Media Contact: Martin Gagliano
Telephone: (669) 209-5266
SAN JOSE, CA. July 5, 2023 —The American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter honored 15 local residents and 8 community partners at their annual recognition event for chapter volunteers from Santa Clara County on May 25.
At the event, Susanne Newswanger received the chapter’s top honor, the Clara Barton Award for Meritorious Leadership. Named after the founder of the Red Cross, the award recognizes a volunteer for their years of service in various leadership positions.
During her 13 years as a volunteer, Susanne exemplifies service to others in all aspects of her Red Cross work. She has played a key role in the recruitment, onboarding and training of Disaster Health Service volunteers since her tenure as the Coordinator of the Disaster Health Service activity for the Silicon Valley territory to her current position as the Pacific Division Staff Health Lead. She is a well-informed and natural leader who enthusiastically shares her knowledge and expertise with staff and volunteers. Through her innovative techniques of engaging volunteers to serve their communities, Susanne has truly imparted a core value of dedicated service.
In addition to this prestigious leadership award, the following awards were given to local volunteers:
- Biomedical Services – Donor Ambassador Program: Patricia Kulm
- Biomedical Services – Transportation Specialist Program: Jeannette Harper
- Community Engagement Award: Niharika Rane
- Department Support Services Award: John Mearns
- Disaster Cycle Services – Extraordinary Commitment and Dedication Award: Monica Lanker
- Disaster Cycle Services – Extraordinary Leadership: Ann Herosy
- Good Neighbor & Partnership Award: Kathleen Conley, City of San Jose Parks and Recreation Department, Neil Rufino, Kendra Yarn, Kip Harkness, Lisa Yarn, Lauren Hawkins, Avan Duong
- International Humanitarian Services Award: Mo Ghandehari
- New Volunteer Award: Derek Sato
- Teamwork and Collaboration Award: Angela Milo
- Volunteer of the Year Award: Mac Bala
- Youth Services Award: Faith Fernandes
“Our committed and compassionate volunteers are the heart and soul of the Red Cross,” said Ken Toren, Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter Executive Director. “Here in the Silicon Valley Chapter, their support is the key to ensure families never face emergencies alone. Thank you for your humanitarian spirit.”
While the annual recognition event spotlights several key Red Cross volunteers, it serves as a celebration to honor the work of all local volunteers who dedicate many hours of service to the Red Cross and their local communities.
Become a Red Cross Volunteer:
Community members can make a difference in Santa Clara County by becoming a Red Cross volunteer. As this year’s heightened wildfire outlook continues a years-long trend of more frequent and intense climate disasters, volunteers are continually trained to meet the needs of those affected by disasters – providing food, shelter, and comfort to families; and they help local residents prepare for and recover from emergencies of all kinds. Red Cross volunteers also provide assistance to military members, veterans and their families; support the collection of 40% of the nation’s blood; and provide humanitarian aid across the globe. Those interested in finding the right position for their specific skills and talents can visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to get started.
About the American Red Cross of the Silicon Valley
With a local office in San Jose, the American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, visit our website at redcross.org/siliconvalley or call us at (877) 727-6771. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.
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