Board of Directors

2017-2018

Chuck Gathard, President
Vanessa Wellmann, Secretary
Brad Pope, Treasurer
Mike Harris
Abby Medcalf, PhD
Dawn Nickel, PhD
Paula Viragh Williams

Chuck Gathard

Chuck Gathard

President


Chuck Gathard is a strategic internal communications consultant and produces culture building campaigns for international Fortune 50 companies. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He is in long-term recovery and lives in Marin with his wife and son.

Chuck served as an adviser since 2015 and joined the board in 2016.

Vanessa Wellmann

Secretary


Vanessa is a highly successful business development and international affairs professional with ample experience in managing major projects and initiatives in both the private and public sectors. She worked several years in Latin America later moving to the United Kingdom to serve as First Consul General of Colombia to the United Kingdom. Further to her diplomatic work, she joined the Economic and Development Team of the Mayor of London, where she advised the Mayor on corporate social responsibility strategy and built and managed significant and high level relationships on behalf of the Mayor of London with large private sector employers in London.

Now, in San Francisco USA, where she resides with a young family, she is the Chief Operating Officer of Lava Mae, a nonprofit mobile hygiene service for the homeless populations which has a high number of people struggling with the disease of alcoholism and addiction.

Vanessa’s educational background is in Law, with a Masters degree in Diplomatic and International Studies from the University of London.

Vanessa has served on the COR Board since 2016.

Brad

Brad Pope

Treasurer


Brad Pope is a financial services executive with over 25 years of professional experience in all aspects of financial management. He has served in senior leadership roles covering portfolio management, investment strategy, marketing, communications, client service and product development. Brad is the co-founder of Dobot, an app to effortlessly save, invest and give from your phone. He was a Managing Director with BlackRock where he lead iShares Sales Strategy Global Investment Communications. A native of Texas, Brad lives in Marin with his wife and their two sons. Brad is grateful to be in long-term recovery.

Brad has served on the COR Board since 2014.

Abby Medcalf, PhD

Director


Abby Medcalf, PhD is a psychologist, motivational speaker and trainer with almost 30 years of experience working with both the private and public sector. Due to her diverse background in counseling and business, Abby brings a unique perspective to all relationship and addiction issues, both work and personal.

Best known for combining the latest research with her hands-on experience, Abby synthesizes large tracts of information into easy to follow techniques and practical tools that anyone can use to bring about crucial change in their life including sobriety, career/school, relationships and health. Abby has had multiple roles at drug and alcohol treatment facilities and has been affiliated with New Bridge Foundation since 1998. She uses her personal experience with addiction to bring warmth and humor to individuals and families looking for recovery.

Abby has been interviewed as an addiction and relationship expert on ABC, CBS and Fox news and has served on panels for the California Magistrate and Supreme Court justices as they debate the question of whether to incarcerate or rehabilitate individuals with drug and alcohol problems.

Abby was the recent recipient of the Inspiration Tribute at the 3rd Annual Miracles Breakfast sponsored by Constellation Behavioral Health. This award honors the Northern California professional who has created innovations in the treatment of addictive and co-occurring disorders.

Abby was elected to the COR Board in 2017.

Paula Viragh Williams

Director


Paula Viragh Williams is Founder and CEO of the Mortar Foundation, a San Francisco philanthropic organization providing financial support to local organizations that address Mental Health, Recovery & Substance Abuse, Sex Trafficking and Homelessness. Because the issues we care about are often hidden by stigma and shame, Mortar’s primary purpose is to shine light into shadows, to See the Unseen.

A graduate from The Chicago Art Institute, Paula is an artist who finds beauty not only in painting and sculpture, but in people and places others avoid. Paula’s full-time commitment to philanthropy began in 2003 in her adopted hometown San Francisco, where she lives with her husband, three daughters, and two dogs. Paula is most interested in providing support to those serving special needs of children and teens. Her desire to help others has evolved over the years as the result of her own struggles and subsequent long-term recovery. She is grateful to be in a position to give back.

Paul has served as a Leadership Circle Member since 2016 and joined the board in 2017.

center for open recovery

Mike Harris

Director


Bio coming soon.

center for open recovery

Dawn Nickel, PhD

Director


Bio coming soon.

Advisers

Allan R. Cohen
Patrick Corrigan
Mark Graham
Diane Hambrick, MD
Zack Lynch
William Morrison
Scott Sowle
Shirley Wantland
Sonnee Weedn, PhD

Allan R. Cohen


Allan R. Cohen, DBA from Harvard Business School has been at Babson College since 1982. Professor Cohen is Distinguished Professor in Global Leadership, in residence at the San Francisco campus. He previously completed seven years as vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty, and two years as interim dean of the graduate school. He has been awarded the college’s highest honor, The Walter Carpenter Prize for distinguished service.

His career has been devoted to increasing the leadership and management skills of practicing and aspiring managers, and building innovative academic organizations. A consultant on organizational change and leadership for companies as large as GE and as entrepreneurial as Access Technology, he helped found the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, and has also lived/worked in the Philippines, England and Holland, and consulted globally.

He is coauthor of numerous books widely used by managers: best seller Managing for Excellence; award-winning Alternative Work Arrangements; Power Up: Transforming Organizations through Shared Leadership; Influence without Authority; and Influencing Up. He edited The Portable MBA in Management. And his co-authored textbook, Effective Behavior in Organizations, (7 editions) helped transform the teaching of Organizational Behavior. Latest is the co-authored Entrepreneurs in Every Generation: How Successful Family Businesses Develop Their Next Leaders.

Areas of expertise include leadership and influence, educational methods, cross-functional teams, family business, corporate entrepreneurship, and strategic change. He has served on the Boards of non-profits including First Place for Youth, Vinfen, Families for Depression Awareness, and the Cambridge School of Weston.

See web page: www.influencewithutauthority.com

Patrick Corrigan


Patrick Corrigan is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. His research examines psychiatric disability and the impact of stigma on recovery and rehabilitation. Dr. Corrigan developed and now leads the National Consortium on Stigma and Empowerment (NCSE), which focuses on increasing self-determination and empowerment for people with psychiatric disability.

Dr. Corrigan has served as Principal Investigator on multiple NIH grants, including an NIMH Constituency Outreach and Education Program for mental Illness and substance abuse. He also helped develop and test a program to decrease stigma of primary health care (PHC) providers toward people with mental illness and substance use and worked on a Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant to reduce psychiatric hospitalizations through screening and outreach.

Dr. Corrigan has written more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, including on the management of substance abuse in schizophrenia, cognitive behavioral strategies for persons with mental illness and substance abuse, and employer concerns about people with substance abuse. He is editor emeritus of the American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, and editor of a new journal published by the American Psychological Association, Stigma and Health. Corrigan has authored or edited fifteen books, most recently, The Stigma of Disease and Disability.

Mark Graham


Mark Graham is the Director of the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive. He was formerly Senior Vice President & General Manager of several business units of the NBCUniversal News Group and Senior Vice President, Technology at iVillage. Mark co-founded Rojo Networks, an early RSS aggregation and reputation enhanced personal news service. Prior, he led business development and technology for The WELL, and developed the first web-based interface for online forums. He also served as President of the Internet Service Provider Whole Earth Networks. As an early internet pioneer, Mark was responsible for building AOL’s first interface for Internet based services, and also managed technical operations for the US side of the US-Soviet email venture Sovam Teleport. Mark served as President of the Board for the National Council on Alcoholism and other Drug Addictions – Bay Area and led it’s repositioning to Center for Open Recovery.

Mark served on the COR Board between 2010-2017.

Zack Lynch


Zack Lynch is the co-founder and General Partner at JAZZ Venture Partners who is investing companies developing experiential technology (XTech) to improve human performance. Zack is the author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World. He is the founder and Chairman of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization, a global trade association representing companies involved in neuroscience, brain research institutes and patient advocacy groups. He was also the co-founder of NeuroInsights, a market research firm that advises global organizations on the impact of neurotechnology on business, government and society. Mr. Lynch serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, Center for Neuroeconomic Studies at Claremont Graduate University, the Center for Neuroscience and Society at the University of Pennsylvania and the Institute for Global Futures. Zack served as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for Center for Open Recovery between 2014-2017. Zack lives in San Francisco with his wife and their children.

Zack served on the COR Board between 2014-2017.

William “Bill” Morrison


Bill is the CEO and Founder of Constellation Behavioral Health.  Bill founded Constellation to pursue his passion for helping others turn their lives around and find joy through a life in recovery. Having experienced several treatment programs both personally as well as a family member, Bill felt there was an opportunity to “raise the bar” on the standard of care in the addiction treatment industry.  Today, Constellation is nationally recognized for its high quality of care, state of the art psychological testing and comprehensive approach to treating addiction, psychiatric and co-occurring disorders. Prior to Constellation, Bill worked for eight years as a Wall Street research analyst focusing on consumer Internet/media businesses. Most recently, Bill was a Partner and Senior Research Analyst at ThinkEquity, where he re-launched their Internet and media franchise. Prior to ThinkEquity, Bill was a Managing Director at JMP Securities and a Senior Associate at Salomon Smith Barney.  Before working as a research analyst, Bill worked for Bowman Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and Platinum Healthcare, a Chicago-based healthcare software startup. Bill holds a BA from Colgate University and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Bill served on the NCA Board between 2012-2014.

Scott Sowle


Scott is the Founder and Executive Director of Muir Wood Adolescent and Family Services. Described by best-selling author Kathy Ketcham as a “a place of light and hope, where kindness, trust and respect are established as the keystones of life-long recovery,” Muir Wood provides adolescents and their families struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues, evidence-based residential and outpatient program options in Northern California. Muir Wood is nationally recognized for its’ clinical sophistication, gender-separate treatment model, psychological testing, and comprehensive approach to treating dual diagnosis. Prior to Muir Wood, Scott served as Founder and Executive Director of Newport Academy launching that programs residential, outpatient, and sober high schools in Orange County, Executive Director of Visions Adolescent Program in Los Angeles helping launch that programs residential and outpatient programs, Vice President of Hythiam where Scott was instrumental in launching and managing Hythiam’s outpatient programs across the U.S., Program Director for one of the largest inpatient psychiatric and chemical dependency treatment program in southern California, and as a teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District working with special needs children. Scott has worked in the field of substance abuse and mental health treatment for over 30 years, has served on a number of advisory boards, is a published author of many articles specific to adolescent care, and is active in the community and passionate advocate for comprehensive and caring treatment options for those struggling with mental and substance abuse. Scott holds a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Shirley Wantland


Shirley Wantland is the co-founder of Recovery Consultants LLC, which provides a full continuum of services to individuals & families struggling with alcohol/substance abuse, mental health, and behavioral issues. She graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas with a Bachelors of Science in Biology and Psychology. She has been in the healthcare industry for the past 10 years with experience in the pharmaceutical & behavioral health industries. Prior to co-founding her current company, Shirley worked at CRC Health Group as a Regional Outreach Specialist in Northern California, which ignited her passion for working with people in crisis. She is dedicated to serving and advocating for those who feel shamed and stigmatized by addiction or mental health issues. Shirley served as President of COR’s Board of Directors from 2015 to 2017. Originally from Oklahoma, she has enjoyed her relocation to the Bay Area. She resides in Marin County with her husband and 2 daughters and enjoys cooking, entertaining, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Shirley served as President of the COR Board between 2015-2017. Prior to that she served on teh NCA Board since 2013.

Sonnee D. Weedn, PhD


Sonnee D. Weedn, Ph.D. is a clinical and forensic psychologist practicing in Marin and Orange County, CA. She maintains offices in Novato and Newport Beach. She is certified by the American Psychological Association in the treatment of alcoholism and chemical dependency and by IITAP in the treatment of sex addiction.

In addition to her psychology practice, Dr. Weedn provides continuing education and training for mental health and healthcare professionals.

Since 2004, Dr. Weedn has provided in-depth psychological assessment of patients at chemical dependency treatment centers.

In addition, she has teamed with Dr. Yvonne Cagle, NASA astronaut to form the DSR-30 (Deep Space Research) committee and consortium between NASA and Fordham University providing behavioral health protocols for the astronauts going to Mars in 2030. Neuro-engineering and repair, as developed by Curtis Cripe, Ph.D. is part of her office practice and may be utilized by the 2030 astronauts.

Most recently, Dr. Weedn was invited by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to present her work at the Tibetan Medical Society (Men-Tsee-Khang) Conference in Dharmsala, India in 2015.

She is the author of Many Blessings: A Tapestry of Accomplished African American Women, and co-wrote two chapters in the textbook, Making Advances: A Comprehensive Treatment Guide for Female Sex and Love Addicts.