2024 Ann Knowles Distinguished CVSO Award


Every year, NACVSO honors one outstanding member with the Ann Knowles Distinguished County Veterans Service Officer Award. This prestigious recognition celebrates those among us who exemplify the values of compassion, respect, loyalty, and integrity in their daily work. These individuals not only shine in their professional roles but also extend their impact well into their communities and beyond.

This past May, at our annual conference in Denver, we were thrilled to present this award to Michael Mortensen. Michael is the Deputy Director of Polk County Veteran Services, Iowa. He has faced challenges over the years yet continues to serve with tenacity and determination. He played a pivotal role in getting CVSOs recognized as a crucial resource for veterans in their communities, and worked tirelessly to educate state legislators on the importance of well-trained and supported CVSOs.

During the NACVSO leadership summit in Washington, D.C., Michael spoke with representatives and senators about the role CVSOs play in the veteran landscape, further demonstrating his commitment to zealous advocacy. At one point, this even included assisting an injured colleague with a piggy-back ride, all while maintaining his characteristic determined smile.

Michael has further supported NACVSO by lending his distinct voice—literally—to the annual conference run-of-show, acting as the primary announcer, or “Voice of God,” for all conference activities for the last two years.

Beyond his professional achievements, Michael's dedication to public service continues. He has served as the local school board president in addition to coaching youth baseball team, continuously striving to make a positive impact. His passion for helping others - whether veterans in distress or children in need of guidance - sets him apart as a true leader.

The Ann Knowles Distinguished CVSO Award celebrates those who not only excel in their professional roles but also significantly impact their communities and the broader NACVSO network. Michael’s recognition underscores his commitment to both serving veterans and his community.

The NACVSO congratulates Michael Mortensen on this well-deserved honor, acknowledging his exemplary service and dedication.