Kate Hanni
Founder, Emeritus FlyersRights.org
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Joel J Smiler
Board Member and Hotline Director FlyersRights.org

    Dr. Joel Smiler is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and former owner of the North Hills Veterinary Medicine Hospital in Rochester, Michigan. After leaving Michigan he worked as a relief veterinarian in five states requiring extensive travel. This is where he acquired an interest in air traveler rights and joined the organization. For the past several years he has run the free FlyersRights.org Hotline, answering many of the calls himself and providing this valuable service to passengers with air travel problems.

He and his wife Dr. Kathleen Smiler (also a veterinarian) have four boys, an Akita and a Golden Retriever, and reside in Michigan and Florida.

Edmund Mierzwinski
Board MemberFlyersRights.org
    FlyersRights.org board member Ed Mierzwinski has worked in the Washington, DC-based federal lobbying office of the Federation of State Public Interest Research Groups (U.S. PIRG) since 1989. He often lectures or testifies on a wide range of consumer issues, from credit cards to airline complaints. Mierzwinski is a frequent enough flyer that he once made United Premier and wants to get back there, but doesn’t like sitting in the middle seat in the back of the plane to get there!
When Kate Hanni first came to Washington to fight for stranded passengers, she worked out of U.S. PIRG’s Capitol Hill offices and Mierzwinski lobbied the Congress with her. Among his activities, Mierzwinski testified to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on the successful Boxer-Snowe passenger rights legislation championed by Hanni and FRO. In his day job, he has had recent articles in the American Prospect and the Journal of Consumer Affairs. He has an article forthcoming in the Suffolk University Law Review.
He is a 2003 recipient of Privacy International’s “Brandeis Award” for privacy protection efforts and a 2006 recipient of the Consumer Federation of America’s “Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award.” For the last 3 years, “The Hill” newspaper has selected him as a “Top Lobbyist” awardee and, in 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek selected him as one of “15 Power Brokers: Regulators, lawmakers and lobbyists shaping the torrent of regulations.” In August 2012, he was re-elected to a second 3-year term on the board of directors of Consumer Reports (formerly Consumers Union), the world’s largest consumer product testing and advocacy organization. He chairs the Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Task Force. He is a founding and current member of the Steering Committee of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (tacd.org). He is a former member of the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut (BA, MS) and previously was Executive Director of the Connecticut PIRG


Kendall Creighton
Newsletter Writer and Editor FlyersRights.org

    Kendall Creighton joined FlyersRights.org in July 2010, as the newsletter writer and editor. Kendall has been active in politics from college on, and has worked on Capitol Hill, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and many Congressional campaigns as well as the White House Office of Environmental Policy. Yet, as a semi-frequent flyer, the airline hassles and fee gotcha game led her reach out to Kate Hanni. Kendall headed up FlyersRights’ EU office in Berlin, Germany until 2018.



John Richard
Board Member FlyersRights.org
    John Richard, is the Director Center for Study of Responsive Law and an Antioch Law School graduate. In the last thirty years Mr. Richard has edited countless books and reports; developed innovative public interest projects; coordinated national and local public education campaigns; and supervised hundreds of researchers, writers, organizers and attorneys. Mr. Richard has also worked as a consultant for various foundations and philanthropic initiatives.