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Lisa Jenk Receives Presidential Award for Excellence

Red Croos CNY Lisa Jenk
It makes it easy working with the volunteers and the success of our program was highlighted with the award.

Lisa Jenk, a dedicated employee and volunteer recruiter for the American Red Cross, was recently honored with The Presidential Award for Excellence for her work with Blood Services.

Lisa was born and raised in Syracuse. She attended Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., where she received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology. After a few years of living in a variety of places across the country, she returned to her hometown of Syracuse six years ago. Soon thereafter, she took her current position at the American Red Cross as Volunteer Coordinator for the Syracuse District and the head of the Syracuse Volunteer Driver Program for Blood Services.

The Presidential Award for Excellence is presented to an American Red Cross employee or volunteer who has demonstrated an admirable job performance aligning with the organization’s priorities in one of six categories: maintaining financial stability, revenue generation, providing safe blood products, modernizing IT systems, capitalizing on social media, or mission fulfillment.

A specific nomination process is used to choose the winner of The Presidential Award for Excellence. The employees or volunteers are nominated for demonstrating outstanding citizenship in one of those six categories. A nominee is chosen by a committee and selected to continue through the selection process through the regional and divisional level before making it the national level. The national committee then selects the winner of The Presidential Award for Excellence.

Lisa won the award for her blood services work with the Syracuse Volunteer Driver Program for Blood. Lisa’s volunteers transport blood products to various blood drives and centers in the area, and take tested blood to hospitals. These volunteers are the important link between getting blood from donors to testing to the recipients.

In 2014, Lisa filled in admirably after a fellow volunteer services team member had a personal hardship. In addition to covering her own district, she covered the additional program for more than a month, supervising and coordinating about 80 volunteers.

After blood volunteer John Heidenreich’s death, Lisa collected donations and made a significant gift to the American Red Cross in his name, then launched an effort to memorialize the volunteer and dedicate the Liverpool Donor Center canteen in his honor.

She outperformed all other districts with 1,327 volunteer-delivered stats in 2014. She achieved 99 percent of the blood runs filled by her volunteers. And in 2014, her volunteers drove 488,222 miles, donated 15,656 hours of labor and completed 4,157 runs, including 1,327 hospital trips.

She was also the point of contact when shared services converted the volunteer mileage reimbursement process from hard copy to online. She also advocated for her team and designed and implemented a new form that meets efficiency and transparency needs while also streamlining workflow.

Lisa was surprised to hear from the national committee that she had received the Presidential Award for Excellence.

“I was humbled but also a bit surprised,” Lisa said. “I was just doing my job. It makes it easy working with the volunteers and the success of our program was highlighted with the award.”

Lisa Jenk is a hard worker who uses her own goals and motivation to help motivate others. After winning the award, she has continued her charitable work and striving to make a difference in people’s lives through the mission of the Red Cross.

Photo: Lisa Jenk receives the Biomedical Services Award from Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross, and Shaun Gilmore, President of American Red Cross Biomedical Services, at the 2015 National Awards and Recognition Dinner in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Jason Colston/American Red Cross).

Kimberleigh Powell is communications intern with the American Red Cross of Central New York. She is a senior at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Relations majoring in Communication and Rhetorical Studies.