Advisory Council


Advisory Council Members 

Rev. Anne Andert - Anne is a second career pastor of the Lutheran (ELCA) flavor. She also maintains her RN license to help but views the world through holistic eyes. Anne has had the joy of initiating two well-received Faith Partners teamsin two different congregations. Pastor Andert saw these Minnesota team ministries as quiet but vital to her congregations.

She and her husband received full-time calls to Faith Lutheran Church in Janesville, WI two years ago. The demographics show that alcoholism is very high in WI, and especially in Janesville. She looks forward to beginning a Faith Partners ministry team in this setting when the time is right. Currently in the midst of several major new initiatives – she is hopeful that a year from now this congregation will be ready to add a Faith Partners Ministry Team. She has been talking about it in various circles since her and her husband arrived.  

Mindy Agler – Mindy over 10 years of experience working with alcoholics and other addicts and their families in an inpatient treatment setting in Boca Raton, FL. She also has a private practice specializing in addictions and recovery counseling and the family system. She brings personal experience and understanding of addiction to her work as an Adult Child of an Alcoholic. Ms. Agler has been married to Rabbi Richard Agler for 32 years.

 Through her work as an addictions therapist, Ms. Agler has been instrumental in helping her home congregation become more open to acknowledging and addressing the issue of addiction in order to better serve its member families. She has facilitated groups for loved ones of alcoholics and other addicts, and presented educational and prevention material at youth retreats in her synagogue, as well as guided the Rabbinic staff in incorporating supportive language into the liturgy for people suffering with addiction and for their families. Mindy served as Faith Partners Jewish Project Coordinator for four years.

Rev. Alex Holt – Alex is a professional interim minister in the Unitarian Universalist Association. He was part of the initial leadership in developing a UUA Addictions Ministry Team. He is open about being in recovery from alcoholism and speaks at churches and Buddhist communities on the spirituality of addiction and recovery.

 He is doing a two year interim ministry in Clemson, SC and hopes to move back to the Pacific Northwest that he calls home. He is a long time Buddhist student of Chozen and Hogen Bays of Zen Community of Oregon.

Barry Sharp – Barry has served as a health educator in the Texas Department of State Health Services since 1993, and is currently the program coordinator in the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. His work in tobacco prevention also included an appointment by Governor Rick Perry to the State Improvement Program advisory board. He was also named by the Texas Commission for Alcohol and Substance Abuse and the University of Oklahoma to several other substance abuse prevention advisory boards.

He is a nationally certified master health educator (MCHES) with a bachelor’s in health promotion and fitness from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s in healthcare human resources from Texas State University at San Marcos. Barry is also a graduate fellow of both the National Public Health Education Leadership Institute and the South Central Public Health Leadership Institute. Barry is currently enrolled as a student at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. and United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and is a certified candidate for ordination as a deacon with the United Methodist Church focusing on health ministry.

Prior to entering the public health field, he had an accomplished career as a journalist and editor, winning regional and state awards for his reporting, column writing and photojournalism. He also has more than three decades experience as a volunteer emergency medical technician and firefighter.

Roger Svendsen – Roger currently serves as Training Coordinator for the Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance and a consultant for the Minnesota Institute of Public Health. He is a former Community Faculty member at Metro State University and Century College, the former Executive Director of the Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance and the former Training and Program Development Director for the Minnesota Institute of Public Health where he served as Associate Director of the Interfaith Center for Health Issues.  

 He has authored numerous prevention publications for faith communities including: “People of Faith -Partners in Prevention: Engaging the Faith Community in Substance Abuse Prevention” and “Alcohol and Other Drugs: A Congregational Planning Guide.” He has also coordinated several state prevention programs including a Governor’s Interfaith Task Force on Chemical Health.

Eugene C. Roehlkepartain - Gene is Acting President and CEO of Search Institute, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization. He leads a staff of 35 professionals who engage in research, product and service development and distribution, and community and organizational capacity building that focus on the healthy development of children, youth, families, and communities.

Since joining Search Institute in 1991, he has helped to expand the nonprofit organization and its reach through establishing a publishing program and developing the links between the Institute’s scientific research and its community engagement strategies, tools, and services.

Gene is widely recognized as an expert in youth development in community contexts, with a particular specialty in the role of religious institutions and spiritual development in young people’s healthy development. He is also co-director of Search Institute’s Center for Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence, an international initiative to advance knowledge and practice in this understudied area of human development.

Bill has served in the addiction treatment field since 1973. In 1995 he became President and Chief Executive Officer of Austin Recovery, the largest community alcohol & drug treatment facility in Texas. Under his leadership, AR has attracted wide community support moving from an exclusively government-funded center toward an affordable treatment alternative for working families seeking help.  It serves medically needy individuals and families by providing affordable treatment alternatives along with extensive scholarships.

Fr. Bill Wigmore - Bill has served in the addiction treatment field since 1973. In 1995 he became President and Chief Executive Officer of Austin Recovery, the largest community alcohol & drug treatment facility in Texas. Under his leadership, AR has attracted wide community support moving from an exclusively government-funded center toward an affordable treatment alternative for working families seeking help.  It serves medically needy individuals and families by providing affordable treatment alternatives along with extensive scholarships.

Bill has a B.A. from the University of Dayton and has done graduate work at both Columbia University and the University of California.  He is a priest in the Episcopal Church with a specialized ministry to alcoholics and addicts.  He has presented workshops on chemical dependency and spirituality at the Betty Ford Center, Hazelden Foundation and throughout the United States. He writes a monthly column for Recovery Today magazine. 

 Bill received the 2008 Wheelock & Irene Whitney Award given to “the man or woman who has advanced the understanding of faith and science in addiction prevention and recovery.”  The award was given annually by the Johnson Institute of Washington D.C.

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