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 lifelong 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 through teamwork in a goal-oriented environment.  He holds the distinguished title of Certified Restorer which is an elite group of professionals that have received 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

Controller 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.

Cody Hite

Structural Superintendent Cody joined First Response in 2018 as a superintendent in the structural department.  Cody has worked in the construction field for nearly twenty years with sixteen of those years devoted to home restoration after disasters.  Cody is responsible for overseeing all production activities for his assigned projects and works directly with each customer to ensure a great experience.  Cody takes great pride in knowing a customer is satisfied once a project is complete.  Outside of work, Cody enjoys going to the gym and spending time with family and friends.

Gary Sherwood

Assistant Structural Superintendent Gary started with First Response in 2014 as a Carpenter.  He has worked in the construction field for 20+ years focusing on rebuilding customer’s homes and businesses after a disaster.  Throughout his time at First Response Gary has shown great leadership and follow-through which resulted in a promotion to Assistant Structural Superintendent.  Gary has a keen focus on the customer and takes great pride in ensuring the customer’s expectation and needs are met throughout the reconstruction process.

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 bunkhouses, 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 are 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.

Bud Holmes 

Estimator  Bud joined the team at First Response in 2017 coming from a Construction Management role.  He is working as an Estimator, meeting with those who have experienced a loss, assessing the scope of the loss and associated expenses and helping set in motion the remediation of damages.  Bud returned to the Michiana area after many years in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  He and his wife have four children and are enjoying their empty nest years with occasional visits to and from three grandchildren.

Support Staff

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.

Kimberly Hensley

Claims Administrator Kimberly started with First Response in 2015.  As Claim Administrator, she provides administrative support to the Estimating Team ensuring 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!

Craig Dinwiddie

Staff Accountant  Craig joined the Sergio Corporation in April of 2018 as the Staff Accountant. Under the Sergio Corporation DBA, he is responsible for managing key accounts for First Response DRS, Polar Clean, Polar Blast, Michiana Properties and 1-800-Board Up. He is directly responsible for the daily maintenance of accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll.  He is a graduate of Andrews University where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. His hobbies include camping, hiking and powerlifting.

Elizabeth Garcia

Administrative Assistant Elizabeth joined First Response in the summer of 2018.  As an administrative assistant, Elizabeth looks after the accounting team providing them any help they might need and assists with helping our current and prospective customers find answers to any questions they might have.  Elizabeth previously worked for a diverse range of organizations, including IRBN, Qualitor and local food drops.  In this role, Elizabeth is responsible for marketing, accounting and coordinating shipping.  In her free time she enjoys spending quality time with her son and taking him on new adventures.

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.

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.

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 graduate of 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.