Betty Dillard, Staff Writer @ Fort Worth Business Press
Hunter Ryffel has taken the Scout Motto ‘Be Prepared’ to heart. Always ready in mind and body to do the right thing at the right moment, Ryffel recently launched D.R. Strategies Inc., a humanitarian disaster relief organization based in Fort Worth. D.R. Strategies – the initials stand for “disaster relief” – provides a global solution for people in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. The 10-38 Box solution is a recovery and relief box containing shelter and lifesaving supplies that delivers emergency aid for people affected and displaced by natural disasters such as fires, floods, tornadoes, typhoons or hurricanes. Mission-ready, the 10-38 Box is durable, portable, shippable and available to serve in situations around the world to people who need emergency aid the most.
“I’ve always had a big interest in helping people. With all the tsunamis and earthquakes and disasters happening in the world right now I’m more motivated than ever to help people,” Ryffel said. Ryffel, an 18-year-old senior at Southwest Christian School in Fort Worth, got the idea for the 10-38 Box from skills and education learned through Boy Scouts of America. He founded D.R. Strategies in September 2010, the same month he earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
“I learned all the basic things from scouting you need to survive being in the wilderness,” Ryffel said. The inspiration to start his own business comes naturally to the young entrepreneur. His father is James Ryffel, founder and president of Woodcrest Capital LLC, an investment and venture finance firm, and Woodcrest Enterprises Inc., a commercial real estate brokerage company.
A longtime entrepreneur, James Ryffel is a benefactor of the entrepreneurship center at Texas Christian University, where he earned bachelor and master’s degrees in business administration and Ranch Management Certification. He serves as president and a member of the board of directors of the Longhorn Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and is founder of Camp Eagle, a Christian camp located in the Texas Hill Country that serves hundreds of children each year.
“I’ve traveled a lot since I was little. I’ve been all over the world with my parents and I’ve seen how people live,” Ryffel said. “I talked to my dad about the idea for D.R. Strategies and he really helped me. I came up with the prototype for the box and my dad helped me get the business incorporated.” After conducting extensive research, Ryffel has carefully sourced and selected new equipment and supplies for the relief box that will help a family of up to 10 people survive over an extended period of time. Tough, lightweight and waterproof, the boxes can be customized for a specific disaster or according to local conditions but typically contain a disaster relief tent, a first aid kit, blankets, matches, a rope, a flashlight, a basic tool kit, a wood-burning stove, cooking utensils, water purification tablets, a solar shower, and a toilet seat and toilet paper.
“There’s nothing perishable in the box,” Ryffel said. “Usually food and water are the first things to arrive when help comes. This relief box is for shelter, sanitation, safety and water purification. We can change things in the box to include whatever is needed the most.” Ryffel plans to market the boxes to global aid organizations, public and private, and government agencies, as well as individuals. He said the price for a box will be about $800, depending on what is needed for each custom order and how many boxes are ordered. D.R. Strategies will provide shipping at an extra cost and plans are to offer storage of boxes for an additional fee. The company’s website – www.drstrategiesinc.com – includes a place to order.
Ryffel currently is in the process of hiring an employee to manage the supply chain, sourcing and distribution for the business. He’s also scouting around Fort Worth for office space, in the hopes he ends up at TCU. “Of course, I’d really like to stay here at home and go to school while I run the business,” Ryffel said. “I think once the name gets out there people will seek us out. There will always be disasters somewhere in the world, unfortunately. I just want to help people the best I know how.”