Gold Country Region Leadership Team

Capital Region - Leadership - CEO Gary Strong

Gary Strong - Chief Executive Officer

In September 2015, Gary Strong was named Chief Executive Officer of the Gold Country Region of the American Red Cross. In this position he leads the Sierra Delta and Northeastern California Chapters which include more than 2,700 volunteers and 40 employees who respond to nearly 800 local disasters each year and serve close to five million residents in the 24-county region.

Prior to assuming this role with the Red Cross, Gary served as a member of the Board of Directors of Red Cross Chapters for over two decades. He was Chair of the Board for both the Rio Hondo Chapter in Southern California and the Capital Region Chapter in Northern California. He has also served as Board Chair of the American Leadership Forum – Mountain Valley Chapter, as well as a member of the executive committees of numerous other Boards.

Gary earned his Bachelors of Arts in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After which he was a CPA with Ernst & Young, Controller at the Los Angeles Times and Senior VP, Finance at the Sacramento Bee.

Red Cross Sacramento Leadership Friedman

Robin Friedman - Regional Disaster Program Officer

Robin Friedman serves as the Regional Disaster Program Officer for the Capital Region. Along with 16 full time staff and over 700 Volunteers, Robin ensures the effective delivery of Red Cross Disaster services and Preparedness programs to the Gold Country Region.

Robin returned to the Sacramento region in April of 2014. He has been active in Emergency and Disaster Response since his retirement as a Civil Affairs and Infantry Officer from the US Army in 1996. He has had extensive experience in responding to both International and Local Disaster and emergency response. Key Emergency Management positions have included: Director of Emergency Management and 911 Services, King County Washington, Director of Security and Emergency Management-Seattle Public Utilities, Recovery Operations-Deep Water Horizon-James Lee Witt and Associates.

Robin is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University.

Red Cross Capital Region Kristen Kirkpatrick

Kris Kirkpatrick - Chief Development Officer

Kristen Kirkpatrick has served as Chief Development Officer (CDO) for the American Red Cross Gold Country Region since November 2012. Prior to that, Kris served as development director for the Sacramento Valley Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure for nearly four years.

A longtime fundraising executive, Kris has successfully led the fund development efforts of several national and local non-profit organizations. Her emphasis is on building relationships in the community, sharing the mission and vision with prospective and current donors, and implementing an effective strategy to ensure that the program needs for our 24-county Region are met.

Kris earned both her BA and MBA degrees at California Lutheran University and has enjoyed living in the Sacramento region with her husband and two children since 1990. She has a long history of community involvement that fulfill her passion for making a positive impact locally.

Red Cross Capital Region Leadership Christy Woods

Christy Woods - Director, Government Relations

Christy Woods joined the American Red Cross in August of 2006. Since then, Christy has worked to make the Gold Country Region better prepared for disasters and emergencies.

Christy leads the Government Relations Department, ensuring elected officials and government partners have the opportunity to collaborate with the Red Cross to ensure a safer California.

Christy previously led the Preparedness Department, whose staff and volunteers educate individuals, families, businesses and community groups to gain the knowledge and skills to become more resilient.

Prior to joining the Red Cross, Christy taught high school social studies. She graduated from CSU, Sacramento and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a California Single-Subject Teaching Credential. Christy is President of the Sacramento Region VOAD and sits on the Sacramento Operational Area Council. She is a member of California Women Lead and Capital Network. In addition she has responded as a government liaison in numerous national level disasters.

Amanda Ree - American Red Cross Gold Country Leadership

Amanda Ree - Executive Director, Northeastern Chapter

Amanda has a background in international humanitarian assistance and has worked to develop, implement and coordinate emergency response programs in Africa and Asia on behalf of International NGOs, the United Nations and the U.S. Government. Amanda has a Master’s Degree in International Economic and Political Development from Columbia University. Orginially from Grass Valley, Amanda is also a Chico State graduate.


Stephen Walsh - Director, Regional Communications and Marketing

Stephen Walsh joined the American Red Cross Gold Country Region in 2017 with 22 years of experience in journalism and marketing.

Before joining the Red Cross, Stephen spent 14 years with CNN in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to writing, producing and copy editing for CNN television, Stephen was part of the team that developed CNN Pipeline, one of word’s first live, online newscasts.

Stephen began his career a newspaper reporter and radio announcer in Fresno and Santa Barbara counties. He is a member of the Sacramento Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and has been involved in several non-profit organizations that work to bring clean water to third world countries.

Stephen graduated from California State University Fresno in 1995 with a Bachelor’s degree in telecommunications.

Tobrin Hewitt -  Regional Service to the Armed Forces Manager

Tobrin Hewitt - Regional Service to the Armed Forces Manager

Tobrin is a Veteran helping veterans and military members as part of the Service to the Armed Forces Unit of the Red Cross. Prior to joining the Red Cross, Tobrin served and retired from the U.S Army. During his career, Tobrin Hewitt functioned as the Non Commission Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of the Landsthul Regional Medical Center’s Operating Room. During his time in Landsthul, the Operating Room provided surgical support to over 1400 Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom patients. He also earned the covenant Expert Medical Badge and earned the Sergeant Audie Murphy Award, one of the U.S. Army’s top leadership award.

Tobrin has also served as a Surgical Technician at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston TX, Squad Leader with the 10th Combat Support Hospital, Fort Carson CO, NCOIC of the Operating Room at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Fort Bliss TX, and a Recruiting Center Commander in Auburn CA, Roseville CA, and Tucson AZ.

Tobrin earned his Bachelor degree from Excelsior College and is glad to be back in Sacramento from his 21 years of military service.

Charlene Maghiar - Executive Assistant

Charlene Maghiar - Executive Assistant

Charlene Maghiar joined American Red Cross in 2005 to provide database assistance in Fund Development, working alongside the director to manage an effective database. Since 2011, Charlene has been the executive assistant to the CEO. Previously Charlene had a long relationship with Bank of America, working on the team responsible for demand and payoff system (DAPS).

Originally from Oregon, Maghiar is currently working on degree in Business Management at American River College.