Rich Hajeris has been named interim Community Executive for the American Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley, Red Cross Central New York Region Chief Executive Officer Rosie Taravella announced today.
Hajeris replaces Jennifer Balog, who resigned as Community Executive earlier this month. The Central New York Region and Mohawk Valley Board of Directors have formed a committee that is conducting the search for Balog’s permanent successor.
“We appreciated Jennifer’s dedication, and we look forward to finding a candidate who’ll be equally committed to serving Mohawk Valley residents,” Taravella said. “In the meantime, we are fortunate to have an experienced staff member like Rich to guide us through this transition time.”
Hajeris, the Regional Disaster Support Manager for the Central New York Region, has been supporting the Mohawk Valley since February as the Interim Disaster Program Manager for the disaster district that includes Oneida, Herkimer and Otsego counties. As Disaster Support Manager for the entire Central New York Region, Hajeris also oversees the disaster-related activities of mass care, logistics and recovery.
Born in Utica, Hajeris grew up in Barneveld in Oneida County and attended Holland-Patent Central schools. He joined the Red Cross as a volunteer in 2003 and spent three years as a health and safety instructor in Central New York. In 2008, he joined the American Red Cross of Greater New York as the Regional Coordinator of the New York State Citizen Preparedness Program.
Hajeris returned to the Red Cross of Central New York in 2009 and worked as Assistant Director of Emergency Services and Senior Emergency Services Manager before being promoted to his current position.
“As Interim Disaster Program Manager in the Mohawk Valley since February, and as an assistant director for the Red Cross flood relief operation this past summer, I have spent a lot of time in the Mohawk Valley over the past year,” Hajeris said. “I will continue to work here with the volunteers and staff at the Utica office to ensure that all Red Cross services will be maintained while we search for Jennifer’s successor.”
In other news from the Mohawk Valley, the Red Cross office at 1415 Genesee St., Utica, has reopened after being closed for repairs. The office is open from 8:30 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and residents can also call the office at (315) 733-4666 for information about Red Cross services.