The American Red Cross Kansas and Oklahoma Region serves the more than 6 million people living across Kansas and Oklahoma. The Region provides vital services to the area 365 days a year—from responding to home fires in local neighborhoods, helping our military service members, veterans and families, teaching first aid and CPR to community groups and helping maintain the blood supply by hosting blood drives across the region.
We’re able to provide these services thanks to a corps of more than 3,000 dedicated volunteers and the generosity of our donors. The American Red Cross puts these donations to good use. The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 90 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs.
How do we do it? By practicing what we preach: preparedness. We train our volunteers. We plan ahead for the types of disasters that strike in our community. And we train individuals, businesses and community groups so they too, can be prepared.
Alice Townsend, Regional Chief Executive Officer
Fort Gibson resident Alice Townsend has been named the Regional Chief Executive Officer for the Region of Oklahoma and the Executive Director for the Northeast Oklahoma Chapter.
Townsend most recently served as Regional President of Sales at Encompass Health, Home Health division where she had oversight of sales operations in the Western U.S. and collaboratively worked with operations to ensure financial success of over forty locations.
Prior to Encompass Health, Townsend held the role of Senior Blood Program Consultant for the Oklahoma Blood Institute where she led blood collection efforts in five Oklahoma counties. During her time with OBI, she won the Charles’ Drew Award for increasing minority donations within the Cherokee Nation and was appointed to the National Committee for Blood Consultant Professionals.
“I am honored to have been selected to serve alongside such dedicated volunteers, generous donors and a mission focused staff,” Townsend said. “ I previously have served as a Board member for the Red Cross in Muskogee, so I know about the great work the organization accomplishes. I look forward to continuing to learn more about the Red Cross programs, from our work with military members to helping those affected by disasters, in the coming weeks as I meet with our local chapters across Oklahoma. My family and I are very excited about what the future holds as part of the American Red Cross family”.
Sharla Owens, Chief Development Officer
A native of Oklahoma, Sharla Owens has over 25 years of non-profit experience specializing in executive leadership, board development, fund development, public speaking, and legislative outreach and advocacy.
Prior to joining American Red Cross, Sharla was the Director of Mission Advancement at Volunteers of America Oklahoma. She has held several leadership positions in organizations across the state including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma, Philbrook Museum of Art and Oklahoma City Museum of Art. She is a board member for the Phoenix Rising Alternative School Foundation in Tulsa.
She and her husband live in the country with their three rescue dogs. She enjoys spending time with her family, exploring world cuisines, and dabbling with gardening and home improvement projects.
Brian Jensen, Chief Operating Officer
Brian has been an employee with the American Red Cross for more than a decade. Serving in multiple roles within the American Red Cross over the years has served him well in his current role. Brian has been in roles such as Public Relations, Fundraising, Disaster Services and Services to the Armed Forces during his time with the organization. Also, he has served on leadership roles in different capacities for multiple national disaster events such as Hurricane Katrina, the 2013 Oklahoma Tornadoes and Hurricane Harvey.
Marama Bayles-Raleigh, Service to the Armed Forces Director
Marama Bayles-Raleigh serves as the Regional Director for Service to the Armed Forces and International Services. Marama is a proud Oklahoman and loves getting to serve our military members, their families, and our veterans.
She has spent over a decade in the nonprofit sector working to build community resources and collaboration. Before taking on this role she spent over 3 years doing volunteer recruitment for the American Red Cross. Connecting volunteers to volunteer opportunities that fit their interests and skills was a highlight of that time. Marama came to love the mission of the American Red Cross during high school and college when she had the opportunity to be an event volunteer during some major disasters.
She and her husband have one daughter and several animals. She enjoys nice nights at home with her family watching tv or a movie, trying new foods, and exploring the local zoo and aquarium.
Matt Rose, Regional Disaster Officer
As Regional Disaster Officer, Matt Rose is responsible for implementing disaster services, from relief operations to emergency preparedness programs.
Matt is a 15-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department, where he was a sergeant and a team leader for the department’s Incident Management Team. He is very familiar with the disaster world. He was deployed to hurricanes Harvey and Laura; took Louisiana’s Shelter in a Box training; and has seen multiple Tulsa and Oklahoma disasters, such as the 41st and Yale tornado and the 2019 Arkansas River flood.
Matt is a credentialed liaison with the State of Oklahoma as well as a credentialed Operations Section Chief.
Matt is from Seminole and served two two-year terms on the city council, starting when he was 20. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma before moving to Tulsa to be a police officer. He married Julie in 2007, and they have two children.
Jennifer Young, Regional Volunteer Services Officer
Jennifer Young is the Regional Volunteer Services Officer for the Kansas-Oklahoma Region of the American Red Cross. Jennifer joined the Red Cross as a Disaster Program Manager in September of 2012 and began fulfilling her duties as RVSO in January of 2018.
Prior to her role as Regional Volunteer Services Officer, Jennifer served as the Regional Manager of Disaster Workforce Engagement for the American Red Cross, serving the Oklahoma and Arkansas Region. In this position, Jennifer built and oversaw a workforce engagement plan that focuses on the successful onboarding and engagement of disaster volunteers. Jennifer has successfully held a multitude of disaster training institutes, engaging a region of over 1500 Disaster volunteers, and oversaw the deployment of over 500 volunteers to support national disaster relief operations while also serving as a Staff Services Manager.
Jennifer graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Community and Family Services. Prior to her employment with Red Cross, Jennifer worked in the social service field for 15 plus years in settings that included both child welfare and the medical community.
Jennifer is committed to the effective fulfillment of the Red Cross Mission and the satisfaction and success of the volunteers. With a strong belief in the importance of volunteerism, Jennifer is dedicated to supporting volunteers in their ability to excel in their service to the Red Cross Mission. Jennifer works diligently to ensure each volunteers personal satisfaction in their volunteer work and empowers all volunteers to fulfill the mission of the American Red Cross to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies through the leadership of volunteers.
Every day, the American Red Cross assists people who face emergencies. Through the Ready 365 Giving Program, you can be a part of this important mission.
This NEW annual corporate membership program allows your company to stand with the Red Cross as we provide lifesaving services.