The Executive Director of the Muskingum Valley Red Cross is announcing his retirement. Dan Hartman has been working with the organization for 15 years, and his last day is slated for June 30th.
"I think after everything I’ve been through and the family, I think it’s time to retire. I’m looking forward to it, " says Hartman.
Hartman is referring to the heart surgery he had back in January that he says saved his life.
The Board of Directors accepted his retirement notice at this afternoon’s meeting.
"Today’s been hard because when the press release come out, we went ok this is final. I think some of us thought we were going to wake up, and this isn’t going to be, but it is. It’s time. It’s time for him to enjoy his life, enjoy his wife, his kids, and his grandkids, " says Readiness of Development Coordinator Keely Warden.
Those attending agree that Hartman has left big shoes to fill.
"Dan’s always been a forward thinker. So, he knew before anyone else did what was coming, and that was always a very important quality. That’s going to be a very hard thing to find, " says First Board Chair, Susan McCollister.
"His leadership. His guidance. Sometimes you get a little wound up with things, and he’s very good about bringing you back down…that very calming effect that he has, " says Readiness and Development Coordinator Marlene Henderson.
The Board of Directors and staff say Hartman was dedicated to the Red Cross’ mission, and it’s a mission he says he will truly miss.
"It’s the families that help because you know you’re doing a good job, and we help a lot of families every year, " says Hartman.
During his 15 years of service, the Red Cross has gone from two employees to six. It has brought on more than 300 volunteers. Its budget is four times larger. It collects more than 10,000 united of blood each year. It’s trained more than 10,000 people in both CPR and first aid and it’s helping more families.
"We’re leaving a strong foundation, a compassionate staff, and they’re going to need the support of the community to keep this going. There will be a new leader, and that’s ok. I’ll come shake their hand and say I’ll be there when you need me, " says Hartman.
"Dan knows this organization functions on volunteers. Well, now he can be one of those, " says Warden.
He can still help out the organization he loves while spending more time with his family.
"Right now, I’ve promised my wife to be a good husband, a good father, and a good grandfather. We’ve got grandkids that want to go on grandpa’s boat. They want to go fishing. So, I’ve got my summer very well planned, " says Hartman.
When Hartman retires at the end of June, Readiness and Development Coordinator Keely Warden has been named Interim Director until the Executive Director’s position is filled.