West Hosts National Advisory Board


NAB’s Reinemund Praises
Army’s People, Goals

Steven S. Reinemund, chairman and chief executive officer of Frito-Lay, Inc. and chair of the Army’s National Advisory Board, expressed high praise for the organization, its people and its goals during the Board’s winter meeting in Palm Springs, Calif.

A “no-nonsense” kind of person, this 48-year-old father of four makes things happen with a board made up of highly distinguished and significant national figures. An Annapolis graduate, Reinemund finds himself very much at home in the Army’s military structure.

“What makes the Army great,” Reinemund said, “is its commitment to people. It’s the front line for the Army — not spending a lot of time on politics–but people. That’s where the Army derives its great public confidence. Many organizations aren’t anywhere near as good as they say they are. The Army’s better.”

He found the balance between the Army’s church and social ministries highly appealing, and communicated rather forcefully that the balance within the organization now is the correct one. “Don’t change!” he stated firmly. “What attracts me to the Army is the self discipline and acceptance of others I see within its members and officers–very non-judgmental, but firmly committed to basic principles.”

When asked what argument he would advance to encourage a community member to participate in an Army advisory board, he said: “If you believe it is our commission on earth to love one another, and that we should act on our beliefs, that alone is enough. But even if you don’t share that belief, one must respect the results the Army achieves within communities.” He noted advisory boards have nothing to do with Army governance. To be a governor, the individual would need to be completely philosophically aligned. Now, many are strongly aligned with the Army, but that’s not essential.

“No organization understands the needs of its constituency better than the Army, and a good advisory board can help the Army understand the community that supports them in their efforts,” he said.

When asked what kinds of improvements might benefit the organization on the local level, Reinemund expressed the belief the Army could strengthen its coalition with local churches in many communities and help link the church with the underclass. The Army knows what the need is, and the churches could provide more volunteers to meet that need.

Reinemund found the designation “Americas favorite charity” to be an awesome responsibility. “When you’re on the top, continuing to find ways to get better is the challenge.” He expressed the position that well functioning advisory boards could assist in this process and believes fully that the National Board has found an excellent way to work within a federalist system of organization which comprises the four territories and the national office. “It works,” he said, “because the grass roots work is done so well on the local level.”

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