The Casey Feldman Foundation Welcomes Two New Board Members

By Morgan Steward*

John Bair

Janine Repka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Casey Feldman Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of two new board members to the Foundation’s board of directors: John Bair and Janine Repka. The Board provides the Casey Feldman Foundation leadership for carrying out the Foundation’s mission to provide financial support to individuals, groups, and institutions whose interests and goals align with those of Casey. This includes providing scholarships to deserving students and promoting safe driving through our sponsored site, EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving).

John Bair is the owner and founder of Milestone Consulting, the co-founder (along with his wife Amy) of the Bairs Foundation, and an active member of the Association for Justice (AAJ) . Bair first became connected with Joel and Dianne in 2010, right after the launch of EndDD.org. Casey’s story really resounded with Bair, whose daughter was a freshman in high school at that time, and he seized the opportunity to get involved with the organization.

Bair is joining the Board with three fundamental strategic issues he hopes to tackle. First, he hopes to advise and counsel the founders in an attempt to help them actualize their long-term goals for the Casey Feldman Foundation. Secondly, he hopes to fundraise for the Foundation to create a viable and systematic flow of money into the Foundation so that the organization can fully focus on spreading awareness and teaching others the dangers of driving distracted. Finally, Bair hopes to help the Foundation network throughout the country to recruit other strong willed advocates to support the organization in whichever ways they are capable.

“I didn’t appreciate how much of an epidemic we were sitting in the middle of,” Bair explained when asked why he ready to take on a bigger role in the Foundation. “Being exposed to Joel and Dianne’s loss— Casey being killed— was a wake up call. I recognized that I was an unsafe driver and I drove distracted. The personal message delivered by Joel, that we can all make such a huge difference in our communities and in the networks of people we are close to, by just becoming an advocate made me think.”

Janine Repka is the Assistant Director of Leadership Giving at St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, New Jersey. Janine’s relationship with the Feldman family began back in 2006 when she and Casey were randomly selected to be roommates at Fordham University their freshman year. The two immediately hit it off, becoming best friends and choosing to remain roommates the following two years, until the time of Casey’s death. Prior to being asked to officially join the Board, Repka has worked with the Foundation on a variety of projects, including writing blog posts, managing their social media accounts and giving presentations about the dangers of distracted driving at high schools and museums in Pennsylvania.

Coming from a career in nonprofit fundraising, Repka hopes to put those skills she has developed in her personal career to good use at the Casey Feldman Foundation. She also hopes to help the Foundation expand its reach by sharing Casey’s story with those who didn’t know her and inspiring them to really examine the dangerous driving habits of themselves and those around them.

“I think [distracted driving] is is overlooked because of the work of organizations like D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) or M.A.D.D (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). Those are both definitely worthy causes, but I think there is a notion amongst people that ‘Well, I’m not driving drunk’ or ‘I’m not driving under the influence of drugs’ so this isn’t a problem. People don’t put the same weight on distracted driving as they do on other sorts of impaired driving,” Repka shared.

For Repka, serving on the Board is a twofold way of honoring Casey’s life—she is able to share Casey’s story with others while serving the community, something Casey valued deeply.

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*Morgan Steward is a junior Communication and Media Studies student at Fordham University at Lincoln Center (Casey’s alma mater). Born in Beaumont, TX, she to moved to New York City to pursue a career in the media. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer, Fordham’s student newspaper (where Casey was the News Editor).

 

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