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11.14.19 – John Baxter, Anthony Torres, Paul Ryan and Melvin Bauman

Military Services Veterans Organizations

November 14 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Topic: "Veteran Services in West Michigan"

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John Baxter – Western Michigan Area Chair, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR)

John joined  the US Navy, and served from 1966-1969.

Served with the Military Headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization from 1966-1968. Volunteered for Vietnam in 1968 and was assigned to MACV HQ(Saigon): The Military Assistance Command Vietnam (Saigon) with various Advanced Tactical Support Bases in the Mekong Delta –  in support of 2 River Patrol Boat Divisions, a Detachment of Sealwolf Heliocopters, and a SEAL Detachment

Upon his return from Vietnam, he served with the Navy’s Atlantic  Nuclear Submarine Fleet Support Team.

Upon release from Active Duty, John earned his BS in Marketing from Michigan State University, and his Masters in Management from the Kellogg School, Northwestern University. He is currently CEO and President of Compass Associates,  Inc. a strategic Marketing and Competitive Intelligence consulting firm with Associates worldwide.

Service Awards:

  • National Defense Medal Vietnam Service Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal
  • Navy & Marine Corps Combat Medal (pending)
  • Letter of Commendation – Commander of the USS Ray, SSN 653 (Nuclear Attack Submarine)

Volunteer Activities:

John was a charter member of the Wheaton AM (IL) Rotary Club, Rotarian of the Year In 1989, and is a Paul Harris Fellow. John was also a member of the Grand Rapids Downtown Rotary Club. He also served as a City of East Grand Rapids City

City Commissioner, and is currently on the Kent County Veterans Services Board Member – 2018 – present, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves – 2019 – present, and a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, among other activities.

Anthony Torres – Director, Kent County Veterans Treatment Court (KCVTC)

Anthony  Torres is the Kent County Veterans Treatment Court (KCVTC) Program Director.  Mr. Torres holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a Major in Policy, Planning and Administration  from Western Michigan University. Mr. Torres is the point person who is responsible for the day to day operations of KCVTC.   These

include:  Program and data base administration, probation officer functions, case management,  veteran participant screening and research, grant writing, representing the court at The State Court Administrative  Office (SCAO) meetings and/or trainings, chair of treatment team meetings, substance abuse testing as applicable, public engagement, outreach, fund raising, as well as other duties.  Mr. Torres’ professional background includes positions in community public health, non-profit organizations,

community needs consulting and with The US Department of Veterans Affairs,  Veterans Benefits Administration,  (VBA) as a fiduciary unit field examiner, in South Texas.  He is a/so a Veteran of the United States Army having served with the 1st Infantry Division and The Berlin Brigade.

Paul J. Ryan – State Chair-Emeritus,State of Michigan ESGR

Served for 25 years with the US Navy, attaining the rank of Captain. During his Active and Reserve Service, Paul was deployed in the Western Pacific. His military decorations include the Meritorious Medal, the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal (twice), and various service awards.

Paul was also involved with the Old Kent Bank (now Fifth Third Bank), and retired as Vice President after a 37 year career.

Paul volunteered with the ESGR for 18 years, and is the Emeritus Chairman of the State of Michigan ESGR. He is active with a wide variety of volunteer organizations supporting military families and veterans, including the United Veterans Council of Kent County, the West Michigan Veterans Coalition, and the Michigan Military & Veterans Hall of Honor.

Melvin Arthur Bauman – State Chairman, State of Michigan ESGR

Mr. Bauman has served the US Army and the country for over 53 Years and continues to do so. He entered the Army in July 1965 Served 15 year as an Enlisted Soldier ending the enlisted career as a First Sergeant. Commissioned to the Rank of Captain in October  1980. He retired from the Army Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel on 11 April 2005

Military Awards and Decorations:  Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with Devices, National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Gold Hour Glass and M Device, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with #3 Device, Army Service Ribbon, Army Lapel Pin, Army Superior Unit Award, Expert Rifle Badge, Drivers Badge (Wheel Vehicle), Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and  Superior Civilian Service Award.

Mr. Bauman has been involved in numerous Organizations , Clubs and Philanthropies and has received numerous Civilian Honors and Awards as well.

His civilian experiences:

1968-1970 Production Manager for the Metzgar Conveyor Co.,

1970-2005 Department of the Army Civilian serving in the following positions:

Administrative  Supply Technician  1970-1974, Supervisory Staff Administrative Assistant  1974-1978,  Staff Training Assistant at a Group level 1978-1982, Staff Training Assistant at a Command level (123d ARCOM)  1982-1987, Supervisory Staff Administrator at the Group and Brigade level 1987-2005, DoD Contract Employee with ESGR 2007-2012, DoD Contract Employee as a Transition Employment Coordinator 2012-2014,  (Assisted over 1400 Guard and Reserve Soldiers find Civilian employment during this time)

Mr. Bauman is married to Constance (Campbell) Bauman.  They have four children, and reside in Ada, MI.


November 14
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Event Category:


University Club of Grand Rapids
111 Lyon St NW Suite 1025
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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