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Red Cross and Dell Unveil Silicon Valley Digital Operation Center

Using the Power of Social Data to Support Disaster Relief and Blood Donor Services

When: Monday, April 20, 2015

  • 10:00a.m. – 10:45a.m.—Silicon Valley Digital Operations Center Unveiling
  • 11:00a.m. – 11:45a.m.—Panel Discussion: Social Data and Humanitarian Efforts
  • What: American Red Cross of Silicon Valley will unveil its Digital Operations Center in partnership with Dell. The Digital Operations Center is a social media command center that allows the Red Cross to monitor social conversations before and during disasters to help anticipate disaster needs and connect more people with resources during an emergency. The Red Cross in Silicon Valley is the second location to receive this innovative technology outside of its national headquarters location in Washington, D.C.

    Following the unveiling, the Red Cross and Dell will host a panel discussion about the power of social data in the humanitarian industry and how the Red Cross uses social data to deliver on its mission.

    In addition to the new Digital Operations Center, a new Dell grant and Dell Digital Business Services will help the Red Cross optimize their social presence to attract new blood donors, encourage more blood drives and help existing blood donors to expand their relationship with the Red Cross.

    Where: American Red Cross of Silicon Valley chapter [2731 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95134]

    Who: Panelists include:

    Burk Buechler, managing director, Social Media & Digital Marketing Services, Dell

    Burk is responsible for practice management and global delivery bringing business solutions to customers of all sizes. Social Media and Digital Marketing is integral to customers’ transformation and Burk’s team helps businesses unleash the power of digital to drive growth and create new sources of value. Burk’s global team includes experienced strategists, industry specialists, practice leaders, and Marketing SMEs. Burk is an accomplished leader with over 20 years of achievement in the IT industry with a unique blend of innovation, global portfolio management, and business development expertise. His direct experience includes business planning, innovation, marketing/merchandizing, and IT Services leadership positions. Burk has deep expertise in building and delivering innovative service offerings that deliver tangible results for customers.

    Rob Acker, CEO,

    At, Rob is focused on delivering world-class technology to nonprofits and higher education customers.Rob has been with Salesforce for 15 years. Prior to leading, Rob served as a senior vice president of sales. Before joining Salesforce, Rob worked in application sales at Oracle. Rob holds a B.A. in political science and economics from Gonzaga University.

    Curtis Midkiff, director, Social Engagement, American Red Cross

    Curtis leads the team responsible for developing and executing the social media strategy to support the Red Cross mission while also providing strategic consultation to lines and service and various business units within the Red Cross. As a part of his role, he works closely with leadership of Facebook, Google, and Twitter and other technology companies to determine the best ways to collaborate on social engagement initiatives. Curtis has nearly two decades of experience in communications, marketing and new media strategies and his social engagement expertise has been featured in the Wall Street Journal,,, and other media outlets.

    Why: The new Digital Operations Center provides a hub of expertise on the West Coast where volunteers can work with their emergency manager partners to provide social data for regional responses. Recent disasters have shown that having a better view of the social conversation helps the Red Cross anticipate disaster needs and connect more people with resources during an emergency.

    The Red Cross supplies nearly 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and maintaining a steady supply of donors is vital to supplying the needs of blood recipients nationwide. The latest grant from Dell will provide the Red Cross with a new level of insights and analytics from listening, tuning to optimization as it relates to blood donors.

    About the American Red Cross of the Silicon Valley

    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 to prepare for, respond to, and recover from 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.