IGCCB Board of Directors
Jeremy Wampler, LCSW, ICGC-II, BACC, LADC is the Clinical Manager for the State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Problem Gambling Services. Jeremy earned his Master in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University, and he has been practicing in the field of problem gambling for over a decade. He currently serves as President of the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board, and also serves as Vice President on the Association of Problem Gambling Services Administrators board. In his current role as a state administrator, Jeremy provides oversight for all statewide problem gambling services which includes problem gambling specific clinical services, disordered gambling integration programs, outreach and engagement, prevention, and recovery support services. Jeremy is an advocate and trainer, providing education and technical assistance for key stakeholders throughout the state and has begun expanding training and technical assistance to other states throughout the New England region, with a focus and passion on building capacity of the clinical workforce and supporting the growing needs of other service administrators in the problem gambling field.
Jody Bechtold, LCSW, ICGC-II, BACC, PC is a highly regarded gambling addiction expert working extensively across the globe with individuals, organizations, and associations. She is the CEO of The Better Institute, a group practice located in Pittsburgh. She is the co-author of The Gambling Disorder Treatment Handbook: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals and 2 chapters in the Social Work Desk Reference v 4 on Gambling and Gaming Disorders, published in 2021. She serves as the Vice President of the board for the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board (IGCCB). Jody holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work and has certifications as a Board-Approved Clinical Consultant (BACC) and Internationally Certified Gambling Counselor Level II (ICGC-II) with the IGCCB. When Jody isn’t working, you can find her providing pet therapy with her dog, Hanna, and supporting her husband’s business, Pittsburgh Guitars. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.BetterInstitute.com to contact Jody Bechtold, LCSW, ICGC-II, PC.
George Mladenetz, M.Ed., LCADC, ICGC-II has worked in the addictions and mental health fields for over 40 years. He earned a Master’s degree in Counseling from The College of New Jersey. George has been licensed as a Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor since 2005 and is an International Certified Gambling Counselor, Level II .He began his career as an Alcoholism Counselor with the Burlington County Alcoholism Program. He subsequently spent 30 years in various capacities, including treatment and prevention with the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS).
After retiring from DMHAS in 2014, George became the Assistant Director of Clinical Services, Treatment and Research and then later, Treatment Coordinator for the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ). George monitored the operations of over 50 treatment providers who serve disordered gamblers and family members. He also conducted gambling specific trainings on a regular basis and has spoken nationally on the topics of disordered gambling, stigma and language of recovery. George has written several articles on disordered gambling which have been published in Dr. David Mee-Lee’s “Tips & Topics” newsletter. He continues to serve on various coalitions including the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies (NJAMHAA) and the Hamilton Alliance Against Substance Abuse. George retired from CCGNJ in June, 2020.
George currently serves as the Treasurer for the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board. He is also an active member of the Association of Professionals Treating Problem Gambling (APTPG) and the Mercer County Psychological Association. George remains active in the field of gambling disorder as a clinical consultant and trainer.
Rev. Janet Jacobs
Rev. Janet E. Jacobs, B.A., CCGSO brings together a background of professional teaching skills, parish ministry, and on-going training on problem gambling treatment issues. A 1965 University of Houston graduate, Rev. Jacobs entered the United Methodist ministry in 1995. Appointed Founding Director of Gambling Recovery Ministries (GRM) in 2001, Rev. Jacobs has completed over 300 hours of specialized, professional training on addiction and recovery (including Indiana’s sixty hour training series on problem gambling and treatment). In 2005, she represented gambling addiction issues at Johnson Institute’s First Rush Center Summit of National Religious Leaders on Addiction Solutions.
Rev. Jacobs has given over 150 presentations on addiction and recovery issues at local, state, regional, national, and international events. She received Mid-Central Alliance’s Seven State Councils on Problem Gambling 2008 Leadership Award and serves as an instructor for the Indiana Problem Gambling Awareness trainings Women and Problem Gambling and Spirituality and Problem Gambling. Rev. Jacobs, also, is the 2015 recipient of the Jim Cooke Leadership Award from the Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling.
Rev. Jacobs authored the chapter “Problem Gambling”, containing three book reviews on pathological gambling treatment, in the nationally distributed magazine Christian Reflection (Baylor University). Within this edition (Summer 2011), Gambling Recovery Ministries was presented as a model ministry of outreach by Deborah Haskins, Ph.D., in her chapter entitled “Congregational Ministry to Problem Gamblers”.
Rev. Jacobs serves as Board Member and Recording Secretary on the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board; and she co-coordinates the Clergy/Lay Minister Certification Program for the Board. Additionally, she is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa International Women Educators Honorary.
Lori Rugle PhD, ICGC-II, BACC is currently Responsible Gambling Specialist with the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries. She is also Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland and is currently Special Projects Consultant with the Maryland Center of Excellence in Problem Gambling. Her previous position was Director of Problem Gambling Services with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for the State of Connecticut. Dr. Rugle brings 30 + years of experience in the field of problem gambling including treatment, prevention, research and responsible gambling to her current positions. She has managed problem gambling programs within the Veterans Administration, in the private sector and within state systems. She has participated in research on brief screening for gambling problems, as well as a broad range of other problem gambling related research projects. She has provided consultation and training on gambling disorder throughout the United States, for the military and internationally.
Rick Benson, CPGC, ICGC-II founded Algamus Recovery Centers in 1992 and has directed gambling specific, Algamus residential facilities in Florida, South Carolina, Quebec, and Arizona. A Cornell University graduate, Rick is an Internationally Certified Gambling Counselor (ICGC-II) and a Canadian Problem Gambling Counselor (CPGC). Algamus and Rick were featured on the very first episode of Intervention on the A&E channel. He currently serves as a clinical supervisor for the Canadian Problem Gambling Counselor Certification Board and as an International Compulsive Gambling Counselor Certification Board member. He has been an advisory board member of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, and a founding executive board member of both the North Carolina Council on Problem Gambling and the South Carolina Council on Compulsive gambling. For more than 20 years he has been both a student and a facilitator in Bonding Psychotherapy, Holiotropic Breathwork, Primal Therapy, and the Enneagram. He is presently a member of both the Arizona Enneagram Association and the International Enneagram Association and is deeply involved in the Enneagram Prison Project. He is an executive board member of the International Primal Association. Rick now provides consulting services including admissions and network/marketing to Algamus Gambling Treatment Services.
Debra Neal, BACC, ICGC II , a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, began her service in addiction treatment in 1988 and problem gambling services in 2000. She has two decades of clinical experience working with families, couples, and individuals with co-occurring, substance abuse, and compulsive disorders.
Ms. Neal now works daily with a sizable population individuals/families/couples coping with problem gambling and other behavioral addictions Her specialty focus is couples in recovery using an intensive outpatient, solution-focused framework. Her primary mission is fostering continued and sustained abstinence via long term engagement and Motivational Enhancement strategies, CBT, and family therapy modalities.
As well, Debra’s goal is to contribute to the behavioral health industry as an author, speaker, trainer and consultant. She is an international trainer in Motivational Interviewing (MINT), serves in the role of a BACC, and as enjoys her service as an IGCCB board member.
Kevin B. Schmidt
Kevin B Schmidt LCSW, ICGC-II, BACC earned his master’s degree from Barry University in social work and was recognized as a Summa Cum Lauda graduate. His LCSW includes marriage and family concerns as well as mental health training. His BACC-the Board Approved Supervisor designation associated with his International Certified Gambling Counseling credential is complemented with his supervisor status for social work interns. For the last ten years Kevin has worked as a substance abuse professional in public and private settings and has treated those with gambling disorder and trauma since 2012. Kevin is well-schooled in clinical and psycho-education practice with the similarities and differences between gambling disorder and other substance abuse addictions. Trauma that has either preceded or developed in active addiction has been a major focus of his study and concern, and he has developed a set of therapeutic interventions that help clarify for the client the nature of traumatic experience and provide healing pathway directions. His credential in Eye Movement Desensitization Response Training (EMDR) has been one tool he uses in reprocessing traumatic events. He is also currently recognized as a Department of Transportation (DOT) Substance Abuse Provider (SAP) to provide substance abuse treatment assessments for individuals referred within the United States Transportation Industries—FAA (air), FRA (train), FTA (transit), FMCSA (trucking), Maritime/USCG (Coast Guard) and PHMSA (hazardous materials). Over the years Kevin has paid close attention to the sensitivities related to confidentiality and the coordination of confidentiality and family involvement in treatment to maximize effectiveness. Handling family involvement appropriately has been one key to success in treatment both for Gambling Disorder, Gaming Disorder and Substance Abuse Disorder clients. In the year 2020, due to the COVID -19 Virus, Kevin became board certified in Tele-Health with becoming credentialed as a Board-Certified Tele-Health Professional II from the Telebehavioral Health Institute, the premier educational authority in providing the know-how for a complete teletherapy acumen.
Originally from Pennsylvania Kevin’s journey has led him to Florida, where he founded, and became the clinical director for Light of the World Counseling–a boutique substance abuse and gambling disorder treatment facility of his design that is dedicated to intensive clinical attention for the individual with addiction problems and psycho-social stressors. In the year 2020, Kevin closed his facility due to the COVID -19 Virus and has been working toward national recognition as a telehealth medicine professional working with populations in Substance Abuse, Impulse Control, Behavioral Disorders, and Trauma. In addition, Kevin is now licensed in the field of Social Work in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and is waiting approval in Arizona with California to follow.
Please feel free to contact Kevin at any time via his email address email@example.com or by phone 305-310-6618.
Dr. Ronsonlyn Clark, ICGC-II, BACC is the Sr. Director of Prevention and Substance Abuse Services for River Valley Behavioral Health. She holds a Doctorate in Addiction Studies and is a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LCADC), an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC-II), a National Certified Counselor (NCC), a Board Approved Clinical consultant (BACC) and a Master Addictions Counselor (MAC). She was the first woman in KY to become a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor. She has 32 years of experience in the field of addiction treatment. Dr. Clark has spoken on a variety of addiction related topics at the local, state and national levels. She received the 2012 Robert Strauss Award for lifetime achievement in substance abuse, the 2007 award for Outstanding Services for Kentucky Women and their Families in Substance Abuse, the Beacon Award for Leadership in the field of Substance Abuse and BP&W Daviess County Woman of Achievement. Her programs at RVBH received the national “Best Practices” award 6 times. Dr. Clark is a CIT instructor for law enforcement and a Mental Health First Aide instructor. She is an adjunct professor at Western Kentucky University. She is on Board of the Daviess County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy Board, the Steering Committee of the Daviess Co Drug Alliance, the Educational Director of the KY Council on Problem Gambling, and the KY representative to the NCPG.
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