2018 Breakout Session Schedule

Sessions in green will offer P.A.C.E. credits for continuing education

General Sessions

  • Opening Session: ADRP President, Marie Forrestal kicks off the conference and introduces an inspiring film deput, "Lifeline: The Untold Story of Saving the Pulse Survivors"

  • Panel of Experts: Our panel discusses factors that are changing blood donation patterns in the wake of several national tragedies. 

  • Opening day Keynote Speaker: Eamonn Ferguson, Professor of Health Psychology at Nottingham University. His work focuses on the psychology of blood and organ donor behavior. 

  • ADRP Awards Breakfast: Recognize the outstanding accomplishments of your peers

  • Closing Session: Dr. Merlyn Sayers, President and Chief Executive Officer, Carter BloodCare

Recruitment Track

Andrea Cefarelli, Executive Director Donor Recruitment, New York Blood Center

“Cost Management strategies for Donor Recruitment in the new market of mergers and acquisitions”

Blood Donor Recruitment has been evolving for the last decade, but there are ongoing pressures to become increasingly cost efficient and lean.  This presentation will detail specific strategies used to reduce costs, gain efficiencies, and create a culture which allows agile responses to external factors.  

Chelsea Tibbetts, Director of Donor Recruitment and Shelly Muckerhide, Director of Donor Services, Community Blood Center

“Creating better relationships between collections and recruitment”

What are you doing to proactively improve communications and reduce tension between recruiters and donor services at your center?  In this session, the Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City partners the Director of Recruitment and the Director of Donor Services to take an in-depth look at this issue. They will discuss what has worked well to improve relations, what they still need to work on and what are triggers for potentially problematic situations.

Lora Cope, Regional Mobile Drive Coordinator, Community Blood Bank of NWPA

“How Uncle Sam Can Help You With Your Drives”

What do you do when you go on a trip or plan your vacation?  Do you pick a location?  Check out reviews?  Find routes that will give you the smoothest trip?  We will review a variety of resources that will assist you in planning your next blood drive and how these resources can help you identify areas through a strategic manner. Did you know that your county and government agencies can provide you with a wealth of knowledge?  Do you struggle with where to hold a drive and how to prioritize where to go? 

Taylor Robertson, Marketing Manager and Randee Toler, Donor Recruitment Manager, Blood Systems, Inc. DBA Bonfils Blood Center

“Just Because You Build It, Doesn’t Mean They’ll Come OR If You Build It (and Market and Recruit for it), They Will Come”

The focus of our expertise is how Bonfils Blood Center, a Blood Systems Blood Center headquartered in Denver, CO, successfully opened two fixed-sites in communities where a donor base and mobile operations already existed, and how a dedicated fixed-site recruiter collaborated with marketing, collections and call center personnel to apply innovative marketing-based tactics to foster long-term growth and sustainability to achieve draw goal.

Kristine Belanger, Vice President, Donor Services, The Community Blood Center

“Leveraging Psychographic Information to Recruit Blood Donors through Personalized Text Messaging”

Psychographic data (statistical data about a population’s attitudes, aspirations and other psychological motivators) combined with automated, interactive text messaging technology (aka ChatBot) can increase the likelihood of blood donors and potential blood donors of making behavioral changes that generate increased blood donations and referrals. Starting in November 2016, personalized text messaging, selectively identified based on psychographic information, was utilized to remind, recruit and reinforce actions that were deemed to be favorable for blood donors and blood donation. This technology allows for the identification of messages that are most likely to elicit a positive donation behavior and then provide similar types of messages in the future. 

In this presentation, we will explore lessons learned from applying demographic, psychographic and technology variants across a donor population to achieve improved donor recruitment while decreasing recruiting costs.

Shaina Novotny, Vice President of Community Engagement and Kiley Batjer Gergen, Communications Manager, We Are Blood

“Prioritizing Long-Term Love and Loyalty over Tomorrow’s Donations”

If, as an industry, we want to be relevant in five, ten, or twenty years, we need to make some changes. We realize it may not be popular to approach the Association of Donor RECRUITMENT Professionals conference and say, “hey, recruitment isn’t actually the answer to our industry-wide problems.” In fact, it’s counterintuitive. But, that’s exactly what we’re here to do. We’ll make the case for engaging with your communities, for building deeper relationships, for doing community outreach WITHOUT asking for blood, and for communicating in a way that fosters genuine conversation. The strategies we’ll share aren’t about driving blood donations tomorrow, or next week, or even this summer. Instead, we’ll focus on ensuring we’re relevant as an industry in the future. These strategies are a long-term investment in your success as a blood bank and our success as an industry. 

Michelle Westbay, Marketing Director and Melanie Mitchell, Director, Mobile Recruitment, Virginia Blood Services

“Taking it on the Road: Paving the way for Platelets”

With the ongoing stresses of meeting SDP inventory demands, in 2017, Virginia Blood Services launched a mobile platelet program, and in that same summer, launched its very first mobile platelet bus, complete with all the modern conveniences. Expanding to mobile drives allows for higher conversion rates and the opportunity to educate on the specific need for particular product and blood types. Additionally, having a better understanding of the role particular donations and blood types play on patient care increases long term donor retention. The better educated a donor, the higher likelihood of returning. Starting from selective loyal donor groups and educating top performing coordinators on the need for platelets was an integral element to a successful launch.  The mobile bus enhanced this program by providing additional opportunities where inside set-ups were not feasible and opportunities for smaller / underperforming donor groups to still participate in a blood program where donor centers were not conveniently located. Last year, Virginia Blood Services collected 25% of SDPs from mobile drives proving that taking platelets on the road is a successful recruitment strategy for collecting product that is in high demand.

Collections Track

James Giacoletti, Assistant Manager of Donor Notification -- Medical Services and Welda Alaman, Manager of Donor Advocate and Special Donations, Carter BloodCare

“Beyond Customer Service -- How Collections Staff can build donor relationships”

Providing a level of service that exceeds the donor’s expectations is desired, but often new collection staff has not been trained in soft skills to enhance the donor experience.  While training was desired, there was no phlebotomy-based customer service program available in the marketplace.  Developing a program that would meets the needs of the blood center and the donor became paramount.  The objective was to provide the frontline staff the tools to be more effective and consistent when communicating with donors, thereby improving donor relationships and increasing donor loyalty. 

The Building Donor Relationships (BDR) program was launched at our blood center with the following goals in mind: Increase donor loyalty, give staff standardized means to confidently communicate with donors, help staff do their job more effectively, and successfully build donor relations.  Focusing on areas that the collection staff identified as their biggest needs, the 5 hour training is delivered to staff after they have been in the field approximately 3 months.  Module based training that has multiple techniques such as hands-on application, lecture, and video provide variety to cover different adult learning styles.  A second course was developed based on the success of the first program, and is offered to staff after the first year.  Through 2017, 169 classes have been held, training over 2,070 participants.   An overview of the program, participant evaluations, and feedback will be discussed.  

Dawn Kaiser, Director of Donor Services and Mary Lawson, Director Donor Recruitment, Michigan Blood, part of Versiti

“Ernest Shackleton and the study of the Endurance.  How Shackleton’s leadership teaches leaders to engage in shared vision, goals and collaboration. ”

This session intends to educate executives, manager, leadership and staff through a leadership case study.  Ernest Shackleton lead the first imperial trans-Antarctic exploration in 1912.  We will go through his courageous story in a way that shows how to bring teams together.   In today’s competitive blood market, collections and recruitment must work side by side to achieve the wildly important goals.  This case study will help leaders recognize if they celebrate the major successes of the team (does that team include both collections and recruitment?).  It will help the leader reflect on if they  look for opportunities to celebrate the small wins.  The leader will ask themselves if the culture is serious or playful and spontaneous.  When things go wrong do you as a leader humor to diffuse the tension?   Are you as a leader willing to take Big RISK?

Rachael James, Director, Donor Services, We Are Blood

“I Survived! Lessons Learned from Donor Surges Collections”

Recent donor surges and unexpected events put collections staff, components staff, laboratory staff and all other auxiliary members of the blood donation process under an incredible amount of stress and strain, but they can also be fun, rewarding and teambuilding. During my 12 years at We Are Blood we have had the opportunity to experience several donor surges and because of the lessons learned (both good and bad) we have built an SOP/process to memorialize the things that worked so that we do not have to start from scratch each time a donor surge or unusual circumstance presents itself. The purpose of this presentation is to share those lessons learned by explaining the thought process behind why we do what we do in these tough situations and to equip other managers/directors with helpful ideas they could take back, and maybe even implement within their centers to help prepare their staff for the next donor surge event. 

Bobbie Paulson, Donor Care Supervisor, United Blood Services

“Push for your teams excellence”

From day 1 on the job as a technician, functional tasks are pushed and ideas for efficiency/improvement encouraged, but how does one break the barrier from one to do the other? Operational Excellence has been an idea pushed but not always fostered or nurtured. Collections habitually makes excuses that we do not have the resources to allow our technicians (the subject matter experts)to be out of production in order to utilize company time to develop and implement operation excellence. This leaves the staff feeling unheard and taken for granted, and the company using less effective practices. 

What’s the answer to breaking this cycle? Leaders!  The kind of leaders, who understand the importance of giving our staff a voice in how they do their job paired with a keen sense for those willing to follow through.  In order to sacrifice the time of an employee in production we must believe in not only their ability but also their drive to follow through.

Geri Venable, Executive Director of Donor Operations, LifeShare Blood Center

“Soft Skill Training for Collection Supervisors”

This session will talk about providing leadership training to collection team members that are new to leadership, going from co-worker to leader, responsibility of team, safety, regulatory knowledge.  We often promote those within our organization, which is great, but we don't always give these eager new leaders training to cope with their new position.  Their attitude and performance can directly correlate with turnover in a group that has potential for high turnover.  So let's invest in success of this position. 

Theresa Pina, VP of Operations and Kevin Shipley, Director of Donor Recruitment,  Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center

“The Scheduling Puzzle- Self Serve Staff Scheduling”

Creating the mobile collection staff schedule is like building a puzzle; Each piece fits in it’s perfect place. Unfortunately, it’s inevitable for staff to need last minute changes to the schedule and you are stuck rebuilding the puzzle piece by piece.  What if you allowed them to rebuild the puzzle themselves? How do you ensure you have the coverage you need and give staff some freedom when “life happens”?  Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center did just that.  Come learn how they did it, what worked, what didn’t and what they learned along the way.

Julie Bell, Project Director, Collections Network Program, Canadian Blood Services

“Transformational Change in the Collection Site – Engaging Staff and Donors on the Journey”

Sometimes change occurs in giant leaps and brings with it great reward – modernization, efficiency and enhanced customer service.  In the donation operations environment staff are often hesitant and anxious in the face of this, especially if new technology is involved.  When the change directly impacts the donor community further measures must be in place to ensure donor needs are understood and met.  This presentation will outline the transformation of the donation collection site at Canadian Blood Services, focusing on the journey of the staff and the donors.    The discussion will take us from the origins of the automation project, rooted in safety, quality and productivity goals, to the launch of a new paperless donation experience through the lens of the impacted staff and donors.

Marketing/Communications Track

Ruth Sylvester, Director, Regulatory Affairs, America's Blood Centers

"It's the Blood on the Shelf That Saves Lives"-Managing the Message

Whether it's donating blood or handing out water to donors standing in long line to donate, the public wants to do what they can to help save lives in a disaster. It is after all human nature.  It is however the “blood on the shelf that saves lives”. What can the blood center do to help ensure the "gift of life" does not go to waste and blood is available on the shelf the next time we need it? This session will focus on the importance of working with local disaster organizations, the media, and hospitals to manage the message and access blood inventory needs.

Carla Alexander, Marketing & Communication Manager, United Blood Services

“Customer Services - The Lifeblood of our Industry”

Often, in the blood banking industry, what we do every day becomes rote. We move from one chair to the next, forgetting that in each of those chairs is a person who has made a conscious decision to take time out of their day to do something that is probably uncomfortable for them, or is, at the very least, inconvenient. We need to treat every single donor as if they are all that matters, and infuse a flood of appreciation and kindness in the place of the blood they are donating. We will discuss renewing our attitude every single day, understanding the donor mindset (what drives them to us), great customer service from Recruitment to Donation to Appreciation and reinforcing the altruistic motivation of giving blood in every donor.

Joshua Buckley, Marketing Director, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center

“Reality TV Stars: Turning recipients into spokespersons”

A blood center’s PR team is trained to successfully deliver their company’s message through the media. However, it’s the actual recipients that will truly inspire someone watching at home to donate. Learn how to teach a recipient to use their real-life story as a public call to action in media interviews. This presentation will include how to find those potential speakers, and teach them how to be in front of a camera and become a strong spokesperson for your blood center.

Joseph Heinl, Digital Marketing Manager - Enterprise Blood Services, Blood Systems

“Universal ROI Tactics for Digital Marketing Professionals”

As digital marketing becomes a more integral part of the overall marketing matrix, validating your efforts will become a critical component. Demonstrating value and progress is a must. In this presentation, we will cover actual tactics and examples for validating contribution to the bottom line. Keeping ROI top of mind will benefit any marketing professional in digital, social media and mobile marketing. A back to basics presentation with some out of the box approaches.

Jennifer Maul, Director of Marketing, Carter BloodCare

“Learning and retooling tricks of the trade”

After much trial and error, learnings and explorations, our collaborative resource team tried new paid and unpaid advertising tactics in getting the word out this past year about blood donation and hosting blood drives. After reviewing new tools available to us, we found a 'heat mapping' of sorts to help us drive behavior and track it, learn from it and pursue new avenues not fully explored with limited budgets and resources.

Leadership Track

Alicia Sheffield, Manager, Mobile Collections and Brandi Wright, Manager of Mobile Collections, Carter BloodCare

Hiring/Onboarding and Development

In an effort to raise retention and improve morale we implemented an onboarding program which allows a new hire to be followed from their start date through their first year with CBC.  This includes periodic touch points as well as development of the staff.  Over the course of the last 3 years we have educated our staff better, lowered our turnover, and promoted several employees.

Sarina Swan, Donor Outreach Manager, and Candelaria Acosta, Donor Outreach Manager, Blood Systems Inc.

“T.R.E.A.T. (Effective Management of Millennials by Millennials)”

Let’s face it there are millions of way to successfully manage this fabulous group of individuals. We hope to instill a few key concepts in areas to focus on in order to maximize your performance from this dynamic group. As Millennial that also manage Millennial we will use the T.R.E.A.T acronym to provide insight on effective management techniques.

Tara Scott, Executive Director of Donor Recruitment and Community Relations and Patti Barker, Regional Director, Hospital Relations, Oklahoma Blood Institute


Thank-the-Donor is a new, online, donor and patient relationship management tool that enables patients who have been transfused to say, “Thank You” to their blood donors in an anonymous, user-friendly format.  Through this novel web application, blood recipients can send special messages not only to their particular blood donor(s), but also to blood center staff, hospital staff, and even vendors who have been part of the lifesaving chain! Recruiting donors and keeping them inspired can prove to be a challenge Thank-the-Donor creates an emotional connection and reminder that a real person is on the receiving end of each donor’s gift.  Nothing feels better than receiving appreciation, and, often, patients are frustrated they can’t directly express gratitude to blood donors.  

Thank-the-Donor perfectly fulfills both needs.  You will learn how implementing this program in your blood center will inspire everyone from your employees to your hospital customers.  You can share messages of thanks directly with donors who save a life, and keep them engaged as blood donors.  A vital element of the Thank-the-Donor program is its protection of both patients’ and donors’ anonymity, thus maintaining privacy.  The user creates the content and volunteers to send the message of gratitude, so confidentiality rules and privacy laws are respected.  Thank-the-Donor unleashes the Attitude of Gratitude--allowing a patient, family member or friend to turn a difficult situation into something positive and inspirational.   "Giving blood recipients an avenue to thank their blood donor!

ADRP would like to thank our sponsors:


ADRP, an International Division of America's Blood Centers, is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

1717 K St NW, Suite 900 | Washington, DC | 20006 Tel: (202) 393-5725 | Fax: (202) 393-1282 

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