Patricia “Trish’’ Smitson. Photo provided

The CEO of the 27-county Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region of the American Red Cross, Patricia “Trish’’ Smitson, announced she will retire in February. Smitson took over the helm of the local Red Cross in May 2012.

“Trish combined a strong intellect with deep compassion and zeal that made her an excellent leader of the Red Cross and a servant leader to the Cincinnati community,” said Board Chair Delores Hargrove-Young. “We are incredibly proud of the many lives she has positively impacted during her time at the Red Cross.”

Under Smitson’s leadership, each year the regional Red Cross responds to approximately 1,000 local disaster incidents, providing assistance to over 1,200 families. In addition, the Red Cross assists over 2,500 members of the armed forces, trains over 50,000 people in first aid/CPR/AED and water safety and provides disaster education to the community. To make the community safer, the Red Cross installs over 8,000 free smoke alarms and teaches disaster preparedness to over 5,000 elementary school children.

The Cincinnati Chapter is known for its strong diversity program. Its Diversity and Inclusion Committee has become a national model for Red Cross chapters across the country.

Smitson also oversaw the Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region’s massive response to the unprecedented, simultaneous national disasters this summer. Since Hurricane Harvey’s arrival in late August, 155 local volunteers devoted over 17,000 hours helping individuals and families impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nat, as well as the

“I am very proud of our dedicated volunteers and staff members who repeatedly rise to the challenge to serve our local community helping people in their time of greatest need, as well as responding to national disasters of devastating proportions,” said Smitson. “It has been a gift and a privilege to be part of the Red Cross.”

Prior to joining the Red Cross, Smitson was an attorney at Thompson Hine LLP where she served as the Partner in Charge of the Cincinnati office for over 9 years and was the first woman elected to the firm’s Executive Committee.

The Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region of the Red Cross will launch a national search in December for Smitson’s successor.

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