American Red Cross names new executive director of Beaumont and Orange County chapters


American Red Cross announced Monday, August 18 that Chester R. Jourdan, Jr. has been selected as the new executive director of the Beaumont and Orange County Chapters.  Jourdan assumed his new responsibilities on Monday. 

As executive director, he will serve in a leadership role to improve the resiliency of the communities served by the Red Cross, an American Red Cross press release states. His leadership will help community members to respond to and recover from natural and man-made disasters as well as promoting the growth, quality and constituency of Red Cross programs and services throughout the Golden Triangle and Deep East Texas Counties.    

“Chester was selected for this position based on his fundraising expertise, community involvement and knowledge working with the private sector, not for profit organizations and local governments throughout Southeast Texas,” said Steve Vetrano, Chief Executive Officer, Texas Gulf Coast Region of the American Red Cross. “We are excited to have someone with his experience to help further the mission of the American Red Cross in our communities,”

Jourdan said he plans to focus on relationships. 

“I want to strengthen our current relationships and develop new relationships for the future on behalf of the Red Cross,” he said.  “I am looking forward to serving our community through the life-saving mission of the American Red Cross from disaster preparedness and recovery to service to our military troops and veterans.  You can also continue to count on your American Red Cross to respond to disasters, large and small.”

Most recently, Jourdan was executive director of the South East Texas Nonprofit Development Center in Beaumont.  Prior to returning to Texas, he served as the executive director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission in Columbus, Ohio. He also served as executive director of the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission in Beaumont.  In that role, he addressed regional initiatives by promoting collaboration and cooperation with government and private sector interests. Jourdan was also engaged in the relief efforts for 27,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees and helped lead efforts in the evacuation, relief, recovery and rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita. After he and his family relocated to Columbus, Ohio, Jourdan returned to Southeast Texas to volunteer for two weeks in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. 

Jourdan has also worked for the United States Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Fort Worth. He earned a Masters in Urban and Regional Affairs from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science at Stephen F. Austin State University. He was a member of the U.S. Army serving with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 101st Airborne Division, respectively.  While serving in the Middle East he was notified by the American Red Cross about the birth of his oldest daughter. 

The Beaumont Chapter covers the Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson and Tyler counties.  The Orange County Chapter covers Angelina, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Sabine, San Augustine and Shelby counties.