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Executive Board Members


Paul Hudsont
President FlyersRights.org
click here to view bio



Kate Hanni
Founder, Emeritus FlyersRights.org
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Joel Smiler Joel Smiler
Joel J Smiler
Board Member and Hotline Director FlyersRights.org
Dr. Joel Smiler: is a graduate of the 1969 Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Smiler and his wife Dr. Kathy Smiler (also a veterinarian) have four boys, an Akita, and a pug. They moved from Vermont in May 2004. From 1973 to 1993, Dr.Smiler was in partnership and management of the North Hills Veterinary Hospital, in Rochester, Michigan. He is also the president of Rex Point Kennels, Inc., a large suburban pet boarding facility. Dr. Smiler is an accomplished practitioner and enjoys many areas of veterinary medicine, most notably behavior and dermatology.



Joel Smiler
Edmund Mierzwinski
Board MemberFlyersRights.org
FlyersRights.org board member Ed Mierzwinski has worked in the Washington, DC-based federal lobbying office of the Federation of State Public Interest Research Groups (U.S. PIRG) since 1989. He often lectures or testifies on a wide range of consumer issues, from credit cards to airline complaints. Mierzwinski is a frequent enough flyer that he once made United Premier and wants to get back there, but doesn’t like sitting in the middle seat in the back of the plane to get there! When Kate Hanni first came to Washington to fight for stranded passengers, she worked out of U.S. PIRG’s Capitol Hill offices and Mierzwinski lobbied the Congress with her. Among his activities, Mierzwinski testified to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on the successful Boxer-Snowe passenger rights legislation championed by Hanni and FRO. In his day job, he has had recent articles in the American Prospect and the Journal of Consumer Affairs. He has an article forthcoming in the Suffolk University Law Review. He is a 2003 recipient of Privacy International’s “Brandeis Award” for privacy protection efforts and a 2006 recipient of the Consumer Federation of America’s “Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award.” For the last 3 years, “The Hill” newspaper has selected him as a “Top Lobbyist” awardee and, in 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek selected him as one of “15 Power Brokers: Regulators, lawmakers and lobbyists shaping the torrent of regulations.” In August 2012, he was re-elected to a second 3-year term on the board of directors of Consumer Reports (formerly Consumers Union), the world’s largest consumer product testing and advocacy organization. He chairs the Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Task Force. He is a founding and current member of the Steering Committee of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (tacd.org). He is a former member of the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut (BA, MS) and previously was Executive Director of the Connecticut PIRG



Joel Smiler
Kendall Creighton
Newsletter Writer FlyersRights.org
Kendall Creighton joined the board this year and is also theFlyersRights newsletter writer. Ms. Creighton is a long-time political activist and previous Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) staffer in Washington. She also worked in the Clinton White House, Office of Environmental Policy. The DCCC later sent her to Montgomery, Alabama to support Democratic candidates in the South. As a frequent flyer, the fee games and TSA hassles spurred her reach out to Kate Hanni and joinFlyersRights




John Richard
Board Member FlyersRights.org
John Richard, is the Director Center for Study of Responsive Law, the co-author of Who's Poisoning America? (Sierra Club Books) and an Antioch Law School graduate. In the last thirty years Mr. Richard has edited countless books and reports; developed innovative public interest projects; coordinated national and local public education campaigns; and supervised hundreds of researchers, writers, organizers and attorneys. Mr. Richard has also worked as a consultant for various foundations and philanthropic initiatives.



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