The Board


The California Council on Problem Gambling is governed by the following members who serve as volunteers on the Board of Directors and the Advisory Board. These individuals come from a variety of backgrounds, experience and professions, and share a mutual interest in addressing the issue of problem gambling.

Board of Directors
Tom Marriscolo
Retired Police Commander

Former CCPG President; Retired Police Commander, City of Burlingame; Former Chief Deputy Coroner, County of San Mateo; Consultant, Marriscolo & Associates Management Consultants; Chairperson, CCPG Personnel Committee
Member of the Board Since 1997

Bob Weinstein
Retired Business Owner

Retired Business Owner; Board of Directors, Inland Empire Self-Help Center (IESHC); UCLA, Graduate School of Business, Executive Program
Member of the Board Since 2000

Darin Scharer
Executive Director, Winner’s Foundation
Darin Scharer, Executive Director of Winners Foundation, has more than 30 years of progressively responsible experience directing and counseling in various program modalities ranging from residential drug and alcohol treatment, outpatient drug and alcohol treatment as well as many court ordered programs. These court ordered programs include driving under the influence, drug diversion, domestic violence and anger management. He is a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor-Clinical Supervisor, Internationally Certified Clinical Supervisor, Certified Recovery Program Manager, and Internationally Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor. He remains on the forefront of the Substance Use Disorder field educating and mentoring new counselors. His knowledge extends into many modalities and theories of practice. His passion is to reduce the stigma of Substance Use Disorder by providing services, referrals and support through empowering those who need help in embracing change.
Member of the Board Since 2012

Ira Berman
California Council Certified Trainer; Businessman; Member, National Gambling Recovery Organization; 15+ years in the Healthcare Industry
Member of the Board Since 2010

Kyle Kirkland
California Gaming Association
Kyle Kirkland is the President and General Manager of Club One Casino, Inc. in Fresno, CA. Mr. Kirkland is a 50% owner of the company and oversees the day-to-day operations of the casino, its management and regulatory compliance. Mr. Kirkland has held his ownership position since February 2008 and the General Manager position since June 2009. With his business partner, Mr. Kirkland also owns a cardroom in Visalia, CA and another cardroom license in Watsonville, CA.

Mr. Kirkland is also the President of the California Gaming Association, a 501(c)(6) trade association that represents the California cardroom industry. He has held the position for four years and is the chairman of the CGA’s legal and public affairs committee and its nominating committee. Mr. Kirkland is a frequent spokesperson for the California cardroom industry before California legislators, regulators and media.

From August 1993 to July 2011, Mr. Kirkland was Chairman of the Board and a controlling shareholder in Steinway Musical Instruments, the largest manufacturer of musical instruments in the United States. Mr. Kirkland was part of an investor group that purchased the company in a private transaction and took it public on the NYSE in 1996. The transaction was the subject of a Harvard Business School case “Steinway & Sons – Buying A Legend”. Mr. Kirkland’s Steinway experience included product and brand management, acquisitions, corporate governance, labor relations and internet strategies.

In 1994, Mr. Kirkland co-founded Kirkland Messina, Inc., a boutique investment banking firm focused on leveraged buyouts and placed debt and equity securities for companies in industries including gaming, aircraft parts, apparel, recreation and finance. Mr. Kirkland has also been involved in several corporate turnarounds and has served on the boards of two other public companies.

Mr. Kirkland also oversees the Kirkland Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to animal rescue.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Kirkland worked in the Beverly Hills office of Drexel Burnham Lambert, an investment bank specializing in high yield securities (1988-90) and the Boston office of Bain & Company, an international management consulting firm (1984-86).

Mr. Kirkland received an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1984 and a MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University in 1988.
Member of the Board Since 2017

Cathy Shink
San Manuel Casino
Cathy Shink attended the University of Redlands where she obtained a BS in Business Administration and Management. She is currently working for San Manuel Casino as Senior Manager of Guest Services. Cathy’s previous experience is working for a global bank where she was an Area Operations Director working with service, sales and compliance operations. Over time, Cathy has been deeply involved in her surrounding community acting as a member of Kiwanis International, a board member for United Way, treasurer for Redlands Festival Ballet and an executive committee member for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Member of the Board Since 2014

Andrew Masiel
Pechanga Resort & Casino
Member of the Board Since 2010

Keith Sharp
The Gardens
Member of the Board Since 2017

Paula Negrete
California Lottery
Member of the Board Since 2009

Gary Lange, Ph.D, MFT
Chair of the Training Committee and board member for CCPG; licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Rancho Mirage, CA; National and California Certification as a Gambling Counselor; Board Approved Clinical Consultant (BACC), supervisor for NCPG; Supervised the Family Program at the Betty Ford Center where he completed his dissertation on the recovery symptoms/patterns of family members; Certified Addictions Specialist; Professor of Psychology with Cal State University, San Bernardino, Palm Desert campus; Numerous professional presentations on problem gambling as well as the quarterly trainings for counselors seeking their Certification as a Gambling Counselor. Past topics included, “You Bet Your Life”, “When Luck Runs Out”; published articles for The Counselor, The Therapist magazines and is currently writing a book for treating families of gamblers.
Member of the Board Since 1995

Dr. Eric Geffner, Ph.D., CCGC-I, NCGC-I
Dr. Eric Geffner is a California State Licensed Clinical Psychologist. He graduated from UCLA with a BA in Psychology where he was the president of the UCLA chapter of the Psychology Honor Society. He also graduated from Northwestern University with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and, in 1997, became a member of the California Council on Problem Gambling and subsequently took the first California Gambling Counselor Certification Training. He obtaining the CCGC and NCGC certifications and has been treating gambling addiction since 1998 in a private practice setting. He assisted with the original CCGC training program and helped conduct many of the early CCGC trainings. With the exception of a brief sabbatical he has served on the board of directors since 1998, serving on both the training and fundraising boards. Dr. Geffner has treated hundreds of gamblers and their families and currently is a supervisor for the OPG/UCLA gambling treatment program.
Joined the Board in 1997

Carolyn Badger
Board of Directors, Inland Empire Self-Help Center (IESHC); president/treasurer, Animal Solutions Konnection (ASK) Foundation; copyeditor for Orange County Register, Press-Enterprise (Riverside and San Bernardino counties), and Los Angeles Register; community volunteer/fundraiser in the Inland Empire for more than 20 years.
Member of the Board Since 2014

Marie Rodriguez
Marie Rodriguez is retired from the Telecommunication Industry. She has over six years of experience in the Gamblers Anonymous program and over 20 years of community service.
Member of the Board Since 2014

Sandra Knickerbocker, IMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern working with groups at UPAC’s Problem Gambling Intensive Outpatient program in San Diego, CA for past two years. She has over 13 years of experience in the Gamblers Anonymous program and over 30 years of various forms of community service, including previously serving on Santee School’s District Technology Committee and as Gambler’s Anonymous Webmaster in San Diego. She has recently transitioned from a long-standing career in technology to a career in helping people thrive.
Union of Pan Asian Communities
Member of the Board Since 2016

Donna Brown Agins
Donna Brown Agins was an Elementary Art Specialist in public schools for eleven years before turning to writing full time. Her books: Jacqueline Kennedy, Legendary First Lady, and Maya Angelou, and Diversity Makes for an Interesting Tapestry, are in school libraries throughout the country. Her book on Maya Angelou was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for young readers.

Her interest in gambling addiction started with her marriage. Her husband Richard, who was, “a very good man with a very bad illness,” committed suicide after losing both the family’s home and money. In the aftermath of his suicide, she has done much personal work as well as research about compulsive gambling. The CalGETS program of therapy was instrumental in her healing from the suicide, understanding the nature of gambling and most importantly rebuilding her new life. She is now writing a book about her lived experiences with a compulsive gambler.
Member of the Board Since 2016

Tinya Holt, LCSW
President/CEO of Perris Valley Recovery Programs, Inc.
Member of the Board Since 2016

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