Introducing ASAC’s New Board Members
Laci Lower is the owner of Interlace, a consulting firm specializing in Market Development and Product Management. Through Interlace, she has a long-term engagement with One Mission Fundraising, a startup focused on product fundraising and crowdfunding for any great cause where she focuses on marketing and process development. Prior to that, she spent a year and a half at Kinze Manufacturing where she worked on strategic projects as the Marketing Intelligence Analyst and managed the external marketing firm relationship. Laci’s expertise in new product development was cultivated during her 7+ years at Allsteel, a division of HNI.
Her educational background includes an undergraduate degree from Coe College where she majored in both Business Administration and Computer Science and minored in Economics while being a 4-year letter winner in both basketball and volleyball. Laci received her MBA from the University of Iowa Tippie School of Management with concentrations in Marketing and Strategic Management. Laci is active in many non-profits and becoming more involve in the vibrant, local startup community as well as periodically stepping out of her comfort zone by taking Impov classes, and spending time with her two kiddos Averie and Cohen.
Karla Alvarez earned an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration and Accounting from Muscatine Community College; a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, a Bachelor of Business Administration, and a Certificate in International Business from the University of Iowa; as well as a Master of Arts in Latin American Literature also from the University of Iowa.
Karla was an Adjunct Professor for four years at Muscatine Community College. Currently she is one of the Multicultural Specialists in the Center for Diversity & Enrichment (CDE) at the University of Iowa. She chairs the Latino/a Youth Leadership Development Summit, serves as treasurer for the UI Latino Council and is active with League of United Latin American Citizens. This year, Karla is working closely with the Sioux City and Storm Lake, Iowa communities conducting college presentations to students and their families. During the summer, Karla coordinates the CDE Summer Enrichment Institute for high school African-American and Latino students. Karla has been traveling to India for the past four winters to co-teach a course for the Study Abroad office. Karla loves to read, watch movies, and travel.
ASAC Receives Variety Grant
The Area Substance Abuse Council was awarded a $3,150 Variety grant for the agency’s Heart of Iowa childcare program.
The goal of Heart of Iowa is to create healthy families and to stop the cycle of substance abuse that often runs in families. The children we serve at Heart of Iowa have been adversely affected by their mom’s substance abuse either physically, mentally and/or emotionally.
To address their many needs, quality childcare programming is imperative. The items that will be purchased with Variety funds will help ensure that the children at Heart of Iowa obtain the best care and educational learning possible.
We are thankful for the financial support provided by Variety – the Children’s Charity.
Linn County Sleep Out for the Homeless
To help support the efforts of local homeless shelters and transitional housing programs, the 11th Annual Sleep Out will be held on Saturday October 29th at the Veterans Memorial (Kernel’s Baseball) Stadium in Cedar Rapids. The event will run from 3pm on Saturday to 6am on Sunday.
ASAC knows first-hand the issue of homelessness. Many of our patients are dealing with housing issues and have been or are homeless. Our Recovery Center and Heart of Iowa halfway house programs provide important transitional housing services to individuals and families in early recovery.
Please support the event by either sleeping out and experiencing what is it like to be homeless or making a donation to ASAC’s Team. Funds raised will be distributed among the homeless providers in Linn County; of which ASAC is one with our Recovery Center Halfway House and Heart of Iowa Halfway House programs providing transitional housing.
There are many activities at the Sleep Out including a movie on the Kernel’s big screen, a homeless simulation, a silent auction, a Trunk or Treat, and soup, snacks and beverages.
For more information, visit the Sleep Out website.
Sign up to receive posts from ASAC’s Facebook page to read stories of recovery that were written by ASAC patients. Below is one patient’s advice for others struggling with addiction:
“Learn from my experience – my story after drinking and drugging for 27 years I have a clear head and am focusing on myself in my recovery. You don’t always have to talk, listening is the key. 90 meetings – 90 days – I am loving life – other than some stress right now. Work your program. Own it like a boss and focus on you and your own recovery. It is not easy but can be maintained! Admit that your life has become unmanageable – powerless over your addiction. Life is only as great as you want!”
ASAC Offices Impacted by the Flood
Three of ASAC’s offices were displaced by recent flood events. Our Benton County office was closed on Monday, September 26 due to difficulty accessing the office. Our Downtown Office, located in the evacuation area, was closed the entire last week of September. The counselors located in this office worked out of our East Office and ASAC’s Main Campus although most of their clients, due to transportation issues, could not access treatment services. The program most impacted, however, was ASAC’s Heart of Iowa Mother and Child Recovery Center.
In 2008 Heart of Iowa experienced major flooding. In anticipation of a similar situation, we relocated Heart of Iowa families on Saturday, September 24. Camp Courageous generously provided a bus to transport the women and children to the Methodist Church Camp at Picture Rocks County Park near Monticello. Although the street was flooded and water crept into the parking lot, none of the buildings received damage so the families returned to Heart of Iowa on Thursday, the 29th.
Although being evacuated was traumatic for the families, their time at Camp actually became a positive experience. Juliene McNally, Heart of Iowa Assistant Director, conducted a group session prior to their departure from Picture Rocks Camp to allow the women to share their thoughts on the evacuation and their time at Camp. Many of the patients expressed that they were scared as they left Cedar Rapids but that they knew ASAC would do their best to take care of their needs while displaced. Several patients also shared that they used to go camping and on hikes as kids and being at Pictured Rocks Camp rekindled that activity for them and that they now want to instill that love of nature in their own children.
ASAC Has Lost a Friend
L D (Larry) Carstensen died on August 21, 2016. Larry had been actively involved with ASAC/New Directions for over 20 years. He served on both the New Directions Advisory Council and the ASAC Board of Directors. In these roles Larry was always generous with sharing his legal advice based on his many years as a Judge of the Seventh Judicial District of Iowa and as the Clinton County Attorney.
Larry’s contributions to ASAC were greatly appreciated. He will be missed.
Director of Clinton/Jackson Clinical Services Named
Gabriel (Gabe) Gluba has been selected as the Director of ASAC’s Clinton/Jackson Clinical Services. In his new role Gabe will manage the outpatient and halfway house treatment services in ASAC’s Clinton and Maquoketa offices.
Gabe has been an ASAC employee since 2004. Most recently he served as the Manager of ASAC’s King House; our halfway house program for men that is located in Clinton. Gabe has worked in various positions during his tenure with the agency including patient support, outpatient and residential treatment positions so he brings a broad base of experience to his new management position.
In addition, Gabe has a strong educational background. He has a Masters of Criminal Justice from St. Ambrose University, a BA in Sociology and Philosophy from Mount Mercy College and is currently in the Master of Social Work program at St. Ambrose. Gabe is a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor and also has a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from GreenProfit Solutions, Inc.