Nationally Recognized "Hero" Response Team Stretches Web Vision, Expands Reach

HOUSTON, TX – Tad Agoglia is the founder of The First Response Team of America, a self-funded, nonprofit cleanup crew that provides immediate help to areas hit by disasters. Since May 2007, his four-man team with its arsenal of heavy equipment has helped thousands of victims across the United States – free of charge.

He's been honored by CNN as an American Hero, and People Magazine calls him a "Hero Among Us," but for Agoglia, the satisfaction boils down to serving others. He envisions multiple First Response crews covering the country, funded by corporate and federal sponsors. But to spread his vision, Agoglia needed an adaptable, effective web medium.

Skylar Design came to his rescue.

After months of planning, designing, strategizing and redesigning, Skylar helped Agoglia roll out The design has transformed tremendously since its original rendering to serve this quickly growing organization's ever-expanding online needs, and the client couldn't be happier.

Skylar Design is privileged to offer its expertise in design adaptability and, once again, has delivered a site that is generating exceptional response.

Site Objectives

The first month of the First Response web process was spent coming up with design drafts. Since the cleanup team was literally outside, facing some grueling elements, Skylar moved in the direction of creating more organic visuals, including earth tones and other natural elements, such as ropes, broken pieces of wood and mud textures. The client loved it.

Then, something amazing and unexpected happened that would change the plan of action.

CNN began showing great interest in the work of First Response team, increasing public awareness of this compelling organization. At the same time, the team decided to pursue nonprofit status to increase its service potential. A more "organizational" web look with flexibility for growth and up-to-date news coverage was needed, and the first design was scrapped. Moving into high gear, Skylar identified three key web elements, and a new site was born.

Strategy Specifics

First Response Team's three key web elements are: sharing the heart of their organization; showing the heart of the team and the real people and communities whose hope is being restored; and creating a media area.

Sharing the Heart: Featured on the tab panel, a set of talking points—captured in bullet-form—answers "Who We Are," "What We Do," and "Our Unique Equipment." This panel resides on the upper third of the page so that first-time site visitors never have to scroll down to capture the heart and vision of the organization.

Showing the Heart: By creating a Flash animation that uses XML to rotate key images in and out, the site allows viewers to see the areas, nationwide, devastated by loss and destruction. The images, which transition from black-and-white to color, also emphasize hope and help offered by this extreme response team.

Media Center: This web area was created to house press releases and videos that are featuring First Response Team across the country. With their web mission accomplished, The First Response Team of America is positioned for expansion and partnership. Their organization and the communities served in times of crises greatly appreciate your generous support.

To learn more or to donate now, visit