Monthly Archives: June 2015

Board Spotlight

mike 2

Where are you originally from?

I was born and raised in the beautiful town of Cleveland, TN.

Where did you go to college?

I received a BS Industrial Engineering from Tennessee Technological University and a MBA from Brenau University

What is your position at the Red Cross & what do you do?

I am currently serving as the Chairman of the Board. Responsibilities include leading the board, being a Champion for the Northeast Red Cross chapter, helping with community and business outreach, and actively supporting and providing guidance to all the wonderful leaders and volunteers that make the Red Cross such a valuable asset to the community.

What inspired you to work with Red Cross?  

At an early age I was exposed to the Red Cross through Life Guard training at our local Community Center.  Later I received my CPR certification also through the training conducted by the Red Cross and became an active blood donor.   So I knew that the Red Cross played an important role to ensuring safety and saving lives.  However, it wasn’t until 2004 when our house was nearly distroyed by a tornado that I really appreciated the volunteer work of the Red Cross.  The sight of a Red Cross volunteer bringing food and drinks during the clean-up effort is a sight that exemplifies what the Red Cross is all about.  As I learned more about the Red Cross, the lives that are saved through blood donations and the love and support that is shown to the military, I can’t imagine anyone not supporting the Red Cross.  And, it isn’t all about money.  There are multiple ways of volunteering your time.  

What impact do you think Red Cross has on the community?

Often, the Red Cross is behind the scenes improving the quality of life after disaster strikes.  The testimonies of families that are displaced from their home and received help from the Red Cross are heartwarming.  In today’s fast paced environment, the Red Cross is there for the community.  As a result, I have seen the Red Cross be a catalyst for pulling together businesses, organizations and communities through a common purpose of helping neighbors during difficult times.

What are you hoping to accomplish as board chair?  

We have a large chapter supporting 23 counties in Northeast Georgia.  My goal is to continue building the strength and outreach of the Red Cross in those counties through the development of additional leaders, volunteers and fundraising events that are easy for anyone to participate in.

What advice do you have for anyone considering volunteering with the Red Cross?  

The wonderful part about supporting the Red Cross is that there are many options that will work with anyone’s schedule and ability.  Volunteering can be as simple, but very meaningful, as writing Thank You cards that can be mailed to supporters.  Or, you can get involved with one of our many fundraising campaigns such as championing a team for the  Red Cross Hero campaign or participating in our 5K.  We will also gladly accept cash or checks if you have money and little time.  For more information, I encourage everyone to visit our website, stop by the chapter house or come to an event.  We would love to have you be a part of the Red Cross team.


Hometown Hero


Thirteen volunteers from the Northeast Red Cross were deployed to provide relief efforts in Texas after the severe floods. Bob and Kathy Cooker were among the group. Bob shared some insights regarding their efforts:

Can you explain some of the things you were doing while you were deployed?

“We were first deployed to Fort Worth, where we worked in outreach. We handled client coursework that had the assessments of the damages of all the homes. Next we went to Dallas, and answered phones at a call center where clients would call in who needed assistance. Then we went to New Braunsfels where I was a casework manager for outreach. In this position I would interview and open cases for clients that had major damages.”

Any moments during your trip that stood out to you?

“One of our clients was in a MARC  (Multi-Agency Resource Center) but I had to go to her home and assess the damage, then go back and tell her. Another time had to assist a client who was evacuated by helicopter.”

How can the community prepare itself for a disaster such as the Texas floods?

“I think flooding is most insidious [of all the natural disasters]. There’s not a lot you can do to prevent damage. You can sandbag, but the water just comes in slow and goes out slow, [it’s] the worst kind of disaster because it keeps coming, really all you can do is listen to weather forecast and listen if you should evacuated, don’t drive  in water  — only 8 inches of water can take your car off the road.”

What would you say to potential volunteers thinking about joining the Red Cross?

“Make sure you have the right training, be prepared for long days, and be patient.”