Leadership

Regional & Chapter Leadership

Kay W. Wilkins

Kay W. Wilkins

Kay serves as the regional chief executive of the American Red Cross in Louisiana. She has more than 35 years of experience with the nonprofit. Serving in roles ranging from volunteer to director of Emergency Services to chief executive, she is an appointed member of the Critical Incident Response Team. Educated at Auburn University, she has been recognized as a Champion of Change in 2012 by President Obama for exceptional achievement among local professional women, and honored as one of the top 40 Women of the Year by City Business. Kay and her husband, Lee, have three children, Matt, Kaley and Noah, and a granddaughter.


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Merri Alessi

Merri serves as the executive director for the Capital Area, Acadiana and Southwest Louisiana. Prior to joining the American Red Cross in August 2015, she was at Woman's Hospital as the director of Marketing, Public Relations, Physician Relations and Strategic Planning. Merri is a graduate of Louisiana State University and was name one of the Sales and Marketing Executives of the Year in 2011. She is an avid gardener and animal lover. She and her husband, Lynn, live in Baton Rouge.


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Michelle Davison

Michelle serves as executive director in North Louisiana. She has been with the Red Cross for 20 years. A lifelong resident of Shreveport, she graduated from Louisiana State University in Shreveport with her bachelor’s degree in communications and her master’s in health administration. She is also the handler for Chloe, a Corgi-mix rescue dog, and the founding member of the North Louisiana American Red Cross Pet Therapy Visitation Team.


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Robert Harris

Robert serves as the regional services to the armed forces director in Louisiana. He is serving his 20th year in the Louisiana Army National Guard as a platoon Sergeant of the 843rd Heavy Equipment Company. Robert joined the Red Cross team after retiring from a 15-year career in law enforcement where he served in various positions such as patrol, K-9 narcotics and major crimes investigations. Robert has a daughter who is an avid barrel race competitor. Robert enjoys spending time with his daughter, competing in marathons and triathlons, and scuba diving.


Nancy Malone

Nancy Malone

Nancy joined the Red Cross family in 2010 and serves as the regional public affairs director in Louisiana. Her Red Cross service, however, began during Hurricane Katrina when Nancy and her husband returned from their Washington state home to work at a Livingston Parish shelter – a life-changing experience serving residents, most of whom had lost everything. Prior to the Red Cross, Nancy spent eight years as a print and digital journalist. Nancy earned her bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication. Nancy and her husband now live in Baton Rouge with their sweet and active girls.


Kearney Gay

Kearney Gay

Kearney serves as the chief development officer in Louisiana. He joined the Red Cross in January of 2016 having previously served at Tulane University as associate athletics director of Major Giving. In this role, he coordinated and led the overall major gift fundraising department and was the point development person on Tulane’s $75 million on-campus football stadium. Kearney previously served as the General Manger for IMG Sports Marketing, Tulane Athletics’ multi-media rights holder. Kearney is born and raised in New Orleans, a graduate of the University of Mississippi and enjoys playing tennis and running marathons. He lives in New Orleans with his wife and two children.


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Joshua Joachim

Joshua serves as the regional chief administrative officer for the American Red Cross of Louisiana and Mississippi. He has more than 16 years of leadership and business management experience – nine of those years with the Red Cross. Joshua has held statewide Red Cross leadership positions in Volunteer Services, Disaster Cycle Services, Service to the Armed Forces, as well as chapter executive director. He is an active member of several business and community professional groups. Joshua is a graduate of Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Joshua, his wife Elizabeth, and daughter Darian are supporters of the American Red Cross through volunteerism, financial and blood donation.


Lou Kennedy

Lou Kennedy

Lou, volunteer services officer for Louisiana, began her career with the Association for Retarded Citizens (now known as ARC) prior to joining the American Red Cross in 1994. Following the devastating 2005 Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, she managed the Louisiana/Mississippi Red Cross Hurricane Recovery Program. She believes that volunteers are the lifeblood of the Red Cross and she is thrilled to work with them. Lou lives on the Northshore with her husband, Ron, and six children.


Eric King

Eric King

Eric King serves as the state disaster program officer. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University and served as a Medical Service Corps officer both on active duty and in the reserve, retiring as a Major in 2006. His accomplished background includes management, logistics and operation in civilian and military sectors. Eric lives with his beautiful wife in Zachary; they have three children, a son attending graduate school at Liberty University, a daughter attending LSU and a teenager at home, as well as a precious grandson. He enjoys riding motorcycles, attending his sons’ athletics events, and playing golf with his son. He is also, an avid reader, a Dive Master, and public speaker.