Richard Paysor, Board Chairman 
has over 50 years experience in various executive office and entrepreneur endeavors. After eight years with a Big 8 CPA firm he became Vice President - Taxes and Governmental Affairs with a multi-national Fortune 500 Company. Leaving the public arena after 12 years, he formed Trident Energy, First Capitol Associates and The Fairborne Group. These entities engaged in oil and gas exploration in Oklahoma, provided mid-market merger and acquisition services and commercial real estate services for foreign investors. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Rusty Wallace, Inc. - (a diverse holding company involved in air transportation, auto dealerships and real estate ventures). He is a former Board Member of the Greater St. Louis United Way and The Darrell Gwynn Foundation. Mr Paysor is a graduate of Kent State University with a Bachlor of Science Degree in Business Administration.

Doug Herbert

Began his career in the high performance automotive business as a young man following in the footsteps of his father, racing pioneer Chet Herbert. Eventually Doug formed his own high performance parts business that would become a world wide leader as a high performance auto parts manufacturer and distributor. Doug followed his passion to become a professional NHRA Top Fuel drag racer in 1991 and quickly racked up 10 NHRA Top Fuel National event wins as well as 20 IHRA Top Fuel event wins and four IHRA Top Fuel World Championships. Doug was only the second driver in history to surpass 300 Miles Per Hour in the quarter mile. Herbert is also an ATP rated commercial pilot and an Eagle Scout. He founded B.R.A.K.E.S. in honor of his two sons, Jon, 17, and James, 12, who were killed in a tragic car crash in January 2008. Herbert has dedicated himself to keeping other families from experiencing the loss of their children in car crashes through the success and growth of the B.R.A.K.E.S. and is highly involved in the day-to-day activities of B.R.A.K.E.S.

Steve Johnson

is owner of Steve Johnson Racing and is a Pro Stock Motorcycle driver in the NHRA. Johnson, who resides in Birmingham, AL, has raced on the NHRA circuit since 1987 and, in that time, has scored five career victories. In 2008, Johnson scored his second win at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, IN, which is the most prestigious event on the NHRA drag racing circuit, as well as a win at the inaugural NHRA Nationals in Charlotte, N.C. Johnson, who grew up in Granada Hills, CA, is known for his outgoing personality and his efforts to promote the sport of drag racing. Away from the track, he enjoys riding dirt bikes, scuba diving, golf and attending NASCAR races. For many years, Johnson and Doug Herbert have been close friends and Johnson spent a good deal of time with Herbert’s sons, Jon and James, for whom B.R.A.K.E.S. was founded.

Wanda Miller

has held the position as President & General Manager of The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is one of the largest private clubs in the US for numerous years. Her duties included overseeing the finer dining restaurant and bar, membership sales, special event sales and marketing of The Speedway Club to NASCAR clientele, as well as corporate and social markets. Miller, who is originally from Gretna, VA, and graduated from James Madison University, was the first female to be named a Vice President at a NASCAR track. She lives in Davidson, N.C., with her family. 

Dave Dobson 

is a Producer at Masters Entertainment Group in Bristol, Tennessee.  He has hosted several nationally-televised series, including The Menards Chevy Show and Brand New Muscle Car. A passionate racing fan from an early age, he has had the good fortune of working in motorsports for ESPN and ABC for 21 years. His ESPN resume includes NASCAR, Formula One, IndyCar, and NHRA Drag Racing, along with college football, basketball, soccer, softball, gymnastics, and wrestling. 

Dobson was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. He graduated from Bowling Green State University, where he sang with the University Men’s Chorus and earned his varsity letter as the school mascot, Freddie Falcon. He lives in Kingsport, Tennessee, with his wife (and fellow singer), Susanna, and their son, Lincoln.

Patti Wheeler

is the President and owner of Wheeler Television, Inc., a television production company specializing in motorsports for national broadcast and cable networks. She started her career at age 22 as a producer/director and later served as the Director of Motorsports and Executive Producer for TNN. Wheeler, was also the President of World Sports Enterprises which is the leading motorsports television production company in the U.S. Wheeler graduated from Belmont Abbey College and lives in Charlotte with her husband, Leo Hindery, Jr., and their two teenagers. She has been named one of NASCAR’s Top 25 Most Powerful People by the Charlotte Observer and was included on the Charlotte Business Journal's list of Top Forty Under Forty.

Carolyn Bechtel 

is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, with particular strengths in networking. She has been a board director at Victory Junction Camp in North Carolina from its inception, and serves as the VJC representative on the Serious Fun Children’s Network board of directors, and is an active volunteer counselor during summer sessions at the camp. A long time member of the Duke Cancer Institute board of advisors, she is keenly aware of the healing effects of positive experiences and the support these camps provide. Carolyn is a founding strategic partner of CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank and is a director of New York-based “sweetriot” – a free trade, organic dark chocolate and healthy snack company. Carolyn currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and is active as a licensed real estate agent.


Heather Herbert

Born and raised in Southern California, Heather Herbert is Doug’s sister and Jon and James’ aunt. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California State Polytechnic University Pomona, a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School Los Angeles, and a Master of Laws from the Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Heather started her legal career with a Fortune 500 company in Southern California, but volunteered to serve her country full-time following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. She deployed to Iraq with the esteemed 3rd Infantry Division where she met her husband, Mike Binetti. She and Colonel Binetti have been married for 15 years and have two children, Andrew and Sabrina. In 2023, Heather retired from the US Army as a Lieutenant Colonel with over 22 years of service and opened her own concierge travel company. 


Robert C. Fisher

Group Vice President, The Piston Group Robert Fisher is a 36 year veteran of the automotive industry and is currently the Group Vice President and Board member of The Piston Group.  Rob holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Oakland University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University (formerly GMI).  Rob has been a member of the General Motors and Fiat/Chrysler Supplier Councils from 2010-2016 in addition to serving as a board member of Michigan Minority Diversity Supplier Council (MMSDC) and Crime stoppers of Michigan. He also serves on various advisory and educational boards.  Prior to the Piston Group, Rob spent 16 years at TK Holdings in various executive management positions within Sales, Engineering, Purchasing and Program Management including regional President of TKH Holdings; a $2 billion division of Takata.  During his tenure at TKH, Rob was involved with MADD and developed the Takata Teen Driving program.  Prior to TK Holdings, Rob spent 18 years with Irvin Automotive Products in various management positions.  Rob has outstanding relationships with C suite executives at GM, Ford, FCA, Honda and Toyota and is one of the most well respected, trusted and connected automotive executives in NA.

Advisory Board Members

Brian Huber 

Brian is currently a managing member of the accounting firm Daniel Ratliff and Company and has practiced public accounting for over 25 years. He has served a wide array of private companies, specializing in clients with less than $50 million in revenues. His industry experience includes, among others, hotels, construction companies, retail businesses, medical offices, and professional services.

Brian is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, and is a Certified QuickBooks Professional Advisor. He is currently serving as the Treasurer of The Lake Norman Jewish Congregation and on the board of directors of Befcor (Business Expansion Funding Corp) as well as being a board advisor to Put on the Brakes. Brian is also a past Associate Committee Member for the Inventor’s Network of the Carolinas and was a board advisor to Charlotte Regional Sports Commission.

Mickey Aberman has been a business lawyer for approximately 30 years. His practice mainly deals with contracts, technology, finance, taxes, and with people buying, selling and expanding businesses. Mickey has three children. Alex and Kate have gone through the BRAKES program and Layla will do so after she learns how to drive. Mickey is also a licensed pilot, a pretty good amateur economist, and he enjoys golf, fishing and playing music when he has time. In addition, Mickey is co-owner of Visart Video, which has over 31,000 movie and TV titles. Mickey gives time to BRAKES because it is critically effective.

Tom Cotter is a born automobile enthusiast who began repairing and selling cars during his teenage years. Tom founded his own company, The Cotter Group, which he built into the world’s largest motorsport marketing communications firm. The Cotter Group specializes in public relations, marketing, promotions, hospitality, licensing, publishing and consulting. Cotter is an active road racer and competes regularly in vintage sports car races around the country. He keeps a personal collection of approximately 40 vintage automobiles and sports cars. Cotter remains a contributing editor to “Road & Track” magazine as well as a media consultant for Mercedes-Benz. He lives in Davidson, N.C. with his wife, Pat, and son, Brian.

Honorary Board Members

Don "The Snake" Prudhomme

Ask even the most casual of motor sports fans who the biggest name in drag racing is and you are almost always sure to hear one name- Don “The Snake” Prudhomme. A true legend of the sport, Snake’s remarkable career began in 1962 with his first Top Fuel victory at “Smokers March Meet” in Bakersfield, Calif., before ending with 49 NHRA career victories- the sixth most in NHRA history- following his farewell “Final Strike Tour” in 1984. For his career, Prudhomme reached the finals 68 times, posting a remarkable 35 wins in 45 Funny Car finals rounds (.609 win percentage). Overall, he won 389 0f 589 rounds of competition for a .660 winning percentage.

Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen (1937-2018)

Is an American drag racer who changed the sport with his Mattel Hot Wheels marketing program and won the NHRA U.S. Nationals during part of his 45 year career. He is listed as number 16 of the 50 most significant drivers of NHRA’s first 50 years. He recieved the nickname “the Mongoose” in 1964 from engine builder Ed Donovan. It was largely originally used as a device to entice Don “The Snake” Prudhomme into a high-exposure match race.

McEwen won only five NHRA national events during his 45- plus-year career, but McEwen’s gift for gab and promotional ability made him one of the sport’s most influential and controversial figures.

As stated by Roland Leong, “McEwen was the smartest of the bunch. When he came up with the Hot Wheels deal using the Snake and Mongoose characters, it shook the world of drag racing big time. He produced a sponsorship package that allowed him and Prudhomme to buy the best equipment, pay expenses, make money and sell their image all over the United States. I hate to admit it but McEwen and Prudhomme showed us the way to the future. They were a lot smarter than most of us who didn’t see past the end of the quarter-mile.”

Tom was a life long freind of Doug Herbert and his family and watched Jon and James grow up. His support of B.R.A.K.E.S. was always very important to him.


Darrell Gwynn

Is a NHRA World Champion Drag Racer, growing up racing with his father Jerry (Also a NHRA World Champion) Darrell has been involved in drag racing for his entire life and has been friends with B.R.A.K.E.S. founder Doug Herbert for over 30 years.

When Darrell Gwynn began his racing career in 1980 in the Alcohol Dragster category of the National Hot Rod Association, he attacked the sport with fierce determination. The fire burned in his eyes at the mere thought of his next round of competition. There was always another barrier to overcome. It finally got to the point where Gwynn would not just overcome barriers, but actually knock them down. As his sportsman victories began to mount, people, especially competitors noticed. Big time sponsors noticed. Everything fell into place for the “kid”. Gwynn won three times in 1981. He added two wins apiece in 1982 and 1983 and three wins in 1984. Not only did Darrell have 10 wins as an Alcohol Dragster, he also was the Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion in 1983.

Darrell jumped to NHRA Top Fuel Dragster in 1986 and he was the talk of the class. Winning 18 times in the ultra competitive NHRA Top Fuel class, Darrell proved he was a winner.

Fate took Gwynn to England in April of 1990. In an exhibition race at Santa Pod Raceway his dragster suddenly broke and veered left into the retaining wall at halftrack at approximately 240mph, causing major life-threatening injuries to the 28-year-old driver. A terrific battle of faith and determination allowed Gwynn to survive the ordeal, he was left paralyzed and he lost his left arm. Given this unfortunate event, one thing that never changed was his willingness to meet challenges head-on and to live life on his terms.


The B.R.A.K.E.S. organization is always looking for individuals that are interested in serving as a member on our Board of Directors!

Please contact Doug Herbert for more information at

Put on the Brakes, Inc.  (B.R.A.K.E.S.)  501c3- Nonprofit  Organization

The B.R.A.K.E.S. Mission

B.R.A.K.E.S.  Nonprofit’s mission is to. Improve, train and educate teenage drivers and their parents. We aim to promote safe and responsible driving to prevent injuries and save lives.


The Board will support the work of BRAKES and provide mission-based leadership and strategic governance. While day-to-day operations are led by B.R.A.K.E.S.’s Executive Director (E.D.), the Board-director relationship is a partnership, and the appropriate involvement of the Board is both critical and expected. Specific Board Member responsibilities include:

Leadership, governance and oversight

  • Serving as a trusted advisor to the director and Chairman of the board as they develop and implement B.R.A.K.E.S.’s strategic plan 
  • Approving B.R.A.K.E.S.’s annual budget, audit reports, and material business decisions; being informed of, and meeting all, legal and fiduciary responsibilities 
  • Contributing to an annual performance evaluation of the Executive Director 
  • Assisting the E.D. and board chair in identifying and recruiting other Board Members 
  • Partnering with the E.D. and other board members to ensure that board resolutions are carried out 
  • Serving on committees or task forces and taking on special assignments 
  • Representing B.R.A.K.E.S. to stakeholders; acting as an ambassador for the organization 
  • Ensuring B.R.A.K.E.S.’s commitment to a diverse board and staff that reflects the communities B.R.A.K.E.S. serves

B.R.A.K.E.S. Board Members will consider B.R.A.K.E.S. a philanthropic priority and make annual gifts that reflect that priority. So that B.R.A.K.E.S. can credibly solicit contributions from foundations, organizations, and individuals, B.R.A.K.E.S. expects to have 100 percent of Board Members make an annual contribution that is commensurate with their capacity.

Board terms/participation
B.R.A.K.E.S.’s Board Members will serve a three-year term to be eligible for re-appointment for additional terms. Board meetings will be held quarterly and committee meetings will be held in coordination with full board meetings or as needed.


This is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual who is passionate about B.R.A.K.E.S.’s mission and who has a track record of board leadership. Selected Board Members will have achieved leadership stature in business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector. His/her accomplishments will allow him/her to attract other well-qualified, high-performing Board Members.

Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Extensive professional experience with significant executive leadership accomplishments in business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector 
  • A commitment to and understanding of B.R.A.K.E.S.’s beneficiaries, preferably based on experience 
  • Savvy diplomatic skills and a natural affinity for cultivating relationships and persuading, convening, facilitating, and building consensus among diverse individuals 
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a passion for improving the lives of B.R.A.K.E.S.’s beneficiaries

Service on B.R.A.K.E.S.’s Board of Directors is without remuneration, except for administrative support, travel, and accommodation costs in relation to Board Members’ duties.

B.R.A.K.E.S., Responsibility guidelines of Individual Board Members

Within larger framework of board responsibilities, the individual board members must each fulfill certain obligations to the organization. Those obligations include:

  • Attend all board and committee meetings and functions, and be prepared to participate.
  • Stay informed about board and committee matters; review and comment on minutes and reports.
  • Stay informed about the organization's mission, services, policies, and programs.
  • Keep up-to-date on developments in the organization's field.
  • Follow developments in the community, economy, government, etc. that may affect the organization.
  • Serve on committees and offer to take on special assignments.
  • Make a personal financial contribution to the organization.
  • Participate in organizational fundraising.
  • Inform others about the organization.
  • Get to know other members; build working relationships that contribute to consensus.
  • Suggest nominees to the board who can make significant contributions to the work of the board and the organization.
  • Follow conflict of interest and confidentiality policies.
  • Assist the board in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities such as reviewing the organization's annual financial statements.
  • Participate actively in the board’s evaluation and planning efforts.