The Encephalitis411 Board of Directors is comprised of passionate individuals who share a mission to improve the quality of life for those impacted by encephalitis. They bring together decades of professional expertise, lived patient experience, and long-term vision in achieving Encephalitis411 goals in research, awareness, and advocacy.
Becky Dennis, President
Becky Dennis has served as the president of Encephalitis411 since its founding and serves as a patient advocate through speaking engagements and informative patient/caregiver sessions. As a survivor and an “Expert by Experience,” she consults with patients in their diagnosis and recovery journey to provide guidance. She is also the author of the book, “Brain Wreck.”
Becky has served on multiple nonprofit boards throughout her tenure, including Encephalitis Global, The Turning Point and LifePoint. She is also a former guest lecturer on entrepreneurism and journalism with the University of North Texas.
In her business career, Becky was a business development and marketing consultant. She’s most known for building, launching, and executing programs that fuel growth in global companies. Becky’s strong business acumen was developed in professional services B2B companies where her leadership roles included chief marketing officer, senior vice president of influencer relations, and vice president of business development and marketing. Even in a volatile economy, Becky’s visionary approach has produced exceptional results for her employers, including closing more than $9 billion in total contract value during her career.
Angela Martin, Secretary
Angela Martin has worked for over 30 years in the environmental field. Possessing a B.S in Health and an M.S. in Environmental Science, she has worked in both the public and private sector on a variety of environmental issues and remediation projects. She brings decades of experience in management, public engagement through initiatives, outreach, and education, and uniting government and industry towards resolution of common goals.
Angela brings an enthusiasm for the Encephalitis411 cause being a family member of an encephalitis survivor and witnessing first-hand the many opportunities for improvement throughout the stage cycles of the illness, from diagnosis through to recovery.
Steven Bodner, Treasurer
Steven Bodner has more than 30 years’ experience in accounting, compliance, and financial reporting and analysis. He started his career in public accounting and then focused on operational financial management executing roles as controller, operating unit business manager, director of financial planning & analysis, and systems implementation consultant. He has led organizations through external and internal financial and compliance audits. He has implemented SOX financial controls, ISO quality systems, and accounting system installations. In association with mergers and acquisition activities, Steven has worked due diligence pre-acquisition and post-acquisition organization integration.
Steven believes in being a servant leader and most enjoys mentoring and helping others become successful.
Chris Maxwell is in his 16th year as Campus Pastor and Director of Spiritual Life at Emmanuel College after serving 19 years as lead pastor in Orlando, Florida, and five years of youth ministry. Chris speaks around the world in churches, retreat centers, conferences, medical conventions and schools, and is the author of eleven books, including his latest book, “Equilibrium: 31 Ways to Stay Balanced on Life's Uneven Surfaces.”
His book, “Changing My Mind” chronicles Chris’ battle with the life-changing experience of encephalitis and the long-term effects of epilepsy. “Underwater: When Encephalitis, Brain Injury, and Epilepsy Change Everything,” helps readers understand the painful adventure of many people who struggle. Chris has used his disability as an opportunity to bring hope to many hurting people.
In addition to being an author and editor, Chris writes articles, reviews, curriculum, poetry, songs, commercials and speeches for various magazines, publishing companies, websites, and newspapers. Check out his website www.chrismaxwell.me, pick up his books on Amazon, and follow him on Twitter @CMaxMan
Danita Lewis, VIce President
Danita Lewis has more than 15 years of Human Capital Management experience working as an HR practitioner in several Fortune 100 companies. In the last 10 years, Danita transitioned her career to business development, working with global organizations to select and manage technology solutions.
She engages with clients to formulate a compelling strategy and meet executive-level visions for large-scale technology projects. As a global executive, she has lectured at the University of Dallas Graduate School for International Business on working in different cultures and the challenges of global markets.
Danita is a featured speaker at business forums globally, and speaks on HR, culture and emerging trends in the global marketplace. Danita volunteers in her community, working with the North Texas Food Bank and the Genesis Women’s Shelter helping and coaching women that need additional skills to re-enter the workforce. She has also served as a career coach and on advisory councils for several non-profits and faith-based organizations, including Dress for Success.
Working with Encephalitis411 is part of Danita's desire to see faith in action, help raise awareness, make a difference, and bring value to the encephalitis community.
Jacob Savoie works in business development in the oil and gas industries for Cohen Industrial Supply in Houston. Raised in south Louisiana, he holds a B.S. in Business Management from Louisiana State University, a degree which he earned during his challenging recovery from herpes simplex encephalitis in his senior year of college. It is his drive for success which helped inspire his journey to graduation, then launching his sales career in supplying capital projects to the industrial sector throughout the country.
As a survivor of HSE, Jacob has helped raise awareness for survivors and families by producing the short film documentary, My Missing Mind. He has also worked with Encephalitis411 on presentations and virtual interviews, and is passionate about helping to educate others about the illness.