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2024–2025 Candidates for National Office

2024–2025 Candidates for National Office

The following information is intended to inform membership about the announced candidates for national office. It does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by DAV National Headquarters of any candidate to the exclusion of others who may stand for election. DAV members may announce their candidacy at any time, up to and including the time of election at the 2024 DAV and Auxiliary National Convention, which will be held Aug. 3–6 in Phoenix.


Daniel Contreras, a service-connected disabled Army veteran, is a past commander of the Department of California and currently serves as the state’s adjutant and treasurer. He is also DAV’s national senior vice commander and vice chairman of the DAV national board of directors. He has served on the National Executive Committee and was elected to the board of directors for the National Service Foundation, where he served from 2009 until 2019.

Contreras served as a combat medic and nurse from 1980 to 1996, achieving the rank of sergeant first class. From 2000 to 2008, he helped veterans receive their earned benefits as a DAV national service officer and area supervisor.

Contreras is a life member of Chapter 99 in Oxnard, California. In addition to his various DAV leadership and managerial positions at the national and state levels, he was appointed to chair the California Mexican American Veterans Memorial Committee by former California Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown.

Contreras is seeking election to higher office.


Coleman Nee, a service-connected disabled Marine veteran who served from 1986 to 1994, including deployment during the Persian Gulf War, currently serves as DAV’s national 1st junior vice commander.

He was appointed by the governor of Massachusetts to serve as the Massachusetts secretary of veterans’ services from 2011 to 2015, overseeing $100 million in state funding for veterans and dependents, financial aid, and programming. During Nee’s tenure, the department created a number of new initiatives to increase access to services for veterans, including the more than 47,000 veterans returning to Massachusetts from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nee was elected to serve on the National Executive Committee from 2017 to 2019 and served on the board of directors during the same period. A life member of Chapter 3 in Braintree, Massachusetts, Nee served as the Department of Massachusetts assistant judge advocate and chair of the Homeless Veterans Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the Incarcerated Veterans Outreach Committee.

Nee is seeking election to higher office.


John Donovan, a service-connected disabled Navy veteran and DAV life member of Chapter 10 in Conway, Arkansas, currently serves as DAV’s national 2nd junior vice commander. He served as the National Executive Committee representative of District 21 for both Arkansas and Oklahoma from 2019 to 2021 and served on the board of directors during the same period. He also serves as adjutant of the Department of Arkansas.

Donovan was honorably discharged from the Navy in 2004, after serving for 24 years. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in organizational management with a minor in organizational leadership.

During his time with DAV, Donovan has played an active role in supporting and volunteering for veterans, including yard cleanups and ramp construction for wheelchair access. Donovan works with Arkansas’ national service officers at information seminars and with chapters conducting compensation claims events across the state to raise awareness of DAV programs.

Donovan is seeking election to higher office.


Cynthia Madison is a disabled veteran who retired from the Army. She has been actively involved with the organization at the chapter, department and national levels since becoming a DAV life member in 2002. She earned a bachelor of business administration from Averett University, Virginia, and a master’s degree in human resource management from Troy University, Alabama. She currently serves as DAV’s national 3rd junior vice commander and as the assistant adjutant and Time and Place Committee member for the Department of Virginia, as well as adjutant of Chapter 27 in Portsmouth. She was appointed as Virginia’s deputy chief of staff to the national commander in September 2021.

Madison previously served as commander of the Department of Virginia and is a past president of the Commanders and Adjutants Association. She also served on the Department of Virginia’s Women Veterans and Employment committees as well as Interim Employment Committee, Interim Hospital and Voluntary Services Committee, and Nominating and Credentials National Convention Committees.

Madison has a history of volunteering at Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers and elsewhere in her community in ways that benefit her fellow veterans. She chaired five different Department of Virginia 5K races and served as chairperson of the national DAV 5K in Newport News.

Madison is seeking election to higher office.


James Procunier is a service-connected disabled Navy veteran who served from 1985 to 2013 and currently serves as DAV’s national 4th junior vice commander. During his enlistment, Procunier served in a number of billets as a hospital corpsman, retiring as a chief petty officer. As a civilian contractor, he served as a project officer for the Navy MRAP (Mine Resistant-Ambush Protected) vehicle program, which saved untold lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on other defense-related management programs. Additionally, Procunier served 34 years in law enforcement in Florida and Michigan and is a former firefighter and paramedic.

Procunier is a life member of Chapter 16 in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and Chapter 10 in Fairfax, Virginia. He previously served as a trustee for a DAV department and currently for a chapter. He has served in nearly every capacity at the state level in DAV, including commander of the Department of Virginia. For his service with Chapter 10, he was named Virginia’s DAV Volunteer of the Year before being honored with the 2016 John Maki Distinguished Service Award. In 2017, he was recognized by the Department of Virginia as its Disabled American Veteran of the Year. On the national level, Procunier served for seven years on the National Interim Legislation Committee and five years on the Convention Committee for Legislation and Veterans Rights, with two years as the chair. He also served on the board of directors of the National Service Foundation.

Procunier is seeking election to higher national office.


Matthew Kempainen is a service-connected disabled veteran who served in the Army from 2002 to 2009, including two deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. He is a life member of Chapter 3 in De Pere, Wisconsin. He currently serves on the National Interim POW/MIA Committee and is the adjutant of both the DAV Department of Wisconsin and Chapter 3.

Kempainen earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Concordia University Wisconsin. He has previously served as chairman of the Interim Membership Committee and General Resolutions Committee. He has also served as Department of Wisconsin commander and judge advocate and is a chapter service officer. His awards include DAV Wisconsin Recruiter of the Year five years in a row and Wisconsin’s Co-Veteran of the Year in 2020.

Kempainen is seeking election to national office.


Glenn Hohman is a service-connected disabled veteran who served in the Army from 1992 to 2013 and a life member of Chapter 14 in Sierra Vista, Arizona. He currently serves on the Interim Constitution and Bylaws Committee; as the Department of Arizona judge advocate and Benefits Protection Team leader; and treasurer, transportation officer, driver and Budget Committee chair for Chapter 14. Additionally, Hohman serves as vice chair of Unified Arizona Veterans and on Sen. Mark Kelly’s Veteran Advisory Committee.

Hohman has earned a bachelor of applied science in intelligence operations and master of business administration in management from Wayland Baptist University, Texas. He previously served as National Executive Committee 18th District representative, National Service Foundation board member and National Interim Legislation Committee member and in numerous other roles at both the state and chapter level in DAV.

Hohman is seeking election to national office.


Michael Dobmeier has served as national judge advocate, advising the National Executive Committee (NEC) and board of directors, since 2002. He served as DAV national commander in 1999 and as the 14th District NEC representative in 1994.

Dobmeier enlisted in the Navy in 1969 after graduating from high school. He trained as an engineman; attended the Naval Submarine School in New London, Connecticut; and completed Navy Dive School in San Diego. In 1972, Dobmeier suffered severe burns on more than 30% of his body after an oil heater exploded aboard the submarine USS Trigger. He was discharged later that year and became a life member of Chapter 2 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He has since been appointed or elected to nearly every chapter and department office and position and was named the 1985 DAV Outstanding Member of the Department of North Dakota.

Dobmeier is seeking election to another term as national judge advocate.


Debra Varner Dancer, a service-connected disabled Army veteran, currently serves as DAV’s national chaplain. She has been a life member of Chapter 4 in Birmingham, Alabama, since 2013.

Dancer joined the Army in 1972 and served as a medic. After her military service, she earned bachelor’s degrees in business administration from Southern Business College and in theology from Lomax Hannon Bible College in Alabama.

After college, she began working for the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, where she has enjoyed a career as a women’s service coordinator. She has continued her service there as a resource support specialist in the Veterans Service/Student Affairs office, where she’s assisted more than 3,700 veterans and family members requiring assistance with education benefits.

She also serves as a hospital service coordinator for the Birmingham VA Medical Center, where she helps veterans and their families find resources and learn about earned benefits.

Dancer has more than 30 years of experience in pastoral ministry and support, including serving as a chaplain for the DAV Department of Alabama.

Dancer is seeking election to another term as national chaplain.

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