01/13/08 — Red Cross names new director of blood services

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Red Cross names new director of blood services

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on January 13, 2008 2:00 AM

The Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross has a new blood services director.

Tammy M. Forrester, 42, replaced Samia Garner in December. Mrs. Garner took the newly created position of director of development for the chapter.

As blood services director, Mrs. Forrester's job is to oversee Goldsboro's blood drives.

She works closely with blood donors and sponsors of the blood drives. "We want them to feel appreciated and let them how important what they do for the Red Cross is," Mrs. Forrester said.

She schedules the blood drives and makes sure they are staffed with volunteers.

"Right now I'm just keeping focused on keeping the blood supply up, keeping our donors coming in and increasing the blood drives that we have," said Mrs. Forrester.

Red Cross Executive Director Chuck Waller said Mrs. Forrester's job is to make the process smoother and better for sponsors and donors.

"The big thing with blood drives is keeping the donor educated and informed," he said. "The donors give someone another day at the beach, another birthday, another opportunity to enjoy life. We want to keep that front and center and let people know what the blood program is all about."

Before becoming the blood services director, Mrs. Forrester worked with Pro-Med for four years, giving first aid and CPR training to various businesses, setting up their safety goals for them and servicing their medical equipment.

Waller said Mrs. Forrester's background of doing first aid and CPR training with Pro-Med made her a good choice to work with the Red Cross chapter.

"We felt like she fit what we were looking for," he said.

The Nash County native is married to Andy Forrester, and they have three sons.

As director of development, Mrs. Garner's duties include financial development (including expanding the financial donor base and conducting fundraisers) as well as volunteer development.

Waller said director of development is a new job within the chapter. "As the chapter continues to grow, one thing we have to be mindful of at the end of the day is that it takes money to do what we do for the community," he said. "No matter how good you are at service delivery, if you don't have the money to deliver those services, it's kind of like having a Lamborghini parked in the garage and no money to put gas in it."

"We also need to be doing a better job of engaging the volunteers and keeping them involved. We've tried to do that, but needed to be more focused and precise in our efforts to do that."

Waller said volunteers are a very valuable resource to the chapter. And the chapter wants to get them involved in a wider range of volunteer opportunities. To do that, Mrs. Garner will be conducting quarterly meetings with all of the chapter's volunteers.

The Red Cross felt it needed a person to do the job full time.

Waller said Mrs. Garner accepted the new position with enthusiasm. "Being a new position, we're kind of building it as we go," she said.

"That's wonderful for the community and the chapter because we can design it and make it what it needs to be.

"I see wonderful things going forward for the chapter."

Mrs. Garner said she's looking forward to the challenges of the new job.