National Young Professionals Council

The American Red Cross National Young Professionals Council (NYPC) builds the capacity of the American Red Cross by engaging and supporting volunteers and donors between the ages of 21 and 35. The group is led by young professional volunteers including national youth leadership alumni, local young professional Red Cross leaders and club members, as well as subject matter experts in disaster management, fundraising, humanitarian initiatives, volunteer engagement and youth marketing. The Council leverages the work experience and broad skill sets of young professionals in order to further the mission of the American Red Cross.

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Meet the members of the NYPC below.

Cristen Hodgers, Chair  (Washington DC)

Cristen HodgersCristen Hodgers first joined the Red Cross as a volunteer with the Southern Nevada chapter, where she served in lead positions with Disaster Services and Service to the Armed Forces.  She received the 2014 Volunteer Leadership award in recognition of her efforts. Cristen was thrilled to be selected as Chair for the American Red Cross National Young Professionals Council.  She continues to volunteer with Disaster Cycle Services at National Headquarters by providing implementation consultation for the Tribal Engagement Strategy.  Outside of the Red Cross, Cristen works as a crisis management and disaster response procurement consultant based in Washington DC.  Her professional affiliations include All Hazards Incident Management Teams Association, American Association for Political Consultants, International Association of Emergency Managers, National Center for Crisis Management and World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine.

Joseph Sutkowi, Vice Chair  (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Joseph SutkowiJoseph Sutkowi has been a Red Cross volunteer since 2011 when he accepted a grant writing internship at the Washtenaw-Lenawee County Chapter in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After the internship he continued to assist the chapter’s fund development department and transitioned into disaster services. After several years as a Team Leader and On-Call Coordinator, he is now a Disaster Action Team (DAT) Officer, one of two lead volunteers for the DAT program, and responsible for its operations.  He also serves as Vice Chair for the National Young Professionals Council. Outside of the Red Cross, Joseph works for the University of Michigan as the Assistant Director of Foundation Relations where he counsels faculty members seeking research funding from private foundations. He is an avid volunteer with commitments to the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra, Next Generation Philanthropists, the Council of Michigan Foundations, the University of Michigan, and a founding board member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network – Washtenaw. He enjoys spending time in Detroit and other urban places, reading and golfing.

Nathan Bauer  (Omaha, Nebraska)

Nathan BauerNathan Bauer began his volunteer work as a member of his local Club Red chapter where he currently works in helping plan fundraising events. Within his company, he is involved in both orchestrating blood drives and organizes a “Ready When the Time Comes” response team. Nathan resides in Omaha, Nebraska, and is a Business Analyst for Gallup, Inc. In his spare time, he coaches a Special Olympic team in multiple sports, and enjoys reading, traveling, and lengthy discussions about college basketball.





Christian Brant  (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Christian BrantChristian Brant began working at the front desk of American Red Cross Southern Nevada Chapter in April 2013. She quickly began volunteering in Disaster Services, providing support to client casework, disaster public affairs, and participating in numerous events and exercises as well as working with the fundraising team to support ongoing events and endeavors. Additionally, she served as Interim Administration Manager, Mass Care Manager, and Bulk Distribution Manager. Christian was also a founding member of the young professionals group in Southern Nevada and served as Treasurer during its inception. She studies Social Work at the University of Nevada.  She is passionate about the Red Cross mission and serving the community. In her free time, you can find her whipping up delicious meals for her friends and family, enjoying a murder mystery game or book, and singing karaoke.

Darcy Calderon  (New York, New York)

Darcy CalderonDarcy Calderon is a member of the Red Cross of Greater New York Development team.  She has had the pleasure and privilege of developing and launching the Young Professionals Council of Greater New York which has grown to 14 members strong and has raised over $100,000 to date.  She has a passion for mobilizing the next generation of Red Cross supporters and is thrilled to be a part of the National Young Professionals Council.  Prior to the Red Cross she worked in the special events fundraising space for the American Diabetes Association and the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California.  When she’s not raising funds, she enjoys experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen with friends, Facetiming with her new niece, and embracing her lifestyle as a self-proclaimed cat lady.

Austin Creswell  (Phoenix, Arizona)

Austin CreswellPursuing his passion of disaster response and recovery, Austin Creswell began his Red Cross career as a volunteer. After completing his degree, he applied to every Red Cross Chapter across the country in hopes of working with the premier NGO Disaster Organization. Over the years at the Red Cross in Arizona, Austin has worked to build up his chapter, having the most success after connecting with a volunteer partner. He is currently serving the Red Cross as the Disaster Program Manager for the Greater Phoenix Chapter. Outside of the Red Cross, Austin is involved with Rotary and Alpha Phi Omega, an international service fraternity. In his free time Austin enjoys cycling, hiking, and swimming, as well as exploring the great state of Arizona.

Matthew Garvey (Bowling Green, Kentucky)

Matthew GarveyMatthew Garvey is a member of the South Central Kentucky Chapter located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He currently serves as a board member and a health services volunteer for his chapter.  Matthew started his journey with a national deployment during the Yarnell Hill wildfire of 2013 in Prescott, Arizona where he served as a shelter emergency medical technician. Since, he has continued to further his education while seeking out opportunities to greater serve his community through his local chapter. Aside from the Red Cross, Matthew maintains a variety of employers. He is employed full time as a Registered Nurse in the critical care unit at TriStar Skyline Medical Center in Nashville, TN and as needed by Com-Care Inc. Logan County EMS as a nationally registered emergency medical technician basic. He also fills in as needed at Yokley-Trible Funeral home in Tompkinsville, KY. Matthew enjoys traveling for international mission trips, spending time with family and friends, Mexican food and volleyball.

Elena Luca  (Miami, Florida)

Elena LucaElena Luca is the Vice President for a private research center in Miami, FL. She is passionate about volunteering and philanthropy. Currently, she serves in leadership positions in the American Red Cross, Junior League of Miami, and Tri Delta Sorority. For the past six years, she has been a member of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leaders. She served a three-year term on the National Council for the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle and will become a Tiffany Circle Torchbearer. She is very grateful for the friendships and experiences afforded to her by the Tiffany Circle and is proud of the impact her donation of time, talent, and treasure has made. As a member of the National Council for the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle, she served on the committees for Holiday Mail for Heroes, Membership, Governance, Summit, and currently serves as the New Member Liaison.  Elena was thrilled to receive the Barbara Nelson Red Cross Service Award at the 2015 22nd Annual Spectrum Awards for Women.  In her time off, Elena loves to travel.

Coby C. Williams  (Columbus, Ohio)

Coby C WilliamsCoby is a member of the Associate Board of the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus.  He was a founding member and led the Cincinnati Mayor’s Office’s Young Professionals Kitchen Cabinet, participated in the very selective Direct Action Research and Training Organizers Institute, and completed the Ohio Center for Progressive Leadership’s New Leaders program for leadership development and training. Additionally, Coby served in the United States Navy Reserve and has been on the committees and boards of several civic organizations. Coby’s professional experience includes diverse local, state, and federal projects in the nonprofit and public sector and also national projects in the private sector. Coby currently works for RAMA Consulting, a private firm that specializes in training, development and stakeholder engagement. In his spare time Coby studies Krav Maga.

Jeany Zhao  (Santa Monica, California)

Jeany ZhaoJeany’s volunteer engagement with the Red Cross began by assisting with the Santa Monica Chapter’s Red Tie Affair in 2011. She helped form the Los Angeles Region Young Professionals group (Red Cross NextGen) and is the current chair.  She is passionate about connecting people with opportunities to give back.  She has over twelve years of expertise in data technology solutions and analytics, with a primary focus in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry as well as Economics research.  She is also a business owner in the fuel solutions industry.

Volunteer Connection

Volunteer Connection