AAA to Z: A Safety Summit for the Next Generation of Drivers

Previous Safety Summit Resources

The following  speakers led AAA’s conversation to Generation Z at the April 12, 2017 AAA Young Driver Safety Summit.  Please view their presentations below:
Safety Summit Presenters and Attendees
Celling Your Soul

Joni Siani

Joni Siani is an assistant professor at Mount Ida College in Massachusetts where she developed the Media Communications program.  She is passionate social scientist, author and filmmaker who also works in radio and television locally, nationally and internationally.  She is recognized as a leading authority on the effects of technology addiction.  Her book Celling Your Soul and documentary by the same name have received national awards and recognition.

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More information:  

Jake Nelson

Jake Nelson is an epidemiologist and the Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research for AAA National.  He interprets fatal crash statistics and translates complex research findings into easy-to-understand language for the media and the general public.  Jake plays a major role in a number of teen driving studies conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Teen Driving (Gen Z) Presentation

Impaired Driving Presentation

Peter Sweet

Detective Peter Sweet served for four years of active duty in the United States Marine Corp before being honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant. While on active duty, he served in Okinawa, Japan and Quantico, Virginia. Detective Sweet holds degrees in the Administration of Justice and Criminal Justice from Johnson and Wales University. He has been a member of the Cumberland Police Department for 9 years.  where he is currently assigned as a Detective. Det. Sweet has been a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) for 6 years, a DRE Instructor and an SFST Instructor for 5 years. Det. Sweet has Instructed and presented the DRE program in 4 States to several hundred DRE Candidates. In addition he has had the honor and privilege of speaking and presenting at several local Schools and Conferences.  


Cathy Andreozzi

Cathy Andreozzi is the Executive Director of the Tori Lynn Andreozzi Foundation. Cathy’s daughter Tori Lynn, a beautiful twelve year old girl with a vibrant personality and a national martial arts champion, was struck and permanently disabled by a drunk driver in 2003.  Since then, Cathy has dedicated her energy and the resources of the foundation to combatting drunk driving.  Cathy also participates in the Zero Fatalities program offered to high school groups at the RI Adult Correctional Institution described in this video.

For more information about her speaking program and the work of the Tori Lynn Andreozzi Foundation visit:

Zero Fatalities Project- Young adults listen to inmates convicted of various vehicular crimes and the families of their victims. Live :

Sleep & ADHD

Dr. Judith Owens

Dr. Owens is director of sleep medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, and a member of the neurology faculty at Harvard Medical School.  She is an internationally recognized authority on pediatric sleep, and sits on the Governing Council of The World Association on Sleep Medicine.  She is an expert on sleep problems and attention deficit disorder in teens.


Dr. Elizabeth Lange

Dr. Lange is a pediatrician at Waterman Pediatrics/Coastal Medical in Providence.  She is past President of the Rhode Island Chapter of The American Academy of Pediatrics, and a Past Secretary of the Rhode Island Medical Society.  She is active in many pediatric advocacy and health care reform initiatives across the state.  Dr. Lange completed her pediatric residency at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.


Michele Ellicks

Michele has been presenting safe driving workshops for the Massachusetts’ Registry of Motor Vehicles since August of 2000. She chairs the RMV’s Junior Operator License Advisory Board, as well as the Partnership For Passenger Safety’s Older Driver Sub-Committee. She also leads MASSDOT’s strategic highway safety plan for older and younger drivers. The RMV’s Medical Evaluation Form (link to Medical Eval Form-attached) can be used to request a driver evaluation in order to assess the physical or neurological fitness of a driver. Each state has a Medical Advisory Board which guides the Department of Motor Vehicles.


Distracted Driving

Jim Butcher
Jim is chief probation officer in Barnstable District Court on Cape Cod, and has worked in the probation system for 24 years.  Prior to that, Jim worked at the Department of Children And Families. He holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Westfield State University.  Jim speaks to young people throughout the Commonwealth through the SCARR program and has addressed more than fifteen thousand people regarding risky driving behavior as a father and victim advocate.  He lost his daughter Courtney in a terrible crash a decade ago; he started a foundation in her name that has enabled more than 900 young people to attend summer camp.  He reminds young drivers of the impact of their choices on not only their own lives but also the lives of the victim, their family and community. 

Teen in court on trial for vehicular homicide of one of the passengers in her car. She is charged with Driving Under the Influence. Live:

John Corrigan
Assistant Attorney General John Corrigan has been a prosecutor with the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General for the past thirteen years.  He is the Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor, Chief of the District Court Unit, and Oversees Department Prosecutions at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal. John has conducted trainings for more than ten years in conjunction with the Rhode Island Department of Health, at the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy, and at police departments concerning impaired driving and chemical test refusal prosecutions.  He is presently cross-designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney.

70 high schools across the state have hosted RI Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Assistant Attorney General Corrigan.  

Brain damaged teen speaks out. He was the passenger in a car when the driver got in an accident while texting. Live:

If you would like to host the It Can Wait program in your high school, please contact Amy Kempe at

Emily Stein
Emily is President Of Massachusetts-based Safe Roads Alliance, and has been a nurse for ten years, receiving her Master’s Degree in Public Health in 2011.  Emily began her career in traffic safety after her father was tragically killed by a distracted driver 6 years ago.  Since then, she has worked tirelessly to increase public awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. 

Distracted teen kills a man on the side of the road. Footage from driver and family of victim. Live:

Rick Birt
Rick is the Executive Vice President of SADD’s National Office—Students Against Destructive Decisions.  In that role, Rick leads National Operations and Development efforts, playing a critical role in managing all national programs and field relations, and fostering relationships between SADD and external partners.  Rick also manages SADD’s national youth leadership councils—the student leadership council and college advisory council, and oversees planning for the annual SADD National Youth Conference on Youth Health and Safety.  Rick was the SADD National Student of The Year in 2010. 



Three individuals were honored at the 2017 AAA to Z Young Driver Safety Summit for
outstanding efforts in the education of young drivers:

Dr. Thomas McGovern, Fisher College, Boston

Thomas M. McGovern, Ed.D., was appointed the eighth president of Fisher College in October 2007, following more than three decades educating Fisher students. He is responsible for overseeing the college’s full transition from a junior college to a baccalaureate institution, offering master’s degrees. During his tenure, the college has enjoyed he largest enrollment in the school’s history, and has added 10 baccalaureate degrees and a Master in Business Administration. Dr. McGovern continues to oversee Fisher College’s programmatic expansion based on labor market and student demand.

A proud veteran of the U.S. Army, Dr. McGovern is a member of the Fisher College Athletics Hall of Fame and an advocate of the College’s athletics program, as well as a strong supporter of Fisher alumni. As the former Governor’s Representative for Highway Safety and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Governor’s Highway Safety Bureau, Dr. McGovern has extensive experience in research-based highway safety programs and administration. He launched the Fisher College Transportation Safety Initiative and created the Center for Leadership and Public Service in 2007, encouraging and inspiring students to pursue careers in public safety and criminal justice through hands-on research projects and internships. He currently serves as an officer on the Board of Directors for the Boston Police Foundation, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts (AICUM).

Dr. McGovern holds a bachelor of science from Northeastern University’s School of Management, a Master of Public Administration from Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Management, and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Johnson and Wales University.
Dr. Thomas McGovern, Fisher College, Boston

Officer Irene Adams, Johnson & Wales University, Providence

Officer Irene Adams started her career with Johnson & Wales University Campus Safety & Security in 2006 and worked as a patrol officer until 2012, when she was assigned to the Crime Prevention & Community Outreach Unit.  As a crime prevention officer, Officer Adams seeks out opportunities for engagement and education by developing and presenting crime prevention programs for staff and students, and collaborates with a variety of members from the JWU community by co-hosting many special events. 

Officer Adams is a department trainer and certified instructor in several programs, and is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of her efforts as both a patrol officer and crime prevention officer.  Prior to working at JWU, Officer Adams received her degree in nursing and as a registered nurse, was committed to the importance of patient education and its effect on patient choice and outcome.

University Office Receives Award

Barbara DeMasco, Burrillville High School

As a health educator at Burrillville High School, Mrs. DeMasco began discussing the dangers of texting and driving in her health classes years ago.  With the help of a colleague she created a hands-on driving course, utilizing a pedal car, that gave students an opportunity to experience just how much texting distracts from the driver's ability to pay attention. She later added the use of "Fatal Vision goggles" to simulate the effects of driving while under the influence. The Burrillville Police Department partnered with the high school to assist in this education.  She later invited AAA to educate students on defensive driving and laws pertaining to GDL, speeding and reckless driving. 

Under Mrs. De Masco’s direction, Burrillville students participated in the Zero Fatalities Program at the ACI, the "Save a Life Tour" and the Attorney General’s "It Can Wait" program. This topic has since been added to the Burrillville High School health curriculum.

Barbara DeMasco of Burrillville High School

Who attended?

  • College & High School Student leaders

  • Campus Resident Assistants

  • SGA & SADD

  • Directors

  • Student Athletes

  • Heath Educator

  • Campus Law Enforcement

  • Driver Education Professionals

  • School Resource Officers

  • Traffic Safety Stakeholders


Impaired Driving (Alcohol & Marijuana), Technology Addition & Distracted Driving, ADHD & Drowsy Driving