Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Meet David!

Five Questions With: David Strauss

President of the Board of Directors
ETD Collaborator since July 2008

1. What is your role with Erasing the Distance?
I am currently President of the Board of Directors of Erasing the Distance and was Vice President prior to that.
I have also contributed a personal piece to ETD, though it's still in development.

2. When you are not working with Erasing the Distance, what might you be doing?
In terms of time (not importance), I work for Experian, a global information services company, where I am a senior legal executive responsible for the legal affairs of various business groups and segments.
In terms of importance (and as much time as I can find), I love to explore the world with my three daughters -- Eliana (9), Isabel (6), and Ava (2). We hike, we bike, we play, we crochet (well, maybe not the latter, but I liked the rhyme). I'm also a big fan of film, theater, travel, reading, and food/wine. And I'd love to act again down the road...

3. Can you share with us a favorite ETD moment?
I've witnessed many great ETD moments, so it's hard to pick just one. My favorite might be simply finding out about the organization for the first time. I was at a wedding with Brighid, ETD's Founder and Executive Director, and she eloquently described the organization and it's mission. Wow - a eureka moment! I had been looking to get more engaged in the non-profit world, and here was an organization that married a couple of strong interests of mine -- theater and mental health concerns. Brighid invited me to a show, and I was immediately hooked upon seeing the performances and dialogue.

4. What do you think is a pressing mental health need in your community?
The continuing and pervasive stigma associated with mental health disorders. People are unafraid to reveal to their friends and family most ailments, from migraines and bad backs to more serious illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. However, far too many people are apprehensive when it comes to discussing mental issues impacting themselves or their family members, such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, autism spectrum and eating disorders.

The incredible fact (and irony) is that mental health issues are more pervasive than these other illnesses, i.e. 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental health problem each year.

This fear, and the often rightly perceived ignorance of those around us when it comes to mental illness, needs to be erased. People need to understand that brains will malfunction from time to time and that such does not render a person weak or lesser for it.

5. Can you tell us your favorite way to de-stress?
Nothing beats fresh air and nature for me. Hiking a gorgeous trail with vistas ... well, that's my religion.

As a non-profit, Erasing the Distance considers creative and engaged board members to be essential to its success. Are you already an active member of the ETD family -- or someone very inspired to become an integral part of moving our mission forward -- and interested in applying to be a Board Member? Terrific! Check out our organizational values & vision by clicking here, and contact David to learn about the next steps.

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