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Silicon Valley Chapter Honors 30 Outstanding Volunteers

The American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter honored 30 volunteers during the Volunteer Recognition Awards Night on May 21 at the Red Cross San Jose Office and at the Annual Meeting on June 11 at Peninsula Building Materials in Mountain View.

This year’s Outstanding Leadership Award went to Bill Russell of Saratoga, whose model of a “doer” and not just a “viewer” has guided the Silicon Valley Chapter through many transitions and organizational changes. Russell began his Red Cross career assisting, and then leading, the Finance Committee, and ultimately became a member of the Board of Directors. The Silicon Valley Chapter would not be in the solid shape that it is today if Bill had not been volunteering his time and talent for the past 12 years.

Three New Volunteer Awards went to Gary Ono of Milpitas, Ioana Moldovan and Gary Mcleod of San Jose. Gary Ono has been a truly active, dedicated volunteer for the First Aid Services Team (FAST) for the past nine months. He has volunteered hundreds of hours as Crew Chief, as Logistics Supervisor, and as an Emergency Medical Responder instructor, and has undertaken training to become one of FAST’s Emergency Response drivers.

Despite having been a volunteer for only a few months, Ioana Moldovan has helped at the front desk on a regular basis and with great respect for our clients. She has been heavily involved with the International Services team and has greatly enhanced communication between the members of the Volunteer Connection group and helped us move in the direction desired by the Red Cross.

Gary Mcleod has been instrumental to the Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) Department. His knowledge of and connections to the military/veteran community have truly benefited the department, and as such Gary has led the initiative to gather information about the resources available in Santa Clara County to provide referrals to our clients.

This year’s Youth Award went to Kaille Casaje of Morgan Hill, who joined the South County Red Cross Club in the spring of 2012. With her strong organizational and leadership skills, Kaille managed to start a Red Cross Club at Sobrato High School for the 2012-2013 school year. Under her guidance, the club has developed a strong core of leaders and has been very active, having led cleaning projects, run clothes and blood drives, and even baked and decorated cookies for each of our local fire departments.

The Youth Advisor Awards went to Peggy Pinarbasi of Morgan Hill and Terrie Berry of Gilroy, under whose leadership two very active and enthusiastic youth groups have started in South County. In the past year, members of the Sobrato Red Cross Club and the South County Red Cross Club have been involved in several activities including making four Scrubby Bear presentations, cleaning two disaster supply containers, and setting up a “Red Cross Disaster Worker” Scarecrow at Gilroy Gardens.

The Clara Barton Award, created in honor of Clara Barton – the founder of the American Red Cross – went to Karl Matzke of Palo Alto. Beginning as a national disaster responder, Karl has been on several national deployments assisting with providing shelter, food, emergency supplies, and health services to those who need it most. The Vice-Chair of Disaster Services, Karl has used his considerable skills to shape all the areas within the chapter and to serve as a liaison to many outside groups and partners. Matzke has served as a Disaster Services instructor and a Mass Care Chief, bringing about the County Mass Care Training program for our government partners.

Other awards given out during the Volunteer Recognition Awards on May 21 at the Silicon Valley Chapter San Jose Office:

  • Administration and Support: Laura Stover of Santa Clara
  • Blood Services Award: Mike Wethern
  • Client Casework – Emergency Services – Response (Team): Barbara Leighton and Anita Moser of Palo Alto, Ann Ziman of Los Altos, Cathy Etheredge and Stuart Chessen of Cupertino, Janette Huber, Yuki Hirose of Sunnyvale, Portia Gage of San Jose, Sean Imler of Campbell
  • Collaboration Award: Marcella DiSciullo and Irene Krugly of San Jose
  • Emergency Services – Chapter Readiness: George Williams of San Jose
  • Emergency Services – Chapter Readiness: Kent Fielden of Sunnyvale
  • Emergency Services – FAST: Steven Rooks
  • Emergency Services – Preparedness and Partnerships: Gordon Sakai of Gilroy
  • Emergency Services – Preparedness and Partnerships: Stephanie Wilde of San Jose
  • Emergency Services – Response: Demetrious McCarthy of Los Altos
  • International Services: June Cancell of Portola Valley
  • Service to the Armed Forces: Elizabeth Dietz of San Jose
  • Teamwork Award: Stuart Chessen of Cupertino
  • About American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter

    The American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that depends on the generous contributions of time and money from Santa Clara County residents and companies to provide services and programs that help our community prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. For more information on disaster preparedness, health and safety classes, volunteer opportunities, and financial contributions, visit our website at or call us at 1-877-727-6771. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.