Message from our 2010/2011 Board Chair

By Jody Weyers, Volunteer and Communications Director

June 22, 2010 Eric Witczak, Senior Vice President, Retail Banking Manager of Nicolet National Bank became the board chair for the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter. Having a couple of months under his belt as board chair, I sat down with him to see what his vision, goals and objectives are as incoming chair.

Eric has three main objectives: 1. Create more awareness in the community of the services and of the work of our dedicated volunteers.  2. Assist in recruiting additional board members and active participation within the board. 3. Get people to ask,“How can I help”?

“The American Red Cross has an incredible volunteer base that is dedicated to serving our community,” said Witczak.  

As coach of his 8 year old son’s football team in Pulaski, Eric experienced this dedication first hand this summer. One of the moms told him she had to go. “My son’s aunt will be here to pick him up. There’s an emergency and as a Red Cross volunteer, I need to leave to go help.”

“I was amazed by this volunteer’s dedication to serving our community, literally dropping everything going on in her life to go help someone else in need, said Witczak. “This is true humanitarianism.”

Because of this experience Eric believes we need to communicate better with the community on the amazing work our volunteers do every day.  We also need to remind the American people it is because of their financial generosity the Red Cross is able to provide the services we do in the community. We need people to continue to support us year long, not just in times of disaster.

Eric even dancing for a good cause! 2010 Winner of the Fundraising Mirror Ball Trophy for the American Red Cross Dancing with the Stars.

Eric hopes the volunteers, staff and board working together can all help bring greater awareness to the work the Red Cross provides in this community.

One of Eric’s greatest strengths is his drive and passion that he brings to any committee or board he is on. He would like to utilize those skills and his leadership in assisting to obtain additional board members.

“Everyone brings something to the table and we need to hit on that strength to have a committed, high energy, active board,” said Witczak. He recognizes that everyone is not a fundraiser, but maybe it is someone’s time, connections or a skilled expertise that is their contribution to the board to further the message of the American Red Cross.

By creating more awareness of our programs and services in the community, having a strong, active board of directors Eric hopes this will create greater funding for the organization. Funding is vital, because if the Red Cross is not there in times of disasters, who will be?

“I look forward to the challenges going forward and continue to communicate the One Red Cross message,” said Witczak. “The challenge I want to give people is what are YOU going to do to help? Volunteer, give blood, or give a financial gift today to support YOUR American Red Cross.”