Staff Changes Announced

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At the National Executive Committee meeting following the National Convention’s final business session, National Adjutant Marc Burgess announced some important staff changes at both National Headquarters and National Service and Legislative Headquarters.

“These individuals will lead our top posts with integrity and foresight,” said Burgess. “They will ensure DAV is poised to make sure our nation fulfills its promises to the men and women who served now and into the future.”

Barry Jesinoski has been appointed Executive Director of National Headquarters, and Garry Augustine was named Washington Headquarters Executive Director. James Marszalek was appointed National Service Director. And National Service Officer Steven Wolf has been appointed Assistant National Service Director. The appointments became effective Aug. 13.

“It is a pleasure to lead DAV at this historic time and I support Adjutant Burgess’ appointments enthusiastically,” National Commander Johnston said. “The veterans assuming these new posts have a deep understanding of our culture and traditions and will further the legacy we’ve worked generations to establish.”

Barry Jesinoski

In his new position Jesinoski will oversee DAV’s voluntary services, fund raising, accounting, administration, information technology, communications, outreach, logistics and plant operations. He is a life member of DAV Chapter 2, San Diego, Calif

“Barry has a wealth of management experience and a keen understanding of DAV, which makes him an ideal choice for the position,” said Burgess. “He has done a superb job in all of his positions and knows how to get things done.”

“We have a great team in Cold Spring and I’m looking forward to leading many of the exciting new initiatives that are enhancing our outreach to veterans and our support of the organization, its Departments and Chapters around the nation,” Jesinoski said. “No other charitable organization does more for veterans or provides so many life-changing services than DAV. And together we will make our organization even stronger and more effective.”

Prior to his appointment, Jesinoski was Executive Director of National Service and Legislative Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where his duties included oversight of the DAV National Service and Legislative Programs. He was very well respected by members of Congress, the White House and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and he will continue to work closely with our National Service and Legislative staff.

Medically discharged from the Marine Corps in 1993, he began his DAV career as a National Service Officer Trainee and graduated from the NSO Training Academy in Denver in June 1995. He climbed the ranks from assistant supervisor at the National Service Office in Seattle before taking the helm as office supervisor in San Diego. In 2001, he was promoted to National Area Supervisor of Area 9 (which encompasses California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii) before being appointed Associate National Service Director in Washington, D.C., where he was later promoted Assistant National Service Director. In 2007, he was appointed Deputy Director of Human Resources at National Headquarters. In 2009, he assumed duties as Director of Human Resources. A native of Ottertail County, Minn., Jesinoski is a Senior Professional in Human Resources, having been certified by the Human Resources Certification Institute in January 2008.

Garry Augustine

As Washington Headquarters Executive Director, Augustine is responsible for National Service and Legislative Programs. He is DAV’s principal spokesperson before Congress, the White House and Department of Veterans Affairs In his new role, he will continue to lead our advocacy efforts in Washington as have others before him. Thanks to that leadership, DAV has built a solid reputation in the halls of power.

Augustine’s DAV career began in 1988 as a National Service Officer Trainee in Cleveland, Ohio. He remained at the Cleveland office where he was promoted to assistant supervisor in 1997 and supervisor in 2000. He served as supervisor at the Cleveland DAV National Service Office until being appointed Assistant National Service Director at Washington Headquarters in 2002. He was appointed deputy national service director in January 2004 before being named National Service Director in 2010.

“This is an important time in the history of our organization,” Augustine said. “I’m humbled by this opportunity to serve in a greater capacity and honored to lead a staff whose legislative and service advocacy makes DAV the nation’s premiere veterans service organization.”

A Cleveland native, he enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating from high school in August 1969. As a member of the 198th Infantry Brigade in South Vietnam, he was severely wounded by a land mine explosion during a combat patrol operation in the Batangan Peninsula on April 9, 1970. He was medically discharged from the Army in December 1972.

Augustine earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from Ohio University in 1978 and a master’s degree in sociology at Cleveland State University in 1983, the year he became a DAV member. He is a life member of Chapter 42, Mentor, Ohio, and has served in various Chapter positions, including commander and adjutant, as well as committees and director of service for the DAV Department of Ohio. He was also selected as one of the “Outstanding Young Men of America” for 1989.

James Marszalek

Marszalek assumes responsibility for DAV’s National Service Program, which employs some 270 professional National Service Officers and 34 Transition Service Officers at 100 offices in the United States and Puerto Rico Our NSOs and TSOs are the foremost experts in veterans benefits, and their knowledge and advocacy are what makes DAV the nation’s premier veterans service organization.

Marszalek entered the Marine Corps in 1996 and was honorably discharged in April 2000.

“Jim Marszalek is exactly the caliber of individual we want guiding DAV’s National Service Program,” said National Adjutant Burgess. “Our organization saw major leadership changes this year, and we are glad to have experienced people like him ready to step in and ensure the seamless transition in the oversight of our most important work for veterans.”

Following graduation from the NSO Training Academy in 2001, Marszalek was assigned as an NSO trainee at the DAV national service office in Cleveland, Ohio. He later served as assistant supervisor at the DAV national service office in Seattle, Wash. In 2004, he was assigned as supervisor of the national service office in San Diego, Calif., until 2006 when he was transferred to supervise the service office in Pittsburgh, Pa., and National Area 1 before his appointment to the national staff.

“We have watched Jim’s career progress throughout the years,” said Augustine. “He is an experienced and exceptionally capable leader, and he has our full confidence to keep the National Service Program on course for the future.”

Marszalek is a life member of Chapter 76 in Pittsburgh.

Steven Wolf

As Assistant National Service Director, Steven Wolf plays an important role in the day-to-day operations and oversight of the National Service Program.

Wolf served in the Marine Corps from 1993 to 1997. He began his DAV career with Class 12 of the NSO Training Academy, and his first assignment was Milwaukee, Wisc., in 2002. In June 2004 he was assigned to DAV’s office in San Diego. He was promoted to Assistant Supervisor there in 2006. The following year he was then reassigned as the Assistant Supervisor at the Chicago National Service Office. He was promoted to Supervisor there in 2008, where he served until his current appointment.

NSO Varela Joins DAV’s Legislative Staff

National Adjutant Marc Burgess has appointed Paul Varela as Assistant National Legislative Director at National Service and Legislative Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In his new role, Varela will work to support and advance federal legislative goals and policies to assist injured and ill veterans and their families. His work will also guard against legislative erosion of current benefits and services for veterans.

“With so much at stake in the public policy arena, Varela is a welcome addition to our legislative team fighting for veterans’ rights,” said National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “I have every confidence that he will excel in his new position, just as he has throughout his DAV career.”

Paul Varela

Varela has been the Supervisor of DAV’s National Service Office in Los Angeles since 2008. He served as assistant supervisor from 2005 to 2008 and was Associate National Service Officer from 2002 until 2005, when he was assigned to DAV’s New York City office.

Varela was a member of DAV’s National Service and Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2011, and served in an appellate review capacity on the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in an appellate review capacity. He became a member of DAV’s Case Management System Technical Enhancement Committee in 2006.

He was elected by his peers to serve as President of DAV’s National Guild of Attorneys in Fact from 2009 through 2011 and has held a variety of offices within the Guild.

Varela enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October 1998, serving until his honorable discharge due to service-connected disabilities in 2001. His military awards and decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation, Humanitarian Service Ribbon and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

He is a life member of Los Angeles Chapter 5, where he has served in all offices as well as Chapter Adjutant for several years.

  • Gilbert Vitela

    Going on 3 years and i left the government with a rate in early summer of 2003, no real diagnoses and since 2003 haven’t improved, I need better care and a better fair rate…. Service Connected and Service Neglected.
    No ones keeping me informed and the only news i hear is no news about my situation its “chronic pain” thats what i get out of the Doctors. I have to think about how i can fix this when i should be thinking and focusing on my Schooling
    I got one piece of paper since I started wondering about my Service Connected Disability. I guess its time to just get a lawyer and let them take a percentage of whats owed to me to get this hopefully resolved faster…so i can get back to education and my life

    • guest

      Has anyone from the DAV contacted you to help with your situation? If not, I am not surprised. My situation is so bad, my friends and neighbors say I am a “poster child” for the abuses our veteran population is suffering. I too have written emails to the DAV, Congress, and the White House, and have NOT received anything, but “Thanks for your service” and “I am so sorry to hear what’s happening to you.” This is all a money making racquet. Just like everything else in this country today, you have to have a friend or relative in an influential position to get help. We have lost our meritocracy and even the DAV is standing by and watching while many veterans who need help go down the drain of life.

  • wxc101049

    It would be refreshing for someone to write something kind and considerate about this organization every now and then. Yes, it does take a lot of time to get the help and consideration we deserve, and sometimes things happen or do not happen that adds to the frustration. But the DAV is and has always done the best for Veterans and their families for nearly 100 years. No, it’s not a perfect organization, and the VA claims processing procedures are not perfect either.
    As a Vetern and as a concerned American, l wish Congress would advocate for our rights and benefits as it does on issues that concern the well-connected. However, “it is what it is,” and we should continue the struggle unified and together. I suggest that we all help and support this organization, and pray for all the dedicated women and men who work very hard, and who continue to fight for us each day. They are the true warriors. They are the best of us. Let’s give them the honor and respect they deserve in all our dealings, writings and personal contacts. And let’s let them know we care as much for them as they do for us. Let’s continue to work together to insure that the Disabled American Veterans Organization is the best Veterans Organization in America.
    William Xavier Cook, USMC, ret.
    Phoenix, AZ.

  • 173’rd

    I agree with wxc101049, the DAV has helped me for years when nobody else could or would. I am a life member of both VFW,DAV and been member of the Leg., nobody could help or stand by me like the DAV.

  • eye on america

    Okay Gentlemen I’ve been in contact and have a response letter Dated august 21 2014 to troubling correspondence from the Philadelphia DAV office ! additional I’ve received even more troubling responses from the Philadelphia office and the VA which has been forwarded to the Nation legislative offices in Washington DC the 2 additional letters haven’t been responded too. nor has the promise of being contacted by Andrew Marshal been fulfilled as of this date his name mentioned in the august 21 letter as a person who would contact me –Nothings happening as far as I can tell Contact email asap your attention is greatly appreciated!