William Johnson - Founder


ABOUT WILLIAM JOHNSON: William Demarest Johnson is the visionary who coined the name Freehab and provided the initial seed money to create a new paradigm in recovery. After seeing the destruction addiction caused to people and families, and seeing the limited options available, he committed to giving those in need a chance. He’s been active in funding various charities such as Art of Elysium, Art for life, Community and Schools, and Angel Ball. He also created his own non-profit sober living, in order to accommodate the many people who were in need of help. His compassion, humanitarianism and unwavering belief in people continues to restore recovery, hope and dignity to addicts and alcoholics in the community. Johnson is dedicated to the people of Los Angeles and is steadfast in his belief that everyone deserves a chance at recovery and a productive life.William is also the Founding Partner of Demarest Films. He Partnered with Michael Lambert of Lambert Media group and Sam Englebardt to form specialty financing and production company Demarest Films. Demarest provides senior and gap loans as well as preferred equity to film and TV productions. Demarest Films produced seven movie in 2013 and distributed the critically acclaimed film “Short Term 12” a movie fundamentally about state ran adolescent homes. Demarest Films currently has four films in production.William is a University of California at Berkeley graduate. After a long career as a stock broker, Johnson turned his attention on to the entertainment industry, philanthropy, and helping people in recovery.

Lauri Burns - Co-Founder & Vice President

Co-Founder & Board President

ABOUT LAURI BURNS: Lauri Burns is a nationally recognized keynote inspirational speaker & author. Her story has been published in PEOPLE, Family Circle, Oprah and she has appeared on CNN, CBS, FOX and ABC News. She has been awarded by The Jewish Journal, LA Business Journal and others for her philanthropic efforts towards rescuing America’s homeless youth. Lauri aged out of the foster care system at age 18 to drug addiction, prostitution and homelessness. Today she is a business owner, an amazing keynote speaker, author and non profit specialist. Lauri has raised 30 teenage foster kids in her personal home. The Teen Project charity has helped hundreds of homeless youth to transform their lives. The Teen Project provides housing, college support, drop in center, national text home cell service outreach and now with the launch of Freehab, treatment services

Lauri is the President and Founder of The Teen Project and single handedly implemented all aspects of Freehab from conception to life. Lauri is an entrepreneur who specializes in Project Management. She has a flawless reputation for bringing complex projects from inception to fruition on schedule and budget.


Paul Blavin

Executive Board

ABOUT PAUL BLAVIN: Serves on The Teen Project Executive Board. Paul is the proud founder of the Blavin Scholars Programs at the University of Michigan and Northern Arizona University to support youth aging out of foster care to achieve their dreams of a post-secondary education and a better life. Since inception, 17 Blavin Scholars have successfully graduated. The Blavin Scholars programs are endowed to support 25 scholars annually. Paul is also the founder of Graceful Light Entertainment, a company committed to harnessing the power of exceptional art (including video, music and film) to inspire hope, create awareness of critical human issues and, ultimately, compel positive social action. In his prior career as a financier, Paul served as an investment banker with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, the President of First Mercury Financial Corporation, a publicly traded insurance company, and co-founded and managed a private investment partnership, PWB Value Partners, L.P. His partnership began in 1995 with three investors and $3.2 million under management. Over 14 years, the business grew to more than 80 investors and approximately $2.0 billion. Net of fees and expenses, his firm consistently outperformed the S&P 500 index.
Danny Trejo

Advisory Board

ABOUT DANNY TREJO:  Serves on the Freehab Advisory Board.  Danny, A child drug addict and criminal, Danny Trejo was in and out of jail for 11 years. While serving time in San Quentin, he won the lightweight and welterweight boxing titles. Imprisoned for armed robbery and drug offenses, he successfully completed a 12-step rehabilitation program that changed his life. While speaking at a Cocaine Anonymous meeting in 1985, Trejo met a young man who later called him for support. Trejo went to meet him at what turned out to be the set of Runaway Train (1985). Trejo was immediately offered a role as a convict extra, probably because of his tough tattooed appearance. Since that time, Danny has had over 150 films and tv appearances. Danny is committed to helping others in need. Danny is known to say “Everything good that happened in my life was a direct result of helping someone else.”