Newsletters & Information > Convention 2009
Convention 2009

Aug 26, 2009

Fellow members, supporters and friends,

Convention 2009 is at the very top of our agendaand I’d like to start by saying congratulations to the newly elected National President, James Averhart. James is an active duty Chief Warrant Officer and past Quantico Chapter President and Senior Regional Vice President. James brings a ton of organizational skills and command experience to the top leadership role of our Association.

James Carr was elected as our new National Vice President. James has served as a Chapter President New York Metro and Northern Regional Vice President and other duties. Naval Chief Warrant Officer Deidra Ware is our new National Recording Secretary. Deidra previously served as the Quantico Chapter Secretary and the National Secretary of the National Naval Officers Association. Additionally, our National Treasurer, Charles Stallard and our National Financial Secretary were reelected to their positions. David Fortune was also inducted into our National Hall of Fame. All of these National Officers bring new enthusiasm and commitment to our Association. Please take the time to both congratulate them and wish them well as they help lead our Association.

We would and I would also like to extend my deepest thanks to our outgoing National Vice President Mike Johnson. Mike served at the National Level for over 10 years, first as our National Sergeant at Arms, where Mike spearheaded our uniform and Mike served as our National Vice President for the past 4 years. During this 4 year period Mike responded to every request and task that I gave him and traveled countless miles to represent the Association across the country.

We would also like to thank outgoing National Recording Secretary Regina Lawrence who served in her position for at least 12 years. Regina was on the forefront of both our National Website and the hard plastic membership cards. Regina has been and I know will continue to be a very dedicated member of Camp Lejeune Chapter 10. We wish both of these members well in whatever tasks they take on next.

Finally, I would like to once again thank each and every member, National Officer and supporter who responded to the call during my administration. I’ve said this before, no one in this organization has a paid position, many of us come out of pocket because we truly believe in the Men of Montford Point and we will not rest until they get their just due. Our mission cannot get any simpler. I have accepted two appointments from President Averhart. The first is to fill the long vacant position of National Legislative Officer. In this position I will step up the lobbying effort with the elected members of the US Congress to move forward in awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to the surviving Men of Montford Point. The Association has a great ally in this endeavor in Florida State Senator Anthony “Tony” Hill. Senator Hill was our honored guest at the National Banquet in St Louis and he renewed his commitment to Montford Point.

The second appointment I have accepted, on an interim basis, is your National Public Relations Officer. In this position I will continue to keep members informed through these updates and keep Americans informed through military and civilian news sources. I honestly feel this is where I can best serve the Association. This position will come up for election in 2010.

Convention 2009 could not have been successful if it were not for the leadership of the St Louis Chapter and Central Regional Chapter President Tony Chestang. Tony and his extremely dedicated crew, along with the Ladies Auxiliary, catered to our every need and provided the most memorable hospitality area we have seen in 10 years. Thanks Tony!!!

During our convention you may have noticed two very motivated Marines videotaping and taking still shots of our events. These two Marines, Sergeant Jennifer Jones, Combat Camera and Corporal Candayce Hayes, Public Affairs Office, both of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Cherry Point, North Carolina, have put together a short news clip worthy account of our convention that may be viewed on our National Website at:

These Marines are also working on an extended documentary type project on our Association and convention. We will inform members when this project is completed

The following individuals were inducted into our Hall of Fame during our National Banquet in Saint Louis;

Mr. Louis Gossett Jr.; Mr Gossett, of course, was the voice of our documentary project. National Financial Secretary David Fortune, Past National Public Relations Officer and current webmaster, Master Gunnery Sergeant Gilbert Taylor, Past National Special Projects Officer Jesse Hampton, Current National Special Projects Officer George Herring, Past National Chaplain Reverend Steven King (Posthumously) , Clarence Broussard Sr., one of the founders of the Grandville Alexander Chapter#7. Grandville Alexander has the unique distinction of being the only MPMA Chapter named after an individual. Grandville Alexander was also a co-founder of this chapter and sadly he and his family died during hurricane Betsy in 1965. Our final member of the 2009 MPMA Hall of Fame Class is Charles Vernon, an Original Montford Pointer from the Chicago Chapter who has been involved with the Association for over 30 years leading the effort to both raise money and awareness for the Association.

I’d like to thank the awards committee chaired by Past Quantico Chapter President Kenny Crutcher, the Regional Vice Presidents, National Vice President and Past National President Nat James for their dedicated work to ensure that our Hall of Fame represents the very best our Association has to offer.
Other MPMA major awards and awardees were;
Man of the Year:      Fred Mitchell New York Metro
Lester Granger Award      Florida State Senator Anthony “Tony” Hill
President’s Cup         Atlanta #5 and Camp Lejeune #10
Semper Fidelis Award      Glen Henry Sykes Atlanta Chapter #5

Congratulations to these individuals and Chapters for a job well done!!!!

Lynette Clifton will continue her reign as our National Queen for the 2009-2010 Association Year. Our Queen hails from Camp Lejeune Chapter 10 and is the granddaughter of one of that Chapter’s Founders, Master Gunnery Sergeant Mike Woods. 1st Runner up for Queen is our new National Recording Secretary Deidra Ware. Our 2d runner up is former National Queen Sontrese Latreveate Williams from our Chicago Chapter. Congratulations to these women and to all who helped raise money for our scholarship and operating endeavors!

The winners of our annual scholarship raffle driver were

1st Place $2500.00   Sergeant Major Johnny Washington Indianapolis Chapter
2d Place $500.00   “Pulley”       San Diego Chapter
3rd Place $300.00   Bert Ferrer       New York Chapter

Congratulations to these winners and thank you all that purchased tickets!!!!!

National News:
A reminder to all National Officers that your final convention reports are due to the National President 60 days after the convention. Please get these reports in on time so that the 2009 Fall Call Council may be scheduled during the October/November 2009 timeframe

James Averhart held his initial National Executive Council phone conference on Saturday 22 August to lay out his vision and plan for the Association. Many National Officers were on this call and this call will continue monthly with September’s being held on September 26th. Chapter Presidents are highly encourage to listen in on this call in order to fully understand what your National Office is doing to move forward on this new administration’s goals.

The Following list contains those National Officers who are in elected positions and those who have been appointed by President Averhart:

National Vice President Mr. James Carr
National Recording Secretary Ms. Deidra Ware
National Financial Secretary Mr. David Fortune
National Treasurer Mr. Charles Stallard
National Public Relations Officer Mr. Joseph H. Geeter III PNP
National Veterans Affairs Officer Mr. Leo Taylor
National Scholarship Director Mr. Gene Doughty PNP
National Special Projects Officer Mr. George Herring
National Sergeant At Arms Mr. Robert Alridge
National Southern Region VP Mr. Kenneth Crutcher
National Western Region VP Mr. Nathaniel Hosea
National Northern Region VP Mr. Ken Rollock
National Central Region VP Mr. Anthony Chestang

National Chaplain Mr. James Moore
National Convention Director Mr. Nathaniel James PNP
National Convention Deputy Mr. Wendell Ferguson
National Journal Director Mr. Anthony Chestang
National Quarter Master Mr. Elijah Abram
National Museum Director Mr. Finney Greggs
National Monument Director Mr. Houston Shinal
National Standing Committee Chair Mr. Mike Johnson
National Parliamentarian Mr. Aaron German
National Deputy Parliamentarian Ms. Melanie Young
National Ceremonial Director Mr. John Hood
National Resolution Chairman Mr. Eugene Dobie Gillis
National Webmaster Mr. Gilbert Taylor
National Historian Mr. Joseph Carpenter
National Credential Director Mr. Barnett Person
National Education Officer Mr. Charlie Boyd
National Awards Chairperson Mrs. Linda Sykes
National Legislative Officer Mr. Joseph H. Geeter III PNP

Spring Council 2010: will be held 15-18 April 2010 in the Fredericksburg, VA area. The Quantico Chapter is the host chapter of next year’s convention. Please continue to check both these updates and the National Webpage for further information

Convention 2010: Convention 2010 will also be held in the Fredericksburg area from July 21-25th. Please mark these dates on your calendars and more information will be included on our national website and in this update soon.

Convention 2011: 2009 MPMA Chapter of the Year Atlanta was voted to host our convention in 2011. Those of us who attended the 2002 convention in Atlanta remember an efficiently ran convention with a lot of activities. We are expected the same in 2011. The Atlanta Chapter will fully brief and present their plan for 2011 at our 2010 Spring Council.

Convention 2012. We find ourselves in a great position for upcoming conventions. There has already been preliminary buzz about convention 2012 with at least 3 chapters vying for the honor. We are asking those chapters to be prepared to professionally brief the National Executive Council at the 2010 Spring Council at the members will vote at convention 2011.

The contact information for our National Recording Secretary, Diedra Ware is; 443-802-4898 Cell and 703-567-7890, home. Diedra can be reached via email at or Diedra is asking all Chapters to submit (or resubmit) your chapter rosters as she continues to ensure our National Roster is up-to-date with your members.

Chapter Happenings:
San Diego: Held their Annual Banquet on Saturday 22 August 2009. Past National Vice President Mike Johnson was the honored guest. This event was a sellout of 140 folks and the San Diego Chapter presented three Scholarships of $1,000.00 to local area seniors. Congratulations to the San Diego recently elected Chapter President Mark Harrell on his election! Also the following San Diego Officer were elected to the listed positions
Vice President      Robert Lewis
Secretary      Chermane Harrell
Treasurer      Melvin Sheppard
Financial Secretary   Walter Washington
Sergeant-at-Arms   James Love Congratulations to these officers!!!

Los Angeles: Will hold their 44th Anniversary and the 234th Marine Corps Birthday celebration on Saturday November 14th from 7:00 -11:00 PM at the Alondra Golf Course in Torrance, California. Tickets are $50.00 each and can be purchased by contacting L.E. (Mike) Johnson 909-815-1972 or by email at

Atlanta #5: Will hold their 1st Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 10th 2009 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1325 Virginia Ave (East Point) Atlanta, Georgia from 6:00 PM until midnight. Tickets for this event at $45.00 each and may be purchased from Glen Sykes (770) 310-5341 Kevin Johnson (678) 575-2154 or Edward Sutton (404) 209-9712. Yours truly will be the master of ceremonies and MPMA Hall of Famer Lieutenant General Ronald S. Coleman will be the feature speaker.

Quantico# 32 will hold their 4th Annual Commemorative Ball at the Clubs of Quantico on Saturday, August 29th from 6:00PM until midnight. Tickets for this event may be purchased by calling 540-446-6231 or 804-986-9730. Betty Mosley Brown EdD, Associate Director of the Veterans Affairs for Women Veterans will be the keynote speaker. I have known and served with former Marine Brown over 19 years and I know she’ll give us some insight to Veterans issue at this event.

Louisville #22 has a new website; Please visit this site to find out the latest information about our Louisville Chapter. The Louisville Chapter will hold their 6th Annual Covington-Hagan Scholarship Banquet on Saturday March 20th 2010 at Mastersons from 6:00 11:00 PM Tickets for this event are $50.00 and may be purchased from Louisville Chapter President Charles Stallard. Charles may be reached at 502-231-0132 or 502-550-2423 or by email at . Major General retired Leo V. Williams III will be the featured speaker

New York Metro Will hold their Annual Dinner Dance in concert with the US Marine Corps Birthday on Sunday November 8th at Antun’s Caterer’s 96-43 Springfield Blvd, Queens Village NY. Tickets are $75.00 each and may be purchased by contacting the following; NY Office 212-267-3318; Carl Luke, 718-529-0124 or Ken Rollock at 201-569-7113.

Jacksonville #29: Will hold their Birthday Ball honoring the 234th birth of our Corps on Saturday, November 14th beginning at 6:00 PM at the Clarion Airport Conference Hotel, 2101 Dixie Clipper Drive, Jacksonville, FL. Tickets are $50.00 each and may be purchased from Donna Webster at 904-534-8013 or Maurice Grant at 904-764-3048.

TAPS/Final Formation: Alice F. Jones: The New York Chapter lost a very special member recently. Alice F. Jones was the 4th African American Woman Officer. Ms. Jones dedicated many years of her professional life to veterans, working for the Vietnam Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, and the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs. For five months in 2004 Alice worked on a US military base in Italy providing training for soldiers returning from the Iraq War. Ms. Jones was a great veteran’s supporter. National Vice President James Carr represented the Association at her homegoing ceremony.

National Chaplain: Would like to send thank you for all the chapters for keeping him informed with our member’s status, particularly when a member passes. Reverend Moore heard the memorial bell ring 26 times at our National Banquet marking 26 deaths since we last gathered as an Association. National Banquet Master of Ceremonies and St Louis Chapter member Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Boyd offered us a challenge to take care of ourselves so that we will not hear that bell ring nearly as often in Quantico in 2010.

Chapter Presidents and members are reminded to encourage our elder members to prepare a bio for the press and the funeral home. We often get last minute requests from the family asking about their loved one’s service dates, rank, etc… Please make sure that up-to-date bio information is ready at the Chapter level. Members are reminded to report the lost of members and supporters immediately to our National Chaplin, Reverend James Moore. Reverend Moore may be reached at 843-846-0881 or email at:

Obama Memorabilia: Long time supporter and plaque and poster designer Dee Siffer has a website of quality Obama memorabilia at Dee has designed plaques for many USMC General Officers to include our current Commandant James T. Conway.

As always, please continue to check our official website for more information through the Association at or or or or
Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the Legacy of our heroes!

Semper Fidelis!
Joseph H. Geeter III
Master Gunnery Sergeant USMC (retired)
National Legislative Officer/National Public Relations Officer
Past National President Montford Point Marine Association Inc.
27 Red Tail Court Limerick, PA 19468 610-495-3619



Historical advisor Byron Stewart PhD


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