“It is such an honor to be standing here today as your national president,” said American Legion Auxiliary 2023-2024 National President Lisa Williamson during the installation of national officers at the ALA’s 102nd National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. “I am truly humbled and honored that you believe in me enough to elect me to this esteemed position.”
Williamson is ready to make a difference this administrative year as Alaska’s first ALA national president, continuing the Auxiliary’s longstanding tradition of Service Not Self.
Williamson was born in southern California and moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, when she was 7 years old. Fairbanks is the second largest city in the state.
Williamson has served several unit-level positions and multiple department-level offices and chairmanships. At the national level, she has 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.
For the ALA’s 2023-2024 administrative year, the national focus is on preventing veteran/military suicide.
The No. 1 action is to destigmatize getting help.
“Especially in the military, you’re made to be tough and strong and so you have to suck it up,” Williamson said. “It’s something that’s engrained in them from the very get-go. They think that getting help is making them weak or less of a person or less of a man.”
She said The American Legion’s “Be the One” initiative is not just the Legion’s, but the entire American Legion Family’s with all three leaders — Legion, Sons of The American Legion, and the ALA — focusing on this important issue for the new administrative year.
“Just be the one to save one,” Williamson said. “All those ones add up. Between three organizations, we are over 2 million strong. If each one of us helps one, there are 2 million we save.”
Read more about Williamson in the November 2023 Auxiliary magazine, which will be available in mailboxes and online.
Be sure to follow Williamson on Facebook at @alanationalpresident as she travels to units and departments across the country.
Fun facts about 2023-2024 National President Lisa Williamson
1) I go to Mexico every year with my husband, Darrel. That’s where we got married.
2) I’m an American Legion Rider. That is one of the times I do my best thinking.
3) I am studying Spanish and try to daily.
4) I’m not a big meat-eater. I’ll eat a burger every once in a while, with a lot of stuff on it. Steak or prime rib is not my jam.
5) I like seafood.
By Sara Fowler, Staff Writer