The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

March/April 2003

Reporting and Fine Tuning


New Election Reports

Based on the many phone calls the Membership Affairs Department received from members, prospective members, state councils, and chapters, we identified some common communications problems. To address those problems, we revised the election reports to provide better telephone, mail, and Internet contact information. 

The chapter contact information on the first page of the report has been expanded to make it easier for potential members to contact their chapters.  Please note that the contact information now includes a section for information authorized for public viewing on the VVA Chapter Locator web page. This information is optional, but highly encouraged. Thousands of potential members visit the Chapter Locator web page every year, and inclusion of this contact information provides direct access to all the chapters. 

The new version of the report eliminates the need to write down the address and phone number of each officer, director, and committee chair, since that information already is in the membership database. Copies of the new chapter election report were mailed to each chapter. The report also is available on the VVA web site. Please use this version of the election report when your chapter holds it next election.   

M.E.R.I.T. Program

To date, we have completed three rounds of the M.E.R.I.T. Program (Membership Excellence Recruitment Initiative Team), awarding one life membership and two Veterans Collectibles gift packages to the top VVA recruiters. The winner of the third M.E.R.I.T. round is Bill Robinson of Chapter 916 in Edgewater, Florida. Bill recruited 26 new VVA members.  Honorable mention goes to Ted Taylor of VVA Chapter 904 in Anchorage, Alaska, with 24 new VVA members. Bill and Ted helped form these new chapters and have continued to bring in new members beyond those counted for M.E.R.I.T. Congratulations on jobs well done. 

The fourth M.E.R.I.T. period is from February 22 to April 25. To be eligible for consideration, recruiters must be VVA members in good standing, affiliated with a chapter or in at-large status, and must have recruited at least eight new VVA members during the current M.E.R.I.T. period.  These new members must be in a paid status, with their DD-214s on file at their chapters (or at the national office for new at-large members). 

The names of recruiters, along with a listing of the new members they have recruited, must be submitted to VVA via the state council membership chair. If there is no state council, names may be submitted directly to VVA. Entries must be postmarked or e-mailed by April 25.  The fifth M.E.R.I.T. period will be April 26 to June 27. 

Membership Survey

We received more than three thousand responses to the membership survey mailed in January. This is a very strong response, much higher than the typical response rate for these kinds of surveys. It will be several months before all the answers are tabulated and the resulting data analyzed. We hope to learn a great deal about the needs and concerns of Vietnam veterans and will publish highlights of the survey in a future issue. Thanks to all who responded. 

Financial Reports

Please remember that state councils and chapters must submit their annual financial reports for the fiscal year ending Feb. 28, 2003, not later than July 15. The reports must be submitted to VVA's Finance Department. State councils and chapters must have their annual financial reports on file in order to seat their delegates at the National Convention.

The report forms were included in the last national mailing to state councils and chapters and also are available on the VVA web site. Please contact the Finance Department if you have any questions.

As always, should you have any membership questions, please call me at 800-882-1316, extension 115, or e-mail me at 


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