Nice to Meet You: Emily Holley
Emily Holley is the regional communications manager for Nebraska and Iowa. She is passionate about great coffee and can often be found a local coffee shop with a rich, medium roast. She is a writer at heart and enjoys sharing the stories of our work. In addition to being a Red Crosser and a mom, she is a committed disability and chronic pain advocate.
Q: Could you explain what your title means and take us through your work day, or what projects you work on?
A: As the regional communications manager, I work across Nebraska and Iowa to share the stories of our work. That includes media relations and managing our region's social media. I am currently working on the Iowa Heroes of the Heartland event for 2024, our upcoming volunteer awards ceremony and end-of-the-year storytelling.
Q: How long have you been with the Red Cross? Is this your first position with the Red Cross? If not, what was it?
A: I've been in my current role for over three-and-a-half years. This is my first position with the Red Cross. When I saw the job posting I was eager to learn from such a reputable brand.
Q: What do you like about your work?
A: I am able to work with every department and line of service to tell the stories of their volunteers and how they fulfill the Red Cross mission. I love that every day is different and that I have the opportunity to work with all of my Nebraska and Iowa colleagues and volunteers.
Q: What do you like to listen to during the work day?
A: I am a huge music nerd, and I like to select music that best suits my mood or what I'm working on. Sometimes, it's The Ramones. Sometimes, it's music from Debussy, Beethoven and other classical composers. Other times, it's The Hot Sardines, music from North Africa, Weezer and sounds of the 1990s. Variety is the spice of life, and I love creating a new soundtrack for each week.
Q: In what part of the region are you located, and what do you enjoy about your community?
A: I live in the Des Moines area. I enjoy the area because it's constantly growing and evolving. New restaurants are always opening and new events and festivals are taking off. It is a fun and friendly area to raise my family.
Q: How do you spend your time when you aren't working?
A: I have a young daughter, and my husband and I spend a lot of time enjoying childhood with her. We also have two senior dogs that you may sometimes see on Red Cross social media. I often make a mess in my kitchen while crafting homemade pies. I am an avid knitter and plant collector. My life is so busy that I enjoy moments of quiet where I can sit with my plants and knit something.
Q: What has most surprised you while working for the Red Cross?
A: I've worked with many nonprofit organizations during my career, and I am continually amazed by the commitment Red Cross volunteers and staff have to their roles. Everyone is dedicated to fulfilling their mission and serving communities here and across the country.
Q: What is a Red Cross moment that has stuck with you?
A: A derecho hit Iowa in my fourth month on the job, and I was deployed to Cedar Rapids as part of the public affairs team. My role was to experience what was happening on the ground by talking with volunteers and those affected by the horrible storm and share those stories. I produced a national news segment from the shelter in Cedar Rapids that showed the country Iowans' strength and the dedication of our Red Cross disaster team.
To learn more about the American Red Cross, visit redcross.org.