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Great Lakes Leadership

Great Lakes

James D. Flickema
Chief Executive Officer, Great Lakes and Southeast Michigan Blood Services Regions
James D. Flickema started in his role as the CEO for the American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region in December 2012. In November of 2013, he also assumed leadership of the Southeast Michigan Blood Services Region. Previous to his current positions at the Red Cross, he held the position of vice president of Professional and Ancillary Services at Otsego Memorial Hospital, Gaylord, Michigan.

He was the former director of System Development and Government Relations and also Professional Services at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital, Petoskey, Michigan, formerly known as Northern Michigan Regional Health System. He has held similar health care positions in Michigan, Ohio and Maryland. Flickema brings more than 30 years of experience in health care operations leadership, clinical ancillary operations management, health care governmental advocacy, and planning and expansion of clinical services and primary care medical clinic development in rural Michigan. He is also an adjunct instructor at Michigan State University in the Biomedical Laboratory Department.

Flickema holds a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from Michigan State University and a Master of Science in administration -- healthcare administration concentration from Central Michigan University, as well as specialist certifications in microbiology from the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.

He has been active in the Boy Scouts of America, in the American Cancer Society-Relay for Life, as a volunteer coordinator of Red Cross blood drives and as participant in other statewide and community organizations. He previously served for two periods on the Great Lakes Blood Services Region board of directors and most recently was the chair of that board.

Originally he hails from Muskegon and currently is living in Lansing. He and his wife, Laura, have two sons who are college students in the state of Michigan. 



Sharon Jaska
Vice President,
American Red Cross Central Division



Sharon Jaksa has more than 28 years of American Red Cross experience serving in various roles including: medical technologist, laboratory processing coordinator, senior technologist, assistant director of Technical Services, director of Manufacturing, chief operating officer and CEO of the Great Lakes Blood Services Region. In 2012, she was promoted to the Great Lakes Blood Services Division vice president role. In November 2013, she was appointed as the vice president of the Central Blood Services Division, including 15 blood services regions and seven shared management teams. She resides in Michigan and holds a master’s in administration from Central Michigan University. She is also an adjunct professor for Michigan State University, teaching in the Master’s Program for Laboratory Operations.


Board of Directors

Julie Novak is the executive director for the Michigan State Medical Society, an organization she has been involved with for nearly 20 years.

In her current post, Novak oversees a professional association of 15,000 medical doctors, including support and oversight of subsidiary and related operations.

Novak earned her master’s in health services administration from the University of Michigan's School of Public Health. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Michigan State University.

Novak was awarded the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) Presidential Citation in 2007. She serves on various boards and committees such as the MSMS Foundation board of directors, the Michigan Health and Safety Coalition Steering Committee and the AP Capital  Medical Advisory Board.


Joy Thrun currently owns and operates Classic Travel Inc. She oversees all aspects of administration and sales for the company, which has experience with multimillion dollar corporate accounts, including Dart Container Corporation, Michigan State University, Accident Fund Insurance Company, Emergent Bioport Solutions and Interlochen Center for the Arts.  

Thrun currently serves as a tourism programs instructor at Lansing Community College. She also has served as an instructor at Michigan State University and Davenport University. She also provides intern opportunities for Michigan State and Lansing Community College students in the travel program.

Thrun is very active in the greater Lansing community. Currently, she is an East Lansing Rotarian and is the chair of its community service committee. She also is a member of the Women's Economic Club, serves on the Better Business Bureau board of directors, Sparrow Hospital's community advisory board and the Okemos Downtown Development Authority board of directors. She has also served as a board member for the United Way, Lansing Chamber of Commerce and the Capital Area Literacy Collation.

Judge Amy Ronayne Krause has served on the Michigan Court of Appeals since December 2010. Previously, she served as a judge on the 54-A District Court in Lansing for nearly eight years. Ronayne Krause received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and her Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame.

Ronayne Krause began her legal career as a litigation attorney for a private law firm and served eight years as an assistant prosecuting attorney. In 1997, she was appointed an assistant attorney general by then-Attorney General Frank J. Kelly. Ronayne Krause worked for the attorney general’s office for six years. She also served on the Ingham County Board of Commissioners. She is currently an adjunct professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School and has lectured for the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan.

In 2007, Ronayne Krause was recognized for her outstanding work with the State Bar of Michigan’s Champion of Justice Award. Aside from serving on the American Red Cross board of directors, she also sits on the board of the Lansing Educational Advancement Foundation, the Uplift Our Youth Foundation and the State Drug Treatment Court advisory committee.


Rudy Reyes was born and raised in Lansing and currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife, Elva. The couple has five children and 16 grandchildren. Reyes retired from General Motors Lansing Fisher Body after 38 years of employment. He has previously served as a board member for both the United Way and the American Red Cross. Recently, Reyes was appointed to the Christo Rey Center board. He is also a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Power of We Consortium. Reyes belongs to several volunteer organizations and enjoys serving his community and helping people


Dan Lynch is a lifelong resident of the Lansing area and has worked as a mortgage lender for CASE Credit Union since 2009. Before that time, he worked for JP Morgan Chase and National City (now PNC).

Lynch has a long-time connection with the American Red Cross. He has performed volunteer work for the organization and recently made his 100th blood donation.

Lynch currently resides in Delta Township with his wife of 23 years, Judy. He has a 19-year-old son, who is currently a freshman at Michigan State University and a 28-year-old daughter. 


David Thorne has served as a continuing specialist with Michigan State University’s (MSU) Medical Technology Program since 1998. Previously, he was an assistant professor at MSU for seven years. 

Thorne received his doctorate in pharmacology/toxicology from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, in 1990. 


Stephen Blubaugh currently serves as vice president of human resources at USF Holland in Holland, Michigan. In that role, he is responsible for planning, developing, implementing and evaluating labor relations management, safety administration and freight claims prevention functions.

Blubaugh is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing. He is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, the Greater Grand Rapids Association for Human Resource Management and the Grand Valley State University Human Resources Management advisory board.

He resides in Grandville, Michigan.


George Williams is a civil/environmental engineering student at Michigan State University (MSU). Williams also serves as the Wilson Hall Government President at MSU and is president of the MSU chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. 

Williams has interned with the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., and NTH Consultants, LTD in Detroit, Michigan.

Williams has served on the American Red Cross board of directors since April 2011.


Cassandra Kramer is a student at Spring Arbor University, where she is studying Business Administration and Advertising/Public Relations.  She has been a member of the Spring Arbor University women’s varsity volleyball team for four years and also Co-Chairs the Women in Leadership Conference at the University. 

Cassandra currently works for Stryker Corporation as a Marketing Associate for their Neuro Spine ENT division.