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Our Leadership

Alabama-Central Gulf Coast Blood Services Region

Sharon Jaksa
Vice President, Central Blood Services Division

Sharon Jaksa has 28 years experience with the American Red Cross, serving in various capacities as: medical technologist, laboratory processing coordinator, senior technologist, assistant director of technical services, director of technical services, director of manufacturing, chief operating officer and CEO of the Great Lakes Region. In 2012 she was promoted to division vice president of the Great Lakes Division. In November 2013 she was appointed vice president of the Central Division which includes 15 Blood Services Regions and seven shared management teams. She resides in Michigan and holds a Master of Administration degree from Central Michigan University. She is also an adjunct professor for Michigan State University, teaching in the Masters Program for Laboratory Operations. 

Jerry J. K. Tillery Jerry J. K. Tillery
Chief Executive Officer, Southern, Alabama and Central Gulf Coast and Puerto Rico Blood Services Regions

Jerry J. K. Tillery joined the American Red Cross as CEO of the Southern Blood Services Region in March 2013.

Jerry most recently served as vice president of operations at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Georgia, where he was responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of multiple clinical and non-clinical departments and facility oversight for the three million square foot campus. Jerry also acted as lead for all growth and business development initiatives, including the recent opening of new 108-bed patient care tower and the creation of a system-wide neuroscience service line.

With more than 15 years of healthcare management experience, Jerry previously served in several operational roles at WellStar Health System, in marketing and strategic planning positions at Emory Healthcare and began his career as an administrator in several medical practices.

Jerry earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Georgia and both a Master of Business Administration and Master of Health Administration from Georgia State University. Jerry is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is involved in multiple non-profit organizations and currently serves as the president of the Georgia Association of Healthcare Executives. He is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Georgia Hospital Association and a 2010 graduate of LEAD Atlanta.


Kenneth McMilin, M.D., Ph.D.
Medical Director, Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Region
Assistant Chief Medical Officer, Central Blood Services Division

Dr. Kenneth McMilin, MD, PhD, joined the American Red Cross in July of 1999 as Medical Director for the Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Blood Services Region. During his tenure with the Red Cross, McMilin has also served as the Chief Medical Officer for the Southeast Division, and now serves as Assistant Chief Medical Officer for the Central Division.

McMilin, who has a courtesy academic appointment in the Department of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is licensed to practice medicine in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina. He is board certified in transfusion medicine and in Clinical Pathology, and received fellowship training in Transfusion Medicine in California with Dr. Ross Herron, Dr. George Garratty and Dr. Emanuel Ferro. McMilin received his residency training in Pathology at Oregon Health Sciences University, earned his MD at the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonia, and earned his PhD in Biology at the University of Oregon.

McMilin has published numerous research articles and review articles as author/ co-author on myriad topics, including transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease; allogenic transplantation and the risk for transmission of genetic disease; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and the risk for transmission of inheritable malignancy; the clinical outcome of microdeletion in the long arm of chromosome 2; cytogenetic nomenclature; molecular characterization of a dinucleotide repeat polymorphism; and the mechanism of recombination in bacteriophage lambda.

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