A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Disabled American Veterans relocating national headquarters, building new facility in Erlanger

Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a nonprofit charity that annually serves more than 1 million veterans throughout the country, is relocating its national headquarters from Cold Spring to Erlanger.

Founded in 1920 and chartered by the U. S. Congress in 1932, DAV is dedicated to a single purpose: keeping our promise to America’s veterans. DAV expects to move an estimated 175 employees into the new headquarters, which is under construction on Dolwick Drive, by the summer of 2021.

“DAV has received a tremendously warm welcome from the city of Erlanger and its business community,” said DAV Executive Director Barry Jesinoski.”Our new facility will make us more efficient and accessible to veterans in the Tristate. It will, ultimately, prepare us for the next century of service and advocacy for our nation’s heroes.

“By moving to Erlanger right next to the Interstate-75/275 exchange, instead of building a new headquarters on the existing property in Cold Spring, we hope the location’s visibility will bring greater awareness to our free service and support for America’s injured and ill veterans,” Jesinoski said.

“We are also excited and grateful when a new business and employer moves into Erlanger,” said Erlanger Mayor Jessica Fette. “But we are especially honored that Disabled American Veterans, an organization whose entire mission is helping our nation’s military veterans, is moving its headquarters to our city. I know I speak for our entire city when I say how proud we are that the DAV will call Erlanger home.”

The new headquarters will cover 67,000-square-feet, about half the size of its current location. DAV is evaluating what to do with its existing property in Cold Spring – which is at the intersection of U.S. 27 and KY 1998 – with the assistance of Cushman & Wakefield, a global commercial real estate services firm.

Barry Jesinoski

“DAV leadership took a close look at maintenance costs and necessary upgrades on our current facility, which was constructed in the 1960s,” Jesinoski said. “We also looked at the changing needs of the organization and determined we simply had far too much space. Every analysis told us the same thing – it was time for more modern and efficient facility.”

With nearly 1,300 chapters, DAV provides a national network of local support for veterans and their families. DAV’s benefits advocates, who are veterans themselves, know how to navigate the Veterans Administration (VA) system, help veterans obtain benefits and connect them to the support they need, while transition advocates, on military bases across the country, provide face-to-face support to help those leaving active duty access their benefits and successfully transition back to civilian life.

DAV helps facilitate job fairs across the country and online that connect veterans with employers, tools, resources and opportunities that help thousands get jobs every year. In a typical year, DAV volunteers provide more than 615,000 rides to help veterans get to and from medical appointments at no cost to the veteran as part of the DAV Transportation Network.

“We are excited to have DAV relocate in Erlanger,” said Erlanger City Administrator Matthew Kremer, who served two combat tours in Iraq with the U.S. Army Reserves. “As a combat veteran myself, it was an honor to have a small part in this project. Their mission is extremely important to me as I’ve struggled to get much needed VA services in the past. DAV is a great organization and I look forward to them continuing to thrive in our city.”

DAV engaged Champlin Architecture to design a new national headquarters building to meet the current and future needs of their team, enhancing efficiencies while remaining a place where team members and visitors can honor the service and sacrifices of disabled veterans.

The building is also a nod to military service with its ship-like visage, incorporating high-contrast materials with clean lines. The night-vision green fold at the entryway draws in visitors and reinforces the identity of DAV, which carries through the building. The interior layout and design seeks to balance the need for a visitor experience that welcomes and educates visitors, but also provides a functional and inspiring workspace.

The intentional layout and lines established by the interior elements carry through a two-story curtain wall to an exterior courtyard and honor garden – a contemplative space that recognizes the generosity of donors who supported the construction. In this space, team members and visitors can honor the sacrifices of veterans of each individual service branch, which hold a place of honor to DAV and our nation.

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One Comment

  1. James Contarino Sr says:

    how do we reach our once assigned councilors? it seems trying to reach your organization is harder than most others lately. you are seeming to act more like the veterans affairs than representatives for us Vietnam veterans. we get awarded so many grants and never here from you as to what your doing to push things along. why is this lately. I’m a life member and feel we veterans are going it alone with out much effort on your part.my names is James c Contarino in Kissimmee Florida claim # 28153280. awarded my grants on5/13/21 and on 5/14/21. tell me where we stand on these grants and payments please if you can.

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