Stan Massie — recipient of the Contra Costa Volunteer of the Year Award — still has the buttons he received from completing swimming lessons with the Red Cross as a young child in San Rafael. So when he retired from the banking world in 2016, he wanted to do something that “added value to the world.” Inspired by the work done by volunteers during the 2017 Tubbs fire, he signed up to volunteer through the Red Cross website. Now he is as busy — if not busier in retirement as in his professional career.
Stan’s intake coordinator at the Red Cross pegged him for External Relations based on his corporate background. Briana Taylor, Regional Disaster Chair for the Northern California Coastal Region, served as the External Relations Lead at the time and met with Stan to discuss the commitment. Over coffee, Briana described the role with a “broad brush.” Stan said yes.
He’s been in action ever since.
“Once I got in, they pulled me into multiple positions,” Stan says. “First it was the External Relations Committee, then the Contra Costa Leadership Council, the Government Relations Committee, and then the Bay Area Board of Directors.”
Stan now sits as chairman of Contra Costa Leadership Council and still works in External Relations with elected officials and County partners.
“Last fall, I deployed for the first time and was assigned to Monterrey County to work in the Office of Emergency Services (OES),” Stan says. “My main job today is to work with partners throughout the county, fire, health, the Board of Supervisors, etc., so that when disaster strikes, we can get services quickly where needed.”
Stan is busy outside of his Red Cross work, looking after two grandchildren from time to time and attending to other family needs. And then there is the occasional game of golf.
“I like to tell people ‘just be realistic and honest about the time commitment,’” Stan says. “If you want to do [this] well, you’ll need to put in the time.
Stan hopes to recruit for the leadership positions he’s filled over the last several years. “All volunteer positions take time to fill and succession is very important to keep the continuity with our partners.
Stan says he sticks close to the Red Cross work for the same reason he signed up. “I thought volunteering would be showing up at an event or shelter. I didn’t want to do something that mimics my corporate world. But now I know I can do both.”