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New SW MN Red Cross director begins duties

WORTHINGTON -- Jennifer Hyk began her new duties Monday as the executive director of the Southwest Minnesota Chapter of the American Red Cross. In addition to becoming acclimated to a new job, she's also learning her way around a new community.

A native of St. Cloud, Hyk earned her sociology degree from the University of St. Catherine's and, in 2010, completed her master's in public policy from the University of Minnesota.

During her schooling, she worked in social services delivery, emergency social services and policy work. She also gained experience working for a non-profit agency in state-granted voucher programs.

She spent the past 15 years in the Twin Cities, most recently working with the homeless and mentally ill.

"I've always been very interested in the work Red Cross does, particularly in the humanitarian effort," said Hyk of her new challenge. "I'm looking to expand my skillset."

As executive director of the Southwest Minnesota Chapter of the American Red Cross, serving the counties of Rock, Nobles, Jackson, Martin and Murray, she will work with volunteers to provide emergency services to those affected by disaster.

She will also be tasked with fundraising for the organization and collaborating with other agencies to meet public needs.

"I hope to really work to increase fundraising -- build some good relationships with companies and businesses in the area," Hyk said. "I hope to do a few fundraising events."

In addition, her plans include expanding partnerships and collaborations Red Cross has in the communities it serves.

"I'm looking forward to getting to know Worthington, fit in and participate in different activities," she said.

Outside of the office, Hyk is hoping to enroll in Spanish language classes either through community education or Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

Much of her family resides in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud areas.

Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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