When tragedy upended her life in 1978, Nadina became the first true consumer advocate for childhood drowning prevention. Her tenacity—which has never wavered in the decades since her loss—has helped make childhood drowning a recognized hazard. She has been critically instrumental in changing policy, promoting legislation, and enhancing building codes. Nadina has mentored, trained, and developed educational campaigns for other advocates and community groups within California and across the country. These have focused on maximizing the outreach of her knowledge to help prevent such tragedies. She is a hands-on advocate, unafraid to roll up her sleeves and get into the fight to keep drowning prevention a priority among childhood injury prevention efforts. Nadina is affectionately known within the water safety community as the “Mother of Drowning Prevention”. She has received numerous awards with the most recent being from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Drowning Prevention Alliances “Lifetime Achievement Award”.
Dorothy Ann Drago, Vice President
Dotty is a Product Safety Consultant, who specializes in infant and childhood injury prevention. She started her career in product safety/injury prevention in 1978 when she joined the staff of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in Washington, DC. After working at CPSC for nearly ten years, Dotty formed her own consulting company in 1987. Studying at the Injury Prevention Center at The Johns Hopkins University, Dotty earned her MPH in 1995. She has authored several articles on childhood injuries, and in 2007 she published her first book, From Crib to Kindergarten: The Essential Child Safety Guide. Her lifelong goal has been to educate parents and care-givers to give them the tools they need to reduce the risks of injury to children in their care. Dotty lives and works just outside of Boston.
Catherine has been a professional advocate for forty years, and established the lobbying firm Sacramento Advocacy in 1977. She has received numerous awards for her advocacy work, and is a frequent guest speaker at conferences and public policy workshops. She has also been a columnist for the Sacramento Bee.
Catherine represents the interests of the California Coalition for Children’s Safety & Health before the Legislature and state agencies, and has successfully sponsored dozens of bills to protect children from unintentional injury, including a requirement for children to wear bicycle helmets, pool safety requirements, bucket drowning warnings, crib safety, and others.
Catherine’s volunteer activities include board membership on the Drowning Prevention Foundation, the YMCA of Superior California and the California YMCA Youth and Government Board. She also was a founding board member of the Sacramento Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a program which represents dependent children in the juvenile court system.
Marcia has been a drowning prevention advocate since 1987 when she began working for a nationally known swimming pool cover company. In 1988 she intensified her efforts to prevent toddler drowning after her two year-old son drown in her own backyard pool. Funded by the CDC, she was one of Florida’s first Injury Prevention Coordinators in Broward County, focusing solely on drowning prevention.
In 1992 Marcia joined the staff of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Los Angeles Area Office, as a Public Affairs Specialist. She later became a Product Safety Investigator, inspecting and investigating incidents associated with products in and around the home, including swimming pools. Marcia was one of the first Investigators to present information and later to inspect public pools under the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. She is a National Drowning Prevention Alliance Founding Board Member. After retiring from CPSC in 2016, Marcia has continued her prevention goals by working more closely with the Drowning Prevention Foundation and other water safety organizations.
Joseph P. Barankin, Ph.D.
Dr. Barankin is a retired Assistant State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Prior to his thirty-five years at the State Department of Education he was a professor at San Francisco State University. He was a founding board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento whose lifelong dedication to children and youth now manifests itself in his support of children’s programs in West Point and Calaveras County and his service on the Drowning Prevention Foundation board.