Presenters

Keynote Speakers

 
RoryReid
Rory C. Reid,  Ph.D., LCSW

Dr. Rory C. Reid holds a master’s degree in Social Work and a doctorate degree in clinical psychology with a dual emphasis in neuropsychology and marriage and family therapy. He now holds the position of Assistant Professor and Research Psychologist with the Gambling Studies Program in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA, and is part of the Harvard Medical School Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program at Harvard University. Dr. Reid has worked with hundreds of patients over the past decade seeking help for impulse control disorders including problem gambling and hypersexual behavior.  He conducts research exploring various neuropsychological facets of impulsivity among populations reporting behavioral dysregulation and is investigating the effectiveness of mindfulness interventions and mechanisms of action using neuroimaging. His work has been featured in press outlets such as the New York Times, TIME magazine, WebMD, Men’s Health, as well as TV specials aired on ABC, CBS, and Fox News. Dr. Reid has also published numerous articles on gambling disorders in scientific journals.

Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH

Dr. Jon Grant, MD, JD, is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago and an expert on Impulse Control and Addictive Disorders. Dr. Grant served as a Work Group Advisor for the DSM-5 and he is board certified in Adult Psychiatry, Neurology, and with the Board of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Grant has published over 300 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has authored or co-authored several books including Clinical Guide to Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders, Stop Me Because I Can’t Stop Myself: Taking Control of Impulsive Behavior, Pathological Gambling: A Clinical Guide to Treatment, and Impulsive Control Disorders: A Clinician’s Guide to Understanding and Treating Behavioral Addictions. Dr. Grant is a popular presenter at many conferences both nationally and internationally because of his talent at translating ideas from complex research into pragmatic applications for clinicians. He is the Director of a Center of Excellence in Gambling Research supported by the National Center for Responsible Gaming.

 
JonGrant

 

Plenary Speaker

 
Dr. Lori Rugle

Dr. Lori Rugle has been working in the problem gambling field for 30 years.  She has managed problem gambling treatment programs within the Veterans Administration, in the private sector and within state systems.  She has participated in research on neuropsychological assessment of pathological gamblers, neuroimaging and genetic studies of problem gambling, psychopharmacological treatment of problem gambling, gambling problems and coping among homeless veterans, trauma history and problem gambling.  She has consulted with state and national governments on developing and implementing problem gambling treatment programs.  She is currently Program Director for the University of Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling.

 

Conference Presenter Bios

Paul R. Ashe, JD

Paul Ashe is President and Co-Founder of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling and former President of the National Council on Problem Gambling.  His serves as a volunteer administrator and spokesperson of the FCCG, assists in education, training and public awareness programs, and provides legal referrals to compulsive gamblers and their families calling the HelpLine.  Mr. Ashe is an attorney, investment banker and Certified Public Accountant, specializing in taxation, bankruptcy, securities, real estate and commercial practice.  He assists civil and criminal justice professionals, clinicians, industry members and others, and serves as an expert witness in compulsive gambling cases pro bono.

 

Kathleen Cannon, LCSW, MSW

Kathleen Cannon has been CEO and President of the United Way of Broward County for the past two years.  She came to the United Way from Broward House, an HIV and AIDS community service organization, where she was COO for 10 years.  She is dedicated to the non-profit sector and committed to making a difference in the lives of Broward County residents.  She believes supplying outstanding services, maintaining sound fiscal practices, generating robust fundraising, and influencing policy changes to the system of care are keys to success.  Ms. Cannon earned her master’s degree in social work from Florida International University.

 

Damon Dye, EdD, LMHC, NCGC-II, BACC

Damon Dye specializes in trauma and couples counseling and is certified in Clinical Brainspotting (BSP) and Advanced Brainspotting with Attachment Complex PTSD and Dissociation.  Dr. Dye operates Triangle Resolutions, an outpatient mental health practice located in the Tampa Bay area, and is an adjunct professor for Springfield College.  He has worked with problem gamblers and their families for over 10 years, is the author of “Know Where to Hold ‘Em:  A Guide for Spouses of Problem Gamblers”, and provides training workshops for non-profit organizations, drugs courts and government institutions.

 

Stephen Ferrante, MSW

Stephen Ferrante is founder and former director of the Florida Atlantic University Aging Academy. Mr. Ferrante, a PhD. candidate, is a managing partner of Group Victory strategy and organization development consulting firm.  He has dedicated his professional career to working in human services with various populations and age groups. He was employed by Broward County over 21 years providing and managing direct services, including service as the Elderly and Veterans Services Director with oversight of community care, mental health, substance misuse and support services to Broward’s elders and veterans.

 

John Fontana

John Fontana is President of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa. Upon graduating in 1980 from Florida State University, Mr. Fontana has overseen the day-to-day operations of one of the largest and the most successful casinos in the world. Starting as General Manager of the original Seminole Casino Tampa, Mr. Fontana helped the property become a major award-winning entertainment establishment.  He previously was an Indian gaming consultant. Beyond his daily Hard Rock duties, Mr. Fontana is Vice-President of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling’s Board of Directors and is a Council of Governors Member of the Tampa Bay Partnership.

 

Pat Fowler

Pat Fowler was instrumental in the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling’s formation, began working with compulsive gamblers and their families as Deputy Director in 1988, and became Executive Director in the early 90’s.  Ms. Fowler designed and oversees the statewide 24-hour HelpLine, providing around-the-clock supports, referrals and information.  She established and directs the State’s first compulsive gambling treatment program furnishing free counseling to people in need.  Under her leadership, the FCCG has become a comprehensive statewide organization funded by State government and the gaming industry, is a recognized national leader, and recipient of the national Goldman Award for lifetime achievement.

 

Jon Grant, JD, MD, MPH

Dr. Jon Grant is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago and an expert on Impulse Control and Addictive Disorders. Dr. Grant served as a Work Group Advisor for the DSM-5 and is board certified in Adult Psychiatry, Neurology, and with the Board of Addiction Medicine. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has authored or co-authored several books. (For a complete bio, please see the Keynote Speakers section above.)

 

Eric Groh, CGC, NCGC-II, LPC, NCC

Eric Groh is Founder and Executive Director of the Georgia Council on Problem Gambling, with over 20 years’ experience in clinical mental health and addiction issues.  He’s taught psychology at the university level, training counselors, physicians and nurses on mental health topics, and was appointed by two Georgia governors to the Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists.  For five years, Mr. Groh worked closely with the Secretary of State and Attorney General’s Offices handling licensee complaints and provided consulting services to state and federal agencies in the areas of problem gambling and disaster relief.

 

Isadore Havenick

Isadore “Izzy” Havenick is Vice President of Political Affairs for Magic City Casino, Naples Fort Myers Greyhound Racing and Poker, and Dania Jai-Alai. Magic City Casino, formerly known as Flagler Greyhound Track, which has been a family-owned business since his grandfather purchased the property in 1952.  Mr. Havenick was born, raised and lives in Miami with his wife and son.  He received his BS in Communications from the University of Miami in 2000, is a strong voice for his company’s commitment to the local community, and has been an active corporate partner with numerous local organizations.

 

Donna Hearn, Ph.D., LMHC, CAP

Donna Hearn, currently a consultant with The Florida House Experience, Deerfield Beach, FL, has presented nationally and internationally on the subject of addiction recovery.  As an Employee Assistance Professional for over 20 years and prior owner of a residential drug treatment program, Ms. Hearn has presented workshops to the Florida Bar, EAPA, National Council on Alcoholism, government agencies and municipalities, and private corporations such as IBM, NCCI, Amerijet and others.  Her career spans 30 years in the addiction treatment field.  She is known for her interactive approach and her utilization of humor and realism to explore the topics she presents.

 

Brian Kongsvik

Brian Kongsvik has served as Director of HelpLine Operations for the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling since 2007.  Brian has accomplished many instrumental tasks related to the 24-hour crisis service, including developing a new training system for HelpLine specialists, conducting comparative statistical analysis identifying problem gambling trends in Florida, preparing call data reports at the state and local levels, and implementing innovative supports for individuals needing help or information.  Mr. Kongsvik is also the FCCG’s point person for media contacts on problem and compulsive gambling related issues.  Brian comes from a strong background in people and customer service skills.

 

Marc Lefkowitz, CCGC-1, NCGC-1

Marc Lefkowitz was previously the California Council on Problem Gambling’s Director of Training and currently acts as consultant.  He has been an adjunct college instructor teaching problem gambling and addiction, and has worked for the UCLA Gambling Studies Program.   He has trained over 100,000 casino employees and developed responsible gaming programs for over 40 casinos.  He is a recovering gambler and has lectured at national conferences on problem gambling, related financial matters, and responsible gambling. He received California’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his work. Currently, Mr. Lefkowitz is Program Director for Algamus Gambling Treatment Services, an inpatient gambling treatment program.

 

Laura M. Letson, MPA

Laura Letson has served in the gambling addiction field for 20 years, starting as the New York Council on Problem Gambling’s first Executive Director. A former member of the NCPG’s Board of Directors, she co-chaired the Affiliates and Public Policy Committees, and spearheaded/drafted the NCPG’s response to the National Gaming Impact Study Commission. She co-authored the recommendations on pathological gambling in the NGISC’s report to the President and Congress, and prepared a series of articles/ papers, including the social impacts of gambling addiction chapter in Impulse Control Disorders, published by Stanford University Medical Center.  Ms. Letson is President of Integrity 1st.

 

Edwin J. Olsen, MD, JD, MBA

Dr. Edwin Olsen is a Geriatric Psychiatrist and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami.  He has been the Director of MAGEC for 27 years.  MAGEC is a Health Resources Service Administration (HRSA) funded program dedicated to educating health care professionals, in 15 disciplines, to practice interprofessional care for Florida’s aging population. MAGEC has had the good fortune of working with the FCCG to include geriatrics. We started in 2008 at a workshop to discuss the inclusion of geriatrics and over the years have worked together to sponsor conferences and workshops.

 

Marcia Pinck

Marcia Pinck, affiliated with the Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida (MHA) for 30 years, is currently contracted as Project Manager for MHA’s participation in the National Institute of Mental Health’s Outreach Partnership Program, and Coordinator of Professional Membership and Continuing Education for mental health professionals.  The Mental Health Association has been serving the community for almost 60 years, originally as MHA of Broward County and recently expanded its service area to include Dade County.  Its mission is to work for mental health and victory over mental illness and related challenges through education, prevention, advocacy, research and empowerment.

 

Rory Reid, Ph.D., LCSW

Dr. Rory Reid holds a master’s degree in Social Work and a doctorate degree in clinical psychology with a dual emphasis in neuropsychology and marriage and family therapy. He now holds the position of Assistant Professor and Research Psychologist with the Gambling Studies Program in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA, and is part of the Harvard Medical School Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program at Harvard University. Dr. Reid has worked with hundreds of patients over the past decade seeking help for impulse control disorders including problem gambling and hypersexual behavior.

 

Lori Rugle, Ph.D., NCGC-II

Dr. Lori Rugle has been working in the problem gambling field for 30 years. She has managed problem gambling treatment programs within the Veterans Administration, in the private sector and within state systems. She has participated in research on neuropsychological assessment of pathological gamblers, neuroimaging and genetic studies of problem gambling, psychopharmacological treatment of problem gambling, gambling problems and coping among homeless veterans, trauma history and problem gambling.  She has consulted with state and national governments on developing and implementing problem gambling treatment programs.  She is currently Program Director for the University of Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling.

 

Margery Runyan, Ph.D., LCSW, LCAP, SAP, ACSW

Dr. Margery Runyan has practiced social work for 45 years, beginning as a VISTA Volunteer, became a Head Start family worker, and hired by the State of NJ as child abuse caseworker in 1975. Promoted to contract administrator, she was instrumental in developing programs including DV shelters, child care and senior centers. She worked for the Human Services Commissioner until her retirement after 25 years. She’s taught social work methods and human services at universities in New Mexico, and opened her clinical practice in 2006 specializing in addiction, trauma, depression and anxiety using cognitive models, Jungian practices, meditation and hypnosis.

 

Maria Lorts Sachs, JD, MA

Senator Maria Lorts Sachs is a member of the Florida Senate Regulated Industries Committee which oversees gaming. She is the daughter of a World War II veteran and an immigrant mother.  As a prosecutor, Ms. Sachs rose through the ranks to Major Crimes Prosecutor, became Division Chief of Drug Trafficking and Narcotics Trade for Broward County’s State Attorney’s Office, and thereafter worked for a commercial litigation firm before opening her own law firm. In 2006, Ms. Sachs won a seat in the Florida House of Representatives before being elected to the Florida Senate, where she serves as Deputy Minority Whip.

 

Richard Siegel, Ph.D., LMFT

In private practice over 40 years, Dr. Siegel specializes in dissolving the persistent uncomfortable feelings that fuel depression, anxiety, phobias, addictions, PTSD, as well as Wounded Child Within issues.  Dr. Siegel also does Motivation and Performance Coaching with sports professionals from the NFL, PGA, USPTA, NCAA Teams and University Coaches. Dr. Siegel is a Psychotherapist in Deerfield Beach, Florida and can be reached at 954-420-0755.

 

Kenny Totten, MA

Kenny Totten is the former Prevention Assistant for the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling. He received his master’s degree in marriage and family therapy.  During his graduate work at the University of Central Florida, Mr. Totten’s interests ranged from psychoeducational training to developing practical tools that clinicians can use with clients.

 

Donna Zaharevitz

Donna Zaharevitz is a recovering gambler appearing on national/local news discussing gambling addiction/recovery services in Connecticut, and presented at a U.S. House of Representatives for Education Research and Treatment press conference. In 2014, she produced a video, “In Recovery, Where Are We Now, Where Do We Go From Here”, airing at the National Council on Problem Gambling’s conference and in South Africa. She is the CCPG’s Recovery Coach/ Judicial Liaison, facilitates its 24/7 Helpline, leads gambling programs in correctional facilities, and is President of the Capital Area Substance Abuse Council, and member of the NCPG’s Helpline and National Federal Affairs Committees.