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.”

Vernon Rivers - Vice Chairman of Chesapeake Housing MissionVernon Rivers


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.

David Gutoskey

Vice Chairman

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 Hearne


Steve was born and raised in Salisbury. After law school he practiced in Baltimore for seven years before returning home, where he has practiced law for more than 37 years. Steve has served on the Boards of various civic and religious organizations, honing his skills at serving others.  After 20 years travelling with the Appalachia Service Project, he became a founding member and the first President of Chesapeake Housing Mission to extend his avocation of helping others.  He derives great joy and a warm heart assisting in the construction of many wheelchair ramps each year with CHM.

Christina BurkeChristina Burke

Assistant Treasurer

Christina, originally from upstate New York, became an Eastern Shore resident after graduating from Salisbury (State) University with her Accounting degree. After graduation, she worked in Dover for Chesapeake Utilities as an Internal Auditor before joining Perdue Farms in 2001. Christina has held various Accounting roles within Perdue. She obtained her MBA from SU in 2007 and became a licensed CPA in 2016. Christina resides in Wicomico County with her wife, Victoria, and daughter, Phebe. She is a former Girl Scout leader and has recently become a Foster Parent for Wicomico County. Christina attends Asbury UMC, where she volunteers for Vacation Bible School and Appalachian Service Project. Her desire is to ensure that all residents of our area find the support that they need to thrive within our community. Joining the CHM Advisory Board is a way for Christina to extend her service to the community while utilizing her professional expertise.  

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.

Stacey NortonStacey Norton

Assistant Secretary

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.

Rick Nelson - Chairman of Chesapeake Housing MissionRick Nelson

Operations Director

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.

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!

Allen Brown - Past Chairman of Chesapeake Housing MissionAllen Brown

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 Chesapeake Housing Mission.

Bill Ferguson - Treasurer of Chesapeake Housing MissionBill Ferguson

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.

Advisory Board

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.”

Niki RutterNiki Rutter

Niki Gwaltney Rutter joined the Perdue family in October 2016 and has recently accepted the role of Vice President of FP&A. Previously, she was the Vice President of Finance for the Perdue Premium Prepared Foods business unit. Prior to joining Perdue, she was Senior Director of Customer Finance at Smithfield Foods for a 15-year career serving in leadership roles in Finance and IT. Niki holds an Executive MBA from William and Mary’s Mason School of Business located in Williamsburg, Va and her undergraduate degree from Salem College located in Winston-Salem, NC. She and her husband Mark and their 2 children currently reside in Salisbury, Md after relocating from Newport News, Va.

The Chesapeake Housing Mission has afforded me an opportunity to have a positive impact on the local community in which we live while carrying out the mission of providing vital housing to those in need. After joining Perdue, I was able to volunteer at a local home in Fruitland which was in need of a wheelchair ramp. I knew after that day, this was an organization I wanted to be involved with on a larger scale. 

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