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.
Michelle is the Executive Director of the Northeastern California Chapter which is part of the Gold Country Region.
Michelle joined the American Red Cross in 2014 as a Major Gifts Officer specializing in business and corporations.
Michelle has been a successful fundraiser with several national and local non-profit organizations in the Bay Area. Previous positions include Director of Corporate Giving at the San Francisco Opera, Manager of Community Relations for UCSF Medical Center and Manager of Cause Marketing, Community Relations and Foundation for Macy’s West Inc. in San Francisco
Michelle earned her BA degrees at University of Florida and is a member of the Association for Fundraising Professionals. Over the years, Michelle has participated in over a dozen nonprofits, boards and public service agencies in San Francisco. Some of her past and present involvement in the community includes The Glide Foundation, Project Open Hand, Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, Larkin Street Youth Service and Huckleberry Youth Services.
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.
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.
Lilly Wyatt serves as the Regional Communications & Marketing Director for the Gold Country Region. Prior to joining the Red Cross, Lilly was a Public Information Officer for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. In that role, she was selected to support the emergency management delegation of the 2014 Gubernatorial Trade Mission to Mexico. At Cal OES Wyatt had the opportunity to learn about the disaster cycle, become a crisis communications professional and educate people on the collaboration between state agencies, non-profit organizations and private industry to help communities get back up on their feet after a disaster.
Lilly began her professional career as a Journalist and spent 15 years in different newsrooms from the San Francisco Bay Area to Sacramento. During her role as a News Producer and Executive Producer, Lilly developed and maintained strong relationships with key business leaders and community groups within the Sacramento region and established numerous partnerships with community groups to help promote their causes and missions..
Wyatt graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism. Lilly is fluent in Spanish.
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.
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 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.