Denise Amber Lee Foundation Inc
PO Box 781
Englewood FL 34295
To promote and support public safety through uniform training, standardized protocols, defined measurable outcomes, and technological advances to the 9-1-1system.
CEO/Executive Director Mark Lee
Board Chair Mr. David Dignam
Board Chair Affiliation Key Agency
General Info
Organization DBA
Supported Organization
Former Names
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2010
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years?
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes May 2016
State Registration Yes Apr 2016
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $485,040.00
Projected Expenses $277,643.00
Other Documents
Impact Statement

The Denise Amber Lee Foundation was honored to be invited to over 30 public safety agencies around the nation to present our highly acclaimed full day presentation titled; "A Victim's Plea, Meeting Expectations".  This presentation motivates and inspires 9-1-1 workers to train better and avoid complacency.  Attendees comments include, "...the best training I have been to in my 17 years in Public Safety," "What an awesome class...This class should be required for all 9-1-1 dispatchers in the country!"  We have also been part of the 9-1-1 industry workgroup that has crafted the first ever, Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Standard recently approved by the American National Standards Institute.  We are in the final stages of a national workgroup to identify a minimum set of training requirements for the nation's 9-1-1 system as many states require no training or certification whatsoever.  Most states require hairstylists and dog groomers to be trained and certified but not the first person you call in your life's worst moment.  We need to continue being the emotional driving force for better training and better supervision for our nation's 9-1-1 system.  We need to continue putting pressure on the technology providers to supply pinpoint accuracy on cell phones calling 9-1-1 when the person can no longer speak their location.  The 9-1-1 system is not a local or regional issue.  It is a national issue that affects anyone who travels the country or have relatives in other parts of the country that need 9-1-1 to be there and be efficient in their time of need.  If you don't want a family member of yours to be collateral damage for a mediocre level of service when dialing 9-1-1, please support our passionate mission.  Thank you.

Needs Statement
We are looking to update and upgrade our marketing/outreach materials away from the tragedy and moving more towards our programs and initiatives to improve 9-1-1 agencies across North America.  We need donations to help with the design and printing expenses of $6245.00.
One of our more popular and successful fundraising mechanisms is raffling off an IPAD Mini at each of our training presentations and conference appearances.  These typically will bring in an additional $1000 of revenue at each event.  We are looking for a sponsor/donor to sponsor the purchase of 5 Apple IPADs at a cost of $1535.00.  This investment will allow the foundation to raise $6000 of passive fundraising revenue. 
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
Throughout the United States
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness and Relief
Secondary Org Type Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness and Relief
Tertiary Org Type
9-1-1, public safety, telecommunicator training and certification, victim advocacy, public awareness and 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!      

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

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.
Program Comments by Organization
Program Comments by Foundation
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mark Lee
CEO Term Start Jan 2012
CEO/Executive Director Email
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Mark Lee CEO
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.
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
Policies and Procedures No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Management Comments by Organization
Management Comments by Foundation
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. David Dignam
Company Affiliation Key Agency
Board Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2015
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ronald Bonneau National Emergency Number Association
David Dignam Key Agency Insurance
Richard Goff Charlotte County Sheriffs Office
Susan Goff Charlotte County Tax Collector
Nathan Lee Best Buy
Mark Lee Community Volunteer
Sherrill Ornberg North Suburban Emergency Communications Center
Jeffrey Vannais East Hartford CT Government
Kevin Willett Public Safety Training Consultants
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 76
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Governance Comments by Organization
Governance Comments by Foundation
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2015
Fiscal Year Ends 2015
Projected Revenue $485,040.00
Projected Expenses $277,643.00
Endowment Value
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Policy %
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$104,871$32,680$21,929
Administration Expense$24,434$5,078$18,043
Fundraising Expense$3,545$0$5,921
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.290.610.88
Program Expense/Total Expenses79%87%52%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue10%0%18%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$39,024$6,278$20,906
Current Assets$39,024$6,278$20,906
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$341$37$37
Total Net Assets$38,683$6,241$20,869
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountTraining Class Presents $129,875Speakers' Fees $14,597Contributions, gifts, grants $33,149
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $25,417Contributions, gifts, grants $8,199Speaking Fees $4,880
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $10,198Miscellaneous $315Fundraising $125
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $0 - $50,000
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities114.44169.68565.03
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
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.  For 2014, financial information was taken from Federal 990.
Nonprofit Denise Amber Lee Foundation Inc
Address PO Box 781
Englewood, FL 34295
Primary Phone 941 830-2035