John Hamilton, LMFT, LADC
John Hamilton, President & CEO, re-joined Liberation Programs in 2018, having served as the agency’s Vice President of Clinical Services and Senior Vice President from 1996-2006. He is nationally recognized as an expert in the field of addiction treatment and prevention, and brings three decades of experience to his role as President and Chief Executive Officer. John chairs the advisory board for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and serves on the Governors Alcohol and Drug Policy Council.
Previously, John was the Chief Clinical Outreach Officer at Mountainside Treatment Center, a nationally acclaimed drug rehabilitation center with locations in New York and Connecticut. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of Recovery Network of Programs, a non-profit behavioral health agency serving the Greater Bridgeport Community. John is Past Chair of the Dissemination Committee for the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network, Past Chair of the Community Treatment Providers Caucus, Past President of the Southwest Connecticut Mental Health Board, Past President of the New England Association of Drug Court Professionals, and co-Founder of the Greenwich Father’s Forum. He has consulted for NIDA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA).
In 2013, John was the recipient of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) Nyswander-Dole Award for his contributions to the field of Addiction Treatment.
Bonni Hopkins, PhD
Dr. Bonni Hopkins is the Chief Operating & Innovation Officer at Liberation Programs. A Clinical Research Psychologist with more than 20 years of experience in community-based prevention and treatment, Bonni has extensive experience in program development and analytic operations. Much of her work has focused on improving population health. As Vice President of Analytic Innovation & Strategy for Beacon Health Options in Connecticut from 2014 to 2019, Bonni led Beacon’s efforts on the statewide Behavioral Health Homes and the high-performance Analyst & Innovation team. She worked closely with the state’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Department of Children and Families, and Department of Social Services in this role. Bonni previously worked as the Director of Research & Evaluation at the Partnership for Drugfree Kids and as the National Director of Outcomes for Magellan Behavioral Health Services. In her current role as Liberation’s Chief Operating & Innovation Officer, Bonni leads strategy and operations related to compliance, quality improvement, program evaluation, implementations, technology, IT, business development, fundraising, and HR.
Judith M. Martino
Judith Martino, Comptroller, joined Liberation Programs as Director of Finance in 2020 before being promoted to Comptroller. Judy has decades of experience in the non-profit sector including expertise with budgeting, grants and contracts, and financial reporting. She began her career as an auditor for Arthur Andersen & Company working with many non-profit organizations and municipalities. Previously, she was the Assistant Controller at Optimus Health Care, a Federally Qualified Health Center. Judy has over 30 years of experience working as the Director of Budget & Finance at Recovery Network of Programs, a non-profit behavioral health organization. Judy has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Connecticut, School of Business Administration.
Joanne Montgomery, LADC, LCSW
Joanne Montgomery, Chief Clinical and Outreach Officer, re-joined Liberation Programs in 2019 having worked for the agency from 1995-2007. Joanne has over 25 years experience working with diverse populations including persons with substance abuse, mental health, HIV/AIDS, homelessness and trauma. Joanne was recognized by SAMHSA and DMHAS for her forward thinking when creating a treatment on demand model. This model was first of its kind increasing access for medication assisted treatment from a several week wait to a 90 minutes start to end admission process. Joanne has extensive experience with program development and building community partnerships throughout Fairfield County. Joanne is the Board President of MFAP, Co-Chair of the Strategic planning and assessment committee of the Ryan White Planning Council and is also a founding member who sits on the board of Connecticut Alliance of Recovery Residences (CTAR).
Previously, Joanne was the Chief Clinical Officer at Apex Community Care and before that she was the Division Director for Recovery Network of Programs. In her current role as Chief Clinical and Outreach Officer, Joanne is responsible for leading our Outpatient Programs, as well as expanding outreach and partnerships to expand access and increase revenue. Joanne leads funded implementations and outreach, such as our MAT Wellness Van, Recovery Coaching, Hospital Partnerships, and securing NIDA support to dramatically expand Suboxone/Buprenorphine.
Chris Whitney, MBA
Chief Financial Officer Chris Whitney joined Liberation Programs as the Director of Finance after a successful 20-year career in the hedge fund industry. He co-founded and managed two significant commodity hedge funds in New York City, Heritage Capital LLC and Perennial Capital LLC. Chris has also served as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Person-to-Person and has considerable experience in nonprofit accounting and finance. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy with the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant. Chris holds a BS from Cornell University and an MBA from Stanford University.
Maggie Young, LADC, MSW
Maggie Young, MSW, LADC, has been working in addiction prevention, residential treatment, and outpatient treatment services for more than 25 years. She oversees our Inpatient Programs as well as spearheading prevention and education services which support middle and high school-aged students and their families. In addition to her local and state work, Maggie facilitated a training in Juneau and Anchorage, Alaska in 2018 for child welfare and court support services staff on the benefit of medication-assisted treatments for women with children.
Through her own personal journey, Maggie was drawn to supporting other women through the often difficult and confusing first steps of recovery. Through her efforts, she has developed collaborative relationships between the local child welfare system, local hospitals, and substance use treatment services, which has both improved outcomes for families and increased family involvement.
Liz Evans, BScN, M.Ed
Liz Evans, Senior Director of Harm Reduction, is a trained nurse and the founder and former executive director of a non-profit leader serving a homeless population with complex mental health and addiction needs in Canada. She is internationally recognized for her work in opening North America’s first supervised injection site called “Insite.” Liz was formerly the Executive Director of New York Harm Reduction Educators and Washington Heights Corner Project, who she led to become “On Point NYC.” She has international consulting experience with the Public Health Program of Open Society Foundations where she was also a recipient of a Soros Fellowship. Liz holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) from the University of Ottawa and a Master of Education from the University of British Columbia.
Rosemary Filgueiras, EdD, LADC, AADC
Rosemary Filgueiras, Director of FIRP, joined Liberation Programs in 2017 as the Supervisor for the Families in Recovery Program (FIRP). Rosemary has extensive experience working with clients and families from her years as a Parent Liaison for Stamford Public Schools and as Treatment Coordinator at Saint Vincent Medical Center. When she is not at FIRP, Rosemary is a DUI Instructor with CT Renaissance. Rosemary is tri-lingual with a Doctorate Degree in Organization and Leadership with an emphasis on Educational Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Ingrid Gillespie, MS
Ingrid Gillespie joined Liberation Programs in 2020 as the Director of Prevention having served as the Director and then Executive Director of Communities 4 Action (formerly known as Lower Fairfield County Regional Action Council) since 2004. She has worked for over 30 years in human services in urban and rural communities. Ingrid helped spearhead the passing of Bill 5487 which provides immunity to anyone administering Naloxone. She is Past President of the Connecticut Prevention Network and is Co-chair of the CT Alcohol and Drug Policy Council Prevention Committee. Ingrid has a Masters in Community Economic Development from the University of Southern New Hampshire.
Dianna Gleason, MS
Dianna Gleason joined Liberation Programs as the Director of Quality, Compliance & Health Equity. Previously, she worked at Hartford Healthcare’s Behavioral Health Network where she primarily supported regulatory compliance for Rushford and Natchaug programs. Dianna has extensive experience in quality improvement and compliance with considerable knowledge of CARF accreditation, Joint Commission, DPH, DCF, and DMHAS regulatory regulations. She has experience working with victims of domestic violence and as a consultant to the Dept of Children and Families. Dianna holds a BS and MS from the University of New Haven in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology.
Ken Gradowski joined Liberation Programs as the Director of Facilities overseeing all facility and maintenance projects. He has extensive experience as a facilities manager and plant engineer for a major corporate headquarters and a large manufacturing facility. Previously, Ken has worked at Yale University, People’s United Bank, and is a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
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Gil Hofferman, Director of Information Technology, joined Liberation Programs after spending time as a Desktop Support Technician in the substance misuse field. He has previously worked at Roux Associates and the Milford Board of Education. Gil holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Stony Brook University.
Ariel Maria, PhD, LPC
Ariel Maria, Director of Clinical Services at Lib House, is a licensed professional counselor in the states of CT and NY with over 13 years of experience in the behavioral health field. He began his career working in outpatient substance use treatment and has worked in various settings throughout the course of his career. Prior to joining Liberation Programs, Ariel oversaw mental health services for a large residential department at a New York City based social service agency. He holds a PhD in Mental Health Counseling from Pace University.
MaryBeth Pamias, LADC
MaryBeth Pamias, Director of Bridgeport Outpatient and Research Coordinator for CTN-0100 RDD Study: Optimizing Retention, Duration, and Discontinuation Strategies for Opioid Use Disorder, joined Liberation Programs in 2010 as an Outpatient SUD Counselor. She has worked in Outpatient Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Services for 22 years. MaryBeth is also a Certified Rape Crisis Counselor and volunteers with the Milford Rape Crisis Center. Previously, she was a DUI instructor with CT Renaissance and Director of Outpatient Services at Recovery Network of Programs. MaryBeth is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and holds a Master’s in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University.
Carolee Paruta, LMFT, LADC
Carolee Paruta, Director of Integrated Services, re-joined Liberation Programs in 2019 having served in various roles, including Director of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), from 1999 - 2015. She has extensive experience in Methadone Management, Ryan White Services and Substance Use Counseling. Most recently, Carolee was the Regional Director of Outpatient Services for Mountainside Treatment Center. Carolee is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology degree from Sacred Heart University and a Master Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University.
Samantha Usherov, LCSW
Samantha Usherov, Director of Stamford Outpatient, joined Liberation Programs in 2017 as a Counselor in our Outpatient Clinic. She later became the Assistant Director before becoming the Director of the Stamford Clinic. Samantha came to Liberation with experience mentoring and counseling youth, teens, and families in school and non-profit settings. Samantha is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree from Stonehill College and Masters of Social Work from Fordham University. Outside of Liberation, Samantha is active in various community organizations, especially Keep Norwalk Beautiful.
Fiona Wilkes, MBA
Fiona Wilkes, Director of Development and Communications, came to Liberation with years of experience in non-profit fundraising and marketing for various social services agencies. Fiona became involved with non-profit event management and fundraising as a volunteer with the PaperSeed Foundation. Previously, she was the Manager of Special Events at Cardinal McCloskey Community Services and the Director of Development at ANDRUS. Fiona holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Susquehanna University and an MBA with a focus on International Business from Washington State University.