The Unicorns & Polka Dots advisory board includes some of the brightest minds in their fields who share one common goal: to rewrite the narrative about substance use disorder (SUD) by educating and empowering individuals in recovery to live their best lives.
Brady Aldinger is a wealth of perspective and knowledge: He’s worked in the employee benefits industry since 1993 and was co-owner of River Benefits Consulting Group before the Company was acquired in 2018. In this leadership role, Brady was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the business and played a vital role in the Company’s growth. Brady also served as the Chairman of the Board for the LCADA Way, a non-profit organization delivering innovative, outcome-driven programs with an individualized approach to addiction and mental health treatment, education, prevention and recovery support services.
Brady has been in recovery since 2013 and is committed to helping individuals and families that are and have been affected by alcohol and drug addiction.
A highly sought and trusted Financial Advisor with Baird, Christine Benner-Wiskochil has provided financial guidance for individuals, families and small businesses for over 20 years. She partners with her clients, developing long-term financial strategies in all aspects of personal financial planning, including retirement optimization, education funding, health and life insurance, investing, charitable giving and estate planning.
Christine delights in helping her clients leave lasting impressions on the people and causes that are important to them, via their own financial foundations and legacy plans. She is passionate about using her financial command and savvy communication skills to strengthen her community and actively supports business and civic organizations that are making an impact in Greater Cleveland. She is treasurer of The Cleveland Rotary Club and sits on the Board of Directors for Recovery Resources.
For more than 30 years, Janet Cooper has been a tireless advocate for individuals in crisis situations, providing guidance, compassion and acceptance while spearheading programs that drive change. Today, she leads Reach Success Inc., a non-profit that serves youth, community and reentry populations working to improve their lives. The innovative program runs in K-12 schools, community centers, recreation centers and prisons, serving nearly 2,000 individuals.
Janet’s lifework embodies the joy of service: Her dedication includes work with social service agencies and in the juvenile justice system. She has served as president of a local women’s group raising money for student scholarships; was the Leader of the MOPS International chapter through her church; mentored students at Life Skills High School of Elyria, a dropout recovery school; and served as Administrator of Life Skills High School of Cleveland championing a 70% student graduation rate.
Rose DeRoia is a registered pharmacist who has worked in retail and long-term care and is currently employed by Cardinal Health. In May 2016, she lost her oldest son, Tommy DeRoia, to an opiate overdose. Since his passing, Rose has made it her mission to educate society about the chronic, relapsing brain disease of addiction in hopes of ending the stigma that continues to exist.
Rose’s determined commitment has led her all over Ohio, where she speaks at schools, universities, communities, parishes, businesses, benefit concerts and the Cleveland Clinic. Rose presents at rehabilitation centers each month, offering families and patients much-needed hope and encouragement. She also provides sober houses with lunches, welcome bags, donations and unconditional love. Rose currently serves on the Board of Directors as the treasurer for Hope Town in Portage County, which provides essential recovery housing.
Sam Falletta exemplifies what it means to be a people person: As CEO of customer experience firm Incept, Sam develops and deploys customer acquisition and retention strategies for some of the largest brands in the world, including Microsoft, Ford, Honda and the American Red Cross. Under Sam’s leadership, Incept has grown consistently over the last decade and has been recognized as one of the top workplaces in NE Ohio by Workplace Dynamics/Energage 11 times. Philanthropy is an Incept cornerstone—the company commits up to 10% of yearly earnings to local, national and multinational charitable organizations that provide goods and services to people in need worldwide.
Beyond his work at Incept, Sam is active in the community as the founder of TEDx Akron and a board member of several local and national nonprofit organizations. He is an acclaimed speaker on the topics of customer experience and employee engagement, especially as it relates to employee mental health.
Erin Helms is a passionate, tireless advocate for individuals in recovery. As executive director of The Woodrow Project & Briermost Foundation, she works to provide safe, sober recovery housing and workforce agriculture training for women, as well as a path to a purposeful life. The Woodrow Project manages Project SOAR, which provides peer support for eight police departments, eight Cleveland Clinic Emergency Departments and the Endocarditis Unit at the Cleveland Clinic’s main campus.
Erin earned her undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in Addiction Counseling at Hazelden-Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies. She has worked as a primary addiction counselor in both residential and outpatient settings. She is a board member for Ohio Recovery Housing; Secretary of The National Alliance Recovery; Co-chair of the NARR Advocacy Committee; and Cuyahoga County Opiate Task Force member.
A former parole officer, Jenn Lasky is a fierce advocate for women and all individuals in recovery. She spearheaded Open Door, a rehabilitation program for felons and habitual offenders, and currently serves as executive director of The Edna House, a sober-living program for women.
Jenn champions women-in-recovery causes throughout the Greater Cleveland Community. Through her ongoing efforts, she has expanded the exposure of this worthy cause to first responders, surrounding communities and numerous organizations. Jenn is a tireless advocate of the importance of 12-Step recovery housing. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science and Technology and a Master of Science with a concentration in Criminal Justice from Youngstown State University.
Jenn was awarded a Notable Woman in Non-Profits 2019 by Crain’s Cleveland Magazine.
Daniel Lettenberger-Klein is a passionate, recognized leader in organizational development with 10+ years of leadership experience in four multi-million-dollar behavioral healthcare organizations—for-profit and non-profit. He’s worked at every level of care in addiction treatment. Today, as CEO of Stella Maris, he provides executive leadership and oversight of business operations while working with the Board of Directors to recruit and raise funding for the organization. His expertise includes comprehensive multi-site and state operations, change management, restructuring, physical site growth/expansion and organizational development.
Daniel is a clinical fellow with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy; a member of the American College for Healthcare Executives; holds an MBA from Northcentral University; a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University; and a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Bradley University. Additionally, Daniel was recognized as part of Crain’s Cleveland Forty Under 40 and is a proud alumnus of Leadership Cleveland.
Tim Needles is the President and CEO of Onix, a leading cloud solutions provider based in Lakewood, Ohio. Onix has been helping customers deploy leading-edge technology since 1992, creating targeted cloud solutions using products from such partners as Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services, among others.
In 2014, Tim and his wife, Dianne, established Onix Outreach, an accredited 501(c)(3). Onix's non-profit charitable giving arm is dedicated to providing essential goods and services to underserved individuals and families throughout Northeast Ohio.
Dr. Joan Papp is an esteemed leader, board certified in emergency medicine and addiction treatment. Currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at MetroHealth Medical Center, she graduated from the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo in 2000 and the MetroHealth Case Western Reserve University residency program in Emergency Medicine in 2004.
Dr. Papp is the founder and Medical Director for the MetroHealth Office of Opioid Safety and Cuyahoga County Project DAWN. She is Chairperson for both the Policy and Treatment Subcommittee of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Heroin Action Plan Committee and the Center for Health Affairs Opioid Hospital Consortium. Dr. Papp’s dedication and service are exemplary: she is the recipient of the 2016 Ohio ACEP Award for Advocacy in Emergency Medicine and the 2018 Cleveland Magazine Community Leader of the Year award for healthcare.
Before starting her own business, Mandy McIntyre was a veteran in the construction industry and Vice President of 1st Choice Roofing Company. Today, she serves in various capacities for National Women in Roofing. A change agent for mental health, Mandy serves on the Construction Suicide Prevention Taskforce, collaborating with OSHA and industry resources to promote mental health awareness. An advocate for philanthropy and community involvement, she is on the Board of Directors for the Hitchcock Center for Women in Cleveland, where she volunteers as a yoga instructor and serves on the Building Committee.
Mandy is a registered Mental Health First Aid instructor through the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and a yoga and meditation teacher through the Yoga Alliance. She has completed Cornell University’s DEI certificate program and Harvard University’s Leadership Principles program, respectively.
A career dedicated to legal justice, Judge Joan Synenberg has served on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas bench for 16 years, as a Cleveland Municipal Court Judge for two years, and prior to her service on the bench, had a criminal and civil trial practice for 16 years.
In addition to her civil and criminal docket, Judge Synenberg presides over Recovery Court, a specialized docket supervising people with substance use disorder (SUD) and trauma. Now in its ninth year, the Court was the first Ohio Supreme Court-certified dual diagnosis docket in the State. Passionate about promoting recovery and rehabilitation, Judge Synenberg also served on the Common Pleas Court’s Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities docket for five years.
Judge Synenberg started a Pro Bono Collaborative to “bridge the justice gap” and assist people in civil matters at no cost. Under her leadership, lawyers participate in complimentary continuing legal education courses in exchange for donating their legal services to persons in need. A Cleveland native, Judge Synenberg toured with the international cast of Up With People, volunteered with Community Re-Entry Resource Network and worked as a social worker at the Cuyahoga County jail before becoming an attorney.
With over 20 years of culinary experience, Chef Todd is an acclaimed chef skilled in preparing French cuisine, an instructor, mentor and recovery advocate. Born and raised on Cleveland’s West Side, Todd was the youngest of ten children. Lacking consistent parental support and guidance, his year spent in Juvenile Detention at age 12 began a cycle of drug and alcohol abuse and incarceration. Struggling with his addiction at age 35—with a wife and eight children—Todd asked for help. Admitted to the CATS Treatment program, he worked in the kitchen where his mentor, Mr. Brown, suggested he apply to Edwin’s Culinary Training program. This was a turning point in his life.
In January 2016, in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, Todd started the program and graduated six months later. For the next two and a half years, he worked as a line cook at Parker’s downtown under Chef Andrew Gorski, honing his skills and knowledge. When Sérénité Restaurant opened in 2018, he joined the team, continuing his culinary education while feeding his passion for helping those in recovery. Todd has established 12-step programs throughout the community and works with inmates at Mansfield Correctional Institution to support their recovery.