Dave Bell, President-Elect, Board of Directors

Claudia Khourey-Bowers, PhD, Secretary/Treasurer, Board of Directors

Q & A with the PAA Board of Directors

Dave Bell is a Shaker Heights resident and serves as President-Elect of Prevention Action Alliance’s Board of Directors.  An educator, former attorney and coach, Bell works part-time from his home.  His career has landed him in New Jersey, Arizona and now Ohio giving him a breadth of experience in law, education and non-profit work.

Q: Why are you interested in the association and why did you decide to join our board of directors?

A: Great mission,  great board and staff

Q: Tell how you got involved with Prevention Action Alliance, and what was your first impression of the organization?

A: A friend of mine, Tim Duff, was leaving the board and asked if I would be interested in joining. He spoke highly of the organization, and it seemed to be doing interesting work, so I said yes.

Q: What is the greatest challenge and/or opportunity currently facing prevention organizations in our state, and how would you like PAA to assist them?

A: One of the greatest challenges is trying to fight the problem of substance misuse at a time when the trend seems to be making drugs that can be misused more widely available legally. I think the strategic plan we are working on will help PAA clarify ways in which it can be more effective.

Q: What experience do you have that is related to PAA’s mission?

A: Candidly, none before I got involved with PAA.

[Editor’s note: Dave has been a quick study on substance use issues since he joined the board and his legal knowledge and experiences have been invaluable proving once again that everyone has a role in prevention.]

Q: What would you like to gain from your service to the organization?

A: I would like to believe I have helped make PAA a stronger and more effective organization.

Q: What would some be surprised to learn about you?

A: I taught and coached in NJ for 10 years before deciding to move to Ohio to go to law school.


Claudia Khourey-Bowers, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus at Kent State University and resides in Gahanna, Ohio.  She joined the Board of Directors in 2018  and last year took on the challenging role of Secretary/Treasurer on the Executive Committee.

Q: Why are you interested in the association and why did you decide to join our board of directors? 

A: I am interested in the important work of PAA in preventing misuse of addictive substances and behaviors, especially among school children.  I decided to join the Board of Directors through my relationship with Fran Gerbig, PAA Executive Director.

Q: Tell how you got involved with Prevention Action Alliance, and what was your first impression of the organization?

A: I got involved with PAA through a previous professional collaboration in northeast Ohio with Fran (prior to her joining PAA), in which I developed a K-12 opioid prevention curriculum. When I relocated to Columbus following my retirement from KSU, Fran invited me to consider serving on the Board of Directors.

My first impression of the organization was one of passionate commitment by the administration, staff, and fellow Directors.

Q: What is the greatest challenge and/or opportunity currently facing prevention organizations in our state, and how would you like PAA to assist them?

A:  I think that as the COVID pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, the worsening epidemic of opioid substance misuse and resultant deaths has become less of a public health concern. I wish we had an effective vaccine for substance abuse, but we don’t. As a society, we need to dedicate resources to help people struggling with this epidemic as much as we do to control COVID. Prevention agencies, including PAA, need to have more resources (money, time, talent) to focus on this deadly societal problem. I think that PAA should be engaged to conduct statewide seminars to help smaller, local agencies better coordinate prevention efforts.

Q: What experience do you have that is related to PAA’s mission?

A: During my dual career as a university Science Educator and a K-12 science teacher, I worked with many students and fellow educators who didn’t feel comfortable with the logic or language of scientific disciplines. My specialty was in helping people to make personal connections with scientific facts and processes. In the context of PAA, my ability to integrate scientific, social, and micro-cultural aspects of substance abuse disorder may be helpful in reaching out to various constituencies. My background also helps me understand the depth of the work engaged in by PAA. It is astounding!

Q: What would you like to gain from your service to the organization?

A: Helping a worthy organization and its highly principled people.

Q: What would some be surprised to learn about you?

A: I am a beekeeper and board member of the Central Ohio Beekeepers Association. I love to talk about bees!