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User Spotlight: Chris Konschak, MADD

Get to know Chris Konschak, Manager of MADD Virginia ? this week?s ConnectVA User Spotlight!

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Chris Konschak, Manager of MADD Virginia.   Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Virginia is the state affiliate of the National nonprofit. MADD was founded in 1980 and MADD Virginia was founded in 1981. I have worked on issues that  MADD is focused on since 1980 and have been employed by MADD since 2003. I have a BA from Univ. of Richmond in Political Science and Communications and a JD from Howard University.

What is the focus of your work and the need you are addressing?

The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking. We hope that we can get to a point where there will be no more victims from impaired driving and minimize the number of victims fromr underage drinking. This will make our community safer for everyone.

What do you find most rewarding about your work?

MADD has a clearly defined mission and we are not looking for a cure, we know that impaired driving is 100% preventable. We also know that people underage do not have to drink and many do not. So it is exciting to be working on something that is focused on a known solution. The difficult part is that the solution is finding was to change engrained behaviors and attitudes. We also get to help victims that are going through a very difficult time in their life and empowering them to help stop others from knowing the pain they have experienced.

What are some major challenges you have faced and how you handled them?

A lot of people think that MADD is anti-alcohol. MADD is opposed to the illegal act of driving impaired and underage drinking, but we are not anti-alcohol. I have had to work hard to try to educate people that are of legal age to make sure they plan ahead for travel, so that when they enjoy alcohol they are not driving.

What?s coming next for your organization that really excites you?

MADD holds an annual Walk Like MADD/MADD Dash event every April and this is a fun event that celebrates lives saved, honors lives cut short and reminds the community to be safe. The other really exciting things is Advanced Vehicle Technology that has the ability to eliminate drunk driving. When you grab the steering wheel, the car could detect alcohol in your finger tips that determines if you are impaired and whether the car will start. This could be a standard feature in all cars.

How are you leveraging ConnectVA to achieve your mission?

ConnectVA can help us get our message out to the general public. Because MADD?s mission is really focused on changing behaviors, we need as much help as possible. The more people know about our work and the reason we do what we do, the more likely we are to save lives and prevent injuries. ConnectVA could help me work myself out of a job!

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