ideals set forth for our organization and our country. In November 2009, she was awarded the Spirit of Freedom Award from U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo. This award was given in honor of her volunteer service to Idaho’s veterans and her continued contributions to the community. Keeping true to the red, white, and blue is still her motto.
Marie J. Pytka
Department of Rhode Island: Fierlit/Korzen Unit 79
Eligibility: Through husband, Eugene R. Pytka, U.S. Navy veteran, Vietnam era.
Professional/personal background: Marie was a nursing assistant for 12. Years, business manager for 14 years, food and restaurant industry manager and chef for 30 years. She has been a member of the ALA for 28 years. Marie has been married for 51 years to her husband who is a 52-year member of The American Legion and is a Past National Vice Commander and currently the department adjutant. They have one son who has been a Sons of The American Legion member for 15 years.
Carol G. Campbell
Department of Virginia: Unit 10
Eligibility: Through father, James F. Gallagher Sr., U.S. Army, WWII veteran.
Professional/personal background: Carol is a retired federal government employee: ATF 1985-2011; IRS 1979-1983. She has a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Fairmont State University, 1983. Other organizations she’s part of include Freedom Museum vice president board of directors; Northern Virginia Veterans Parade (VETPAR INC.) Board of Directors; InterService Club Council of Greater Manassas vice president, board of directors; George Brent Council Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary, president and past treasurer. Carol is married to Vic. She has three children: Jason, Greg, and Christine, and one grandchild.
Carol T. Robinson
Department of Ohio: General Daniel “Chappie” James Unit 776
Eligibility: Through late brother, William A. Hawkins, U.S. Army Korean War veteran.
Professional/personal background: Carol is retired from Defense Logistic Agency and Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services as a contract specialist. She has a bachelor of arts degree in management and human development from the McGregor School Antioch University, Yellow Springs, Ohio. Carol has master certifications in government contracting and project management from the Business School of George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Other organizations she’s part of include the VFW, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, First Baptist Church, National Association of Professional Women, and Order of Eastern Star. Her daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter are all members of the ALA.
"I remember going down to the Legion post with my grandfather [World War II U.S. Army veteran Howard Schlitter], and hearing him say things like, “You’ve got to take care of the veterans. You’ve got to be there for them and help them out.” None of that really resonated with me until after he was gone. Then, I realized I have to be his voice."
- Mike Monserud, ALA member of Auxiliary Unit 37 in Ames, Iowa