Department of Alaska: C. Russell Huber Unit 57
Eligibility: Through son, Kyle, who serves in the Alaska Air Guard. Also adds military service of her adoptive father, Keith LaChance.
Offices Held: Served/serving several unit-level positions and multiple department-level offices and chairmanships. National: served as chair of the Auxiliary Emergency Fund, Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, Children & Youth, Education, Legislative, Constitution & Bylaws, Public Relations, and Junior Activities committees, and as 100th Anniversary Committee member, National Executive Committee member, ALA Centennial Strategic Plan strategy co-captain, and American Legion Auxiliary national vice president.
Professional/personal background: Lisa’s family is her pride and joy — husband Darrel, daughter Danielle, and son Kyle — and that pride is reflected in their commitment to The American Legion Family. All served in leadership roles at local, state, and national levels in The American Legion Family. Kyle is also one of her unit’s first male ALA members, and Danielle has blessed Lisa with two grandsons: Dawson, 9, and Micah, 6. All are Legion Family members.
Department of Kansas: John P. Hand Unit 250
Eligibility: Through father, John M. Brusati, U.S. Army, World War II; and grandfather, Edmund S. Lindberg, U.S. Navy, WWII.
Offices Held: Served in several unit-, district-, and department-level positions. National: Chair of Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, Children & Youth, Constitution & Bylaws, Leadership, Legislative, ALA Girls Nation, Public Relations, Membership, and Auxiliary Emergency Fund committees; served as Central Division National Vice President; National Executive Committee member; American Legion Auxiliary Foundation Board of Directors member; and served on the ALA Centennial Strategic Plan Team.
Professional/personal background: Trish is employed as a Senior Lead Project Manager at Lumen, a global multinational technology and IT company. Trish’s hobby is studying parliamentary law, and she is a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians. She holds bachelor degrees from both the University of Southern California and the University of Kansas. She and her husband Steve bring children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to The American Legion Family experience.
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 president, 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 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.
CAROL T. ROBINSON
Department of Ohio: Unit 776 in Riverside
Eligibility: Through late brother, William A. Hawkins, who served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
Professional/personal background: Carol is retired from Defense Logistics 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.
Department of Vermont: Ballard-Hobart Unit 36
Eligibility: Through father, Harold “Zeke” St. John, U.S. Navy veteran, WWII.
Professional/personal background: Debra has been an American Legion Auxiliary member since 1999 as a Paid Up For Life member. She is married to Dan Tiernan, and they share three children and eight grandchildren. Debra was a licensed nursing assistant for 27 years, and a ski lift operator for 11 years. She is a proud member of Veterans of Foreign Affairs Auxiliary, Loyal Order of the Moose, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and Cavendish Green Mountain Snow Fleas. Debra loves all things outdoors.
Department of Montana: Broadwater Unit 42
Eligibility: Through husband, Vietnam veteran Michael G. Susag, U.S. Air Force; and father, Oscar Webster, WWI. Also adds military service of brother, Harold Webster, U.S. Army; brother, Alfred Webster, U.S. Navy; and son, Christopher Susag, U.S. Navy.
Professional/personal background: Karen has been an American Legion Auxiliary member since 1970, and a Paid Up For Life member. She has served on many different chairmanships and offices held at unit, district, and department levels. Karen is a newspaper reporter, Blood Drive chairman, Youth Leader volunteer, and involved in food service at university.
Department of Texas: Beaumont Unit 33
Eligibility: Through father, Charles Wheeler, U.S. Navy; brother, Chuck Wheeler, U.S. Marine Corps; spouse, Michael Trahan, U.S. Marine Corps; and sons, Michael Trahan, U.S. Air Force and Dusty Trahan, U.S. Marine Corps.
Professional/personal background: Christine has been an Auxiliary member since 1993. She’s been married for 43 years and has two sons and one granddaughter, all who are members of The American Legion Family. Christine retired after 36 years as an administrative assistant. She spends her time volunteering as an advocate for PTSD and utilizes a majority of her time volunteering for her Auxiliary unit and the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Texas.
JEANETTE (JAN) CUSHING
Department of Arizona: Earl E. Mitchell Unit 29
Eligibility: Through husband, George, U.S. Air Force veteran, Vietnam War.
Professional/personal background: Jan is very involved in the American Legion Auxiliary at all levels and has held many different leadership positions in the last 20 years. She and her husband George have four children, 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren together. She is retired and worked for United Technology in East Hartford, Conn.
Department of Kentucky: Hardin Unit 113
Eligibility: Through father, Kenneth A. Johnson, U.S. Army sergeant. Also adds military service of late husband, Col. J.W. Thurman
Professional/personal background: Donna has been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary since 1996 and holds a PUFL membership. Donna grew up as an Army “brat” which made her a strong supporter of our military. Donna’s father taught her to always respect soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and her husband further instilled that sense of responsibility in her. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in foreign language from Eastern Kentucky University, and a master’s degree in secondary counselling from Western Kentucky University. Donna taught French and German for 14 years.
Department of Hawaii: Unit 56
Eligibility: Through husband, Mark, U.S. Navy veteran. Also adds military service of father, U.S. Marine Corps pilot in Vietnam; and grandfather, U.S. Navy, WWII
Professional/personal background: Brister comes from a military family with a deep American history and has family members who have served in every U.S. conflict. She married her hero, Mark, and they have three daughters together. Brister is a retired police chaplain and youth minister, and she also retired from a successful career as an advertising executive. She currently works for DOL (Department of Labor) TAPS (Transition Assistance Program) serving transitioning military.
"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