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Reader Baloney wrote :

This is such hooey that it makes my head spin. Does she really believe this horse-poo? If she does, then she either: a) doesn’t know the profession well or b) isn’t very good at it. Spinning is fine; it’s nothing more than an explanation that the media has chosen a word for. Not telling the truth is not fine — and that’s what has gotten folks like this woman in trouble (read: she worked for the Red Cross).

Baloney, you need to do a little fact checking. I was working for the San Diego Convention Center Corporation in 2001 and 2002 when the former Red Cross CEO and board of directors were removed. I never spoke with any of them nor represented them, and they never sought my advice.

The Red Cross sought me out and brought me onto the full-time staff as their communications officer after the fact in November 2002 to help rebuild and restore credibility to the organization. I’ll tell you this: if I was ever asked to lie, or found out about it after the fact, I would disclose it immediately and walk. My reputation is all I have. 

I’m proud of the small role I’ve played in helping resurrect this fine organization in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Just as I mentioned in my first post, the Red Cross listened, and it learned. It walked the walk with its excellent performance of the Red Cross in the 2003 wildfires (with an extremely high 92 percent client satisfaction rate) and again with the local response to Hurricane Katrina.

As a result, the outpouring of local donations on both occasions by neighbors wanting to help their neighbors through supporting the Red Cross’s relief efforts showed us that we had earned back the public’s trust.        

— GAYLE LYNN FALKENTHAL

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