24 Hour Confidential National Helpline
June 16 – 17 and 23 – 24, 2021 (Wed. – Thurs.) from 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm EDT
Alphabetical order by last name
Click here for the latest information on schedule and session descriptions (abstracts).
Semhar Abed is Program Manager at National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). Semhar is responsible for operations, oversight, planning, and reporting on NCPG problem gambling and responsible gambling programs. Semhar has eight years of experience working with nonprofit organizations and associations in the Washington, D.C. area. Semhar holds a Master of Science in Peace Operations Policy Program and a Dual Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Politics, and Conflict Analysis and Resolution, both from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.
Kaitlin Brown, ICGC-II, BACC is a licensed professional counselor, licensed drug and alcohol counselor, internationally certified gambling counselor, holds an international gaming disorder certificate and is a board approved clinical consultant for the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board. In her role as Director of Programs and Services for the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, Kaitlin oversees the statewide problem gambling helpline, education, prevention initiatives, and responsible gambling efforts. Kaitlin has dedicated her career to helping those affected by Gambling Disorders and continues to make it her mission to increase community awareness of the overall impact of problem gambling. Kaitlin is on the executive team for the National Council on Problem Gambling’s prevention committee, co-chair of the emerging trends subcommittee and member of the helpline & treatment committees. Kaitlin has also been able to share her knowledge and experiences regionally and nationally.
Amanda Burke, PhD works as a Prevention Specialist at Townhall II in Kent, Ohio while simultaneously functioning as an Assistant Professor at Kent State University in the School of Health Sciences. She holds dual national certifications serving as a Certified Health Education Specialist and a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Her research areas of interest include intimate partner violence, Appalachian health, community-based prevention education, and emerging trends related to marijuana, opioids, gaming, and gambling.
Michael Buzzelli is the Associate Director of the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio and Chair of the Prevention Committee for NCPG. Buzzelli coordinates workforce development for Ohio by running statewide training and Fellowship and Supervision Programs. He also works extensively with colleges and universities in the Cleveland area. In addition to Problem Gambling specific training, Buzzelli trains on mental health awareness and ethics. Buzzelli received his bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Slippery Rock University and his Master of Public Health from Kent State. He continued his education at Case Western Reserve University where he received a Master’s in Bioethics.
Stephanie Diez-Morel PhD (pronouns are she/her) is an assistant professor of graduate social work at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She has authored numerous scientific presentations and journal articles, as well as appeared in the media on a variety of radio, podcasts, and news outlets to discuss the topic of gaming disorder and other technology-based addictions. Dr. Diez-Morel is an author, academic, addiction expert, and founder of Reboot & Recover, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education, prevention, treatment, and research on gaming disorder and other technology-based addictions.
Josh Ercole is the Executive Director of Council on Compulsive Gambling of PA, Inc. A team member of CCGP since 2013, Josh has conducted hundreds of trainings throughout Pennsylvania in an effort to raise awareness of problem gambling. To date, Josh has trained thousands of casino team members, clinicians, students and other professionals about warning signs of gambling problems and available resources for help.
Judith Glynn is co-founded PRET Solutions to address complex social issues, by creating solutions in the public interest – built on research evidence, international expertise, and enabling technology. Judith’s expertise spans public policy, scientific research, and marketing. In the 1990s Judith led communications for the Ontario Government’s gambling expansion agenda. From 2000-2012 she managed the world’s largest gambling research program. Judith works with regulators, operators, treatment and public health agencies in Canada, US, and international jurisdictions including the UK and Australia. Judith holds a M.Sc. in Marketing and Consumer Studies, and advisory roles in several international gambling organizations.
Ted Hartwell has a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Texas Tech University and has been a member of the research faculty of the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Las Vegas since 1991. As a problem gambler in long-term recovery, he promotes awareness, prevention, and treatment of problem gambling for the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) as their Community Engagement Liaison. He was the 2014 Shannon L. Bybee Award recipient for his continuing work on advocacy, outreach, and research on the issue of problem gambling.
Shirley Hoak, JD, ICGC-II is an Internationally Certified Gambling Counselor II. She is currently the Peer Services Coordinator for Problem Gambling Services Rhode Island. She has worked in gambling specific treatment programs for the past 9 years and is a person in long term recovery. She brings a unique perspective of lived experience, treatment and recovery to her work. She has presented at National, Regional and State Conferences and is a sought-after speaker. She maintains an individual caseload and facilitates early and long-term recovery groups and a first responders’ group.
Julie Hynes, MA, RDN, CPS, IGDC is Executive Director of the Oregon Council on Problem Gambling. She has focused her work in the problem and responsible gambling field since 2002, with leadership roles in government, research, higher education, private and nonprofit sectors. In 2012, Julie was honored with the NCPG Wuelfing Prevention Award. She is currently Secretary of the NCPG Board of Directors, Certified Prevention Specialist and holds an International Gaming Disorder Certificate.
Daniel Kaufmann, PhD is currently the chair and organizer of the DSM-5 Taskforce for reporting on issues in research related to Video Game Disorders in the United States. This taskforce is currently working on the 2021 report on video game updates to the American Psychiatric Association and consists of leading researchers from across the world. In his academic role, Dr. Kaufmann serves in the rank of Assistant Faculty at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ and is also the founding member of the research team known as F.O.R.C.E. (Formulating Online Research in Counselor Education) and chair of multiple university committees.
Judy McCormick has worked in prevention for over 20 years. She’s been Director of Prevention Services for Youth at Delaware Council on Gambling Problems since 2010. Judy has provided education on the dangers of under-aged gambling to over 17,000 high school students with an evolving, data-driven presentation she created. After clinical training in problematic gaming, the DCGP Youth Program expanded to middle schools with a presentation about video games and gambling. For COVID-19, Judy and John Schmidt co-created a virtually led video presentation for all secondary levels entitled “Kids, Video Games, and Gambling.
George Mladenetz, ICGC-II has worked in the addictions and mental health fields for over 40 years. George possesses a master’s degree in counseling from The College of NJ. He has been licensed as a Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor since 2005 and is an International Certified Gambling Counselor-II. He serves as the treasurer for the IGCCB. In 2017, Dr. Mee-Lee published an article in a Tips & Topics written by George regarding stigma and gambling disorder. George retired from CCGNJ in 2020 after 6 years of service. He currently works as a Clinical Consultant and Trainer.
Nancy Murray, CAGS, MA, LCDP, ICOGS holds a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Behavioral Health and has been a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor for over 30 years. Ms. Murray is also an International Certified Co-Occurring Gambling Specialist. Nancy has worked in the addiction field since 1978. She has experience in all levels of care and Medication Assisted Treatment. She is the past VP of a network of MAT’s across the US; the past Sr. Director of Operations for a Behavioral Health Network spanning 7 states; and the Past President of the RI Council on Problem Gambling. Nancy is currently working at the RI Lottery as the Problem Gambling Program Manager where she is responsible for oversight and management of the RI Lottery’s Play Responsibly Program including contracts for the 24/7 Helpline and Treatment Services, development and implementation of training programs for employees and retailers and coordinates research projects on problem gambling. Her Memberships include RI Council on Problem Gambling- President 2015-2018; RI Council on Problem Gambling – Treasurer- 2018-2020; National Council on Problem Gambling; National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers; American Association for Counseling and Development; International Association of Trauma Professionals and the Association of Problem Gambling Services Administrators She has served as Adjunct Faculty at both RI College and Johnson and Wales University. Ms. Murray also worked for CARF, as a surveyor for 10 years. Ms. Murray conducted the first research project in RI on Gambling in 1996 and that work has been published several times. 1996 A Study of Adolescent Gambling Patterns October 1995 – May 1996. Providence, RI: Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, School of Graduate Studies, Rhode Island College.
Janine Robinson is the Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices and the Managing Director of RG Plus at the Responsible Gambling Council of Canada. Specializing in the field of responsible gambling since 1998, she is regarded as a leader in RG programming, education, training and policy development. Her work has ranged from providing direct treatment to people affected by problem gambling to delivering policy guidance internationally. Her advanced degrees in adult education, clinical care and community development, combined with her passionate interest in culture and gambling, bring a 360° perspective to RG solutions.
Loreen Rugle, PhD, ICGC-II/BACC brings 30 + years of experience in the field of problem and responsible 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.
Dan Trolaro is the Assistant Executive Director for 800-GAMBLER in NJ. He has spoken at dozens of events around the state and country about the “Dis” Ease of Addiction, emerging trends in video gaming and the convergence and connection with disordered gambling. Whether speaking on prevention strategies, emerging trends, responsible gaming or recovery resources, Dan discusses the concept of problem gambling, addiction switching, co-occurrence, and behaviors associated with this devastating addiction.
Keith Whyte became the Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) in October 1998. Previously, he served as Director of Research for the American Gaming Association where Whyte was responsible for research and public policy issues, including problem gambling. His prior experience includes the American Bar Association’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities where he dealt with policy issues relating to civil rights, human rights, healthcare, and immigration law. Whyte began his career working on healthcare policy in the office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Keith graduated from Hampden-Sydney College with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Certificate in International Relations. He also studied at Leiden University, the Netherlands.