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Conference Keynote - Director Fran Harding serves as Director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), and is recognized as one of the nation's leading experts in the field of alcohol and drug policy. Director Harding serves as the lead for SAMHSA's Strategic Initiative on Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness, which creates environments where youth, adults, families, communities, and systems are motivated and empowered to manage their overall emotional, behavioral, and physical health. In addition to representing SAMHSA on interagency efforts to prevent underage drinking, prescription drug misuse and abuse, and marijuana use among youth and young adults, Director Harding collaborates with SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services on program and policy issues related to the connection between substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion. Prior to federal service, Director Harding served as Associate Commissioner of the Division of Prevention and Recovery at the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, where she was responsible for the development of policy and guidelines for alcohol and drug abuse and gambling prevention, treatment, and recovery programming. Director Harding has held numerous national positions, including serving as president of the National Prevention Network, an organization representing the alcohol and drug abuse prevention offices in all 50 states, and as New York State's representative to the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors. In 2004, she became the first non-researcher to receive the prestigious Science to Practice Award from the International Society for Prevention Research.

Keynote Presenter - David Dastmalchian is an American actor known for film, television and theatre work. Raised in Kansas, he studied at The Theatre School at DePaul University. His work includes The Dark Knight, the Oscar-nominated Prisoners, The Employer, Sushi girl, Girls Will Be Girls 2012, Saving Lincoln and Marvel Studio's Ant Man. Prior to beginning his career as an actor, he suffered from a heroin addiction. In recovery, he wrote about his experience in his screenplay, Animals, which was later adapted into a film of the same name.

Keynote Presenter - Don Feeney, MS, BS has been Research and Planning Director at the Minnesota State Lottery since 1991, where he is responsible for policy analysis, corporate social responsibility programs, and strategic planning. Mr. Feeney served on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Problem Gambling from 2003 to 2016, was president from 2011 to 2013, and most recently led the creation of the Council's 2015 - 2020 strategic plan. He holds a master's degree in public policy from Harvard, a Master's degree in statistics from the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor of Science degree in applied mathematics from Brown University.


Keynote Presenter - Dr. Jon Grant is a Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, where he also supervises an outpatient clinic for addictive-impulsive-compulsive disorders. Professor Grant is the author of twelve books on impulsive and compulsive behaviors and over 300 peer-reviewed scientific articles. He is the Director of a Center of Excellence in Gambling Research supported by the National Center for Responsible Gaming and Editor in Chief of the Journal of Gambling Studies.


Keynote Presenter - Marsha Partington, MA, LADC has a long history advocating for the LGBTQ population beginning in the 80's during the AIDS epidemic. She is a licensed substance abuse counselor in Minnesota, having received her Master's degree at Hazelden's Graduate School of Addiction Studies in Addiction Counseling. While a counselor at Pride Institute's Residential Treatment Center in MN, Marsha completed specialized training in working with Gender non-conforming clients. Ms. Partington created and facilitated a Transgender Support group and educational groups for allies for staff and clients. Currently Marsha is employed at Wayside Wellness Outpatient as a primary counselor working with women with co-occurring disorders. She is the proud parent of a 25 year old transgender son.



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