Kay W. Wilkins, the Chief Executive Officer for the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross, has over 25 years of experience with the organization, serving in roles ranging from Director of Emergency Services to Human Resources. In 2005, Kay and her chapter faced their greatest challenge---Hurricane Katrina. During the response and recovery phases, she worked tirelessly to meet the needs of her community, but at a time when others took only lessons about organizational response from Katrina, Kay declared that her chapter would become a leader in community preparedness and resilience building. Programs like “The Pillowcase Project” to help kids prepare for evacuation and “Senior Preparedness Packs” to help seniors be ready originated under Kay’s direction and have now become nationwide models. Today, Kay and her staff are working to help Southeast Louisiana recover and take their lessons learned from their service in Hurricane Katrina to develop plans for upcoming hurricane seasons.