The former head of the Buffalo-area chapter of the American Red Cross has been named the new chief executive officer of the Veterans One-Stop Center of Western New York. Chuck Marra will assume his new role in January.
Marra will assume the role held by Roger Woodworth, who led the One-Stop Center since its inception in 2013 until he left the organization last month.
Retired Colonel John Higgins, who chairs the One-Stop's board, says Marra quickly emerged as the right person for the job.
"He is just a fantastic fundraiser," Higgins said. "He worked with the Catholic Charities appeal. He had his own business for roughly 30 years before that. Then he got on to the Red Cross as a development officer and eventually as the CEO."
The Veterans One-Stop provides various services to veterans including peer counseling, housing assistance, job search counseling and programs for the children of veterans. Higgins says where the organization needs to improve is in its outreach, especially to younger veterans.
"Our post-9/11 vets, millennials, are not big joiners," he said. "It's a little bit of a struggle yet. We have to be good with modern media, tweets and Facebook, that sort of thing, to reach them."
There are, according to Higgins, an estimated 120,000 veterans living in the eight counties of Western New York.