By: Doyle Rader
The American Red Cross North Texas Region welcomed distinguished guests to the flagship Neiman Marcus location in Downtown Dallas for the seventh annual Executive Breakfast in July. The event celebrated the generosity and compassion of organizations and their leaders who help make the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross possible.
“You are the reason the Red Cross can bring hope and comfort to so many when they need it most,” said Ariane Einecker, interim CEO of the North Texas Region. “It is only through the generosity and consistent support of each and every one of you that we are able to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. Without you, there is no American Red Cross.”
The Nieman Marcus Group got a special thank you for hosting the event in what is normally their women’s shoe department. Top donors, including our Annual Disaster Giving Program members American Airlines, Energy Transfer / Sunoco Foundation and Toyota as well as our Disaster Responder memebers and Ready 365 Giving Circle members, received additional praise throughout the event.
Even though Neiman Marcus arranged the shoe department to allow for in-store dining, the elegant décor and footwear was still beautifully on display within the room. The approximately 75 guests from partner organizations from across North Texas received awards, mingled with peers and met Red Cross leadership and volunteers. They also enjoyed a light breakfast as they listened to presentations from Red Cross executives and board members.
Interim Pacific Division Vice President and North Texas Region CEO Keith Rhodes started the program, speaking about the many challenges the Red Cross faced during the past 12 months—a blood crisis, home fires, natural disasters and more. Still, the organization was able to achieve great accomplishments thanks to its donors, dedicated personnel and volunteers.
“We helped almost 9,000 individuals get back on their feet following a disaster through emotional support, health care, relief supplies, comfort items and more than $1.9 million in emergency financial assistance,” said Rhodes.
After Rhodes, Neiman Marcus Group Chief Information Security Officer Shamoun Siddiqui, who is a board member for the American Red Cross North Texas Region, spoke about the deep relationship that Neiman Marcus and the Red Cross have fostered for more than eight years. This Fall, Neiman Marcus is launching a three-month-long point-of-sale campaign asking customers to join their efforts and support the mission of the Red Cross.
“We have seen firsthand more people being affected by disasters than in the past and by partnering with the American Red Cross, Neiman Marcus Group can be a part of providing that life-saving support before, during and after the disaster strikes—always with equity in mind,” said Siddiqui.
Siddiqui then introduced keynote speaker Noel Anderson, the Chief Sustainability Officer of the American Red Cross. Anderson greeted those in attendance before discussing how the Red Cross is continuing to adapt and evolve its humanitarian services to meet the needs of those affected by the escalation of extreme weather and natural disaster events.
“Everyone can help,” said Anderson. “When you ask me what your local Red Cross Club can do—educate your members, hold a fundraiser, clean up your area or be a pollution ambassador for us. Yes, to all those ideas. We need more help than ever before. It is a global problem, but change starts at the local level.”
The morning program concluded with Red Cross North Texas Region board chairman Matt Anderson and board member Norm Bafunno thanking all the various organizations who contributed over the past year for their support of the Red Cross and its mission.
“I hope each of you takes pride in ensuring the Red Cross will be there when people need us most,” said Einecker. “You make this lifesaving work possible. We are your Red Cross.”