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Laurence M. Kahn - Founding Director
Larry Kahn spent many years as a practicing attorney in Washington, DC and later in San Diego. During that time, he received professional recognition, as well as national print and electronic media recognition, for the results he achieved in certain cases. In 1991, Larry left his law partnership in Washington, DC to form Negotiated Solutions — an innovative legal firm comprised of nine attorneys with affordable fees and with its sole focus to resolve matters out of court. During his years in law practice and since, Larry has conducted seminars, taught courses, given presentations on negotiation techniques to a variety of civic, business, professional, and academic groups around the country.
In 2004, Larry established Help Now! as a non-profit corporation in Oregon and with the IRS. With his history of innovative legal work, he recognized the gap that existed between the “legal world” and the help the average person needs when in a crisis. His idea was to bring advocacy, previously only available to the wealthy in our society, to individuals and families in crisis but lacking the means (e.g., mental, physical, financial, cultural) to resolve those crises on their own. And Help Now! would not charge clients for its services but instead would rely on other sources of funding to support its work. Larry’s inspiration to form Help Now! was also personal. Larry has a severely disabled son who has benefited greatly from Larry’s ad hoc advocacy on his behalf over the years.
Because of the national uniqueness the services Help Now! provides, in 2020 and inspired from the crises created for millions of Americans by Covid and frequent natural disasters, Help Now! began the process of making its services available on a national level. Help Now!’s expansion has been featured in articles in a number of publications, the ABA (American Bar Association) Journal among them.
Besides forming Help Now! Advocacy, Larry has a history of volunteering his time to vulnerable members of society. While in the District of Columbia, he volunteered as a mentor in the District of Columbia Public Schools’ Mentors Program for at-risk youth. In San Diego, among other boards, Larry served as a member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Urban League. In Oregon, Larry served three terms and twelve years on a county mental health board which oversaw services provided to mentally ill county residents. He was also selected to serve on a state board with oversight of distribution
of health services in southern Oregon.
Larry holds a bachelor’s degree in honors economics taken at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a master of science in education also from Penn, and a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.
Gary Kenzer - Executive Director
Gary Kenzer of the Chicago area has served as executive director of Help Now! Advocacy since being appointed by its board of directors in early November 2021. He was appointed to this role because the board believed him to be someone who had the vision, commitment, and fundraising capabilities to lead expansion of the organization’s
unique services to a national scope and presence.
Gary comes to the organization with over 30 years’ experience managing non-profit organizations, with local and national scope. Gary’s leadership of these organizations not only involved administrative functions, but also his work in fundraising and community organizing was instrumental to their growth.
Apart from his professional work for non-profit organizations, Gary’s civic commitment extends beyond that professional work as reflected by his volunteer roles in other Chicago-based organizations. Currently, Gary serves as a board member of the University of Illinois, Chicago Alumni Association. He also serves as the chairman of
the board of directors of a federally qualified health care center, PrimeCare Health. That organization, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was founded in 1992 in response to significant unmet healthcare needs of communities on Chicago’s west side.
Additionally, over the years Gary has been a guest speaker on hundreds of radio and television programs. He has shared his knowledge as a speaker before various audiences around the country with thousands in attendance at these functions.
Gary’s holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois, Chicago with a specialization in administration, public policy and community organizations.
John Statler - President of the Board of Directors
John has owned and operated Computer Services Northwest in Medford, Oregon for 25 years. The company serves small businesses and individuals with systems design, software installation and hardware maintenance.
For more than 30 years, John has engaged in volunteer community service work around issues related to homelessness and poverty. In addition to having been on the boards of many local and statewide nonprofits John was elected to a four-year term on the Medford City Council. John also served as a commissioner for the Housing Authority of Jackson County, Oregon for a ten year period. He is the longest tenured member of Help Now! Advocacy’s Board of Directors and assists the organization on a variety of technical issues.
Even though John is semi-retired he still works closely with people in recovery from drug and alcohol issues.
Jim Roemer - Secretary of the Board of Directors
In 2018, Jim Roemer retired from a 35-year career as an architect, the last 14 years of which were as a principal with a highly-regarded architecture firm in Medford, Oregon. Among Jim’s professional accomplishments as an architect were the design and construction oversight of the new headquarters for Lithia Motors, a Medford-based, Fortune 500 company as well as a number of school and hospital projects in California. Jim and his firm lent pro bono assistance to Kids Unlimited, a Medford non-profit working with at-risk youth, in designing and overseeing construction of that organization’s current facility.
Jim has also volunteered at various local non-profits in the Medford, Oregon area, including the local Head Start program, a local animal adoption program, the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program, the YMCA, and a local shelter for female victims of domestic violence.
Jim received a degree in architecture from Cornell University. He was licensed as an architect in California and Oregon.
Edward (Ted) Sachs, Jr. - Treasurer of the Board of Directors
Ted Sachs spent his career in commercial finance, bank lending and financial consulting in Chicago. Major employers included GATX, CIT, Sanwa Business Credit/Bank of America, DKB Bank/Mizuho Group. He was also involved in secured lending and consulting to mid-sized private businesses during his professional career.
For 30 years, Ted was a board member with Youth Guidance, a non-profit working with high-risk youth in Chicago. Today Youth Guidance is nationally known for its Being A Man (BAM) program that gained the support and involvement of President Obama.
Ted holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds an MBA in finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School. Prior to earning his MBA, Ted served as anti-submarine officer aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer. After receiving his MBA, Ted also became licensed as a CPA.
Deidre Beacham - Marketing/Social Media/Website Specialist
Deidre Beacham is a business consultant with over 15 years’ work in marketing and business development. Her experience includes video production, target marketing, market research, graphic design, training, communications and social media. She has implemented marketing strategies for companies that have doubled and, in some cases, tripled their profitability.
Deidre has also been a repeat contributor on various business television and radio shows providing marketing advice. Besides her media appearances, Deidre has shared her expertise through speaking engagements before thousands of people at business conferences around the country, with college students, and with chambers of commerce. Those engagements have had her speaking alongside of such notables as Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group which included Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Virgin Records, and Virgin Galactic.
In order to help her community, Deidre has served as ambassador for several local chambers of commerce, as a board member for HopeLine—a suicide prevention non-profit in North Carolina, and as past president of Women’s Business Owner’s Network.
Bonnie Pickering - Senior Advocate
Bonnie Pickering has held compensated and volunteer positions with various non-profit organizations around the country for 45 years.
For instance, when living in New Mexico and at the same time Bonnie held the position of state coordinator for the American Heart Association, she served as a volunteer advocate for Navajo women who were in abusive domestic situations. She did development work for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America when living in the Washington, D.C. In Oregon and while working as one of the top-selling real estate agents in southern Oregon and serving on the local board of realtors, Bonnie volunteered as a Rotarian, served as a United Way volunteer, and volunteered in support of various local festivals.
Bonnie has worked as an advocate at Help Now! for 12 years, currently serving as a senior advocate training and advising new advocates as they learn how to provide the organization’s services. Having a disabled daughter of her own, Bonnie appreciates the importance of the services that Help Now! offers to vulnerable populations unable to speak up for themselves when in crisis.
Bonnie holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado.
Peter Fechheimer - Advocate/Operations Advisor
Peter Fechheimer has had two significant professional careers.
Starting in 1970, Peter was involved in the early days of the cable television industry spending 18 years managing cable systems around the country. In his last position, he was responsible for building and managing a state-of-the-art cable system that was among the first to use fiber optics. Peter was also involved with pay TV in the early years of that industry, helping both HBO and Showtime add their first subscribers.
Peter’s second career was in California’s Silicon Valley, where he worked with a number of large and small technology companies as their in-house recruiter. During that very competitive time in the industry, Peter helped his employers find and hire many highly-skilled software engineers.
Since retiring in Nashville, Peter has performed volunteer work as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), is a member of the Davidson County Juvenile Court Review Board, serves on the board of his homeowner’s association and is an advisor to Help Now!
Peter received a bachelor’s degree in English from Roosevelt University in Chicago.