ELGIN – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today named Elgin resident and U.S. Army Veteran Gerald C. Paulsen as the State of Illinois’ September 2009 “Veteran of the Month” for his unwavering dedication to the state’s military heroes and his local community.
The “Veteran of the Month” award is a distinction that is given monthly to military Veterans who give back to their community and continue to serve other Veterans. IDVA Director Dan Grant presented Paulsen with the prestigious award this morning during a ceremony at VFW Post 1307, 1601 Weld Road in Elgin.
“Gerald Paulsen is a true advocate and friend to Illinois Veterans who continues to put the needs of the community above himself,” IDVA Director Grant said. “He distinguished himself through his service to the United States Army, and he continues to distinguish himself through his advocacy on behalf of veterans and veteran business owners in Illinois and around the world.”
Paulsen served in the United States Army from 1978-1984 in numerous assignments, including the 129th Infantry Division, the United States Army Recruiting Command and the 12th Special Forces Group. After returning home from military service, Paulsen founded and is the CEO of Paulsen Productions Inc., a professional development and presentation skills management firm based in Elgin. Paulsen is a founding executive board member of the United States Association of Veterans in Business and is an active member of VET-Force, the Task Force for Veterans’ Entrepreneurship. Paulsen is also a board member of American War Heroes and is a contributor to the American Freedom Foundation.
Paulsen also created the “From Service to Success” seminar which provides a free day of information for veterans to learn about benefits available to them locally and at the federal level, and also provides information on business ownership and opportunities for veterans. The seminar is held nationwide and in Guam. Paulsen, additionally, is the military protocol advisor to the Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa in Galena for events honoring military personnel. He also was named the “Veterans Small Business Champion of the Year” in 2008 by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
A native of Aurora, IL, Paulsen lives in Elgin with his wife, Cheryl.
The “Veteran of the Month” award highlights the work of community activists who are also military Veterans. Each month the Department recognizes a different person or group that contributes to the betterment of communities across the state of Illinois. To nominate a “Veteran of the Month,” please visit IDVA’s website at veterans.illinois.gov or call IDVA at (312) 814-5538 to obtain a list of guidelines and a nomination form.