Posted on March 16, 2020

ADAO 16th Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference
“Where Knowledge and Action Unite”
April 3 – 5, 2020
Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel

Conference Postponed | 2020 Conference Info | Speakers | Honorees and Keynote Speakers | Know Before You Go | Registration | Marriott Reservations | Agenda | RSVP for Events | Friday – Community Event | Friday – Casual Dinner | Saturday Academic Conference | Saturday “Meet the Artists” Reception and Gala Awards Dinner | Sunday Brunch | Speaker Information | Tributes| Sponsors | Media | Meet the Speakers Blog Series | Previous Conferences | 2020 Conference Infographic | 2020 Livestream

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is proud to present a new weekly series “Meet the Speakers and Honorees,” which will highlight esteemed participants of our highly anticipated 16th Annual International Asbestos Awareness & Prevention Conference! The ADAO conference, which will take place on April 3-5, 2020 in Washington, D.C., combines 30 expert opinions, victims’ stories, and new technological advancements from nearly 10 countries across the globe into one united voice raising awareness about asbestos. ADAO is the only U.S. nonprofit that organizes annual conferences dedicated solely to preventing asbestos exposure and eliminating asbestos-caused diseases. Register Here Today

Saturday Keynote: Rebecca L. Reindel; AFL-CIO
Andrew Schneider Memorial Lecturer: Wendy Ruderman; Philadelphia Inquirer
Sunday Unity & Remembrance Brunch Keynote: Julie Gundlach; Mesothelioma Warrior
Artists: Jill Cagle, Earl Dotter, Zack Johnson, Conor B. Lewis, and Jordan Zevon


Jill Cagle is a performer and Mesothelioma Widow. She is the surviving spouse of Mesothelioma Warrior Robbie Cagle, who lost his 6-year battle with Peritoneal Mesothelioma on 9-11-11 at the age of 46. She is a mother and now grandmother of 3. She is a Christian and her faith in God truly sustains her. She is the lead singer in the Band Backstreet and plays the Fiddle. She makes primitive crafts and candles and she loves to ride her Harley and feel the wind in her hair. She has been associated with ADAO since 2007 and has now started an annual Motorcycle Ride, “Ridin the Wind with Rob”; which includes a 110-mile ride, dinner, silent auction, raffles and t-shirt sales to raise funds for awareness and ultimately a CURE of Mesothelioma. Jill and Rob marched on Capitol Hill in 2010 to help get Illinois to sign the National Asbestos Awareness Day Bill and also met with the DOD. She is committed to doing whatever it takes to get this killer 100 % banned. She is truly honored and proud to be a part of this organization.

Earl Dotter is the Photographer and Creator of the exhibit BADGES: A Memorial Tribute to Asbestos Workers. Earl began photographing coal miners in 1969, then the most dangerous job in America. After which, he focused on other hazardous occupations in the USA. After 30 years of documentation he created the exhibit and book, THE QUIET SICKNESS: A Photographic Chronicle of Hazardous Work in America. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health since his appointment in 1999. In the year 2000, Dotter received an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship to document commercial fishing. It has become our nation’s most dangerous trade. After 9/11, he photographed the rescue recovery effort at Ground Zero. For that exhibit project he received APHA’s Alice Hamilton Award. Currently, Dotter is currently touring his retrospective exhibit, LIFE’S WORK, A Fifty Year Photographic Chronical of Working in the U.S.A. His recently published book of the same name is a companion to the touring exhibit.

Julie Gundlach is an asbestos victim turned advocate. Diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma in August of 2006, Julie fought to find viable treatment options through five surgeries and multiple chemotherapy protocols, and has remained stable since 2014. A victim of secondary exposure, Julie’s anger and frustration at the horrific amount of asbestos exposure led her to become an advocate in the fight for a ban on asbestos. She has traveled to lobby at Capitol Hill with ADAO and is committed to fighting for a complete ban on asbestos.

Zack Johnson is a filmmaker and adventurer from Alton, Illinois. Since a young age he has always had a video camera in his hand but he never thought it would take him anywhere. A natural storyteller, Zack is always looking to give and get a good laugh – he realized a video camera was another way to make that happen. A simple guy who wants and needs for very little just lives his life to be a story worth listening to in the end. He is a friend of nature and finds great peace when hunting, fishing, and trapping – most often with his dog, Doc.

Conor B. Lewis, After Lewis obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts, he began his career in digital media at an agency in St. Louis, Missouri. Here he cut his teeth, shooting productions for large national and international corporations. After several years spent in agency life, Lewis was recruited by a large metropolitan St. Louis firm, to manage their in-house creative team. This move created the flexibility to shoot “Dirty Laundry”, the 2018 asbestos documentary. Lewis grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where he resides today with his wife Molly, his daughter Elizabeth and his dog George. He spends his free time riding bikes and on his other “full time job” as a painter.

Rebecca L. Reindel, MS, MPH, is the Safety and Health Director at the AFL-CIO, the federation of 55 labor unions representing 12.5 million working men and women in the United States. She provides safety and health support to unions and relies on workers’ experiences and key research to advocate at the federal policy level for improved working conditions, including stronger protections for chemical exposures at work, like asbestos. In 2019, she testified in front of Congress in support of H.R. 1603 — the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act on behalf of the AFL-CIO. Rebecca has worked on the ground conducting research and at the national level for EPA and OSHA, using science in public policy. She serves as a board officer for several nonprofits in occupational and environmental health and is an active member of the American Public Health Association. She is very active in recruiting and training the next generation of worker health and safety activists. Rebecca is from a union family with a background in social justice issues and received her master’s degrees in Forensic Toxicology and Public Health from the George Washington University.

Wendy Ruderman, a reporter since 1991, is a staff writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she is a key member of the Investigation Team. Her most recent project, “Toxic City: Sick Schools,” authored with Inquirer colleagues Barbara Laker and Dylan Purcell, won numerous national awards and was named as a Pulitzer finalist in the local reporting category. The series examined how environmental hazards, including asbestos, lead paint and mold, inside Philadelphia’s aging public schools rob children of healthy and safe places to learn and grow. Ruderman won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for a series about police corruption. She earned a master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1997 and was a 2016 National Fellow at University of Southern California’s Center for Health Journalism. She currently serves as a member of the Ethics Advisory Council at Villanova University. She lives in South Jersey with her two teenage boys.

Jordan Zevon, ADAO’s tremendous National Spokesperson and Celebrity Board Co-Chair, is a singer/songwriter and film composer. Jordan was the executive producer for his father, Warren Zevon’s, final album The Wind. He also co-produced Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon, which features an all-star cast of singers and musicians. Jordan’s own work includes his self-titled EP and the New West release, “Insides Out”. He’s performed multiple times on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Grammys, and his music has been featured on numerous television shows. Jordan’s immeasurable commitment to asbestos victims and concerned citizens has provided a united voice that will continue to help ensure that their rights are fairly represented and protected, while raising public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and often deadly asbestos related diseases


Check back next week for the seventh installment of Meet the Speakers and Honorees featuring our 2020 honorees.

In Unity,

Social Networks