• 09/21/2024 1:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you ever done a chronology of the impact of your Red Cross career? 

    Have you looked at all the disasters to which you responded, all the fund raising appeals you worked on and the total dollars raised to support Red Cross’ humanitarian efforts,  all the units of blood that were collected on your blood drives…

    Few of us have looked back on our Red Cross careers and chronicled our work. 

    Bob Howard looked back and chronicled his 54 years of service through Red Cross and FEMA. Look at the photos and read his story below in a new blog section on our website called "A Red Cross Life."

    The section is open to any ARCRA member who would like to share their Story.  Send your "Red Cross Life" story and photos to admin@redcross.org . We will announce new postings in the eNewsletter. 




  • 02/23/2024 5:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Christie Phillips contributed this Q&A with ARCRA Board Member Sumner Hutcheson III


    Photos by Sumner Hutcheson III

    “Fishing with my great friends at the Red Cross was really the best experience in the world, and [as] you can imagine, when Frank Miller is in the house, we laughed the entire time. In fact, we probably laughed more than we fished.”

    When were you employed at the American Red Cross? What positions did you Hold, and where?

    My 35-year Red Cross career started in Miami, Florida (my home) as the Youth Services  Program coordinator. I was then promoted to director of Youth Services. I moved to the Washington, D.C. Chapter/National Capital Region and served as the director of Disaster Service, Brookland Service Center manager, and manager of Community Services. I then moved to the Pennsylvania Capitol Region Chapter in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as CEO. My next job was as the Mid-Atlantic Region executive officer at National Headquarters. My last position with the American Red Cross was as CEO of the American Red Cross of Central Florida in Orlando.

    What experiences did you bring to the Red Cross?

    I was completing my master of social work administration degree as I started my career. That degree was instrumental in my success throughout my tenure with the Red Cross. I also served as president of the Red Cross club in elementary school and was a Red Cross-certified water safety instructor and lifeguard.

    What have you done since then that uses or builds upon your Red Cross experience?

    I developed a strong ability in fundraising both as a United Way loaned executive and campaign supervisor in both Miami and Washington, D.C.. That helped me with my Red Cross responsibility as CEO of two chapters where I doubled the budgets in both locations in less than five years. I also used those management and fundraising skills as vice president/advancement at three universities following my American Red Cross career.

    What was your favorite or most memorable Red Cross experience, and why?

    My favorite and most memorable Red Cross experience came as I accepted my first chapter  CEO job in Harrisburg. I was able to grow that chapter operation significantly with the help of an outstanding board of directors and community donors, many of whom have a long family history of supporting the American Red Cross.

    What do you do for fun now?

    I have been a professional photographer for most of my adult life, and now it is my favorite hobby—that is, when I am not fishing in the Florida Keys. 


    Tell us about staying connected with former Red Crossers, including fishing trips with Harold Brooks?

    COVID provided an excellent opportunity for me and many of my Red Cross friends to connect via video conferencing. My Mid-Atlantic friends and associates held several video calls. Blacks in the Red Cross also have held several video calls in recent years. Social media has also been a great way to stay connected.

    In recent years, I have had the opportunity to reconnect with associates like Harold as a volunteer with the IFRC, assisting with the development of Red Cross societies in the Caribbean.


    What advice would you give to recent former American Red Cross employees or those who are about to leave the organization?

    I would advise them to keep their ARC connections as strong as possible and know there IS LIFE after their Red Cross careers.

    Is there anything else you’d like to add?

    The photos [top of story] that I’m sharing are of our fishing club. We try to go fishing about every few years. Pictured are Howard Lipman, former CEO of ARC of Greater Miami and the Keys, “Little Brother” Frank Miller, former CEO in Baltimore, former ARCRA President Harold Brooks, and me. The photos were taken on our last fishing trip to Key West.


    All photos taken by Sumner Hutcheson, III





  • 01/28/2024 5:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    “The Red Cross response to 9/11 was immediate – in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. I was serving as vice president, Armed Forces Emergency Services. On the day following this horrible event, I received a call from our partners at the Pentagon – could the Red Cross arrange travel and pay for those family members who were desperately needed in Virginia in the aftermath of the attack on the Pentagon? I was very proud to immediately say, 'Yes, we can, and we will!'”

      Sue Richter  



    When were you employed at the American Red Cross? What positions did you hold, and where? What experiences did you bring to the Red Cross?

    Only two years out of college, my experiences were limited. However, I had a talent for working effectively with people and a love of country driven by my father’s military experience during WWll, resulting in a strong sense of patriotism. This country was in turmoil, and I wanted to serve in some way. The opportunity to join a well-known organization and to serve alongside the military was more than appealing. I had no idea when I drove on base at Andrews that my career would exceed 50 years!

    What have you done since then that uses or builds upon your Red Cross experience?

    I’m volunteering in the local food bank here in Naples, Florida, and looking at additional volunteer opportunities when I return to Omaha.

    What was your favorite or most memorable Red Cross experience, and why?

    There are so many experiences and opportunities from which to choose! I’ve selected 9/11 because of the impact on our country. An event that will forever live in our memories. The Red Cross response was immediate – in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. I was serving as vice president, Armed Forces Emergency Services. On the day following this horrible event I received a call from our partners at the Pentagon – could the Red Cross arrange travel and pay for those family members who were desperately needed in Virginia in the aftermath of the attack on the Pentagon? I was very proud to immediately say, “Yes, we can, and we will!”

    Very soon after that, Delta Airlines called the Atlanta Chapter to see if the airline could help in any way. This began a terrific partnership with the airline, the chapter, the Pentagon and national headquarters to quickly get family members traveling to where they were needed most.

    By law the military can provide travel only for next of kin. There was a huge need for additional family members to be on scene to support their loved one through this horrific situation. For the next several weeks, Red Cross staff and volunteers worked tirelessly in support of families and first responders who were working around the clock searching for the missing. To this day, I remain very proud of our Red Cross work following this horrific and historic event!

    What do you do for fun now?

    Travel – short trips and long – we’re planning a cruise in December to celebrate our daughter’s 40th birthday. Reading – mostly thrillers with some humor thrown in from time to time. Movies – when something exciting is on the big screen. The gym – 3 to 4 times a week- maybe not a fun activity but necessary to stay strong!

    Tell us about your family, and what you like to do together.

    My husband, FJ, and I have one daughter, Jane, who lives in Centreville, Virginia, with her husband, Mike, and our 4-year-old granddaughter, Lauren. Jane has a doctorate in physical therapy and loves working with military members and their families at the Fort Belvoir Army Hospital. Mike is a lieutenant with the Fairfax County Police Department. We visit as often as possible and also love to cruise with them from time to time. Travel to favorite cities such as San Antonio and New Orleans is on the itinerary as often as possible.

    FJ and I are once again spending the winter in Naples to avoid the winter chill of Nebraska. When the cameras at home broadcast the howling winds that too frequently visit during this season, we look at each other and nod – Florida is the right place to be in winter! We love our Omaha home. The flower gardens keep us busy, as do the birds at their feeders and the fish in our backyard pond.

    What advice would you give to recent former American Red Cross employees, or those who are about to leave the organization?

    Have a plan and a purpose. Develop a variety of interests that you can incorporate into your newly acquired free time. Stay active and stay engaged – there is a big world outside the Red Cross. AND, there are numerous volunteer opportunities within the Red Cross - as many retirees have already discovered. Pick one and stay busy!

    Is there anything else you’d like to add?

    Reflecting on 54 years of Red Cross service, I’m struck by how quickly the time has flown! In July of 1969, I anticipated duty in Vietnam and, indeed, spent a year in that part of the world at the 3rd Field Hospital in Saigon. However, I could not anticipate the many opportunities and adventures that awaited me in the decades ahead. I will be forever grateful to the Red Cross people I’ve been honored to work with over the years – for their support, mentorship and helping hands. In terms of deepest gratitude, were it not for a very supportive husband and an understanding daughter, I would not have been able to accept assignments and relocate over the years. Their support was essential and incredibly helpful to me.

    The Red Cross is a movement that will continue long into the future, making a difference every day in communities around the globe. I was honored to play a small part in furthering the work Clara Barton began so many years ago.

  • 08/31/2023 4:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


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