Josett Valdez joined the American Red Cross in 2002 and over the last 18 years has had the opportunity to support each line of Humanitarian Services at the local and National Headquarters level. Prior to joining the South Florida Region as the Chief Executive Officer, she serviced as the Chief Development Officer in Colorado and Wyoming. She also served a stint as Interim Regional Chapter Executive Officer for the American Red Cross of New Mexico. Following Hurricane Harvey was tapped as the Interim Chief Development Officer to help transition the Houston, TX area following the major hurricane. Most recently serving a dual role of Chief Development Officer for Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming.
As Chief Development Officer Josett was responsible for leading Colorado and Wyoming in raising over nine million dollars in revenue. Her responsibilities include the cultivation and stewardship of key donors in Colorado and Wyoming. Most importantly is the building of the Red Cross’ next generation of leaders. Josett led the strategy and planning for major region initiatives such as Diversity and Inclusion, Development and Events and the creation of an Associate Board.
In 2019, Josett was a key initiator of the Red Cross Diverse Business Center. She played a key role in bringing the Denver diverse business chambers under one roof in partnership with the Red Cross creating the forum for collaboration and innovation.
Prior to that she has served in roles such as Chief Operating Officer, Service to the Armed Forces Division Director for the Southwest and Rocky Mountain Division and Disaster Services Training.
Outside of her work with American Red Cross she sits on the Board of Directors for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company and St. Jude Rocky Mountains Board.
As a Denver native, Josett earned her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado, School of Public Affairs in Denver and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. In her free time, she enjoys stand up paddle boarding, golf and CrossFit.
Rosemarie Critchfield has been with the Red Cross since 2014. She has over 25 years of organizational experience. Before joining the Red Cross, she lived in Denver Colorado where she served as Executive Assistant for Chiefs of Neurosurgery, Urology and Plastic Surgery at Denver Health Level 1 Trauma Center, as a Certified Medical Interpreter and as Project Administrator for the software development division of former TRW now Northrop Grumman.
Rosemarie is an advocate for disaster preparedness and served as a CERT volunteer for the City of Denver Emergency Management Office where she collaborated closely with the Denver Red Cross.
Rosemarie has a bachelor’s degree in science from Universidad Central del Este in the Dominican Republic. A native of Puerto Rico, she currently lives in Miami.
Prior to joining the South Florida Region as Chief Operating Officer, Julie joined the Red Cross as Chief Operating Officer in the Massachusetts Region in 2018. She came with a background in both operations and finance serving in COO and CFO roles previously. Over her almost three years as the RCOO of Massachusetts, Julie has had responsibility for both the Humanitarian and BioMed side of the Red Cross in the region. During her time there, she worked to implement many protocols and processes including: implemented a new budgeting process as well as safely navigated through the response to COVID-19 in both the Humanitarian Services and BioMed. She served in multiple Interim roles including Regional Volunteer Services Executive, Regional Executive and Divisional Chief Operating Officer for periods of time that lasted from a couple weeks up to multiple months. Julie also serves as a support person on the National Red Cross Corporate Fleet Services Team.
Prior to working at the American Red Cross, Julie worked in multiple non-profit and for profit companies including companies in the guide dog, nursing home and community program industries.
Julie, a native of Connecticut, has her Master of Business degree from UCONN School of Business and is a new resident to the state of Florida.
Tiffany Gonzalez is a communications and social media professional coming to the Red Cross with over 12 years of experience. Tiffany has worked in communications in the hospitality, finance, retail, and, most recently, automotive industries. She is a social media maven, always following the latest trends to turn them into great campaigns. Tiffany studied at Florida International University, where she received her Bachelor’s in Communications. She started her career in communications as an intern, working with a local PR agency and creating campaigns for local restaurants to increase brand awareness. She garnished the agency’s first national media mention and helped implement the use of social media influencers to grow clients' businesses. Most recently, Tiffany worked in the automotive industry, helping increase their digital marketing footprint by revamping their social strategies and helping grow their online engagement by 200%.
Tzaicel Hernandez has been a key member of the American Red Cross Fund Development Team since she joined as a Major Gifts Officer in 2011. She later became Regional Philanthropy Officer, cultivating and stewarding donors in 13 South Florida Counties. In 2018, she was promoted to Director of Development, followed by her promotion in 2019 to Chief Development Officer.
As a result of her exemplary leadership, Tzaicel received some of the highest scores in two key indicators in a recent employee satisfaction survey: 100% for manager effectiveness, and 95% for employee engagement. Tzaicel also served as Interim Chief Development Officer for the Puerto Rico Region and served in other leaderships roles on disaster responses, including In-Kind Donation Management, and Information and Planning.
She enjoys her South Florida life in Miami along with her husband, son, and cat.
Tiffany Page is a Michigan native where she previously served the American Red Cross as the Executive Director for the West Michigan Chapter since 2018. Tiffany has served in leadership roles within the nonprofit health and social services sector for over 16 years, directing community outreach programs and overseeing human resources and volunteer services programs.
Tiffany has been recognized as one of the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s The 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan 2020 and multiple nominations for an Exemplary Executive Award by the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids’ and featured in the America Magazine on behalf of Catholic Charities USA. Tiffany has been an active volunteer and Board member with community organizations such as the Volunteer Management Association of West Michigan, Kent County Essential Needs Task Force, Food and Nutrition Coalition, Treetops Collective and Holy Redeemer Parish where she focused on issues of social justice, equitable access to basic needs and ensuring a welcoming community for New American women.
Tiffany studied Healthcare Systems Administration at Ferris State University and resides in Naples with her husband, Steve. In her spare time, Tiffany enjoys travel and spending time outdoors at her cabin in northern Michigan and enjoying the year-round sunshine in South Florida.
Ivan Sterpin recently retired after 24 years of honorable service in the United States Air Force as the First Sergeant for the 20th Operations Group, Shaw Air Force Base (AFB), South Carolina. In this role, he served as the principal advisor to the commander on all enlisted issues, to include health, morale, welfare, career progression, professional development and readiness. He coordinated with local civilian, military police authorities, and the Office of Special Investigation on all investigative matters. He provided guidance and counsel to unit members on financial, family care, deployment and reassignment issues. He also served as the liaison between the units and base/community agencies to ensure timely, high quality services for all assigned Airmen and families.
Ivan is originally from Los Angeles, California and entered the Air Force in October 1998. After graduating from Basic Military Training, he began his journey as an Aircraft Structural Maintenance. His exemplary career spans numerous countries including Germany, Spain, Israel, Denmark, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Afghanistan, Colombia and the Horn of Africa.
Eric Roby joins the American Red Cross Palm Beach and Treasure Coast Chapter as Executive Director from Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, where he served as Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Marketing. During his successful tenure at one of the nation’s most prominent Boys & Girls Club chapters, Eric increased corporate sponsorships by more than 80% and worked to make the nonprofit’s signature fundraising event a success which recently raised more than $8million.
Before starting his nonprofit career, Eric was a broadcast journalist for more than 25 years and a main news anchor for Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast for 18 years, working for Fox 29 and CBS 12. During his time as a journalist, Eric was the primary political anchor and filed reports from multiple statehouses, the US Capitol and The White House. He also has extensive experience covering numerous national disasters and hurricanes in South Florida.
Eric is the first in his family to graduate from college and is a graduate of American University in Washington, DC. Outside of work, Eric loves to garden, go to the beach and travel with his two teenage boys.
Paula Prendergast joined the American Red Cross Broward County Chapter as Executive Director in 2014. Since being appointed to lead the chapter, she has inspired and empowered a renewal of the Red Cross mission. She’s no stranger to Broward County; Prendergast has been in non-profit management for over 18 years. She’s a proven leader and true proponent of the non-profit sector. Paula has directed major fundraising events for community health organizations and was instrumental in bringing back to the Broward County Chapter the American Red Cross Dine & Dock Celebrity/CEO & Experience Auction Humanitarian Awards. This outstanding signature event generates awareness and helps raise funds for the Red Cross mission. Paula was the Area Director of the American Lung Association in Florida and served as Executive Director for the Florida Chapter Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.
Paula is an avid angler from York, Penn. and a graduate of Towson University. She is a member of the Fort Lauderdale Woman’s Club, Nonprofit Executive Alliance of Broward and Trustee Member of the Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale. Additionally, she serves on the Broward County Recovery Coalition and Parkland Shooting Task Force.
Jill Palmer leads the American Red Cross Florida Gulf Coast to Heartland Chapter as the Executive Director. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.
Palmer, a former healthcare volunteer executive, is a graduate of the University of Central Florida majoring in healthcare administration, gerontology and legal studies. She is a non-profit professional bringing 17 years of experience in volunteer management and community service to the Red Cross. Most recently, Palmer was with Lee Health where she served as the Director of Volunteer Services, Auxiliary Development and Arts in Healthcare. Recognizing her outstanding contributions and innovations in the field of volunteer administration, in 2015, she was awarded the Sally Sitta Commitment to Excellence in Volunteer Administration Award from the Florida Associate of Directors of Volunteer Service, Inc. Prior to joining the Red Cross senior leadership team in 2017, Palmer served as an active board member for the local Red Cross chapter heading the Volunteer Engagement & Mission Capacity Committee.
As Executive Director, Palmer supports a team of staff and volunteers who proudly serve more than 1.3 million residents in Collier, Glades, Hendry, Highlands and Lee counties. She serves as an ambassador in the community, working closely with community stakeholders, partners and the chapter board to educate and bring awareness and ensure the Red Cross goals and mission are effectively delivered.
From an early age she learned of the importance of volunteering and the Red Cross mission to alleviate human suffering. Growing up, Palmer lived in Guam and the Philippines while her father served in the U.S Navy and her mom was a nurse volunteering and teaching life-saving Red Cross swim lessons and water safety. In 2010, Palmer and her family became disaster clients of the Red Cross when they lost their home to a fire in the middle of the night. After safely escaping the home with their two-young children among the first responders were volunteers from the Red Cross.
Deborah (Debbie) Koch leads the American Red Cross Greater Miami and the Keys Chapter as the executive director. Debbie served as the president of the Junior League of Miami in 2018-2019, an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. In her 10 years with the League, she previously served as executive vice president, vice president of community and in several chair positions.
Prior to the Red Cross, Debbie served as marketing director for J.P. Morgan Private Bank, covering the east coast of the U.S. She joined J.P. Morgan following a decade at Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust where she helped grow the bank from four to seven offices and nearly doubled deposits to over $1 billion. She began her banking career in 1997 at BankUnited, rebranding the bank from a small local company to a state-wide institution. Her previous experience was in marketing and public relations for nonprofit arts organizations.
She is active in the community, serving as a member of the United Way Financial Stability Impact Council and Women United, and has volunteered with Breakthrough Miami and Branches. An art lover, she is active as a Friend of the Pérez Art Museum Miami and serves on the Prizm Art Fair Advisory Board. In June 2021, she received the Monsignor Walsh Human Services Professional Award from the United Way of Miami-Dade which recognizes a human services professional who has dedicated his or her career to helping others.
Debbie received her MBA from Nova Southeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Florida. She is an avid Gator fan, and enjoys yoga, reading and traveling.