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.
- 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)
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.
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.
Samantha Rose – Probation Officer and Social Worker/Counselor, Kent County Veterans Treatment Court
Samantha Rose graduated from Grand Valley State University (Michigan) in 2018 with her Masters in Social Work, and is now pursuing a second Masters degree at GVSU in Criminal Justice.
During her time at GVSU, she served as VP, then President, of GVSU’s SVA Chapter. Samantha attended the SVA Leadership Academy in both 2016 and 2017.
She is heavily involved in her local veteran community, serving in organizations such as American Legion and Auxiliary, United Veterans Council of Kent County, and West Michigan Veterans Coalition/VCAT 4.
Samantha has worked on many projects, including a video on Student Veteran Success for the Consortium of Michigan Veteran Educators. She was the Chairwoman for the First Annual Student Veterans of Michigan Conference.
She has been asked to speak at many different events, such as the Multistate Collaborative on Military Credit AnnualConference, and NatCon 2019.
Samantha works for the Kent County Veterans Treatment Court (Michigan), providing services as both a Probation Officer and a Social Worker/Counselor. Her plan is to eventually move into the Program Director position.
Samantha has a 9 year old daughter, and they love to hike and kayak