October 11, 2012 by Bill Adams /Topics: Bill Adams, Disaster Response Services
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In my last letter I spent a lot of time talking about our volunteer managers, and about the management training that we conducted in August in conjunction with our DRS 40th Anniversary Celebration. It was a great time!  This month I’d like to introduce you to the DRS office staff who also play a critical role in making things happen. In some ways you can think of the office staff as the nerve center for the program.  In the coming months you will be able to go to the new World Renew website and meet/learn more about our leadership team – both volunteer and paid staff.

DRS has its office/warehouse located in Byron Center, Michigan, and there are eight full and part time employees who manage the program (the equivalent of seven full time people). The voice that most of you are familiar with is that of Becky Purdom, Volunteer Program Manager. Becky has been with DRS for nine years and is responsible for the long term program, including Needs Assessment, Construction Estimating and Reconstruction.  She is assisted by Shirley Ritsema, who joined us about a year and a half ago. It’s very likely that you will be talking to Shirley and/or Becky when you sign up for a DRS assignment. Shirley also coordinates our Area Representative program as well as the border crossing process for our Canadian volunteers.

The one week Groups Program, which makes up the other half of what DRS does, is managed by Art Opperwall. Art is the Program Manager for Groups, Rapid Response and Equipment, and is assisted by Kellie Scholma. Art has been with DRS since 2005, and Kellie joined the team in mid-2011.  Church, school or business leaders who schedule work teams through DRS invariably deal with either Art or Kellie. Kellie also puts together our monthly Opportunity Link, and Art is the one responsible for our equipment, working very closely with our volunteer Equipment Team. In the coming months you will also be able to read more about the Equipment Team on our website. These are the guys who keep our trucks and tool trailers in working order, and often are the ones who transport what’s needed in the way of equipment and household furniture to new construction sites.

In addition to the staff that is “out front” for DRS, there are several people who have important “behind the scenes” roles, without whom we could not keep things running. They include Joyce Boerman who manages the office and handles much of our finances, Sue Kuipers who keeps our computer systems running and puts together our newsletter, the Spotlight, and Luanne Mellema who works as our receptionist and administrative assistant. Joyce is the staff member with the most tenure, having joined DRS back in 1990.  Sue came to us in 2007, followed a year later by Luanne.

When you get a chance, please drop a note or email to our staff and thank them for what they do. And, thank you once again for what you do! It’s our paid staff and volunteer team that makes DRS work. God is honored, and people are helped.  So, thank you!

In His Service,



Bill Adams

World Renew Disaster Response Services

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