Alan J. Mathis
Since 2006, Alan J. Mathis has served as the President and CEO of Liberation Programs, one of Connecticut’s leading nonprofits providing prevention, education and treatment services for persons with substance abuse disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions. Under Mr. Mathis’ leadership, the agency has increased the number of people served by 38%, reduced wait times for treatment, and expanded access to wrap around social services to include a transitional employment program, and increased access to primary medical services through partnerships with community health centers. Working with the Board of Directors, the agency developed a permanent supportive housing complex in Norwalk for women and their children. Mr. Mathis transformed Liberation into an organization that provides evidenced-based, targeted care for the 1,200 individuals seen every day while strengthening the agency’s business practices and management. Mr. Mathis is a frequent speaker in the community and has written for numerous publications including the Norwalk Hour.
Prior to joining Liberation Programs, Mr. Mathis served as President and CEO at the Lower Eastside Service Center providing housing, primary medical, addiction and mental health services in NYC and served on NYC’s Mental Health and Hygiene Policy Advisory Board under Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former Director of the nation’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He holds a Master’s of Science in Public Policy and Management from the W. Averell Harriman School for Management and Policy at the University of NY at Stony Brook. As a Sloan Fellow, he studied public policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota. He resides in Norwalk with his wife Melissa.
James H. Deadwyler
Jim Deadwyler joined Liberation Programs as the Chief Development Officer in September 2017. In this role, he directs the agency’s fundraising, marketing, and volunteer engagement activities and will launch and oversee the new Liberation Education Academy in early 2018. With more than 24 years of professional fundraising experience, Mr. Deadwyler previously served as Vice President of Foundation & Government Support at Safe Horizon, Inc., the largest victims services agency in the United States. There, he was instrumental in increasing revenues by more than 20 percent over three years. Mr. Deadwyler has a B.A. in Russian language from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and lives in Stamford.
Marlene DeSantis, LCSW, LADC is the Chief Program Officer at Liberation Programs. With more than sixteen years of experience in program design and management in a behavioral health setting, Mrs. DeSantis oversees the day-to-day operations of Liberation‘s outpatient and inpatient treatment and supportive housing programs while leading the agency’s long-term strategic planning and implementation. She acts as the primary liaison with Liberation’s government partners and other key external constituencies. Mrs. DeSantis places emphasis on strengthening the clinical effectiveness of Liberation’s programs, excelling in the area of regulatory compliance, and ensuring client safety and satisfaction. Mrs. DeSantis came to Liberation in May of 2017 having served as the Division Director of Residential Services at another behavioral health agency in Bridgeport. Mrs. DeSantis earned a Master in Social Work degree and Post-Graduate Certificate in Clinical Supervision at New York University, is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and is credentialed to provide supervision to graduate students in the field of social work. In addition to her key leadership role at Liberation Programs, Mrs. DeSantis maintains a private practice in New Haven.
Omar Garro, MBA
Mr. Garro joined the agency in 2008 with over nine years of professional experience in the fields of business administration, finance, engineering, logistics, project development and quality control in the US and South America. His Quality Team at Naviera Oriente/Backus Corporation in Peru won the prestigious Peruvian National Quality Award. Mr. Garro has also been recognized by the Latino Foundation in Stamford as an Outstanding Educator. His passion for building effective quality processes and bringing much-needed resources to populations at risk guides his work at Liberation. Mr. Garro has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Pontific Catholic University and an MBA in Management from Sacred Heart University.
Cary Ostrow, MS, LMFT
Mr. Ostrow has been with Liberation Programs since 1992. His insight and skilled leadership in various top level positions has helped shape the agency’s service philosophy of utilizing the aspirations and assets of each person as part of a holistic approach to successful treatment. As Chief Operating Officer, he is working to improve agency-wide systems and procedures to achieve optimal performance. In 2003, Mr. Ostrow led the team that brought the agency its first national accreditation with CARF, attaining the highest award possible. Additionally, Mr. Ostrow has been a CARF surveyor since 2004, surveying more than 40 agencies across the country, with the opportunity to apply national best-practices at Liberation. One example is his implementation of an agency-wide electronic medical record keeping system. Mr. Ostrow has a Bachelor‘s Degree in Psychology from Clark University and a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Bridgeport.