- The Washington Times - Monday, October 13, 2003

Michael Mahoney has joined the board of directors at the Women’s Center, a nonprofit counseling organization in Vienna that works against domestic violence.

Mr. Mahoney, 38, was elected last week to the nine-member board, coinciding with the beginning of National Domestic Violence Awareness month.

He, with his mother and five siblings, is a survivor of domestic violence. He has spent the past seven years talking about his experience with groups at the Women’s Center, which provides counseling to women and families.

“My entire family left my father in 1995, when they were living abroad in Saudi Arabia,” he said. His father had been verbally, emotionally and physically abusive for several years, Mr. Mahoney said.

The family moved back to the United States and moved in with Mr. Mahoney, the eldest of the six children, in his two-bedroom apartment in Arlington, while Jeanne, Mr. Mahoney’s mother, sought counseling and employment.

“It was a desperate situation because my father had 100 percent ownership of all the assets at the time,” he said.

That was when the Women’s Center gave the family services and some supplies. Mr. Mahoney said the assistance made it possible for him to start his business, Adonix Inc., out of his bedroom in 1998.

Today, Mr. Mahoney is president and chief executive officer of the Reston accounting-systems company, which has 19 employees and $4 million in annual sales.

“The support and assistance we got through organizations like the Women’s Center helped us overcome a very traumatic experience,” he said.

As a director, Mr. Mahoney plans to help develop the group’s fund-raising strategies and push his message.

His company co-sponsored an August charity event for the center with LeapFrog Solutions.

“I think it’s important for someone my age and position and being male to be willing to speak up on this issue from a personal perspective,” Mr. Mahoney said.

Cynthia Huheey, the center’s executive director and chief executive, said Mr. Mahoney’s presence on the board will encourage domestic violence victims to seek refuge.

“There is nothing like having a successful role model like Michael out there empathizing and discussing how he got through a tough time,” Ms. Huheey said.

Victims are more likely to seek help when they hear stories from survivors, she added.

Mr. Mahoney lives in Reston with his pregnant wife, Shereen, and their 17-month-old daughter.

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