Meet The Board
Mark W. Atwood is the Chairman of the Chris Atwood Foundation, which he co-founded in 2013 in the days following the death of his son Christopher at the age of 21 from a heroin overdose. Mark is a lawyer by profession, specializing in aviation, and is a member of the law firm Cozen O’Connor; his office is in Washington, DC.
He also has taught the High School Sunday School class at Pender United Methodist Church in Fairfax for the past 15 years. He has been a judge of the Jessup International Law Moot Court for over 20 years. He is a graduate of Loyola University in Baltimore, and the University of Southern California.
His numerous hobbies include black and white photography, fossil collection and preparation, hiking, traveling, and spending time with his family.
Director of Social Media
Lauren Blackwell (LB) is an individual in long term recovery. She comes from Morgantown, West Virginia and currently resides in the DC Metropolitan area. She holds a RBA in Business Communications from West Virginia University.
LB is passionate about advocating for individuals with substance use disorder and breaking the stigma of addiction by sharing her story.
She is thrilled to be a part of the Chris Atwood Foundation and continue her efforts to lead individuals into recovery and create safe, loving support for all those with substance use disorder. Outside of recovery work, LB is dedicated to creating safe space for marginalized groups, such as the LGBTQ and BIPOC communities.
For fun, LB loves sending snail mail, thrifting, being around creatives, and hitting up Union Market (the endless choices are good for her indecisiveness)!
Allison Beyers Coleman
Allison has been a committed board member to The CAF since its founding in 2013; sitting around the Atwood's kitchen table trying to make sense of the sudden and tragic loss of Christopher.
Originally from Reston, VA, she now resides in Baltimore, MD, with her husband and son. She has over ten years of non-profit experience in communications, public relations, media, marketing, social media, and community outreach.
Allison received her BA in Communications and Art History from Virginia Tech and her MA in Arts Management from George Mason University. She currently works as the Public and Media Relations Coordinator at The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland (The LLF), the non-profit organization federally designated to coordinate organ, eye, and tissue donation in the state of Maryland.
Allison is also the founder of Joey for Roo, a baby and children's clothing brand that strives to bring awareness to perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Through her professional and personal experiences, Allison has developed a strong sense of dedication to public health and the non-profit sector.
Marie Gallo Dyak is the President and CEO to the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC). She is responsible for concept development and implementation of EIC programs and special projects primarily involving the entertainment industry and health and social issues. This also includes technical support to entertainment industry content development, public service initiatives and campaigns, special events, constituent relations and development of in-kind support for prevention projects, health information dissemination, and entertainment-
based human resource issues.
She is an Emmy Award winning producer having produced educational, training and entertainment television specials. Ms. Dyak serves on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health; the National Action Alliance for Suicide PreventionExecutive Committee; the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation Celebration of Service to American station awards; and appointed to serve on the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board established by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 through which Congress called upon the entertainment industry to create a voluntary TV rating system.
Prior to being named CEO & Executive Director of the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation, Neil Horikoshi led a distinguished 30-year career at International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), where he held legal and executive management positions in the US and Asia Pacific. After his IBM career, he led the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) as their President & Executive Director where he led new strategic initiatives to expand organizational programming to better meet the needs of underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students and help APIASF become a more socially impactful organization.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Hawai’i and a Juris Doctorate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He is a member of the New York State Bar.
Bob McMurtry is the treasurer of the Chris Atwood Foundation. Bob, having known the Atwood family for a number of years, was familiar with the Chris Atwood Foundation. He first got involved with the CAF after a fellow board member, Shelly Young, led an ARISE intervention for one of Bob's close friends who is now successfully living in recovery. After the experience, Bob developed a strong desire to get involved in the fight against the disease of addiction. Many people in Bob's life have been impacted by addiction, and he is passionate about working with individuals in active use and those along the recovery continuum to help them overcome the disease.
Bob is a CPA with 10 years of experience working with nonprofits. He has a bachelor's of science degree in Accounting with Honors from George Mason University. He currently works as the Director of Finance at the Blue Ridge School, and he is currently enrolled in the executive format of the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business MBA program.
He hopes his education and experience will empower him to have a positive impact on society, starting with those struggling with addiction or living in recovery from the disease.
Director of Family Support
Shelly is the Director of Family Support for The CAF. Additionally she is a writer, has a private practice serving families and individuals, is a yoga teacher and mother of three fascinating wonders, including a young adult in recovery and all of whom are exploring creative arts and fashion. She is a passionate advocate for wellness, recovery, family support, a compassionate public health response to substance use and creating environments that support recovery. When Google wanted to know how to help families impacted by substance use better, they asked Shelly what she thought they should do.
She works, writes, guides and speaks at the intersections of emotional & physical wellness, family, motherhood, lineage, the impact of substance use, recovery, healing, transformation, systemic issues, science and healing practices, rituals and routines.
She is certified in The Anatomy of Transformation, RYT 200 and is an ARISE Certified Interventionist. She is also on the board of Unity Recovery in Philadelphia, facilitates the STAR Family Program at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, is on National Conference Production Team for The Association for Recovery in Higher Education and serves on opioid task forces, consults with healthcare organizations, workplaces & law enforcement to better serve families impacted by substance use. She is the creator of the first ever family recovery conference, a virtual conference for families impacted by substance use.
When's she not studying the latest brain development research, attachment theory, nervous system response science or creating maps for unhooking from systems of harm, she's walking with her big black lab or enjoying movies, good food and music with her family preferably somewhere warm and sandy.