Visionary Speaker

Dr. Carl Hammerschlag

Topic: "Healing In Community: Not Cutting Edge Nor Leading Edge, But 'Healing' Edge!"

"Dr. Hammerschlags' presentation at the National Speakers Association ranked within the top ten speeches I have seen or heard on this earth."
- Steve Thomas, Pres Landnet Systems, Inc. Scottsdale, AZ

Carl A. Hammerschlag is a master storyteller and internationally recognized author, physician, speaker and healer. A Yale-trained psychiatrist; he has spent more than twenty years working with Native Americans. He is an expert on how to survive in rapidly changing cultures. Now one of the worlds leading proponents of Psychoneuroimmunology (mind-body-spirit medicine), he is a faculty member at the University of Arizona Medical School. He is a faculty member at the Univ. of Arizona Medical School, and founder of the Turtle Island Project, a non-profit, multidisciplinary organization whose programs integrate the principles of mind/body/spirit medicine with Native American rituals and ceremonies.

Dr. Hammerschlag's life work has been chronicled in three critically acclaimed books: The Dancing Healers, The Theft of the Spirit, Healing Ceremonies, and two children's books. He holds the highest honor given in the speaking profession, the CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame Award and is a recipient of the National Caring Award. Selected by the Caring Institute of Washington D.C. from more than a quarter million nominations, the award honors "the ten most caring adults in America." In his presentations, Dr. Carl Hammerschlag brings his gift of storytelling, a wealth of legends, and unique insights which bridge the worlds of science, spirit, and culture. With poignancy and humor, he leads his audiences on a joyful journey that will stimulate and renew their creative potential.

Our Visionary Speaker is brought to you by:



Judge Steve Leifman

Topic: "Ending the Criminilization of Mental Illness"

From 2007–2010, Miami-Dade County Judge Steve Leifman served as Special Advisor on Criminal Justice and Mental Health for the Supreme Court of Florida. In this capacity, Judge Leifman was responsible for chairing the Court’s Mental Health Subcommittee, which authored a ground-breaking report entitled, Transforming Florida’s Mental Health System. This report, which has received considerable state and national recognition, outlines recommendations with the goal of decreasing inappropriate and costly involvement of people with mental illnesses in the justice system. Since October, 2010 Judge Leifman has chaired the Florida Supreme Court’s Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues in the Court.

Due to his expertise in the areas of criminal justice and mental health, Judge Leifman has been appointed to serve in a variety of capacities on local, state, and national bodies, including Co-Chair of the Council of State Governments/TAPA Center for Jail Diversion Judges’ Criminal Justice/Mental Health Leadership Initiative, Co-Chair of the Miami-Dade County Mayor’s Mental Health Task Force, Board of Directors of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, member of the National Leadership Forum for Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Services, member of the American Bar Association Task Force on Criminal Justice Mental Health Standards, and a Voluntary Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami School of Medicine. In addition, Judge Leifman serves as Chair of the South Florida Behavioral Health Network and Finance Chair of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust. He is also the past Board Chair of Florida Partners in Crisis. In May of 2012, Judge Leifman was invited to the Peoples Republic of China by the Chinese Psychiatric Association to assist them in the development of the first Chinese Mental Health Law.

In recognition of his tireless efforts, Judge Leifman has received numerous awards including; the 2015 William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence. One of the nation’s highest judicial honors, the Rehnquist Award is presented annually to a state court judge who exemplifies judicial excellence, integrity, fairness, and professional ethics. Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr. presented the award to Judge Leifman during a ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on November 19, 2015.

Judge Leifman is also the first recipient to receive the Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence (2015). Presented by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, this prestigious award honors a state trial court judges who exemplify judicial excellence, including strength of character, integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, knowledge of the law, sound judgment, professional ethics, intellectual courage, compassion, and decisiveness.

In addition, Judge Leifman received a 2014 American Psychiatric Association Presidential Commendation, the 2014 Spero Award from Weill Cornell Medical College, the Dade County Bar Association 2014 Justice Louis Brandeis Award, the 2014 Lawyers To The Rescue Humanitarian Award, the Dade County Bar Association 2013 Criminal Justice Award, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation 2012 Productive Lives Award, the Society of Biological Psychiatry 2012 Humanitarian Award, the American Psychiatric Association 2012 Advocacy Award, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce 2012 Miami’s Leaders Award, the 2011 Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle Award and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 2008 Distinguished Service Award (NAMI National’s Highest Honor).

Judge Leifman has also been featured in many national and local television and radio programs regarding mental health and the criminal justice system including, CBS News; USA Today; CNN: Anderson Cooper Special Report; CNN: Special Investigations Unit, The Criminally Insane; NBC Nightly News; PBS: Minds on the Edge, Facing Mental Illness; NPR: All Things Considered; the New York Times; the Washington Post; Wall Street Journal; Governing Magazine; CBS4: The Forgotten Floor; WPLG- TV10: This Week in South Florida; the Miami Herald and Miami Today. He has also authored and published numerous articles and book chapters on mental illnesses and the criminal justice system.


Dr. Kevin Wandler

Associate Chief Medical Officer Advanced Recovery Systems

Topic: "Changing our Genes"

A national leader in the treatment of substance abuse and eating disorders, a frequent keynote speaker and a highly rated educator, Dr. Kevin Wandler brings over 30 years of experience to his role as Associate Chief Medical Officer at Advanced Recovery Systems. He is board certified in General Psychiatry with added qualifications in Addiction Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and is certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. In addition to serving as IAEDP’s President, he is a Fellow and Certified Eating Disordered Specialist. His professional affiliations also include the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), American Psychiatric Association (APA), and American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).


Dr. D. John Dyben, DHc, CAP, CMHP

Director of Older Adult Treatment Services Hanley Center

Topic: "There is No Such Thing as a Discount Human Being"

Dr. John Dyben serves as the Director of Older Adult Treatment Services at Hanley Center. In this capacity he provides leadership to the flagship program for the treatment of addiction and comorbid conditions in older adults. John's academic background includes degrees in psychology (BS), Conflict (MA), Management (MS), and a Doctor of Health Science, with his doctoral practicum having focused on the dynamics, epidemiology, and treatment of substance abuse and addiction in older adults. Dr. Dyben is an ordained pastor, clinically trained chaplain, and board certified as both an Addictions Professional and a Mental Health Professional in the State of Florida.


Dr. Elaine Rotenberg

Clinical Director Alpert Jewish Family & Children's Service

Topic: "When Denial Becomes Affliction"

Dr. Elaine Rotenberg has been the Clinical Director of the Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Service and the Levine Jewish Residential & Family Service for the past 23 years. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and an active participant in the Action Alliance for Mental Health in Palm Beach County, the American Psychological Association, and the Florida Psychological Association. Dr. Rotenberg received her BA degree in psychology and education from Brandeis University and then went on to receive both her Masters and Doctoral degrees in psychology from the University of Denver. Dr. Rotenberg completed her predoctoral fellowship in the psychiatry department of Yale University.

Dr. Rotenberg provides clinical oversight and establishes standards of best practice for the more than two dozen programs of AJFCS and LJRFS. She has direct oversight of all of the behavioral health services of the organization, including counseling, psychiatry and residential services. Most recently, Dr. Rotenberg has spearheaded the creation of a coalition to introduce the international evidence-based Mental Health First Aid program throughout Palm Beach County. Dr. Rotenberg coordinates the ongoing Performance Quality Improvement program of AJFCS, is responsible for training throughout the organization, and is a national peer reviewer for the Council on Accreditation. Dr. Rotenberg is a much request speaker, having presented both locally and nationally on a variety of topics, and is regularly involved in outreach and interagency collaborative efforts into the community.


Marc Woods

Code Enforcement Officer
City of Delray Beach

Topic: "Attitudes and Platitudes Affecting Change"

I was born in Delray Beach in the mid 1950’s and was raised & educated locally. I graduated from FAU with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the College of Social Science. I was hired by the Delray Beach Police Department in 1980 and served in many roles for the Department and achieved the rank of Lieutenant. During the mid-2000’s I was in charge of Detective Bureau during the deadly heyday of the pill mills. My Detectives worked a volume of overdose deaths from prescription painkillers, many being here for recovery services. During this time I reached out to the Recovery Community to seek solutions and created many relationships. I began attending the Delray Beach Drug Task Force meetings in 2007 and worked with these same, committed members of the recovery community. After 30 years of service I retired from the Police Department, but continued my participation with the Delray Beach Drug Task Force. In 2012, I was rehired part-time to work in the Community Improvement Department, where I continue to serve as a Code Enforcement Officer and as a member of the Delray Beach Drug Task Force.