TOMORROW: Elections for Post Officers, Executive Committee, and Board of Trustees - Candidate Statements


On Monday, May 21, 2018 between 5pm and 9pm, at a regular meeting of Hollywood Post 43 of the American Legion, elections will be held for the following candidates for officers, Executive Committee and Board of Trustees of the post.  Please come out and vote.

Below are the candidates' statements for your consideration:

COMMANDER (one-year term)


Michael Hjelmstad
I look back on my ten years of membership in this post with great appreciation for the caliber of people I’ve had to the privilege to meet, grow, and serve with.  It’s an honor to be your candidate for commander beyond what I could express in a simple statement.  In the five years I’ve been in leadership we’ve come so far that it’s hard to comprehend not only how far we’ve come, but also how far we can go.

I look forward to continuing on the path that outgoing Commander Fernando Rivero has blazed not only in his year of leadership, but for the several years we have all worked together to get to this place.  We’ve dynamically changed the direction of the post through membership growth, and our impact at the community, state and even at the national level. 

The Marine Corps' philosophy of leadership is largely based on recognizing and utilizing to the fullest extent their most important asset, the individual Marine.  I think this directly translates to the American Legion.  My focus is to foster growth and mentorship at all levels.   I look forward to working with all of you in this next exciting year as we celebrate the 100-year anniversary and head towards a new era at Post 43 and The American Legion. 

First Vice Commander (one-year term)


Jennifer Campbell
It has been such an honor to be an elected officer of Hollywood Post 43 these past several years; I'm incredibly proud of the work we've done. As 2nd Vice Commander, I diligently created programs and events geared toward membership outreach and involvement.  I'm so passionate about making Post 43 a pillar in the community and sharing this special place with veterans and community members alike. I've gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in this position and feel well poised to transition to 1st Vice Commander and to continue membership growth, making Post 43 a powerhouse in the American Legion Organization and veteran community.

 I look forward to the opportunity to continue the hard work of my predecessors and I'm honored to serve our Post and its members as the 2018-2019 1st Vice Commander.

Second Vice Commander (one-year term)


Peter Lisowski
Vote for Pete, if you want a candidate who has proven leadership experience and extensive financial and business qualifications to fill the role of 2nd Vice Commander. Pete has served Post 43 as an Executive Committee member and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Pete is a West Point graduate, Marine helicopter pilot, and managed a $300 million dollar budget while in the Marines. Currently, he works for the Los Angeles Kings where he is the Director of Business Operations. He recently planned and executed a $6 million renovation project of the Kings’ practice facility. Pete is an MBA graduate from University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. Pete brings leadership, professionalism, clear communication, and teamwork to the Executive Committee and will ensure the continued success of Post 43. Please vote for Pete Lisowski for 2nd Vice Commander.


Karl Risinger
I have been a member of Post 43 for 13 years.  Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Adjutant, Finance Officer, Events Manager and Building Operations for the past two and a half years.  It has been 4 years that I have been sitting in the Board room.  So, I have a very good sense of what is needed to fill my next role.  I have transitioned into a role at the Post that I believe fits my background best, Event Management.  2nd Vice Commander has traditionally been the events person for the Post.  So, naturally, this feels like an easy role for me to fill.

My journey with the American Legion really started to take shape when my daughter became the Auxiliary's Department Junior President 5 years ago.  Since then, I have attended every Department Convention and been appointed the position of the 6th Area Convention City Commissioner.  I love serving my fellow Veterans and hope that I have shown you all that I am here for YOU, not for my own agenda!  I will continue to listen to you and advocate on your behalf to the members of the Executive Committee.  Yours in Service!

Executive Committee (two seats, three-year term)

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Danielle Baker
Last year I attended the Department Convention and was inspired to push myself to become more involved. I ran our Post 43 Oratorical Contest as the Chairman and helped assist all the way up to the District level. I've assisted with District Revitalization efforts, post demolition, helped to give awards, open ceremonies, speak at schools, clean up after events and anything else that I could manage, all while wearing my Post 43 cap, all with no pay.

I attend Executive Committee meetings, Legion Riders meetings, District Meetings and Department Caucuses, despite not having a vote in any of these meetings.

What this comes down to for me is that this post is my home and I love it. I’m willing to give my time and attention to be sure that our house retains its integrity and heart. It should continue to serve us just as we continue to serve the community.

I hope that you'll put your faith in me by giving me your vote, because I would be honored to be able to vote on the Executive Board for the interests of this Post and each of my fellow Legionaries.


Jeff Daly
Since I’ve joined Post 43, I’ve served passionately at my newfound home. You’ll find me at Monday meetings, filming the live stream.  I’ve represented the post on TV twice and in print once.  I started the new Community Hero Training series. We recently had our first training in Mental Health First Aid.

Moving forward, I’d like to find ways to engage, energize and empower our membership. Growth is important, but we can’t forget to cultivate current membership. I pledge to be accessible for feedback from you, about your post.

fresh eyes, I also bring experience, starting with my Economics degree.  I also earned a professional certificate in Entrepreneurship/Business Planning from USC. I’ve been on boards of arts organizations, including a successful film festival.  In addition to entertainment and marketing work, I manage a commercial property.

I’ll bring my Organizational Behavior passion to the post, to look at the macro level - how we get things done.  Policies and procedures can always be tweaked, to make the organization work better for all.

I hope you’ll give me a chance to serve you, your post, and our communities. I’m asking for your help, by way of a vote for Jeff Daly.


Dennis Kee
I am honored to be nominated to be on the Executive Committee. I stand for accountability, standardization and resourcefulness. I would love to tell you about my successful leadership experience on numerous other boards, organizations and committees in person, but here I’ll focus what I have done recently to make Post 43 better.

Acting President of the American Legion Riders Chapter 43 while the president was on sea-duty and currently serve as the Vice President. Nominated at the recent American Legion Rider Convention to be Region 6 Rider of the Year. Administrator on five Post 43 Facebook pages and help update and monitor content. Member of the Post 43 Shooting Committee. Helped organize and run events like the Super Bowl viewing and recent Family Fun Day. Helped install our new Post 43 phone system and I fixed the existing closed-circuit television system. Currently involved in helping to design the network, alarm, access control system and closed-circuit television system for the entire theater project. I have two companies donating network equipment and engineering time for the theater. Most importantly to some that you might ask, I was the person who fixed the Internet!  

I look forward to our growth together.


Karen Kraft
My name is Karen Kraft.  I am a former U.S. Army Officer and have been a member of Hollywood Post 43 for five years. I am also a longtime television producer and former executive at Discovery Channel, currently run my own production company, and a founding member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). I have served on several nonprofit boards, including Discovery Channel Foundation and Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME, formerly VFT), where I am currently the chair. 

My commitment to veterans goes beyond just those in the entertainment industry. Post 43 is at a critical time that requires steady and experienced leadership as we grow. Thanks to my decades of experience as an executive at Discovery and other networks, I have deep relationships at studios and across the industry. I will actively promote the Post as a place for industry premiere screenings and introduce the culture of military service and community leadership that our Post members represent. I will continue to advocate for veteran employment, and I will contribute the right balance of judgment, business experience, and passion for service to our post that will ensure a bright future for Post 43 and the American Legion. I respectfully ask for your vote! Thank you.


Elizabeth Shaddix
I, Elizabeth Shaddix, have served as Asst. Stg-in-law & Service Officer. I like to serve on the post officers. I serve for many service group in many offices.



Board of Trustees (one seat, three-year term)


George Cantero
I am currently serving on the Board with a philosophy of conserving the Post Investments. If you agree with that philosophy then re-cycle George.





Jonathan Retamoza-Davila
Hello Legionnaires! For those who don't know me, my name is Jonathan Davila and I'm running for the vacant position on the Board of Trustees.

I have had a lengthy career in the Accounting and Finance sector having worked as a Senior Accountant and Director of Finance for large companies such as Accor NA, Deloitte and Ernst & Young. I am very well versed in GAAP and investment schedules.

Why do I feel that I'm the best candidate? Well, I have a passion for this type of work and I do it well. I'm committed to working successfully for my legion and my fellow legionnaires. I would appreciate your vote and look forward to a prosperous term.



Lester Probst
Retired software company owner, patrolled the Korean DMZ (Whitehorse Mountain 1953-55) with the Counterfire Platoon, 224th Infantry Regiment, 40th Division. Since retirement has  volunteered at LACMA and El Pueblo’s Las Angelitas. Presently the Treasurer of EL Pueblo Park Association and a member of American Legion,Hollywood Post 43.

Elections for post officers will be held on May 21, 2018 from 5-9 p.m.  Voting must be in person, and member dues must be paid up with a valid 2018 Legion membership card to vote.  

CLICK HERE for more details on this year's elections.

Post 43 Comms Team