Nice to Meet You: Amanda Wehnes
Amanda Wehnes is a biomed account manager, which means she plays a critcal role in blood collection in the North Platte, Nebraska area. As you will learn, Amanda wears many hats in her job; but one of her key responsitiblities is planning and executing blood drives. It is because of Amanda and other account managers that the Red Cross is able to consistently work to maintain the nation's blood supply.
Q: What does your title mean?
A: I am an account manager which covers a lot of the hats we wear in this job. I am a volunteer recruiter and manager, donor recruiter, technology instructor, problem solver, event organizer, calendar manager, spokesperson and advocate for giving blood.
Q: How long have you been with the Red Cross?
A: In September I celebrated my 9th anniversary with the organization.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Each day I come to work, I am helping patients and their families on what might be the worst day of their lives. When patients get the blood they need they are given the opportunity for more birthdays, more holidays, more time to do the things they love with the people they love. It is the most rewarding career I could ever imagine.
Q: What do you listen to during the workday?
A: When I’m in the car, I generally listen to audiobooks or podcasts. But when I’m in the office, I listen to classic country or classic rock.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t working?
A: My husband is a teacher, so I help with quite a few school activities like volleyball, wrestling and play production. I also volunteer with quite a few events and groups in town. I have a photography business and take photos for the two newspapers that cover our school sports teams, and I am a play production and speech and debate judge. We don’t have children, but we have a dog and three cats, as well as nieces and nephews we like to spoil.
Q: What is your favorite thing about where you live?
A: We live on a working farm near the river, so we usually have wildlife in our yard – from deer to bobcats. Our dog has chased them all! It is relaxing to enjoy a cup of morning coffee and watch the squirrels or rabbits play or to throw apple cores to the porcupines in the evening and laugh as they waddle around.
Q: What has most surprised you while working with the Red Cross?
A: How many people have been impacted by the work we do and how generous people are. Most donors and volunteers personally have, or have a loved one who has, received services or blood from the Red Cross and wants to pay it back to the community through their actions.
Q: What is a Red Cross moment that has stuck with you?
A: Many years ago a female student was deferred from donating blood because she didn’t weigh enough to safely donate. Her mother had just been diagnosed with cancer and was using blood products in her treatment, so it was personal for this student. Her senior year, this student hosted a blood drive and collected 70 units of blood in memory of her mother who had since passed away. The passion of this student to pay it forward for others reminds me how serving others is incredibly healing for the soul.
Q: What do you wish people knew about working at the Red Cross?
A: We don’t sell blood to hospitals. We charge to collect, transport, and test the blood to ensure we are supplying a safe product. If I ever need blood, I only want Red Cross blood!
Q: Is there anything else you’d like folks to know about you and/or working for the Red Cross?
A: Each and every person who gives their talents, blood or money to the Red Cross is my hero. Without you, we couldn’t.
The need for blood is constant, and right now there is a critical blood shortage. Find a drive near you and make an appointment here. We are also looking for blood donor ambassadors to work with account managers to execute blood drives. Click here to learn more and find a volunteer opportunity near you.