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About MDVA


Larry Herke

Commissioner HerkeLarry Herke was appointed as the 18th Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) in January 2019. As Commissioner, Herke is charged with assisting the state's 308,000 Veterans and their families. He also represents the Department at hearings before the Minnesota Legislature and United States Congress, and maintains close working relationships with the Veterans' Service Organizations of Minnesota.

Commissioner Herke grew up in Mankato, attending Mankato East High School and Minnesota State at Mankato. After serving four years on active duty with his wife Debbie, also a Veteran, they returned to Minnesota.

For over 30 years Commissioner Herke had the opportunity to serve the nation and state as a member of the U.S. Army and Minnesota National Guard.  During his military career he has met thousands of diverse and talented Service Members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard and was constantly humbled by their selfless service and dedication to duty. Since retiring from the National Guard in 2016, Commissioner Herke was previously employed by the State of Minnesota as the Director of the Office of Enterprise Sustainability, assisting all 24 Cabinet Level agencies to develop sustainability plans to save money while reducing the impact of their operations on the environment and society.

MDVA Organizational Structure

Org Chart


The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs was established in 1943 and falls under Minnesota Statutes, Chapters 196, 197, 198; Minnesota Rules, Chapter 9050, Chapter 9055. Listed below are the MDVA Commissioners, starting with present commissioner, Larry Herke, to the first commissioner, William Revier.

The Minnesota Veterans Homes were merged with MDVA in 2007. For more information please visit the Veterans Homes history page.

MDVA Commissioners from Present to Past

  • Larry Herke, January 2019 to Present
  • Larry Shellito, January 2011 to January 2019
  • Michael Pugliese, April 2010 to January 2011
  • Clark Dyrud, March 2005 to April 2010
  • Jeffery L. Olson, January 2001 to December 2004
  • Bernard R. Melter, January 1991 to January 2001
  • William Gregg, July 1983 to January 1991
  • James Main, March 1982 to July 1983
  • Charles Pinkham, January 1981 to February 1982
  • Donald M. Miller, January 1979 to October, 1980
  • Russell Green, March 1975 to January 1979
  • Elmer Childress, April 1971 to January 1975
  • Herbert Anderson, December 1969 to February 1971
  • Alcuin Loehr, February 1965 to April 1969
  • Robert G. Hansen, July 1961 to September 1964
  • Wilbur Lindholm, July 1959 to April 1961
  • Lyle Kinvig, April 1957 to May 1959
  • William Revier, July 1943 to March 1957
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