Our Team

Our Mission

The Mission of First Response is to provide our customers with the highest quality services and products possible, in a manner that anticipates and fulfills their needs, contributes to the social well-being of the community, provides a challenging and rewarding environment for employees, and maximizes earnings to support company and employee growth.

Our Owners


Anthony P. Sergio

Founder, First Response

Tony Sergio is the founder of the first series of Sergio family businesses that now comprise The Sergio Corporation. He coordinates the large loss and catastrophe disaster restoration division of the corporation. He has been a driving force in the rapid growth of First Response through 30+ years. Tony’s extensive background in reconstruction, structural drying and disaster response make him an asset on any job site. Tony has overseen expert luxury residential restoration projects and his vast commercial experience extends from flood restoration services in Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Cedar Rapids in the Heartland to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast states. He is an active member of Disaster Kleenup International, and many other professional industry specific associations. Tony is a life long resident of Michiana area and is active in his church as the past Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Tony has also served on multiple short term mission trips with his family. Tony and his wife have five children.


Alan C. Scott, M.A., C.R.

President, First Response

 Al Scott has been a partner with The Sergio Corporation since 1989 and serves as the President of First Response. Al oversees all operations for First Response. He holds a B.A. and M.A. degrees from Ball State University where he also served as an assistant basketball coach for four years. During this period the school won the Mid-American Conference Championship and posted the best record in the school’s history. Al served as the Varsity Basketball Coach at Trinity School at Greenlawn for many years holding a lifetime 71% winning percentage. Al has been able to apply his coaching style to First Response by motivating employees to achieve their potential though teamwork in a goal-oriented environment.  He holds the distinguished title of Certified Restorer which is an elite group of professionals that have receive advanced training covering all aspects of the restoration industry. There are less than 300 individuals with this distinction. Al and his wife have four children and two grandchildren.

Management Team

Kari Tuttle

Kari started with The Sergio Corporation in 1996 as a Staff  Accountant.  She became the Controller in 1999 and is currently in charge of Accounting and Human Resources for the Sergio family of businesses including First Response, Michiana Properties, and Polar Clean.  Kari takes pride in helping the owners run the day to day operations of First Response as well as her variety of corporate duties and responsibilities.   Kari is a graduate of Butler University with a BS in Business Management with Honors in Accounting (Go Dawgs!) and has been a Certified Public Accountant since 2002.  Kari is a member of the Indiana CPA Society as well as active in her church and disability advocacy groups.   Kari and her husband enjoy country life with their school-age son and have two grown children and three grandgirls.

Bret A. Young
Structural Superintendent

Bret started his career with First Response in 2005 as a Superintendent for the Structure Department. Bret oversees the reconstruction of current jobs and organization of structural employees. Bret’s duties include everyday operations of repairs, keeping customers informed of the status and moving the employees in the right direction at job sites. Bret has over 26 years of experience in building construction.

Brian Smith
Structural Superintendent

Brian is a lifelong resident of South Bend and a Retired South Bend Police Officer of twenty years. He comes with over 40 years of experience in the construction field. Past experiences include surveying, pre-engineered metal buildings, commercial and retail construction. Before coming to First Response in 2016, he spent 12 years in residential construction, building and remodeling over 500 homes. Brian is a lifelong fan and participant of sports, playing football in college, and competitive softball for 40 years. He has played and coached over 1,300 softball games, including three state championships and many division titles. He is married with four children and one grandchild.

Dave Wack
Emergency Services Superintendent

Dave started with First Response in 2002 and is responsible for leading structural drying on Large Loss and is responsible for leading the Biohazard Remediation Department. He is an expert in operation and repair of restoration equipment. During the Hurricane Katrina Response, Dave was substantially responsible for the coordination, installation, monitoring and teardown of all First Response demolition, drying and ancillary equipment such as air movers, air conditioners, DeCon station, dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, as well as diverse equipment such as bunk houses, computers, printers, etc. He was the first line of contact for all mechanical, electrical, and technical needs whether it was directed toward our clients, support personnel or the home office. Dave’s presence and versatility in following through on daily and sometimes critical assignments is essential to delivering effective CAT & Large Loss services. Dave has an Associates Degree from Indiana State University in Electronics and Computer Technology. He has over twenty years of experience in the electronics field specializing in Telecommunications. Dave has four children.

Brad Harding
Contents Superintendent

Brad started at First Response in 2002.  He is the Superintendent for the Contents Department and   oversees a staff of 7.  He is responsible for the packing out, cleaning, storage and pack in of all contents deemed salvageable at a loss.  All contents are stored at the contents facility until the repairs have been completed.  Brad and his wife have 2 children and are very active in their church community.

Estimating Team

Christopher Macknick,
WRT, ASD, AMRT Estimator

Christopher Macknick joined the First Response team in 1998 as a lead carpenter and in 2010 became an Estimator, reviewing the losses and working closely with adjusters to have a complete scope for repair. With over 20 years experience in construction and restoration, Chris has developed a keen eye for detail. He has received specialized training and certification related to structural drying, remediation of fungal (mold) growth and microbial contamination: AMRT (Applied Microbial Remediation Technician); WRT (Water Damage Restoration Technician); and ASD (Applied Structural Drying) and continues training with the industry software used to create scopes for repair on homes and businesses damaged. Chris has lived in South Bend for over 30 years. He has one son, two dogs, and two fish.  He also enjoys cooking, mushroom hunting and devoting much of his time as a local Boy Scouts of America Den Leader.

Jim Overhulser,
WRT, ASD, AMRT Estimator

Jim Overhulser started his career at First Response in 2009 leading the Environmental Department as a Superintendent and in 2013 he became an Estimator. Besides holding a B.S. from Bethel College, he has received specialized training related to structural drying, remediation of fungal (mold) growth and microbial contamination: AMRT (Applied Microbial Remediation Technician); WRT (Water Damage Restoration Technician); and ASD (Applied Structural Drying). Jim came to our company with over three decades of construction and management experience. He has served hundreds of homeowners and property managers in caring for their properties over many years and in diversecircumstances.

Jim serves our clients through managing our well-trained staff to rapidly dry various types of floods, to remediate microbial/fungal contamination, and in beginning the restoration process after disaster strikes. Jim is a key player in leading our response teams into commercial, institutional and residential disasters: Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs, Notre Dame, local hospitals, schools and homes to name a few. Jim is involved with the community of Bristol Indiana as a volunteer Fire Chaplain. He and his wife of over 45 years have served in short-term missions and have two children with four grandchildren.

Support Staff

Denise Long
Structural Team Coordinator

Denise started at First Response in 1999.  She is one of the two Team Coordinator’s for the Operation’s Department.  

Team Coordinators are also the office support for the superintendents and field staff.  

Denise and her husband have four children.  In her leisure time she enjoys boating, reading and spending quality time with her family.

Jessica Pantoja
Structural Team Coordinator

Jessica provides administrative support to the Reconstruction team. She is a native of the Michiana area and joined First Response in 2014. Jessica is a strong leader who inspires confidence and trust in others by motivating the project staff to perform at high levels to consistently meet customer expectations. In her free time she enjoys spending time outside and working on various art projects.

Jennifer Bryan, WRT, FSRT, Odor Control
Emergency Services Team Coordinator

Jenni started with First Response in 2014 and is responsible for coordinating the Emergency Service, Structural Drying, & Environmental Departments. She also assists in coordinating the Biohazard Remediation Department. Jenni has over 8 years’ experience in the restoration industry. Jenni processes incoming calls for any type of emergency services that are needed, keeping customers and insurance companies informed on the status of the project, billing, and collections. She has received specialized training and certification related to structural drying; WRT (Water Damage Restoration Technician); FSRT (Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician); Odor Control and continues training with the industry software used to create scopes for mitigation & emergency services on homes and businesses damages with a keen eye for detail. Jenni enjoys her job, but in her leisure time she loves to spend quality time with her two children going bowling, skating, walks, bike-riding, hanging out at the beach or just watching a movie.

Amy Rhodes
Contents Manager

Amy has been with First Response since 2012 and oversees staff and billing of all contents processed from a loss.  She builds the Contents Book and works with the software used to photograph, and detail all contents from a loss.  Amy has one son and is very active with local animal rescue organizations in St Joseph county.

Kimberly Hensley
Claims Administrator

Kimberly started with First Response in 2015.  As Claim Administrator, she provides administrative support to the Estimating Team insuring they are scheduled to meet customers and adjusters to review losses.  Kimberly has 12 years of experience managing home improvement projects and working with various tradesmen.  She is also always looking to expand our current vendor list.

Luisa Guevara
Payroll Accountant

Luisa joined First Response in 2017 bringing over 16 years of accounting experience.  Most recently Luisa was the payroll/HR administrator for a company of over 1,000 employees.  She is responsible for processing weekly payroll.  Luisa is the youngest of 10 and has eight sisters and one brother.  She is married with two children and four grandchildren.  Away from work Luisa enjoys traveling, crafting, baking and spending time with her siblings and family.  Life is too short, you have to make the best of it!

Tara Taylor
Accounts Payable

Tara Taylor has worked at First Response since 2013.  Currently, she is an accounts payable clerk in the accounting office.  Tara has many years of office experience in Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Human Resources, Payroll, Customer Service and Office Management.  Away from work, Tara enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Business Development

Cindy Merton
Business Development Administrator

Email: CindyM@FirstResponseDRS.com 

Cindy joined First Response in 2007 as a Project  Administrator in the Structure Department.  She moved to the Business Development Department in 2010.  She  works with Insurance Agents and manages the training programs that First Response sponsors for Insurance Agents and Fire Department Staff.  Cindy is an Air Force Veteran and also worked as a Fundraiser for various non-profits for over 15 years.  Cindy likes to dance and listen to music with friends on her off time and is active in her church.  She has 3 children and 10 grandchildren that keep her young.

Cheri Eberhart
Account Executive

Email: Cheri.Eberhart@FirstResponseDRS.com 

Cheri has been with First Response since 2015 working as a Sales Executive in Business Development.  Cheri makes sales calls focusing on new business and establishing relationships with clients both Commercial and Residential.  Her experience of outside sales has been 20+ years of selling Transportation Freight Forwarding Services in Cincinnati.  She is a graduatre from Brandywine High School and attended Indiana University South Bend and National University in California working towards a Business Management Degree.  Interests are physical fitness and eating healthy along with a special interest in her pet rottweiler and black lab.

Michael Scott
Account Executive

Email: MichaelS@FirstResponseDRS.com 

Michael joined the First Response team full-time in 2016 as an Account Executive specializing in sales and marketing.  Michael manages all social media and website development projects and initiatives. Michael had worked with First Response throughout summers in high school and college before permanently relocating to Louisville, Kentucky where he was an assistant basketball coach for six years.  Michael helped lead Bellarmine University to their 2011 National Championship as well as Final Four appearances in 2012 and 2015.  In his free time Mike enjoys watching and attending sporting events and attending Broadway shows.  Michael is married with young twin boys.