Mitchell Becomes Veterans Northeast Chief Executive, Succeeding the Late John Ratka

Veterans Northeast Outreach Center Executive Director John Ratka addressed veterans during a Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Nov. 9, 2018. (WHAV News photograph)

Edward V. Mitchell. (Courtesy photograph.)

Retired North Andover Veterans Service Officer Edward V. Mitchell Monday succeeded the late John E. Ratka as executive director of Veterans Northeast Outreach Center.

Mitchell relieves Interim Director Jason Gilbert who stepped in following Ratka’s unexpected passing. As chief operations officer, Gilbert is concentrating his efforts towards improving the agency’s highly successful programs and services geared towards the prevention of homelessness of veterans and their family members. Michell of Pelham, N.H., released a statement.

“I look forward to picking up the torch to continue building on the great work and outstanding reputation established by my late friend and fellow Submariner John Ratka, and to do everything possible to meet the needs of Americas Brave.”

During his tenure as North Andover’s veterans service officer, Mitchell served as the manager of the American Red Cross’ Service to the Armed Forces and Military Families Committee, established and chaired the Merrimack Valley Military Family Support Group. He was called the driving force behind the establishment of North Andover’s first veteran family housing unit in more than 50 years, as well as the establishment of the Vietnam Fallen Heroes Memorial.

Ratka, a 26-year Navy veteran, died in January. He had also served as Haverhill’s acting veterans’ services director.

Mitchell and his wife Diana have two daughters, Lauren and Colleen.

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