PRESIDENT and CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Gary Tennis serves as NAMSDL’s President and Chief Executive Officer. In 1992-1993 he served as Executive Director of NAMSDL’s predecessor entity, the President’s Commission on Model State Drug Laws, in 1992-1993. Gary specializes in drafting and developing treatment, intervention, and prevention model laws, policies, guidelines and strategies.
With the exception of his two years’ service with the President’s Commission, Gary was a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office from 1980 till 2006, the last 20 years of which he served as the Legislative Liaison for the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. In 1987, as Chairman of the Hiring Committee for the District Attorney’s Office, Gary created the Minority Hiring Recruitment Committee in 1987.
Gary was appointed as Pennsylvania’s first Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs from 2012 till 2017, during which time he served as an Officer on the NASADAD Board. He still serves on the Board for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
Gary was awarded the NASADAD Award for Exceptional Leadership and Support of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment in 2014 and the National Ramstad-Kennedy award in 2015. Gary is also a co-founder of NAMSDL.
Chief Operating Officer
Cheryl Dondero serves as NAMSDL’s Chief Operating Officer and assists the President and CEO with the daily management of all financial, administrative and personnel operations. Additionally, she is the primary point of contact for NAMSDL’s initiatives involving Warm Hand-off of Overdose Survivors to Treatment, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) research and initiatives and Pathways to Pardons.
Prior to joining NAMSDL, Cheryl was the Director of Pennsylvania’s Dauphin County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services where she was responsible for developing a comprehensive, community-based drug and alcohol service provider network for all treatment, prevention, intervention and recovery support services. Prior to her county positon, she was the Deputy Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), under Secretary of DDAP at the time, Gary Tennis, where she retired with 35 years of service to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Cheryl received her Master of Human Services (MHS) degree from Lincoln University in 2002. She proudly identifies herself as a woman in long-term recovery and knows first-hand the devastating effects of addiction on her own life, the lives of her family and friends and on our nation’s families and communities. She is passionate about helping others to achieve a life of recovery free from drug and alcohol addiction. She is excited to again be working with our President and CEO Gary Tennis and the rest of the exceptional NAMSDL staff and board members.
Director of Law Enforcement
and Veterans Affairs
Kevin Smith serves as NAMSDL’s Director of Law Enforcement and Veterans Affairs. He is the primary point of contact for NAMSDL’s initiatives involving law enforcement, criminal justice, military, veteran’s and information management issues.
Kevin has served with NAMSDL for more than 19 years in various roles. Prior to joining NAMSDL, Kevin has more than 30 years of experience in operations and drug and alcohol work with law enforcement agencies, multijurisdictional task forces, state and local policymakers, federal agencies and communities. He has had the opportunity to assist stakeholders in many aspects of the drug and alcohol arena, including policy development, diversion control, prevention and treatment.
Director of Research
and Legislative Affairs
Chad serves as Director of Research and Legislative Affairs. He provides substantive project management services for NAMSDL and focuses on research and analysis of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) and healthcare licensing and practice-specific laws and policies. He also provides technical assistance and drafts model legislation. Previously, Chad served as the Managing Director of the Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and Wisconsin Controlled Substances Board where he coordinated the development, operation and enhancement of the Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Chad received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
SENIOR LEGISLATIVE ATTORNEY
Jon serves as Senior Legislative Attorney for NAMSDL, where he drafts model legislation, performs research and comparative analysis of states' drug and alcohol laws and regulations and provides technical assistance. Among his areas of specialty are criminal justice and health care issues involving novel psychoactive substances/controlled substance analogues, naloxone access, the warm-hand off of overdose survivors to treatment, drugged driving and the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana. Jon received a B.A. in Physics from Illinois Wesleyan University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was Notes Editor on the Virginia Law Review. Prior to his current position, Jon was a private practice attorney in Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville, Virginia.
Technical Services Coordinator
Jennifer serves as Technical Services Coordinator for NAMSDL. She oversees the operation of NAMSDL’s information technology and information systems, including the ongoing enhancements to and maintenance of the namsdl.org website. Additionally, Jennifer provides event coordination and logistics support for conferences and other events run out of NAMSDL’s Research and Drafting Office in Wisconsin. Jennifer also provides document proofing, layout and formatting services to expand NAMSDL’s information dissemination capabilities.
Prior to joining NAMSDL, Jennifer provided similar technical and administrative oversight for a multimember healthcare company in Iowa. Jennifer received an Associate of Arts and Website Design Certification at Kirkwood Community College and a B.S. in Business from Upper Iowa University.
Bethany is the Executive Assistant and supports the NAMSDL staff and offices administratively, while also contributing to NAMSDL program initiatives where she can lend her experience and technical assistance. Beth’s most recent experience as the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol Education at the PA Liquor Control Board, coupled with more than 30 years of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania experience in corrections, research, program planning and management (juvenile justice and victim services), grants and accounting provides a strong foundation for numerous NAMSDL model law initiatives.
In addition to her commonwealth experience, Beth has administrative and leadership experience with non-profit organizations, working in the areas of training, education and recovery. Beth returned to college as an adult and received her Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology from Albright College in 2002 and her Master of Science in Organizational Development and Leadership from Shippensburg University in 2004.