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About Us

Scroll down to learn about who we are and what we do!

What is NCOAA?

The National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Association (NCOAA) is a non-partisan, grassroots, civic-minded organization that is focused on eradicating carbon monoxide poisoning and helping carbon monoxide poisoning survivors recover to lead a happy, healthy, and productive life. 

Our Programs & Services

Our programs and services include:

 

  • Partnering with health care professionals and 1st responders to screen carbon monoxide poisoning diagnostic tools and research 

  • Partnering with manufacturers, legislators, and standards committees to reduce/eradicate carbon monoxide poisoning 

  • Partnering with public, private, and nonprofit sectors to improve the lives diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning by providing a proven roadmap to recovery and access to proper carbon monoxide poisoning prevention standards 

  • Engaging insurers in the carbon monoxide poisoning conversation so the quality of care patients receive is vastly improved 

Meet the Team

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President & Founder

Charon McNabb

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Head of Fundraising & Grants

Jessica Waddell, MPS, MPH

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Science & Medical Writer

Brianna J. Sleezer, PhD

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Interim Executive Director

Sara Capitano

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Treasurer

Mark Pung

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Outreach Manager

Steven Schuetze

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Director of Operations

Dennis O’Meara, PMP

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Marketing Manager

Rachel Keller

Our Board

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Louise Laing

Louise Laing is a native of Scotland, United Kingdom and has lived in Michigan since 2012. Louise is Vice President of Sales, responsible for developing and enacting strategies for business development at Crowcon Detection Instruments Ltd, North America division. Crowcon is a leader in developing and manufacturing fixed and portable gas detection to many industries, protecting both people and buildings. Louise’s previous roles include operations and sales at Apollo America Inc who specialized in developing and manufacturing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Louise received a master’s in business management at Portsmouth University in Portsmouth, England. Louise is very proud to have become an American Citizen in 2022.

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Neal Zipser

Neal Zipser is the Industry Affairs Manager with the Knox Company. Neal manages the company’s relationships it has with fire industry organizations and is the company’s primary liaison with the fire service. In his current role, Neal works with fire departments and industry/state associations on rapid entry programs, public education activities and other community risk reduction initiatives, including carbon monoxide (CO) awareness. Prior to joining Knox, he held the same position with Kidde and spoke regularly on home smoke alarm and CO detection technology and how families can better protect themselves from the hazards of fire. Before joining Kidde in 2012, Neal worked for 20 years in the automotive industry where he led marketing and communications activities for several organizations. 

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Karla Klas BSN, RN, CCRP

Karla Klas, BSN, RN, CCRP manages the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center's nationally acclaimed community and family-centered injury prevention programs. Her 30-year distinguished career in burn/trauma critical care nursing, research, professional development training, mentoring, program management, public education, curriculum development, CRR, and injury prevention has produced numerous journal publications, textbook chapters and grant awards. She has attained multiple specialty certifications and leadership appointments to committees devoted to injury control. She is a Professional Instructor for the National Fire Academy in the Youth Firesetting Prevention and Intervention Courses. An award-winning educator, speaker, and author, Karla also mentors at-risk youth, volunteers in survivor support programs, and enjoys all kinds of outdoor adventures with her family. Learn more at: https://traumaburn.org/karla-s-klas-bsn-rn-ccrp

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Ken Boyce PE

Clare Anderson is a Senior Policy Fellow at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. She uses research, policy, and fiscal levers to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families. Anderson engages child welfare agencies, stakeholders, and constituents in large-scale system change. This includes guiding states to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act. Additionally, Anderson is a national thought leader on economic and concrete supports as core to prevention of child welfare involvement, and the development of a family and child well-being system that prioritizes family support and cross-sector partnerships.

Prior to joining Chapin Hall, Anderson was Deputy Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF). There, she provided leadership for federal programs including child welfare, runaway and homeless youth, domestic and intimate partner violence, and teen pregnancy prevention. During her tenure at ACYF, Anderson co-led the development and implementation of a national well-being policy agenda. She was among the chief architects of the effort to address trauma, adverse childhood experiences, and toxic stress in children known to child welfare. 

Anderson spent a decade at the Center for the Study of Social Policy helping states and urban jurisdictions change policies and practices to improve outcomes. This included initiatives such as Family to Family and Community Partnerships for Protecting Children, as well as federal court-ordered monitoring of child welfare agencies. Anderson started her career as a frontline social worker and holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Alabama. She brings lived experience to her role on the Board of Directors for the National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Association as her mother died tragically and avoidably from carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Clare Anderson

Clare Anderson is a Senior Policy Fellow at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. She uses research, policy, and fiscal levers to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families. Anderson engages child welfare agencies, stakeholders, and constituents in large-scale system change. This includes guiding states to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act. Additionally, Anderson is a national thought leader on economic and concrete supports as core to prevention of child welfare involvement, and the development of a family and child well-being system that prioritizes family support and cross-sector partnerships.

Prior to joining Chapin Hall, Anderson was Deputy Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF). There, she provided leadership for federal programs including child welfare, runaway and homeless youth, domestic and intimate partner violence, and teen pregnancy prevention. During her tenure at ACYF, Anderson co-led the development and implementation of a national well-being policy agenda. She was among the chief architects of the effort to address trauma, adverse childhood experiences, and toxic stress in children known to child welfare. 

Anderson spent a decade at the Center for the Study of Social Policy helping states and urban jurisdictions change policies and practices to improve outcomes. This included initiatives such as Family to Family and Community Partnerships for Protecting Children, as well as federal court-ordered monitoring of child welfare agencies. Anderson started her career as a frontline social worker and holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Alabama. She brings lived experience to her role on the Board of Directors for the National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Association as her mother died tragically and avoidably from carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Kevin J. Sehlmeyer

Kevin Sehlmeyer was appointed the Michigan state fire marshal in April 2017.  Sehlmeyer leads the Bureau of Fire Services within the State of Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.  He serves as an ex-officio member of the Michigan Fire Fighters Training Council and State Fire Safety Board.  Sehlmeyer also leads a state-wide community risk reduction effort, known as MI Prevention, to make communities safer and reduce fire fatalities.  Sehlmeyer has also been a director with the International Fire Marshals Association since 2018.  
 
Prior to his appointment as Michigan state fire marshal, Sehlmeyer served as the deputy fire chief of the Grand Rapids Fire Department.  After 30+ years with the department, he retired in January 2016.  Before joining the Grand Rapids Fire Department, Sehlmeyer was a crash rescue firefighter for the Michigan Air National Guard for six years. Sehlmeyer holds a bachelor’s degree in management and organizational development from Spring Arbor University.

Sehlmeyer has volunteered as the state Lead Advocate in Michigan for the Nation Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) since 2012 and since 2016, he has served as the NFFF Lead Volunteer Regional Advocate coordinating regional efforts in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan.
 

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Roger Berkowitz

Roger Berkowitz is the founder and CEO of Legal Sea Foods Marketplace, an e-commerce and retail company delivering superior quality, sustainable seafood nationwide. He was formerly President & CEO of Legal Sea Foods, a position he held for almost 30 years, before selling the family-owned restaurant group. 
 
Roger is a member of NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee and is founding President of the Massachusetts Seafood Collaborative. In addition, he serves on the Regional Selection Panel for the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, on the leadership council at the Harvard School of Public Health and on the Board for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. 
 
Roger graduated from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and attended executive education programs at Harvard Business School, University of London School of Business and Stanford Graduate School of Business. He holds an honorary master’s degree from the Culinary Institute of America and honorary doctorates from Johnson & Wales University, Newbury College, Salem State University, Nichols College and New England College of Business. In addition, he has been honored with a James Beard Award.

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Thomas Overbeck

Thomas Overbeck has over 40 years of hospital and healthcare construction renovation experience within the occupied hospital environment.  He is employed at HC Beck, Ltd. in Dallas, Texas as a Healthcare Operations Manager.  Currently he is responsible for oversight of all healthcare renovation projects and overseeing multiple projects in many of the major healthcare systems in the DFW Metroplex.  

Married to wife Carol for 26 years, they share one son, two step sons, five grandchildren and two dogs.  

Tom lost both of his parents in March 2003 to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning at their retirement facility.  His passion is to change legislation and spread education and awareness of the dangers of CO poisoning in hopes of preventing the many needless tragedies from occurring to others.  

In 2009, he succeeded in getting legislation passed in the State of Michigan called the “Overbeck Law” (Michigan Legislature Section 125.1504f) which requires all new homes built in the State to have carbon monoxide detectors.

 

 


 

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Torine Creppy

Torine Creppy is the president of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global nonprofit dedicated to protecting kids from preventable injuries. 

 

For nearly 22 years, Ms. Creppy has dedicated her career to making a meaningful difference in the lives of children and families, especially the most vulnerable. As president of Safe Kids, she works with partners, donors, legislators, and community leaders around the world to develop and implement strategic initiatives, create partnerships, and inspire behavior change to keep kids safe at home, on the road and at play. 

 

Under Ms. Creppy’s leadership, the Safe Kids Buckle Up® program has evolved into the most comprehensive child passenger safety program in the world and the Safe Kids pedestrian safety program has reached more that 20 million children in 10 countries. Ms. Creppy is a passionate advocate on Capitol Hill and is dedicated to finding new ways to reach high-risk and underserved communities. She also focuses on emerging issues such as child safety in automated vehicles. 

 

In addition to her work at Safe Kids, Ms. Creppy is committed to other organizations who share her passion for helping children and families. She is on the YWCA National Capital Area Board of Directors, St. John’s Community Services Board of Directors, National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Association, the Board of Directors Advisory Board of Hop Skip Drive, a Lifesavers Board Member and on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of The International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO). She is also a member of the American Public Health Association, National Urban League, NAACP, the National Head Start Association, Junior League of Washington, a Lifetime member of Leadership Greater Washington, and a Chief Member.

 

Ms. Creppy enjoys volunteering in direct outreach and advocacy for homelessness initiatives, reading autobiographies, 5K marathons for causes, youth mentoring and spending time with her teenage son. 

 

Ms. Creppy lives with her family in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.