Communication alumnus Barry Falke promoted to Division Chief Operating Officer with the American Red Cross

Barry Falke

Barry Falke continues to inspire with his work in humanities as the Division Chief Operating Officer with the American Red Cross. Falk feels that this position, which he entered into two and a half years ago, has allowed him to utilize his communication background while following his passion for uplifting the community.

“I’m really fortunate to be in a role here in the Central Valley now that gets to really uplift the brand of the Red Cross and to tell that story about why that continues to be important and what it means to our community when the Red Cross is really functioning well.”

Falke got his start in the community benefit industry at a young age as he volunteered alongside his parents for United Cerebral Palsy Central California (UCPCC). Since then, Falke has been involved in ministry and community service before joining the American Red Cross.

“Each of us has something to contribute, everyone has a role that they can play to make our community a little bit better,” said Falke. “I think that from the time I was in high school on, I knew that I wanted to be in service. I wanted to continue to do something that would hopefully better our community and leave it better than when I found it.”

Falke was inspired to get his degree in communication with the intent of furthering his involvement in ministry, which he accomplished after graduation through his work as a pastor at the New Harvest Church. However, he soon realized that the skills he acquired could be applied to almost any field.

“I really think that the versatility that comes with a degree in communication is really tough to beat,” said Falke. “It’s teaching you really how to communicate and I think how to work with people and in some ways, those are the most important skills no matter what job you’re involved with.”

Shelter of Hope

Red Cross- Shelter of Hope

Falke continued to direct his career towards the nonprofit sphere as Executive Director for Rotary Storyland Playland Family Amusement Park in Fresno for seven seasons with the goal of renewing the park’s culture by further enhancing the guest experience that had been established generations before.

“It was a great opportunity for me to be kind of a young professional leading an organization that really meant so much to the central valley,“ said Falke.

Falke revisited the work that initially sparked his interest in nonprofit and took a position with UCPCC before making the transition to the American Red Cross.

Red Cross vehicle

He continues to use the skills he honed as a communication major at Fresno State within both of his roles.

“I think that the Red Cross, you know as the community probably recognizes, is constantly responding to local and national disasters, and in that, of course, comes the opportunity to share that story,” said Falke. “I will say that one of the things that I’m so grateful for my time at Fresno State and really my education fully is the ability to communicate well … and the way we capture and communicate our work and the importance of our work. I really owe a lot, I think, to my time and my education at Fresno State.”

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