By Carol Bromberg
One of the benefits of being a Red Cross staff member is having the opportunity to work side-by-side with exceptional volunteers. Sue Reiner, who recently passed away of cancer at age 69, was one of those volunteers.
Luckily for me and the Red Cross, Sue decided to volunteer in the Red Cross Los Angeles Region Communications Department.
In reviewing her resume before our first meeting, I saw that Sue had spent most of her career in the entertainment industry. She had held management positions in publicity, sales and marketing for various studios including CBS and Warner Bros., as well as production positions at several entertainment media companies.
In addition, she had taught courses in public relations and crisis management at numerous colleges, including Ithaca College, Cal State LA, UCLA Extension, USC, and UC Santa Barbara.
I knew how much she could assist us in our very small department, but I wasn’t sure what she was looking for in her volunteer experience. It turns out Sue’s mother had recently died, and at that point in her life she was looking to help at a non-profit organization that provided meaningful assistance to people.
Sue jumped in with both feet, volunteering three days a week. She took on any assignment – writing articles, press releases and communications materials, assisting at special events and pretty much anything we asked her to do to publicize the work of the Red Cross. In honor of her commitment and dedication, Sue received a special recognition award at the 2012 Volunteer Excellence Awards held at the House of Blues.
After several years at the Red Cross, Sue left to pursue other interests, of which she had many – writing magazine articles, learning to be a pastry chef and perfecting her squash game, to name a few.
Although I always respected Sue’s technical and professional skills, I really appreciated her sense of humor, intelligence, quick wit, kindness and perspective on what’s important in life.
Sue started as a volunteer and became my friend. Thank you again Sue.
Carol Bromberg was the Red Cross Los Angeles Region Publications Manager from 2005-2016 and now contributes her Red Cross expertise and writing talents as a Red Cross volunteer.