NEW ULM - The American Red Cross is consolidating its New Ulm office with its office in Mankato to streamline operations and make the best use of donor dollars, the Red Cross announced Friday.
Effective Oct. 4, 2013, the Brown-West Nicollet, Redwood, Renville Chapter of the Red Cross will be consolidated with the South Central Minnesota Chapter, headquartered in Mankato. As part of the consolidation, Executive Director Sandy Radloff's position has been eliminated and the office located at 1215 South Broadway in New Ulm, will be closed.
Red Cross services will continue to be provided throughout Brown, West Nicollet, Redwood, and Renville Counties through the combined efforts of volunteers and staff in the area, under the direction of South Central Minnesota Chapter Executive Director Bob Meyer. All monies raised in Brown, West Nicollet, Redwood, or Renville Counties will continue to be used to help support the delivery of Red Cross services in the area.
"It's always tough to lose great employees who have served the organization with passion," said Melanie Tschida, Director of the Southern Minnesota Region, headquartered in Rochester, "but in situations where we have Red Cross offices in close proximity to each other, consolidating to one location increases our efficiency and allows us to focus more of our limited resources on programs and services that help people in need."
"It won't be the same without Sandy," Tschida continued. "She's done a fabulous job for many years. Our highest priority will be to ensure that we continue providing great service in these communities. People can still depend on the Red Cross for disaster response, health and safety courses, emergency communications for members of our military and blood drives. We are simply consolidating resources so we can be more efficient in our service delivery."
Tschida said the Red Cross will still offer as many local services as possible after the New Ulm office closes.
"We'll still collect blood and provide health and safety training for the next few months in New Ulm," Tschida said. "We're not in any rush to move out of the building. We'll stay there until another location is lined up. Perhaps we'll move into a community-based location, like a library or community center."
Tschida said cost efficiencies will be realized by consolidating offices. The Mankato American Red Cross office is located at 105 Homestead Road, a couple blocks northeast of Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Tschida said other southern Minnesota Red Cross office consolidation include Albert Lea closing and consolidating with the Austin office and closing the Olivia office, which she said is now open one day a week.
A Red Cross volunteer for six years and executive director the past dozen years, Radloff admitted Friday the decision was not easy to accept but she was thankful to have served with and for people for the time that she has.
"It's tough to see this happen. We support ourselves with fund-raising," Radloff said. "It's been an unbelievable privilege to serve the county. We've helped so many people with fires, floods and storms that came through. I've had a great board in my service here. I'd like to thank all the board members, volunteers and my family. It's a great building we have. I like having someone local. I've lived here 51 years."
For more information, contact Melanie Tschida, Regional Executive Director, at 507-287-2254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at email@example.com.