National VOAD and our members has been promoting the 4 Cs, coordination, collaboration, cooperation and communication for 50 years! Throughout that time, we have responded to hundreds, if not thousands, of disasters throughout the United States and it's territories; from Alaska to Puerto Rico, from Maine to Saipan. While we will be celebrating throughout the year, it would be great if you could help us by submitting your written stories, photographs, videos, audio files, and any other archived memories that you may have of the VOAD movement to us! Our goal is to further inform the public of all the great work that we do together.
New York VOAD
Mr. Gudaitis currently serves as Executive Director & CEO of New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS), Chair of New York VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), and President of the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN).
Founded in 2001, NYDIS is a 501(c)(3) federation of 61 faith-based human service providers, charitable organizations and faith communities working in partnership to provide disaster readiness, response, and recovery services for New York City. NYDIS collaborates withlocal, state, and national organizations to facilitate the delivery of non-sectarian spiritual care, relief, recovery services and planning support-as well as providing mitigation education, preparedness training, and risk communication tools to the New York City faith sector and its partners. NYDIS’ relief and recovery services are principally targeted toward under-resourced victim’s families, survivors, and impacted under-served communities. NYDIS currently has 26employees and a $4M annual operating budget funded by donations, grants, and government contracts. NYDIS’ 2018 recovery caseload includes over 3,000 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, and Puerto Evacuee clients –its resilience programs annually provide training, preparedness tools and other programming to over 6,000 religious leaders.
He has over 30years of experience in chaplaincy, disaster emergency management, faith-based philanthropy, program management, and social services administration –including almost a decade in Emergency Medical Services.
Currently, Mr. Gudaitis is a member of the Faith-based Caucus of the International Association of Emergency Managers; Guest Lecturer and Advisory Board member for the Metropolitan College of New York, Emergency and Disaster Management Program; Contributing Fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California; Chair of New York State VOAD (Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster) and, has served on the Board of Directors of New York City VOAD for over fifteen years.
On January 27, 2004, Michael G. Manning became Executive Director of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, an affiliate of Feeding America, formerly America’s Second Harvest, The Nation’s Food Bank Network. The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank procures and distributes food to over 120-member agencies in an eleven-parish area while working toward its vision to eliminate hunger. His current title is President and CEO of the Food Bank.
Prior to joining the Food Bank, Mike was the Vice President of Finance for Louisiana Generating LLC, the successor of Cajun Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., since April of 2000. He had held similar responsible positions with Cajun Electric since February of 1992, serving as Vice President and Treasurer and Vice President of Planning, Rates and Risk Management. Mike also has had experience in the marine and financial industries, beginning his work career with nearly seven years as a banker at Louisiana National Bank and its successors.
Mike is currently the Chairperson of the National Council of Feeding America Food Banks, President and current Board member of the Louisiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (“LAVOAD”), Chairperson of the Louisiana Capital Area Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (“LCAVOAD”). He is also the Chairperson of the Feeding America Disaster Taskforce. Mike currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge as the President-Elect. He formerly served as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (“NVOAD) and as a member of the Resilient America Roundtable of the National Academies. Mike served on the Volunteer Louisiana Commission and as a member of the Finance Advisory Council of Louisiana State University Department of Finance in the College of Business.
He is Past Chairman of the Central Region of Feeding America Food Banks, Mike is currently a member of the Board of the Emergency Food and Shelter Programs for East Baton Rouge and East Feliciana Parishes, the Board of the Louisiana Food Bank Association, and a member of the East Baton Rouge Parish Local Emergency Planning Committee. He has also served on the National Disaster Response Task Force and Disaster Advisory Group for Feeding America.
He is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Finance.
American Red Cross
Mark J. Smith,is the Executive Director for Community Engagement and Partnerships at the American Red Cross. In this role, Mark leads a team of partnership professionals dedicated to engaging national, regional and community partners committed to supporting individuals and communities as they prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.
Mr. Smith has been employed with the American Red Cross in a variety of capacities serving multiple lines of business including Disaster Services, Health and Safety Services, Chapter Operations and International Services. Highlights during this 18-year period include Regional Executive for both the Oklahoma and Mississippi Regions; Senior Director, Field Operations for the Hurricane Katrina Recovery Program; and, Regional Director for Africa Programs.
Prior to joining the American Red Cross, Mark worked for the largest minority led development organization focused on rural development in Africa –Africare. During his ten-year career with Africare, Mark has lived and/or worked in 36 sub-Saharan countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana, Senegal, Mozambique and Angola to name a few. During this employment, he led multi-disciplinary teams focused on Maternal and Child Health, Food Security, HIV/AIDS Programming and numerous post conflict interventions.
Mark has an undergraduate degree in International Development from the historically black college Lincoln University and an MBA from the George Washington University in Washington DC.
Mennonite Disaster Service
Kevin King was born on a potato and dairy farm in Cochranville, Pennsylvania. He attended Eastern Mennonite College (now University), Harrisonburg, Virginia, and graduated in 1981 with a degree in International Agriculture Development. He received an MBA in International Economic Development in 1987 from Eastern College, St. Davids, Penna.
He worked in Brazil 1981 -1984 and in Jamaica 1987 -1991 with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) as an International Agriculture Advisor. Following this term he was theMaterial Resources Manager in MCC’s office in Akron from 1992 -2004. He coordinated the collecting and shipping of the material aid overseas. He traveled extensively to Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America to follow up on many of the disasters.
Since February 2004 Kevin is the Executive Director of Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) based in Lititz, Penna. Over the last 15 years he has led the organization to quadruple in staff size, funding and the deployment of volunteers to over 17 locations this past year throughout Canada and the U.S.
Kevin and his wife, Karen, an elementary school teacher, have two grown children.
Brethren Disaster Ministries
Jenn Dorsch-Messler is the Director of the Rebuild Program for the Church of the Brethren Disaster Ministries (BDM). She oversees the domestic program that provides volunteer construction labor and leadership to rebuild homes after natural disasters. She also is currently serving as the Coordinator for the Ephrata Compassion Project, a local ministry in Ephrata PA through Love INC. The program connects volunteers from area churches to families in their neighborhood with unmet home repair needs to make the repairs and build relationships.
Jenn is currently completing the remainder of a term on the Board of Directors for National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) and is up for re-election for a second term. In May 2018, she was elected Secretary for the Executive Committee of the NVOAD Board as well. She is also active with NVOAD work on the LTRG and Housing Committees. On the state level, she currently serves are the Secretary for the Executive Committee of Maryland National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and has since March 2017.
Jenn holds a B.A. in Communications and Art from Juniata College and has worked professionally as a graphic designer. She also completed the masters program at Eastern Mennonite University's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding with a M.A. in Conflict Transformation and a focus on Peacebuilding and Trauma Healing. While there, she completed up to the Level 2 of the Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resiliency (STAR) training.
She grew up at Frederick Church of the Brethren, a 900-member church in Frederick, MD. There she also served on staff as the Director of Communication for three years overseeing all print and digital communication for the church. At Frederick CoB and her current home church, Ephrata Church of the Brethren (PA), she has served on Global Missions teams and is very active in local and national mission ministries. This has included volunteering
Voting Will Take Place during the National Member Meeting as a weekly volunteer through BDM frequently since 2007 and leading three missions to rebuild inHaiti following the 2010 earthquake.
Dennis has been an active member of various NVOAD committees and Team Rubicon’s member representative to NVOAD for the last 2 years. He currently serves as Director on the Board of The Education for Peace in Iraq Center, a non-profit that supplies analysis for agencies and NGOs on the evolving complexities regarding security and prosperity in Iraq.
Dennis joined Team Rubicon in 2015 as a volunteer, responding to the Nepal earthquake and Texas floods. He joined the staff full-time in September of that year to oversee and support Team Rubicon’s international and domestic disaster responses—and establish its National Operations Center in Grand Prairie, Texas.
A 2004 West Point graduate, Dennis spent six years as an active-duty Army officer, including combat leadership in Iraq. In 2010, he joined Amazon.com as an operations leader in Europe and North America, launching 2 of its then largest fulfillment centers. A standout performer at the company, Dennis was featured in the 2012 Fortune magazine article “How Amazon learned to love veterans.” Prior to joining Team Rubicon, Dennis was a successful entrepreneur in the textile industry and director of an award-winning documentary film. He also holds a MBA with a focus in Human Resources.
Operation BBQ Relief