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San Diego Red Cross Names Bill Earley As CEO

Reported by Katie Schoolov

The Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties has a new CEO. KPBS video journalist Katie Schoolov says he'll be filling a seat that's been vacant for more than three months.

Photo by Katie Schoolov

Bill Earley was named CEO of the San Diego and Imperial counties chapter of the American Red Cross, June 27, 2014.

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross announced Friday that labor lawyer and civic booster Bill Earley will be its next chief executive.

Earley succeeds former San Diego Councilman Tony Young, who stepped down in March after a little more than a year in the position.

"I'm humbled to join the dedicated staff and volunteers at the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the Red Cross," Earley said. "It's an honor to join one of the most trusted community service organizations in education, preparation and response to natural disasters and human emergencies."

Earley spent 24 years with the law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge, where he was a partner. He has also served in leadership roles with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the SDSU Alumni Association, among others.

The San Diego State University alumnus was the Internet broadcast voice for the women's basketball team for several years.

Earley will begin his new job on July 14. He said at a news conference to announce his appointment at the Red Cross offices in San Diego that he is eager to help prepare the region for future emergencies.

"We have a history of wildfires. We live in an earthquake zone. And there are a number of other emergencies that could happen in our region," Earley said. "If we're not prepared, we're not part of the solution. We become part of the challenge. And we really could tax our infrastructure if we're not prepared."

He said he will build on past good work by the Red Cross, while also moving to "kick it into high gear."

Bill Trumpfheller, the local chapter's chairman, declined to answer questions about why Young had abruptly left the Red Cross in March.

"We're not going to talk about personnel matters, as we stated before. We're here today to celebrate the next chapter and where we're moving from here," Trumpfheller said.

Young had resigned from his City Council seat in 2012 to take the job at the Red Cross. As a councilman, he made $75,000 a year. Red Cross CEO's have made annually about $300,000 or more with incentives.

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