Posted on March 9, 2020

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

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

Sunday Unity & Remembrance Brunch Speakers: Jill Cagle, Kim Cecchini, Julie Gundlach, Zack Johnson, Laura and Bob Kuzmick, Brent Kynoch, and Conor B. Lewis

Sunday Unity & Remembrance Brunch Moderator: Ellen Costa


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.

Kim Cecchini, ADAO Board Member, has been involved with the organization since its founding in 2004. She is a senior communications strategist, with more than 25 years of experience managing diverse PR and corporate communications programs for a wide variety of high growth companies, specializing in technology and the federal sector. She currently resides in Raleigh, NC.

Ellen Costa is a Strategy Consultant at Wells Fargo Home Lending and ADAO Board Member. Ellen has been a volunteer with ADAO since 2012 and is honored to be of service to this very special organization; its mission, founders and supporters. Professionally, she has been in the financial services industry for over 25 years and has served firms in marketing, communications, product management and strategic planning. Her current position at Wells Fargo Home Lending is as a strategy consultant in the financial reform regulatory environment. Inspired by Linda Reinstein’s commitment and passion in making change, influencing political policy and advocating for practical issues on a global level, lead to her involvement with the organization. The awareness, family support and leadership ADAO provides in creating the change needed in this world is truly powerful. Most importantly, she believes in Linda Reinstein and is truly privileged to serve the mission of ADAO.

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, 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.

Robert and Laura Kuzmick met in 1999 while working in the same office building for Montgomery County, PA as Social Service professionals. Bob has over 25 years of experience working with delinquent youth and is currently a Supervisor with the Montgomery County Juvenile Probation Department. Laura has worked in the Family Court Divisions of both Montgomery and Bucks Counties in Pennsylvania. Bob and Laura were married in 2001 and bought their home in Ambler, PA in 2002, where they did extensive renovations. After realizing that much of the materials in their home contained asbestos, Bob began to research the dangers of asbestos and reached out to ADAO for information and support. Bob and Laura have since committed themselves to promoting awareness of asbestos in the home and have volunteered their time with local and national ADAO events.

Brent Kynoch is the Managing Director of the Environmental Information Association, headquartered just outside of Washington, DC in Chevy Chase, MD. He has been the Managing Director of the Association since 1996, but previously had served EIA in other volunteer roles on the Board of Directors as an officer, and ultimately as the President of EIA in 1988 and 1989. EIA has spent over 30 years at the forefront in providing its members with the information needed to remain knowledgeable, responsible and competitive in the environmental health and safety industry. Mr. Kynoch is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he received a degree in mechanical engineering. He is called upon frequently as a speaker, as a writer and as an expert regarding environmental contaminants. He has testified before both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate regarding asbestos, and has written numerous articles on asbestos management and control.

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.


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

In Unity,

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