NEIA Red Cross
Nice to Meet You: Briana DeSadier
Briana DeSadier is frequently a "go-to" person in our region. She works tirelessly to support the staff and volunteers throughout Nebraska and Iowa, and she does so with a smile. Briana's Red Cross experience is a great example of what it is like to start a career with the American Red Cross, and that's why we are excited she is this week's feature.
Q: What does your title mean?
A: My title, Region Executive Coordinator, in short means, I am an executive assistant to the Regional Executive but in reality, I have the opportunity to do much more to support our region volunteers and staff. On any given day, I can be supporting the Region Executive in managing her 43 member Board of Directors, co-sponsoring the Omaha Council Bluffs Metro Young Professionals Group, meeting on special projects with other members for the Region Leadership Team, or planning a regionwide virtual meeting.
Q: How long have you been with the Red Cross?
A: I just celebrated my 5 year anniversary this winter!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The single aspect I like most about my job is the variety. No two days are the same and there always seems to be another project on the horizon to tackle.
Q: What do you listen to during the workday?
A: If I’m not jamming out to Taylor Swift, I am usually listening to the sound of my dog barking at the Amazon delivery driver or anyone walking past the house.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t working?
A: You can usually find me rooting for some of my favorite celebrity chefs on the Food Network while hunkered down with popcorn, testing out new recipes and forcing my husband to try them first, planning our next vacation or taking my dog on another walk.
Q: What is the first thing you want to do when the pandemic is over?
A: Travel! My extended family lives in San Antonio, Texas so I’ve got a few plans to spend some valuable time with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. The pandemic also forced us to cancel a vacation to the Dominican Republic so I’m hoping to reschedule soon.
Q: What has most surprised you while working with the Red Cross?
A: Working for the Red Cross has been full of surprises. When I started my career here in fundraising, I had no idea about all the different lines of services and programs we offer but I think the biggest surprises have come from the volunteers I get to work with. They always have new ideas, a fresh perspective and a true passion for our mission. I admire our volunteers and feel grateful that they are as much a part of my Red Cross story as I am in theirs.
Q: What is a Red Cross moment that has stuck with you?
A: Many moments have stuck with me over the years but one of my favorites happened when I was visiting a shelter during the 2019 Midwest Spring Flooding. I was mingling with some shelter residents and working in connection with our Public Affairs Team. One family allowed us to walk back to their sleeping area and they shared their experience with me. The multigenerational family had lived in a mobile home park that was hit particularly badly by the flooding and even in the face of this adversity, the family was hopeful. While I was holding their baby girl, the father shared how looking for a new place to live was going well, that the grandmother would be able to bring her pets, and his wife was getting the mental health support she needed. The conversation was not long but I will always remember how grateful they were for the Red Cross services, how positive their outlook was in the middle of losing their home, and their hope that soon things would indeed get better.
Q: What do you wish people knew about working at the Red Cross?
A: I wish everyone knew how rewarding our work really is. Sometimes we put in long hours or deal with really difficult scenarios but there is never a day where my cup is empty, never a time where I am not supported, and never a moment where I can imagine being anywhere else.