Former military officer reunited with CEO Mike Parks after losing his home in Texas during Hurricane Harvey
By Brad Galvan, Red Cross volunteer
It’s apparent that retired U. S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Michael Parks, the current CEO of the American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region, agrees with U.S. Representative Dan Lipinski, who famously said, “On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind.” Staying true to this pledge, Josh Mattulat was recently hired as the Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region’s executive coordinator.
Josh Mattulat spent two years as Mike’s right-hand man as military aide when both were serving our country in the Ninth Coast Guard District headquartered in Cleveland. The district was involved in challenging missions spanning the Great Lakes, from search and rescue, to pollution control, to border security.
Following that assignment, Josh moved his family to Seattle to continue his Coast Guard career. For three years, he led a team of more than 100 that focused on maritime safety and security.
In 2017, Josh and his wife Katherine, parents of four children, decided it was time to set down their roots and raise their children. Josh left the Coast Guard and the family moved to Galveston, Texas, where Josh launched his own business as a metal fabricator. Unfortunately, a few months later their home was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. Safe, but displaced and devastated, Josh and Katherine decided they needed to get out of Texas to catch their collective breaths. During a short visit at Josh’s father’s home in Idaho, Josh was job searching and saw a position with the Northeast Ohio Red Cross working under Mike. It was a great fit and he applied. Josh and his family now live in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and he works for the Red Cross’ Northeast Ohio Region. He couldn’t be happier.
“I’m surrounded by great people who add value to their communities and beyond,” Josh said. “And words can’t express how much it means to be reunited with a personal mentor like Mike.”
When asked about being reunited with Josh, Mike said, “I’ve known Josh Mattulat for many years, and I’m so pleased he’s bringing his energy, enthusiasm and skills back to Northeast Ohio to help us meet mission each and every day.”
Josh, like other military veterans, has transferable skills that were obtained while on assignment in the service. Many military members find it tough landing a job after leaving the military, even former officers. He explains that the organizational, leadership, communication and logistical coordination traits can be applied in most organizations and employers will be very impressed with the loyalty, commitment and enthusiasm that most military veterans will display in a civilian organization. These attributes will benefit and serve his new employer well as Josh put his skills to work and dedicates his service to the Red Cross.
Mike Parks would certainly agree.
This article was edited by Glenda Bogar, Red Cross volunteer