Bev Leigh Retires as Community Chapter ExecutivePosted: June 24, 2012
Story and Photos by J Suzanne Horsley
…but he isn’t leaving the Red Cross!
On June 20, friends and colleagues honored Bev Leigh III’s work as community chapter executive of the West Alabama Chapter while celebrating the fact that he doesn’t plan to end his commitment to the mission of the American Red Cross. For 37 years, Bev has been a constant supporter of the Red Cross as a volunteer, chairman of the Board of Directors, development director, and, most recently, community chapter executive. Bev, who retired from a career in the mortgage industry, said that his father, another avid Red Crosser, encouraged him to get involved with this disaster relief organization.
Bev, an avid turkey hunter, is most of the most gracious gentlemen I know. His face lights up when an acquaintance walks into the room, and he is equally happy to meet new people and make them feel at home. His calm demeanor, persistance and caring attitude shined through after the April 2011 tornadoes while he was working hard to raise needed funds and supplies to help with the disaster relief efforts in West Alabama. He is an innovative problem-solver who can pick up a phone and call a friend for help — and he is rarely turned down.
After his retirement reception, several of his friends offered comments about Bev’s contributions to the Red Cross:
Bev Leigh is who I would describe as “Mr. Red Cross in West Alabama.” During his 37-year relationship with the West Alabama Chapter, he has served our community well as a volunteer, a Board member, Chapter Development Director and Chapter Executive. Although he has decided to retire, we know that his efforts to promote the Red Cross mission will continue in the future.
~ J. Sydney Cook III, chairman of the board, American Red CrossWest Alabama Chapter
My experience with Bev has been a genuine pleasure. I would describe his character as unselfish and a person that receives satisfaction by doing for others. And in this case, Red Cross is the beneficary of his efforts.
He has been and continues to be a blessing for Red Cross and those of us that know him.
~ Joe Causey, board member
Bev is everything Red Cross Stands for. He is generous with his time to a community he cherishes. He gives his knowledge of the community to Red Cross to help it grow. His sense of Humanitarianism, Impartiality and Neutrality exemplifies the Fundamentals of the Red Cross. He is a role model for the true volunteer of the American Red Cross. He helped to make the West Alabama Chapter a known and strong organization for this community.
~ Sarah McPherson, Health and Safety director
Bev Leigh is a man who never knew a stranger and treats everyone with tremendous love and respect.
~ Joe Herron, Services to Armed Forces coordinator
Bev Leigh walked into the chapter office to respond to a Blood Drive and introduced himself to me as a former Board Member and past Chairman of the West Alabama chapter. My first response was “ Why don’t you come back home to us?” He accepted and the rest was history in the fact that he moved from a board member to the Financial Development Chair to the Board Chair. In each area he brought energy and innovative ideas to help and improve the chapter. When an opening for a staff position became available there was no one more suited for that position than Bev Leigh. His enthusiasm, his perseverance, his love for the Red Cross was contagious to everyone around him. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work alongside of this southern gentleman who has been such a value to the West Alabama chapter and will be so for years to come. He may have “retired” in one aspect but he will never leave us. Thank you my friend, for all that you have done for our organization and for me on a personal level.
~ Oscar A. Barnes, emergency services officer, Mid Alabama District
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Click here for more photos on our Facebook Page from the reception.