After an exhaustive and competitive search, the American Red Cross has named their first regional chief executive officer for the newly formed North Texas Region.
Tracy D. (T.D.) Smyers rolled up his sleeves in early January, ready to lead the iconic humanitarian organization forward. Smyers, a native Texan hailing from Wise County, comes to the Red Cross after an esteemed 30-year career in the United States Navy, having recently retired from his post as Base Commander at the Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base (NASJRB) in Fort Worth, Texas.
Smyers’ Navy career included numerous senior leadership roles in global operations and logistics; human resource management; strategic planning; and resource optimization. He's worked in a variety of diverse locations around the world and at Navy Headquarters at the Pentagon.
Joining the American Red Cross is a change of direction for Smyers, but he's up for the challenge. "I'm definitely familiar with the work of the Red Cross, especially when it comes to the United States military. When a service member had an emergency at home, without fail, the American Red Cross would take care of them. I know that what I saw the Red Cross do for US Service-members will be mirrored in every program we offer."
In short order, Smyers has already learned about some of the hidden gems at the American Red Cross. "Most people know the Red Cross responds to disasters and collects blood, but we do so much more. We vaccinate children from measles all over the world; we're still actively engaged in Haiti two years after an earthquake; we sew baby blankets for Parkland Hospital. There's a really long list of amazing work done by this organization and I'm genuinely excited to share these stories with everyone in our community."
During his first 90 days, Smyers says he will focus on learning the organization from the inside out and meeting the volunteers and donors who make the work possible.
"We have big goals to achieve," said Smyers. "Together, I have no doubt that we'll create a stronger, better, more modern Red Cross that will become the choice place to volunteer and donate funds." Smyers goes on to say that without volunteers and financial donations, the core mission of responding to disasters, serving the US military and teaching CPR and First Aid is simply not possible.
Smyers holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Annapolis and a Master’s Degree in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces. A recently trained Red Cross volunteer, he is also a volunteer leader with the Boy Scouts of America; chairs the USS Fort Worth Commissioning Committee; serves on the Board of Green Collar Vets and the Executive Council of the Armed Forces Bowl; and is a member of the Fort Worth Executive Roundtable and Fort Worth Mayor’s Military Advisory Council.
The American Red Cross North Texas Region includes 11 Red Cross chapters spanning 111 counties from the Texas Panhandle to Texarkana.