Island County, Anacortes Red Cross chapters merge

The Island County and the Anacortes/San Juan Islands Red Cross chapters have merged into a new “Islands Chapter.”

“I am pleased today to announce the consolidation of two of our area Red Cross Chapters, the Island County Chapter with the Anacortes/San Juan Islands Chapter,” said Chuck Morrison, regional director of the Red Cross Operations in Northwest Washington.

“It’s become very clear in recent months that the American Red Cross throughout the Northwest must be very efficient with the dollars that are being donated,” Morrison said.

“This merger addresses financial challenges in our island communities and comes in the wake of our nation’s economic challenges,” he said.

Brian Geer, executive director of the Anacortes/San Juan Islands Chapter, was selected to lead the new Islands Chapter.

From a community perspective, Morrison said the five existing Red Cross offices in Oak Harbor, Everett, Bellingham, Burlington and Anacortes will remain operational. Most existing staff will remain in their current offices. The boards of directors for the Island and Anacortes will be merged into the Islands Chapter.

“Operation of this new Islands Chapter will lower costs in an area where there are currently two chapter offices, two executive directors, two sets of staffs and volunteers, within close proximity,” said Linda Seger, Anacortes/San Juan Island board chairwoman.

Morrison added that he and Red Cross leadership had been meeting during the last few months to pull together a plan to eliminate jurisdictional boundaries, streamline staffing efficiencies, and increase volunteer training opportunities.

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