Social Impact Heroes: How Marc Benardout aims to end DUI fatalities through music and education

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Leaders need to have courage to say the things that others don’t and do the things that others won’t. I will be the example.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Marc Benardout, Founder of The Noah Benardout Foundation a 501c3 organization that advocates to end DUI fatalities through music and education.

Marc Benardout is an award-winning producer/director with over 35 years of experience in the entertainment and advertising industries on both sides of the Atlantic. An industry leader and advocate of new technology in the business, Marc’s reputation is as a rainmaker and innovator across the many levels of the production spectrum. Hailing from the UK, Marc has lived in Los Angeles, California with his family for over 23 years.

Thank you so much for doing this with us Marc! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was born and grew up in London and moved to Los Angeles back in 1997. For the past 35 years I have had the privilege to have worked globally in the entertainment business, directing, producing, writing and executive producing everything from music videos to movies and from commercials to Instagram TV shows. I have managed artists, run companies and been a part of numerous tech and innovation projects that have allowed my breadth of knowledge and experience to never become complacent but instead always be inspired by the endless opportunities and ever-changing face of marketing, advertising and social impact.

Can you tell us the story about why did you decided to start your nonprofit?

Last August, my son was tragically killed as he waited to cross an intersection in West Hollywood by a DUI driver, severely over the limit both in his BAC level and diving speed. Weaving in and out of traffic on Melrose Avenue, the unthinkable happened, and my beautiful 24-year-old rising musician son was killed instantly. It is the most painful, horrific and unexplainable feeling for any parent to have to be woken up at 2:30am by plain clothes police officers to report that their child had been killed. Life stopped at that moment and as grief-stricken as my family was, the anger and determination for an explanation and justice has carried us through each day since. Sleepless nights ensued, discovering the epidemic of DUI in the USA. The flawed laws. The systematic failure to appropriately punish offenders. And, the realization that beyond all of this soul-searching for a semblance of justice, nothing would bring my son back. We have failed us. Our lawmakers, our politicians, our lobbyists. The needle has not moved. Even worse, it has sprung forward propelled by consortiums of businesses and bureaucrats profiting from the legalization of marijuana, the control of the food and beverage industries and mire of lacklustre, underperforming groups and organizations masquerading for change. If you think I sound angry, let me clarify, my ire is not even peaking. I am instead very clear on what needs to be done and where change needs to happen. I set up the Noah Benardout Foundation for specific targeting of grass roots awareness. To change minds, to change habits and to change outcome. Only then will habits influence positive law changes. Only then will the unnecessary tragedies be stopped. Prioritize, prohibit and prevent. This is what is paramount.

Can you describe how you or your organization aims to make a significant social impact?

The Noah Benardout Foundation’s primary function will be to educate and initiate for maximum engagement across targeted demographic levels. A robust educational curriculum will target new and young drivers through our SAD (Students Against DUI) program touring high schools across California working in conjunction with the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) California Teen Influencer Unit. Complimenting this will be a street level visibility campaign that promotes a proprietary networking approach to accountable responsibility.

Are there three things the community / society / politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Unquestionably YES. 1) Acknowledge the epidemic has to STOP. 2) Pledge to collaborate to prevent more tragedies. 3) Educate. Educate. Educate.

How do you define Leadership? Please provide an example:

Leaders need to have courage to say the things that others don’t and do the things that others won’t. I will be the example.

Based on your experience, what are the “5 things a person should know before they decide to start a nonprofit.” Please share an example for each.

There’s obviously the levels of operation, the tax restrictions, the responsibility, a written manifesto and operations manual and putting together a board of brilliant minds and innovators.

Is there a person in the world who you would like to talk to, to share the idea behind this non profit? He or she just might see this.

Bill Gates and Dwayne The Rock Johnson.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson” quote? How is it relevant to you in your life?

The mantra I have lived by my whole life is sadly still poignantly relevant and it goes like this. “Everything will be alright in the end, if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.”

How can our readers follow you online:

Through the Foundation’s website, the lovr4life blog and our social media channels:

Instagram: @NoahBenardoutFoundation


Twitter: @NBFLOVR

Social Impact Heroes: How Marc Benardout aims to end DUI fatalities through music and education was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.