MEET OUR BOARD
Carol McDaid serves as Principal at Capitol Decisions, Inc. Capitol Decisions has a special expertise in addiction and mental health policy. For over two decades, Ms. McDaid has worked with leading addiction and mental health provider and consumer organizations to refine public policy addressing addiction and mental health. With nearly 30 years of Federal legislative experience in Washington, Ms. McDaid provides clients with public affairs consulting on issues that span the breadth of health care, including behavioral health, Medicare, Medicaid, and private sector reimbursement issues. Ms. McDaid served as a strategist and advisor to the Parity NOW Coalition, which was influential in passage of the 2008 “Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.” This landmark legislation requires insurers to treat addiction, mental, and physical health problems equally. To make a difference at the local level, in 2004, Ms. McDaid co-founded the McShin Foundation in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, John Shinholser. McShin is a leading non-profit, full-service recovery community organization committed to serving individuals and families in and seeking recovery from addiction in the State of Virginia. McShin offers peer-to-peer recovery support services that include recovery coaching, housing, and justice based recovery supports. Because Ms. McDaid personally struggled with addiction, she understands the challenges, political and personal, of dealing with alcohol and drug issues. She is a founding member of Faces and Voices of Recovery and is a board member of Young People in Recovery.
Robert Billings has been active in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 20 years.Currently, he serves as Special Advisor on Industry Affairs to the President and CEO of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA). From 2007 through June 2013, he held various positions at GPhA, including Senior Vice President Finance, Planning and Special Programs, Interim Executive Director, and Vice President of Policy. Before joining GPhA, Bob was with Mylan Pharmaceuticals, where he first held the position of Director of Government Relations and then Vice President, Industry Relations. Prior to joining Mylan, Bob worked for Apotex Corporation in both public affairs and as Director of Government Relations. He began his career in pharmaceuticals as an editor at FDA News covering the FDA’s Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising and Communications and the Office of Generic Drugs. Previously, Bob was chief of research for best-selling novelist Tom Clancy (The Hunt for the Red October, Patriot Games, among others). Bob is a Vietnam-era veteran, serving in the military from 1966-1970. He and his wife currently live in Pittsburgh.
Javan Bunch is CEO of Donald J. Pliner, a luxury footwear and accessories brand based in New York City. Former Executive Vice President of global merchandising and domestic wholesale for footwear, handbags, and accessories at Tory Burch, LLC, he is also a former Senior Vice President of licensed businesses and domestic wholesale at Coach, Inc., where he was responsible for merchandising and design of shoes, eyewear, watches and fragrance. Additionally, he has held senior management positions at the Camuto Group, Isabella Fiore and Joan and David. He is a board member of the Board of Fashion Footwear of New York; a board member of the MCC Theater in New York City for 12 years and co-chair of their gala for the past decade. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.
Andrew Burki, MSW, founded Life of Purpose Treatment in Boca Raton, Florida in 2012 after enduring his own journey of substance misuse, failed treatment, and since 2001, recovery. Andrew spent his late adolescence at a number of substance use disorder treatment facilities, which encompassed various approaches to recovery from chemical dependency. Consequently, his substance use derailed his high school education. Having highly-educated parents who studied at Harvard and MIT respectively, the interruption of Andrew’s education was a source of tremendous shame and distress for him and served as a barrier to ongoing recovery. After treatment episodes at multiple institutions, he arrived at a highly regarded extended care facility in Boca Raton, Florida in 2001, a facility that provided him the clinical care necessary to produce a successful outcome. Unfortunately, it was also there that his parents, then weary of their son’s many failed attempts to recover, were advised by a therapist not to support his college attendance until he was continuously clean and sober for five years, a commonly-held recommendation in the substance use disorder treatment industry. In addition to serving as CEO of Life of Purpose, Andrew serves on the Board of Directors for both The Delray Beach Drug Task Force and The Crossroads Club. In 2015, he received the Philanthropist of The Year award from the Association of Recovery Schools.
Neely Carlton Lyons
Neely Carlton Lyons draws from her public service and legal experience to finds ways to help others. As Senior Counsel at Butler Snow, she assists addiction and mental health treatment providers, advises corporations and healthcare entities regarding wellness and early intervention policies, and advocates for community-based recovery resources. Mrs. Lyons is a trained interventionist who speaks nationally and volunteers her time to coalitions engaging policy makers and the public. She is a former state senator who has received numerous civic awards including the Mississippi Business Journal’s 2017 Healthcare Hero Award.
Mr. Collins had a career as a successful entrepreneur, executive and investor in the global mobile telecoms industry for almost 20 years before substance use disorder made his life unmanageable. Since beginning his journey in recovery in 2013, Ted co-founded MOBER, Inc. (a technology company that develops mobile apps for the recovery community), launched YPR’s Los Angeles Chapter and served as California State Captain for the Unite to Face Addiction Rally. Ted holds a B.A. in Government cum laude from Harvard College (Cambridge, MA) and an MBA from INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France).
Ben A. Guill
Ben A. Guill is managing partner and co-founder of White Deer Energy, an investment firm with offices in Houston and New York. During that period, he helped the firm and the funds it raised grow from $812 million with seven investment professionals to $7.8 billion with 35 investment professionals. Mr. Guill managed First Reserve’s Houston office, focusing on deal origination, investment analysis, negotiation of acquisitions and management of portfolio companies.
Prior to 1998, he was Co-Head of Investment Banking at Simmons & Company International, a leading specialized investment bank serving the energy industry. Mr. Guill joined Simmons in 1980 and served 19 years in corporate finance, working primarily on mergers and acquisitions, financings and corporate restructuring. Prior to his service with Simmons, he was an Associate at Blyth Eastman Dillon.
Mr. Guill is currently a Director of National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV). He serves on the Board of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the Houston region of Teach for America. Mr. Guill holds an MBA in Finance from Wharton School and a BA in English from Princeton University.
Jeff Olivet, M.A.
Jeff Olivet is the President/CEO of the Boston-based Center for Social Innovation. For more than two decades, Jeff has been a national leader on homelessness, poverty, affordable housing, behavioral health, public health, and HIV. During his health and human services career, he has been a street outreach worker, case manager, housing director, coalition builder, writer, teacher, and activist. His work with hundreds of organizations across the United States and internationally has helped to improve strategic planning, organizational management, and implementation of evidence-based practices. Jeff is recognized as an expert in bringing innovative technologies and solutions to complex social problems.
Steve Sost serves as VP, Internal Communications, at Impax Laboratories, where he brings more than 15 years of experience in M&A communications, global branding; internal communications; and employee culture design and engagement. Most recently, Steve served as Global Lead, Employee Engagement, at Merck. Prior to Merck, Steve spent six years at Allergan (previously known as Actavis) as Executive Director, Corporate Communications, where he led global internal communications and spearheaded the company’s commitment to addiction awareness. Steve also spent considerable time as a partner with Mayr Communications, a strategic communications firm, advising various organizations, including the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA). Steve received his B.A. degree from Marist College.
Sirah has emerged as a strong, positive voice in the recovery movement. A multi platinum Grammy award-winning musician, advocate, and woman in recovery, she is passionate about helping people uncover their purpose. For the past 13 years, she’s performed with artists like Skrillex, Demi Lovato, and Lupe Fiasco. During the same time, she’s developed as a life coach and a motivational speaker as well.
Her path to stardom and success has been miraculous. As Sirah recovered from substance abuse over twelve years ago, she learned how important it is for everyone to connect with a sense of deeper meaning and self understanding. Her own history is tragic: Sirah was raised by her father who died of a heroin overdose when she was 12. She struggled through her adolescent years, moving around and was subsequently kidnapped, brutalized, and arrested many times. She ended up homeless, addicted to drugs, and selling drugs with a local gang. Her story could have ended there. Instead, Sirah overcame her addiction and pursued her dream of becoming a rapper. She signed to Atlantic records, and went on to win a Grammy with Skrillex.
Sirah went from graffiti to glam, but never lost touch with her roots. She works with homeless kids and celebrities alike, knowing that everyone has something meaningful to give the world. Her talks are inspiring, honest, and provocative. Her goal is to help anyone, no matter where they’re starting from, achieve their personal best.
Sirah’s motivational message earned her a TedxTalk appearance. By focusing on the power of transformation, Sirah shares her story of going from survival to success. Rather than be trapped by our negative thinking, Sirah shares how to break through to our greater purpose. Sheʼs faced homelessness, addiction, incredible loss, and tragedy—but also great joy, love, and happiness. She wants to encourage anyone who doesn’t feel whole, or struggles with a sense of the world’s unfairness. Sirah travels all over the world to speak. She’s appeared in front of audiences in Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, and all over the United States. She is based in Los Angeles, California.
As an early supporter and champion of YPR, Charlie Mayr is remembered by YPR as a memorial board member in perpetuity so his spirit, love of life and passion for our cause will always be with us. Mayr was appointed Chief Communications Officer of Actavis on April 27, 2012. Charlie joined Watson as Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs in September 2009. Prior to joining Watson, Charlie operated an advertising and public relations consulting company from 1998 to 2009, serving such clients as Watson, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), Barr Pharmaceuticals and a variety of professional associations and consumer products and service companies. Prior to starting his consultancy business, he served as Director of Corporate Communications for Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 1994 to 1998. Prior to joining Barr, he served as Director of Global Communications from 1990 to 1994 for Sterling Drug Inc., the global brand and consumer health products pharmaceutical subsidiary of Kodak. Charlie began his career as a broadcast and print journalist and received a B.A. in journalism from New York University.