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Red Cross Hires and Promotes Staff

ALASKA, Tuesday, July 16, 2013 — Chief Executive Officer Tanguy Libbrecht is proud to announce the addition of new staff member Melissa Himes as well as the promotions of Jess Rude and Laura Spano. Miss Himes joins the Red Cross team as Disaster Services Manager for Southcentral Alaska, Miss Rude has accepted the position of Chief Development Officer, and Miss Spano that of Regional Communications Officer.

Himes was hired in May as Disaster Services Manager for Southcentral Alaska. In her first few weeks as a staff member, she held a major role in executing the Alaska Spring Flood response on the Yukon River, simultaneously overseeing a rash of home fires from Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula. Himes looks forward to delivering the Red Cross mission in conjunction with a corps of volunteers and statewide staff of 13. She brings 20 years of experience in managing community development, humanitarian mine clearance, and infrastructure reconstruction projects funded by US Dept of State, US Agency for International Development, and the European Union, all in conflict and post-conflict countries. Himes holds a MA from Duke University in International Development Policy.

As Chief Development Officer, Rude leads the chapter development team in a regional annual fundraising goal of more than $1.8 million in donations to support Alaska preparedness programs and disaster relief. Her nearly three years with Red Cross have proven a deep passion for the Red Cross mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies, and a devotion to raising awareness of Red Cross aid in Alaska as well as raising funds to continue to serve our state. A lifelong Alaskan, Rude has more than ten years of experience in the non-profit sector and holds a degree from New York University.

“Alaska is a generous state,” Rude offered. “We are delighted to now have a statewide team in place to fundraise for safety education, disaster preparedness, and relief in our communities, right in our communities.”

As Regional Communications Officer, Spano will continue to build awareness of the American Red Cross mission to all Alaskans. Spano is keen to Alaskan's unique culture and in her expanded role will work closely with the development and disaster services teams statewide in creative strategies for statewide outreach. This will include social and traditional media, marketing, brand awareness, event coordination and disaster public affairs. Spano was raised in Anchorage and has a degree from Washington State University.

About the American Red Cross:

Last year the American Red Cross of Alaska mobilized relief to 631 Alaskans affected by disaster, trained 31,515 people in lifesaving skills, taught more than 5,000 Alaskans how to be better prepared for disasters, and exchanged 2,100 emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/Alaska or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossAK.

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