Sylvia W. Rowland of Raleigh, North Carolina was elected National President on August 16, 2014. For over 26 years, she has been a Life Member of AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary 635, Raleigh and an extremely dedicated volunteer at the Durham VA Medical Center. Within a couple of years after becoming a member she was appointed a VAVS (Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service) Representative and remains in that position to this day.
In 1989 Sylvia was appointed National VAVS Representative and served in that position for 6 years. She was reappointed National VAVS Representative in 2008 and served four years. She has served on many National Committees and assisted with National training on several occasions, the most recent being in January 2014 as a presenter for the Auxiliary’s Leadership Training Seminar in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. In 2010 she was elected National Third Vice President and subsequently elected National Second and First Vice President, culminating in her election in Memphis, Tennessee as National President.
Sharing her enthusiasm to further the aims and purposes of AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary has always been evident. On the Local and Department level, Sylvia has served on numerous committees, accepted appointments and held most offices. Sylvia served as North Carolina Department President in 1997 and terms as North Carolina’s representative to the National Executive Committee (NEC). She is now serving her Local as Secretary/Treasurer, Hospital Chairman and Durham VAMC VAVS Representative.
In 1990 she received a “KEY Volunteer” award from the City of Durham and the Durham Morning Herald. Sylvia was the North Carolina AMVETS Auxiliary Member of the Year in 2007. During her 24 years of service at the Durham VA Medical Center she was presented the VAVS Leadership Award. AMVETS Department of North Carolina has twice presented her with a Meritorious Service Medal award in 2006-07 and 2010-11.
Sylvia was married to and worked side-by-side with Bill I. Rowland for 37 years. He was a Life Member of AMVETS 635 and passed away in 2003. One of their proudest moments was to present the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Banner to the 1998 National Convention in Greensboro; Sylvia served as chairman of that Convention as well as the 2007 Convention in Greensboro. Their daughters, Cynthia McCoy is a Marine Biologist and enjoys living in the small coastal town of Beaufort, North Carolina with her husband Greg and two boys, Frankie and Gregory and Rebecca Steffens is a Family Physician in Raleigh where she lives with her husband Mark and their two boys, Cohen and Ross. Though Sylvia lives in Raleigh she spends as much time as possible at the beach with her four grandsons. She is the owner of a wood and concrete recycling business that produces wood chips (fuel for a cogeneration power plant); crushed concrete (fill and road beds); and dyed mulch and blended top soil for residential and commercial use.
Her theme is “EVERY DAY IS VETERANS DAY”. Her President’s Project, chosen to support with her energy and dollars, is Camp Corral. Camp Corral is a free summer camp for children of wounded, disabled or fallen Military families. Although any child from a military family is eligible, registration priority is given to children of wounded, disabled or fallen military members. Camp Corral has grown to 20 camps in 16 states and served over 4,000 children. Its headquarters is in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Sylvia W. Rowland