Metro Atlanta Red Cross leadership volunteer Suzanne Detlefs is one of 26 outstanding volunteers and employees from across the country who were recognized for their contributions to the organization by national President Gail McGovern on March 20th. Detlefs, the immediate past chair of the Metro Atlanta Chapter and a founding member of the Atlanta Red Cross Tiffany Circle, received the Presidential Award for Excellence during an annual awards dinner held at American Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“The American Red Cross enriches the lives of countless people in so many ways in Metro Atlanta, throughout the state of Georgia and across the country,” said Detlefs, a resident of Buckhead whose first experience with the Red Cross came during her youth as a trained water safety instructor. “I’ve gained a great deal of personal satisfaction from supporting such an important and worthwhile organization and I am both humbled and honored to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence, she said.”
Detlefs, who remains active with the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter board of directors, served as its volunteer chair from 2009-2012 and provided guidance for 10 additional Red Cross chapter boards in Georgia. Despite a challenging economy, the Atlanta Chapter grew donations each year under her leadership, raising $20 million for local operations. She also helped to launch a $2 million Stronger Red Cross for Georgia fundraising campaign to build disaster response capacity statewide. During her tenure, the chapter supported two large relief operations: the 100-Year Georgia Floods in 2009 and the 2011 Georgia Tornadoes, in addition to responding to nearly 2,000 metro disasters, mostly home and apartment fires.
Detlefs is also a founding member and past chair of Atlanta’s Tiffany Circle, part of a national society of women leaders and philanthropists who contribute a minimum of $10,000 a year in support of the Red Cross mission in their communities. She led the group to a National Best Practice Award for large Red Cross chapters in 2011 and remains actively involved in planning, recruitment and membership engagement. She served on the national Tiffany Circle Council from 2009-2012. Today, the Atlanta Tiffany Circle has 43 members and has raised more than three million dollars for local Red Cross programs and services since its inception in the fall of 2007.
“Suzanne is truly deserving of this high honor; we couldn’t be more proud,” said Terri Badour Duckett, CEO of the American Red Cross of Georgia. “As a leadership volunteer and philanthropist, she has strengthened the capacity of the Red Cross to respond in communities statewide and has generously shared her expertise at both local and national levels of our organization. We’re deeply grateful for her commitment to serving others through the American Red Cross,” she said.