2017 Order of the Arrow national officers elected

forrest-gertinForrest Gertin, an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor OA member from Rochester, N.Y., will serve as 2017 National Chief of the Order of the Arrow.

His election was announced late last week by the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s national honor society. Forrest is pictured above right with Talon Parker, 2017 National Vice Chief.

As National Chief, Forrest will represent nearly 200,000 Arrowmen — youth and adult members of the OA — throughout the 2017 calendar year.

Forrest joins 2016-17 National Venturing President Pratik Vaidya and 2016-17 National Sea Scout Boatswain Rachel West as the three highest-ranking youth leaders in the Boy Scouts of America. (Meet Pratik and Rachel here.)

The three — Forrest, Pratik and Rachel — will be invited to the deliver the BSA’s Report to the Nation in March in Washington, D.C.

After that, Forrest will lead the Order of the Arrow through an exciting year highlighted by the 2017 National Jamboree in July. The OA regularly plays a major role in supporting national jamborees, but this year’s effort — called Operation Arrow — is being billed as the largest jamboree staff team ever assembled by the OA.

“This year presents our organization with the incredible opportunity to Fuel Scouting’s Adventure — both by providing Operation Arrow staff and jamboree participants with an excellent experience, and by providing our lodges with the resources they need to succeed,” Forrest says.

More about Forrest Gertin

Forrest is a Vigil Honor member of Tschipey Achtu Lodge and is an assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 750 in the Seneca Waterways Council.

Previously, Forrest served as section chief for NE-3A and is a recipient of the Founder’s Award from his lodge.

Forrest is an international political economy major at Georgetown University. He participates in student government, theater and debate, and enjoys playing percussion and cycling — and has even biked around one of the great lakes.

National Vice Chief, regional Chiefs elected

talon-parkerTalon Parker, 2017 National Vice Chief

Talon’s hometown is Elm City, N.C. He is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of Croatan Lodge and serves as an assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 752 in the East Carolina Council.

Talon previously was the section chief of SR-7B.

Talon studies nursing at Nash Community College in North Carolina. In his spare time, he enjoys boating, hunting, backpacking and fishing. This past summer, he was a foreman for the OA Ocean Adventure program at the Florida Sea Base.

taylor-gilesTaylor Giles, 2017 Central Region Chief

Taylor is from Charleston, W.Va. He is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of Takhonek Lodge and is an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 5 of the Buckskin Council.

Taylor previously was the chief of C-4B and is a recipient of the Founder’s Award.

Taylor studies political science and economics at West Virginia University. In his spare time, he golfs, skis, goes white water rafting, and goes hiking. This past summer, he was a foreman for the OA Summit Experience at the Summit. He is the first national officer from his lodge.

jon-hagenowJon Hagenow, 2017 Northeast Region Chief

Jon resides in Suffield, Conn. He is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of Tschitani Lodge and is an assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 66 of the Connecticut Rivers Council.

Jon previously was the section chief for NE-2A and is a recipient of the Founder’s Award and his lodge’s Silver Lodge Flap recognition.

In his spare time, Jon enjoys swimming, skiing, paintball and spending time outdoors with friends. Jon is a huge theater fan and has been behind the scenes for “The Lion King” on Broadway.

harrison-fryHarrison Fry, 2017 Southern Region Chief

Harrison is from South Fulton, Tenn. He is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of the Nguttitehen Lodge. He is an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 43 of the Lincoln Heritage Council.

Harrison previously was the section chief of SR-6 and is a recipient of the Founder’s Award, James E. West Fellowship, and Arrowman of the Year from his lodge.

Harrison majors in management at Murray State University. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and writing music, carpentry projects and camping. He has travelled to six countries and is very active in his church and on campus.

manny-lopezManny Lopez, 2017 Western Region Chief

Manny’s hometown is Aliso Viejo, Calif. He is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of Wiatava Lodge and is an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 774 of the Orange County Council.

Manny previously was the section chief of W-4S and is a James E. West Fellow and a recipient of the Arrowman of the Year award from his lodge.

Manny studies political science at Irvine Valley College. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, singing, poetry and participating in the Model United Nations club. Manny is a huge Disney fan and has conducted choirs in concerts.


Hat tip: Thanks to Michael Swalberg, OA Communications Coordinator, for the info and photos.

1 Comment

  1. Congrats to all of these fine young men! Of course, as a fellow New Yorker, I wish to convey best wishes to Forrest Gertin – state pride and all!..even though my life has taken me and my husband to Maryland, where we have lived for the past 16+ years! All of these gentlemen do the Scouting organization proud!

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