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  • Writer's pictureNEIA Red Cross

Nice to Meet You: Marion McDermott

Fires, tornados, floods, our disaster program managers have seen it all. These kind, genuine Red Crossers make sure that those affected by a disaster receive the help and support they need to recover. Marion McDermott brings her compassion to work every day.

Q: What does your title mean?

A: Disaster Program Manager seems self-explanatory, but there’s so much more to the job than the title. To me, my job is primarily about relationships. Whether with emergency managers, volunteers, or co-workers, establishing trusting relationships is the beginning of success in all areas of my job.

Q: How long have you been with the Red Cross?

A: I‘ve been with the Red Cross for a year and a half.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: My favorite part of my job is the team I work with. My co-workers and bosses are such a cohesive and supportive group that you know they always have your back. We support each other and want to see everyone succeed. It’s an awesome atmosphere to be a part of.

Q: What do you listen to during the workday?

A: I’m a bit of a news junky so I’m usually listening to a news station, NPR, or podcasts during the workday.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t working?

A: I have six grandkids that I love to hang out with-they are amazing and funny individuals! I also have a group of friends, and we socialize frequently. We love to have fun and laugh!

Q: What is your favorite thing about where you live?

A: I am happy that I’m close to my two kids and six grandkids. Also, my parents live just a few miles away and I like being able to help them when they need it.

Q: What has most surprised you while working with the Red Cross?

A: How steep the learning curve has been. It took me a full year to grasp the parameters of my job and every day, I still learn something new. Fortunately, the team I work with is willing to share their vast knowledge and show lots of grace along the way.

Q: What is a Red Cross moment that has stuck with you?

A: Working with volunteers has been so rewarding. I had a volunteer who was completely inactive but through mentoring and encouragement, she has completed her training, has achieved several GAPs, and this year, she has deployed three times. She has become a rock star volunteer!

Q: What do you wish people knew about working at the Red Cross?

A: How rewarding working with clients in their time of crisis can be. To be able to assist clients financially, spiritually and emotionally is so gratifying and life-changing for all involved.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like folks to know about you and/or working for the Red Cross?

A: The organization as a whole is pretty amazing. When you think about the guiding principles of the Red Cross, Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality, it seems impossible to achieve. But once you are a part of the organization, you quickly realize that these principles are at the core of what we do, how we behave, and how we treat others. It makes us all want to do and be better.

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