The Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove elected officers at its June 11 meeting.
Mark Prowell, a former Friends treasurer, has been elected to a two-year term as chair. Bernadette Heenan was elected to a second two-year term as vice chair and Elaine Bove Matt has been named to a three-year term as secretary-treasurer.
“I’m very much looking forward to working with this leadership team to continue the work of restoring and beautifying the Grove,” said David Harmer, who joined Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge as president and CEO in February. The 42-acre Grove is on the campus of Freedoms Foundation.
The Friends also named Janet L. Brennan, of Furlong, as a new board member.
Mark Prowell, of Glenmoore, is president of Prowell Financial Management, a financial services firm that works with private companies. Mark served in the Marine Corps from 1983 to 1987. His family has a long history of military service, from the Revolutionary War to current active duty members.
“Through involvement in the Medal of Honor Grove, as a board member of the Friends or as a volunteer, we are able to show our respect, appreciation, and honor to those who have fought to maintain our freedoms,” Mark said.
Mark and his wife Sue have three children and two grandchildren – the oldest grandchild can often be found helping Mark with Grove cleanup and beautification projects.
Bernadette Heenan, of Bucks County, has helped lead the Friends board for years, and is particularly inspired by the work of Sr. Veronica, the Immaculate Heart of Mary nun who spent the last 17 years of her life documenting the stories of Medal of Honor recipients as an archivist at Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
Bernadette has served as a veterans outreach advocate for more than 15 years, helping former service members with homelessness, mental-health issues, and PTSD. She is co-chair of Our Community Salutes in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, which recognizes graduating high school seniors who are joining the military, and holds the same position for the Woody Williams Gold Star Families Memorial Monument project, which just dedicated a new memorial at Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Upper Makefield, Pa. Bernadette also served for 12 years as a member and then president of the Council Rock School Board.
Bernadette and her husband John, a member of Freedoms Foundation’s Board of Directors, have three children and nine grandchildren.
Elaine Bove Matt, of Berwyn, has experience in corporate communications, with a background in sales and marketing. She is the owner of Harpo Originals, a craft business; a volunteer for Surrey Services for Seniors in Devon; and has been vice president/secretary of the Easttown Township Neighborhood Watch since 1988. Her hobbies include making newborn hats for Paoli Hospital, and designing greeting cards for deployed troops and Medal of Honor recipients. Elaine has also been a professional harpist for more than 50 years. She has performed at the Academy of Music, and has appeared as a guest soloist with local orchestras.
Elaine is married and has a daughter.
“We are fortunate to continue the tradition of having a strong, committed team leading the Friends,” said Wally Nunn, chairman of Freedoms Foundation’s Board of Directors and the founder of the Friends. “We’re sorry to lose outgoing board members Tom Brown, the former Pennsylvania state commander of the VFW, Cory Etchberger and Greg Cary, who was the most recent chair. They and so many others have been really critical in saving the Medal of Honor Grove. By restoring this hallowed ground, they ensure that it remains a place of honor for those who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms.”
Keep up with Freedoms Foundation news and events here.