Meet Our National Board of Directors & Staff
Board of Directors
- Maria Torrez Anderson
- Larry Bailin
- Ovidio B. Bermudez, M.D
- Robyn Block
- Colonel James E. Champagne
- Carlos DeBrit
- Matthew M. Hoidal
- Danna Mauch, Ph.D.
- Susan Scarola
- Bryan Delaney
- Madeline Seel
- Sharon Sikora
Board of Directors
Maria Torrez Anderson
SADD State Coordinator Representative
Strategic Planning Committee
Maria Torrez Anderson is the SADD State Coordinator from Kansas. She also serves as the Director of Programs for Kansas Family Partnership and is the Coordinator of the Kansas Red Ribbon Campaign. Ms. Anderson has been the Kansas SADD State Coordinator for the past nine years and has been involved with youth programming for more than 20 years.
Ms. Anderson has been involved in legislative issues including “Not in Our House,” a nationwide initiative on underage drinking and social hosting and “Be Wise About Underage Drinking,” a campaign to alert Kansas legislators to the dangers of underage drinking. She was appointed to serve on the Kansas Governor’s Breath Analyzer Advisory Committee, which implemented new guidelines for Breath Alcohol Testing to be used by Kansas law enforcement officers. Ms. Anderson also serves on the Traffic Safety Conference Planning Committee of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Safety & Technology and as a member of Safe Kids Kansas, a nonprofit coalition of over sixty statewide and regional organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14.
Ms. Anderson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts with an emphasis in Journalism from Washburn University of Topeka, KS. She is a Kansas native and currently resides in Topeka with her husband. She has two grown daughters and one granddaughter.
Larry Bailin (Treasurer)
Audit Committee Chair
Resource Development Committee
Strategic Planning Committee
Mr. Bailin is Founder and CEO of Single Throw Internet Marketing, based in Wall, New Jersey. He is a successful entrepreneur, leader, and author. Larry Bailin is also a prominent speaker and one of the most respected professionals in his field. In 2007, Larry was named one of the top 40 business people in New Jersey under the age of 40 and was called one of the top minds in the business by Yahoo’s marketing team. His best-selling marketing book, “Mommy, Where Do Customers Come From?” was originally released in 2007 and within hours of release, rose to number three on Amazon’s bestseller list. The book was dubbed “an instant classic” by readers and the media and is required reading by business students at various universities across the country. In addition, Larry has spoken to high school and college students about entrepreneurship, business, and sales and marketing. His desire is to give back and he enjoys helping, mentoring, and guiding future entrepreneurs on their journey.
Mr. Bailin works closely with a number of other charitable organizations such as Freedom House, a local halfway house, as well as assisting with fundraising in support of breast cancer, Parkinson’s research, homelessness, disabled American Veterans, and autism. He has received a commendation from The Boy Scouts of America for help with their efforts to send lower-income children to camp. Larry and his wife, Nicole, live in Freehold, New Jersey.
Ovidio B. Bermudez, M.D.
Dr. Bermudez is the Chief Medical Officer of the Eating Recovery Center in Denver, Colorado. He attended medical school at the Universidad Central del Este in the Dominican Republic, completed his residency in Pediatrics at The Medical College of Pennsylvania, and completed his fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is board-certified in both pediatrics and adolescent medicine.
Dr. Bermudez is affiliated with a number of professional societies, serving in leadership roles. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Medicine, and the Academy for Eating Disorders. He has served on several boards and committees with special attention to eating disorders. Dr. Bermudez has also served on several editorial boards. In addition to his membership on the SADD National board of directors, Dr. Bermudez currently serves on the board of directors of the National Eating Disorders Association and on the advisory board of GirlForce at Vanderbilt University. He is founder and president of the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee. Dr. Bermudez is fluent in Spanish.
SADD State Coordinator Representative
Strategic Planning Committee Co-Chair
Robyn Block has served as the Illinois Coordinator for Students Against Destructive Decisions since 2006. She stepped in on a part-time basis and began the task of assessing the number of chapters in Illinois and the types of prevention that was being practiced. During this time, Robyn has utilized her 15 years’ experience in the field of Prevention to move SADD chapters toward Best Practices. Education has been provided to students and their advisors through various delivery systems including, electronic newslettersand onsite training efforts. She has been instrumental in developing training modules for students and advisors alike. IL SADD has been the recipient of two distracted driving simulators and Robyn has utilized them to increase the number of school visits she makes, start new chapters, and provide additional training. Robyn also serves as the Chair for the Illinois Teen Safe Driving Coalition, working closely with the National Safety Council and The Allstate Foundation. She was instrumental in the creation of DomeShift, the annual youth advocacy day that she began three years ago by bringing partners together to provide youth from around the state training in Advocacy and giving them the opportunity to put that training into practice with their state legislators.
SADD has been a part of Prevention First since 2008 and as such, has been able to expand the reach and quality of services provided to better equip those serving in an advisory role to the thousands of student members in Illinois.
Robyn has two daughters, Randyl and Casey, and one beagle, Baby Girl, and lives on a 20-acre farm in rural southern Illinois.
Colonel James E. Champagne (Secretary/Clerk)
Resource Development Committee Chair
Strategic Planning Committee
Lieutenant Colonel Champagne served as Executive Director and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative from 1996 to 2007. He was appointed to both posts by Governor Mike Foster on January 8, 1996. He began his state service in 1966 with his appointment as a state trooper. During his career with the state police, Colonel Champagne had numerous commands, culminating with his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, Chief of Staff for the Louisiana State Police. As the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative, he helped Louisiana implement a wide range of highway safety programs. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission serves as the coordinating agency between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and state and local government. The primary objective of the Highway Safety Commission is to reduce, through proper problem identification.the severity and number of traffic crashes, deaths, and injuries on our highways.
Colonel Champagne has a degree in Criminal Justice from Southeastern University in Hammond, Louisiana, and a diploma in police administration and traffic management from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Louisiana State Troopers Association, and Southeastern and Northwestern Alumni Associations. He served as the vice-chairman of the Governor’s DWI/Vehicular Homicide Task Force, as a member of the Louisiana Responsible Vendor Board, on the Council on Automobile Insurance Rates and Enforcement, on the Railroad Task Force, as a member of the Metropolitan Safety Council of the New Orleans Area, and on the East Baton Rouge Mayor’s Traffic Safety Committee. Colonel Champagne was awarded the 2002 National Commission Against Drunk Driving (NCADD) Government Leadership Award at the 18th Annual NCADD Awards Luncheon in Washington, D.C. He received the SADD National Outstanding Achievement Award in July 2003. In recognition of his outstanding achievements in highway safety, Colonel Champagne was awarded the 1998 J. Stannard Baker Award by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the only civilian honored with the Baker Award in 1998. Also in 1998, he was selected to receive the Chairman’s Award by the Metropolitan Safety Council of New Orleans and the Traffic Safety Achievement Award, sponsored by AAA and the Safety and Occupational Health Council of Baton Rouge.
Carlos DeBrito is a Major Account Executive at AutoTrader.com and Kelley Blue Book, both of which are subsidiaries of Cox Automotive. In 2007 Carlos joined AutoTrader.com after years of sales and advertising experience in many different fields. While at AutoTrader, Carlos has held a variety of positions that enabled him to gain interactive, strategic planning and consulting experience with the largest auto dealer groups in the country. Carlos has also participated in many strategic planning committees and sales leadership groups within the organization. Of particular relevance, Carlos is working on a Mentorship program within his group that enables other employees to get real life experience out in the field.
With a Bachelor of Science degree from Marist College, Carlos also works closely with St. Jude’s Give Thanks Walk committee in South Jersey. Prior to his sales career, Carlos played semiprofessional soccer, was a certified personal trainer, and coached the NYU Women’s Soccer team. Carlos and his wife Janine live in Howell, NJ and just welcomed their first baby boy, Lucas, in April 2015.
Matthew M. Hoidal, Esq.
Resource Development Committee
Strategic Planning Committee
Matthew Hoidal is the Senior Vice President of Resource Development for the United Way of Greater Portland, Maine. He is part of a team working to improve people’s lives and make Greater Portland a healthier, safer, and stronger place to live and work.
Prior to joining the United Way, Matt was Executive Director of Camp Sunshine in Casco, Maine, a national nonprofit retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. During his 12-year tenure with the Camp, Matt helped transform what was a seasonal program into a year-round, financially independent, stand- alone organization.
Prior to joining Camp Sunshine, Matt was founder and director of the Miracle Marathon, recruiting a team of 12 runners from around the country who participated in a 1,600+ mile East Coast trek and raised funds for Camp Sunshine. Matt’s professional experience also includes working in the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General and conducting legal research for New Hampshire Legal Aid. Matt graduated from St. Lawrence University with a Bachelor of Arts and then received his Juris Doctorate from Vermont Law School in 2000.
Civically mindedMatt has served on the board of the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Maine and has an affiliation with the Massachusetts Bar Association. Previous volunteer work has included serving with the WCSH 6 Who Care Board of Governors, the Maine Marathon Committee, and as the founder of Miles for Smiles. Matt and his wife, Jennifer, and six children live in Falmouth.
Danna Mauch, Ph.D. (Chairman Emeritus)
Strategic Planning Committee
Danna Mauch is principal scientist/associate at Abt Associates Inc., a company that applies scientific research, consulting and technical assistance expertise to a wide range of issues in social, economic, and health policy; international development; clinical trials; and registries. Dr. Mauch has more than 30 years of experience in designing, implementing, and managing research, clinical, and administrative services in the specialty health arena. The focus of her work has been on integration of systems of care, financing, and management information to support clinical decisions and quality improvements toward excellent outcomes for children and adults with special health care needs. Prior to joining Abt, she worked as chief administrative officer of the Behavioral Pharmacy Management System and the Medical Research International subsidiary at Comprehensive NeuroScience, Inc., developing an evidence-based decision-support system to improve the quality and efficacy of prescribing practices and conducting pharmacoeconomic research. Prior to that post, Dr. Mauch served as founding president and CEO of Magellan Public Solutions, Inc., the subsidiary of Magellan Health Services that provided managed care and administrative services to the largest number of lives in government-financed behavioral health, child welfare, and criminal justice organizations. She served in executive positions in the state governments of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, directing mental health, substance abuse, and forensic medicine services. Dr. Mauch was appointed special master by the U.S. Federal Court of the District of Columbia to administer the Court’s consent decree governing mental health system reform in Washington.
Dr. Mauch was a member of the SAMHSA National Advisory Council, the White House Conference, and the Surgeon General’s Task Force on Mental Health. She is past board president and current vice president for clinical and educational outreach of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health and a founding board member and committee chair of the MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation. She is also co-chair of the development committee of the Conservatory Lab Charter School, a Boston elementary school that promotes learning through music for children from culturally diverse communities. Dr. Mauch is co-founder and chairman of the board of Treatment Effectiveness Now (the TEN Project), a private, nonprofit policy action organization affiliated with Georgetown University Department of Psychiatry, dedicated to ensuring access to effective health care for children and adults with co-occurring physical and behavioral health conditions. She studied for her B.A. degree at Connecticut College and Wesleyan University and received her Ph.D. from Brandeis University.
Danna Mauch is the mother of a teenage son.
Susan Scarola (Chairman)
Executive Committee Chair
Governance Committee Chair
Susan Scarola is currently President of the National Foundation for Teen Safe Driving. Founded in 2011 as the DCH Teen Safe Driving Foundation, NFTSD collaborates with businesses and local high schools to deliver an array of nationally recognized teen safe driving programs building safety minded cultures within those communities. To further support this work Scarola is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).
Scarola served as President and CEO of DCH Auto Group from 2007 to 2010 and was instrumental in launching the group’s teen safe driving initiatives. In her capacity as Vice Chairman from 2010 to 2014, Scarola assisted the Chairman with the strategic direction of the company and spearheaded the sale of DCH to Lithia Motors, Inc. Throughout, she championed the company’s teen safe driving program as a core pillar of the DCH brand and she was instrumental in launching National Auto Dealers Association’s Dealers Driving Road Safety Initiative now in its sixth year.
In her first, very brief career, Scarola taught kindergarten in rural upstate NY and then transitioned to business in a Human Resources department in a large NYC engineering firm. After obtaining her M.B.A. from New York University she joined KPMG’s Private Business Advisory Services and obtained her CPA license. DCH quickly became one of her favorite clients and she readily accepted the opportunity to join the DCH team in 1985.
Scarola helped DCH in its early growth years, solidifying the group’s treasury functions and leading its first Human Resources Department. Her “people” skills assisted the senior team strategize for growth and she assumed ongoing responsibilities with the Executive Management Team. Leading up to her CEO responsibilities, Scarola was Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President overseeing Human Resources and other administrative functions.
She served as a Member of the Board of both the New York State Auto Dealers Association and the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers. She is the recipient of the 2008 Women’s Automotive Association International (WAAI) Professional Achievement Award, the 2010 Women Certified Vision Award and was selected by Automotive News as one of the top 100 women in the North American auto industry in 2010. Scarola was included in NJ’s 2012 Best 50 Women in Business and is the 2014 recipient of the Barbara Cox Anthony Automotive Women of the Year award. Most recently Scarola was honored with WAAI’s Spirit of Leadership Award.
2014-2015 SADD National Student of the Year
Bryan Delaney is a graduate of Easthampton High School in Easthampton, MA. He will be attending Ithaca College in NY in the fall. Bryan has been involved SADD for several years and has championed several significant positive initiatives in his community. Most notably, he was responsible for influencing the Board of Health to pass an ordinance to ban smoking in public parks in his city. Bryan created and implemented a Mayor’s Youth Council in Easthampton to provide a youth perspective to addressing challenges in their community while educating his peers on government policy, city laws, and regulations, has organized large-scale fundraisers including a concert and a talent show called “Mr. Easthampton” each year to raise tens of thousands of dollars to send his chapter to SADD National Conference each summer, and he volunteers for several causes including Special Olympics and American Heart Association.
Bryan has represented SADD as a speaker in the media and at several conferences in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. He also uses his multimedia skills to develop videos to promote making positive choices in regards to many of the issues facing teens today and has been instrumental in developing a promotional video and other communication pieces for the SADD National Conference.
2014-2015 SADD National Student of the Year (SOY Emeritus)
Madeline “Maddie” Seel is a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA pursuing a major in Biology. She has been involved with SADD for the past three years, working very closely with Children’s Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania DUI Association, Allegheny County Pretrial Services, Allegheny County Health Department, and the Allstate Foundation, to run a program in her own community called Y.I.E.L.D (Youth Involved Education of Legal Drivers.) Working with these partners, Maddie developed Y.I.E.L.D after a very close friend of hers was killed in a motorcycle crash caused by distracted driving. SADD provided the opportunity for Maddie to channel her passion and energy into something positive. She hopes that her work with SADD can prevent tragedies like her friend’s and many others.
Maddie has also served as president of the Youth Traffic Safety Board through the Allegheny County Health Department, planning and implementing programs to raise awareness and educate the community about issues surrounding distracted driving. Additionally, she served on the 2013-2014 SADD National Student Leadership Council and was chosen to be the 2013-2014 Pennsylvania SADD Student of the Year.
As the SADD National Student of the Year, Maddie holds a seat on the SADD National Board of Directors and chairs the 10-member SADD National Student Leadership Council. She will serve as a SADD spokesperson at various national conferences, media events, and public occasions. Maddie will work in a youth leadership position at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 2015.
“SADD is a family of people who choose to live a happy, healthy lifestyle and make choices to keep themselves and others safe. SADD has definitely changed my life, for the better!”
Sharon Sikora is a national activist and speaker on drunk driving issues. She is also a survivor of a crash caused by a drunk driver. Ms. Sikora has been instrumental in the drafting and/or passage of several laws, most notably Arizona’s 1982 DUI law, the passage of raising the drinking age to 21, and the child endangerment law. She is a past national vice president of MADD and a co-founder of MADD-Arizona. Ms. Sikora is a co-founder of the Ashes to Life support group and the Arizona Children’s Burn Camp. Active in local and national citizens groups, she currently sits on the board of the Foundation for Burns and Trauma. She speaks to countless groups and organizations, ranging from victim impact panels to adult probation classes to Phoenix College law classes. She is also involved with Arizona SADD and Phoenix Fire Department Fire Pals. Her outreach also includes assistance with Nevada Stop DUI and the Roots and Wings organization, a not-for-profit counseling organization.
Ms. Sikora was appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court to a committee to draft Victims’ Rights Legislation. She was also appointed by the Governor to recommend legislation for Juvenile Justice Reform. She has received several awards, including the Twelve Who Care Award, the SADD National Lifetime Achievement Award (2008), the Outstanding Young Woman in America Award (1986), the 1998 Department of Justice National Crime Victim Award, and the 1999 Arizona Attorney General Distinguished Service to Victims of Crime Award. Ms. Sikora has been an advocate for youth on the local, state and national levels and a supporter and activist for SADD for more than 25 years.
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, Dawn 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. Dawn’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. Dawn has been recognized by the President of the United States and others of distinction for her work on behalf of military families.
Dawn 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.
Dawn is a summa cum laude graduate of Northeastern University.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Richard “Rick” Birt joined the SADD National staff in June 2014 as the Development Officer and in 2015 became the Director of Strategic Partnerships. Working with alumni, corporations, foundations, and other interested parties, Rick develops and maintains strategic relationships that further the mission of the organization 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 that enhance the operations of the organization. Ultimately, his work advances SADD’s ability to better serve its network.
Rick has years of experience working in the prevention field. Previously, he worked with Impact Teen Drivers to support peer-to-peer-based traffic safety education and training in the Midwest. Rick also has significant experience as a grant writer and has worked with many state agencies on youth health and safety and leadership development. Rick has been deeply involved with SADD, from his service as SADD’s Ohio State Contact to his selection as the 2009-2010 SADD National Student of the Year at which time he served as the nation’s youth spokesperson. Rick is a true servant leader and spent five years on his local Board of Education at Northwestern Schools in Springfield, Ohio.
Rick holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.
Director of Programming
Elizabeth Vermette, Director of Programming, joined the SADD National staff in November 2015. Her responsibilities include overseeing the creation of SADD’s prevention and empowerment programming that work to engage teens, parents, and communities.
Before joining SADD, Elizabeth served as the Director of Traffic Safety Programs at the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), a coalition that works to save lives, prevent injuries, and promote safe and healthy lifestyles among youth. Previously, Elizabeth served as the Director of Government Relations for the Automotive Recyclers Association where she was responsible for monitoring legislative and regulatory activity at the federal level and all 50 states, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico.
Additionally, Elizabeth’s career experience includes working at the AAA National Office as the Director of State Relations, where she developed education, outreach, and advocacy campaigns for implementation at the state level. During her tenure, she directed the Association’s “Licensed to Learn” campaign, which contributed to the passage of graduated licensing laws in all 50 states. Elizabeth also developed the “Seated, Safe and Secure” campaign aimed at strengthening child passenger safety laws, which received a Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America. Additionally, she developed and directed the Association’s distracted driving awareness campaign “Stay Focused, Keep Your Mind on the Road.”
Elizabeth graduated from Trinity University, in Washington D.C., with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations.
Jess Roscoe joined the SADD National staff in February 2015. As program coordinator, her primary responsibilities include overseeing the youth-based programmatic needs and operations of the SADD National office. Jess works closely with the Student Leadership Council (SLC) that provides a youth perspective to every element of SADD’s national efforts. Moreover, Jess leads SADD’s National Advocacy Institute called SADD SPEAKs (Students for Policy, Education, Advocacy and Knowledge). Jess also takes the lead in a number of communication projects, including SADD’s social media presence and monthly newsletter, The SADDvocate.
Jess is no stranger to SADD. She has an array of non-profit experience in youth health and safety programming. Jess was selected to serve as the 2010-2011 SADD National Student of the Year following a term as the North Dakota SADD Student of the Year. Later, she worked as a policy associate for Capitol Youth Strategies, a consulting firm that represents youth-focused nonprofits on Capitol Hill. Before joining the SADD National team, Jess served as a political operative on a number of political campaigns across her home state of North Dakota. Jess has used her diverse communication skills to advocate for a number of policy initiatives that support SADD’s mission and legislative agenda.
Jess holds Bachelor’s degrees in Organizational Communication and Global Studies from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN.
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 a past board 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.