Board of Directors
Gloria Araya, Founder & Executive Director
Gloria is native of Chile where she studied Special Education for Children with Down Syndrome and Psychology at the University of Chile in Santiago. Gloria is no stranger to community work. During highschool, she worked on the country side building churches and schools, and in the city, as member of the Young Rotary Club in Santiago she would go to jails facilitating educational programs to rehabilitate young inmates. Traveling and living in other countries increased her sensitivity to human, environmental and social needs. She understood the importance of protecting the environment, the importance of living sustainably and the impact human actions have in the world. As a renaissance individual, Gloria dove into the world of health and fitness and her work took her to many places around the world promoting a healthy living and teaching her innovative dance movement programs which she teaches till today. She also became passionate about the environment and for seven years she has volunteered as a cluster lead for a prestigious Midwest Environmental film festival in Chicago. For decades, Gloria has worked with children and women from numerous Chicago local organizations as a mentor, teacher, speaker and coach. Her love for human science, music and the arts lead her to The Foundation for Human Potential, a not-for-profit organization that facilitated forums exploring many aspects of creativity, human achievement and learning as they relate to the brain and its function. There, she served as the Associate and Creative Director and as board of advisor. Today, Gloria has fused her passions to form Traffic Stops Where Love Begins, where her artistic vein is developing new programs to raise awareness on the issue of modern-day slavery and human trafficking while supporting the efforts of other modern abolitionist organizations.
Roger WEISSER, Ph.D, Vice President
Roger is NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning, and University/LAS Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is also Chief Knowledge Officer of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, CASEL, an organization committed to making evidence-based social and emotional academic learning an essential part of education. Roger has authorized 250 publications focusing on preventive interventions with children. He has received several awards including: the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Contribution Award for Applications of Psychology to Education and Training, the Society for Community Research and Action's Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research Award, and the "Daring Dozen"" award from the George Lucas Educational Foundation for being 1 of 12 people who are reshaping the future of education. in 2013, he was elected to the National Academy of Education for contributions to education research and policy.
Mariann Pushker, Marketing Strategy & Branding
Mariann is a lifelong learner of teachings to nurture the mind, body and spirit. She believes that everyone should have the right and ability to better themselves and is passionate about Traffic Stops Where Love Begins and its mission. Professionally, Mariann is the principal of Pushker Marketing Management, a boutique consulting firm focusing on integrated marketing and communications. Over the past 25 years, Mariann has worked with global Fortune 500 companies and start-ups in developing marketing strategies and plans, branding, messaging, go-to-market campaigns, and market research. She has deep experience in partnership and alliance marketing and demand generation campaigns. Her experience extends to several sectors including technology, professional services, manufacturing, retail, consumer products and communications, media & entertainment. Mariann has a MBA in marketing from Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University and a BS from Northwestern in Communication.