Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling staff members are here to serve the public. Following are brief staff biographies:
Marlene D. Warner, MA, Executive Directoremail Marlene
Before becoming the Council's Executive Director in 2011, Marlene worked as the Council's Program Director for 10 years. Her professional experiences are in the fields of nonprofit administration and higher education in the Washington, DC area. She holds a MA from George Washington University and a BA from Gettysburg College.
Tom Luongo, MPA, Fiscal Director
Tom brings more than 28 years of experience in the fiscal sector to the Mass. Council. He’s held multiple positions in diverse settings, from state government to small businesses to non-profits. Tom holds a MPA from Suffolk University and a BA from Merrimack College.
Kathleen M. Scanlan, MA, Senior Advisor, Special Projects
Kathy has been with the Council since 1987, serving first as Program Director and later as Executive Director from 1998 to 2011. In 2011, she retired and began serving the Council in a part-time capacity on special projects. Her background is in program development, adult education and non-profit management and her expertise has been recognized with numerous awards. Kathy earned a MA from Boston College and a BA from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.
Margot Cahoon, Communications Directoremail Margot
Margot has more than 17 years of public relations experience promoting leading non-profit healthcare organizations. Prior to moving “home” to Massachusetts, Margot was the Director of Communications for a national non-profit in New Jersey. She holds a BA in Communications from the University of Rhode Island.
Francia Peguero, Fiscal Assistantemail Francia
Francia Peguero is the Council's Fiscal Assistant. When Francia was 13, she moved from the Dominican Republic to Boston. She attended English High School in Jamaica Plain and Salem State College, where she studied Business Administration. She feels that her bi-lingual Spanish and English capabilities make her a good fit for the position, as do her organizational, computer, and people skills.
Karen Sicher, Administrative Manageremail Karen
Karen began her career with the Council as a volunteer. In 2011, she became the Council’s Special Projects Assistant and she was later promoted to Administrative Manager. Her professional background includes administrative support roles in the healthcare industry, as well as experience in the non-profit sector. As a person in recovery for problem gambling, Karen brings unique understanding and compassion to the job. She’s a highly-organized, personable, go-getter who plans to use her experience and position at the Council to facilitate programs for women seeking help with gambling problems.
Victor Ortiz, MSW, LADC II, Intervention and Treatment Support Directoremail Victor
Victor worked as a Latino programming consultant to the Council for many years before his current appointment as Intervention and Treatment Support Director. His professional expertise is in the areas of child welfare and behavioral health. Victor earned his MSW from Simmons School of Social Work.
Amanda Poggenburg, Program Specialist, Prevention & Recovery
Before becoming the Program Specialist, Prevention & Recovery at the Council, Amanda served as a volunteer with AmeriCorps Vista, where she worked as the Prevention and Wellness Coordinator for the Upshur County Family Resource Network in Buckhannon, West Virginia. In the position, she had the opportunity to work with various non-profit organizations to deliver healthy lifestyle presentations and to plan fun alternative events for students. Amanda holds a BS from West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Jim Wuelfing, CPP-R, NRPP, Prevention and Recovery Consultant
Jim is a Recovery and Prevention Consultant at the Council. His areas of expertise include: cultural competency, problem gambling prevention, peer education, community organizing, spiritual growth, strategic planning, curriculum development, and stress management. Jim earned a BA from the College of the Holy Cross.
Philip S. Kopel, MA, Research and Data Directoremail Phil
Phil joined the Council with more than 27 years of market research expertise in the government sponsored lottery industry. His experience includes conducting large sample quantitative research and qualitative focus group studies and monitoring changing dynamics in the gambling industry. At the Council, he uses this knowledge to collect, analyze, interpret and disseminate science-based data concerning gambling and gambling-related disorders. Phil earned a MA from Kent State University and a BS from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Scott Melissa, Human Resources / Workforce Development Manageremail Scott
Scott possesses over 12 years of relationship building and business development experience, including six years of experience working directly in nonprofit administration. In his role at Council, Scott’s responsibilities include implementing and maintaining professional development programs and creating employment opportunities through corporate partnerships. Scott earned a BS from the University of Massachusetts.
Jodie A. Nealley, MS, Program Specialistemail Jodie
Jodie volunteered for the Council before becoming a Program Specialist. She previously worked in Higher Education, including positions in Residence Life, Admissions, Academic Advising, and Student Activities. Her life experience, both in and out of the professional arena, provides unique skill sets and insight into her role on the Council. She holds a MS in Education from Indiana University and a BA from St. Lawrence University in NY.
Sasha C. Russell, MA, Program Specialistemail Sasha
Before coming to the Council, Sasha was an Adjunct Instructor of Sociology at a local community college. She has also worked and volunteered at various non-profits in the Boston-area. Her passion for sociology has helped open her eyes to various social injustices and problems in the society around her. This is how her road eventually led to the Council Communications Department where she helps to raise awareness about problem gambling. Sasha holds a master’s degree in Applied Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston and her BA is from Manhattanville College in NY.
Rachel Flaherty, Program Specialistemail Rachel
Rachel has worked for the Council on special events as a Contingent Employee, has been a member of the Council’s “Recovery Advisory Board”, completed the “Recovery Coach Academy” training, as well as attended and participated in various addiction and/or recovery events for the past few years. Rachel brings to the Council, a level of empathy and understanding, coupled with the motivation and drive to make a difference in the lives of those affected by the illness of compulsive gambling. Rachel received a BA in Human Services from Western Washington University.
The Mass. Council is governed by a Board of Directors. Following is a list of the fiscal year 2013 members:
President Rodney Hoffman, Esquire, Deutsch, Williams, Brooks, DeRensis, Holland & Drachman, PC, Boston
Clerk Kevin Donoghue, MBA, Principal, Donoghue Financial Services, Boston
Nancy Cummings, Braintree
Pierre Gabriel, BA, MPA, V.P. International Marketing, Caesars Entertainment
Kevin M. Grant, MPP, Vice President, The Karol Group, Boston
Steve Janssen, Mansfield
Richard McGowan, SJ, PhD, Boston College, Carroll School of Management, Chestnut Hill
Haemoon Oh, PhD, Department Head and Professor, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Eric M. Turner, MBA, Investor in private practice (former Director of Mass. State Lottery), Waban