Every two years, NAADAC members have the opportunity to select officers who will determine the direction of the Association, and represent their geographical regions on the NAADAC Executive Committee. All 2017-2019 terms begin on September 26, 2017, after the NAADAC Annual Conference in Denver, CO.

In 2017, elections will take place for the following Regional Vice-President positions:

  • North Central (Represents IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, & SD)
  • Mid-Central (Represents IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, & WI)
  • Southeast (Represents AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, & TN)
  • Southwest (Represents AZ, CA, CO, HI, NM, NV, & UT)

Voting is open April 30 - May 30, 2017. All NAADAC members are eligible and encouraged to vote for the candidates within their region. Members need to sign into the NAADAC website and click on the voting link in the Members-only Portal.

Download Voting Instructions

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If you have any questions about the election process, please email NAADAC's Director of Operations & Finance, HeidiAnne Werner, or call 1-800-548-0497 x102.

Candidate Statements

Here are your Regional Vice-President nominations and their candidate statements.


North Central Regional Vice-President (2017-2019)

Serving Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota

James "JJ" Johnson Jr., BS, ICS, LADC, NCC II



Summary of NAADAC activities

JJ has been a member of NAADAC over 20 years. His involvement started in WIsconsin with WAADAC and he has been a part of this organization ever since. He moved to Minnesota in 2001 and revived the then struggling, almost defunct affiliate slowly but steadily. For the next 10 years he worked sometimes alone growing membership and building the BOD. He served as president of the affiliate for 10 years until in the last 2 years has been able to step back and let a functioning board continue the work. Minnesota Addiction Professionals (MNAP) is Thriving. He is a tireless advocacte of NAADAC. 

Philosophy Statement on the Future of NAADAC

I have believed in the mission of NAADAC from my first introduction in WIsconsin by leaders that are still active in NAADAC today. I felt the dedication of the BOD every time i would attend the annual conference. During the first public policy conference i attended in Washington DC I knew where i wanted to devote my energy. NAADAC spoke for the Addiction Professionals. Addiction Professionals face a litany of issues from a shrinking workforce to navigating reimbursement. Its critical that we have a national voice that can mentor the country during these political and financial difficulties and NAADAC is the obvious choice. I think NAADAC will be the organization that continues to lead us in all things Addictiona and Recovery related. I think the best chance for our profession to unite is through NAADAC. 

Other Qualifications for RVP-NORTH CENTRAL

JJ has been in the profession of addiction treatment and recovery sinec 1990. An Addiction COunselor starting in 1991 in LaCrosse, WI. During the ten years he served as a primary counselor in a residential facility and was a trainer and consultant to a project which was responsible for starting outpatient alcohol treatment programs in six rural cities in Northwestern Russia. The program still operating today. In 2001 he was recruited to New Ulm, MN to manage substance abuse programs. During that time he expanded MICD services and developed a homogeneous model of treatment for three country Drug Courts. In 2015 he began his current position as Program Manager for HealthEast. JJ has always been an ally and volunteer for the recovery community. 

Mid-Central Regional Vice-President (2017-2019)

Serving Illinois, Indiana, Kentucy, Michigan, Ohio & Wisconsin

Gisela Berger, PhD, MAC, LPC, NCC

Mequon, WI


Summary of NAADAC activities

Having been an active member for many years and in several states, I was recently honored to have been chosen as Vice-President and then President of RAP-WI (Recovery and Addiction Professionals of Wisconsin).

During this time, I revived (and renamed) a dying organization. Today, though small, it is a vibrant part of the addictions treatment community in Wisconsin. Currently, it is the only organization representing treatment providers.  RAP-WI advocates for our interests in the state legislature, holds twice-yearly conferences, is active in providing networking opportunities for professionals in the field, and allows members the opportunity to gain leadership experience. This revived, energetic association is the result of many years of hard work, including empowering motivated people toward making RAP-WI the premier organization for addiction treatment providers in the state.

On another note, I have been privileged to be a presenter at several local and state-wide conferences as well as several webinars for NAADAC. These presentations are an honor as I enjoy connecting with many, varied addiction treatment professionals. 

Philosophy Statement on the Future of NAADAC

I believe that NAADAC has positioned itself as the premier provider of educational resources, specialty credentialing, and advocacy efforts from the local to the national level. NAADAC stands alone in providing these many benefits in a cost effective way to everyone working as an addiction professional.

I believe that the current challenge is in crafting an identity that serves to both inform the public and potential clients of our many, varied services as well as indicate to governing and legislating bodies our professionalism. Our field has come a long way in promoting best practices, integrating medical advances, and promoting psychological well-being in every sense of the word. The coming years will challenge us through the current opiate epidemic through the coming challenge to our authority under the guise of co-occurring disorders. Legislative funds are no longer guaranteed and insurance funds are also a thing of the past. Therefore, it behooves us to look for alternate funding streams and to share this knowledge across the many states and municipalities represented under NAADAC’s umbrella.

These are the many challenges we face, and if we face them together we will all be stronger and our clients healthier!

Other Qualifications for RVP-MID-CENTRAL

I have served clients in many stages of recovery, have supervised clinicians in many stages of development, and have taught both undergraduate and graduate level students across many disciplines. I still believe that addiction professionals are experts and better trained than any other profession to work with substance use disorders. Our competency and our knowledge far surpasses that of any other profession. It is through this diverse experience that I come to you asking for the opportunity to both build my region’s identity and to represent us to the national governing body.

Southeast Regional Vice-President (2017-2019)

Serving Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, & Tennessee

Angela Maxwell, MS, CSAPC

Browns Summit, NC

Summary of NAADAC activities

Angela has served as the North Carolina Affiliate State President (2010 - 2014) and currently serves as its immediate past president. She currently serves at the Southeast Regional VIce - President (2015 - present) for NAADAC wich includes serving on the NAADAC Board of DIrectors (2010 - present), NAADAC Executive Committee (2015 - present) and NAADAC Membership Committee (2015 - presesnt). Angela also served on the Student Assistant Professional Workgroup for the National Student Assistance Committtee (2010 - 2011). 

Philosophy Statement on the Future of NAADAC

I believe that the future of NAADAC is bright! As a community mobilizer, I recognize the power in maximizing collaborative efforts. Over the past seven years, I have witnessed NAADAC's collaborative efforts with SAMHSA, CADCA, INCASE and other national organizations. These efforts have kept the substance use profession on the radar and at the table during critical legislative times. Collaboration with higher education institutions continues to expand education/ training opportunities for emerging professionals. In addition to collaborative efforts, NAADAC had worked to remain financially stable and has judiciously used its resources. To continue its positive trajectory, NAADAC remain connected and relevant to the mission of state affiliates; assess the needs of its affiliates and work collaboratively with affiliates to meet those needs and examine how it represents and engages the full continuum of substance use disorder professionals it serves (from primary prevention to medication assisted treatments to aftercare services, etc). 

Other Qualifications for RVP-SOUTHEAST

Angela Maxwell is the Prevention and Early Intervention Services Director for Alcohol and Drug Services. She oversees services in ten counties and has worked in substance use prevention 20 years. Angela has a B.A. Degree in English (UNC-Chapel Hill), M.S. Degree in Agency Counseling (NC A&T State University) and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies (NC A&T State University). After completing her MS, she worked with the local mental center serving youth with severe emotional and behavioral disorders. Angela is a Certified Substance Abuse Prevention Consultant (CSAPC) and has served as an adjunct professor for Guilford Technical Community College. Angela serves on several boards across North Carolina to including the NC Substance Abuse Prevention Providers' Associafion (Board Chair). Angela has received two statewide substance abuse professional of the year awards (2008, 2010).

James A. Holder III, MA, MAC, LPC, LPC-S

Effingham, SC

Summary of NAADAC activities

Jim is the past chair of the NCC-AP, having served in that position for two terms, ending his tenure in 2012. In that capacity, he was a non-voting member of the NAADAC Board of Directors. Prior to that he served 6 years as a Commissioner on the Certification Board. From 201 1 to 2014, Jim sat on the IC and RC Advisory Council representing the NCC-AP. He chaired the international Committee of NAADAC. He represented NAADAC on the update committee for TAP 21 "The Addiction Counselors Competencies". In 1999, he won the NAADAC Counselor of the Year Award. In 1999 * 2000, he sat on the SC Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors representing SCAADAC. He served as the Vice-President of SCAADAC and was the Legislative Chair participating in the NAADAC Legislative conferences in Washington, DC.

Philosophy Statement on the Future of NAADAC

I believe it is essential for addictions professionals to have a voice in Washington and in their state legislatures. it is imperative to build on the progress we have made with certification, parity and licensure. Being professionals In the addiction field it is necessary that we continue our training and research to insure quality care for those with substance use disorders. NAADAC is a major provider of quality training and is a needed source of information, to include cutting edge prevention, intervention, and treatment practices. NAADAC is our liaison for our national policy and congressional decision making. I strongly feel that as Addictions Professionals it is our responsibility to find ways to educate and merge with Physicians, Nurse Practitioners and other health care providers as part of a treatment team and as consultants. There is no better time to accomplish this when we take into account the opiate epidemic nationally. The focus is on Physicians to make changes in their clinical care and we need to be there to assist.

Other Qualifications for RVP-SOUTHEAST

Jim has 40 years of experience in the provision of quality counseling care in outpatient, inpatient, and IOP services, both as a counselor and as a program director. He was awarded the title of Honorary Lt. Colonel Aid-de-Camp with the Alabama State Militia in 1986 for training provided for professionals in the state. In 2016 he was awarded the Arliss Epps Social Interest Award from the SC Society of Adlerian Psychology. He is actively involved in Sobriety Enhancement research with Francis Marion University, Florence, SC. He continues to provide training at an International level on substance use disorder treatment.

Tom Watkins, CAC II, NCAC, SAP

Gainesville, GA

Summary of NAADAC activities

Tom Watkins currently serves as the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities, DUI Intervention Program state Regulatory Officer. He has worked in the addiction field over 25 years providing detox, inpatient and outpatient senvices. He was instrumental at helping form one of the earliest Accountability Courts in Northeast Georgia Serving as CEO of an outpatient clinic he designed treatment programs to meet the needs of mixed population adults with addictive needs at affordable pricing. In his rote for the state he provides direction for best practice treatment guidelines to over 650 treatment providers. Finally, he gives back to the industry by serving on non-profit boards. His contributions to client and providers have been recognized by various awards over the years.

Philosophy Statement on the Future of NAADAC

I believe that the future of NAADAC can benefit from Tom Watkins inclusion as a nominee given his past experience, knowledge in the field and current capacity as a Regulatory officer. He can provide insight to trends in the industry and identify needs of large and small agencies alike. He speaks with a voice of compassion balanced with sound judgment proven by past leadership roles. I feel his commitment to addiction and promoting the standards of our industry are evidenced by service and professionalism.

Other Qualifications for RVP-SOUTHEAST

Education is a baseline of qualifications which include bachelors and masters level but not limited to certifications he has held. Serving the DOT industry he is an active SAP (Substance Abuse Professional). Serving the Criminal Justice arena he worked in law enforcement and held a CCJS (Certified Criminal Justice Specialist). Given his acquired education and experience he heid a MAC (Master Addiction Counselor). Seeking to become a counselor with varied cross training he became certified as a Family Violence counselor and certified as a FVIP (Family Violence Intervention Provider). Finally, he and his wife have served in Mexico working with underprivileged children suffering from families with addictive disorders teaching English as a second language.

Southwest Regional Vice-President (2017-2019)

Serving Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, & Utah

Julio C. Landero, PhD, MAC, MSW, LCADC, LISAC, NCGC

Henderson, NV

Summary of NAADAC activities:

President of Nevada Association: SNAAP for two different terms . During that time he conducted state conferences, with scholarships for students for up to two years, and was involved with NAADAC Southwest Regional Conference. Active as a trainer, therapist and administrator of his own private practice. He has been in the addiction profession since 1990 and involved with NAADAC for over 25 years as a member, on the state board and state president for the Nevada chapter of NAADAC two times. He helped lobbied for the Nevada licensure. Five years later continue working with lobbyist to pass the License Clinical Alcohol Drugs Counseling in NV. I am a Clinical Supervisor in NV .1 and am committed to the addiction profession for life.

Philosophy Statement on the Future of NAADAC

My philosophy on the future of NAADAC we need to continue trying to get licensure in all the states to get parity in payment like others counseling professions. Creating new programs to be able to attract more students in the addiction profession. 

Other Qualifications for RVP-SOUTHwest
  1. Private practice for 22 years starting as a counselor intern at ABC Therapy moving up to become a CEO of the company directing seven offices in NV and AZ.
  2. Trained and educated in Hispanic/Latino addiction issues within the community.
  3. Completed PhD in Clinical Psychology specializing in Juvenal addiction for minorities.
  4. Became certify in Domestic Violence counseling and Gambling Problems in Nevada.
  5. Heavily involved in self-help groups in the community for 26 years.


Jerome L. Synold, MAC

Carlsbad, CA


Summary of NAADAC activities:

I have been a member for over 20 years . Participated on a number of local NAADAC activities. Member of the NAADAC executive bard for 2 years. Member of AAPAC in California.

Philosophy Statement on the Future of NAADAC

I believe the future for NAADAC is similar to what it currently does addressing treatment, certification and training issues on the national level. My hope would be that it will address a way to expand their certifications to states like California by cooperation with CCAPP. I still support the idea of a NAADAC state affiate having voluntary national membership. I believe I have the experience and the passion for this field that couid contribute to current and future NAADAC initiatives

Other Qualifications for RVP-SOUTHwest

Director of Treatment Navy Drug and Alcohol for over 10 years. Director of the Navy's Drug and Alcohol Counselor Training Program for 15 years. CAADAC certification chair. Executive board member of CCAPP helped me become very familar with both the state and national needs of counselors and clients. Maintain current with counselor needs as Coordinator and Instructor of the University of California, San Diego counselor training.