Rosanne Marks | News | American Red Cross

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Not many people have made as impressive an impact during their careers as American Red Cross employee Rosanne Marks, who recently retired after enthusiastically helping to promote the “One Red Cross” motto and mission for nearly half a century.

Working as a Donor Services representative, Rosanne has impacted up to an estimated 500,000 patients’ lives by helping to ensure blood is available when it’s needed across the country. She says her fondest memories from working with the Red Cross are derived from meeting patients and conversing with their families and friends.

“I’ll never forget hearing a mother say that when her son received blood, she could see the life being breathed back into him,” she shared. “The stories didn’t always have a happy ending, but they always made a lasting impression and motivated me to recruit more blood donors and save more lives. I am most inspired by the families of patients who received blood.”

Whether she was working with large pharmaceutical companies, local municipalities or community organizations, Rosanne’s objective was to make certain that blood drive sponsors, and individual blood donors, knew they were more than just a number. She speaks with great affection about her work with the Peter Powerhouse Foundation, led by a young man named Peter Zucca and his family, which sponsored over 100 blood drives and collected 10,000 blood donations over the past 7 years.

“My philosophy is that there is no such word as ‘no.’ It is just a delayed ‘maybe,’” she said. “Remember that the number one reason that people don’t give blood is because nobody ever asked them.”

As she looks back on her career, Rosanne prominently remembers the days that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In response to the terrible situation, thousands of Red Cross supporters were eager to donate, volunteer and deliver aid to first responders. Rosanne’s work during this time wholly affirmed her desire to help nurture and heal people, as well as inspired her to continue serving the Red Cross to the best of her ability.

Rosanne hopes to inspire current and future Red Crossers as they embark upon a career designed to both encourage and help others the way she was inspired by former Donor Recruitment Director Rosemary Leyland.

“The American Red Cross is a ministry to me. It is my responsibility to provide my expertise and leadership to the new generation of account managers,” she shared.

 

Written by Nathan Fligelman

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