Candidate’s NCPG Membership Group
Candidate’s Address (State)
What is your Interest in serving on the Board? What skills can you bring to the Board?
My interest in serving on the Board is twofold. First, it arises from my commitment to the purpose and vision of NCPG. Second, I believe I possess the knowledge, expertise and energy to make a significant contribution to the Board.
My support for the NCPG is based on both my professional and personal experiences with problem gambling. I am the Judicial Outreach and Development Director for the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems (“DCGP”), a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (“CPRS”) and an International Certified Gambling Counselor (“ICGC-I”). Further, I am nearly four years in recovery from gambling addiction and well acquainted with the devastating consequences to the gambler and loved ones caused by the addiction. I recognize the need to advocate for programs and services to assist people and families affected by problem gambling on a national level and feel my skills will bring value to the Board. I was a trial lawyer for more than thirty years and the managing partner of a law firm. My advocacy and problem solving skills can further the NCPG’s objectives. Additionally, I served on several non-profit boards, including Albert Einstein Academy, a Jewish Day School, where I served as Board President for two years.
What is your vision for NCPG, and what goals do you have for the organization?
My vision for NCPG is to lead a national effort to protect and improve health and wellness by reducing the personal, social and economic consequences of problem gambling.
The goals I have for the organization include the following:
What relevant leadership and/or committee roles have you held in NCPG, state Affiliate or related organizations?
I am the Judicial Outreach and Development Director and an Advisory Board Member at DCGP. I led an effort to educate judges and lawyers on problem gambling in Delaware’s criminal justice system. I developed a judge’s bench card with information on problem gambling, including available treatment services. The bench card has been placed in every courtroom in the state. I organized and participated in a problem gambling presentation for the Delaware Attorney General’s Office and Public Defender’s Office as well as CLE programs for attorneys sponsored by the Delaware State Bar Association, Office of Disciplinary Counsel, and Delaware Trial Lawyers Association.
I chaired a state-wide program on problem gambling among service members and veterans and successfully cultivated leaders in government, law enforcement and the criminal justice system to participate as speakers. Moreover, I worked with members of the Delaware Judiciary to develop and implement a problem gambling screening program for justice involved veterans in Delaware’s Veterans’ Treatment Courts.
I participated in the past two NCPG Advocacy Days; was a lead presenter at last year’s NCPG National Conference; and gave a keynote in March at a problem gambling symposium hosted by the Arizona Department of Gaming.
What ideas and experience do you have that can help NCPG grow its membership and fundraising?
One way an organization can grow its membership and fundraising is to increase its visibility in the community. Increasing visibility gets more people interested and involved in the organization’s mission. It causes people to recognize the importance of the organization and attracts people who believe in the organization’s raison d’ etre.
In my view, NCPG is uniquely challenged to increase visibility for two reasons. First, much of the public fails to recognize problem gambling as a mental health disorder. They see problem gambling as a personal failing, affecting relatively few people, and thus there’s no urgency to address the issue. Second, many people who would normally be willing to volunteer time and resources to combat addiction are more inclined to focus on substances. They, like the general public, need to be educated on problem gambling, it’s connection with other addictions and its devastating effects.
An effective method to increase visibility is introducing the organization to other organizations and form partnerships for a common purpose. For example, if NCPG forges partnerships with other organizations in the recovery community, its work will get in front of a new group of people who may have an interest in joining and contributing to NCPG.
Do you have any personal or professional conflicts that would prevent you from engaging fully in advocacy or fundraising? If so, please describe them.
How long have you been a member of NCPG and what led you to join initially?
I have been a member of NCPG since May 2017. I initially joined because I work for DCGP, an affiliate member. I also had an interest in the resources NCPG provides because I am in recovery.
Jeﬀ Wasserman was a litigation attorney in Delaware for nearly 33 years. In August 2015, he was transferred to disability inactive status due to gambling disorder. Currently, Jeff is the Judicial Outreach and Development Director for the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems where he leads eﬀorts to raise awareness of gambling addiction in the criminal justice system. He also provides peer support services to problem gamblers and takes calls on a problem gambling helpline. Jeff volunteers for the Pennsylvania Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers and the Delaware Lawyers Assistance Program.
Jeff holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Rhode Island; Master’s in Public Administration from New York University; and a Juris Doctor from Delaware Law School. He is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) and an International Certified Gambling Counselor (ICGC-I).
Jeﬀ has been a presenter or keynote speaker for various organizations and institutions including, the Arizona Department of Gaming, Delaware State Bar Association, Montana State Bar Association, the National Council on Problem Gambling, Delaware Law School and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. Jeﬀ has been interviewed by local and national news outlets on problem gambling and co-hosts All In: The Addicted Gambler’s Podcast.