Mark Thomas joined the American Red Cross of Wisconsin in December 2018 as both Regional CEO and Southeast Chapter Executive Director. In July 2023, Mark became the interim Chief Executive Officer while the Illinois region CEO, Celena Roldan Sarillo, serves an interim CEO role in another region.
Thomas leads with a philosophy that people come first, starting with the dedicated Red Cross staff and more than 2,100 volunteers across Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan. These teams make the Red Cross mission happen daily and thousands of times each year – for families displaced by a home fire, blood donors turning out for the first or 100^th^ time, service members returning home to be with family in their hour of need. High points for the Wisconsin Region during Thomas’s tenure so far include:
- Helping tens of thousands of people through disasters, including 2019 floods in Fond du Lac, the largest car pile-up in state history near Neenah, and a rampage of apartment fires during the bitter cold of January 2021.
- Expansion of a swim safety campaign for hundreds of children in Milwaukee and Kenosha.
- Providing comfort, essentials and dignity for more than 14,000 people forced to flee Afghanistan who were temporarily housed in western Wisconsin at Fort McCoy.
- Navigating the COVID pandemic while still meeting the persistent community need.
- Meeting and talking with our relentlessly dedicated volunteers as they flew to bring care and relief after hurricanes, wildfires and more across the U.S.
- Collaboration with blood collections colleagues to reinvigorate the local and national blood supply during the first-ever declared blood “crisis” in January 2022.
Thomas has deep nonprofit and for-profit executive experience, with strengths in sales and operations management, and strategic leadership skills. Thomas has led or participated in fundraising efforts for The American Heart Association, United Performing Arts Fund and The United Way. Most recently, he served as Vice President and COO for the Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee. His professional background also includes leadership roles at The Milwaukee Business Journal, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
A Milwaukee native who lives in Mequon with his family, Thomas has and currently serves on numerous nonprofit boards, and has been recognized on numerous occasions for his contributions to the community.