Gary P. Burns*
J. Marc Burgess
Cold Spring, KY
Dennis A. Joyner
Larry A. Polzin
Alan W. Bowers
Santa Fe Springs, CA
Sal R. Tornatore
Huntington Station, NY
Donald L. Samuels
*As President of the Board, Mr. Burns guides the Foundation's
efforts to ensure disabled veterans and their families receive DAV services as long
as they are needed. He is also closely involved in the oversight of “The Columbia
Trust” a restricted trust fund within the Foundation, which provides grants to a
variety of DAV service programs.
A native of Augusta, Maine, Mr. Burns enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967 and served
as a member of the 1st of the 327th Infantry, C Company, 101st Airborne Division.
He received multiple shell fragment wounds on April 21, 1968 during an operation
against enemy forces in the Ashau Valley of Vietnam. He was medically retired from
the Army as a Sergeant in 1969.
Mr. Burns joined the DAV’s professional staff on January 5, 1970 as a National Service
Officer (NSO) at the DAV National Service Office in Togus, Maine. He was transferred
to the DAV National Service Office at White River Junction, Vermont in the fall
of 1970 to serve as supervisor. He served there until the fall of 1972, when he
was transferred back to Togus, where he served as supervisor until retiring in February
A life member of John F. McPherson DAV Chapter 1, in Togus, Mr. Burns has been highly
active in DAV Chapter and Department functions, to include serving on a variety
of Chapter and Department committees and as DAV Department of Maine Commander in
1978. He is also highly active in his community, currently serving on the board
of directors of the Capital Area Recreation Association. Additionally he served
as a member of the Augusta City Council from 1986 to 1990. As a result of his community
leadership, the Calumet Club of Augusta honored Mr. Burns as its 26th annual “Outstanding
Citizen” in May 2001. In July 2001 Mr. Burns was inducted into the Maine Baseball
Hall of Fame for his devotion to promoting youth baseball.
Manager, Trust and Foundation Administration
Disabled American Veterans
Bridgette Shaffer began her DAV career at the National Headquarters office in 2001,
shortly after graduation from high school. A native of Kentucky, Ms. Shaffer was
initially assigned as a Donor Relations Correspondent Specialist. She was promoted
to the DAV executive offices in 2006, where she provided direct support to both
the Comptroller and the General Counsel.
In 2010, Ms. Shaffer was promoted to the newly-created position of Legal and Regulatory
Affairs Coordinator. In that capacity, reporting to the General Counsel, her duties
were wide-ranging and involved a broad range of issues, including fundraising compliance,
litigation management and basic legal research. She also played a major role in
the creation and implementation of new procedures for managing contracts and tracking
bequests. Working with the National Service Department and the General Counsel,
she helped to structure DAV's expanded program of representation of veterans at
the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
In 2012, Ms. Shaffer was promoted to the position of Manager of Trust and Foundation
Administration. In that position, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the
DAV National Service Foundation and the DAV Charitable Service Trust, two independent
nonprofit organizations that have a long and close association with DAV. These organizations
serve many functions and provide support for the DAV National Service Program, the
DAV Transportation Network, as well as for various other worthy charitable programs
for veterans around the country.