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 Marine and is familiar with the programs offered at the Veterans Integration Center. He has an Associate’s degree in human services and a certificate in substance abuse counseling. Rory obtained his CPSW through OPRE in September of 2019.

Gary Mares, Certified Peer Support Worker (CPSW) and Certified Community Health Worker (CCHW), was trained as a Peer Educator by Project ECHO during his term of incarceration. He is now a Community Faculty Member for Project ECHO. He completed the 40-hour training period for Best Chance Peer Support Workers and graduated with an Associate’s degree from 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. He is also a SOAR Rep and a QPR Gatekeeper. Gary recently became a Board Member for the NM Credentialing Board for Behavioral Health Professionals. A gifted presenter, Gary has represented Best Chance at several conferences and outreach presentations.

Deborah Whitley, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC), Bachelors in Social Work (BSW), has an extensive history of peer support and substance abuse counseling. Deb has worked with multiple service providers as a Case Manager, Services Coordinator, and Substance Abuse Counselor. She facilitates our Monday afternoon Women’s Support Group and works closely with our participants coping with Substance Use Disorders. Deb is also completing the 40-hour training period for Best Chance Peer Support Workers while awaiting training through OPRE.

Joe “JD” Medina, 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 also works for an organization that helps families of incarcerated individuals. This allows him to help secure the services that each Best Chance program participant needs to succeed.

Gary Hernandez, Operations Manager and Peer Support Worker, is a newer member of the Best Chance team. He has a BA in Urban Studies and a MA in Sociology both from Stanford, and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree 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). Gary is completing the 40-hour training period for Best Chance Peer Support Workers while awaiting training through OPRE.