About Us

Michael Vlock, Founder (1953-2017)

Dismayed by the deceptive advertising he saw around him and the government’s apparent inability to protect consumers from all the scams in the marketplace, nearly 30 years ago investor and business leader Michael Vlock conceived the idea for an organization that would help protect and educate consumers about false advertising.

Recognizing that the rise of the internet and the ability to easily disseminate information to the public could produce abuses, he put this idea into motion by founding truthinadvertising.org. Michael worked ceaselessly to make the world a better place and the organization stands as a legacy to his vision of ensuring that companies are held accountable for taking advantage of consumers.

Michael Vlock received a BA from Hampshire College, where he pioneered new techniques in laser holography. He received his JD from Boston College Law School and used his legal skills in service to his career as a serial entrepreneur.



Bonnie Patten
Executive Director
Bonnie provides the overall vision, leadership, and direction to help TINA.org achieve its mission and strategic goals.  Her commitment to educating the public about deceptive marketing and fraudulent ads stems from her belief that education is the only viable way to effectively eradicate the market for false ads.  Prior to helping found TINA.org, she spent most of the past two decades working as a litigation attorney in New Haven, CT. Bonnie earned her J.D. from Boston University and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.


IMG_6488Laura Smith
Legal Director
As Legal Director, Laura is responsible for overseeing TINA.org’s overall legal strategy. She believes that efficient and ethical markets only work if there is complete – and accurate – information available to all consumers.  As such, she values TINA.org’s efforts to eradicate deceptive advertising, and takes seriously her role in exposing false marketing schemes.  Before joining TINA.org, Laura worked as a litigator in New Haven, CT.  She earned her J.D. from Boston University and her B.A. from Connecticut College.


melissaMelissa Youd
Staff Attorney
Melissa is a member of the legal team at TINA.org, where she researches and writes in support of TINA.org’s ongoing legal efforts to stop false advertising. Before joining TINA.org, she earned her J.D. and M.S. in Journalism from Quinnipiac University, and her B.A. from Albertus Magnus College.


Shana Mueller
Director of Marketing and Communications
Shana oversees marketing, strategic communications, and operations for TINA.org.  She is passionate about consumer advocacy having personally observed how immigrant families are often the targets of many scams and schemes.  Before joining TINA.org, Shana worked as an R&D Engineer in Atlanta, GA and in Santa Clara, CA.  Shana holds an MBA from University of Connecticut and a B.S. from Cornell University.


Jason-BagleyJason Bagley
Staff Writer
Jason believes the role of journalism is to hold those in power accountable – whether that means the mayor of a metropolis or the CEO of a conglomerate. Before joining the editorial staff at TINA.org, Jason was an editor and reporter at Patch Media. He holds a B.A. in Journalism and English from the University of Connecticut.



Katharine Beckert
Graphic Designer
Through the language of art and design, Katharine helps to reach out and educate consumers through her art. Her passion for activism and art come together to help TINA.org show consumers the truth about deceptive advertising. Before joining TINA.org, Katharine worked as a freelance graphic designer and photographer. She holds a B.A. in Communications with focuses in graphic design and media studies from Goucher College and a M.S. in Interactive Media from Quinnipiac University.

Chris Lamperelli
Project Manager and Writer
As a Project Manager, Chris is involved in working on various projects relating to consumer advocacy for TINA.org. His primary function is research and data collection for legal actions and other publications. Chris holds a B.S. in Advertising from Quinnipiac University.

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