Denise Amber Lee Foundation Inc
19503 S. West Villages Parkway
Suite A8
Venice FL 34293
To promote and support public safety through uniform training, standardized protocols, defined measurable outcomes, and technological advances to the 9-1-1 system.
CEO/Executive Director Mark Lee
Board Chair Mr. David Dignam
Board Chair Affiliation Key Agency
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2010
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes May 2018
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
DALF Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement

The Denise Amber Lee Foundation was honored to be invited by the Idaho Emergency Communications Commission to perform 10 training presentations around the state to generate support for a mandatory training and certification process in their state.  We were told our presentations launched momentum for Idaho to pass training legislation at the beginning of this year.  A three year process by a national workgroup that our foundation helped to established produced a first ever, National Recommended Training Guidelines for 9-1-1.  With it's highly anticipated release this past year, Laurie Flaherty program manager for the National 911 Program said, “This is a watershed moment for the 911 community, and many people put their heart and soul into making this momentous event happen.”  The Foundation also was honored to be asked by Charlotte-Mecklenberg PD, the largest 9-1-1 center in North Carolina to help them set up a Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement process (QA/QI).  Our top 3 goals for the coming year are 1. Launch our service nationwide to perform Quality Assurance reviews of 9-1-1 calls to assure they are being answered and dispatched correctly according to the national QA ANSI Standard and agency specific protocols; 2. To hire 2-3 additional employees to handle our ever-expanding training program and, 3. To develop an online training curriculum for more affordable, and wide spread use by 9-1-1 agencies nationwide. 

Needs Statement
Top Need: Donations, sponsorship, grants, and gifts to help us fast track the development of a online and onsite training curriculum and program the 9-1-1 centers in our country's University Systems.  What most people don't know is that in many states, campus 9-1-1 centers are exempt for state 9-1-1 training funds and training mandates yet we trust the safety our sons and daughters to attend these universities with mediocre, inconsistent training.  We have been approached by many state university training coordinators throughout the country to help them develop a universally accepted set of training standards and provide an online platform that their staff can train all day, no matter what shift they are assigned to.  This is a very ambitious process that will require the hiring of skilled technical IT personnel and quality campus 9-1-1 trainers to work on a paid basis to ensure rapid development and deployment.  Our budget need for this process is estimated at $162,000. 
Background Statement

In January of 2008, Denise Amber Lee was kidnapped in broad daylight and struggled for her life for several hours. During that time, five 9-1-1 calls were placed, including one from Denise herself, and one from a courageous bystander, Jane Kowalski, who provided Denise’s exact location to authorities while she was on the phone for over 9 minutes shadowing the abduction in the car behind her. Because those 9-1-1 calls were not all handled properly, it was possible for Denise's kidnapper, rapist and murderer to commit his crimes. She left behind two small boys, a husband, and a loving family. Inspired by the outpouring of support from the public and the     9-1-1 community, Denise’s husband, Nathan Lee, founded the Denise Amber Lee Foundation in June, 2008. While obviously the 9-1-1 center did not intend for this to happen, or actually "pull the trigger", evidence from the Internal Affairs Investigation shows that there were available resources that were not utilized that could have saved her life.  Determined not to have Denise die in vain, the Denise Amber Lee Foundation is partnering with the 9-1-1 community and using the powerful emotional ammunition of these tragic events to drive change in public policy. We hope public awareness and its reaction that these tragedies have occurred, if channeled and focused in a responsible way, will lead to legislative changes in funding, training, certification, quality assurance and technology, so that no other family has to endure this type of pain and suffering again. The Denise Amber Lee Foundation has attained national prominence and respect for its efforts to improve public safety communications.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments
The Denise Amber Lee Foundation promotes uniform training and certification standards for all 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers.  In our opinion a 9-1-1 call in Seattle should be handled the same as a 9-1-1 call in Miami.  Therefore, our geographic focus is nationwide to insure all citizens have an even level of service when dialing 9-1-1.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness and Relief
Secondary Org Type Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness and Relief
Tertiary Org Type Education
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

“My wife, Denise, Should Be Alive Today”. 

Consider these facts about state licensing requirements in our State of Florida:

  • Hairdressers-1200 hours of education before testing
  • Nail Technicians-240 hours of education before testing
  • Hair Braiders-16 hours of education before testing  
  • First Person to take a frantic citizen’s call for help, the 9-1-1 Call Taker-Zero hours of education and Zero testing requirements.
It took Denise Lee to lose her life and the bright lights of national media scrutiny, to correct this unbelievable fact that the first link in the chain of citizen’s plea for help may be the weakest link. It is unfathomable that state lawmakers have overlooked this fact for this long but due to the efforts of the our foundation and dedicated professionals in the 9-1-1 industry who predicted this kind of tragedy, a new mandatory training requirement for 9-1-1 Call Takers and Dispatchers takes effect on October 1stof 2012. Now a 9-1-1 call in Pensacola should be handled the same as a 9-1-1 call in Miami. 

There is no reason a citizen should be risking their life just because they
crossed into a new jurisdiction. The air traffic control industry figured this one out years ago and mandated rigorous uniform training standards so that air travel and communications from one air traffic control zone to the other would be seamless.

Florida is now being looked at as a model for other states to follow in correcting their lack of training standards. Why should this matter to you here in Southwest Florida? It matters because we all travel and have families that travel throughout this nation. We are a mobile society and we may have an emergency requiring a public safety response while visiting or traveling through these other states. Your life or
family member’s life could be in jeopardy with the lack of training and uneven level of services provided by the nation’s 9-1-1 system today. A 9-1-1 Call Taker in Seattle needs to have the same skills to handle a screaming mother’s plea for help as a 9-1-1 Call Taker in Sarasota, Fl.

Join us on our quest for a 9-1-1 system that meets every
citizen’s expectations so no other families are torn apart by senseless,
preventable tragedies. A hairdresser should not be held to a higher standard of excellence and professionalism than a Public Safety Telecommunicator!      


This fund will allow members of the foundation to reach out to the public about the importance of a well trained, well managed 9-1-1 center and the horrifying consequences of 9-1-1 system failure.  This fund will allow members of the foundation to reach out to the public through printed publications, speaking engagements, educational seminars, video productions, Public Service Announcements, and cover travel expenses to regional, state and national conferences.

Budget $86,450
Category Public Safety, Disaster Services, General/Other Safety Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified General/Unspecified General/Unspecified
Short Term Success
We have been asked to speak in over 20 states currently and have consistently received praise, thanks, and standing ovations for enlightening and inspiring audiences to get more involved in their own safety of others.
Long Term Success
Reach as many people as possible about the limitations and inefficiencies of the 9-1-1 system so that they may be better prepared to utilize the system when necessary.  We also hope that by being a tragic example of the system not working as perceived by most that the public will support the system with the necessary funding to save lives. 
Program Success Monitoring
Success is monitored by number of donations received after a presentation as well as the number of hits on our website, facebook page, and new Twitter followers.  We also monitor success by the number of new invitations to share our story after a presentation.
Program Success Examples
We had a gentleman approach us and say that because of Denise's story he called 9-1-1 when he witnessed a screaming woman in a car with a man.  Normally he said he would not get involved because it is probably a domestic dispute, but this time he did and the man was jailed on attempted murder.  Denise and our story being told saved this young ladies life! 
Description Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Consulting:  Utilizing the best and brightest Quality Assurance talent in the country who have offered their services to our foundation, we will help 9-1-1 agencies set up their own in-house QA/QI Program. 
Budget $80,000
Category Education, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served US At-Risk Populations Victims
Short Term Success Since this is a start up program this year, we hope to hit our budgeted revenue which would calculate to helping 40, 9-1-1 agencies with this process.
Long Term Success Oddly enough, one of the only industries in the country that doesn't randomly review their calls is the 9-1-1 industry.  How calls are handled from distressed citizens would seem to be more critical than calls you make to your insurance company.  But for some reason most 9-1-1 agencies never review a random sample of their calls to make sure they are being processed in a friendly, timely manner and dispatched to the appropriate responding personnel.  Only when calls go wrong are they reviewed to see what went wrong.  Our philosophy is that if calls were continuously being monitored for quality, tragic outcomes can be avoided at a far greater rate.  Rural community 9-1-1 agencies have long suffered from lack of funding for these type of processes and lack the knowledge of where to begin.  We hope to help and educate these agencies on what is needed in their quality assurance policies and protocols and hope to see this mindset be a priority instead of an afterthought in the business plans of public safety agencies. 
Program Success Monitoring How close we are to budgeted figures at year's end and how many agencies we have worked with.  We also hope to have a quarter of our overall revenue be from referrals that we have previously helped.
Program Success Examples Since we have just launched this initiative, we have little data of success other than a positive response of people who have learned of the initiative.  We currently are working on assessing the policies and procedures of several agencies in order to provide estimated costs.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mark Lee
CEO Term Start Jan 2012
CEO/Executive Director Email
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Ryan Chambers Director of Program Management
Nathan Lee President
Mark Lee Vice President
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 18
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation No
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
The Denise Amber Lee Foundation has worked alongside national and international organizations whose goals are to see uniform, mandatory training and certification standards adopted nationwide for 9-1-1 personnel. These organizations include; the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International (APCO), the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED), the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and the NG 9-1-1 Institute along with the Congressional NG 9-1-1 Caucus.  We also are working with the National 911 Program Office which is part of the NHTSA of the Dept. of Transportation to perform outreach education of the National Recommended Training Requirements document recently created and released by a national workgroup including the Denise Amber Lee Foundation.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Advocate of the YearE9-1-1 Institute and E9-1-1 Congressional Caucus2010
Denise Amber Lee Day ProclamationObion County Tennessee2015
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years N/A
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Other Documents
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. David Dignam
Company Affiliation Key Agency
Board Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ronald Bonneau National Emergency Number Association
Thera Bradshaw TKC Consulting Group
David Dignam Key Agency Insurance
Richard Goff Charlotte County Sheriffs Office
Susan Goff Charlotte County Tax Collector
Captain Kevin Haight Idaho State Police Statewide Communications
Michael Martin RapidSOS
Sherrill Ornberg North Suburban Emergency Communications Center
Eric Parry Utah State 9-1-1 Dept.
Nancy Pollock Mission Critical Partners
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 6
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 5
Board Meeting Attendance % 73
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 60
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Jan
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2018
Tax Year End Month Dec
Tax Year End Day 31
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $505,907.00
Projected Expenses $381,127.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment No
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$204,721$155,306$104,871
Administration Expense$32,946$31,153$24,434
Fundraising Expense$5,529$1,528$3,545
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.901.041.29
Program Expense/Total Expenses84%83%79%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue11%3%10%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$52,516$47,329$39,024
Current Assets$52,516$47,329$39,024
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$29,082$768$341
Total Net Assets$23,434$46,561$38,683
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountTraining Class Presentations $139,628Training Class Presentation $148,362Training Class Presents $129,875
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $36,163Contributions, gifts, grants $37,369Contributions, gifts, grants $25,417
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountNon-Profit Income $24,750Fundraising $7,134Fundraising $10,198
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $0 - $50,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.8161.63114.44
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization Our Public Awareness and Education initiative which includes a highly successful full day training session for Public Safety Agencies has provided valuable earned revenue.  However, being an onsite event, travel and shipping expenses are high.  We are looking for funding and technical assistance to start a online training academy to expand our influence.  We also are initiating a Quality Assurance Consulting effort to help Public Safety Agencies begin or tweak an existing QA program.  We are able to do this with the help of professional QA practitioners in the 9-1-1 field who donate their time to provide the consultations.  This will hopefully add valuable earned mission income with limited expenses and provide a valuable public safety benefit to the citizens and first responders of the communities served.
Financial Comments by Foundation
Organization received 501(c)(3) status in April 2010 and files IRS Form 990-N, which does not provide revenue & expense details.  Financial information taken from 2010 review and 2011 - 2013 compilations.  Beginning in 2014, financial information was taken from Federal 990.
Nonprofit Denise Amber Lee Foundation Inc
Address 19503 S. West Villages Parkway
Suite A8
Venice, FL 34295
Phone 941 830-2035