Monsignor William B. O’Brien
In the 1950's then Father O'Brien was drawn into the world of drug abuse and crime by the mother of a gang member frantically asking for help. Father O'Brien quickly realized that the common denominator in this, and most other street crime, was drugs. He found an appalling scarcity of programs treating substance abuse with any measure of success. As Daytop's success in drug treatment became known, the need for treatment centers grew. Father O'Brien and his Board of Directors found space in Sullivan County New York, and the first residential facility, Daytop Swan Lake, opened in June 1966. In the next couple of years it became evident that there was a problem with more casual drug users, as well as hard-core addicts, who could respond to treatment in an outpatient center. Daytop's first outpatient facility in Mount Vernon, Westchester County, opened in 1968 and served residents of the community. Daytop expanded with more residential facilities, and more outpatient centers throughout the New York area.
Reverend Joseph H. Hennen
Father Joe Hennen opened Daytop New Jersey in 1991. Prior to his work here, Father Hennen was psychologist and facility director at Daytop – Millbrook and Rhinebeck, New York for more than eight years. A graduate of Catholic University of America (BA and STB), St. Francis College (MS) and the College of New Rochelle, Father Hennen has more than 30 years of experience with adolescents with drug and alcohol issues. He is an ordained Roman Catholic Priest and holds a School Psychologist Permanent Certificate, is a Licensed Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor.
James P. Curtin
Mr. Curtin has worked at Daytop Village, Inc. for the past twenty-five years and has spent twenty of those years in various management positions. He has been a Senior Vice President since 2007. A graduate of SUNY NY and an MBA with a license to provide substance abuse counseling in the State of New Jersey, Mr. Curtin specializes in adolescent services and has extensive experience working with families of teenagers suffering from drug addiction. He is a trainer of Strategic Family Therapy and is a CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) Surveyo
Ian Gershman came to Daytop New Jersey in 2004 to open the South Jersey facility in Pittsgrove. He has since moved up through the leadership in the organization and is responsible for all treatment services across the state that Daytop provides in 21 counties. Prior to coming to Daytop, Mr. Gershman was the director of substance abuse services for Kennedy Memorial Hospital and prior to that spent ten years working in the United Kingdom in the field of substance abuse and mental health. With a MBA from Regis University and a Master of Arts in Education and Counseling from Hull University in the UK , Mr. Gershman has eighteen years of experience working in and managing substance abuse treatment services.
Dr. Deborah Pearce
The Director of the Daytop New Jersey Preparatory School is Deborah Pearce, Ph.D. Dr. Pearce came to Daytop after several years as an administrator in school districts in Missouri, California, North Carolina and New Jersey. Dr. Pearce has served in many capacities in school districts including Deputy Superintendent, Ridgewood, New Jersey, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services, Kansas City, Missouri, Richmond, California, and Raleigh, North Carolina. She previously served as Principal, Director of Pupil Services and Director of Funding for Montclair, New Jersey. Dr. Pearce has trained graduate students for educational administration at Rutgers University and Kean University. She has spread her educational knowledge through her consulting firm Pearce & Associates LLC specializing in designing charter schools. Dr. Pearce earned her BA from the College of Mount St. Vincent and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.
Vito R. Paladino
Mr. Paladino is the principal of The Daytop school in Pittsgrove, NJ. He was a teacher, vice-principal and principal in the New Jersey public school system. He began his public school service in 1973 after active duty in the USMC. Upon his retirement from public education, he accepted the position of principal with Daytop in 2004 where he has worked since then. He holds standard certificates in teaching, student personnel services and school administration. Both his BA and MA degrees were earned from Glassboro State College, now Rowan University. He has been a lifelong resident of New Jersey.
Laura Taverna has been with Daytop New Jersey since 1999, beginning as a part-time financial analyst. Laura has moved up through the organization to her current position of Vice President/CFO. Laura has extensive experience in the for-profit finance field, having worked for Johnson & Johnson, Oxford Superconducting Technology, Inc. and General Chemical Corporation. In addition, Laura has worked in the non-profit arena, most recently at the Northwest Early Intervention Collaborative, Inc. and also served as a Board Trustee for several non-profits serving children and adults with developmental disabilities. Ms. Taverna earned her MBA in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University.