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Our Leadership

Tennessee Valley


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. 

Tim Ryerson, CEO

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

Tim Ryerson was appointed CEO of the American Red Cross, Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region, on August 9, 2010, focusing on 70 counties in middle Tennessee, southwestern Kentucky and parts of Illinois and Missouri.

Ryerson began his career with the American Red Cross more than fifteen years ago as Program Manager for CPR/First Aid and Aquatics. He went on to hold several positions on the Chapter side of the organization (Disaster Relief and Health/Safety Services), including Executive Director and Regional Chief Executive Officer. In February 2010, Tim joined the Blood Services division as the Blood Collections Director for the Tennessee Valley Region. Ryerson is a graduate of Morehead State University and earned his Master of Science degree from Central Michigan University.   


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

Dr. Claire Meena-Leist is the Chief Medical Officer of the Central 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. 

Dr. 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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