ADRP Honors Outstanding Achievements at Recent Awards of Excellence Ceremony in Dallas, TX

Mon, May 14, 2018 7:46 AM | Steve Bolton

Each year, time is set aside at the ADRP Annual Conference to honor individuals, groups and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding service, accomplishments or leadership in the donor experience profession.

Award winners receive a complimentary registration to our annual ADRP conference, a commemorative award and recognition on the ADRP website as well as in our newsletter, the Drop.

The 2018 ADRP Awards of Excellence were presented at an awards breakfast on Friday, May 11, 2018 at the ADRP Annual Conference in Dallas, TX.  The winners were:

Donor Recruiter of the Year Award - Elizabeth Morales, from the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center

When Liz started working at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, she looked at it as just another job.  But it quickly became far more, and three years into it, she considers it even more than a career. She is on a mission.

“My job has a purpose,” she says. “Every day, I am actually doing something to help saves lives.”

Liz shares her passion and sense of mission with the companies she works with to develop and execute successful blood drives.  She often connects partnering businesses with local patients who are benefiting from blood donations, which has resulted in many of her blood drives exceeding goals.  This approach provides the connection essential to motivating donors and non-donors to step up, particularly if they don’t otherwise have a personal reason for donating blood. 

Liz has exceeded her territory goal for the past 15 months in a row.  The number of units collected in 2017 represents an 8.5 percent increase over 2016.  In working with a local pizza restaurant Big Lou’s, she facilitated a grassroots, community response that generated 250 units.  Encouraged by that success, the group has signed up to host an additional visit each year.   

Liz continues to strive and achieve the goals set in front of her by her management team but says she has personal goals as well.  Her passion for her work as a donor recruiter only increased when her father became ill a year ago and needed blood.

Liz said, “When I would see him get a transfusion, I knew I had played a role in him receiving that. Watching him receive the blood, I felt it had come full circle – it was my family in need now.”

Media Partner Award - iHeart Media 107.9 WSRZ, SunCoast Blood Bank nominated by SunCoast Blood Bank in Sarasota, FL

iHeart Media has been an advocate of blood donation in the SunCoast region for the past 12 years.  Their entire staff - from the general manager, to the promotion staff, to their on-air personalities – all support SunCoast in many ways.

A key event that 107.9 WSRZ hosts each year is Pints for Play, hosted by their popular morning team. The station devotes an entire day to promote and raise awareness about the importance of blood donation.   Pints for Play is a 13-hour, commercial-free blood drive marathon. Suncoast uses a fixed site plus their fleet of eight bloodmobiles for the event, all at the same location. Every donor receives a song play of their choice or the opportunity to tape a 30 second spot promoting their business or special cause.  During the day, the station plays interviews with blood donors and blood recipients. The event has grown from collecting just short of 200 units its first year, to collecting almost 600 units at its 10th annual event, which was just held yesterday.

iHeart’s support does not stop at Pints for Play. Three years ago, iHeart Media offered to sponsor a Corporate Challenge.  Each year, they offer a $10,000 advertising package to the organization able to generate the most blood donations. The challenge runs for four weeks and is heavily promoted. The campaign has resulted in many new accounts and even more awareness about the importance of blood drives in the community.

iHeart Media supports SunCoast in other ways as well. If they are experiencing a shortage, all they have to do is call and they make appeals to the community for several days to help. They regularly banter on air about SunCoast throughout the year. They invite donors into the studio to share their stories and blood drive sponsors to promote high-profile drives. 

This is a partnership that has endured and flourished with age and SunCoast couldn’t do what it does without their support.

Rolf Kovenetsky Leader of the Year Award - Collections Supervisor, Manager or Director - Aubrey Oyler, United Blood Services in Rapid City, SD

Aubrey has over 17 years of Donor Care experience.   Being a leader to Aubrey means passion for what she does and how she influences others.  It means allowing others to exceed her expectations and recognizing staff for their efforts.  It’s important for Aubrey to be human, humble, patient and empathetic to the needs of others.  This is what makes Aubrey an outstanding leader in donor care.  She recognizes the individual and what they have to offer. 

Aubrey has exceptional interpersonal skills.  She has been a rock for the Rapid City United Blood Services location due to her longevity, passion for the mission, and donor care knowledge.  Since taking her role in 2004, she has been influential in training other donor care supervisors.  Aubrey has a good understanding that change is how we grow and improve, and she is able to communicate this to her staff.  Aubrey’s core values and her dedication has helped her excel in her position and stay well-rounded, focused, driven and compassionate for the people she works with.  Aubrey takes great pride in delivering the best customer service to our donors, customer, and staff members.  It’s very easy for Aubrey to relate to people and she can ALWAYS put a smile on someone’s face.  

Rolf Kovenetsky Leader of the Year Award - Recruitment Supervisor, Manager or Director - Karen Muscolino, New York Blood Center in New York City, NY

In 1994 Karen Muscolino joined New York Blood Center (NYBC) as an Account Manager in the Long Island region.  She loved her job, excelled in her role and was quickly promoted within two years, first to Recruitment Manager, then to Recruitment Director. 

Managing a team of 11 Account Managers, Karen is responsible for 160,000 of the 388,000 unit goal at NYBC.  35,000 of those units come from donor centers in her territory.  

One of the qualities that make Karen so unique is that she is adaptable to our ever changing industry despite many years of service.   You’ll never hear her say, “But we do it this way!”  She is good whether in growth mode or if she needs to switch to a declining mode.  She understands and has embraced the needs for efficiency, projection accuracy and cost containment.   

She is well respected among her peers for her knowledge and for her leadership of a very cohesive team.   This summer, Karen opened her home for a team building day of good food and fun.  Barefoot and blindfolded, she participated in all of the exercises and the day of silliness and laughter did much to boost morale during the challenging summer months.  

Karen’s relationships extend beyond NYBC walls too.  She does outstanding work with NYBC’s Volunteer Leadership Team (VLT).  The VLT was started by Rolf Kovenetsky in 1980 and is a network of corporate and community leaders that help support NYBC’s mission.  Karen learned from Rolf and embraced his motto “involvement leads to commitment.” 

Humanitarian Service Award (Community Organization) - Father Richard Augustyn, Kaleida Health System nominated by Unyts in Buffalo, NY

The Humanitarian Service Award recognizes a community organization that encourages the spirit of volunteerism.

Father Richard Augustyn began making contributions toward blood donation at the inception of Unyts community blood bank in 2007. He continues more than ten years later with aiding in blood recruitment for all sites within the Kaleida Health system with 1,000 units of blood collected annually.

Over the years, Father Richard and Kaleida Health have shown their dedication to this lifesaving Mission. His tremendous passion and commitment to help humanity is shown in the endless hours he works to show that everyone can save lives.

Unyts says it has been a privilege to know this enthusiastic and dedicated priest and humanitarian and to work with their top health care organization.

Blood Drive Award - Most Creative - Cathy Flores, NAVMC - Northern AZ Volunteer Medical Corp. nominated by United Blood Services in Flagstaff, AZ

The driving force behind this blood drive is volunteer coordinator, Cathy Flores. She hosts several drives, but without question, the largest and most creative is the Annual Zombie Blood Drive.  

Cathy Flores, a NAVMC volunteer, wanted to help children and the community locally. She does so with many different events in Flagstaff, but her pride and joy is the Annual Zombie Blood Drive and Fundraiser. This partnership began in 2014. Cathy wanted an event that was locally beneficial, but also fun for those donating blood and money for good causes. The first year in 2014, Cathy and NAVMC brought in 30 successful blood donations and $4300 for the local foodbank. Since that time, the blood drive and fundraiser have grown with the 2017 Zombie blood drive collecting 95 blood donations as well as $22K for the local foodbanks.

Cathy collaborates with a network of businesses including Subway, Coca-Cola, BBVA Compass Bank, which is the location for the drive.

The BBVA Compass Bank is completely transformed with Zombie and Halloween décor. Donors have the fun opportunity to receive Zombie makeovers, scars, tattoos, etc. It is fun to see even the more stoic regular donors have a good time and get Zombiefied! Donors also have an opportunity to buy hands for the Zombie Hand Drop Fundraiser.  At the end of the blood drive, the hands are dropped off a building and the hand that falls in or closest to the square on the body outline receives 1st place. 

Cathy adds new events each year and is already planning for the 5th Annual Zombie Blood Drive and Fundraiser where she wants to include a Zombie Crawl. Her dream is for this to become a statewide event.

Blood Drive Award - Most Productive - Janet Rewolinski, RN, Aurora Health Care, Inc. nominated by Blood Center of Wisconsin, a part of Versiti in Milwaukee, WI

Aurora Health Care already held many drives with BCW, but in 2015 they started an Accelerated Blood Program.

The Purpose of the Program was to increase Aurora Caregiver blood donations. That first year, Aurora Caregivers collected 1,566 successful donations or 5% of their total usage for 2015.  The Aurora Health Care Accelerated Blood Program goal was to increase donations from 1,500 in 2015 to 3,000 donations by 2017.

By the end of 2016, Aurora collected 628 more units which was a 40% increase over 2015.  They added 6 additional drives and increased the average blood drive size from 20 to 26.

They did even better last year. In 2017, they increased collections 19% and added 26 additional drives over 2016.  Final count for 2017 was 3,378 donations which exceeded their goal of 3,000.

Aurora Health Care embodies and practices their community outreach motto: “We are better together because of our partnerships with hundreds of organizations across our footprint.”  Aurora Health Care’s partnership with BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, has impacted many patients’ lives and will continue to grow to serve more patient’s in the future.

School Blood Drive Award (High School or College) - La Samare High School in Plessisville, Québec, Canada nominated by Héma-Québec

The School Blood Drive Award is given to a high school or college that has shown an exceptional commitment to establishing blood donation as a priority among its students, and La Samare High School does just that.

It all began with ONE STUDENT-ONE DONOR  - An exceptional teacher’s vision.

François Gagnon is a science teacher at La Samare High School, which has a student enrolment of 900. He has coordinated the school’s annual blood drive since 2011. François integrates the organization of the event into his course plan to mobilize the students to become involved in the project. The blood drive has become so popular that all the students at the school join forces on this project. In addition to pencils, binders and erasers, the school board has even allowed La Samare to integrate the responsibility for recruiting a blood donor for the annual drive into the list of requirements for students at the beginning of the year. This is a perfect illustration of François’s vision of “one student–one donor”.

In 2011, the blood drive welcomed 260 blood donors that first year, far exceeding its original goal of 160. Since then, the goal and results have consistently exceeded expectations: the 2018 drive was just held 2 weeks ago. The goal was 1,000 units and the drive collected 1,091 making this one-day blood drive the most successful in the entire province of Québec.

For any high school to draw more units than they have students is incredible. What makes this story even more amazing is that the High School is located in a small town of only 6,700 residents. And the students who organize the blood drive cannot give blood at their own event because they have not reached the legal age of 18. So all donors have to be recruited within the community!

In raising awareness among youth about the importance of giving the “gift of life”, François’s vision is also to ensure future generations of blood donors. Since 2013, there has been a visible increase in the presence of former students returning as blood donors. Students watched the Awards presentation via Facebook Live. Watch the students of La Samare High School thank ADRP for the award here.

Donor Collections Team Member Award - Nikki Gordon, Carter BloodCare in Bedford, TX

The Collections Team Member Award was introduced in 2013 to recognize the valuable role collections plays in the donor experience.

Nikki Gordon is a phlebotomist 2 (P2) at Carter BloodCare (CBC). She has developed a ‘can-do’ reputation about her work since joining the organization in 2010. Nikki has done whatever it takes on her end to help ensure that CBC’s Mission statement, “We save lives by making transfusion possible” is an enduring truth. 

Nikki has excelled in all areas of the program and received a promotion to her

The new title meant accepting all of the responsibilities that come with supervising a team. Nikki has developed many individual staff members since her supervisory duties took effect. Her desire to help people succeed has been noticed, and there is not a shortage of people yearning to join her team if an opportunity presents itself.  They recognize her ability to coach and people want that help from her. Mobile Collections management has recognized this, too and plans to use Nikki as a mentor to develop future leaders in the department.

Ron Franzmeier Lifetime Achievement Award – Aissa Martin, American Red Cross, Atlanta, GA

The Franzmeier Award was established in 1991 to honor a leader in the field of Donor Recruitment. 

Aissa is currently one of four national instructors of Donor Recruitment for the American Red Cross.  With over 25 years in blood banking, she has served in many capacities in the industry. Her career began in Collections.  She later served as a lead blood banking tech for LABCorp. Aissa’s recruitment career began with Florida Blood Services as a donor recruiter, specializing in the youth market.  She continued her career in donor recruitment with LifeSouth, prior to her employment with the Southern Region American Red Cross.

As a regional manager for the Southern Region, she has served on numerous task forces and initiatives. She also managed the Business Development Manager Program. Additionally her numbers are outstanding;  in her first year in donor recruitment, department she exceeded goal by 22%. 

In addition to her work with the blood industry, Aissa has been a member of ADRP since 2000. She was on the ADRP Board of Directors from 2009 to 2014. She is the recipient of the 2002 Leadership Award in Recruitment from the Southern Region and 2003 Manager of the Year from ADRP. She is a frequent presenter at ADRP conferences and thoroughly embodies the ADRP Mission.

Because of these efforts, Aissa has earned admiration from those for whom and with whom she works with in the blood industry.


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

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