Olson Named NPUC Disaster Response Coordinator

Dennis Olson was recently elected as the North Pacific Union disaster response coordinator. As an unsalaried volunteer, Olson is accountable to the elected officers of the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) and receives counsel and support from the NPUC disaster response coordination committee.

His duties include creating an Adventist disaster response program for the Northwest, facilitating disaster response training and, during an actual disaster, coordinating the efforts of conference and local church disaster response activities. He will also work with state and federal agencies in planning and responding to emergencies.

Olson brings a wealth of experience to the job, including more than 30 years experience working for local and county governmental agencies in Washington and Oregon. He retired in June 2003, having served as the director of the Umatilla County Department of Resource Services and Development for 24 years and directing 32 staff members. He is currently under contract as a Homeland Security consultant and is on call as a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster assistance employee.

Olson's wife of 34 years, Linda (Chaney), is a program manager for the Oregon Department of Human Services child welfare program. They have two grown children: Christian, a middle school special education teacher in Scappoose, Ore., and Krista, a social worker/family advocate for the Head Start program in Boardman, Ore. They have one granddaughter.

In announcing Olson's appointment, Jere Patzer, NPUC president, said, “We pray that we are spared any major disaster, but it is a blessing to know that, should one occur, adequate preparation will have been made through the efforts of Dennis Olson and the conference disaster response coordinators.”

June 01, 2004 / North Pacific Union