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Our Leadership

Tennessee Valley


Sharon Jaksa
Vice President, Central Blood Services 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.

Tim Ryerson, CEO

Tim Ryerson
Chief Executive Office, River Valley and Tennessee Valley Blood Services Regions

Tim Ryerson's dedication to the American Red Cross began the day he started as a Red Cross volunteer swim instructor aid at the age of 11. From 1999 to 2010, he served as regional CEO for Chapter Services in various states, including Ohio, Illinois and Tennessee.

Then in 2010, Ryerson became CEO for the Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region. In late, 2013, he was appointed CEO for two blood services regions, the Tennessee Valley and River Valley Regions. His position covers Tennessee and Kentucky, as well as counties in Illinois, Missouri and Indiana.

Ryerson is a graduate of Morehead State University and earned his Master of Science from Central Michigan University.

When he's not at work, Ryerson enjoys spending time with his wife, Holly, their two children, Logan and Ella, and their dog Starlet.



Claire Meena-Leist, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Central Blood Services Division

Dr. Claire Meena-Leist is the chief medical officer of the Central Blood Services Division and medical director for the River Valley and Tennessee Valley Blood Services Regions. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine and is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology with subspecialty boards in blood banking/transfusion medicine.

Meena-Leist has over 20 years of experience in transfusion medicine and has practiced in both hospital and blood center settings. Her primary focus is on clinical services and teaching. She is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and adjunct assistant clinical professor at Vanderbilt University. She serves on the Medical Council for the National American Red Cross Biomedical Services, is a member of several hospital transfusion committees, and is an active member of AABB and ISABB.

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