By Erin Thayse, American Red Cross Volunteer
As a thirty-two year resident of Appleton, Pat Exarhos understands the importance of being active within her community. She started as a manager at Kimberly-Clark Corp in their Research and Development department in 1989 and grew into director and interim VP roles. While at Kimberly-Clark, she was instrumental in co-founding the Kimberly-Clark women’s network. Pat decided to be even more involved in the business community as a co-owner of Breadsmith stores in both Appleton and Green Bay. While her careers in the corporate world and as a business owner ended in 2011 and 2005 respectively, her activism in the community has been going strong. Pat has been a member of the Greater Fox Cities Habitat for Humanity since 2003, currently chairing the Leadership Development committee. She has maintained strong relationships with assisting women’s organizations by being part of the Women’s Fund, Mid-Day Women’s Alliance and Women’s Joint Organizations Event Committee since 2012. Pat brings a wealth of experience to the Northeast Wisconsin American Red Cross through all her past and current endeavors.
American Red Cross
Board Member Since: April, 2013
Responsibilities/Duties as a Board Member: I joined the Major Gifts and Programs & Facilities committees. Since I am a new board and committee member, I am in learning mode regarding the responsibilities and duties but I am excited to help in any way I can!
You are a very active volunteer. How did you get started in volunteering? I have been volunteering since I moved to the Appleton area. I wanted to learn more about and give back to the community. Initially, I was involved in blood pressure screening and car seat training programs. When my children were young, my volunteerism was aligned with their school and extra-curricular needs and interests. In recent years, I have found my own areas of passion that matched with my skills – and volunteered where needed.
What motivates you as a volunteer and board member? The mission of the Red Cross; it is hard to argue with the very critical needs it represents. Red Cross has an excellent reputation so I am honored to be part of this volunteer organization.
How did you become involved with the Red Cross? I was attending the local Red Cross fundraiser, Dancing with Our Stars event as my husband’s boss was a local celebrity dancer. I met a former colleague, Pete Dulcamara, and he recruited me to apply for a Board position.
What do you hope to accomplish by being a board member? I hope to help this Red Cross chapter accomplish its goals, especially on the committees I am serving. As I think about people I know, I would like to get the word out about the Red Cross and recruit more volunteers. There are more people like me who want to give back. Beyond that, I am learning more about the organization – for example, I am in the process of taking disaster relief classes as I would like to serve in this area. So this is a growth opportunity for me as an individual.
Where do you feel the Red Cross can grow while a board member? I am still learning; as a person new to the organization, I think the visibility of the local Red Cross chapter could increase resulting in more dollars and volunteers from the local area.