Clayton Sweeney completes 3 years of service as chair of local, state Red Cross

Clayton Sweeney, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross of Southwestern New York and Co-Chair of the New York State Council of the American Red Cross, will be honored for his service to the community and to the Red Cross at the Chapter’s upcoming annual meeting.

A Bemus Point resident, Sweeney began his local volunteer service to the Red Cross in 2007 when he became a leadership volunteer and member of the board of directors. He actively participated in the governance of the chapter, helping it to prepare for and navigate a significant reorganization, which was successfully completed in 2009. During this time he applied his considerable knowledge as a renowned lawyer and international businessman to ensure the local Red Cross continued to deliver on its mission while judiciously caretaking the valuable resources contributed by community donors.

In 2010, Sweeney was elected to serve as the chair of the board of the local Red Cross, and was also elected to serve as the volunteer co-chair of the American Red Cross New York State Council, leading Red Cross management and leadership volunteers in statewide initiatives to improve operational effectiveness. During his tenure as a leader of the New York State Council, Red Cross chapters in the state completed the reorganization process undertaken by the national organization, improved financial management processes, and responded to multiple disasters in the state, including the 2010 Olean/Portville floods, Hurricane Irene in 2011, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. As a result of his leadership, Red Cross organizations across the state were better able to provide emergency food, clothing, shelter, health services, and mental health services in the aftermath of some of the biggest disasters.

Clayton’s six years of service to his community will be honored at the annual meeting of the American Red Cross of Southwestern New York, to be held at 6 p.m. on June 27 at the Elks Club in Olean, 209 W. State St. The guest speaker will be Tara Hughes, LCSW-R, New York State’s Disaster Mental Health Advisor for The American Red Cross. Hughes is an experienced disaster responder for the Red Cross, and has led Red Cross disaster mental health services in the aftermath of the flight 3407 crash, Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Sandy, the Newtown School Shootings and the Boston Marathon bombing, among others.

A professor at the University at Buffalo, Hughes is also Clayton’s daughter. Besides sharing some of her disaster response experiences with Red Cross members, she will join the membership in activities to honor her father for his years of volunteer service.

Anyone who has donated time, blood, or money to the Red Cross is a member and is invited to attend the annual meeting. A buffet dinner will be served at a cost of $18 per person; RSVP to a local office (Jamestown 664-5115; Olean 372-5800; Wellsville 585-593-1531).