After first-hand witnessing the devastation caused by the EF5 tornado that struck Joplin, MO in May 2011, the hearts of a few men were ignited to create a volunteer group capable of responding to and serving the communities most affected. Minuteman Disaster Response (MDR) is a first-responder support team comprised of well-trained volunteers. Our goal is to provide significant aid to disaster victims and emergency personnel utilizing the National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) Incident Command Structure (ICS).
Founding Member - Paul is a founder of Minuteman, and has remained a highly active member since its inception. While delivering donated goods to Joplin following the 2011 tornado there, he was moved by the struggles suffered by victims and the high demands encountered by first responders. He recognized there was room for prepared volunteers to help in the immediate hours following such disasters. He has seen the dreams of Minuteman fulfilled and exceeded, witnessing strong growth in the team’s membership and breadth of capabilities. Asked why other people should participate with Minuteman, his reply is simple and direct:
“It is very rewarding to help those in need.”That’s the core of the opportunity Minuteman presents and provides. Paul has been involved in Missions ministry for 40 years. He also started a commercial construction company that is 40-years strong, and now run by one of his sons. He sees the parallel successes of those endeavors as no mere coincidence. Paul is blessed by his vivacious wife, Judy, and plenty of grandchildren. Contact
MATT PAYNEExecutive Director
Member Since 2012 - Matt got involved with Minuteman because he felt a need to serve others in their time of need while building relationships with like-minded individuals in an atmosphere of service and adventure. Some of the most rewarding experiences he’s had on deployment have come from listening to a survivor's story, learning about them as a person, and allowing the opportunity to begin the healing process. Matt believes if looking for a place to volunteer your time to serve those impacted by natural disaster, Minuteman is a great place to do it.
The training is top-notch and the people who serve are some of the best around.Matt and his wife Kari have one daughter, Anna, and one son, Jared. When not serving with Minuteman he likes to spend time riding bikes, fishing and getting involved with mission work in Mexico. Contact
ERIC BURKESDirector of Operations
Member Since 2018 - Eric learned about Minuteman’s mission during a demonstration at a local church. When he learned the quality training they provided, he knew it was the right organization for him. Eric says Minuteman is designed for people who have a desire to serve others. He knows this first-hand from his deployment to Kingsland, Texas, where helped people return to their homes following the severe flooding there.
“Minuteman offers a knowledgeable and structured environment in which anyone can make a difference.”Eric is a husband and father of two, and home inspector by trade. He and his family enjoy the great outdoors, riding four-wheelers, and skiing whenever they can. Contact
Director of Operations
SCOTT EVERETTDirector of Response Operations
Member Since 2014 - With a passion to serve others in the aftermath of a disaster, Minuteman provided Scott an outlet to volunteer. For Scott, it has been a pleasure working with a growing organization that holds high standards of professionalism while also building deep, trusting relationships with other team members. The most rewarding experience for Scott has been witnessing the positive impact of his service on those who have been affected by natural disasters. Scott believes Minuteman is the right organization for any individual looking for something truly unique, exciting and hands-on.
I have been very blessed in providing for devastated communities.Even as a traveling sales professional with a wife and three children, Minuteman has offered Scott a platform that provides a well-balanced life and intangible rewards. Contact
Director of Response Operations
ANDREW MEAIRSDep. Dir. of Response Operations
Member Since 2017 - Andrew was introduced to Minuteman through a conversation with a team member he met at church. With a background in both military and law enforcement, Andrew already had a strong history of service. Minuteman provides him an opportunity to satisfy that drive while maintaining his full-time job. He says his reward is helping ‘bring life’ back to a community that has suffered devastation.
“I was extremely impressed with the attitudes of the volunteers and their deep desire to do whatever possible to bring comfort to those in need using their different skill sets.”Andrew owns a property inspection business and enjoys spending his free time with family at the lake. Contact
Dep. Director of Response Operations
KEVIN MECHLERDirector of Relief Operations
Member Since 2017 - Kevin believes strongly in putting compassion into action. He was first drawn to Minuteman because, when disasters occur, Minuteman presented an opportunity to give more than money alone; it offered him a way to put his hands and abilities to use. Today, he remains an active member because he sees how Minuteman, working at disaster sites, makes a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need.
“The members I first met and the ones I’ve served with all have a ‘take-care-of-the-customer-first’ mentality. We get it done!”He also appreciates the varying levels of participation and training from which volunteers may choose, accommodating the ‘weekend warriors’ as well as those who wish to train with Minuteman in specialized disciplines. Kevin cherishes his roles as husband and father. He’s grateful for his career as a pilot, and enjoys physical exercise such as mountain biking, skiing, SCUBA and with persuasion, golf. Contact
Director of Relief Operations
Member Since 2011 - Grateful for being one of the four men who founded Minuteman after responding to Joplin, Missouri’s EF5 tornado, Michael found an avenue to express his passion to serve those affected by disasters. For Michael, the training offered by Minuteman is not only in-depth and professional, but filled with heart, compassion and desire to effectively deploy in the midst of crisis.
“We offer an incredible “on-ramp” training for any individual -- even with little or no experience.“Michael is honored to serve as the Pastor of his local church in McKinney, Texas. He also enjoys cycling, reading, mission trips to Mexico, and Friday night pizza and movies with his wife and three children. Contact
JEFF JONESGala Chair
Member Since 2014 - In fall of 2014, with an early retirement opportunity approaching, Jeff began looking for ways to contribute to worthwhile organizations. He then first learned about Minuteman and, upon researching the organization, developed excitement for joining and serving. He was attracted to the members he saw putting faith and a willingness to serve at the tops of their priority lists.
Little did I know that my experience with Minuteman would challenge me, motivate me, and, most importantly, reward me in ways I could never have imagined. I am a more complete person for having served others through MDR.Jeff retired after 32 years in the restaurant industry, and now enjoys his spare time in the gym, traveling, admiring classic cars. He and his wife, Valeria (a member of the Relief Team), are tireless volunteers essential to Minuteman’s success and reach. They also raise awareness and support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and serve in marriage ministry at Cottonwood Creek Church. Contact
STAN SHERWOODField Communications Coordinator
Member Since 2016 - Stan learned of Minuteman Disaster Response while his church was looking for ways to aid those suffering after a natural disaster. After attending a meeting and learning more about MDR, the concept of the rapid response team was especially appealing to him. From the start, joining MDR has been a very rewarding opportunity for Stan to make a difference in the lives of natural disaster victims, and even more rewarding to aid the first responders and families that have suffered in the same disaster.
MDR is a great team of God-loving people who I'm honored to work with.When not assisting with Minuteman, Stan enjoys spending time with his wife or working at the company he’s co-owned for more than 23 years. Stan has two married sons and a daughter who's soon to be married. Contact
Field Communications Coordinator
MARK NAMEYMembership Coordinator
Member Since 2017 - After retirement, Mark had his sights set on becoming an EMT. However when he discovered MDR, he found a more relaxed, flexible way to provide support to those in need. Mark enjoys every opportunity to talk and pray with those affected by natural disaster. Working with MDR has provided Mark with an immense personal satisfaction that comes from giving back and and helping others.
MDR will challenge you in learning a variety of emergency response techniques.Mark has been married for 31 years and has two beautiful daughters. He is a retired electrical engineer after 33 years working for Raytheon in the field of electro-optical sensors development. He is also the Outreach Director for over 25 ministries at St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Community. Contact
STAN WAITETraining Coordinator Member Since 2017 - Stan has always had a heart for preparedness and serving others in times of great need. On his first deployment in Canton, TX he recalls that his most rewarding experience was being able to interface with the survivors of the storm. While he was expecting to spend the day moving debris, he found himself meeting with the residents and simply listening to their stories.
Just taking the time to listen to the survivors, hear the pain of their loss, and see their smiles when their yard was cleared; made me realize I had chosen the correct organization to serve.Stan is married with two children and three grandchildren. By day he is an IT Project Manager, and by night an avid baseball fan. Contact
WILLIAM "BILL" SOMMERSMaintenance Coordinator
Member Since 2017 - After retiring from the McKinney Post Office, Bill was looking for a way to "pay it back" with the free time he had on his hands. When he learned about Minuteman Disaster Response he thought that it would be a perfect fit for him. Bill recounted his early days with MDR by saying that the group is full of incredible individuals that come together for a common goal.
It is difficult to describe the feeling of satisfaction that I get after helping families that have been traumatized by disasters. Although we can’t solve all of their problems, we definitely make a difference.Bill leads the maintenance team for MDR, but when he's not fixing, repairing, or jerry-rigging equipment he's busy raising his dwarf goats with his wife Alisha, of 27 years. Contact
RYAN CHAPMANLogistics Coordinator
Member Since 2014 - Ryan knew he wanted to be part of something bigger than himself, and after meeting so many individuals who have been affected by natural disaster, he eventually found Minuteman. Through MDR, Ryan has formed deeply meaningful relationships and is proud of the way he and his team members come together to bring hope and love to those affected by natural disaster. Through MDR, Ryan is proud of how they’ve been able to change and impact lives.
The heart to serve always shines through with each and everyone associated with MDR.Ryan is a Construction Manager for a large home builder in the DFW. He is married with a wife and two little ones, aged 1 and 5. Ryan is a former baseball player and coach, as well as an avid craftsman. Contact