Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
By Shelley Grieshop
Steinbrunner new Red Cross director
  CELINA - A Coldwater man will head the newly consolidated American Red Cross chapter for Mercer and Auglaize counties.
Bill Steinbrunner, 57, a former administrator at Parkway Local Schools and St. Marys City schools, was appointed this week as the organization's full-time Community Chapter Executive. He begins his duties Jan. 6.
"When I left education a year and a half ago, I wasn't ready to just sit in my rocking chair," he said Tuesday.
Steinbrunner said he is a longtime blood donor and believes it's important to serve the community.
The Red Cross chapters in both counties consolidated Oct. 1 following the resignation of executive director Deb Hemmelgarn of St. Henry, who led the local organization for seven years. The executive director position in Auglaize County was vacated in June by Ken Cline, who had served for 18 months.
"We are very pleased that Mr. Steinbrunner accepted this position and we look forward to his leadership in continuing and expanding delivery of Red Cross programs and services throughout Auglaize and Mercer counties," stated David Collins, executive director of the American Red Cross of West Central Ohio.
A search committee met during a four-week period to review 45 applicants. Steinbrunner's "proven track record of leadership and community service" led the committee to chose him as the right candidate for the position, Collins said.
Steinbrunner will split office hours between the two counties each week, he said.
"Volunteers will continue to be essential for delivering programs and services, supplementing office hours and providing leadership and advocacy both during the transition time and beyond," Collins said.
Funds raised in the counties will continue to be used locally, he added.
Steinbrunner was the director of instruction at St. Marys schools from 2004 to 2012. Prior to that, he served for five years as principal at Parkway Local Schools.
The Mercer County native said he believes his previous employment in both counties will be an asset. His past work experiences put him in touch with emergency personnel in several communities, he said.
Perhaps the biggest challenge will be the lengthy span from one county to the other, he noted.
"There's a pretty big distance between Fort Recovery and Waynesfield," he explained.
He looks forward to the work and is excited to get involved, he added.
Services offered by the Red Cross include disaster aid; supporting military members and their families; blood collection, processing and distribution; health and safety education and training; and international relief and development.
The American Red Cross was founded May 21, 1881, in Washington, D.C., by Clara Barton, who led the national organization for 23 years.
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