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CIRAS Support When You Need It Most


Founded in 1974, Dobson Pipe Organ Builders is a renowned American organ builder known for crafting high-quality pipe organs headquartered in Lake City, Iowa. They have organs in 29 states and the District of Columbia, England, and Australia.

The Challenge

A few days after a June 2021 fire destroyed the Dobson Pipe Organ Builders workshop, Deana Hoeg-Ryan called Derek Thompson, a CIRAS strategic advisor. The Lake City company’s office staff had relocated to a nearby house but didn’t have any equipment.


“I knew CIRAS had helped us in the past and called Derek to see if there’s anything he could do,” said Hoeg-Ryan, Dobson’s business manager. “I told him, ‘We have this house, and we have nothing to put in it. No desks, no computers. Can you help us?’ He asked me when we needed it, and I told him as soon as possible.”

We keep discovering new things CIRAS can do for us. They’ve helped with our website, strategic planning, hiring. They’ve touched just about everything we do.
— John Panning, Owner

MEP's Role

Thompson immediately tapped into the resources of CIRAS, part of the MEP National Network™. “Two days later, he brought desks, file cabinets, lamps, everything. It was amazing,” said Hoeg-Ryan.


After the fire, Hoeg-Ryan had to rebuild her job-costing records while dealing with the daunting insurance claim process. She contacted Thompson again, this time with an email with the subject line, "SOS." “I told him I was struggling here, had insurance to deal with, and needed help. He called me immediately,” she said. Thompson connected her with Sean Galleger, a retired CIRAS account manager and third-party resource with financial expertise. Working closely with Hoeg-Ryan, Galleger spent months gathering the information needed to file claims and assisting with negotiations.

Created April 24, 2024