2020 Order of the Arrow national officers elected; here’s who represents your region

From left: Northeast Region Chief Conor Power, Southern Region Chief Seth Greiling, National Vice Chief Noah Smith, National Chief Zachary Schonfeld, Central Region Chief Patrick McInerney and Western Region Chief Gavin Cho

Zachary Schonfeld, an Eagle Scout from Virginia, has been elected by his peers to serve as National Chief of the Order of the Arrow for 2020.

Zachary, along with National Vice Chief Noah Smith of Arkansas and four region chiefs, will serve and represent nearly 200,000 members of the OA, the BSA’s national honor society.

As a new decade begins, Zachary and his fellow leaders will steer the OA toward continued greatness under their commitment to selfless service. They’ll also continue to welcome young women into the OA as female members are eligible for election in Scouts BSA troops, Venturing crews and Sea Scout ships. (Previously, elections only were for Boy Scout troops.)

This spring, Zachary and his fellow officers will help support PhilBreak, Philmont’s alternative spring break program in which participants help Philmont mitigate fire risk and recover from the 2018 fires that forced the high-adventure base to close for the summer.

After that, Zachary and his fellow officers will be at the helm for the OA’s signature event: NOAC, the National Order of the Arrow Conference. NOAC 2020 will be held in August at Michigan State University. (For an idea of what to expect, take a look back at our complete coverage of NOAC 2015.)

Let’s meet your national OA officers and introduce you to the chief for your region. (Not sure which region you’re in? I’ve blogged about that.)

2020 National OA Chief: Zachary Schonfeld

  • From: Reston, Va. (National Capital Area Council)
  • Scouting background: Member since 2006 and an Eagle Scout.
  • OA background: Vigil Honor member and a Founder’s Award recipient from Amangamek-Wipit Lodge. Former Section NE-6A chief and served as the Northeast Region NLS Chief of Staff.
  • Education: Studies political communication at George Washington University, with hopes of becoming a journalist.
  • Favorite hobby: Traveling and visiting national parks.
  • Random fact: His dad’s best man was 1988 National Vice Chief Angelo Cappelli.
  • Quotable: “I’m excited to build on the momentum we created this year to improve lodge performance and initiate long-term change for our organization. Between NOAC, Section ACT Conferences, and every event in between, I can’t wait to meet Arrowmen from all over and make our brotherhood stronger than ever before.”

2020 National OA Vice Chief: Noah Smith

  • From: Brookland, Ark. (Quapaw Area Council)
  • Scouting background: Member since 2007 and an Eagle Scout.
  • OA background: Vigil Honor member and a Founder’s Award recipient from the Quapaw Lodge. Lodge chief and served for two terms as the Section SR-8 chief.
  • Education: Intends to major in business management at the University of Central Arkansas.
  • Favorite hobby: Playing soccer and partaking in high-adventure opportunities.
  • Random fact: He drinks a glass of chocolate milk every night.
  • Quotable: “The 2020 National Conference Committee has been laying the foundation for this past year. I’m excited to see all of the future generations of Arrowmen all across the nation!”

2020 Central Region Chief: Patrick McInerney

  • From: Mundelein, Ill. (Northeast Illinois Council)
  • Scouting background: Member since 2005 and an Eagle Scout.
  • OA background: Vigil Honor member and a Founder’s Award recipient from the Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Lodge. Previously served as the Section C-7 chief and has also served as a section secretary and chairman for various committees.
  • Education: Majoring in mechanical engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology.
  • Favorite hobby: Swimming and diving.
  • Random fact: He has a 75-gallon fish tank at home.
  • Quotable: “I’m very excited to help plan NOAC, NLS, and support our lodges and sections throughout the Central Region.”

2020 Southern Region Chief: Seth Greiling

  • From: Chesapeake, Va. (Tidewater Council)
  • Scouting background: Member since 2006 and an Eagle Scout.
  • OA background: Vigil Honor member and a Founder’s Award recipient from the Blue Heron Lodge. Served as the Section SR-7A chief.
  • Education: Information systems technology major at Tidewater Community College and plans to transfer later on to a four-year school.
  • Favorite hobby: Serving as a senator in his Student Government Association and spending time with friends.
  • Random fact: He once ate at Chick-fil-A for every meal for six days straight.
  • Quotable: “Excited to see what the year will offer while serving as the Southern Region chief and to build relationships with all lodge and section officers in the region.”

2020 Northeast Region Chief: Conor Power

  • From: Hingham, Mass. (Mayflower Council)
  • Scouting background: Member since 2008 and an Eagle Scout
  • OA background: Vigil Honor member from the Tantamous Lodge. Served as the Section NE-1 chief.
  • Education: Attends Stonehill College as a communications major. He plans to serve as a brand identity strategist for nonprofit organizations.
  • Favorite hobby: Camping and pursuing his hobby of graphic design.
  • Random fact: He’s a self-taught graphic designer.
  • Quotable: “I am looking forward to leveraging the first ACT Conferences and the 2020 National Order of the Arrow Conference to continue building high-performing lodges.”

2020 Western Region Chief: Gavin Cho

  • From: Burbank, Calif. (Verdugo Hills Council)
  • Scouting background: Member since 2007 and an Eagle Scout
  • OA background: Vigil Honor member and a Founder’s Award recipient from the Spe-Le-Yai Lodge. Served as both the section secretary and as the section chief for Section W-4N.
  • Education: Majoring in public policy at the University of California, Riverside. Hopes to one day be a campaign manager.
  • Favorite hobby: Scouts.
  • Random fact: He is a “big advocate of pineapple belonging on pizza.”
  • Quotable: “I am incredibly excited for 2020. This opportunity to capitalize on the momentum gained from the Focus 19 movement is unique and must not be squandered.”

Your three national youth officers

As national chief, Zachary Schonfeld joins 2019-20 National Venturing Officers’ Association President Pamela Petterchak and 2019-20 National Sea Scout Boatswain Hannah Carter as the three highest-ranking youth leaders in the Boy Scouts of America.

These three youth leaders sit on the BSA’s National Executive Board, helping shape the future of our great movement.

As one of his first acts, Zachary will join Pamela, Hannah and a group of other impressive Scouts and Venturers at the BSA’s Report to the Nation, beginning in late February in Washington, D.C. (As always, you can expect full coverage of the Report to the Nation experience right here on Bryan on Scouting.)


Thanks to Ryan Palmer, the OA’s communications lead, for the info.

About Bryan Wendell 3013 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.