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National Leadership

National Officers

National Commander
William F. Clark (NC)

National First

Vice Commander

Horace Johnson (FL)

National Second

Vice Commander
Paul Shipley (PA)


National Third

Vice Commander
Sandy Vorhies (OH)


National Judge Advocate
PNC James B. King (IL)


National Deputy

Judge Advocate

Marty Bugaj (NY)


National Finance Officer
Kelly McFarlain (LA)


National Provost Marshal
Arthur L. Majors (OH)


National Finance Committee
PNC Joseph Peining (FL)
Christopher Studebaker (IL)

National Chaplain
Milton Allen (GA)

National Districts

District I

Arthur Rodriguez (RI)


District II

Doug Porter (DE)


District III

Laura Farlain (LA)

District IV
Christopher Studebaker (IL)


District V

Terry Traylor (TX)

District VI
Terri Goode (AK)

AMVETS National Commander William "Bill" Clark

William (Bill) Clark has been an integral part of AMVETS since he joined Post 906 in Southport North Carolina in 1998. He was one of the first founding officers of that post. Throughout his long-standing involvement with AMVETS, Bill has taken on various leadership roles, including serving as First, Second, and Third Vice Commander at the post, department, and national levels. His commitment and dedication led him to hold the highest ranking position of National Commander of AMVETS this year. 


Bill Clark's journey of service to his country began with 14 years of dedicated service in the Marine Corps, encompassing both active duty and reserve duty. He was deployed to the Western Pacific and Korea during his service but not during wartime, and he had the honor of serving aboard the USS Blue Ridge Marine helicopter, the flagship of the 7th Fleet, with a Marine detachment onboard. His military career culminated with an honorable discharge as a 1st Sergeant in 1986.


Following his military service, Bill ventured into the world of federal service contracts as a consultant. Three years later, he founded his own successful business, which continues to thrive today.


As the current National Commander of AMVETS, Bill Clark's top priorities include raising awareness and prevention of veteran suicides, increasing the visibility of AMVETS to become a household name, embracing the digital age for the organization, and addressing current challenges to ensure a brighter future for AMVETS.

National Executive Director Joseph R. Chenelly

Joseph R. Chenelly was appointed national executive director of AMVETS in May 2016. In this capacity, he administers the policies of AMVETS, supervises its national headquarters operations and provides direction, as needed, to state and local components. Joe previously served as AMVETS’ national communications director.

Joe Chenelly is the first veteran of combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq to lead one of the nation’s four largest veterans service organizations’ staffs. A native of Rochester, N.Y., Joe enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1998, serving with the 1st Marine Division, and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in April 2006. He is a combat veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, having served in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Kuwait, East Timor and the Horn of Africa.


Joe became a veterans advocate, a journalist, and a political adviser after his time in uniform. He covered military and veterans matters on staff with Leatherneck magazine, the Military Times newspapers, USA TODAY and Gannet News, reporting on operations in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, Africa, as well as disaster relief in the United States.


Joe was named one of the 100 “most influential journalists covering armed violence” by Action on Armed Violence in 2013. He was the first U.S. Marine combat correspondent to step into enemy territory after September 11, 2001, as a military reporter in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He also reported from the front-lines with American and allied forces in Kuwait and Iraq as that war began. He was on the ground for the start of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.


Joe served as AMVETS’ national communications director in 2005-2007, and for eight years as assistant national director for communications for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) in Washington, D.C., leading grassroots efforts through social networking and new media.


He has also served as president of Social Communications, LLC, and as a public affairs officer director for the Department of Navy. Joe is an alumni of Syracuse University and Central Texas College. He resides in Fairport, N.Y., with his wife Dawn, a service-connected disabled Air Force veteran, and their five children.

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