For the first eight years of its existence the St. Jude Program was operated entirely by volunteers highly committed to helping others achieve sobriety. Because of its success and growth, the Program now employs highly dedicated professionals who share that same commitment to service. As a result, the St. Jude Program has helped thousands of individuals to overcome their substance use problems. Our proven record of success is the envy of other programs, none of which has been able to match it. We are proud of the success of our guests and encourage you to contact any of us with your questions about the St. Jude Retreats or about our personal experiences helping people with the St. Jude Program. These are just a few of the caring professionals at our Retreats
Mark W. ScheerenChairman and Co-FounderMr. Scheeren is the Chairman and co-founder of Baldwin Research Institute, Inc., the alcohol and drug research company that is the original creator of the non disease, non 12-step model of alcohol and drug education. For over two decades Mr. Scheeren has researched hundreds of different methods, facilities, and cultures worldwide in an effort to discover the many keys to improving the quality of one's life. Out of this research, the most effective residential program in the world was created in 1992: the St. Jude Program.
Gerald J. BrownCo-Founder & Senior Research FellowMr. Jerry Brown is a co-founder of Baldwin Research Institute, Inc. He is also BRI's Senior Research Fellow. Throughout his entire career, Jerry has been a researcher, whether it was with General Electric Co., or with one of the several privately owned and publicly traded companies. Jerry has served as chairman of several national computer conferences
Michelle DunbarExecutive DirectorMichelle Dunbar joined St. Jude's in 2002 as a Family Consultant. She brought with her more than 10 years of experience helping people to overcome substance use problems. Mrs. Dunbar attended the State University of College at Cortland and SUNY Empire State College studying psychology and mathematics. Since joining the St. Jude Retreats, Mrs. Dunbar has continued her education, and has taken an active role in researching and developing St. Jude programs
Ryan SchwantesPresidentMr. Ryan Schwantes joined Baldwin Research Institute, Inc. in 2001 with an expertise in Finance. Since 2001, Mr. Schwantes has managed several aspects of the businesses including Human Resources, Finance, Technology, and Management Training. In 2006, Mr. Schwantes was elected to Baldwin Research Institute, Inc. Board of Directors and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer of the company. He was named President of the company in December 2008
Cheryl CurtisSenior Director of Retreat HousesMrs. Curtis is the Senior Director of Quality Assurance and Staff Development. She has been with the company since 2004. Mrs. Curtis has been in her current position since late 2010. Previously, she was a Program Instructor, Director of Education, and Director. She is a Graduate of the College of Saint Rose with a Bachelor of Science in Education.
Richard SantelliDirector of PREP ProgramsMr. Santelli is the Career and Academic Advisor at the Saint Jude Retreats, as well as the Director of our PREP Program. He has been with the company since April 2004. Mr. Santelli was a Principal at Johnstown High School and Superintendent at Wheelerville Central School District. Mr. Santelli holds a Master in Science of Education Administration from SUNY Albany and a Master in Science of Education from the College of Saint Rose. He is also a New York State Certified Teacher, School Administrator Supervisor, and School District Administrator, also a Veteran of the United States Army.
Gene TwardzikDirector of EducationMr. Gene Twardzik is the Director of Education at the Saint Jude Executive Retreat. He has been with St. Jude's since October 2006. Mr. Twardzik started his career as the Director of Social Programs and Instructor for our PREP Program.
Gwen EschlerDirector of EducationMrs. Gwen Eschler is the Director of Education at the Twin Rivers Retreat. She started working with St. Jude's as a CBE instructor in June of 2007 and became the Director of Education in 2010. Gwen is a NYS certified teacher with a BS in Psychology and a MS in Education. She resides locally with her husband and dogs and has two adult children who thoroughly enjoy visiting whenever possible and sharing life with them.
David J. Hanson, Ph.DBoard MemberDavid J. Hanson, Ph.D., Author of "Preventing Alcohol Abuse," and "Alcohol Education," and Professor Emeritus of Sociology of the State University of New York at Potsdam.Professor Hanson has researched the subject of alcohol and drinking for over 40 years, beginning with his Ph.D. dissertation investigation. Shortly thereafter, he began a continuing series of nation wide studies of collegiate drinking over time (after 1981 with Dr. Ruth C. Engs of Indiana University). He has received alcohol research grants from federal and state agencies, published over two dozen chapters in books on alcohol, prepared articles for several encyclopedias, and published two books on alcohol. His publications and scholarly papers number over 300 and textbooks in over a dozen fields of study report his research.
Laurel Sharmer, PhD, MPH, CHES (ret)Board MemberAssociate Professor Emeritus of the State University of New York at Potsdam and a Certified Health Education Specialist. She also holds a doctoral degree in Public Health from Oregon State University and a master's degree in Public Health from San Jose State University. Dr. Sharmer has conducted and published research on drug and alcohol use among college students. Her research has been focused primarily on evaluating current methods of reducing harm from alcohol use among young people and determining what methods are successful in changing knowledge, attitudes or behavior.
Kenneth Anderson, MAFounder and CEO of - Harm Reduction for Alcohol - (HAMS)Founder and CEO of The HAMS Harm Reduction Network as well as the author of the book "How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol." Anderson has spent immense time researching ways to reduce alcohol related harms; this includes researching evidence-based methods of achieving abstinence from alcohol for those who choose abstinence as their goal. He has obtained a masters in linguistics from the University of Minnesota and has done graduate study in psychology and substance abuse counseling at the New School for Social Research in New York City. Additionally, he has been hosting the internet radio show "Addiction Treatments thatWork" since March 201