How Do We Honor an Industry Visionary?

Earlier this year, we lost a respected leader in the blood banking community - one who was recognized for his financial acumen, industry vision, and perhaps most importantly, his ability to put aside personal feelings and unite those with opposing viewpoints for the greater good. Jerry Haarmann, who you likely know as the guiding force behind Group Services for America's Blood Centers (GSABC), was not only a visionary, but also a friend and mentor to many of us.

Jerry served as an executive leader in blood banking for more than 20 years. First serving as CEO of Memorial Blood Centers and later as the president of GSABC - a forward-thinking, member-owned group purchasing organization, which he was instrumental in founding. Following Jerry's passing, many of his colleagues asked themselves - how can we possibly honor someone who contributed so much to our industry?

The Foundation for America's Blood Centers' (FABC) board and a group of Jerry's former colleagues recently decided to raise $50,000 through the FABC to fund a leadership in blood banking certificate program in his name. The leadership program will eventually be offered to blood banking professionals through the ABC Professional Institute, which is currently being developed. What better way is there to honor Jerry than to carry on his legacy of developing future blood banking leaders?

Jenny Ficenec, who formerly worked with Jerry at GSABC said that he "had a great eye for talent, not only to recognize developed skills, but the ability to see strengths, competencies, and aspirations in people - even when they had not yet recognized it in themselves." Jerry was known to promote or hire people despite doubts in their own abilities. Time and time again, "Jerry pulled talent out of the basement and from behind the bench … molding that talent into future managers, directors, vice presidents, and CEOs," Jenny told us.

This is just one of numerous anecdotes that I have heard from Jerry's former colleagues, speaking not only of his ability as a leader, but again consistently highlighting his willingness to foster skill development and growth in others, and his genuine compassion for those around him. To ensure that the FABC can continue his work, please help us reach our $50,000-goal by making a personalcontribution to the Jerry Haarmann Memorial Campaign at http://bit.ly/JerryHaarmann, or mail a check to: The Foundation for America's Blood Centers, Attn: Jodi Zand/Jerry Haarmann Memorial Campaign, 725 15th St. NW, Ste. 700, Washington, DC 20005.

Jerry recognized and encouraged many to pursue new career goals and to "shoot higher." Your support in helping FABC to carry on this legacy is greatly appreciated. 

Roy Roper, FABC Board Chair;  rroper@bbd.org

Posted: 10/24/2014 | By: Roy Roper, FABC Board Chair | Permalink
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