About this site

CECNA.io is short for the Consumer Education Council of North America, a long name for a small independent organization dedicated to helping consumers navigate the world around them.

CECNA was launched in 2021 and has gone through several incarnations. We focus primarily on consumer news and information for the U.S. (this site) and Mexico.

Our founder is one James R. Hood, who back in 1998 or so launched what grew to become ConsumerAffairs.com, a commercial, ad-supported news and information site. After retiring from that, he founded CECNA as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit site. We don't take money from companies to say nice things about them, in other words. We also don't accept ads or kickbacks if you follow links on our site and we don't spy on you – we don't put cookies on your site so we can follow you around. Our only sources of revenue are our members and, occasionally, our founder.

We're based in Reston, Virginia, just an expensive Metro ride away from Washington, D.C., and all the wondrous and not-so-great things that happen there.

Our mailing address:

Consumer Education Council
1900 Campus Commons Drive, Suite 100
Reston, VA 20191

Want to volunteer, suggest a topic or tell us off? Use the contact form.

Board of Directors

James R. Hood, Chairman

A veteran consumer advocate and journalist, Jim was most recently CEO and Founder of ConsumerAffairs, the first major consumer review site on the web. Earlier, he founded Zapnews, an independent news agency for broadcast stations later sold to Tribune Company. He served as Deputy Director/News for the Associated Press, leading broadcast news operations in New York, Washington and elsewhere prior to joining United Press International as Senior Vice President.

In between journalism and entrepreneurial enterprises, Jim worked as a public affairs consultant for Bozell Sawyer Miller and other prominent Washington, D.C., firms. He has a B.A. in English Literature from Southern Illinois University.

Joe Knowles, Director

Joe Knowles is an experienced entrepreneur, focused on enterprise development in public health since 2003.

In addition to his role as president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Health Metrics, Cambridge, MA, Joe was founder and vice chair of IHM Services Company, a venture-backed, for-profit subsidiary of the Institute, which provides SaaS-based clinical quality and regulatory reporting for over 100 hospitals across the country.

Prior to co-founding IHM, Joe was a co-founder of Brooktrout Technology, a leading voicemail and voice processing firm; LittlePoint Corporation, whose sustained-release products included the first insect repellent for children registered by US EPA; and Wakefield Partners, a consulting partnership of technology, financial and investment professionals.

Active with a number of not-for-profit organizations, Knowles was founder and managing partner of Neighborhood House, LLC, which assembled capital and pro-bono real estate and legal expertise in order to purchase underutilized commercial properties in Boston’s inner city.

Joe holds an AB from Harvard College, an MBA from Columbia University, and an MPH from Harvard School of Public Health, where he was a visiting scientist in the Department of Society, Human Development and Health from 2002 to 2010.

Steven Weinstein, Director

Steven has a lengthy record of innovation, and is the CEO of Seismic Capital Company, an early-stage growth investor based in Los Angeles. He also serves as Managing Partner of Marketmaker Capital. Previously he was CEO of Salsa Systems and CEO of MagnaCom. He has held executive and journalism posts at Reuters and the Associated Press.

He holds a bachelors degree from Tufts University and has studied at the Melton School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He completed the Reuters Executive Business Leadership Program led by Harvard Business School and Insead.

He is board chair of Tzedek America, an Overseer of Hebrew Union College, and a member of the Parent Leadership Council at Bard College.

Jon Hood, President

Jon is the founder of Hood Venture Counsel P.C., a New York City law firm.

After serving as the General Counsel of a leading edtech company, Jon started his own practice with the goal of providing growing companies with quality legal representation and counsel from someone who’s sat on the other side of the table.

Since founding the firm in 2014, Jon has worked with hundreds of companies in a wide range of industries. Jon’s practice focuses primarily on corporate, contractual, regulatory, and intellectual property matters, and his experience working in-house at a growing company allows him to act as a trusted advisor to his clients.

Prior to starting the firm, Jon served as the General Counsel of TestingMom.com, one of the Web’s premier educational platforms. As General Counsel, Jon was responsible for compliance, transactional, corporate, intellectual property, and regulatory matters.

Jon graduated cum laude from the Pace University School of Law, where he was an Articles Editor of the Pace Law Review. He was admitted to practice in New York in 2012.