Lifetime Achievement Award


The California Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG) Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of problem gambling within the State of California. Individuals are recognized due to their commitment and outstanding contribution to the issue of problem gambling in research, advocacy, fundraising, professional practice, policy making, training and/or voluntarism.

Past Recipients

  • (2018) Bob Weinstein
    In 1983, Robert "Bob" Weinstein began his recovery from gambling addiction, and has worked tirelessly ever since then to help others who suffer from the same problem.
    Bob has spent 18 years as a volunteer on both the Gamblers Anonymous (GA) Board of Regents (similar to the Board of Directors for a nonprofit) and the GA Board of Trustees, and at different times has acted as Chair of each Board for 9 of those years – one of only two people to have ever Chaired both Boards! In addition, Bob has served on the Board of Directors for the California Council on Problem Gambling since the year 2000, acting as President for 3 years, and Vice President for another 3.
    A volunteer for the GA Helpline, Bob receives calls at any time of the day or night. His focus is to get callers to a GA meeting while talking them through the process of seeking help, and he never hesitates to spend as much time as is necessary with anyone in need. He has also personally sponsored more than 50 different people in recovery – as many as 14 at one time! – and run more than 500 pressure relief group meetings, where recovering gamblers receive training to restructure their finances and debt, and help to relieve other pressures.
    Bob is also the founder of two of the only three self-help centers that are GA-inspired and operating in the country: the Orange County Self Help Center and the Inland Empire Self Help Center. These nonprofit centers provide meeting space for any and all 12-step recovery programs.
    Previously the Vice President of an engineering firm, Bob has a diploma from the UCLA Anderson School of Business's Executive Program. Renowned for his superb negotiating skills, Bob has acted as the Chair for 5 international gambling recovery conferences, and numerous other smaller conferences.
    After earning his diploma, Bob moved on to become a private business owner. Over the course of three decades, he opened, owned and operated around a dozen successful bookstores and baseball card shops throughout Southern California. The longest tenured of these stores was one in Anaheim, which he owned for 28 years. Although now retired, Bob maintains his passion for rare and collectible books, and still buys and sells them in his spare time.
    The second youngest of 8 children, Bob has been married for 55 years, and has one son who is an attorney, and two grandchildren – one graduating college, and the other graduating high school in 2018.

  • (2017) Linda Graves, Psy D, NCGC-II
    Since 1996, Linda Graves, Psy.D, NCGC-II has worked to help problem gamblers and their loved ones by establishing and overseeing statewide treatment, prevention and/or training programs in several states, most recently California.

    Dr. Graves began her career in the problem gambling field with the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems (DCGP), where she worked as the Deputy Director. During her tenure with the DCGP she established multiple statewide programs including client treatment, counselor certification, and program evaluation.

    From 2005 through 2011, Linda served as the Problem Gambling Program Manager for the State of Washington’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, where she again worked to establish statewide treatment, in addition to several other training, certification and evaluation programs.

    From 2011 through 2017, Linda contracted with the California Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG) to spearhead a nascent statewide training program intended for the gaming industry, law enforcement and government agencies. Under Linda’s guidance, a series of significant breakthroughs led to a dramatic expansion of statewide training services. This was most evident within the law enforcement community, which had previously shown tepid interest (or even resistance) to the idea of training.

    Married for more than forty years, with two sons, a foster daughter and two grandchildren, Linda was the recipient of the National Council Service Award in 2003 and the Counselor of the Year for the Delaware Association of Addiction Professionals in 2005. Linda has also served on the Boards of a wide array of organizations, including: the International Gambling Counselor Certification, the Association of Problem Gambling Service Administrators, the Women’s Red Tent, the American Compulsive Gambling Counselor Certification, the Delaware Drug and Alcohol Certification, and as the Chair of the National Helpline Committee.

    Never one to rest on her laurels, Linda earned her Psy.D. in 2014, is heavily involved with her church – taking on a variety of roles and responsibilities – and routinely volunteers her time both to CCPG, and to other organizations. Linda and her husband, Lowell, are also certified health coaches who help bring transformation to those who have had a history of poor health habits and obesity.

  • (2016) Gary Lange, Ph.D, MFT
    Dr. Gary Lange, Ph.D, MFT been a Certified Addictions Specialist for over 30 years, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Rancho Mirage, CA since 1990, a Certified Gambling Counselor since 1995 and the Chair of the Training Committee for the California Council on Problem Gambling for more than a decade. He also serves on the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board (IGCC) and is a Board Approved Clinical Consultant (BACC).

    Dr. Lange holds International and California Certifications as a Gambling Counselor, and has helped thousands of gamblers, alcoholics, addicts and their families throughout his distinguished career. He has worked at the Betty Ford Center (where he completed his dissertation on the recovery symptoms/patterns of family members) and is a current provider and supervisor for California Gambling Education and Treatment Services (CalGETS) program.

    Dr. Lange is also a Professor of Psychology with California State University, is renowned as an international public speaker on gambling addiction-related topics, has published numerous articles on treating gamblers and their families in prestigious publications such as The Counselor and The Therapist, and is currently authoring a book centered upon treatment for the families of disordered gamblers.

    Please visit to learn more about Dr. Lange, his private practice, and his publications.

  • (2015) Thomas Marriscolo
    A retired Police Commander and Chief Deputy Coroner, Thomas ‘Tom’ Marriscolo is a lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay area and is married with one daughter and two granddaughters.

    Tom has been involved in the recovery community, working to help problem gamblers and their loved ones, for more than three decades. From direct assistance to the gamblers and their loved ones, to educating casino leaders in California and throughout the country about problem gambling, to providing input into the laws which shape responsible gaming regulation and funding, Tom’s contributions within the recovery and problem gambling communities have occurred at all levels.

    Tom is one of a very select few to have been both the Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Chair of the Board of Regents for an international group recovery organization, and he is a former President of the Board of Directors of the California Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG), having served in that capacity for nine years. Tom is renowned for his leadership skills, and his guidance was crucial to the sustained growth and success of each of these organizations.

    Tom has served on the CCPG board of Directors since 1997, on various problem-gambling related advisory committees for private and State agencies, and has presented at numerous national conferences on the topic of problem gambling.

  • (2014) Dr. Richard Rosenthal
    Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, CCGC-II, NCGC-II, BACC and Co-Director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program (as of 2014), Dr. Richard Rosenthal is Board certified psychiatrist who has been treating gamblers since the early 1980’s.

    As one of the most renowned and respected names within the fields of problem gambling treatment and research, Dr. Rosenthal is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a recipient of the California Office of Problem Gambling and the National Council on Problem Gambling’s lifetime achievement awards, and a recipient of the National Council on Problem Gambling’s research award (to name just a few of many).

    Dr. Rosenthal was a co-author of the diagnostic criteria (DSM-IV), co-investigator on the first genetic study, and has published more than 40 articles and book chapters on the phenomenology, course, complications, and treatment of pathological gambling.

    Dr. Rosenthal is the founder of the California Council on Problem Gambling, the creator of the first inpatient treatment program in the state of California and serves on the faculty of the New Center for Psychoanalysis (as of 2014).

  • (2013) David and Linda Frankes
    David Frankes has been working to help problem gamblers since the 1980s. During that time he has served as a Director on the National Council on Problem Gambling’s Board of Directors, a Director and one-time President of the California Council on Problem Gambling and a member of the National Board of Trustees. David’s work behind on the scenes, on everything from public education to Council bylaws, has directly helped to raise public awareness of Problem Gambling while allowing the Council itself to grow and provide services throughout all of California.

    Linda Frankes has been working to help the loved ones of problem gamblers, also since the 1980s. In addition to her work as a Director and one-time treasurer of the California Council on Problem Gambling, Linda was a co-founder of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. She has interned as a gambling counselor, worked and volunteered as a peer counselor for families and been a delegate for the International Board of Delegates of Family Recovery.

  • (2012) Marc Lefkowitz
    Marc Lefkowitz is a recovering problem gambler with more than 29 years of personal abstinence. He is a Certified Problem Gambling Counselor, and is highly involved with a wide variety of gambling recovery and prevention programs.

    Known by an astounding number of people throughout the country, Marc is a gifted public speaker who has worked as a teacher, trainer and advocate for problem gambling treatment and prevention for more than 20 years.

    He has trained more than 350 problem gambling counselors and 75,000 casino employees. He has spoken to tens of thousands of people at conferences throughout the country. And he has taught or spoken to future alcohol and drug counselors at numerous colleges, including (but not limited to): UCLA, UCSD, Pierce College and Valley College.

    Marc’s contributions go beyond his professional experience. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the California Council on Problem Gambling for nearly two decades and routinely donates his personal time (and often travel expense) to help and educate others in a variety and at a variety of events ranging from personal counseling and local support groups to speaking at public events or conferences.

  • (2011) Dr. Durand “Dewey” Jacobs
    Durand F. Jacobs, Ph.D. is a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, conferred by the American Board of Professional Psychology, and has been a Professor of Medicine (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences) at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine since 1978. He has been directly involved in treatment, training of health professionals, and research on addictive behaviors over the past 40 years. In 1972, he was instrumental in establishing the first inpatient treatment program for compulsive gamblers. He has received an International Achievement Award from McGill University’s International Centre for Youth Gambling and High-Risk Behaviors for “his pioneering contributions to the field of youth gambling,” and now resides with his talented wife in Redlands, California.

    The California Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG) Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of problem gambling within the State of California. Individuals are recognized due to their commitment and outstanding contribution to the issue of problem gambling in research, advocacy, fundraising, professional practice, policy making, training and/or voluntarism. Being one of the founders of CCPG, Dr. Jacob’s dedication, research and contribution to problem gambling and addictions has provided results among Native Americans, Asians, substance abusers, and other high-risk groups which have been reported at many national and international conferences, and published in a number of journals and books. His pioneering contributions to the field of youth gambling have made significant contributions in the field of problem gambling worldwide.

  • (2010) Michael S. Cunningham
    Michael S. Cunningham has had a long and varied career in health and human service policy, administration and program development. A former Deputy Director for the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, Michael has more than 30 years’ experience managing, directing and consulting with agencies in the fields of gambling, alcohol and drug prevention and treatment. He began his career directing community-based residential treatment and youth prevention programs, and has held management positions in agencies and organizations addressing critical health and human service issues and problems at the local, state and national levels. He possesses extensive experience and expertise in assessing, developing, disseminating, and applying public health and social services knowledge and research-based practices for agencies and organizations at all levels.

    Among his many achievements are the establishment of a national framework for developing community prevention services; facilitating the development of the California Outcome Measurement System; the establishment of both the California Access to Recovery youth treatment program and the California Screening and Brief Intervention program; directing the initiative to re-engineer California’s statewide system of services; and directing the delivery of training and technical assistance for the federal government and numerous states and local communities on alcohol and other drug policy, program development and delivery.

    Michael received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California State University at Los Angeles, and a Master of Arts in Government from Claremont Graduate University.

Nominations are accepted from the following sources:

  • CCPG Board of Directors (selected from a list generated by Board members).
  • The Office on Problem Gambling.

Eligibility Requirements
Experience includes one or more of the following; problem gambling research, authoring, issue avocation, state program administration, clinical practice, counseling, training, or volunteering.

  • 20 years of service working with problem gamblers, their families or the community.
  • An individual who reflects well on the issue of problem gambling through their example.
  • Has had direct, positive impact on Problem Gambling in the State of California.

Candidates are evaluated in terms of overall contributions to the field of problem gambling in the State of California and are selected by vote of the Board of Directors of the CCPG.

Award Presentation
The award ceremony takes place annually during the OPG Problem Gambling Awareness Month Kickoff Summit.

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