Nonprofit Organization

Nonprofit Organization
For Safer Tomorrow

Helping Hit-and-Run Tragedies (a.k.a. HHART) is a Nonprofit Organization. We are focused on helping to fund law enforcement and provide support to families directly affected by a hit-and-run tragedy. Possibly our most important focus is to promote awareness.

The nonprofit organization Helping Hit-and-Run Tragedies (a.k.a HHART) was founded after a tragic hit-and-run accident claimed the life of Deborah Ann Geneau. On a day like any other, Deborah unsuspectingly left her home to run to the bank. July 22, 2020, sadly, was not a day like any other. This day Deborah became a hit-and-run victim.

Police estimated the vehicle that caused this multi-car collision to be speeding 15MPH over the posted speed limit of 55MPH. The car in question made an unsafe lane change that ultimately caused this life-altering tragedy. The protagonist of this horrific incident drove away without hesitation. This person’s complete disregard for others took away a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, and just left the scene. Deborah was not the only hit-and-run victim of this horrible yet preventable tragedy, just the one whose life was stolen away.

Board Members

Helping Hart, Inc

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Dawn Elliott: President

Dawn Elliott is the president and founder of the Helping Hit-and-Run Tragedies (a.k.a HHART) nonprofit organization. Dawn is a Southern California native who currently lives in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Dawn mostly enjoys spending quality time with her family and close friends, traveling, and meeting new people. Dawn’s passion for representing the voices of all hit and run victims and their families started with her mother’s tragic death, Deborah Ann Geneau. Dawn’s mom lost her life because of a hit-and-run collision. This senseless act left a family broken and gave Dawn a new sense of purpose to honor her mother by helping others.

Joe Elliott Jr.: Co-Founder

Joe Elliott Jr. is the co-founder of the Helping Hit-and-Run Tragedies (a.k.a HHART) nonprofit organization. Joe is a partner at Premium Inspection Company and has worked with family businesses since he was a young man. In his free time, Joe enjoys classic car shows and is a motorcycle enthusiast. Joe fulfills a mission-critical role of ensuring that every component within Helping HART is running smoothly and efficiently.

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Joey Lavook: Chairman Of The Board

As Vice President of Sales; Marketing at SandenVendo America, Inc., a Dallas, Texas (USA) based global leader of commercial refrigeration and heating equipment, Joey Lavook has complete responsibility for sales, marketing, customer service, and installation services across the Americas.

Joey is passionate about cultivating strong customer and team relationships. His number one priority is removing headwinds for his team so they can spend their time on what matters most, taking care of their customers. Joey is a results-driven sales executive with a proven track record of delivering short- and long-term revenue and profit growth and consistently exceeding performance expectations through an entrepreneurial vision, cross-functional and cross-divisional teamwork, and a relentless focus on results.

Before joining SandenVendo America, Inc., Mr. Lavook held leadership roles with PepsiCo, Danone, and Kraft Heinz. When he is not working, Joey enjoys spending time with his wife Mary and their two daughters Faith and Hope.

Alyssa Owen: Victim Interaction Specialist

Alyssa Owen is currently a hairdresser at Via Bella Salon in Bakersfield, California. Alyssa has a deeply rooted passion for helping individuals look and feel their absolute best. Through her fervent and devoted endeavors, Alyssa demonstrates her heart of gold and the love she has for helping victims and family members of hit-and-run tragedies.

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Aubree Owen: Event Coordinator 

Aubree Owen operates as the Event Coordinator for the Helping Hit-and-Run Tragedies (a.k.a HHART) nonprofit organization. Aubree is currently a full-time student working towards a degree within the medical field. Aubree finds comfort and intense joy in planning events for HHART to support victims of hit-and-run tragedies.

Julie Maseda: Victim Interaction Specialist

Julie Maseda acts as the Victim Interaction Specialist for the Helping Hit-and-Run Tragedies (HHART) nonprofit organization. Julie currently lives in Carson City, Nevada, and enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors. Julie’s role within HHART is to interact with victims of hit-and-run tragedies and their families, keeping HHART’s databases updated on their ongoing or unsolved cases.

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Tom Maxwell : Board Member

Tom brings a wealth of experience and ability with him as a member of our board. He is a partner with Keathley, Maxwell & Antongiovanni, LLP of Bakersfield. Throughout the years, Tom has been successful in many different ventures. Tom’s passion for structure and natural ability to understand logistics and finance on an extraordinary level is remarkable.

His Masters of Science in Taxation backs his critical and analytical skills, not to mention having a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. For more than a decade, Tom has provided the services of a CPA and was responsible for tasks regarding financial analysis and auditing. Tom also has a big heart and believes in the mission we are trying to accomplish. His expert skillset, along with his previous experiences over the decades, is going to be monumental in how we meet our goals of helping as many hit-and-run victims as we can.

His seemingly infinite understanding of financial analysis and structure will be vital in ensuring that Helping Hart, Inc. will utilize resources in the best way. We believe his experience can sincerely help us achieve 100% success in the goals that we set out to achieve. In addition, his many years of knowledge will ensure we can budget effectively, allowing us to utilize the most funds towards our goals. Tom is also a specialist in communications with the Internal Revenue Service and Franchise Tax Board. Tom enjoys helping clients harness his knowledge of the Internal Revenue Code to “think outside the box.” Tom’s success knows no heights.

Tom is also one of the founding members and part-owner of The Gentlemen of Bakersfield, LLC, a private club located in downtown Bakersfield whose goal is to impact the entire community through its membership positively. We are so fortunate to have Tom and his passion as part of our stand against hit-and-run crimes.

Our Nonprofit Organization Wants to Help!

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is driven to raise awareness of hit-and-run tragedies to millions of people across the U.S. Our Board is passionate and driven to see our nonprofit organization succeed. Several members of our board have had their lives changed by a hit-and-run. We strive to help fund law enforcement agencies, those directly affected by hit-and-run accidents, help with home remodels for individuals that have become disabled because of a hit-and-run, as well as scholarships to children that have lost a parent because of such a tragedy. It is our hope to one day see a world where hit-and-runs never happen. Together we can make a difference.