Bountiful man takes helm at Red CrossJul 08, 2021 02:56PM ● By Becky Ginos
BOUNTIFUL—Michael Smauldon never imagined working for a humanitarian organization, but today, he’s thankful for the opportunity to do just that. Smauldon has been named executive director of the Northern Utah and Southwest Wyoming Chapter of the American Red Cross.
In his role, he will promote and support the Red Cross programs and services of the chapter, which covers six northern counties of Utah and two counties in southwestern Wyoming.
“I’m happy to be in a position of helping people,” he said. “I love reaching out to those who need support. Being part of an organization that brings hope helps my soul every day.”
Chapter volunteers and staff respond to disasters both locally and nationwide, collect blood for hospitals, support members of the military, veterans and their families, and provide training in health and safety as well as community preparedness. Just last week, the Red Cross was called to help with two devastating apartment building fires, including one in Ogden, where Smauldon grew up and attended Weber State University.
“Working in the city I grew up in excites me,” Smauldon said. “It’s the best feeling in the world to give back to this community.”
After a decade of working for the Transportation Security Administration, Smauldon became an executive coordinator for the Red Cross in 2015. This was followed by stints as the Northern Utah and Southwest Wyoming Chapter disaster program manager and later as the regional direct services manager overseeing mass care and recovery. He saw a TV ad about the Red Cross position and decided to apply.
“I didn’t know much about the Red Cross other than that they collected and distributed blood donations,” he said. “Now I really understand how this organization has people’s backs in their time of need.”
After the Ogden fire, the Red Cross supported six clients immediately with blankets, comfort kits, some financial aid and case work teams to help with long-term recovery. Five homes and two businesses were destroyed, along with a number of vehicles.
Smauldon said he has been particularly impressed with the organization’s commitment to the armed forces.
“Our program works with active duty soldiers as well as veterans,” he said. “We work with the military before deployment, making sure both the soldiers and their families have ways to keep in touch. The Red Cross has personnel at a lot of military bases to relay information to a soldier, and we can help them get home if they need to. We work with a lot of veterans’ organizations and all VA hospitals.”
He said he’s “pretty addicted to this position now,” and is grateful for it. He is completing a degree in human resources at Western Governors University, and lives with his wife Nicole in Bountiful.