I can't believe it has been over 13 years since I joined this wonderful association. What started as a temporary "stint" subbing for a membership manager who was going to be on maternity leave, blossomed into a fulfilling career, filled with professional growth and opportunities to learn and work with talented colleagues, and committed members and blood banking professionals in the US and abroad.
I feel that my next move would have not been possible if not for America's Blood Centers. I have accepted the chief staff position at the American College Health Association (ACHA), a network of university student health centers, with 800 member colleges and 2,800 individual members. I will join ACHA as the next Executive Director on Oct. 16. There, I will pursue many of the same strategic goals I have pursued at ABC: advocacy, education, and research (data). I will certainly rely on my experience at ABC to accomplish ACHA's mission to be the principal leadership organization for advancing the health of college students and campus communities by delivering on the strategic goals.
I have yet to meet a person who entered blood banking by design ("When I grow up, I'm going to be a blood banker," said no child ever). Yet once you dabble into this community, it is hard not to like it.
First, the mission could be neither more noble, nor its effects more touching and tangible. The memories of the donor-patient reunions where even veteran blood bankers' eyes teared up will stay with me forever. Second, the collegiality and camaraderie among peers, that even through fierce competition, contributes to the strength of the industry and is critical for the association to accomplish its goals. Third, the smarts and talent among our members have made my job very rewarding. It was certainly a steep learning curve during my first year, but I owe it to my colleagues and ABC members who patiently taught me about blood banking and the association. All of the above, I will cherish and miss.
Finally, I must acknowledge the current ABC staff and volunteer leadership for the support and opportunities I was given; and I would also like to recognize Scott Caswell, Jim MacPherson, Bill Coenen, and Christine Zambricki who were so critical in my personal and professional development at ABC.
Don't expect me to become a stranger; I will remain a member of the blood community in an individual capacity through my memberships in the International Society for Blood Transfusion (ISBT) and the Association of Donor Recruitment Professionals (ADRP). I do hope that our paths cross again, and that I can continue to contribute to blood banking and benefit professionally through my interactions with such a gifted group of people. Stay in touch!
Matt Granato, MBA, LL.M; Chief Operating Officer; firstname.lastname@example.org