Service Not Self

Department Officers

President, Deanna Cortright

President Deanna’s theme for the 2016-2017 administrative year is “Dolls & Bears Together for our Veterans”.  Her special project is Project Boots on the Ground.  A formerly incorporated L3C worker owned company called Pingree Detroit. Pingree Detroit pays a living wage to a predominately veteran workforce, through the manufacture of stylish, high quality bags, footwear, and other gear using reclaimed leather up-cycled from the Detroit auto industry. Pingree Detroit is committed to creating the circumstances so that every veteran on their team and in the surrounding community has the opportunity to regain their sense of purpose, secure financial, emotional, and physical well-being, and be part of cultivating an environment of resilience in Detroit. For more information on President Deanna’s special project click here

President Deanna is eligible for membership through the service of her father, Robert E. Lentz, a U S Navy Veteran. He served 33 years and served during both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Mr. Lentz is a member of the American Legion in Orange Park Florida.

Deanna has been a member for 35 years, and has been active at the Unit and District level for all of them. At the Unit level, Deanna has held all offices, including a total of 5 years as President, with part being while she was a member of Quincy Unit #157.

On the District level, Deanna has held all offices, including a total of 3 years as President and 2 as Parliamentarian. She has also held many of the District chairmanships.

On the Department level, Deanna has been on many committees, many as chairman. She has served as chairman of the Junior Activities and Children and Youth Chairman (twice), Education Chairman, Western Area Membership Chairman, VA & R Chairman (3 years), Department Membership Chairman and Department Historian.

Deanna is a member of the 8 and 40 Salon 41 and the La Societe de Femme Cabane #946.

She retired from the State of Michigan after 30 years in December 2009 where she worked for the Department of Community Health for all but one year.

First Vice President, Deborah Williamson

Deborah is eligible through the service of her late father, Harvey R. Volkers, who served in the United States Navy during World War II and was a Pearl Harbor survivor. She is also eligible through her brother who served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam Era.

Deborah has been an active American Legion Auxiliary member for 64 years. On the Unit level she served her Unit as President for 6 yrs, currently serving her Unit as membership chairman. She served in every office except secretary and served as treasurer for 24 years. She has held every Chairmanship at the Unit level with the exception of Americanism and VA & R.

On the District level, Deborah served as First and Second Vice President and was President in 2006-2007. She served as Publication Chairman and Poppy Chairman for several years.

On the Department level, Deborah has been on the Girls State Committee for 13 years and served as Girls State Chairman. She is currently serving as Department First Vice President and Legislative Chairman.

Deborah is a 14 yr member of Kent Salon 322, served salon 2 yrs as Le Petit Chapeau.

Deborah has been employed as a bookkeeper by Michaels Stores, Inc. for 24 years. She is married and has four children and 16 grandchildren.

Second Vice President, Georgia Downs

Georgia became eligible to join the American Legion Auxiliary through the service of her deceased father, Kenneth P. Carlson, who served in World War II. Mr. Carlson enlisted in the Army when he was 16 years old and was one of the few survivors of his platoon while battling in Germany. He was a recipient of several honor ribbons.

While being a member for 20 years, she has held the office of Unit President (3 years) and District President for two terms. She has had the opportunity to chair many committees at both the Unit and District levels: Poppies, Americanism, V.A & R and Community Service.

Currently Georgia is chairing the same committees along with the Family Support Group. She has been the chairman and co-chairman for ten years for the Veterans Dinners at Post 411. As District President her project was the Wilwin Lodge, a retreat for our returning Veterans; she raised thousands of dollars by hosting a dinner once a month with all proceeds going to her project.

She has been a volunteer at Girls State for five years. She is a strong supporter of all of our programs. She is a member of Salon 300 and serves as Departmental Nurses Scholarship Chairman for Departmental Eight and Forty De Michigan.

She raised her family in Westerville, Ohio and moved back to Michigan in 1990. She has multiple designations and degrees in insurance and brings strong managerial skills in customer service/sales. She sat on the Boards of her local township for ten years, secretary for the Zoning Board two years and Board of Review for eight years. Georgia retired from Greenridge Real Estate in 2012 after 23 years in the industry. She has been a broker for 16 years and still maintains her own Real Estate brokerage.

Chaplin, Mary Dubay

Mary is eligible for membership through her husband, Richard T. Dubay, a Vietnam Veteran who served in the Air Force from 1966 to 1969. She is also eligible through the service of her late father, Charles Desmet, who served in World War II.

Mary has been a member of Harry Ollrich Unit #4 for 27 years. During this time she has held most offices and chairmanships. She served as Unit President for 2 years.

On the District level, Mary has held many chairmanships and offices and served as District President in 1999-2000. She is currently serving her eighth consecutive term as District Treasurer.

On the Department level, Mary has served as Americanism, Poppy, Public Relations, Auxiliary Emergency Fund, Resolutions, Education and Eastern Area Membership Chairman. Mary has also served on the following as a committee member: Americanism, Poppy, and Public Relations. During the time that she was Americanism Chairman, she won the Best Overall program in Americanism for the Central Division. As Education Chairman, she was awarded the American Legion Education Award. Mary is currently serving the Department as Chaplin. On the National Level, Mary has served as Central Division Chairman on the National Security Committee for 2015-2016 and  the National Vice Chairman for the Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF) Committee for 2016-2017.

Mary is currently employed as a Medical Secretary by Michigan Healthcare Professionals, where she has worked for the last 17 years. She and her husband, Richard, have been married for 47 years, and have 4 children and 7 grandchildren, all of which are members of the Legion family. Mary and her family are members of St. Peters Catholic Church in Mt. Clemens. Mary has been a member of Macomb County Salon #396 of the 8 & 40 for 14 years.

Historian, Marcy Jorae

Marcy is eligible through the service of her late husband, Stephen (Steve) C. Jorae.  Steve served 6 years in the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve during the Vietnam conflict.  He was a 30-year member of Edwin T. Stiles Post 153, St. Johns, MI at the time of his passing in 2003.

Marcy has been a member of Unit 153 for 11 years, serving as Unit President for the last 9 years.

At the District level, Marcy served 2 years as District First Vice-President, 2 years as District President, and is currently in her 5th year as District Secretary.  She has also held many of the District chairmanships.

On the Department level, Marcy has served on the Americanism Committee, the Website Committee, and the Strategic Planning Committee.  She chaired the Public Relations Committee (1 year) and the Leadership Committee (2 years).  At the 2016 National Convention, Marcy received the National Award for the Best Overall Leadership Program.

On the National level, Marcy is currently serving on the American Legion Auxiliary Centennial Celebration Committee, as the Auxiliary prepares to celebrate 100 years of service to Veterans.

In March 2016 Marcy retired from 46 years in the retail pharmaceutical industry.  She worked for Meijer Pharmacy 32 of her 39 years as a Registered Pharmacist, managing the Pharmacy Department for 10 of those years.

Marcy also volunteered for Sparrow Hospice Services for several years, having served on the board of Hospice for Clinton County, on the development committee for Hospice House of Mid-Michigan, and as the chairperson for 3 years for the Sparrow Foundation’s Hike for Hospice, a major fundraising project to benefit Sparrow Hospice Services.

Marcy resides on the small farm in rural Laingsburg that she and Steve purchased as newlyweds.

National Executive Committee Woman (NEC), Ellen Jackson

At the department level, Ellen is presently serving as the National Executive Committee Women and has previously served as Department President, 1st Vice President and Legislative Chairman, Michigan Strategic Planning Committee, 2nd Vice President & National Security Chair- man, Chaplain, Historian, and Americanism Chairman. She has served on the Americanism and Community Service Committees.

At the Unit and District levels she has dutifully held the offices of President, 1st and 2nd Vice President, Chaplain, Historian, and Sgt.-at-Arms. She brings her varied experience as chairman of VA&R, Americanism, Community Service, Membership, Past President’s Parley, Girls State, and Education, and District Publication Relations Chairman.

She has served on the Board for the Pontiac Veterans Memorial Wall. She was an ALA Rep- representative for the Families of Pontiac Veterans Scholarship. Ellen is also a partner of Salon 224.  Ellen has been proudly married for 11 years to her best friend PDC Carnie Jackson, a Vietnam Veteran. Between them they have three children and a daughter-in-law, Heather, Russell, John and his wife Amber. Ellen also has four grandchildren. They are Marissa 18, Anastia 16, Michael 10 and Ashley 6, all members of the American Legion Family.

Ellen is a dedicated, active Auxiliary member who joined under her deceased father, a Korean War Veteran. She is committed to serving the Veteran and their family and has shown her loyalty over a 15 year period of unselfish giving.

Michigan Legionnaire