Local Red Cross CEO to retire


The CEO of the Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region of the American Red Cross plans to retire.

Patricia “Trish” Smitson announced today that she will retire in February from her role at the helm of the 27-county chapter of the disaster relief organization.

The Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region of the Red Cross will launch a national search in December for Smitson’s successor.

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Smitson took over as CEO of the local Red Cross in May 2012.

“Trish combined a strong intellect with deep compassion and zeal that made her an excellent leader of the Red Cross and a servant leader to the Cincinnati community,” stated Board Chair Delores Hargrove-Young. “We are incredibly proud of the many lives she has positively impacted during her time at the Red Cross. We were fortunate that Trish chose our Red Cross as her second act.”

Each year the regional Red Cross responds to about 1,000 local disaster incidents, providing assistance to over 1,200 families, assists over 2,500 members of the armed forces, trains over 50,000 people in first aid, CPR, AED and water safety and provides disaster education to the community.

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The Red Cross installs over 8,000 free smoke alarms and teaches disaster preparedness to over 5,000 elementary school children.

The Cincinnati Chapter’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee has become a national model for Red Cross chapters across the country.

Smitson also oversaw the Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region’s massive response to the simultaneous national disasters this summer. Since Hurricane Harvey’s arrival in late August, 155 local volunteers spent over 17,000 hours helping individuals and families impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nat, as well as the California wildfires, and the Las Vegas mass shooting.

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“I am very proud of our dedicated volunteers and staff members who repeatedly rise to the challenge to serve our local community helping people in their time of greatest need, as well as responding to national disasters of devastating proportions,” Smitson stated. “It has been a gift and a privilege to be part of the Red Cross.”

Prior to joining the Red Cross, Smitson was an attorney at Thompson Hine LLP where she served as the Partner in Charge of the Cincinnati office for over nine years and was the first woman elected to the firm’s executive committee.



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