Rowan native leads Mass. Red Cross
In March 2008, Guanah Davis, formerly of Rowan County, became the first African-American chief executive officer of American Red Cross of Massachusetts Blood Services Region. As CEO, he oversees 700 employees and the $150-million annual operation, also distributing over 500,000 life-saving blood products to more than 70 hospitals in the state.
The son of DeLafayette Davis and Iler Davis of Salisbury, Davis is a graduate of North Rowan High School; earned his bachelor of science from Winston-Salem State University; and his master of business administration from Wake Forest University.
His tenure at American Red Cross spans 11 years. His career with the organization began in Charlotte, culminating five years later with promotion to executive director of process design at the national headquarters in Washington, D.C.
As CEO, Davis, along with teenager Mark Chonofsky of Lexington High School and Rep. Jay Kaufman, has been instrumental in getting the age for donating blood lowered to 16 in Massachusetts. Chonofsky, who authored the bill lowering the minimum age to 14, will be the first to donate under the new law at an upcoming blood drive at his school.
During his first months as CEO, Davis has hosted a number of blood drives across the state, including the Sept. 11, “Day of Remembrance” blood drive held at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.