South Texas

  • harlingen red cross

Welcome to the American Red Cross South Texas Chapter

The American Red Cross has been serving the Rio Grande Valley since 1917. Each year, the American Red Cross touches and enhances tens of thousands of Valley residents' lives. These and other services and programs are made possible through the unique partnership between those who give their time - our valued volunteers, and those that give a financial gift - our valued donors.

With a paid staff of six, more than 600 trained volunteers, and a partnership of 3,000 active donors, we are able to provide services throughout the Rio Grande Valley. The South Texas Chapter serves 4 counties: Willacy, Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr County. Under the leadership of our board, we continue the proud tradition of helping Valley residents prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. We reach out into the community every day, touching people's lives.

Chapter Leadership

Red Cross Iriz Martinez Headshot

Iris Martinez Juergens, Executive Director, South Texas Chapter

Iris Martinez Juergens assumed the role of Executive Director in October of 2014. Prior to joining the South Texas Chapter, she served as the Director of Development for the St. Leonard Francisian Living Community and the American Red Cross in Ohio. She is a graduate of San Benito High School and the University of Texas.

Regional Leadership


Steve Vetrano, CEO, Texas Gulf Coast Region

Steve is the Chief Executive Officer of the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Before that, he was CEO of the Greater Houston Area Chapter and held leadership positions at two Red Cross chapters in the northeast. He oversees operations, fundraising and community engagement throughout 51 counties and 7 Red Cross offices along the Texas Gulf Coast. Vetrano holds a BA in Communications from Manhattan College and an MBA from Penn State University. He resides in Houston with his wife and 3 children.

Debra Murphy

Debra Murphy-Luera, Regional Chief Operating Officer

Debra has served in a variety of capacities within the American Red Cross for over 15 years. Prior to being appointed Chief Administrative Officer, Debra served as Interim Regional Chapter Executive, Regional Support Manager of the Corpus Christi Region; Chapter Solutions Manager for the Southwest Service Area and Executive Director of the Webb County Chapter. Prior to her service with the American Red Cross, Debra spent over twenty years in the broadcasting industry. Debra earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Kennedy Western University. A native of Wyoming, Debra currently resides in Corpus Christi, Texas is married with three step-children and four step-grandchildren.

Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast Leadership Ronald Jackson

Ronald Jackson, Regional Chief Development Officer

Prior to joining the American Red Cross in 2014, Ronald served in multiple roles at the Awty International School in Houston for over 12 years. Most recently, he served as the Director of Advancement and External Affairs. Ronald has secured over $20 million dollars through effective major gift solicitations, creative sponsorship opportunities and effective donor cultivation events. He sits on several non-profit boards and is very involved throughout the community. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston. Ronald also holds a Master’s of Science in Educational Administration from Prairie View A & M University. He and his wife have two children.