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Red Cross names CPI Business of the Year
new deh cpi blood drive front pic
Tammy Pugh, a CPI Qualified Plan Consultants employee prepares to give blood at a CPI blood drive Tuesday afternoon. CPI was honored by the American Red Cross for its volunteer efforts. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

In one room of the CPI Qualified Plan Consultants annex building Tuesday afternoon, employees were giving blood as part of a company-wide blood drive.
Just down the hall, the company was being honored by the American Red Cross’s Central Plains Region as its Business of the Year for 2011.
“I nominated CPI because this organization really does blood drives right. Even recent storms and a water main break couldn’t shut down the blood drive,” said Lindsey Zogleman, donor resource representative, Red Cross. “Margaret Dirks, blood drive coordinator for CPI, is amazing to work with. She makes it her personal goal to make sure all the appointment slots are filled.”
Awards are given in nine volunteer categories, including businesses. There were 1,200 nominations in all categories in the Central Plains Region (which covers most of Kansas and northern Oklahoma).
There were 300 businesses in the region that sponsor in-house blood drives. It was from these CPI was picked.
Dirks became the blood drive coordinator when CPI started doing drives in 2003, and has continued in that role for many years. According to her, the partnership with Red Cross works because blood drives benefit both the Red Cross and CPI employees.
“Red Cross’ Hays Express team comes in and sets up on site,” said Dirks. “This makes it so convenient for staff to donate blood. I think the fact that it is convenient and because the company allows our staff to donate on company time are the reasons our drives are so successful.”
Leading up to each blood drive, Dirks and her CPI coworkers really do everything right — posters are in place, emails are sent to staff. As a result, Red Cross collects approximately 200 pints of blood at CPI each year.
“She is invested in this from the top of her head to the tip of her toes,” said Kim Talkington, Red Cross regional director of donor recruitment.
Here’s what two CPI employees who give at these drives had to say:
“I give blood because it is a very easy way to help save lives,” said Joanne Keil - 109 units donated. “It doesn’t take much time or effort, yet the impact on those who need it is tremendous.”
“I donated the first time when I was a senior in high school, more than 30 years ago. We got the rest of the day off excused from school when we donated, which was a rather selfish reason to give at the time. The second time I gave, they were sending all of the people with A positive blood to the head of the line. Apparently, there had been an accident and the drive was for a girl my age that needed a large quantity of blood,” said Terri Bauer - 73 units donated. “Seeing how much blood was needed and that I was able to help was very gratifying. At that time I decided it was something I could do to help save lives and I’ve given every chance I’ve had since that day. I’ve had friends and family who have required blood transfusions, most recently family members with cancer. It’s a great comfort knowing the Red Cross maintains a safe blood supply, so when hospital patients need blood, it is there. I hope I’m able to give for many more years.”
 Zogleman said Red Cross struggles to collect the blood needed to assist hospital patients. “If you have at least 15 people interested in donating blood at your business or community organization, a Red Cross representative would like to visit with you about hosting a blood drive.” They can contact Zogleman at 316-239-8807 to discuss hosting a blood drive.
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CPI administers retirement plans and provides payroll services for companies throughout the United States.