Serving South Bend, IN and Surrounding Areas.

Our Team

Meet our team of First Response Disaster Restoration Specialists.

Our Owners

Anthony P. Sergio – Founder

Tony Sergio is the founder of the first series of Sergio family businesses that now comprise The Sergio Corporation. He currently coordinates the large loss and catastrophe disaster restoration division of the corporation, and has been a driving force in the rapid growth of First Response for more than 30 years. Tony’s extensive background in reconstruction, structural drying and disaster response make him a strong 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, as well as many other professional industry-specific associations. Tony is a lifelong resident of the 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

Al Scott has been a partner with The Sergio Corporation since 1989 and serves as the President of First Response, overseeing all operations. He holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Ball State University and served as an assistant basketball coach for four years, during which 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 as well, holding a lifetime 71% win rate. Al has applied his coaching style to First Response by motivating employees to achieve their potential through teamwork in a goal-oriented environment. He holds the title of Certified Restorer, which distinguishes an elite group of professionals who have received advanced training covering all aspects of the restoration industry and has been awarded to fewer than 300 individuals. Al and his wife have four children and two grandchildren.

Our Management

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 daily operations of First Response in addition to her variety of corporate duties and responsibilities. Kari is a graduate of Butler University with a Bachelor of Science degree 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 of their projects and moving the employees in the right direction at job sites. Bret has over 26 years of experience in building construction.

Gary Sherwood – Assistant Structural Superintendent

Gary started with First Response in 2014 as a Carpenter. He has worked in the construction field for over 20 years, focusing on rebuilding customers’ 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 that their expectations and needs are met throughout the reconstruction process.

Brad Harding – Contents Superintendent

Brad started at First Response in 2002. He is the Superintendent for the Contents Department and oversees a staff of seven. He is responsible for the packing out, cleaning, storage, and packing 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 two 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 losses and working closely with adjusters to gain 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 certifications 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). Chris continues training with the industry software used to create scopes for repair on damaged homes and businesses. 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 works as an Estimator, meeting with those who have experienced a loss, assessing the scope of the loss and associated expenses and then 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 and 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 and Environmental Departments. She also assists in coordinating the Biohazard Remediation Department. Jenni has over eight 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, including WRT (Water Damage Restoration Technician), FSRT (Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician) and Odor Control certifications, and continues training with the industry software used to create scopes for mitigation and 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 Claims Administrator, she provides administrative support to the Estimating Team, ensuring they are scheduled to meet with 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, with eight sisters and one brother. She is married with two children and four grandchildren. Outside of 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!

Business Development

Michael Scott – Director of Business Development

Email: [email protected] Michael joined the First Response team full-time in 2016 as an Account Executive specializing in sales and marketing, and was promoted to Director of Business Development in 2018. Michael oversees the Business Development office and concentrates on pre-disaster planning and implementation with large commercial clients. Michael had previously worked with First Response throughout summers in high school and college before permanently relocating to Louisville, Kentucky where he was an assistant men’s 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 and with a daughter due in September of 2019.

Cindy Merton- Business Development Administrator

Email: [email protected] Cindy joined First Response in 2007 as a Project Administrator in the Structure Department and 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 has 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 three children and ten grandchildren that keep her young.

Cheri Eberhart – Account Executive

Email: [email protected] 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 in outside sales has included more than 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. Cheri’s interests are physical fitness and eating healthy, along with a special interest in her pet Rottweiler and black lab.
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Contact First Response Today for Superior Restoration Services

First Response Disaster Restoration Specialists is a family owned company with an expert team that has the experience needed to provide South Bend with quality restoration services. Whether your property is residential, commercial or industrial, we’d love to show you why we are one of the area’s leading choices for restoring places back to suitable conditions. Contact us today for services in South Bend, and you'll receive professional assistance for all your restoration needs.

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