Donors Cut Ribbon Downtown L.A; Volunteers Still Active in Ridgecrest
American Red Cross Los Angeles Region staff and volunteers gathered this Wednesday to celebrate the completion and dedication of their new downtown Los Angeles headquarters – a process two years in the making.
Seated in the heart of Los Angeles, the S. Mark Taper Foundation Headquarters has quickly proven to be a capable disaster response hub. And though Wednesday’s ceremony marked its first public event, Red Crossers were already well acquainted with the newly christened building and its cutting-edge Emergency Operations Center.
“Right inside those doors, we have volunteers who have been working for the last ten days, 24 hours a day, to respond to the largest earthquake to hit Southern California since Northridge,” said Red Cross Los Angeles CEO Jarrett Barrios. “That’s why we are all here today to thank all of you who made this building possible.”
Following Barrios’ remarks, other prominent Red Cross representatives – including Red Cross Los Angeles Board Chair Scott Olmsted and Vice President of Humanitarian Operations Noel Anderson of the American Red Cross – took the stage to address the members of the press, public and state who had gathered for the event.
The speaking lineup also featured Karen Taper Bolker, Vice President of the foundation for which the building is named, California Volunteer’s Karen Baker, whose office supports the dozens of AmeriCorps members currently serving the organization, and California State Assemblymember Miguel Santiago.
“The Los Angeles region is among the most beautiful in the world – we have mountains, forests, expansive deserts, lush valleys, and the Pacific Ocean all right in our backyard. We are also ground zero for some of the most destructive natural disasters the earth has to offer,” said Santiago. “Having this new facility right in Downtown LA will ensure the most effective, efficient response when catastrophe strikes.”
Following the ribbon cutting, prominent donors toured the facilities which now proudly bear their names.
The new headquarters is designed top-to-bottom to foster efficient collaboration, from its modern, open floor plan to its drop-in volunteer workstations. Meanwhile, its impressive 1,600 square foot EOC is outfitted with the latest in digital disaster monitoring and communications tools, including a 24-by-8 foot wall of high-definition flat-screen display monitors.