After a nationwide search, Bakersfield-based Houchin Community Blood Bank has selected its own chief operating officer, Galen Kline, to serve as CEO after the Dec. 31 retirement of Greg Gallion, who is also president.

Kline earned a bachelor's degree in business administration at Sonoma State University. He began his career as a bioecologist, and he worked on the Exxon Valdez oil spill before joining Houchin in 2017 as director of quality.

"Galen is an outstanding leader with a proven track record of success," Houchin Chairman Joseph C. Engel said in a Friday news release. "Employees, blood donors and recipients, and the community can expect Houchin Community Blood Bank to continue to grow and prosper with Galen at the helm."

Ninety-employee Houchin provides blood, plasma, platelets and other blood derivatives from its pool of 18,000 volunteer donors. It serves 11 hospitals, plus burn, cancer and transfusion centers in Kern County.

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