Heart of America
W. Howie Walz
Mid-America Division Vice President
W. Howie Walz joined the American Red Cross in 2002 after a successful 20-year career leading non-Red Cross blood and biological organizations. He held the position of chief executive officer of the Red Cross Lewis and Clark Blood Services Region for three years prior to becoming the vice president of the Mid-America Blood Services Division in 2005. As vice president, Walz is responsible for management and oversight of the Divisions’ eight Red Cross Blood Services Regions, which span the central United States from Texas to Minnesota. The Division collects more than 1 million red cell and 200,000 platelet donations annually, and serves more than 500 hospitals and transfusion centers.
Chief Executive Officer
A Red Cross employee for more than 20 years, Shelly Heiden has a wealth of experience and knowledge of the blood banking industry. A Peoria native, Heiden holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Bradley University. During her time with the Red Cross, she has been human resources director, support services director, education manager and most recently, collections director. As collections director, Heiden was responsible for overseeing the Region’s collections department including whole blood, automated double red cell and apheresis collections. In 2007, she received the Manager’s Award for Employee Excellence.
In addition to her duties at the Red Cross, Heiden is active in the community. She currently serves on the Bradley University Alumni Association National Board as chair of the awards committee. She is also a past president of the Junior League of Peoria and a graduate of the Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School.
Emily Cahill has been a member of the American Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region Board of Directors since the spring of 2008. She was named board chair in December 2011. Cahill, a native of Pekin, Ind., earned a degree in chemistry from Hanover College and a law degree from Indiana University. She first began her association with the American Red Cross during her college years as a member of various organizations that sponsored blood drives on campus. Cahill, who lives in Goodfield, Ill., with her husband and three children, currently serves as assistant to the director at the Peoria Park District in Peoria. In her position, she performs a variety of tasks, including grant writing and fundraising. In addition to her work with the Red Cross, Cahill serves her community as a member of the Junior League of Peoria alongside Heart of America Region CEO Shelly Heiden.
David C. Mair, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Mair provides medical and scientific oversight to the Reference and Neutrophil Laboratories in the North Central Region and serves as an assistant medical director of the transfusion service and the therapeutic apheresis departments at the University of Minnesota Medical Center-Fairview in Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Veteran’s Hospital. Dr. Mair is a published transfusion-medicine expert and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for Immunohematology, Journal of Clinical Apheresis, Transfusion, and Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine publications.
Ramakrishna (Ram) Reddy, M.D.
Dr. Reddy is board certified in Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine along with Anatomic and Clinical Pathology. He provides medical supervision for the Regions’ whole blood and apheresis programs, and therapeutic services. Dr. Reddy has more than 20 years of experience in blood banking and serves as an inspector for AABB, FACT and CAP. He is a member of many professional organizations and serves on the board for the International Society for Apheresis and the editorial board for Therapeutic Apheresis and Dialysis. He is also a member of the Transfusion Committee at The Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Reddy is also a published expert in transfusion medicine.