Dawn Teixeira
President & CEO

Dawn M. Teixeira joined SADD, Inc. in February 2015 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Together with a dedicated national board of directors, staff, and thousands of volunteers across the country, Dawn’s vision will advance the strategic work of empowering young people to successfully confront the risks and pressures that challenge them daily. Highly experienced in working with nonprofit boards and working collaboratively with a broad spectrum of high-level corporate, civic and government leaders, Ms. Teixeira is passionate about helping others.

Prior to the SADD appointment, Ms. Teixeira served as a nonprofit consultant assisting a variety of organizations in the fields of military support services, housing, healthcare and education in Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. She is a founding member of Homes for Our Troops, the first 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the nation dedicated to rebuilding the lives of our nation’s most severely wounded veterans and their families by providing them with new, specially-adapted and mortgage-free homes. Ms. Teixeira’s legacy to HFOT is her consistent leadership and vision to set in place sound, organizational growth strategies that resulted in a sustainable organization and the ability to deliver greater depth and quality of programming to the veterans it serves. To date, HFOT has supported veterans and their families in more than 37 states and provided thousands of hours of related education and services; support valued at more than $80 million. Ms. Teixeira has been recognized by the President of the United States and others of distinction for her work on behalf of military families.

Ms. Teixeira dedicates much of her community and volunteer board service to organizations serving our military families and others. She is a member of the board of directors for the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, Rebuilding Together Boston and recently consulted for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services. Ms. Teixeira has received the Governor’s citation for her work with the Boston Survivors’ Accessibility Alliance, a government-public-and-private volunteer alliance to provide accessibility in the home to the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing who became disabled.

Ms. Teixeira is a summa cum laude graduate of Northeastern University.

Stephen Wallace, M.S. Ed.
Senior Advisor for Policy, Research, and Education

Stephen Wallace has broad experience as a school psychologist and adolescent counselor and is a high-profile participant in, and commentator on, the modern-day adolescent experience. Stephen is the immediate past national chairman and chief executive officer and current senior advisor for policy, research, and education at SADD; director of the SADD Teens Today and teen driving research projects; associate research professor and director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Education at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, and director of counseling and counselor training at the Cape Cod Sea Camps in Brewster, Massachusetts.

Stephen’s passion is to help teens make safe, healthy choices and to motivate adults to become a more positive force in children’s lives. Stephen has appeared on CNN, E! Entertainment, Fox News Channel, NBC, and PBS, and his columns appear in newspapers across the country. Stephen has been honored by the White House and the American Camp Association for his tireless work on behalf of America’s youth. Most recently, Stephen received the 2011 SADD Chairman’s Compass Award and Susquehanna University’s 2010 Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award for his significant contributions to the youth health and safety field.

Stephen’s book, Reality Gap: Alcohol, Drugs and Sex—What Parents Don’t Know and Teens Aren’t Telling, published by Sterling Publishing/Union Square Press is available at amazon.com. The book can be made available at events for sales and signings, and, if purchased through SADD, a portion of the proceeds benefits youth-based prevention programming.

Christopher Egan
Director of Field Services

Mr. Egan joined the SADD National staff in January 2006. As Director of Field Services, he is responsible for state-level SADD development and support, including supporting and overseeing SADD state coordinators, creating and maintaining contacts with key state, federal, and nonprofit organizations and representatives to mobilize SADD activity, and strategizing and coordinating startup operations in states without a coordinator. The Field Services office also supports local SADD chapters through development of the chapter database, analysis of chapter needs, and responsiveness to chapter inquiries.

A licensed attorney, Mr. Egan’s career has been spent in youth development organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs and Camp Fire USA. In past positions, he was responsible for overseeing programs and operations serving thousands of children, developing fund-raising campaigns, and strategic planning and budgeting. As Legislative Chair of the Massachusetts Camping Association, Mr. Egan represented the interests of the summer camp industry to lawmakers and state agencies and served as chief spokesman for the association. Mr. Egan is a graduate of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio and Boston University School of Law.

Rick Birt
Development Officer

Richard “Rick” Birt joined the SADD National staff in June 2014. As the Development Officer, he is responsible for oversight of all fundraising and development activity. Working with alumni, corporations, foundations and other interested parties, Mr. Birt develops and maintains relationships which further the mission of the agency through major gifts, partnerships and contributions. He works closely with the Board of Directors to support the Resource Development Committee in their efforts to identify and cultivate new revenue streams which enhance the operations of the organization. Ultimately, his work advances SADD’s ability to better serve its network which includes thousands of chapters and students across the country.

Mr. Birt has many years experience working in the prevention field. As a private contractor, he has worked with various organizations to support peer-to-peer-based education and training in the Midwest. He has great experience as a grant writer and has worked with state agencies on youth health and safety, wellness and leadership development. Rick has been deeply involved with SADD, from his service as SADD’s Ohio State Contact and his four years directing the Ohio SADD teen traffic safety program, to his selection as the 2009-2010 SADD National Student of the Year at which time he served as the nation’s youth spokesperson on our Board. Rick Birt is active in his community, serving primarily on his local Board of Education. In addition, he works with several community-based organizations and finds many ways to give back. Rick holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Wittenberg University.

Nicole Cheschi
Director of Finance and Administration

Nicole Cheschi joined the SADD National staff in April 2007. As the Director of Finance and Administration, she is responsible for the fiscal and personnel operations of the SADD National office. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day functions of the office, she assists with fund-raising initiatives, supervises grant compliance, and serves as the primary liaison for the financial aspects of the annual SADD National Conference.

Ms. Cheschi brings more than 12 years of progressive success in accounting and finance, including revenue management for a $110 million company. With extensive experience in domestic and international accounting as well as government accounting and reporting, she has led several companies through growth, survival, and turnaround. Prior to joining SADD, she served as Controller for CBL Systems in Milford, Massachusetts, a start-up company involved in the design, development, and sale of fiber-optic routers and ethernet switches. In this role she was responsible for managing both finance and human resources. She spent more than eight years at Education Development Center in Newton, Massachusetts, working with accounts payable and receivable, governmental and non-governmental financial reporting, and revenue analysis. Ms. Cheschi also worked for the Visiting Nurses in Lincoln, Rhode Island, in the finance department both during college and after graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

Julie Nussbaum
Prevention Consultant
Massachusetts State Coordinator

Ms. Nussbaum joined SADD in October 2003. Now, as SADD’s Prevention Consultant, Ms. Nussbaum is responsible for incorporating prevention strategies into SADD programming and works on prevention research projects. As the Massachusetts State Coordinator, she oversees the Massachusetts SADD program and serves as an agent to deliver youth safety programming targeting underage drinking, other drug use, impaired driving, traffic safety, and healthy decision-making to youth across the Commonwealth.

Ms. Nussbaum received a Master of Arts in Social Work with a focus on children, youth, and families from the University of Washington.  She has facilitated ropes courses and has worked with adolescents in shelters, hospitals, schools, agencies, and outdoor educational settings.  She has nearly fifteen years of experience as a prevention specialist, counseling individuals, families and groups, facilitating peer education programs, coordinating social services at schools, mentoring youth in outdoor education programs, and providing leadership, education and consultation to communities. 

April Cabrera
Youth Development Consultant

April Cabrera joined SADD in June 2013. As Youth Development Consultant, Ms. Cabrera is responsible for managing several grants involving youth leadership and advocacy on issues key to SADD’s mission. April also serves as the liaison to the SADD National Student Leadership Council.

April has more than 10 years of hands-on experience in youth development, prevention programming, positive health promotion and implementation of environmental strategies for several community nonprofit programs.

Before coming to SADD, April worked as the Community Executive for Health Initiatives for the American Cancer Society. Prior to working for ACA, she served as Program Coordinator for The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living (TFL) Youth. As program coordinator, she worked with 11- to 17-year-old youth leaders as part of a Louisiana youth movement focused on gaining community support for policy change around tobacco issues. April also served as Youth Prevention Specialist for the Southeast Center for Healthy Communities in Brockton, Massachusetts, and as a Coordinator of a youth tobacco advisory group, where she supervised and coordinated several community awareness projects related to tobacco and alcohol ads and products.

April has a passion for empowering young people and helping them develop into positive role models. She has developed and facilitated several leadership workshops both on the state and national levels. April regularly volunteers for community outreach efforts serving adolescents and young adults.

Ms. Cabrera is a graduate of Southern University where she earned a degree in Criminal Justice.

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