Mary Bencivenga, Director of Public Relations
Member of The International Woman’s Leadership Association 2014- present; invited to be featured as a Woman of Distinction a premier National Woman’s Magazine (2015); co-founder of Women Veterans United Committee, inc. a 501c3 non profit Organization created to celebrate & empower women veterans.
Leadership Positions: National Disabled American Veterans 4,3,2 & 1st Junior Vice Commander
consecutively (2008-2012); DAV National Convention Credentials Committee Chair 2005, 2006, & 2007; NJ Governor’s Women Veterans Commission (2009-1015); NJ VA Women Veteran’s Health Advisory Committee 2004- 2015; Department Transition Service Officer at Ft. Dix/McGuire/Lakehurst Bases 2007-2016; Appointed by Congressman Smith as a Military Academy Applicants Review Officer 2008- present; County Veteran Service Officer 2005- 2016 (Accredited by the Veterans Administration and The National Association of County Veterans Service Officers, Inc.); DAV Department Assistant Adjutant June 2005-March 2007; DAV NJ Department Commander 2004-2005; DAV Department Sr. Vice Commander 2004; 1st, 2nd, 3rd Jr Vice Commander 1998-2004; Department Chief Inspector 1999-2000; Department Sgt-at-arms 1998-1999. DAV Certified Volunteer Service Officer 1998-2016. Chairperson Budget & Finance Committee June 2005-2006, NJ State Convention Chair 2006, NJ State Legislative Breakfast Chair 2004, Department Commanders Dinner Chair 2005. Prepared, printed and mailed Quarterly DAV 24 newsletter 2001- 2009. Chapter Officer Positions NJ Chapter #24: 2010-2011 Chapter Adjutant, Legislative Officer, Judge Advocate and Service Officer. Past: Commander; Sr. Vice Commander; Adjutant, Service Officer & Legislative Officer.
WWII Commission Member appointed by NJ Governor 2005; Dover Township Citizens Master Plan Commission 2004-2007; Dover Township Veterans Commission 1996-1998; Honored as Grand Marshall for the Veterans Day Parade in Toms River, NJ 1998; Created and chaired in 1996 the current Annual Ocean County Veterans Day Essay Contest and chosen as a National Veteran Representative for JWV USA Allied Veterans Mission to Israel 2006.
Born January 28, 1963 in Miami Beach Florida
Active Duty United States Navy June 1981- Honorably discharged on October 26, 1987 Wartime Service during Lebanon & Granada Conflicts, Iran-Iraq War. Naval Air Traffic Controller Certified and proficient in Tower, Radar, Ground and Flight Clearance. Injured on Active Duty at NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii Married Brandon R. Bencivenga in May 1989, and we have 2 children, Paul (25) and Sarah (22)
Education/Professional background: Masters of Education (4.0) Spring 1999 Georgian Court University,
Certified K-12; Bachelor of Science cum laude in Chemistry 1996 Georgian Court University; Associate of Arts Degree Ocean County College 1991; Professional College & High School Tutor for students with disabilities in science & math; Whiz Kids Program Instructor; Chemistry Magic Show for students, parents and teachers; Received numerous scholastic awards for high academic achievement; NASA Certified to handle genuine Lunar & Meteorite Rocks.
Awards: Department of New Jersey Veteran of the Year Award June 2006 and the DAV Chapter #24 Veteran of the Year Award; Chapter #24 Commander Award; Chapter #1 and Chapter #16 Appreciation Award; and dozens of certificates of appreciation for my service to veterans. Company Commander’s Award for Excellence 1981. Admiral Zumwalt Award 1983. Military Good Conduct Award 1985.
Personal vow to service:
My service to veterans is in honor of my father who never sought benefits when he was discharged from the USN; he was the only survivor when his PT boat was torpedoed during WWII. My father rarely spoke of his military past; only after I enlisted, he mentioned his time in service. I was young and unaware of so many things that I value about my father today. My father has been gone for 22 years now. Our veterans deserve so much more. Veterans are an intrinsic part of my life.
Direct Service to Disabled Veterans 1996-2016:
• Department Transition Service Officer for Ft. Dix/McGuire/Lakehurst Military Base 2007-2016 • Assisted the NJ NSO’s on Mobile Van visits to Ocean County 1997-2016
• Organized many veteran outreach events in New Jersey 1998-2016
• Actively defended Federal & State legislation in favor of veterans rights
• Traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial organizer, opening speaker and assisted veterans with finding names at Miller Airpark in 2001.
• Diligently worked for two years gathering notarized letters from seven shipmates with the help of Congressman Chris Smith to get Harry B the Bronze Star with Valor he earned in WWII.
• Drove many comrade vets to & from doctor appointments and hospital stays 1996-2015
• Delivered turkeys, hams and other foods donated to veterans for Thanksgiving and Christmas to
veterans in need in Ocean County 1996-2013
• Prepared and deliver meals to vets recovering from illness & surgery 1997-2016
• NJ Department of Veterans Affairs “Salute the Troops and Welcome Home” 2002-2015 • Visited veterans in veteran hospitals and homes in NJ several times each year 1998-2016