The NAADAC Public Policy Committee (PPC) is appointed by the NAADAC President and assists with the work of the NAADAC Government Relations Department. The Public Policy Committee aims to establish and promote the legislative and public policy initiatives of the NAADAC organization.

Its objectives are
  • to establish a legislative agenda that promotes the needs of the addiction professional at the state and national levels;
  • to develop and distribute relevant position statements, white papers, legislative agenda guide, and other public policy papers for the education and advocacy of addiction focused issues;
  • to conduct an annual public policy conference and/or workshops that promote, educate and train on the public policy agenda of NAADAC;
  • to help educate and train at the state level advocacy and legislation that promotes addiction focused issues;
  • to promote and advocate public policy issues to relevant governmental and private institutions and organizations; and
  • to give testimony to the state or national level to relevant public policy issues.
PPC members are required to
  • Participate in monthly conference calls;
  • Provide direction and oversight to the Government Relations Department;
  • Read and approve sign-on letters;
  • Provide comments and feedback on NAADAC's written advocacy materials;
  • Assist in the planning of the Advocacy in Action Conference; and
  • Build relationships with local, state and national policymakers. 
Committee Member Details
John Cates, MA, LADC
Houston, TX

John Cates, MA, LCDC, has worked with substance use disorder treatment for 42 years. Appearing in print and via broadcast, he is known world-wide as a therapist, author, speaker, and designer of education and treatment programs. Cates is the recipient of multiple awards, including NAADAC’s Counselor of the Year in 2001. Cates is the co-author of “Recovering Our Children,” and founded Lifeway International, an (APG) Alternative Peer Group program serving families across the nation for over 32 years. He started the first free standing recovery school in 1976 and specializes in designing sober schools that give students a safe place to heal. The most recent Three Oaks Academy is seen in Generation Found. Cates is a recovering heroin addict and knows what it takes to live a successful drug-free life.

Richard Paul "Rick" Green III, BSBA, LCDC

Richard Paul "Rick" Green III, BSBA, LCDC, is the Director of Treatment Services at the addiction medicine clinic system - New Resources Medical Arts. He is also a staff counselor at Right Step IOP in San Antonio. Green has been an addictions counselor since 2014 and has been in the Healthcare and Mental Healthcare field for over 20 years. He is the Chairman of the San Antonio College Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Program Advisory Board and serves on the Bexar County Opiate Treatment Task Force. He has an extensive background in psychiatric pharmaceuticals, drug/civil/criminal court, recovery advocacy and motivational research. Green has experience consulting with Civil and Criminal Justice attorneys, pharmaceutical companies, and philanthropic treatment entities. He is trained in Quality of Motivation Theory, Choice Theory, Somatic Experiencing Therapy, and addiction medicine integration. Green has a special interest in translational behavioral research and Twelve Step Facilitation therapy. Green has been published and is publishing research in the fields of addiction medicine, pharmaceutical compliance monitoring, and legal issues regarding evaluations for SUD. He lectures on treatment of Opioid Use Disorder. Green is a graduate of the University of Missouri.

Michael Kemp, NCACI (Co-Chair)

Michael Kemp, NCAC I, has worked in the addiction profession for over 30 years. He has worked as an addictions counselor, social worker, and clinical supervisor for the State of Wisconsin. In addition, Kemp was an instructor in an Addiction Studies program for 15 years and clinically supervised several community based programs. In 2015, he retired from Wisconsin State service and moved west to become the Director of Peer Recovery Services at Oregon State Hospital - Salem. Kemp has been a NAADAC member since 1995, and has served on the Public Policy Committee for over 10 years. He took over as co-chair of the Public Policy Committee in the fall of 2014. Kemp was the recipient of NAADAC’s Senator Howard E. Hughes Advocate of the Year in 2012.

Sherri Layton, LCDC, CCS (Co-Chair)
San Antonio, TX

Sherri Layton, LCDC, CCS, began working in addiction treatment in 1977 and has worked for La Hacienda Treatment Center since 1992. She currently manages their outpatient, continuing care, and alumni services, coordinates La Hacienda's legislative involvement on the state and national level, and oversees staff training. She frequently speaks on topics related to clinical supervision, advocacy, and leadership development. Sherri was the NAADAC Mid South RVP from 2012 – 2016 and has served on NAADAC’s Public Policy Committee since 2008, and currently is co-chair. She also serves on the Legislative Committee for the Association of Substance Abuse Programs – Texas. Layton has a BA in Psychology and completed an MBA with an emphasis on leadership in 2009 at the University of Texas in San Antonio.

Cleveland, OH

John Lisy, LICDC, OCPS II, LISW, LPCC, is the Executive Director of the Shaker Heights Youth Center. He also currently serves on the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board and is the Chair of the Treatment Committee. He was awarded the NAADAC Advocate of the Year for 2005 and has served as NAADAC’s Secretary, Treasurer, Mid-Central Regional Vice President. Lisy has served as the President and State Legislator Chair of the Ohio Association of Alcoholism and Drug Addictions Counselors and is the recipient of its August Martin Meuli Humanitarian Award. He was a founding member and of the Coalition for Chemical Dependency Licensure and chaired the Ohio Alcohol and Drug Policy Alliance. He has been a participant in Leadership Ohio and was the Chair of the Social Welfare in Jamaica Conference, a collaboration between Case Western Reserve University and the University of the West Indies. He coordinated the Alcohol and Other Drug Workforce Development Project in Ohio for the Ohio Association of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Counselors (OAADAC).

Valerie McGaha, PhD, LPC, LMFT, LADC, LPC-S
Tulsa, OK
Associate Professor of Applied Health and Educational Psychology
Oklahoma State University

Valerie McGaha, PhD, LPC, LMFT, LADC, LPC-S, earned her PhD at Texas Tech University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), and an approved LPC supervisor. She is currently an Associate Professor in Counseling and Counseling Psychology at Oklahoma State University. McGaha, a Ronald E. McNair Research Scholar, is an activist researcher focused on social justice, cultural competencies, mental health and wellness, criminal justice, drug policy and education, depression and suicidality, and academic achievement. She has received specialized Gatekeeper Instructor training in the following areas: Human Trafficking Intervention and Question, Persuade, and Response (QPR) Suicide Prevention. Other specialized training include Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); Licensed Professional Counselor Supervision; and Professional Mentorship.

William "Bill" Minser, DMin, CSAC
Madison, WI

William "Bill" Minser, DMin, CSAC, hails from rural western Pennsylvania. He attended college in Rhode Island and seminary in Massachusetts. He served churches in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Connecticut before joining the staff of Caron Treatment Center in Wernersville, PA, as an addictions counselor in 2002. There he also became certified to treat co-occurring disorders and problem gambling. After “retirement”, he taught the Sociology of Substance Abuse at Rosemont College, and consulted with Lutheran Social Services and with Walden Counseling and Therapy Center. Minser and his wife, Shirley, have children and three grandchildren in the upper Midwest, hence their move to Madison, WI in 2013. Minser works at The Center for Christian Counseling in Madison, and with the pastoral care staff at Blackhawk Church in Middleton, WI.

Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, NCAC II, CDC III, SAP

Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, BSW, NCAC II, CDC III, SAP, is the Executive Director of NAADAC. She previously served as the Project Director of Central East Addiction Technology Transfer Center and as the Program Director for Volunteers of America Western Washington. She has been the administrator of multi-county, publicly-funded alcohol/drug prevention/intervention/treatment centers. She has been an international, national and state trainer for over 25 years in a variety of topics. She has also served as President of NAADAC and has worked as a curriculum writer. Her book, Rein in Your Brain: From Impulsivity to Thoughtful Living in Recovery, was released in May 2014 by Hazelden Publishers. Moreno Tuohy holds a Bachelor’s degree in social work and advanced studies degrees in social work and public administration.

Gerard J. "Gerry" Schmidt, MA, MAC, LPC, CAC
West Virginia

Gerard J. Schmidt, MA, LPC, MAC, is Immediate Past President of NAADAC and the Chief Operations Officer at Valley HealthCare System in Morgantown, WV. He has been in the mental health and addictions treatment profession for the past 45 years. Publications to his credit include several articles on the development of Employee Assistance Programs in rural areas and wellness in the workplace, addictions practice in residential settings, and an overview of addictions practice in the United States. He has edited Treatment Improvement Protocols for CSAT for several years and has been active with the Mid-Atlantic ATTC. Schmidt had served as Chair of the NAADAC Certification Commission and the Public Policy Committee.

If you are interested in serving on NAADAC's Public Policy Committee, please send a completed NAADAC Committee Nomination Form and resume by email to

Updated December 9, 2019