On a mission

Board of Directors

Don Taylor - Executive Director of Chesapeake Housing MissionDon Taylor

Executive Director

After 20 years of developing a youth Ministry at Asbury UMC to support home repair for those less fortunate in Appalachia, Don along with several other Appalachia veterans, started Chesapeake Housing Mission to serve those in our own area who were less fortunate. “Why travel to other places when your own local people need your help? Our passion for helping others is evident by the fact that we are a working BOD growing an organization that believes that God calls us to help and serve one another without judgement.”

Rick Nelson - Chairman of Chesapeake Housing MissionRick Nelson


Rick became involved with CHM in 2013 when his church was asked to assist on some projects. “I found the experience to be both spiritually rewarding and personally satisfying – I was able to use the talents and skills I was blessed with to help those in need.” Rick was hooked after the very first project when he saw the look and gratitude on the face of the people helped. “I knew this was something I wanted to stay involved in.” Rick has been a CHM board member since 2012.

Vernon Rivers - Vice Chairman of Chesapeake Housing MissionVernon Rivers

Vice Chairman

Vernon moved to the Eastern Shore in 1991 after retiring from public education in New York State. During his career he taught in an elementary school, coached both football and basketball on a high school level, and held principalship positions.  He retired as an assistant superintendent.

Vernon has always volunteered in the community where he resides and was chosen as the 2013 Four-Way Test winner by the Salisbury Rotary Club for his volunteer work.  He has served on the Episcopal Diocese of Easton and many other committees and boards in Salisbury and Wicomico County.

Vernon and his wife Audrey have one son, two daughters and eight grandchildren.

Bill Ferguson - Treasurer of Chesapeake Housing MissionBill Ferguson


Maureen Williams - Secretary of Chesapeake Housing MissionMaureen Williams


A former high school counselor, Maureen Williams became involved with CHM through her combined love of working with youth and serving those in need. As the program founder and a 15-year adult leader of Trinity United Methodist Church’s Appalachia Service Project Mission Team, Maureen understands the importance of nurturing the concept of service and volunteerism in today’s youth. “It is so inspiring to see the response of our volunteers when they realize the impact they have had on a person and the quality of that person’s life, simply by giving a day of their time, energy and spirit!” Maureen has been a CHM Board Member since 2010 and presently serves as the board secretary.

Allen Brown - Past Chairman of Chesapeake Housing MissionAllen Brown

Past Chairman

Allen retired from the Wicomico County Board of Education as an Assistant Superintendent for Student Services. Prior to that he served as a teacher, vice-principal, pupil personnel worker, and director of student services. Allen was awarded the 2006 AIMMS Excellence for Minority Achievement Award and the 2007 NAACP Outstanding Service to Wicomico County Students award.

Allen has served on numerous boards and committees , including the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore, and finds it both rewarding and enjoyable to serve the community as part of Chesapeale Housing Mission.

Peggy BradfordPeggy Bradford

Peggy’s career has been devoted to providing services to older persons and their caregivers. As the Executive Director of a private nonprofit area agency on aging, she worked to expand in home care services for elders living alone and to provide support for their caregivers. She spearheaded the efforts to expand nutrition services such as Meals on Wheels and the senior center meal program. And, she focused on tapping into the skills of retirees who were willing to volunteer to make our community the best place to grow older. Peggy, recently retired, is now one of those volunteers!

David DownesDavid Downes

Dave loves to help people and has a special passion for the spiritual growth of our youth. He remembers how hard it was to grow up in a world of crazy and dangerous first choices, so he loves to help our youth to grow through this period of their lives. He believes that our youth are at their best when they are working to help others in need; youth who have been permitted to enjoy service become good role models to their peers, better citizens, better people, and better Christians. “Chesapeake Housing Mission lets both young and old grow through Christian service to help our neighbors who have real needs. CHM is a great portal for all people to fellowship in Christian service and to grow in their faith and to model Christ. Thanks CHM!”

Dave is an engineer and has been involved in CHM from inception. He is a past youth mentor, coach, and Appalachia Service Project volunteer.

David Gutoskey

A member of the Salisbury community since 1994, Dave moved to the shore from Cleveland Ohio to work in Housing and Residence Life at Salisbury University and along with his wife, raise their four children. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and a proud parishioner of St Francis De Sales. Dave was blessed to receive his academic and spiritual education in the Jesuit tradition of St. Ignatius de Loyola whose core values are “Magis” giving more of oneself, “Cura Personalis” care for the entire person and “Ad Majorium Dei Glorium (AMDG)” To the Greater Glory of God. “These are the same values represented in the unselfish work accomplished by the Chesapeake Housing Mission.”

Steve HearneSteve Hearne

David MayonadoDavid Mayonado

Dave works as a research agronomist for a large private company and has been involved with CHM since the beginning. Having served on 2 Appalachia Service Project teams and on multiple Christian youth retreat weekends known as Chrysalis, Dave has a passion for youth ministries. “It is such a privilege to be part of a ministry that makes an immediate impact for those who cannot leave their home without a ramp. It is also very rewarding to drive past a home where long ago CHM volunteers constructed a wheelchair ramp and to know that years later we’re still making a difference.” Dave has been a CHM Board Member since 2009 and has formerly served as Board Chair.

Stacey NortonStacey Norton

Stacey became involved with CHM in order to serve others.  Her mother taught her the spirit of volunteerism at an early age and the importance of helping others.  This inspiration led her to a degree in Human Resources from Auburn University and a career in Human Resources helping others as an employee advocate.  She currently serves as the HR Director for Worcester County Government and also volunteers as a Lifestyle Balance Instructor for the Worcester County Health Department. Stacey has been a CHM Board Member since 2017.

Robert SmithRobert Smith

Robert, originally from Louisiana, went to work for the State of Maryland upon graduating from the University of Maryland in 1973. With his wife Sandy, Robert moved to the Eastern Shore in 1986. He retired from the State Government in 2014. Robert has served on the Board of the American Red Cross and has served as Chairman of the District Easter Seals Committee. He is a member of the OC/Berlin Rotary Club, Post 166 American Legion, and Post 1091 Vietnam Veterans of America. Robert served in the military for 25 years (6 years active and 19 years in the Reserves), retiring from service in 1996.

Advisory Board

Mary BellisMary Bellis

Allen NelsonAllen Nelson

Allen first became aware of CHM as a Board member of the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore. As a member of the Cambridge Rotary Club. he was a part of CHM’s first build team and saw firsthand the incredible impact a day doing something he enjoyed and doing it with good friends had on a family. When the homeowner pushed her previously housebound brother out on the ramp and into the sunny day for the first time, “I had to walk around the side of the house to prevent embarrassing myself”. Over the years the Cambridge Rotary Club has completed many service projects. “It is fair to say our work on the several ramps constructed is at the top of the list when it comes to a positive sense of accomplishment. An added benefit for any group doing this work is the team building and fellowship enjoyed. It is that message I use in spreading the word to other groups to join us.”

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