I name is Chris Reed I am 25 years old and have been a resident of McHenry County my entire life. I currently live in Fox River Grove with my fiancé and two kids. I have been sober since September 2009 myself and was a founding member of the organization. I continue to serve on our board because I have seen firsthand what alcoholism and addiction can do to people’s lives first hand. Since beginning this journey I have seen complete hopelessness turn to hope in so many people which continues to motivate me everyday. The level of commitment among board members and volunteers is unlike anything I have ever been a part of and hope to serve for many years to come.
My name is Michael Ledvora and I have been involved with New Directions Addiction Recovery Services for five years. We deal with the lack of services surrounding the drug treatment community in the Chicago land area. What has drawn me to this cause is my personal experience and personal love I feel for the people that are afflicted by drug addiction. This epidemic has touched my heart in so many ways, the hardship of losing friends, and the amazing light I have been able to see grow in peoples harts and eyes. I do not nor have ever seen an organization of people who care more about the community there in and helping the people of that community without personal gain. I’m proud to say that I am a trusted servant for this group of individuals and will continue to be one as long as I am allowed. Thank you.
Ashley grew up in Island Lake, and currently reside in Cary. Ashley has experience with organizational skills and multi tasking. She works currently for an insulation company full time in Wauconda. Also, Ashley is involved in recovery with a 12 step program and is very involved in the recovery community. Ashley got involved with New Directions over a year ago, after meeting a few people who were throwing events at The Other Side a sober venue in Crystal Lake. Ashley got more involved after time wanting to be part of the bigger picture and what New Directions was doing with the community and recovery to go along with New Directions mission. It’s a blessing to be part of an organization that’s growing and helping others. She is excited to see what the future holds for the organization.
As Treasurer of New Directions Addiction Recovery Services I have had the opportunity to support sobriety for those in need here in McHenry County. I feel great knowing that there are more soldiers on the front and I am grateful for my part in it. NDARS is a unique non-profit treading the uncharted waters of addiction recovery close to your home.
I enjoy fishing, canoeing, road trips, and anything else that is related to outdoors. My fiancé, Samantha and I live in Woodstock, IL and we love to go camping. Usually we camp somewhere not so close to home, that way we get to road trip and enjoy the outdoors.
Joe has lived his whole life in Illinois, growing up in the northwestern suburb of Algonquin. He graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Professional Selling and a Minor in Environmental Sciences. During his time at NIU, Joe became heavily involved in organizational leadership roles for numerous groups like the Collegiate Sales Advisory Board (CSAB), American Marketing Association (AMA) and Knights of Columbus.
After graduation, Joe worked a variety of odd jobs before being hired as the first employee for a local internet marketing start-up. His primary responsibilities were marketing and account management but soon grew to include all facets of running a small business. The 3 years at the company would prove to be an invaluable experience to prepare Joe for the next steps in his career. At the beginning of 2013, he was elected to a board position as Marketing Director for New Directions Addiction Recovery Services.
Throughout his career, Joe has been responsible for coordinating marketing efforts for clients in a variety industries like healthcare, professional services, home improvement, food service, retail, not-for-profit and more. In 2014, Joe started his own internet marketing agency, Frontier Marketing LLC, with the idea of providing small business owners with a professional marketing partner to grow their company.
Aaron Cutler, Born April 16th 1985, has been a resident of McHenry County since 2009. Aaron has attended the University of Tampa as well as McHenry County College. In 2013 Aaron successfully graduated from McHenry County’s Specialty court program. Actively involved in 12 step based recovery; Aaron continues to work closely with the McHenry County specialty court program.
Aaron, one of the founding members New Directions, currently sits on the board as Director of Continued Support. His responsibilities include the oversight of projects such as New Directions Sober Living and The Other Side as well as programs designed to help “Bridge the Gap” between treatment and 12- step based recovery.
In Addition to his Non- Profit responsibilities, Aaron also co-owns a General Contracting Firm based out of Crystal Lake. There he Leads and directs multiple sales teams. Aaron currently resides in Fox Lake, IL and Commutes to Crystal Lake, IL Daily.
Cassandra Wingert is the Director of Advocacy for New Directions Addiction Recovery Services and the Founder and Executive Director of its Advocacy entity Wake the Nation. She has become a leading advocate in drug addiction education and prevention. Under her direction, Wake the Nation has become a driving force in overdose prevention, training doctors, addiction counselors, numerous police departments, and the United States Department of Justice.
Her efforts started in 2012 with the loss of a loved one and she has since spoken at schools and universities, built a strategic network with grassroots organizations, partnered with local health departments to organize a variety of events in an effort to promote awareness and provide quality science-based education, including Stop Overdose IL’s Overdose Awareness Day and the Cook County Department of Public Health’s Heroin symposium. In addition to testifying before the Illinois House of Representatives’ Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, her work and experience has been featured on Oprah, in the Chicago Tribune, and in various other media outlets.