Joanne Nowlin joined the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region in July 2020. Previously, she spent three years as CEO of the South Florida Region where she led both the region and division workgroups for diversity and inclusion with measured results. Joanne also successfully led the team through several major disaster responses including Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Dorian and the Parkland Shooting. She currently oversees a team of staff and volunteers serving LA County and it’s more than 10 million residents across five chapters.
Joanne has spent her entire career in nonprofits. Crucial development and leadership skills were built at Florida Atlantic University, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Gilda’s Club South Florida and Kids In Distress. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Finance from Florida State University.
She is excited to call Los Angeles home, celebrate its diversity and lead the Red Cross in its mission to alleviate human suffering.
Gerald currently serves as the Regional Chief Operating Officer for the Los Angeles Region. He joined the Los Angeles team in 2021 following his role as Regional Chief Executive Officer for the North Florida Region of the American Red Cross. Prior to that role, Gerald served as the Director of Strategic Planning and Program Management for Service to the Armed Forces at the American Red Cross. In this role, he ensured the alignment of Service to Armed Forces’ strategic goals and initiatives that support military service members and their families worldwide.
Prior to joining the American Red Cross, Gerald served as the Managing Director of Community Solutions’ Brownsville Partnership which engaged residents and partner organizations from many sectors in measurably improving the health, safety, and economic prosperity of the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. In 2010, Gerald served as a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Wounded Warrior Care & Transition Policy. Prior to his time in the Office of Secretary of Defense, he worked as a Military Legislative Assistant for a Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
During his military service, Gerald was an Infantry Officer in the United States Marine Corps. In addition to leading Marines in two combat theaters, Gerald’s 21 years of service was highlighted by other tours as a Congressional Fellow, Marine Corps’ Liaison to the Joint Staff and Deputy Director of the Marine Corps Congressional Liaison Office to the U.S. House of Representatives. Gerald is a two-tour combat Veteran and Bronze Star with “V” recipient for actions in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Erica Frausto-Aguado maintains a diversified background that has given her a broad understanding of communication principles, including community and government relations, marketing, event coordination, as well as program management and small business development. Prior to joining the American Red Cross, Erica served as the Executive Director for the Pomona Chamber of Commerce for 4 years. In her role she collaborated with the business community, local government, non-profit agencies and stakeholders to work towards a thriving Pomona Valley economy.
After earning a Bachelor of Science in Communications from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2005, she began her pursuit of a career in economic development working for a non-profit community development corporation in Los Angeles that focused on the growth of the minority small business community. Seeing the need for advocacy and support in the business community, she was able to use her education in public relations to network with local stakeholders and politicians.
As her interest in economic development grew, she became the Business Development Specialist for the City of Pomona under the former Redevelopment Agency. Soon after an opportunity to serve as the Business Improvement District Manager for the City of Huntington Park provided her an arena to work with over 400 businesses.
Erica currently serves as a member of the following organizations and committees: Kiwanis Club of Pomona, Rotary Club of Pomona Valley, Moms Club of Diamond Bar/Walnut and Board Member of the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation. Erica was born and raised in the city of El Monte and spent most of her upbringing in the San Gabriel Valley. She currently resides in the city of Diamond Bar with her husband and 2 young children.
As president and founder of Navegate, Inc. -- a social equity consulting firm assisting clients in the areas of advocacy, Latino engagement, public affairs, and government relations – Ms. Vega was retained by the American Red Cross Los Angeles (ARCLA) to develop its inaugural community organizing campaign to increase disaster preparedness and resiliency in L.A.’s most vulnerable communities. Additionally, she increased Red Cross LA’s profile and relationships with all branches of government and community leaders. Consequently, she joined the executive team as Chief Strategy & External Relations Officer where she currently provides strategic advice to the CEO on community engagement, government relations, crisis management, and public affairs. She also manages the relationships with the largest Latino organizations on behalf of the national headquarters.
Previously, Ms. Vega was a Senior Advocacy Consultant at the Ibarra Strategy Group in Washington, D.C. – a government and public affairs firm where she handled intergovernmental support, external communications, Latino outreach, and political affairs. Before moving to D.C., she served as Executive Director of the Office of the Census 2010 in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. In this capacity, she developed a highly successful citywide educational and community outreach campaign to ensure the complete count of L.A. residents. Prior to joining the Mayor's office, Ms. Vega worked at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) in various positions. In her capacity as a parent and youth organizer, she ensured the construction of two school complexes.
Ms. Vega has dedicated her career to advocating and organizing for social justice issues and enhancing the quality of life for under-served communities. She continues to support several non-profits and advocacy campaigns. She is an American Marshall Memorial Fellow. Additionally, she has participated in visitation programs to South Korea and Mexico. Ms. Vega graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law & Society from the University of California, Irvine. She was born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles where she currently resides.
Marilyn Jimenez Davila joined the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region in October 2016, initially as part of the Business Operations department before joining the Communications team in 2018. Prior to serving as the Regional Communications Director, she served as the Regional Communications Manager where she managed and developed media relationships within the region with a special focus on Latino media outlets. In her current role, she oversees a team of more than 100 volunteers and specifically focuses on the region’s Public Affairs volunteers and ensures volunteers and staff are trained to adequately address external relations and media requests. She serves as a national Red Cross spokesperson and has appeared on many media outlets including Univision, Telemundo and the LA Times.
Marilyn is passionate about disaster preparedness and serves as the News and Social Media Bureau Coordinator for the Earthquake Country Alliance in Southern California. She has also served in more than a dozen disaster relief operations including the Woolsey, Bobcat and Lightning Complex fires, the Ridgecrest earthquakes, Hurricane Florence and most recently providing aid to unaccompanied children at the U.S. – Mexico border.
Marilyn is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, and earned a dual degree in Business Administration and International Business from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and San Diego State University.
Diana Boyd rejoined the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region in May 2022 as Regional Service to the Armed Forces and International Services Director overseeing two Red Cross lines of service. Diana manages a dedicated team of regional Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) volunteers that help members of the military, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to, the challenges of military service. Diana’s team of regional International Services volunteers educate future humanitarians on International Humanitarian Law and work to reconnect families separated by armed conflict, natural disaster, migration, and other humanitarian crises through our Restoring Family Links program.
A former AmeriCorps member, she served the Los Angeles Region in 2012-2013, she first became involved with the Red Cross after taking classes one summer to become a Certified Lifeguard. She always knew she wanted to help others and has served the Red Cross mission in various capacities including previously as a Senior Account Manager in Blood Services for more than 8 years.
Diana has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of San Diego and minors in French and Communication Studies. Diana lives in Torrance with her husband and two children.
In the Spring of 2021, Bee Kong rejoined the Los Angeles Region as Regional Volunteer Services Officer (RVSO). Bee first came to the Red Cross as a youth volunteer in 1998 at the then-Greater Long Beach Chapter and became a full-time employee in 2005 after graduating from UCLA. During the past 24 years, Bee has served in various roles on the Los Angeles Region team from managing volunteers to organizing youth programs. He also worked on the national Volunteer Services team from 2017 to spring 2021 as a recruiter, actively searching for highly skilled volunteers to support our corporate departments.
Courtney is a fundraising veteran with over 25 years of non-profit development and sales experience. She joined the LA Region in September 2020 as Director of Individual and Foundation Giving and successfully increased fundraising results while managing the Region’s dynamic Tiffany Circle Philanthropic Society.
Courtney started her non-profit career in corporate development at the American Heart Association. She progressed to an Executive Director role leading the Association’s Silicon Valley Division and then to Senior Vice President, Field Operations where she oversaw six division fundraising campaigns. She then transitioned into a lead role in the Major Gifts program.
Following American Heart Association, Courtney worked for KIPP SoCal Public Schools where she led a multi-million-dollar fundraising campaign via major gifts, foundation and corporate sponsorships. With her focus on elevating existing donor relationships and cultivating new funders, she helped establish new department structures and protocols for long-term campaign success.
Courtney graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University and is a proud mom.
Sean Inoue joined the American Red Cross Western LA Chapter in July of 2021 with more than a decade of leadership experience with nonprofits, including his most recent role with Red Cross Biomedical Services. Native to Southern California, Sean found his passion for nonprofit work when he started volunteering with The Laurel Foundation, an organization focusing on providing vital services to families and children infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. Seeing the impact that basic shelter and support services can have on vulnerable communities inspired him to continue his work serving others.
He decided to commit his career to the nonprofit he found most inspiring, the Red Cross, and in his commitment, he successfully managed several blood collections territories throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
Elise has spent the majority of her career in both the healthcare and nonprofit world. Early in her career she worked in medical offices, specializing in Ophthalmology. From there she worked at Blue Shield of California implementing and managing a grant funded volunteer program of several hundred Medicare aged volunteers helping other seniors. Most recently she was the Associate Director of Healthcare Training Programs at JVS SoCal overseeing a nonclinical healthcare training program as well as a CNA training program.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in both Liberal Arts and Gerontology from Mount Saint Mary’s University and a Master’s Degree in Gerontology from the University of Southern California. She recently earned a certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from the University of South Florida and is a certified case manager and certified life and happiness coach.
She has been on the boards of the California Alliance of Information and Referral Services, the Alumnae Board of Mount Saint Mary’s University, The American Association of Ophthalmic Executives and most recently was a Board Member of the Northern Valleys Chapter of the Red Cross. She volunteers as a Senior Shift Supervisor of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Crisis Response Team and is part of a philanthropic family foundation (The Jewel Levine Foundation) which raises money for families in the Conejo Valley who are dealing with crisis.
Elise was born in Queens, NY but grew up in the San Fernando Valley and now lives in the Westwood area with her partner.
Amy Papageorges brings an extensive history with the American Red Cross, spanning 17 years of service in the Biomedical Division. Much of her experience has been spent working alongside the Greater Long Beach & South Bay Chapter Communities. She is passionate about furthering the American Red Cross Mission and being a personal extension of American Red Cross Values.
Throughout her tenure, she has played an active role as a spokesperson for the American Red Cross in various leadership capacities. These roles include Senior Account Manager, District Manager, Local Market Manager, and Area Booking Manager. She has enjoyed working on lifesaving blood collection competitions such as Battle of the Badges, City Blood Challenge, and the National Cesar E. Chavez and Migrant Student Foundation Blood Challenge. She has managed numerous special projects such as the prominent KLOS Radio Station Annual Blood Drives, Dodgers vs. Angels Blood Drives, the Leukopack Research Program, and COVID-19 Response Community Based Planning Initiative.
Amy was born and raised in Sioux City Iowa, is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University, and resides in Seal Beach, CA.