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Red Cross Appoints Joan Meinke Regional Disaster Program Officer

Red Cross Appoints Joan Meinke Regional Disaster Program Officer
There were so many volunteer opportunities, and so many things I wanted to do.

The American Red Cross, Central and Northern Michigan Region, announced today that the position of Regional Disaster Program Officer (RDPO) has been filled by the current Interim Regional Emergency Services Manager, Joan Meinke.

Joan Meinke, a resident of Mason, MI, has been a Board Member of the Mid-Michigan Chapter, and a Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteer. She is a registered nurse and a former elementary school teacher. She arrived at the Red Cross in 1998, eager to offer her nursing background. “There were so many volunteer opportunities, and so many things I wanted to do,” Meinke said. Meinke was a disaster volunteer in New York during 9/11. She has been deployed many times each year for fires, floods, hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes and wildfires. Each deployment gave her new responsibilities and a total background in disaster management.

John Cauley, Regional Executive Officer for the Central and Northern Michigan Region, says Meinke’s demeanor is what makes her so valuable at a disaster scene. “What I am impressed with most about Joan is her professionalism and compassion,” Cauley says. “She is always calm, no matter the situation, and she connects so well with clients, volunteers and staff. We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers, and Joan has always played a huge role in supporting our mission and our volunteers. Over the past two years, Joan has also served as the interim executive director at the Livingston County Chapter in Howell and the South Central Michigan Chapter in Jackson.”

For Meinke, it’s not just about helping others; it’s also about setting an example. “I firmly believe we are put on this Earth to care for others and set an example for our children,” she says. “I’m just grateful I have had the opportunity to do so through my affiliation with the American Red Cross.”

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.