Mary Frances Close is the new executive director of the The Islands Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Close began her tenure as director of the The Islands Chapter, which serves Fidalgo, Whibey and the San Juan islands, Sept. 10.
She has worked in military settings since 1996, most recently as the Family Readiness Officer at Quantico Marine Corps Base, Va., and has a professional background in teaching and communications, including an assignment at The White House in the Office of Cabinet Affairs, 1986-87.
“We are delighted to have Mary Frances’s wide experience working with us on Red Cross issues of community preparedness and response, volunteer recruitment, and Service to the Armed Forces,” said Barbara Atterberry, chairwoman of The Islands Chapter board of directors, of Close's appointment. “I hope the community will welcome her as she settles into her new job.”
Close recently returned to the Pacific Northwest when her husband was transferred to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. The couple live in Anacortes with their three children.
“I know the Red Cross is an important part of these island communities,” Close said. “And I look forward to meeting the people, businesses and agencies that help keep our communities resilient. Island residents need to be especially well-prepared for emergencies.”
In 2011, The Islands Chapter assisted 28 families affected by home fires and other emergencies, and provided emergency communications and other assistance for over 800 military families through Red Cross’s Service to Armed Forces programs. Both services are provided predominantly by volunteers.
Close notes that the Red Cross now has applications for iPhone and Android smartphone users, released in connection with emergency preparedness month, that allow people to have information at their fingertips on how to plan for and what to do in event of an emergency. Those apps can be downloaded from iTunes or at a Google app store, according to the Red Cross.
For more info on the American Red Cross or its Islands Chapter, headquarter in Anacortes, at 2900 T Ave., visit www.theislandsredcross.org