CPN - Meet the Board
SAM SCHMIDT - Chairman
Sam Schmidt was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. He attended Pepperdine University, receiving a BS in Business Administration in 1986, and an MBA in International Finance in 1987. After graduation, he became a Hospital Administrator followed by purchasing his father’s auto parts company in 1989.
He raced at a competitive amateur level and won the SCCA National Championship in the F2000 series in 1993. In 1997, Sam made his first IndyCar start. He raced in three consecutive Indianapolis 500s and netted his first victory from the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 1999, finishing the year fifth in series points.
During testing in preparation for the 2000 season, Sam suffered a horrendous crash at Walt Disney World Speedway on January 6, 2000. The accident rendered Sam a quadriplegic. Shortly after his accident, Sam and a few close friends founded the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation, which was rebranded Conquer Paralysis Now in 2015. Through the years, the foundation has funded research on a global level, providing grants to organizations benefiting those with neurological disabilities. A major focus of the program is encouraging people to find their passion and continue to live their dreams, just as Sam has done.
Sam’s goal of racing in the Indianapolis 500 was not swayed by the impact of adapting to his new life and newly established foundation. Inspired by meeting paraplegic, Formula One team owner Sir Frank Williams, Sam founded Sam Schmidt Motorsports only 14 months after his accident.
The team fields entries each year in the Indianapolis 500, keeping Sam’s dream alive to one day win the race, not as a driver but as a team owner. In 2011 he established a full-time IndyCar team, which was so successful that in 2019, his team moved into a partnership with McLaren and Arrow Electronics. The team is now titled McLaren Arrow SP. They have won 7 NTT IndyCar series wins, 7 Indy Lights Championships, and secured 28 IndyCar Podiums.
In December 2018, the DRIVEN NeuroRecovery Center was opened in downtown Las Vegas as a program of CPN. The facility provides Activity-Based Therapy, an open gym and many community and wellness programs for anyone with a neurological disability.
Sam has been able to accomplish the impossible by driving a Corvette Stingray re-engineered by Arrow Electronics, with a head array to steer and bite plate to brake. He has had unforgettable family experiences such as a customized exoskeleton engineering by Arrow to dance with his daughter at her wedding and drive his wife and children around the streets of San Francisco. On top of that, Sam has continued to pursue his love of racing, by racing Mario Andretti in identical Corvettes going 192mph at Nellis Air Force Base. In 2021, he topped 200 mph and competed in the Optima Ultimate Streetcar Challenge against able-bodied competitors.
Sam lives in Henderson, NV, with his wife of thirty years, Sheila. He has two children; his daughter, Savannah, is married and lives in Orange County, CA and his son, Spencer, is a recent graduate from Pepperdine University.
ED MATTIX - Secretary
Ed Mattix is principal at EdM Communications providing executive-level communications and marketing expertise to global corporations and philanthropic organizations. He has served as a senior executive for several global Fortune 500 companies and high-tech start-ups, including IHS Markit, Sprint, Sprint PCS, U S WEST, Covad Communications, DTN and Clarivate. He was one of the founding members of the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and continues as an active member of Conquer Paralysis Now serving as Secretary. Ed met Sam when he hired him to drive for Sprint PCS in the Indy Racing League in the late 1990s.
WILLIAM LIACONE - Treasurer
Bill has been an executive in the automotive industry for over 25 years. He has held a variety of senior positions in general management, operations management, and finance at Deloitte, BorgWarner, and MANN+HUMMEL. Bill currently serves as Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer at BraunAbility. BraunAbility is a global, market leading company providing mobility solutions that change the lives of people living with mobility challenges and those that care for them.
Bill met Sam through BraunAbility where Sam serves on the Board of Directors. With a common passion for speed and helping people, Bill became interested in Sam’s Conquer Paralysis Now organization and started participating in its mission and events. When Sam invited Bill to join the Conquer Paralysis Board of Directors, he saw it as an excellent opportunity to do more. Bill currently serves as Treasurer for the organization.
Bill holds both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University. He and his wife Kelly are originally from Chicago, but now call Carmel, Indiana home. They have two children/young adults Luke and Jamie and are very proud in how they have started to leave their impression on the world. Motorcycle enthusiasts and dog lovers, Bill and Kelly will usually be found in their free time on some sort of trail.
DON BROOKS - In Memory of Our Founding Board Member
Don was a founding member of the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Organization. He helped to ensure the organization maintained its integrity and growth as Treasurer of the CPN Board for nearly 21 years. His famous words for those who knew him was, “Show me the money” which he always said leading up to events and fundraising.
Don earned his BA in Finance and Accounting from Duke University and his Juris Doctorate from Duke University School of Law. Don spent the first five years of his career with Price Waterhouse & Co, leaving there as a Tax Manager to become CFO and General Counsel for Peachtree Corners, Inc. in Northeast Atlanta, GA.
From there, Don went on to become President and Co-Owner of The Landmarks Group, Inc. Don served as SVP and Investment Committee Member for Beacon Properties Corporation, a Boston-based REIT. He also served as Chief Executive of Beacon Properties Southeast and Beacon Properties Mid-Atlantic.
Don’s community work included Treasurer of the SCCA Southeast Region, President of his neighborhood HOA, Treasurer of The Legacy Lacrosse Cup, Vice Chair of the Investment Committee for Catholic Health East, Life Member of Duke Law School Board of Visitors, ULI Member, NAIOP Member, Finance Committee Chair and Board Chair of Saint Joseph’s Health System (Atlanta) and Board Member of Emory Healthcare.
Don passed away in February 2021, but his memory has continued to live on. The Don Brooks Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor and celebrate the work that Don Brooks brought to the community. His family and the current CPN Board of Directors oversee the selection of scholarship winners keeping the spirit of Don Brooks at the center of their decisions.
LISA ARDITO - Director
Lisa is a mature, energetic women with an extensive entrepreneurial background and a history of working for charitable causes. Lisa received her BA in Finance at Seton Hall University.
Lisa used her financial background working for several companies until 1995, when Lisa became the President of Environmental Rail Solutions. Her responsibilities included designs concerning project acceptability, office management, legal matters and accounting. In 2022, Lisa sold her business and retired in Florida.
Lisa has always been a committed, active leader in her community and dedicates much of her time to nonprofit organizations. Lisa’s objectives have always been about successful results.
In 2012, Lisa Joined the Sam Schmidt Foundation, and continues to be an active Board Member of Conquer Paralysis Now, a Global Project of The Sam Schmidt foundation.
CHET BEILER - Director
Chet met Sam Schmidt while attending Pepperdine in the mid-1980s, and the two became close friends. They have maintained their friendship throughout the years, and Chet has been inspired by Sam's journey, especially with Sam’s determination and optimism. Chet finds inspiration in Sam’s famous quote that "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."
Growing up on a 100-acre farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Chet learned the values of hard work and the importance of respecting the laws of the land. Coming from a large family of seven siblings, teamwork and careful planning were essential, and they often assisted their neighbors, fostering strong relationships within their community.
In the early 1980s, Chet was awarded a scholarship to attend Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, which provided him with a unique window to the world. Through his studies and travel, Chet was able to build relationships with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. He studied in Heidelberg, Germany, and visited the former Soviet Union as part of his education at Pepperdine. After graduating in 1987, he embarked on his entrepreneurial journey.
Chet's entrepreneurial spirit led him to launch a small gazebo business in Southern California in 1989, which he transformed into one of the leading providers of outdoor structures in the nation. Over the past 40 years, Chet has been involved in numerous enterprises, where his optimism and talent for building effective teams have been essential to his success. In addition to serving as CEO for both Amish Country Gazebos and OverEZ Chicken Coops, Chet is the General Partner for Oasis Investment Group, a private equity firm which he founded in 2022.
Chet's passion for building strong and generous communities is evident in his dedication to the Rotary Club, where he has been an active member for nearly 20 years. Additionally, he volunteers for and supports The Salvation Army, rescue missions, and World Vision, all aimed at improving the lives of those facing hardship. Chet and his wife Sharon also support their local church's efforts to make a positive impact in their community.
Chet and Sharon have been married for 30 years and have been blessed with two daughters, Heather and Brianna. They currently reside in Manheim, Pennsylvania.
SAVANNAH BOEHRER - Director
Savannah Boehrer is the daughter of Sam Schmidt, the founder of CPN. Savannah grew up around her father’s IndyCar team, as well as the foundation as it grew from Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation to what it has become today. She was raised with a keen understanding of how important service is to living a full life and has had the wonderful opportunity to see the difference that DRIVEN and CPN have come to make not only in Las Vegas, but specifically in her father’s health and strength. With the help of the diligent trainers at DRIVEN, Sam was able to gain the strength he needed to stand in an exoskeleton and dance with Savannah at her wedding in April 2021.
A graduate of Pepperdine University, Savannah holds a BA in International Studies and Political Science, as well as a certificate from the Straus Institute Dispute Resolution. She has had a heart for global ministry and humanitarian work since she was young. After university, she was based in London, UK, working with a venture philanthropy that works on sustainable approaches to improving education, employing youth, and economic empowerment of women in vulnerable communities in Egypt, Lebanon, and refugee communities. In 2021, Savannah joined SRG, a US based organization, as a consultant for the Unreached People Groups Initiative in June 2021. SRG is a non-profit that funds and invests in indigenous ministries and organizations in the Middle East and North Africa.
Savannah and her husband, Adam, were married in 2021 and live in Dana Point, California, with their sweet puppy, Beck. They are still involved with Sam’s IndyCar team and travel to as many races throughout the season as possible.
TODD DAVIS - Director
Todd was one of the founders and the CEO of LifeLock, Inc. For approximately twelve years, he took the company from inception, to a publicly-traded company on the NYSE and finally through a transaction with Symantec for $2.3 billion. Prior to LifeLock, Todd was involved with Dell Computer and several technology start-ups. He has repeatedly looked for opportunities to use technology to solve real-world problems, both in business and as board member of Conquer Paralysis Now.
MICHAEL KRET - Director
Michael has been an executive in technology, telecommunications, healthcare, and human resources for over 25 years. He has held a variety of senior positions including business development, product management, marketing, professional services, and R&D.
More recently, Michael has acted as a senior business advisor for start-up companies such as an HRTech startup, a cord blood cell therapy startup company with the primary goal of establishing an umbilical cord blood cell library to treat a variety of diseases, including spinal cord injury, and a brain injury research non-profit.
Michael, his wife Joan and their children live in New Jersey. As a result of having a disabled child, Michael has researched a broad range of TBI and spinal cord injury experimental treatments including stem cell therapies, implant stimulators.
BILL KOEBLITZ - Director
Bill Koeblitz is the Chairman of the Board of MobilityWorks, the leading provider of modified vehicles which has enabled thousands of individuals in wheelchairs to live with independence and freedom. Bill founded MobilityWorks in 1997 with 10 employees in Akron, Ohio. Since its founding, MobilityWorks has experienced rapid growth expanding from 1 to 95 locations throughout the country with 1,400 employees and over $500 million in revenue. In 2018, Bill sold a majority interest in the company to the private equity firm, Flexpoint Ford and remains Chairman of the Board.
Prior to MobilityWorks, Bill was a founder of MED Center, one of the first companies providing urgent/walk-in medical care. He sold the company in 1995 to MedPartners, Inc., which is called CVS Caremark today.
Bill is a 1979 graduate of John Carroll University and worked at Ernst & Young after graduating from college. Bill is Chairman of The MobilityWorks Foundation which provides funding assistance for the acquisition of accessibility products, and he also serves on the Board of Bluecoats which serves families of safety officers who have lost their lives, or have been totally disabled, in the line of duty.
AL LEWIS - Director
Mr. Alan Lewis and his wife Charlotte, split their time between Indianapolis, Chicago, and The British Virgin Islands. Alan is self-described as the busiest unemployed person one could know.
At the end of 2010 Alan completed a successful sale of his company to a large private equity firm. The company manufactured expanded foamed plastics for the packaging and automotive industry. Foamed plastics are designed to protect consumer goods during shipping as well as protecting occupants in everyday cars. As an offshoot of the foamed plastics business, Alan invented a seat for auto racing. Today, every car in the NTT IndyCar race series uses the seat he invented. Alan is particularly proud of this achievement. While it did not make him a lot of money, it has given him the satisfaction of knowing the drivers are safer now than they were over a decade ago. Sam Schmidt has gone on record saying if he would have had Alan’s seat when he had his big crash, he would not be in the chair today.
Alan has been operating his charter yacht, The Annex, in the British Virgin Islands for almost 10 years. A few years ago, Alan’s daughter, Lexi, joined him in the operation of the business. She completely revamped the marketing and customer experience allowing Alan to stay on top of the financials and operations. Several weeks aboard The Annex have been donated to CPN.
Alan has a passion for auto racing; as a hobby he competes as an amateur vintage racer. His passion for boats and scuba diving is like his love of racing. A few years ago, Alan invested in a boat building company in Michigan. The company builds an ultra-light, catamaran, that glides through the water on a foil. The foil greatly reduces drag, increases speed, and creates a very comfortable ride. The boat can be configured as a luxury cruiser or an open cockpit center console. Alan took the design to the next level and designed a scuba version of the boat. The scuba version will go into production in early 2023.
Alan has been involved in a business partnership designing and prototyping a high speed/long range electric bicycle. Though the project has gone on longer than expected, six patents have been awarded. The goal is to sell the Intellectual Property rights to a qualified manufacturer.
Alan can be described as “high energy” and “creative”. These attributes have manifested into the procuring, designing, and restoring of vintage aluminum RV’s. The first project was a 1959 Airstream converted into a mobile lounge. It has been a highlight in the driver’s lot at the Indianapolis 500 the past few years. The most recent was converting a 1959 Spartan into a mobile office.
Alan has been married to his wife, Charlotte, for 30 years. They met at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio while Alan was studying Finance and International Business. They have two children, Andrew, and Alexis. Andrew is an engineer at Honda Performance Development. Alexis works in Chicago for a large market research company.
JOHN MCGOFF M.D.; BRIGADIER GENERAL - Director
Dr. McGoff recently retired from his medical practice. He is a 1984 graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine and completed a residency in emergency medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. He returned to Indiana to begin practicing emergency medicine in 1987 at Community Hospitals of Indiana, where he served many roles, including Chairman of the Emergency Department and Quality Assurance Committee and its Board of Directors.
Brig Gen McGoff retired after 34 years of service in the Indiana Air National Guard. In his last role as Assistant Adjutant General, he served on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee for the Air National Guard. He deployed to Iraq in 2008-2009 and served as the Chief of Emergency Services at the 332nd EMDG, Joint Base Balad, Iraq. He was the 181st Fighter Wing’s Medical Group Commander for many years and held the aeronautical rating of Chief Flight Surgeon, where he has logged over 600 hours, including three combat sorties in many different military aircraft including the F-4 and F-16 fighters. He is a graduate of the Air War College.
In 2017, he was appointed by the President to serve as a Commissioner on the American Battle Monument Commission overseeing all United States cemeteries and monuments worldwide, serving through 2020. He is completing his MBA from the Heller School at Brandeis University in the spring of 2022.
Dr. McGoff resides with his wife Karen in Indianapolis.
Civic Activities (Current and Past)
President – Columbia Club Board of Directors
Board of Directors – Volunteers of America
Past President of the Indiana State Medical Association & Indianapolis Medical Society
Past Board Member and Finance Chair of the Indiana Donor Network
Appointed by Gov Daniels to the Indiana Medial Licensing Board 2012-16
Elected Marion County Coroner and served from 1997-2004
TIERA MCQUATER - Director
Tiera McQuater, co-owner of Lightning Lien Sales, is an alum of Wright State University and brings over 15 years of management experience in the real estate industry. Ms. McQuater joined Realty ONE Group, where she worked closely with the CEO as the Director of Corporate Affairs to support his mission and implementation of the company’s goals and objectives. She coordinated and oversaw a broad portfolio of critical projects that included: strategic planning and accountability for new office openings; contract negotiations; delivery of technical and administrative support training; information technology, telecommunication, risk management, litigation support, and the start-up of other businesses. She moved to Keller Williams Realty Las Vegas as the Director of Operations and performed similar duties along with real estate sales and talent recruitment. Furthermore, Tiera partnered with the owner to start a real estate school called Las Vegas Real Estate Training Center in 2016.
Tiera has always been passionate about those around her. Some of her community work includes working with Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth to renovate homes. She serves on the board of an outreach nonprofit called Puentes, providing assistance with healthcare, housing, food, wheelchairs, domestic violence, and job training to the underrepresented and homeless population. Tiera was involved in a motor vehicle accident with her father, which left her paralyzed from the shoulders down in 2018. She began her post-rehab therapy in 2018 at DRIVEN NueroRecovery Center, a program of Conquer Paralysis Now, where she receives custom therapy sessions. Since then, she has gained movement and coordination in her arms, became strong enough to graduate from a sip and puff wheelchair to a joystick controlled chair, maintained good bone density health with their state-of-the-art equipment, and received mental and emotional support through group therapy. Tiera stated, “Experiencing first-hand how “CPN” made it possible for myself and many others to obtain the necessary and services through their philanthropy, has made me want to be a part of this organization. I’ve literally witnessed people evolve physically, mentally, and heal emotionally through their programs.”.
Since the injury, Tiera has started a DMV business services company and continues to provide consulting services for real estate brokerages. Her goal is to advocate and develop more access to education, training, therapy, and resources for individuals living with disabilities and illnesses.
ADELL MEANS - Director
Admired for his unwavering dedication, leadership among peers and loyalty to the local Indianapolis business community, Adell Means is a trusted Marketing & Safety expert with a remarkable history of guiding cutting-edge technology in the antimicrobial arena. He has an outstanding background in supporting minority focused organizations, as well as local youth focused programs.
As the President of ROI Marketing & Safety, Adell deployed revolutionary foresight in partnering with strong corporations working together to be first to market with innovative PPE technology & solutions.
Adell received his Bachelor of Science, College of Business Administration degree from Butler University. Where he was a college athlete, Black Student Union Vice President and Pre-law Treasurer reflecting his early honorable passion for being an active member of the community.
When Adell is not busy conquering major business tasks or massive business shifts he can be found spending time with his Wife, 4 amazing children and two highly active grandchildren. His many years of playing & coaching football from youth to collegiate reflects in his youngest son who currently attends and football at the University of Pennsylvania.