The Salvation Army Southwest Division Welcomes New Leaders

Lt. Colonels Jennifer & Ivan Wild

During an energetic ceremony at The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Center Phoenix, Lt. Colonels Ivan and Jennifer Wild were recently installed as the new leaders of The Salvation Army Southwest Division.  

Lt. Colonels Wild will oversee a division that serves Arizona, New Mexico and Southern Nevada with more than 75 units of operation and a 2021 fiscal year budget of more than $73 million. (Around 50 units and $35 million of that budget are in Arizona.) These units help our most vulnerable neighbors with food for the hungry, clothing and shelter for the homeless, rent and utility assistance, disaster and heat relief, senior activity and outreach, adult rehabilitation, opportunities for underprivileged children, and emotional and spiritual support.

Lt. Colonels Wild — who will replace Lt. Colonel Kelly Pontsler, who moved to the Army’s Western Territorial Headquarters in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, after leading the Southwest Division for four years — have served the Army for nearly three decades, most recently as leaders of the Del Oro Division in Sacramento for the past six years.

But the Wilds are no strangers to the Southwest. “Jennifer and I met at the former Salvation Army Camp O’Wood in Arizona in the summer of 1983. She was a waitress, and I was a dishwasher,” said Lt. Colonel Ivan Wild, who will hold the position of Southwest Divisional Commander. “We got married and later, as Salvation Army Officers, helped to open a camp in Arizona. So, our roots in the Southwest Division run deep, and we are honored to return and serve those in need.”

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