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Henry Van de Putte

Henry Van de Putte, Chief Executive Officer, Texas Gulf Coast Region

Henry Van de Putte has a long history of personal and professional public service experience. Prior to joining the Texas Gulf Coast, he led the San Antonio Area Red Cross chapter as Executive Director. While there, Henry increased community partnerships, renewed confidence with elected and community leaders and supported local staff in growing a strong volunteer base. A proven leader in times of crisis, he provided leadership during the Red Cross response to the tragic mass shooting that occurred in Sutherland Springs, Texas. His other past accomplishments include serving as Director of Development at Central Catholic High School where he engaged stakeholders, managed an annual giving program and provided strategic leadership. He was also Director of Operations and Corporate Accounts at Dixie Flag in San Antonio and began his career at ESPN in New York with the Corporate Communications and Outreach team. Henry has a proven ability to cultivate partnerships in the public and private sectors, excellent communication skills and focused planning to accomplish short- and long-term goals with extensive experience in event planning and marketing. Henry holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Mary's University in San Antonio and is a proud lifelong Texan who enjoys spending time with his wife and twin infants.

Debra Murphy-Luera

Debra Murphy-Luera, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director

Debra leads the Texas Gulf Coast region in achieving performance targets essential to delivering American Red Cross services to those in need. She is also Executive Director for Coastal Bend, Texas, where she works closely with partners and is the face of the Red Cross in local communities. Debra has served in a variety of leadership roles within the Red Cross for more than 18 years, including Interim Chapter Executive, Support Manager, Chapter Solutions Manager for the Southwest Service Area and Executive Director for Webb County. Prior to her service with the Red Cross, Debra spent more than 20 years in the broadcasting industry. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Kennedy Western University. A native of Wyoming, Debra currently resides in Corpus Christi, Texas and is married with three step-children and four step-grandchildren.

Debbie Immel

Debbie Immel, Regional Chief Development Officer

Debbie leads the fundraising efforts that provides financial stability insuring the Red Cross mission can be executed throughout the Texas Gulf Coast Region. She has more than nine years of fundraising and external relations experience with the American Red Cross. Debbie has served as the Regional Chief Development Officer in the Central and South Texas Region, the Interim Executive Director for the San Antonio Area Chapter and the Heart of Texas Chapter and most recently as the Interim Regional Chief Development Officer in the Northern Coastal California Region. Prior to joining the American Red Cross, she worked in the corporate world for more than 20 years with extensive experience in sales and marketing. Debbie is a proud graduate of Leadership Austin and The University of Texas at Austin (Bachelor of Arts in Psychology). A native Texan, Debbie has strong roots in the Houston area.

Jackie Drake

Jackie Drake, Regional Communications Officer

Jacqueline leads the communications and marketing team for the Texas Gulf Coast region. She is responsible for internal and external communication strategies, crisis management, community engagement and education. Prior to joining the Red Cross in 2018, she had the opportunity to handle public relations and community affairs for a petrochemical company, was Community Affairs Director for Fox 26 in Houston, was once appointed to a political position as a Communications Director, and started her career in broadcast as a news reporter, anchor and executive producer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication from McNeese State University and a Master’s degree from the University of Houston. A native of Louisiana, Jacqueline currently resides in Rosharon, Texas with her husband and two sons.

Jake Peters, Regional Volunteer Services Officer

Jake Peters, Regional Volunteer Services Officer

Jake leads all activities pertaining to the recruitment, training and engagement of a large volunteer corps essential to carrying out the Red Cross mission throughout the region. Jake has served a variety of leadership positions with the Red Cross over the past 14 years, including Executive Director of the Mid-Central Service Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma and of the Canadian Valley Chapter in El Reno, Oklahoma, Major Gift Officer for the Central and Western Region of Oklahoma and Chief Development Officer of the Central and Western Region of Oklahoma. Jake holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma. A native of Oklahoma, Jake currently resides in Houston, Texas where he enjoys exploring the Texas Gulf Coast.

Steve Atchison

Steve Atchison, Director of Transportation Services

Steve is responsible for managing the transportation of senior citizens, people with disabilities and chronically ill individuals to critical medical appointments throughout the Greater Houston area. His leadership results in thousands of trips per year for those who would not have other transportation options without the help of the Red Cross. Before joining the Red Cross as Manager of Customer Services in 2007, he spent 25 years in business leadership roles and co-owned an industrial packing and shipping firm. Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of the South and is married with two children and five grandchildren.

Chester R. Jourdan

Chester R. Jourdan, Jr., Executive Director

Chester serves as the Executive Director for Southeast and Deep East Texas, where he works closely with community partners and is the face of the Red Cross in local communities. Previously, he was Executive Director for the Southeast Texas Nonprofit Development Center and Executive Director of the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission, addressing regional initiatives through collaboration and cooperation with government and private sectors. Chester also served as the Executive Director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and worked for the United States Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Georgia and Fort Worth, Texas. Chester was a member of the U.S. Army serving with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 101st Airborne Division, respectively. In 2005 he engaged in relief efforts for thousands of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina and helped lead efforts in the Hurricane Rita response that followed a month after. Chester holds a Master of Arts degree in Urban and Regional Affairs from the University of Texas and a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Stephen F. Austin State University. Chester resides in Port Neches, Texas and is married with two children and two grandchildren.

Danella Hughes, Executive Director

Danella Hughes, Executive Director

Danella serves as the Executive Director for South Texas, where she works closely with community partners and is the face of the American Red Cross in local communities. Previously, she was the Director of Development for the McAllen Society for the Performing Arts and served as the Director of Advancement for IDEA Public Schools for the Rio Grande Valley. In both positions, she successfully oversaw all fund development opportunities including grant writing, cultivation, stewardship of donors and event planning. She also served as the Interim Executive Director at International Museum of Art & Science, where she systematically developed a proactive approach to lead the organization forward in increasing membership, revenue streams and member satisfaction. She is the Past Chairman of Leadership McAllen, Past President of American Advertising Federation-Rio Grande Valley and a past Board Member for the United Way of South Texas, where she also served two consecutive years as Campaign Chair. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from the University of Texas and an Accredited Public Relations credential from the Public Relations Society of America. Danella resides in Donna, Texas and is married with one stepson and one American Cocker Spaniel named Percy.