Chapter & Regional Leadership

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.

Steven Meissner

Steve Meissner, Regional Disaster & Program Officer

Steve comes to the Texas Gulf Coast Region with extensive experience in Disaster Response and Planning. He has worked in a variety of leadership roles within Red Cross operations such as Hurricane Sandy in New York, Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav in Louisiana, the Mississippi flood response in 2011 as well as various emergencies in California including the Esperanza Station, Crown and Santiago Canyon Fires. Most recently, he served as the Planning Manager for the Los Angeles Region of the American Red Cross. He led Southern California earthquake planning efforts and working closely with the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County and the California Emergency Management Agency on disaster planning for local and catastrophic responses. Steve started his career with Red Cross most admirably….as a volunteer with the Orange County Chapter. He was recognized as Volunteer of the Year for his efforts in sheltering, volunteer retention and mentoring programs. His professi onal experience outside of the Red Cross includes planning and development of supply chain management solutions for food manufacturing and distribution companies, staffing software development and IT call center management. He holds a degree in Cognitive Psychology from the University of California at Irvine.

Cameron Ballantyne

Cameron Ballantyne, Regional Communications Officer

Cameron’s exposure to the American Red Cross began the day he was born 10 weeks premature at 1 lb., 3 oz. As a result of his early arrival, he required a number of life saving surgeries with American Red Cross blood products. Prior to joining the American Red Cross, Cameron was a journalist in print, radio and television. He served on the staff for a member of Congress from his home state of Oregon. Before arriving in Texas, Cameron was the Communications, Media and Government Relations Director for the American Red Cross of the National Capital Area in Washington, D.C. Cameron served as the Communications, Marketing and Government Relations Director for the Southwest Service Area. He served as the Communications Manager and lead media spokesperson for the Southwest Blood Region based in Dallas. Cameron holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism-Electronic Media with a minor in Russian from the University of Oregon. He also holds a Master’s of Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from Marist College.