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BOARD MEMBER PROFILES

Here is a sample few of the nearly 10,500 men and women who serve as uncompensated volunteers on Selective Service Local Boards.

 

picture of Pete Valdez
Pete Valdez
Local Board 35
California

Hispanic issues are close to Pete Valdez's heart and he is a founding member of the Gilroy, California, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the city council (his 16th year!) and is an adjutant professor at Gavilan College. Pete Valdez is a strong supporter of small businesses. He founded Valdez & Associates to help promote them.

When he became a board member in 1981, it was because "I'm one for fairness and I believe that everyone should do his or her part."

 

Picture of Gail C. Woodberry
Gail C. Woodberry
Local Board 24
Kansas

Gail Woodberry serves as a board member in the Wichita, Kansas, area, where she is a tax examiner with the Internal Revenue Service. She is also involved with the "Adopt a School" program where she tutors and mentors students, and works with youth in building self-esteem. Gail Woodberry has been recognized by the United Way as an Outstanding Loan Executive. She also is active in her church.

 

Picture of Janyce Falcon Hunt
Janyce Falcon Hunt
Local Board 44
Nebraska

When Local Board Member Janyce Hunt saw the movie "Trail of Tears" in 1960, it changed her life. She began to learn as much as she could about her culture - the Chippewa Cree. When she was a child, she remembers being ashamed of her heritage. Her father, a Norwegian, had been rejected by his family after marrying her mother.

Instead of letting discrimination get the better of her, Hunt and her twin sister, Joy, became the first in their family to graduate from high school and go on to college. Today Hunt actively promotes American Indian culture and her work has gained international recognition.

 

Picture of Steve Conlon
Steve Conlon
Local Board 2
West Virginia

"Board members play an important role, looking at cases objectively and deciding them."

Steve Conlon has been a board member since 1981. He raises bees and processes honey at his ThistleDew Farm in Proctor, West Virginia. This photo at left actually shows him "wearing" his infamous "bee beard" made up of thousands of live honey bees. He often dons his "beard" at county fairs where he's sure to get lots of attention!

 

Picture of Kennard O. Whitfield
Kennard O. Whitfield
District Appeal Board 546
Missouri

Kennard O. Whitfield, who has served as a Selective Service District Appeal Board Member since 1988, is the Mayor of Rock Hill, a community just west of St. Louis.

"I've always been one who wanted to give back to the community," he says. "This allows me, in a small way, to contribute to my country. I've been enriched by my association with the people affiliated with Selective Service."

 

Picture of Richard Gonzmart
Richard Gonzmart
Local Board 30
Florida

"My position is an important one in which I must consider one's honesty, sincerity, and religious convictions. I feel it is my duty to assist my country by making objective judgements with a fair voice and without prejudice," says this Tampa resident and longtime Local Board Member.

Richard Gonzmart, besides being active in many community groups, is president of the Columbia Restaurant Group, founded by his grandfather in 1905.

 

Picture of Don Herring
Don Herring
Local Board 5
Mississippi

"Readiness is a job that can never be completed. This country will always need the ability to mobilize its citizens for its defense," says Don Herring, Chairman of his Mississippi Local Board. This businessman and former mayor or Saltillo wants to ensure that any future manpower call-up is done fairly and impartially. Deferment decisions will be made by hometown leaders who know the importance of the Nation's needs, as well as those of citizens and the community.

 

Picture of Laurence M. Katz
Laurence M. Katz
Local Board 21
Maryland

"The training sessions are very interesting, and while I hope we never have to meet as a functioning board in a national crisis, being a board member is an important responsibility," says Laurence Katz. He is a full-time faculty member who has also served for 15 years as dean of the University of Baltimore Law School. During this time the school doubled its faculty, boosted enrollment, and built a 92,000 square foot law center.

Katz is a father of five, a grandfather, and an active member of Baltimore's Jewish community.

 

Last Updated April 30, 2002
©2007 Selective Service System