An image of Cruz Avila, Executive Director of Alcohol Justice
Cruz Avila, MS    Email emailButton
Executive Director

Cruz Avila was most recently CEO at Poverello House in Fresno, California for 6 years. There he managed a $3 million-dollar budget, 37 employees, Naomi’s House, The Men’s Resident Rehabilitation program and a temporary overnight shelter for men and women. Cruz also collaborated with other agencies to provide clients with access to mental health counseling and housing. Cruz’s professional experience has focused on organizational management in non-profits, community and economic development and social services. Previous to Poverello House, Cruz was a Manager of Residential Services for Housing with Heart, a non-profit organization that is the social service unit of Jamboree Housing that develops and constructs affordable housing across the state. He also worked in Riverside County Office of Education as a Resource Manager and Counselor. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services and a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership. He is working towards completing his Master of Arts in Counseling for completion of his Marriage and Family Therapy License (MFT)

A portrait of Michael Scippa, public affairs director
Michael Scippa    Email emailButton
Public Affairs Director

Michael has over 35 years of senior management experience in media advocacy and production, marketing, communications, and government relations. In addition to directing similar efforts at Alcohol Justice since 2006, he created the Free The Bowl® and Free Our Sports® Youth Video Contests and directed the REEL Recovery Film Festival - San Francisco Bay Area Edition.

A picture of upstanding citizen and CAPA Community Organizer Raul Verdugo
Raul Verdugo    Email emailButton
Community Organizer

Raul is the community organizer for the Los Angeles Drug & Alcohol Policy Alliance (LADAPA). LADAPA advocates for safe and healthy communities by reducing drug- and alcohol-related harm through public awareness and policy change. He is focused on coalition building, leadership development, strategic planning and policy development. Raul represents Alcohol Justice, with its on­going effort to promote evidenced-based public health policy through the empowerment of local communities. He is a native of Los Angeles and currently enrolled at the Academy of Art University.

Carson Benowitz-Fredericks, MSPH, CHES     Email emailButton
Research Director/Web Content Manager

Carson is responsible for generating both original research in support of Alcohol Justice/CAPA’s projects and content for the website. He holds a Master’s of Science in Public Health with a health communications emphasis from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has formative experience in community health with the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic, and spent four years conducting tobacco control research at UCSF. He moonlights as an overdose prevention trainer with the DOPE Project/Syringe Access Services in San Francisco.