Key Personnel

Rory, Denise, JD, Stanley, Gary M, Gary H, and Aurora

Stanley Weinstein, EMBA, ACFRE, is Executive Director of Best Chance and has spent more than 50 years in the nonprofit sector. As a consultant, he has provided services for more than 300 nonprofit organizations nationwide, including numerous social service/behavioral health institutions. From 2010-2018, Stanley was a volunteer mentor at Central New Mexico Correctional Facility, where he taught mindfulness and coping skills. Mr. Weinstein was also trained at Presbyterian Hospital, participating in the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program. Subsequently, he worked as a chaplain at the hospital for 2 years. Mr. Weinstein is the author of two books on nonprofit management and resource development published by John Wiley & Sons.

Rory Wolf, Certified Peer Support Worker (CPSW), has been clean and sober for 11 years and serves as Peer Support Worker and Administrative Specialist. He came to Best Chance as an intern from CNM and has been integral in refining the program and maintaining records of the organization. He is a veteran and is familiar with the programs offered at the Veterans Integration Center. He has an Associate degree in human services and a certificate in substance abuse counseling. Rory obtained his CPSW through OPRE in September of 2019.

Gary Mares, Certified Community Health Worker (CCHW), Certified Peer Support Worker (CPSW), was trained as a Peer Educator by Project ECHO during his term of incarceration. He completed the 40 hour training period for Best Chance Peer Support Workers and is enrolled full-time in CNM’s Human Services program. He completed his Community Health Worker Certificate from CNM in August 2019 and obtained his CPSW through OPRE in September 2019. A gifted presenter, Gary has represented Best Chance at several conferences and outreach presentations.

Denise Thomas, Peer Support Worker recently received her CPSW. She comes to Best Chance with a reputation for empathy–especially for women who have experienced many hardships in their lives. Denise’s Monday afternoon Women’s Support Group is a popular feature of the Best Chance schedule. Denise knows our referral network well. Her Peer Support Services for men and women have garnered praise from our diverse client pool.

Joe “JD” Medina, Peer Support Worker is also a Certified Peer Support Worker (CPSW). JD has a strong artistic flare. He encourages his clients to not only find meaningful employment, but also ways of expressing their unique talents. JD has close ties to many other service providers. This allows him to help secure the services that each Best Chance program participant needs to succeed.

Gary Hernandez, Operations Manager/Peer Support Worker (trainee), is the newest member of the Best Chance team. He has a BA in Urban Studies and a MA in Sociology both from Stanford, and a MPH from University of London. His life experience combined with his extraordinary education have molded Gary into one uniquely qualified to help administer the organization. At the same time, he brings a deep sense of empathy while working with program participants. Gary comes to us through the program New Mexico Workforce Connections, funded by a grant from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).