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Greater Houston

  • Gulf Coast -  Greater Houston

Welcome to the American Red Cross of Greater Houston

The American Red Cross of Greater Houston provides service in the following main areas: disaster relief and preparedness education; assistance for military personnel, veterans and their families; health and safety courses; transportation of seniors and the chronically ill to critical medical appointments; and the distribution of life-saving blood products to 15 Houston area hospitals.

Many are familiar with the Red Cross aiding victims during large disasters caused by hurricanes like Katrina, Rita and Ike, but most days our disaster services staff and volunteers are busy responding to home fires. The Houston area alone responds to an average of three home fires per day. For large and small disasters, the Red Cross meets the immediate needs of victims by providing shelter, food, bedding, clothing and sometimes assisting with the replacement of essential medications and medical equipment.

Because we operate under an unfunded congressional mandate, we rely on financial donations and grants. Your generosity to the Red Cross of Greater Houston allows us to continue serving our community with free disaster assistance when and where the need is greatest.

David Brady, Chief Executive Officer

David Brady, Chief Executive Officer

David Brady leads American Red Cross service delivery, fundraising and stakeholder engagement for the Texas Gulf Coast – a region serving more than nine million people in 51 counties. Prior to joining the Red Cross in April 2017, David led initiatives for the Houston Zoo that increased annual attendance by 65%, making it the most attended cultural venue in the city. His work there included strategic development around wildlife conservation branding and the creation and implementation of the highly popular Houston Zoo Lights, a holiday experience drawing 320,000 guests in 2016. Prior to the Houston Zoo, David was Managing Director for Lone Star Sports and Entertainment, an affiliate of the Houston Texans, where he managed high profile events and developed strong community partnerships. He recently completed his eleventh season as Stadium Announcer for the Texans – an activity he enjoys and plans to continue. David holds a Bachelor’s degree in Radio, Television and Film from Sam Houston State University. He is married with three children.

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.

Brian Imiola

Brian Imiola, Disaster Program Officer

Brian is responsible for all disaster response operations and preparedness programs throughout the Texas Gulf Coast, guiding a team of dedicated Red Cross people to deliver services when needed. Prior to joining the Red Cross, he served as a career Army officer with assignments around the world. He led infantry and logistics units from platoon to brigade level and served as a senior member of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He joined the Red Cross in 2014 after retiring, based on an experience of working alongside Red Cross volunteers when his unit was deployed to a hurricane. Brian’s Red Cross experience includes District Director roles in California and Texas, leading multiple disaster responses in North Texas—first as a Senior Disaster Program Manager and eventually as Interim Regional Disaster Officer. Most recently he led operational activities for the Hurricane Matthew response in North Carolina. Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences, a Master of Arts degree in Ethics and a Doctorate in Philosophy.

MaryJane Mudd

MaryJane Mudd, Communications Officer

MaryJane is responsible for leading the marketing, communications and public affairs activities in the region and serves as the primary local spokesperson during disasters. Prior to joining the American Red Cross in 2015, MaryJane spent more than 20 years creating and implementing award-winning business communications and crisis management programs for organizations including Dow Chemical, ConocoPhillips, Air Liquide America, the Houston Technology Center and Shell Oil. She is past president of the American Marketing Association and serves on the Board of Directors of Leadership Houston and the Corporate Advisory Board of the National Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance. In 2016 she was selected to serve as Communications Co-Chair for the Purdue University Parent and Family Advisory Board. MaryJane holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Central Michigan University and is married with three daughters.

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.