Volunteer Advisory Council

The Volunteer Advisory Council (VAC) serves as volunteer champions for the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region by sharing their gift of service for the mission by providing the organization with professional expertise, diverse knowledge of volunteer perspectives, and connections to local organizations for additional volunteer resources, talent.

Key Responsibilities - Volunteer Advisory Council members serve as an:
  • ADVISORY body to review Volunteer Opportunity Descriptions (VOD) for the region;
  • ACTIONABLE body – “first contact” to screen prospective volunteers for positions and make recommendations for placement;
  • THINK TANK – for volunteer-decisions including recognition activities, and policy changes.

Learn More About Our VAC Members:

Red Cross - Los Angeles Volunteer Council - Stephen Hargette

Stephen Hargette

Stephen Hargett stated as a youth volunteer with the American Red Cross in 2004 as part of his commitment to helping his community. He continued volunteering throughout his time at the University of Maryland where he worked on volunteer recruitment for various project in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. Upon his return to Los Angeles, Stephen worked with The Red Cross in various capacities including social media, volunteer services, and youth and young adult. His most recent venture is working with the Volunteer Advisory Council.


Red Cross - Los Angeles Volunteer Council - Kelvin Do

Kelvin Do

Kelvin Do is currently a college student attending Pierce College. He began volunteering with the American Red Cross in October 2014. Initially volunteering as a Project and Program Assistant, he soon decided to increase his role within the region by becoming a Volunteer Services Intern for the length of the 2015 summer. Upon the completion of his internship, he joined the Volunteer Advisory Council in order to share his own volunteer experience to other volunteers who has just joined the Red Cross.


Red Cross - Long Beach - Leadership - Monica Buckhout

Monica A. Buckhout

Monica was born and raised in NY State and has been a resident of California since 1986. She has been happily and proudly married for 43 years, and has two fabulous adult sons, that also live in California. After 30+ years in the travel industry and owning her own and family owned businesses she followed her passion. After 9/11, changed careers from travel to emergency management. Monica now owns the American Readiness and Preparedness Consulting firm.

Monica holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Science in Business Administration and Business Management and is California/CALEMA (CSTI) Emergency Management Specialist, and FEMA Emergency Management Institute, Advanced Professional Series a commitment to Standards of Excellence in Disaster Operations Skills. Monica has received the Rotary International Foundation Paul Harris Fellow award.

Having volunteered with several Disaster Teams in the Ventura County and LA areas, she recruited, evaluated, trained and developed volunteers for community response needs. Monica became a volunteer with the Red Cross in 2001 for the Ventura County Chapter. Monica became part of the Red Cross staff in 2003 through 2011, and served as the Regional Emergency Services Director for the Central Coast Region working with Volunteers and Staff to build capacity for meeting the needs of the communities and counties served in preparedness and response. Then served as an American Red Cross Reservist until the end of 2014. Past volunteer development experience has been in the Parent Teacher Association, Scouting and Little League, community organizations and local Police Department.

Since with the Red Cross she has deployed to several disasters, to include: Hurricanes; Charlie, Frances, Ivan, Ike, Wilma, and Ernesto, also wildfires; in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, and Tornado and floods; MS 2003, CA 2005, and the Mississippi Levee in 2011 along with many local disasters in Southern California. She provided training for over 1200 volunteers, preparing them for deployment to Hurricane Katrina (2005) while also managed casework for those resettling to Ventura County. She served in the capacity of Public Affairs, Logistics (Officer) In-Kind Donations (Manager), Staffing (Coordinator) and Operations Management (Director).

Monica still remains and enjoys being part of the American Red Cross, as she volunteers with Los Angeles Region and serves as a; Leadership and Advanced Volunteer Training Instructor, including Diversity Training, is a Government Liaison (Mentor), active with Operations Management, and with International Services as an instructor, including Born on the Battlefield, International Humanitarian Law and Restoring Family Links casework. In each of the above areas, works with volunteers and staff for personal development.

She volunteered as an Emergency Medical Technician, is a HAM Radio Operator (KE6RCU) is CERT trained and a qualified instructor. Monica is active in her church and served as a child advocate through the years. She enjoys spending time with her family/friends, helping others, and loves to travel whenever there is down time. Her hobbies are; horseback riding, outdoors sports, especially swimming and finds game playing and bingo relaxing.


Red Cross Los Angeles Jimmy Dower

Jimmy Dower

Jimmy Dower started volunteering with the Red Cross during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and has since been deployed to numerous disaster relief efforts. Jimmy volunteers with several disaster relief functions but found his niche with Mass Care. The largest relief effort he supported was during Hurricane Gustav, with 1200 people displaced for 11 weeks in in Galveston, Texas. Locally, Jimmy Dower is a Duty Officer for the Los Angeles Region Disaster Action Team. Jimmy also served as Emergency Services Chair for the Long Beach/Rio Hondo Chapters, and most recently joined the Volunteer Advisory Council to work with new volunteers and help them find Red Cross volunteer opportunities that match their desire.


Red Cross Los Angeles Sam Frankl

Sam Frankl

Sam Frankl was born in Augsburg, Germany after World War II, and came to the United States with his family in 1959. The Frankl’s lived in Phoenix, Arizona and Sam Frankl attended the University of Arizona to study business administration. Sam has volunteered with the American Red Cross for five years and currently is involved as a Territory Disaster Duty Officer, Disaster Action Team Leader and Logistics Lead for the Los Angeles Region and a member of the City of Los Angeles call out team for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Sam is married with three adult children, the oldest teaches biology, the middle is a production manager at Disney, and the youngest teaches algebra, calculus and history. Sam’s hobbies are history, especially in the form of being a civil war reenactor, classical music, reading, and crossword puzzles.


Red Cross - Long Beach - Leadership - John JJ Goldrick

John "JJ" Goldrick

“JJ” will be joining the Red Cross Volunteer Advisory Council after serving as the Director of Property Management for Downtown Properties in Los Angeles for the last 12 years which in that capacity he oversaw the development, management and operations of real estate assets for clients throughout Southern California. With 35 years of experience he has established a reputation of excellent customer service, responsiveness and leadership. He has a track record of industry and community involvement working as a volunteer at Santa Monica/UCLA Hospital, a Docent at the Getty Museum, a member of the CERT Team in LA and Santa Monica, Westside Food Bank at St. Anne’s Catholic Church and the Red Cross in Disaster Preparedness. “JJ” began his real estate career in Kansas City and has a MBA from USC along with several other real estate designations and was an Army Ranger in Vietnam. He lives in Santa Monica with his cat, Freckles.


Pam Haner

Pam Haner

Pam Haner, a retired RN, joined the American Red Cross in 2001 upon the recommendation of a good friend and long-time Red Cross volunteer. She currently plays a key role in orienting and mentoring new disaster volunteers in Territory 2, helping them discover how they can best serve the Red Cross. She is a member of several Red Cross committees, is involved in community outreach and schedules disaster training classes. She has served in many areas including DAT, Client Casework, SAF, Sheltering, Staffing for disasters, and Teaching health service classes. Pam is a National Disaster Responder and was deployed to many South East hurricanes including Hurricane Katrina.

Pam credits the personal attention she received as a new volunteer, as a driving force toward her becoming the mentor she is today. Someone was there to capture her enthusiasm and guide her toward becoming an active, engaged and committed Red Cross volunteer. She is dedicated to giving that high level of attention to all new volunteers.

Pam is married and lives in Pasadena, has two children, six grandchildren and has many hobbies including riding Arabian horses, gardening, playing piano and traveling.


Red Cross - Long Beach - Leadership - Rosemary Isong

Rosamari Isong

Rosamari first volunteered for the American Red Cross in 2011 to fulfill a class project, however, that experience reignited her love for non-profit and motivated her to return and become a permanent volunteer. In previous years she served as a project manager and a member of the AmeriCorps Vista Advisory Group, in the Los Angeles office. Currently, she serves as a Volunteer Partner, working on diverse projects alongside the Senior Director of Community and Volunteer Engagement.


Les Kimbrough - No Photo

Chris Sanchez

Chris Sanchez’s American Red Cross involvement began in 2005 as a Community Outreach Volunteer for the Rio Hondo Office where she continues to volunteer at present. Prior to her extensive volunteer career, she worked for 15 years as the Director of Catering in Arcadia and Covina. Additionally, she has been a member of the Industry Manufacturing Council since 1979 and knows the City’s business climate well. Chris wears two hats: one for Red Cross Community Outreach in nine cities, and one for Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe’s 4th District (since 2003). Her work for both is aimed at informing her community of Emergency Preparedness. Chris is referred to as the “Info Lady” among her peers because her main goal is to share information, direct people where they can get more information, and listen to people who have information to share with her. She hopes to continue strengthening the partnership between the County and the American Red Cross as well as build new relationships among her community leaders to promote our mission and get her community prepared.


Red Cross Los Angeles Mike Sproule

Mike Sproule

Mike Sproule has lived in the San Fernando Valley for the last 20 years. He began volunteering with the American Red Cross in 2000 as a First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor and as a member of the Disaster Action Team. He also serves as a Board Member for Latin Cultural House. Furthermore, Mike has 20 years of professional experience in the Mortgage/Banking industry.


Red Cross Los Angeles Will Washburn

Will Washburn

Will Washburn came to the Red Cross in 2009 as a volunteer CPR instructor and he still teaches regularly. As Will learned about the Red Cross mission and saw its impact on individuals, he wanted to explore other ways he could contribute. Having a background in law enforcement, 12 years with the Orange County Sheriff Coroner and 6 years teaching experience it seemed like a natural fit to help others in a time of need. Will soon began participating with the Disaster Action Team (DAT), Preparedness Education team, Client Casework, and in the last year became a “Map Your Neighborhood” Trainer. Furthermore, Will also serves as a youth advisor to the South Bay Youth Corps providing business acumen and leadership development. Most recently, Will Washburn expanded his commitment to the Red Cross by becoming a Community Ambassador for the city of Carson.