Mr. Coelho was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1978 to 1989. After leaving Congress, he joined Wertheim Schroder & Company, an investment banking firm in New York, as President and CEO of Wertheim Schroder Financial Services. From October 1995 to September 1997, Mr. Coelho founded and served as Chairman and CEO of an education and training technology company that he subsequently sold. Since 1997, Mr. Coelho has worked independently as a business and political consultant. He also served as Chairman of the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities from 1994 to 2001, after previously serving as Chairman of the Board of the Epilepsy Foundation. Mr. Coelho is a member of the Board of Directors of Service Corporation International, Inc. and Warren Resources, Inc. The Company believes that Mr. Coelho should serve as a Director because of his political acumen and contacts, as well as his executive, financial and business experience.
In November 1978, Coelho was elected into the 96th Congress. He was later elected to five succeeding Congresses and served as House Majority Whip in his last term. While he served on the Agriculture, Interior, Veterans Affairs, and Administration Committees, Mr. Coelho specialized in the rights of disabled Americans throughout his tenure in Congress. While in the House, he was also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Mr. Coelho was credited by Congressional colleagues as the author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. By 1994, four years after the law’s passage, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that some 800,000 more people with severe disabilities had found employment than were employed when the ADA was first enacted.
President Bill Clinton appointed Mr. Coelho to serve as Chairman of the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, a position he held from 1994 to 2001. He also served as Vice Chair of the National Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities. In 1998, President Clinton appointed Mr. Coelho to the position of United States Commissioner General at the 1998 World Expo in Portugal. President Clinton also appointed Mr. Coelho Co-Chair of the U.S. Census Monitoring Board.
Congressman Coelho established a lecture series at New York Law School on Disability Employment Law & Policy. He has also endowed a chair in Public Policy at the University of California in Merced and a chair on pediatric epilepsy at UCLA. He is a former chairman and current member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of People With Disabilities.