Merrill new director of ARC

Published 12:42 am Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One could say Merrill Davis has traded in a view of snow banks for a view of blood banks and food banks as he begins his new job as the new executive director of the Covington County chapter of the American Red Cross.

Monday was the Andalusia native’s first day at the helm of the local chapter of the organization dedicated to feeding and counseling victims of disasters, to providing a good portion of the nation’s blood supply, to teaching lifesaving skills and to supporting military members and their families.

“Counseling,” “teaching” and “supporting” are three skills Merrill has honed over the last few years. He and his wife, Shanna, and the couple’s two children, Corban and Collin, recently returned from spending a year in Alaska, where the couple ministered to the area’s youth.

“One of my goals is to help in any way I can in the community,” Merrill said. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s in Alaska or right here in Covington County. When we came back home, I heard about the opening here. I thought about it, prayed about it and decided I can do it.

“I want to do it,” he said. “The public service and the humanitarian effort behind the Red Cross really appealed to me. Everyone needs help sometimes. It could be that it’s because of a hurricane or a fire or maybe assistance in some other fashion. Sooner or later everyone needs help.

“To me, that is what the Red Cross is,” he said. “I knew I wanted to be a part of that.”

Davis is a 1994 graduate of Andalusia High School and a 2004 graduate of Faulkner University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He has worked in sales and marketing, as well as in fund-raising for non-profit organizations.

He is the son of Richard and Betty Davis of Andalusia.

Davis said his first goal as the new director is to “assess everything the Red Cross is doing.”

“I want to see especially where we are as far as hurricane preparedness,” he said.

For more about the Covington County chapter of the American Red Cross or for needed assistance, call 334-428-2680 or visit its Web site at