By B.J. Coleman
The Star-news correspondent
The 2013-2014 American Legion District 22 Commander, Harry Woods, who has been active in South County volunteer organizations for more than 12 years, will now move his leadership experience to the countywide level of The American Legion, the nation’s largest service organization of veterans dedicated to serving veterans.
A native of Ohio, Woods comes from a family devoted to academic achievement, sports accomplishment and military service.
Woods attended the Naval Academy Prep School and then graduated in 1978 from the Naval Academy. His career as a Navy officer encompassed a variety of assignments, including service aboard the USS Mobile, where he was awarded a surface warfare officer pin.
After an extended search for post-military employment, Woods joined the San Diego Fire Department in early 1992
Woods holds a simple, direct, yet powerful view on successful leadership in volunteer organizations. He draws a clear line between managers and leaders.
“You manage inventory,” Woods declares, “but you lead people.” Woods outlines his priorities for the year as linking membership growth to veteran service. He plans to work toward establishing a qualified service officer in every district post, with open office service hours for walk-in assistance to veterans seeking help with benefits. He intends to model effective mentoring for newcomers who volunteer. An important goal is forming at least one new post within the district. And Woods mentions fundraising to benefit the Chula Vista Veterans Home and the Legion’s National Emergency Fund.
Woods is a paid-up-for-life member of The American Legion, as well as a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans andthe Fleet Reserve. He also holds membership in the Chula Vista Eagles and the Elks of Chula Vista.
By B.J. Coleman