Pete Pennington, LPC provides problem gambling recovery and mental health services in Bend, Oregon. In his work, Pete’s clients have shared tragic stories of the shame and silence that made the path to gambling recovery difficult and isolating. In response, Pete began “The Elephant Next Door,” a documentary film project highlighting stories of successful recovery to raise awareness and to show people experiencing gambling problems that they are not alone. Over the years, the film project transformed into END Problem Gambling. In his journey to start conversations about solutions to gambling problems, Pete has worked on documentary films, social media campaigns, and public speaking projects across the country. He has been a featured speaker for The National Council on Problem Gambling, The American Counseling Association, Oregon State University, The Association of Specialists in Group Work and other organizations to raise awareness of solutions to gambling problems.
Director of Public Relations
Ronda Hatefi has been active in problem gambling awareness since 1995. It began with the tragic suicide of her brother Bobby due to gambling addiction. In learning about and researching problem gambling and its issues, Ronda decided to honor her brother by advocating for those who felt they couldn’t speak up. In the beginning, Ronda and her mother were asked to speak about their story in Seattle. Soon after, they were asked to tell their story in New York. As Ronda spoke, others came to her with their stories. This led her to understand the need for problem gambling awareness in her state. Ronda created her nonprofit group – Oregonians for Gambling Awareness Organization and with the help of Representative Lim, she presented a proclamation in 1997 recognizing September 29th, Bobby’s birthday, as Problem Gamblers Awareness Day in Oregon. This proclamation has been renewed every year since. It is her passion, dedication, and ability to work with others that she continues to contribute to problem gambling awareness and fight gambling addiction in our country.
Michael Morgan is the Founder and President of Roseville Precision, Inc. Former positions include Vice President of Support and Service, Britton Lee, Inc., Vice President of Operations, Onyx Systems, Inc., Sr. Industrial Engineer, Fairchild Semiconductor. Manager of Industrial Engineering and Director of Field Engineering and Support, Systems Division, National Semiconductor, as well as various engineering and management Positions in Silicon Valley High Tech.
Dick has over 40 years of experience as a mental health provider, supervisor and trainer specializing in problem gambling. Dick serves as the Director of Problem Gambler Treatment Counselor Certification for ACCBO (the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon). He serves on the board of Voices of Problem Gambling Recovery. Dick contracts with the Oregon Health Authority to provide clinical consultation, training and supervision for problem gambling treatment programs across the state. Dick holds a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology and is a Board Approved Clinical Consultant of the National Counsel of Problem Gambling.
Thirty years ago, John could not find resources to manage the overwhelming grief he felt after the death of his infant son. He founded the Grief Recovery Institute to provide these resources to others. The Institute now includes sister organizations in Canada, England, Sweden, and Mexico. John’s mission is to deliver grief recovery assistance to the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. John is internationally recognized as one of the foremost authorities on grief. John is the co-author of three benchmark books on the topic of recovery from loss, The Grief Recovery Handbook, When Children Grieve, and Moving On. He is a visiting faculty member at UCLA, Chapman University, the University of Southern California and has guest lectured at Kings College in London. He has delivered workshops and programs for the State of Ohio Dept. of Health, the National SIDS Foundation, and the LAPD and Sheriff’s Departments. He is a leading advocate for veterans and has trained military personnel on bases all over the country.
After complete devastation by problem gambling, Wes Wood has been in continuous recovery since 2005. Wes tirelessly advocates for problem gamblers. He is a Founding member of Voices of Problem Gambling Recovery, Inc., (VPGR.net) and now serves as its Director of Public Relations Services. He serves on the Oregon Health Authority’s Addictions and Mental Health Planning Advisory Council and the Oregon Problem Gambling Advisory Partnership, a consortium of Problem Gambling Services, the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Lottery, the Oregon Council of Problem Gambling and The Problem Gambling Resource Team. He is the Client Finding OutReach Coordinator for Multnomah County, serves on the Oregon Therapudic Court Advisory Committee and the Oregon Latino Culturally Specific Services Advisory Council affiliated with Lewis and Clark College.
Since 2012 Read has been in active recovery for gambling addiction. With a failed business and a deteriorating marriage, Read turned to gambling to fill the void that his perceived sense of failure had left in his life. Upon entering recovery he struggled to accept the repercussions that addiction had left in his life. After many attempts and failures to remain free of gambling, Read began to learn from both his failures and successes. By incorporating the tools he learned in recovery and taking responsibility for his actions Read’s life quickly became his again.
In 2015, Read relocated from Bend, OR to Portland, OR. Since moving to Portland, Read has found a renewed since of life. He currently manages a print and marketing company in Southeast Portland. Read spends his free time connecting with his loved ones and rediscovering his talent and love of oil painting.