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Red Cross Appoints New Community Chapter Executive

SANTA CRUZ, CA (January 9, 2014) - The American Red Cross Gateway to the Golden State Region is proud to announce that Ginaia Kelly has been selected as the new Community Chapter Executive of the American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter. Her first day will be January 13, 2014.

“Ginaia is well known in the Santa Cruz Community and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from her work with a number of local nonprofits,” said Mark Cloutier, American Red Cross Regional CEO. “She brings new energy and a fresh perspective that I have no doubt will build on the solid foundation and reputation for compassionate service delivery that we have in the Santa Cruz community.”

In this position, Kelly will provide leadership to the 622 local volunteers and four employees to serve the nearly 263,000 residents in Santa Cruz County with lifesaving programs and services. Each year, the Santa Cruz County Chapter teaches more than 100,000 residents how to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies both big and small. Local Red Cross volunteers respond to an average of 67 local emergencies and help 252 affected residents to recover. Annually, more than 100 local volunteers deploy on national disaster assignments.

“Ginaia brings a diverse background and an exceptional understanding of the communities the American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter serves,” shared Rick Martinez, Santa Cruz County Chapter Board of Directors Chair and Deputy Chief, City of Santa Cruz Police Department. “Her proven leadership will ensure our Community Chapter continues to best serve those during their greatest time of need.”

“I am honored to be selected to lead this outstanding organization,” said Ginaia Kelly. “I sincerely believe that we are meant to help each other through life’s journeys. The Red Cross mission forms a natural connection between my professional experience and my passion to help the community and those in need.”

Kelly said she wants to forge new relationships and enhance existing partnerships, increase the number of volunteers, increase the chapter’s presence in the community, and maintain a strong service capacity to help local communities.

An attorney by training, Kelly had her own private law practice, worked in the Santa Cruz County Office of the District Attorney, and most recently has been a contract attorney for a number of private firms. She is active in the community having served on a number of other nonprofit boards including the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County Bar Association, Women Lawyers of Santa Cruz County and the Young Lawyers of Santa Cruz.

As the Development Director for the Best Day Foundation, Kelly successfully created a three-year development plan. As the interim Executive Director for the Save The Waves Coalition, she led the fundraising effort and dedication ceremonies for the new Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve. She also served as a director and was the three-term president for the Monterey Bay nonprofit, Save Our Shores, where she significantly increased their fundraising revenues through special events and personal asks.

As a former Writer and Associate Producer for KSBW Action 8 News, Kelly has continued to pursue her passions for communications, the environment, and the law with numerous articles published in various surfing magazines, local newspapers, and law journals.

A native of San Jose, California, Kelly is a passionate environmentalist and athlete. She is a competitive surfer, snowboarder and beach volleyball players. She also worked as a professional high diver for many years, traveling the world, performing in shows in aquatic theme parks. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara and a Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego. She resides in Davenport with her husband and two sons.

About the American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter

The American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that depends on the generous contributions of time and money from Santa Cruz County residents and companies to provide services and programs that help our community prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. For more information on disaster preparedness, health and safety classes, volunteer opportunities, and financial contributions, visit our website at or call us at 831-462-2881. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.