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President General 1991 - 1992: George H. Brandau, MD

 

George H. Brandau, M.D. was installed in Kansas City as President General at the 101st Annual Congress in 1991. Prior to serving as President General, Dr. Brandau served as Secretary General, Registrar General and Surgeon General. He was Vice-President General for the Foreign District-Western Hemisphere (two terms), President and National Trustee of the Texas Society and President of the Paul Carrington Chapter in Texas. He was affiliated with a number of national committees including Long Range Planning (Chairman 1989-90), Medical Advisory (Chairman 1988-89), Audit, Budget and Finance, as well as Nominating, Membership Retention, Handbook and Patriotic Action. 
 
He received several medals including the Minuteman, Patriot, Silver Good Citizenship and Meritorious Service (with Cluster), as well as the DAR Medal of Honor. Dr. Brandau said his greatest feeling of accomplishment was the establishment of the George Washington Fund in 1988. This Fund was founded to provide financing for the NSSAR committee operations and ultimately for other projects. It has partially funded committees on an on-going annual basis since 1991.
 
Dr. Brandau and his wife, Nancy, made numerous donations to the Society in furniture, art objects and money. Following his term as President General, Compatriot Brandau became Chairman of the George Washington Fund and served on the Museum Board and Finance Committee. He retired as a surgeon following 40 years of solo practice. Among his accomplishments as President General was the restructuring of some facets of the National Society and changes in the by-laws relating to financial operations that positioned the Society for future growth and expansion. He introduced new forms to simplify the reporting of activities of the Society at all levels. 
 
Under his direction, the Revolutionary War Graves Program was nearly completed, as the names were being prepared for publication. Valuable data on forms permitting quick reference to current and historical information on operations were now available on request. Regular inventory reports and improved management in merchandise and other areas were being provided. The first National Directory was readied for publication; and a Lineage Link Database was in the early phase of development.
Compatriot Brandau was instrumental in creating a new Finance Committee that became the "Oversight Committee" of the Society. A comptroller/accountant was hired and a Selection Committee appointed to begin searching for other needed staff. An extensive update in the NSSAR accounting system was in the process of adoption. The Society purchased state-of-the-art computer tape backup, which greatly simplified the accounting process. This new computer system provided full automation at the National Society Headquarters, thus making possible many new programs and operations. Compatriot Brandau presented the Gold Good Citizenship Medal to General Colin Powell at the Pentagon in a brief ceremony that was followed by remarks from General Powell.
 
Dr. Brandau's made twenty-eight visits to districts, societies and chapters that reached almost 100,000 miles. He crisscrossed the United States three times in the month of April, as an example of his extensive travel. He felt privileged to meet and visit with the many fine individuals who make up the SAR membership. He found their leadership potential in the Society to be very impressive. 
 
Compatriot Brandau was able to reduce his visits to the National Headquarters because of his ability to use the facsimile machine on a daily basis. This use of modern technology at the time permitted daily business transactions between the President General and the Headquarters staff
 
Dr. Brandau supported many innovations for the Society in looking to the future, which included the Lineage Link Database, a National Telephone Listing Plan, monitoring finances, audits of operations, standard stationary, library expansion, Life Membership Program revision and other programs.
 
Compatriot Brandau stressed the need for continuity between administrations, as the single most important single factor in the Society's progress. "If we are to achieve our goals and maintain high standards, it is very necessary to link one administration to the succeeding one.

Source: Co-Editors: Robert Franklin Jackson, Historian General and Garrett Franklin Jackson, Commander NSSAR Color Guard, The Sons of the American Revolution, NSSAR History, Volume III, 1983-1999, An Historical Anthology, pp. 92-94.