MADD Announces Five New Board Members
Anna Duerr, MADD
Irving, Texas – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is announcing today the election of five new members to its National Board of Directors. This diverse group of new members brings a range of experience, including grassroots activism, underage drinking prevention, financial expertise and much more.
“We are looking forward to the input and expertise of these individuals, who each provide a unique and valuable perspective, as MADD continues its efforts to save lives by working to eliminate drunk driving, and to serve the victims of this violent crime — reaching an average of one victim every eight minutes,” said Robert Strassburger, MADD’s Chairman of the Board.
In alphabetical order, the new Board members are:
Steven Benvenisti, New Jersey. During Steven's senior year of college, he was walking while on spring break when he was struck by a habitual drunk driver. His legs were crushed and he was in a coma for 10 days. He spent six months in the hospital, enduring 15 surgeries and intense rehabilitation. After that crash, he turned to MADD and found victim advocates in Florida and New Jersey who helped him and his family deal with the challenges from the crash. He fully recovered, went on to law school, and now is a partner at the law firm of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, where he represents victims of drunk driving and their families in lawsuits against the drunk drivers and those who served them. He has served on the New Jersey Advisory Board for MADD for several years, and shares his story to audiences around the country.
Brad Bulla, Tennessee. At the age of 17, Brad’s son, Jed, was a champion fiddle player and had been playing since he was six years old. In August 2005, Jed was practicing to compete at the Grand Master Fiddle Contest, but his life was cut short when he took a ride with an underage drunk driver. The pickup got up above 100 MPH before the driver lost control. Jed was thrown from the truck to the side of the road, where he died. Brad starting working with MADD shortly after the crash. He has been a frequent speaker on victim impact panels, including at the national 2009 Lifesavers Conference, and a force for stronger drunk driving laws in his home state of Tennessee.
Frank Magourilos, New Mexico. Frank is a Senior Prevention Specialist for the Santa Fe County DWI Program. In this role, he has worked closely with MADD New Mexico, the New Mexico Traffic Safety Bureau, and the New Mexico Prevention Network. He has tirelessly supported and implemented MADD’s Power of Parents™ underage drinking prevention program throughout the state of New Mexico and is a large part of the success the Power of Parents program has had in the state. He is also one of just a handful of individuals in the country with a Master’s Degree in Prevention Science from the University of Oklahoma. Additionally, Frank is a National Trainer and Consultant with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Mahesh Shetty, Texas. Mahesh is Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Encore Enterprises, Inc., a Dallas-based real estate investment company. He has more than 25 years of experience as a senior finance executive and started his career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Dallas Business Journal named him their 2011 CFO of the Year for companies with $50-99 million in revenue. He is also a vice chair of the Committee on Finance and IT at Financial Executives International, the leading U.S. association for CFOs and other senior finance executives
Monica Vandehei, Connecticut. In high school, Monica not only excelled in her studies, but also completed more than 350 hours of community service — most of which was with MADD Connecticut. She has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor the organization has to give, and in addition to MADD and Girl Scouts, has volunteered with the United States Coast Guard Academy’s Ensign Edibles Program and the Shoreline Soup Kitchen. She credits her values, her peer group and her parents with helping her refrain from underage drinking. Monica just finished her first year at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., studying Music Business.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents™ to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every eight minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.
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