Katy Responds was established is 2018 after Katy churches and other organizations recognized the long term recovery effort it would take to rebuild our community after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017. The importance also in working with the city, county and federal governments in planning, preparation and response for the next “disaster” was needed.
Tom Pretti, Jr. has been involved in Hurricane Harvey’s relief effort from day 1, beginning with neighbors, friends, even strangers whom he could reach in the high waters, who were directly impacted.
Tom’s background includes a heart to serve those knocked down by life, roles on several non-profit boards, many years in the construction business, plus a 17-year background in business and tax consulting. These experiences aligned superbly enabling Tom to successfully lead local relief, muck-out, and restoration efforts through Grace Fellowship UMC for 8 months following Harvey, leading directly into the formation of Katy Responds to continue the long-term response within our community.
Tom has a patient, angelic wife of 18 years and been blessed with 3 sons. Tom’s sons have been signed up to power the Katy area with their unending energy in the case of any area power-outages. Their family has lived in the Katy area 11 years and are members of Grace Fellowship UMC.
Rev. Fred Willis is the senior pastor of Holy Covenant UMC on Morton Ranch Road. He has been working with non-profits and religious organizations for 30 years, serving as a Pastor with the United Methodist Church since 1997. He lives in Katy with his wife and two children. Besides working in the Church, he also occasionally blogs about his cooking and life at www.lifeatmytable.com.
I, Nancy (my wife of 23 years), and James and Matthew (our two teenage boys) are Canadians transplanted to the US in 2008. For many years, I’ve had a strong desire to help disadvantaged people, generally through the various churches of which we have been members. Recently, we’ve been particularly involved in remediation and recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey, largely for uninsured members of our church and wider community. Watching the impact of this disaster, and particularly the way the community rallied around those affected, has been inspiring, and I have been grateful for all of the people (victims and helpers) we’ve met. I am committed to being a part of that recovery, for as long as it takes for the victims to be able to take up their lives again. I look forward to doing much of that work through Katy Responds.
Lyl Rymer is the Volunteer Coordinator of Hurricane Harvey Relief at Current Christian Church, where she organizes volunteers, contract workers, and relief organizations to restore homes damaged by the hurricane. With a background in everything from electronics brokering to manufacturing management to tree removal to homeschooling, her penchant for taking on new challenges and her God-driven calling towards volunteer work drew her to flood relief as soon as the water receded enough for her church to put cars on the road. Though the flooding from the hurricane has long since been over, she remains dedicated to helping her community through whatever disaster come its way. She lives in Katy, Texas with her husband, Nathan, and their four children. When she isn’t working on Hurricane Harvey aid, she works part-time as a photographer.