American Red Cross Serving the Heart of Texas

  • American Red Cross Serving the Heart of Texas
     

Welcome to the American Red Cross Serving the Heart of Texas

In October, the American Red Cross Serving the Heart of Texas began operating out of its new location at 9205 Oak Creek, Woodway, TX 76712.

The interior of the new space has been designed to suit the needs of the Red Cross now and in the future, and the office location is conveniently accessible for the community we serve. It offers a welcoming, comfortable and efficient space for clients, volunteers, and staff alike. It also provides an ideal space to conduct community trainings, meetings and blood drives.

“This year marks the centennial for the Heart of Texas Chapter of the Red Cross, so there is no better time to make a move that represents our forward-thinking commitment to service in Waco and the surrounding communities,” said Amy Grace, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Serving the Heart of Texas.

The Red Cross office was previously located at 4224 Cobbs Drive. That facility is owned by the City of Waco, and the Red Cross will continue to utilize warehouse space at that location.

The Red Cross is proud to continue providing support to the Waco community and surrounding areas in the preparation of, response to and recovery from disasters big and small.

Leadership

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Amy Grace, Executive Director

Amy Grace is a native Texan, originating from Bell county, and brings a strong background in organizational development, leadership development and human resources. Her experience includes positions as Executive Director of the Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity and Chief Growth Officer for Northwestern Mutual. Her professional and personal background, combined with her lifelong commitment to helping and serving people makes her a great fit for the Heart of Texas chapter of the American Red Cross. Amy lives with her daughter and two rescue dogs in Bell County.


Marty McKellips, Regional Chief Executive Officer

Marty McKellips, Regional Chief Executive Officer

Marty has been with the Red Cross for more than a decade. First as a volunteer, then as a staff member, she has served a wide range of roles including Disaster Responder, Public Information Officer, member of the Board of Directors, Chief Marketing Officer and now Regional CEO. She has responded to every type of disaster from single family fires to major events like hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Prior to joining the American Red Cross, Marty taught public school and owned a small business.


katie braymer

Katie Braymer, Regional Disaster Program Officer

Katie earned her bachelor’s degree in Emergency Administration and Planning from the University of North Texas and began her career with the Red in 2009 as an Emergency Services intern in the Chisholm Trail Chapter in Fort Worth, TX. Katie has worked her way up through Disaster Cycle Services and across the state of Texas. She has deployed to more than 15 national disaster relief operations including tornadoes in Mississippi, the 2011 Bastrop Wildfire, Hurricane Sandy, the West, TX Fertilizer Plant Explosion, and the 2014 Washington Wildfires. Katie has most recently served in leadership roles during the 2013 Halloween Floods in Central, TX, 2015 Texas Memorial Day Floods and the Fall 2015 Halloween Floods. Katie is a Fort Worth native and proud to now call Austin her home.


Central Texas - Leadership - Alex Villa

Alex Villa, Chief Operating Officer

Alex has been with the American Red Cross for more than six years and has worked in nearly every line of service, including Health & Safety, Disaster Preparedness, Service to the Armed Forces, Communications and Volunteer Services. Most recently he served as the Regional Volunteer Services Officer for the Central California Region. Before coming to the Red Cross, Alex worked for the City of Fresno, California where he specialized in Local Business Initiatives for the Office of the Mayor. He has deployed to multiple disaster response operations, including Superstorm Sandy, the Oso Mudslide and the California Wildfires. Alex is excited to bring his extensive knowledge and passion for the Red Cross--and his love of organization—to his new role as Chief Operating Officer. He is looking forward to building a culture of employee engagement and professional development for his colleagues across the Central & South Texas Region. When he’s not working, Alex loves h iking, concerts, wine tasting…and organization.


Red Cross Central Texas Debbie Immel

Debbie Immel, Interim Director

Debbie has more than six years of fundraising and public relations experience in the nonprofit arena, all with the American Red Cross. She managed fundraising efforts for the Central Texas Wildfires in Fall 2011 and she deployed to Alabama to assist in the relief and fundraising efforts as a result of dozens of tornadoes in the Spring of the same year. She has extensive experience in sales and marketing, where she worked in the corporate world for more than 20 years. She also possesses a strong background in financial development, communications, promotions and relationship building.


Reihaneh Hajibeigi, Volunteer Services Officer

Reihaneh Hajibeigi, Volunteer Services Officer

Reihaneh has been involved with the Red Cross in some capacity for nearly 10 years, beginning as a founding member of the Red Cross Club at her high school. She continued her Red Cross work serving as the Vice President of the Red Cross Club at UT Austin and as a Communication Intern in the Central Texas Chapter. Most recently, she oversaw the International Services program for the 80-county Central and South Texas Region, working to reconnect refugees and migrant families with their loved ones when separated by international conflict or disaster. It was in this position that she fell in love with Red Cross volunteers and found creative ways to cultivate and engage them. In her role as Volunteer Officer, she strives to bridge all lines of service across our expansive geography to help make the volunteer workforce stronger, more efficient and more celebrated.


Red Cross Central Texas Bristel Minsker

Bristel Minsker, Regional Communications Director

With more than seven years’ experience in communications and journalism, Bristel’s background includes agency public relations, corporate communications and broadcast journalism. She joined the Red Cross team in 2013 as the Communications Director and has led public affairs for the organization during local responses such as the 2013 Halloween Floods, the 2014 SXSW Crash and the 2014 Fort Hood shooting. Bristel is passionate about using traditional and digital media to help families prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies in Central Texas. She is a California native, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and proud Texas transplant.


Red Cross Central Texas Frank French

Frank French, Regional Service to the Armed Forces Director

Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) is central to the mission of the American Red Cross. In his role, Frank overseas SAF staff and volunteers in Central & South Texas (CSTR) in providing emergency messages, outreach programs, financial assistance, and other support to our military service members, veterans at their families. Frank also overseas International Social Services in CSTR, including Restoring Family Links, a free international family tracing service. Before joining the Red Cross, Frank was a Battalion Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army.