President | Newly appointed 4/3/2023
Derek is a lifelong Iowan and a full-time firefighter with 17 years in the fire service; currently with the Sioux City Fire Department. He has been involved with St. Florian since 2007, and was the Vice President of the foundation until 2023. His passion comes from the pride of watching his dad Steve (retired Sioux City Firefighter) volunteering at the beginning years of Miracle Burn Camp and helped to build it to what it is today. He also has a passion in promoting fire prevention and education, and has been a counselor for Miracle Burn Camp for over 15 years. He has set a goal to build a $2 million dollar endowment for the foundation to ensure St. Florian and its programs are around for many generations to come. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids and rooting for the Hawkeyes.
Josh began his time with the St. Florian Fire & Burn Foundation in 2012 by volunteering for Miracle Burn Camp and has been a consistent presence ever since. During the rest of the year, Josh is a full-time firefighter/paramedic with the City of West Des Moines and a part-time member of the Clive Fire Department, beginning in the volunteer ranks in 2004. During his time with St. Florian, he continues to be amazed and inspired by the survivors and their families and their journey. Josh was elected to the St. Florian Board of Directors in 2018.
During Josh’s spare time, he enjoys watching and playing sports and spending time with his wife and three boys.
Tyler is a Financial Adviser and Partner with Kruse Financial Group, starting with them after he graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biological Systems Engineering with an emphasis in Biomedical Engineering.
Tyler believes that it is important to be involved and give back to the community and he has a passion for helping people which is shown through his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland, the North Sioux City Fire Department, and most recently the St Florian Burn Foundation. Tyler has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2015 by participating in the program as a ‘Big’ as well as serving on the Board of Directors. Tyler has been a Certified Fire Fighter and EMT for the North Sioux City Fire Department since 2015. He was also promoted to Captain and serves as the President on the Board of Directors. Most recently, Tyler was elected to the St. Florian Burn Foundation Board of Directors in 2021 to serve as the treasurer. Other causes and organizations that Tyler supports and is involved in include: the Sioux City Growth Organization, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Tyler enjoys spending time with friends and family, which may include a relaxing day on the water or an exciting day on the slopes. Tyler believes that building relationships is one of the most important things you can do, therefore he is committed to working with his clients to help them succeed in their financial planning goals.
Andrea became involved in St. Florian in the late 1990’s when she attended Miracle Burn Camp as a burn survivor. She was selected to attend the IAFF International Burn Camp in 2001. After aging out of Miracle Burn Camp, she was employed for two summers at Camp Foster in Spirit Lake, Iowa so that she could still be part of Miracle Burn Camp.
After 10 years away from the foundation, Andrea and her family started attending annual Burn Survivors Together events in Sioux City, Iowa. This led her to share personal testimonies of how this foundation has changed her life at local fundraising events. In 2022, Andrea was elected to the St. Florian Burn Foundation Board of Directors and serves as Secretary.
Currently, Andrea has been faculty at Northeast Community College at the Norfolk, Nebraska campus since 2010. She teaches in the physical therapist assistant program, where she uses her experiences with St. Florian to inspire others to get involved and give back to their community. When she is not teaching, you will find her spending time with her family hitting trails with their side-by-side or watching her kids in their activities. To contact, please e-mail Andrea
Andy has been in the fire service since 2004 and is currently a career Firefighter/EMT with Bettendorf Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services Department. Andy works the training shift where he is an instructor for our fire department as well as an Instructor for the Iowa Fire Service Training Bureau. He has been involved with the public education and fire prevention for the fire department. Andy first became involved with St. Florian Fire & Burn Foundation when he volunteered as a Miracle Burn Camp counselor in 2014, and was elected to the St. Florian Board of Directors in 2015.
Bridget has been a nurse in the University of Iowa Burn Treatment Center since 1999 after graduating from nursing school at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, IA. Throughout her career she developed a strong passion for Burn Care and its psychosocial affects on the burn survivor. She has dedicated her professional life to enhancing the lives of survivors with her expertise in burn care as well as her connections with survivors in various after-care activities. She has been volunteering with Miracle Burn Camp as a counselor and now Co-director since 2002, and her heart truly lives here throughout the year! She served as coordinator of the Safe Start: Burn Prevention with Puppet Outreach program for approximately 8 years. She assisted in establishing a school re-entry program at the University of Iowa and has completed several school re-entry programs for pediatric burn survivors in the state of Iowa. Lastly, Bridget helped establish the Young Adult Burn Survivor (YABS) Retreat in 2007. Bridget has worked closely with St. Florian for the past several years and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2015.
Bridget grew up in Marengo, IA, values her small town roots and cheering for the Iowa Hawkeyes. When Bridget is not working she likes to spend time with her two beautiful, smart and active children Chase and Emma Lea.
Mike became involved in St. Florian after his youngest son, Jesse, was burned in a kitchen accident in 2010. Burn Survivors Together and Family Burn Camp have been integral in his personal healing, as well as the healing of his family, after the burn injury. Mike was elected to the St. Florian Board of Directors in 2018.
Mike grew up on a family farm in eastern Iowa. After graduating from Iowa State University in 2002 with a MS in Agricultural Engineering, he joined John Deere as a design engineer for combine structures. Currently, Mike serves as a test & measurements engineer, designing sensors and analyzing test data for John Deere equipment.
Mike lives in Bettendorf, Iowa, with his wife Angie and three kids, Caleb, Grace, and Jesse. Keeping up with family schedules leaves limited free time, but when he gets a chance Mike enjoys rooting on the Cyclones and the Cubs, working with his hands doing home improvement, woodworking, or wood carving, or sometimes just sitting down to watch a Marvel movie with the whole family.
Sarah has been a nurse in the University of Iowa Burn Treatment Center since 2012. Since starting her career as a nurse on the Burn Unit, she has developed a strong passion for outreach programs and support programs for burn survivors. She currently runs the Safe Start: Burn Prevention with Puppets Outreach Program on the Burn Unit, where the nursing staff go to a variety of elementary schools across Iowa to teach fire safety and burn prevention with the use of puppets. Sarah has also taken on planning the Burn Unit Service of Remembrance, where burn patients who have passed away are remembered by their family and friends. Sarah has been involved in St Florian through Miracle Burn Camp and also organized a dinner fundraiser at Big Grove in 2017. She has also taken over the planning of Iowa City’s Burn Survivors Together with Steven Hoff. Most recently, Sarah has stepped into the role of Interim Assistant Nurse Manager of the Burn Unit.
Sarah grew up in Woodstock, IL. She moved to Iowa City in 2003 to attend college at the University of Iowa and has made Iowa City her home. She is married to Iowa City Firefighter Collin Wellsandt and has a beautiful baby girl, Emmelia.
Sarah Wellsandt was elected to the St. Florian Board of Directors in 2019.
Megan joined the fire service in 2011. She began her journey with the North Liberty Volunteer Fire Department. She’s still actively serving as a FF/EMT and was recently promoted to the Community Risk Reduction Lieutenants position. Megan’s full time job is with the Cedar Rapids Fire Department. She works as a FF/EMT and is very involved with extra programs both inside and outside the department. Megan first attended St. Florian Burn Camp in 2015. This week of camp has since become Megan’s favorite week of the entire summer!
“Reconnecting with the campers and watching them enjoy themselves all week is one of the many highlights.”-Megan
In her free time, Megan enjoys spending time with her family & friends, traveling, cooking/ baking, and the great outdoors.
Megan was elected to the St. Florian Board of Directors in 2019.
Living only 25 minutes from Camp Foster, I love being involved in camp. Marketing and graphic design has been my life-long career choice, and I am grateful to be helping out St. Florian Burn Foundation.
I have a husband who works for Kozy Heat Fireplaces, a daughter Kyla and a son named Ryker. We stay very busy in clubs, activities, coaching and enjoy camping all summer long.
Jackie was elected to the St. Florian Board of Directors in 2022.
Emma Lea Werling
About Emma Lea
Emma Lea Werling was elected to the St. Florian Board of Directors in 2023. She attended Camp Foster as a resident camper from 2012 to 2022, and she is returning to camp this summer as a counselor. Emma Lea has had a strong connection with Miracle Burn Camp and St. Florian through her mother, Bridget Lucas-Gehring. The burn survivors and their successes have always been near and dear to her heart. Emma Lea has always been thankful to have learned about adversity that is bigger than herself and wants to continue spreading the magic of Camp Foster and Miracle Burn Camp.
Emma Lea grew up in the small town of Marengo, Iowa. She is currently attending Iowa State University, and she is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design with an emphasis in Fashion Communications with a minor in Performing Arts. Emma Lea is a proud member of Gamma Phi Beta, and she is also involved in Trend Magazine, Iowa State’s The Fashion Show, and ISU Theatre. When she isn’t busy running around campus, she can be found laughing with her friends or creating something.
Sam was born and raised in Central Iowa. She was a camper at Camp Foster starting at age 8 and returned as a staff member where she learned about St. Florian. She fell in love with the mission and values of St. Florian Burn Foundation. She loves building relationships among the burn survivors communities and loves returning to MBC to see how much each camper has grown as a person from year to year! In her off time, Sam loves being on the lake with her dog, Dolly, and her friends and family.
The nurses and fire fighters also felt a need to start a local burn camp that children with burns from the Siouxland area could attend annually. St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation partnered with Camp Foster YMCA on East Lake Okoboji in 1995 and Miracle Burn Camp was born. In 1996, this partnership extended to the University of Iowa Burn Treatment Center. The collaboration of both organizations continues to bring support to pediatric burn survivors from across the state of Iowa and surrounding states.
In 2004, St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation began sponsoring a local SOAR (Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery) program to provide peer support for local burn survivors. SOAR is a program developed by The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Inc.
In 2007, efforts began to expand the service area of St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation. Our goal was to grow beyond the city limits of the founding organization, to be a state and regional entity. While this has been a slow process we have lots of goals for the future so we can better serve the community at large. Our mission is empowering the burn community to come together, to build strength and hope along the journey and to become a unified voice for support and prevention. St. Florian serves Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska.
The vision is to be the regional service organization entity for fire and burn prevention and survivor support for the three states. St. Florian’s mission is empowering the burn community to come together, to build strength and hope along the journey and to become a unified voice for support and prevention. St. Florian serves Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska.
The Constitution and Bylaws for St. Florian Burn Foundation are available upon request. To receive a copy or more information, please contact us!
Our focus is to support pediatric burn survivors from across the state of Iowa and surrounding states.
Our mission is empowering the burn community to come together, to build strength and hope along the journey and to become a unified voice for support and prevention.
St. Florian serves Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska.
"Words can not explain how truly blessed I have been to be able to volunteer and be a part of the St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation Miracle Family Burn Camp ❤️ these beautiful, wonderful, and nothing less than amazing families have changed my life time and time again."