The American Red Cross has always had a close relationship with the military, dating back to when founder Clara Barton provided aide to soldiers during the Civil War. And sometimes, that relationship overlaps, which is the case with the American Red Cross’s Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter. Disaster Program Manager Kevan Dilworth, who is responsible for overseeing the responses to disasters in the six-county area (Champaign, Clark, Darke, Miami, Shelby and Logan), was called back to active duty with the U.S. Army, reporting to a base in South Korea on Friday, April 3. Dilworth, who will return to the same job upon his return, is scheduled to be deployed for six months. He previously served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In order to fill the void created by Dilworth and the recent promotion to Disaster Program Manager by Randy Earl to the Dayton Chapter, the Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter has hired Marc Cantrell. Cantrell’s previous eight years of work as both an employee and volunteer with the American Red Cross has equipped him well for the position, says John Bernard, Regional Disaster Officer for the 27-county Southeast Ohio region, which includes the Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter.
Cantrell has served in a variety of volunteer roles in the Northern Miami Valley area since moving here in 2012, including Services to the Armed Forces, International Services and Disaster Services. Most recently he has been the Volunteer Emergency Services Coordinator in Miami and Shelby counties. Prior to moving to the area, Cantrell was a Disaster Relief Director for the Red Cross in South Carolina where he managed 31 churches, training parishioners to prepare for disasters. He also worked in El Salvador, helping the country rebuild after devastating earthquakes; in FEMA centers in Florida doing crisis management following the 2004 hurricanes; in Sri Lanka helping after the 2005 tsunami that killed 50,000 people; and in New Orleans doing crisis management after hurricanes Katrina and Ike. Additionally, Cantrell served in the United States Marine Corps from 1978-1984 as a communications specialist and in the National Guard from 1988-1989. Cantrell is excited to start his ne w position, and says his goal for the job “totally aligns with the Red Cross, which is people helping people.”
“It is with great pride that not only have we promoted two of our own from within to support our local disaster response volunteers, but we can support our military with Kevan’s brief return to active duty,” stated Lynne Gump, Executive Director, Northern Miami Valley Ohio, “In their roles as volunteer support, community relationships and preparedness, these three gentlemen bring decades of experience and leadership.”
Cantrell’s transition into the position will be somewhat eased by having Earl as close by and available as a mentor. Earl moved back to Dayton, where he began his career with the Red Cross as a Disaster Action Team member after retiring from a 35-year career in education. He moved to Northern Miami Valley as a Disaster Services Coordinator before becoming a Disaster Program Specialist covering the six counties. Since his start at the American Red Cross, Earl has been deployed as a client caseworker five times, most recently was to Kansas for a tornado response.
The Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter has 379 volunteers giving of themselves delivering the mission of the American Red Cross, but many more volunteers are needed. If you would like more information about how you can become a volunteer supporting your community, simply reach out online at Redcross.org or call your local Red Cross Chapter office.