Pakou Lee Honored with Rookie of the Year Award

June 24, 2014 the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin hosted our spring Celebration of Support event.  We had 260 staff, volunteers, blood donors and community members attend this annual event. Every year we honor a few volunteers who have gone above and behind. Here are their stories.  

(l) Pakou Lee, Rookie of the Year with Jody Weyers, Volunteer & Communications Director.

(l) Pakou Lee, Rookie of the Year with Jody Weyers, Volunteer & Communications Director.

The American Red Cross has so many stories to share of the amazing generosity of our volunteers, donors and the great work we do in the community.  It is a gift when you come across a volunteer who has the talent and skills to capture these stories to share with the public.

Pakou Lee is vital to the public affairs team. She is involved with writing stories about our services and her experiences and then sharing those on our blog and other social sites. She updates our Northeast Wisconsin Facebook page and Twitter account daily promoting local blood drives and campaigns.

She volunteers at many of our special events assisting with promoting that event through social media or helping where needed. For the past two years she has assisted at the Packers 5k, along with bringing her nieces to help, our Dancing with Our Stars kick off and many fundraising events for our Star Dancers.  

Pakou has taken training classes in public affairs to gain additional knowledge and did her first live television interview as a Red Cross spokesperson this year.  Through her volunteer experience, she received a promotion with her employer working on their social media team.

She has a wonderful talent of being able to draw people in with her words.  It is for her dedication and commitment to sharing the Red Cross story that honored Pakou Lee with the Rookie of the Year Award.

Northeast Wisconsin Board Member Spotlight – Tom Rettler

Tom Rettler
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Menasha Corporation

Thomas Rettler - Menasha Corporation

Red Cross Board Member Since: 2012

We want to thank Tom for sharing his Red Cross story with us and are honored to have him as a member of the American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Chapter Board of Directors.

What are your responsibilities as a board member?
My primary responsibility is raising awareness of the Red Cross mission among my personal and professional network, which hopefully leads them to getting involved as either volunteers, donors or both.

Why did you choose to volunteer for the Red Cross?
Being a finance person, I was attracted to the scope, scale, speed and efficiency of the resources the Red Cross can bring to bear on disasters when and wherever they occur.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for the Red Cross?
Playing a small part in assisting a great organization that serves a vitally important mission.

Where do you see yourself in the future with the Red Cross?
Right now I see my involvement primarily at a local level (NE Wisconsin Chapter) and staying involved as a board member.

Do you volunteer for other places/non-profit organizations?
I am on the Board of the Menasha Corporation Foundation. I occasionally volunteer at my daughter’s elementary school.

What do you and your family like to do together?
Traveling and just spending time together whatever the activity might be.

What are your favorite hobbies or past time activities?
Golfing and fishing are my two favorite recreational activities

What is one interesting fact about you that would surprise your friends and colleagues?
My oldest child is 26 and my youngest is 7. The youngest one keeps me young.

What is your favorite quote that you live by?
“Everyone faces adversity. How you respond to that adversity defines your character.”

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We will never eliminate disasters or the need for blood. These are situations, for the most part, that can’t be prevented, they can only be responded to and supported. No organization does it better than the Red Cross.

 

 

 

Get to know: Trina Capelli, Summer Intern

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By: Trina Capelli, American Red Cross Intern

My name is Trina Capelli and I am a summer intern for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin located at the offices in Manitowoc. I just completed my second year as a Biochemistry Major at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. I plan on graduating a semester early in December of 2015. After receiving my Bachelors of Science degree, I hope to go on to Medical School.

A little bit about me: I was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin and attended Mary D. Bradford High School. I played Varsity Tennis, Basketball, and Softball in high school, and have continued to play tennis for Beloit College. I am a big fan of pretty much any Wisconsin sports team, especially the Packers. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, working out, and spending time with my family.

My connection to the American Red Cross began when I was about eight years old with the Babysitting and First Aid courses. Since then I have also completed the CPR and First Aid courses and have become a certified lifeguard as well. I am very excited to be interning with the American Red Cross this summer, and I look forward to having a positive impact on the Manitowoc community.

Wisconsin Heroes Award

Recognizing exceptional Wisconsonites for their selfless contributions

(left-right) Elton Petersen, First Lady, Tonette Walker and Elton's wife, Mary Petersen

(left-right) Elton Petersen, First Lady, Tonette Walker and Elton’s wife, Mary Petersen

Wisconsin is home to some of the finest Midwestern hospitality and some of our nation’s friendliest people. Throughout the state, in small towns and big cities alike, countless individuals are eager to go the extra mile, take a stand for causes in which they believe, and use their time, effort and ideas to help make Wisconsin a better place.

Recognition is given each month to one outstanding Wisconsin resident. The first lady, Tonette Walker, visits and presents the award to the winner to say thank you for his or her willingness, compassion, and commitment to the betterment of our state.

Thanks to the Volunteer Center of Brown County for nominating 2014 Golden Heart Award winner, Elton Petersen, for the Wisconsin Hero Award.  We were so excited to have Elton selected as the June Hero!

A little more about Elton: 

Elton Petersen has been doing service for decades. During his almost 21 years of service at the Red Cross, Elton has volunteered over 5,500 hours and has provided about 10,000 rides to clients over the age of 60 and/or those who are disabled. He also has volunteered hundreds of hours delivering blood and blood products to patients in need at area hospitals. Additionally, as a member of De Pere Area Men’s club, Elton has delivered meals every week and heads a paper pick-up in De Pere every month. Elton has been involved with the De Pere Community Center since 1999. His volunteer efforts at the center consist of helping with the Nutrition Program, meal delivery, and seasonal events. On top of everything, Elton is a volunteer musician with three local bands, all of which he has played with for at least 25 years.

Thank you Elton for your years of service and for everything you do within our community!

Click HERE to see additional photos from the awards presentation.

Get to know: Brianna Schad, Summer Intern

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By: Brianna Schad, American Red Cross Intern

My name is Brianna Schad, and I am blessed to be spending my third summer interning with the American Red Cross in Manitowoc. I just completed my fourth year of college and second full year at Concordia University in Mequon, WI.  I am working towards my Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, with a projected graduation date in December of 2015.  I hope to work with the geriatric population in a skilled nursing facility in the future!

I was born and raised in Manitowoc, WI.  I come from a relatively small family, with one younger brother (age 20).  Brandon just completed his sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he is studying Computer Science.  In our free time, my family and I love to go fishing, biking, and boating.  And of course, we always enjoy cheering on the Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Brewers!

Prior to my first internship opportunity, I had no idea how involved the Red Cross was in our community!  I quickly familiarized myself with their many facets once I began. On a daily basis, the Red Cross is helping those most in need and changing lives.  I’m looking forward to another summer of learning and growing as a person through this internship!  I’m excited for all of the opportunities and challenges that may arise.

Get to know: Jenny Berry, Summer Intern

 

By Jenny Berry, American Red Cross Intern 

photo1 (1)My name is Jenny Berry. I am currently a well-rounded student at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. I am pursuing a degree in Human Services Leadership with a Sustainability Management minor. I just finished my junior year and was rewarded my sixth semester Dean’s list. I am currently an active member of Alpha Xi Delta National Sorority, Human Services Leadership Student Organization, Golden Key National Honor Society, and lastly and most recently I have become a member of the UWO American Red Cross Club. Since I did not join until spring of 2014, I was not as involved as I would have liked to have been. Fortunately, I have recently achieved a position on the executive board as Public Relations Chair. I am truly honored to be a part of such an inspiring and helpful organization that went above and beyond this year and won the New Emerging Organization of the year on campus! My future goals are to continue my education in graduate school as well as use my past education, skills and experiences to advocate, empower, volunteer, and help others in need whether that be through disaster services, environmental services, or advising/counseling.

A little bit about me besides campus life: I was born in Bloomington, Illinois and raised in Deforest, Wisconsin. I was on the Varsity softball team from my freshman to senior year of high school. I also played varsity volleyball as well. Playing sports since a little girl has given me more attributes than I could have ever dreamed of. I love being outdoors which is why I am also interning through the University Clean Bloats Clean Waters program to educate and spread awareness of Aquatic Invasive Species.  Whenever possible my ultimate passions are to spend time with my family and my friends and to lend a hand to those in need.

It was not until recently, that through the media and volunteerism, I saw how impactful and supportive the American Red Cross was to all of the members of its communities that I truly wanted to “get my feet wet” and assist in preventing and easing the pain of others.  I am very excited to be have been blessed with the opportunity to intern with the Northeastern Wisconsin American Red Cross team this summer and work along with some truly amazing individuals to support and give compassion to those we are suffering.  I look forward to all that I will gain through this experience in and out of the office.

Volunteers Needed – Packers 5K!

5KLogo_bellin 4c NEW FINAL WITH STRIPE OLWe are excited to once again be a charity partner for the Green Bay Packers 5K event!

Last year we had 130 volunteers support this great community event on behalf of the American Red Cross and we received over $3,000 in proceeds from the Green Bay Packers for programs and services.

We are looking for volunteers to help fill the following volunteer opportunities.

Tuesday, July 22 — Goody Bag Stuffing

Saturday, July 26  —   Water Station – Mile 1 / Packet Hand Out/ Course intersections.

Below is a  flyer with all the times and additional information for these jobs. 

If you are interested in volunteering please e-mail or call Jody Weyers, Volunteer Director at 920-227-4287 or jody.weyers@redcross.org  with the following information:

·        Name

·        Address

·        phone and e-mail 

·        T-shirt Size

·        Area you want to work

Thank you for your support and we look forward to another GREAT event to benefit the American Red Cross.

5K Flyer 2014_5K Flyer 2014

Get to know: Cassie DeClerc, Summer Intern

By: Cassie DeClerc, American Red Cross Intern

hb photoMy name is Cassie DeClerc and I am a Summer Intern for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin Chapter.

I am currently a senior (with 1 semester left!!!) at Evangel University in Springfield Missouri. I am majoring in Non-Profit Business and have a huge heart for helping people.

A bit about me: I was born and raised in Green Bay, and graduated from West High School. (Go Wildcats!) I love anything to do with the outdoors. Fishing, camping, hiking, I love it all. I am a die-hard sports fanatic and absolutely love the Packers and Badgers. I also enjoy running and playing almost any sport there is.

football champsThe picture to the right is from 2012 when my college powder puff team won the championship.

I’m excited to be interning with the Red Cross this summer and working with the wonderful people of Northeast Wisconsin! I cannot wait to learn about event planning and scheduling along with gathering great minds to accomplish a common goal.

Are You in the Career Meant for You?

By Jody Weyers, Volunteer and Communications Director

What a great group of people to spend two days networking with.

What a great group of people to spend two days networking with.

This past Thursday and Friday, I attended and presented at the Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinators Association (WVCA) conference in Wausau. There were 200 volunteer managers ranging in experience from 40 years to the newbie of 14 days.

There is nothing like being in a room full of people who share your same drive, passion and career goals as you. The conference kicked off with key-note speaker Tom Krause. Tom was a retired teacher/coach of thirty-one years in the Missouri Public School system, and he was a 20 time contributor to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series.

He shared with us heartwarming stories during his coaching and teaching days, that came back to the same inspirational message:

PEOPLE COUNT – PEOPLE MATTER

YOU COUNT – YOU MATTER

YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

This statement really resonated with me. The more I am in this profession (13 years now and counting) I am learning it is not about finding people to fill the needed roles of your volunteer organization, but it is more about connecting people with the right opportunities for them to serve in our community. Everyone has talents to share.

As a volunteer manager, there is nothing more rewarding than helping someone recognize and help facilitate that perfect volunteer match. Granted, overtime, that perfect role might change, but then we have the challenge of connecting people with new opportunities and making that match again and seeing them thrive and find success.

I was up next to present to a crowd of 52 people. My presentation was on “Networking On and Off Line.”  I am a believer that if you have a best practice, why not share it. To this day, I continue to be humbled and honor for all the community support I received during my fundraising campaign for Dancing with Our Stars for the American Red Cross. I contribute part of my success to being able to connect to people. The internet and social media, has allowed me to broaden my net. I would not have the success I have had if I was not able to transition that connection to people online, into offline relationships.

After I got done presenting, one of the greatest things happened. I was packing my stuff up, and I had a few people in line to ask me questions, so I stopped packing up, and this gentleman was before me and I asked him if he had a question. He said “No, I just want to give you a hug.” So, of course I hugged him.

I felt so honored, that he wanted a hug from me. It also made me laugh, because, Hector, the photographer I worked with on my national deployment to Colorado last September, called me “the hug whisper.”  If a hug from me makes people feel better, I am all for it, it also makes me feel pretty darn good too!

There was another really great moment that also came from this conference. This was an “ah ha” moment when I knew that I was in the right career for me.

I was in the hall between sessions, and a women came up to me and she began to tell me how my presentation last year (3 R’s in Volunteer Management – Retention, Recruitment and Recognition) helped her in revamping her program, and the success she was having.  I seriously teared up.  I was so touched that she took the time to share this with me how helped her, and now I was the teacher. I am so grateful for my many mentors and now for me to be the person mentoring someone; it was a pretty cool career moment!

booksThe next day, our morning kicked off with Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies. It is an amazing thing if you can fire up 200 people who already believe in leadership and service, and get them to want to do more. That is how I felt, anyway. I am excited to read Paul’s book “Everyone Leads – Building Leadership from the Community Up”. His talk was about where is the leadership we need to solve our most pressing community problem? It is all around us!

His three points and definition of leadership included:

1. It is an action everyone can take, not a position few hold.

2. It is about taking personal and social responsibility to work with others on common goals.

3. It is the practice of values that engage diverse individuals and groups to work together effectively.

After saying my goodbyes to my fellow volunteer managers and getting in the car to drive home, I had sense of peace wash over me knowing, that I am in the profession, that I am meant to be. I hope everyone can experience this feeling, and maybe if you can’t find this sort of peace in your career, maybe you can find it in service. I encourage everyone to keep searching for it!

 

Northeast Wisconsin Board Member Spotlight – Mary Walch

Get to know our board members from the American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Chapter. We thank Mary for sharing her story, and we are proud to have her part of our leadership team.

Mary WalchCurrent Location: Green Bay, WI

Career History: I have worked in the banking industry for 25 years in the areas of Retail Management, Consumer, Mortgage and Business Lending, and Private Banking.

Volunteer History: I started volunteering right out of high school. My first experience volunteering was working in a program called REINS, a therapeutic riding program for individuals with special needs. I immediately felt a connection with the individuals I was working with and was humbled by the experience. I continued to work volunteering into my life from helping a couple hours at a run, joining planning committees for large events benefiting non-profits, and board positions for non-profits.

Board Member Since: Fall 2012

Responsibilities/Duties as a Board Member: We are truly a fundraising board from spreading the word of the Red Cross and all the good that the organization does to the connections we have helping raise funds for the Red Cross. I am also on the Annual Heroes Golf Tournament and Dancing with Our Stars planning committees.

How did you become involved with the Red Cross? My first experience was in my early 20’s. I had an interest in helping others and took disaster training courses. I thought it would be interesting and was looking to get involved in ways to make a difference. While I never had the opportunity volunteer for a disaster, I was moved by what I learned about the Red Cross and the teams of volunteers that leave their families to help others.

What motivates you as a volunteer and board member? Seeing how my efforts impact people. When part of a planning committee for an event, seeing the attendees get enjoyment out of being there and raising money is a rush.

Mary and her son Craig on a skydiving adventure.

What do you hope to accomplish by being a board member? Meeting new friends and helping others in need. Being part of a team/group with likeminded goals of helping others and making a difference.

Where do you feel the Red Cross can grow while a board member? Through growing fundraising events and recruiting others – whether as board members, volunteers, or financial supporters. And sharing the history/story of the Red Cross and how the Red Cross impacts all our lives.

How does Northeast Wisconsin benefit by the services offered by the Red Cross? I think everyone sometime in their lives will benefit from the Red Cross. Whether through natural disaster, medical needs, or safety education, the Red Cross touches all our lives.

 

 

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