About VOAD

What is Massachusetts VOAD?


National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) is the forum where organizations share knowledge and resources throughout the disaster cycle—preparation, response and recovery—to help disaster survivors and their communities. Massachusetts VOAD (MA VOAD) takes these actions in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts while liaising with the VOADs in neighboring states and National VOAD and state and federal disaster relief agencies and officials.

Members of MA VOAD form a coalition of nonprofit organizations that respond to disasters as part of their overall mission. MA VAOD also has Associate Members that work in conjunction with MA VOAD but need not be non-profit as MA VOAD welcomes all support.

Board of Directors

George Heake – Co-Chairman – Team Rubicon – George.Heake@teamrubiconusa.org
Emily Mew – Co-Chairman – Salvation Army – emily.mew@use.salvationarmy.org
Lucy Costa – Secretary – American Red Cross – Lucy.Costa@redcross.org

Other Staff Positions:

Leadership Support Eric Olsen, Team Rubicon
Emotional & Spiritual Care Officer – Rev. Fred Meade (United Church of Christ)    (508)566-4590
Donations Manager – Thomas McQuarrie – (Adventist Community Services) (860)447-1200
Animal Rescue Officer – Cheryl Snyder – (State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team)
Disability/Elderly Assistance Officer – Basil Maurice (STAVROS) (413) 781-5555 x 318
Public Relations Dir – Kevin Hall (Church of Scientology Disaster Resp) (617)230-9295


Prior to the founding of National VOAD, and subsequently, MA VOAD, numerous organizations served disaster victims independently of one another. These included both government and the private, nonprofit sector. As a result, help came to the disaster victim haphazardly as various organizations assisted in specific ways. Unnecessary duplication of effort often occurred, while at the same time, other needs were not met. People who wanted to volunteer to help their neighbors affected by disaster were often frustrated by the variety of organizations in some areas of service and the total lack of opportunities to serve other needs. Further, there was only limited availability of training for potential volunteers. Information for victims on services during disasters was woefully inadequate. Likewise, communication among voluntary disaster agencies was very limited and coordination of services was negligible. In fact, mechanisms for this were non-existent.

Several founding organizations came together and committed to fostering the four C’s—communication, coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in order to better serve people impacted by disasters. Today, National VOAD and MA VOAD are leaders and the voice for the nonprofit organizations and volunteers that work in all phases of disaster—preparedness, response, relief, recovery, and mitigation. MA VOAD is the primary point of contact for voluntary organizations with the Massachusetts Emergency Managment Agency in disaster response situations.


  • Our commitment to caring and compassion for all people is the foundation for all we do.
  • A coordinated, inclusive approach provides the basis for a nurturing environment in which disaster response agencies will flourish.
  • The quest for excellence in MA VOAD programs by encouraging best practices and mutual accountability results in operational synergy.
  • Our work will be accomplished in a respectful, non-judgmental, and non-discriminatory manner.
  • Trust, mutual respect, and equal partnerships of community service providers are essential elements of our work.
  • Providing hope – making a difference – offering opportunities for true collaboration – are the lifeblood and soul of the organization.


***Each position without a person in charge of it is the responsibility of the person in charge of the position above it. For example, if there is no Volunteer Manager, that job is held from above by the Establishment Director and if there is no Establishment Director, all the functions of the Establishment Division are held from above by the Secretary. The
Chairman is the overall person in charge.

In this current election term, Paul Leslie and Larry Rosenberg are sharing the roles of Chair and Vice-Chair as “Co-Chairman.” Larry will be the point of contact during the response phase and Paul will be the point of contact during the recovery phase while they share the day to day responsibilities.

Legal Officer
In charge of permits, insurance, incorporation and all other legal matters

Policy Office
In charge of the initial Massachusetts VOAD policy and actions creation prior to final approval by a membership vote. The policy should be in alignment with National VOAD policy. The members of this office are the Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary.

The Policy Office will also provide a forum for Massachusetts VOAD Organizations and Associates to collect and share information, review emerging trends and issues, and recommend adaptations.

The Policy Office, along with Massachusetts VOAD Organizations, during such forums, will work collaboratively within the Massachusetts VOAD member and partner network to identify, assess, and foster solutions to overcome systemic barriers that prevent individuals and families from accessing disaster case management services and resources.

MA VOAD Personnel Recruiter
Recruits Massachusetts VOAD members for the various jobs on its Organizing Chart.

Organization Recruiter
Recruits Organizational and Associate Members and COADs with the final approvals by membership vote

Internal Communications Director
In charge of meeting minutes and agendas and distributing these and other important communications to Organizational and Associate members and COADs

Internal Files Director
Maintains files of valuable documents and resources

Raises funds and needed donations

Keeps track of all funds and donations and accounts for them

Donations Manager
The Donations Manager is primarily focused on issues related to unsolicited donations in times of disaster such as the maintenance and distribution of these donations.

Disaster Case Manager
Reviews damage, costs or repairs and resources needed for individual assistance of those needing help.

Volunteer Manager
Sees that volunteers during disaster and long term recovery are properly utilized

The Communication Director supports information sharing among all stakeholders, including members and prospective members to promote their transparency and to support the mission of Massachusetts VOAD.

Long Term Recovery
The Long Term Recovery Director coordinates long term recovery actions with available MA VOAD resources to help ensure that people who need help get assistance. During Long Term Disaster, the director would oversee several of areas of the Committees section such as Muck-Outs and Construction.

Mass Care
The Mass Care Director unites leading voluntary agencies in the provision of Shelter, Feeding, Bulk Distribution of Relief supplies and related services during disasters. The purpose is to pursue avenues for joint action and planning among these and other willing partners to communicate, coordinate, cooperate and collaborate. The intention is to speed the provision of critical services to those affected by disaster, reduce the duplication of efforts so that the greatest use can be made of limited resources during crisis, and establish a united voice for advocacy in working with our public institutions, including emergency management at the local, state and federal levels, to prepare our communities for the disasters they will face in the future.

Emotional and Spiritual Care
The Emotional and Spiritual Care Director’s mission is to foster emotional and spiritual care to people affected by disaster in cooperation with national, state and local response organizations and VOADs.

Trees and Debri Officer
Helps people with tree and debri damage from storms, etc.

Muck-Out Officer
Assists people with removal of wet and moldy items, mold removal and dry wall.

Oversees construction of damaged property based on the available resources and information received from the Disaster Case Manger.

Disabilities/Elderly Coordinator
Focuses on help and protection of the elderly and disabiled population in the time of a disaster.

ESF 7 Desk
The Emergency Support Function 7 Desk is open at Mass. Emergency Management Agency headquarters during a declared emergency and is manned by MA VOAD for the handling of spontaneous volunteers and donated goods during a disaster.

Quality Assurance
Verifies that the work by volunteers and organizations in times of disaster and on long term recovery activities is done correctly and completely.

Job Trainer
Provides the necessary training for each Massachusetts VOAD organizational position and ensures they are known by those in charge

Government Relations Director
The Government Relations Director is to create a system by which our members are able to address issues and concerns that could be influenced by government awareness and involvement.

Media Director
In charge of creating positive media on Massachusetts VOAD actions and working with the media to let the public know how to prepare themselves for pending disaster, how to mitigate disaster and how to assist Massachusetts VOAD in helping others

External Organizations Affairs Director
Expands and maintains communication with organizations that can work with Massachusetts VOAD in times of disaster and in long term recovery efforts

Website Manager
Maintains and expands the Massachusetts VOAD web site and social media outlets

Comments are closed.