Long-time Quincy blood drive coordinator transitions role

Liz Smailes (left) is taking over coordinator duties for the Quincy blood drives from Susan Christensen in March. Photo submitted

After 10 years of serving as the Quincy blood drive coordinator for Vitalant, Susan Christensen is turning over her duties to Elizabeth (AKA “Liz”) Smailes in March.

“The late Judy Wright was the local coordinator before me,” says Christensen. “Now it’s time to pass those duties on to—pardon the pun—new blood.”
Smailes, who’s been “shadowing” Christensen the past several drives to learn the ropes isn’t new to Quincy. “Seems like Quincy can’t escape the Smailes, and the Smailes can’t escape Quincy,” she says.
Liz and her husband Joe first moved to Quincy in 1983. For 10 years, they were involved with PTA, coaching, and enjoying the perks of small-town living while rearing their children.
From Quincy, they went to Chico, next to Cedar City (Utah), back to Quincy, and most recently to Weaverville, where Joe served as District Ranger on the Shasta-Trinity Forest.
When Joe retired from the Forest Service, he and Liz moved back to Quincy for good. He’s now working as a private Registered Professional Forester. Elizabeth earned her degrees from a classics-based college and teaches online for a private high school.
Unfortunately, not long after their most recent move back to Plumas County, the couple suffered the loss of their beloved Seneca cabin to the Dixie Fire and are hoping to make a difference regarding forest policy in fire prevention.
Concerning her new duties, Liz says she can’t fill Susan’s shoes, but Christensen disagrees.
“Liz told me she was worried that people wouldn’t donate after I leave as coordinator—I assured her that donors give blood because they know how important it is, not because of the local coordinator, though I haven’t been above “nagging” donors to make an appointment—just ask them!”
Christensen wants to thank her co-coordinator, Susan Mack, for supporting her the past ten years. “We were known in blood drive circles as ‘the two Susans,’ and I couldn’t have done it without her,” she says. “I’ll help Liz just as Susan Mack helped me,” adding that she won’t be a stranger to our local local drives.
“I’m a blood donor myself, and I’ll still be giving blood at future drives, including the next one on March 1 and 2. I look forward to seeing my fellow donors at the treat table after we donate,” she says.
To make an appointment for the March drive, call Elizabeth Smailes at 530-289-6511, or go online to Donors.Vitalant.org and use the search code “Quincy.”