Michael Axelrod embodies the spirit of giving, leadership, and grace, and possesses a strong commitment to child abuse prevention. Since 1987, with passion and focus, Mr. Axelrod has spearheaded the development of the prevention efforts of the Georgia Council on Child Abuse (GCCA) and the State of Georgia. For the past two years, he has taken his commitment to the national level through service on the Board of Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America). He currently serves as Secretary of the Board and Chair of PCA America's strategic planning effort. Unlike many visionaries and leaders, Mr. Axelrod succeeds by shining the spotlight on others-and on what will move us closer to the goal of prevention. As a volunteer, an officer, and director, he has not only assisted in guiding the development of Georgia Council on Child Abuse, but has kept the focus on strategies for the future.
A volunteer with GCCA since 1987, Mr. Axelrod has played an important role in fundraising by personally networking to build the agency's financial base. He served as Campaign Chair in 1996 and continues to be a vital part of the agency's campaign team. He has successfully served in every leadership role in GCCA, including President of the Board, and he currently chairs GCCA's Advisory Board. Mr. Axelrod helped redefine GCCA's strategic mission to offer more direct services to the community, which led to the merger of GCCA and the Atlanta Outreach Center in 1995. As a result, GCCA has expanded successful educational and prevention programs to elementary school children in Fulton County, increased home visitation services for high-risk families almost 100 percent in a five-county area, and expanded parent education programs in these counties.
Mr. Axelrod believes in the power of collaboration in dealing with the scarcity of resources, and he stresses the importance of GCCA being "ego-less" by finding others who focus on similar issues and working together in order to make a difference in children's lives. Mr. Axelrod has provided key leadership in the development of Healthy Families Georgia and continues to be one of the strongest and most vocal supporters of this program approach.
As a child, Mr. Axelrod's brother Jeffrey died of cancer. This experience has been the driving force behind Mr. Axelrod's efforts on behalf of children. "Our obligation," he says, "is to prevent those tragedies that are preventable," like child abuse and neglect.