National Headquarters Executive Director Marc Burgess has been appointed National Adjutant, effective June 1, by National Commander Larry A. Polzin, and approved by the National Executive Committee. Burgess, a veteran of the Gulf War, follows the inspired leadership of National Adjutant Arthur H. Wilson, who retired May 31 after 47 years of service.
“I am firmly convinced, as is Art, that the person for the job is John ‘Marc’ Burgess,” Polzin said. “He has brought to his current and previous assignments a level of intelligence and aptitude, common sense and judgment that qualify him completely for this assignment.”
Past National Commander and Department of Florida Adjutant Al Linden expressed strong confidence in Burgess, citing his business acumen and deep knowledge of the organization. “Marc will do an outstanding job,” said Linden. “He’s a very knowledgeable individual.
“Marc has an outstanding background with DAV at the national level, and he has a thorough knowledge of DAV and fundraising,” he said.
“He’s a very charismatic person. I think Mr. Wilson has trained him well to step into his shoes,” said Linden. “His in-depth knowledge of DAV and operational matters is unequaled, and he has a superb background in service. He’s a good man for the job.”
Past National Commander and Department of New York Adjutant Don Sioss said that Burgess is well-suited to become DAV’s National Adjutant. “He has an abundance of National
Headquarters experience and has done an excellent job,” Sioss said. “We in the Department look forward to working with Marc in the years to come.
“Marc is a strong manager who possesses outstanding financial expertise,” he said. “All those traits will serve DAV well. I am encouraged about the future with Marc at the helm.”
“I think Marc is a great guy, and he will do great things for DAV,” said Department of Minnesota Adjutant Stephen Whitehead. “He’s well-rounded and perfect to become National Adjutant.
“Marc understands the direction the organization is going, and he has been part of the decision-making process for some time,” Whitehead said. “He’s a great guy, listens well, and when it comes to making decisions, he is a take-charge leader.”
Burgess was appointed Executive Director at National Headquarters in August 2010, overseeing voluntary services, fundraising, accounting, administration, information technology, communications, logistics and plant operations.
A life member of Chapter 19 in Cold Spring, Ky., Burgess began his DAV career as a National Service Officer in DAV’s Baltimore and Washington, D.C., National Service Offices. His career includes service as:
- National Appeals Officer in DAV’s Board of Veterans Appeals Office;
- Supervisor of DAV’s National Service Office in Atlanta;
- Appellate Counsel before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims;
- Associate and Assistant National Service Director at National Service and Legislative Headquarters;
- Director of Human Resources at National Headquarters; and
- Assistant Executive Director and Executive Director at National Headquarters.
A native of Hattiesburg, Miss., he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, a Bachelor of Science in paralegal studies from Stevenson University in 1998 and a Master of Arts in human resources from the University of Cincinnati in 2010.
Burgess served in the U.S. Navy from October 1987 through October 1992, when he was medically discharged. His service included duty aboard USS Normandy.
Department of Oklahoma Adjutant Danny Oliver said he was excited about Burgess’ appointment. “We look forward to working with him as DAV continues its mission,” he said. “Marc has an uncanny ability to blend our organization’s illustrious history with a vibrant vision for leading our team forward. As we fight to overcome the many challenges that face veterans today, Marc will ensure that DAV remains the premier veterans service organization.
“He is a well-respected and recognized leader, not only in Washington, D.C., and in veterans service organizations, but throughout corporate America as well,” Oliver said.
Department of Massachusetts Adjutant and retired NSO Dan Stack said Burgess will be ushering in a new era of responsiveness. “Marc was on the National Service Department staff when I was a National Area Supervisor, and I found him responsive and dedicated to service,” said Stack. “He’s the right guy to take over.”
Stack said Burgess’ business knowledge and skills will continue to maintain DAV’s leadership in serving veterans. “He’ll lead our rebranding program and assist us in raising funds,” Stack said. “We will have challenges to face in the future, and Marc’s expertise and knowledge will serve us well.”
What to Expect