Our Mission:

The Foundation acts as the charitable “giving arm” of the DAV Department of MN, providing financial resources for projects and programs directly supporting veterans and their families throughout Minnesota.

Our Story:

The DAV of MN Foundation was Founded in 1994 with the initial purpose as being the “Giving Arm of the DAV of MN Department”. After 23 years, the DAV of MN Foundation is stronger than ever with the ability to support veteran related programs, services, projects, and community grants aimed at filling the gaps and needs of Minnesota Veterans and their families. Since 2012, the Foundation has donated over $1,750,000 in funds to support DAV programs and services, community grants and projects. The Foundation continues to adapt to the ever changing needs of Minnesota Veterans and their families, to ensure that the needs of the veterans are being met.



Rob Hartley, Chair

Rob Hartley is a DAV of MN Chapter 1 Member from Minneapoolis
Minnesota. Rob is an attorney and practices law through his
own firm, Hartley Law, in Columbia Heights. Rob served with the United
States Navy as a submariner for 6 years aboard the USS Tinosa in
Conneticut. Chairman Hartley is a DAV of MN 2013 Past Department
Commander. This is Chairman Hartley’s 3rd year on the Foundation
board and his first year as Chairman.


Dave Valtinson, Director

Dave Valtinson is a 15 Year DAV of MN Chapter 13 Member from
Park Rapids Minnesota where he retired after a career as a rural postal
carrier. Dave Valtinson served as an Infantryman and Infantry Direct Fire
Crewman in Vietnam with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry
Division from 1967-1968. Dave is a Past Department Commander
of the DAV of MN Department in 2011, and 2014. Dave currently
serves on the DAV National Executive Committee, representing District
14. Dave’s other volunteer activities and associations include, American
Legion, VFW, Order of the Purple Hearts, Eagles Club, Loyal Order of
Moose, and the Itasca County Veterans Council. Dave is currently on
his third year as a DAV of MN Foundation Board Member.


Jerry Bjerke, Director

Jerry Bjerke is a new DAV member with the DAV of MN Chapter 38
from Park Rapids MN. Jerry recently retired after 30 years of military
service in the U.S. Navy, and is currently the Hubbard County Veteran
Service Officer. During his time in the Navy, Jerry spent a career as an
electrical and nuclear engineer, and numerous positions as instructor
in the field. Jerry had several deployments to include service on-board
the USS Long Beach, US John C. Stennis, USS Ronald Reagan and Commander
Naval Air forces US Pacific Fleet. Jerry’s other volunteer activities
and associations include, American Legion, and lifetime member of
VFW, DAV, and Honorary Order of Kentucky Colonels, Jerry is currently
in his first year as a board member.


Scott Berndt, Treasurer

Scott Berndt is the Treasurer for the Department and Foundation. A
member of Chapter 39 from Andover MN. Scott spent a career in both
the military and as a tool and die technician. Scott served in Operation
Desert Storm and in Haiti to Uphold Democracy. Scott retired from
the military after 23 years of honorable service in the Infantry, Combat
Engineers, and Civil Affairs with the 18th Airborne Corps and an
attachment to the Pakistan Army. Scott has spent 20 years as a DAV of
MN Member and volunteers as a driver in Anoka County, and still does
AARP Tax Services, as well as operates a fishing carter in Lake Superior.


Mick Aguirre, Dept Commander

Mick Aguirre is an 8 year member of DAV of MN Chapter 2 of St. Paul. Mick served as Motor Transport/Vehicle Mechanic and Mortarman with the 2nd Battalion 27th in Vietnam from 1968-1969.
Mick recently retired after a career as a diesel mechanic and heavy equipment operator for Ramsey County. He is currently serving as the DAV of MN Department Commander, after holding several committee
assignments and Chapter leadership positions. Mick’s other volunteer activities and associations include VFW, VVA, American Legion, Honor Guard, 4th District VFW. He is on the board as a voting member,
representing the DAV of MN Department.

Stephen Whitehead, Executive Director

Stephen Whitehead is the acting Adjutant of the DAV of MN Department,
the Executive Director of the DAV of MN Foundation, and a 5
year member of DAV of MN Chapter 10 Mankato. Stephen served in
Iraq from 2006-2007 with the 1/125 Field Artillery, 1st Brigade Combat
Team, 34th Infantry Division. Stephen still serves with the MN
National Guard as a Sgt. Major of the 1/125 Field Artillery. Stephen is
currently the DAV National 2nd Jr. Vice Commander, expected to be
the DAV National Commander in 2019. Stephen has been recognized
for his work by the MN Humanities center as a Veterans Voices “On
the Rise” 2013 recipient, and by the MN National Guard as 1st Sgt of
the year, 2012.