John Buro – President
John is originally from Randolph, Massachusetts where he spent the first 23 years of his life. He struggled with addiction throughout his teenage years into his early 20’s. Bouncing in and out of detoxes for years, he finally attended a 12-step retreat where he found long-term recovery in 2007.
Since then, John has developed a passion for helping individuals struggling with addiction. He has been very active in the recovery community since relocating to Portland in 2007. John started attending the “Addict In The Family” group in 2012 and developed a new passion for helping families.
He has a few family members who are still active in addiction and could relate to the challenging emotions and decisions involved with trying to help an addict. After seeing many families come into the group and not have the finances to send their loved ones to treatment, the idea of starting a scholarship fund came to mind. He has taken a lead role with The Family Restored in the hope of creating a lasting and much needed resource for the Maine and New England Community.
Eric Girard – Vice President
Originally from Danvers, MA, Eric Girard spent several years in and out of treatment centers battling IV drug addiction. In 2008, he was introduced to a group of people who were living a life grounded in the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Inspired by their ability to live so freely and selflessly in sobriety, Eric began to have hope that he could achieve long term sobriety. As he remained sober and continued his journey in the 12 steps, he started to see how his experience could benefit others struggling with alcoholism and addiction.
Eric moved to Portland, ME in attempt to pursue long-term sobriety in a new environment and he quickly became a strong fixture in Portland’s recovery community. Coming to terms with the selfishness of his disease, he realized that those who were effected the most by his addiction were those closest to him, his family. Understanding that addiction can be a family disease, Eric co-founded The Addict in the Family Support Group and eventually The Family Restored.
Eric graduated from Southern Maine Community College with an Associates Degree in Behavioral Health and is a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor. He is the director of Hillview Sober Living, a structured sober house for men in recovery, worked for 6 years as a case worker serving adults with severe mental illness and is currently a staff contact at The Plymouth House.
Karen Walsh – Treasurer
When Karen’s oldest daughter became addicted to opiates, she and her husband found themselves in a world they knew nothing about. They frantically searched for help to gain understanding and insight into this powerful disease. After attending one of the first “Addict in the Family” meetings nearly three years ago, they realized that hope does exist and there is a solution.
When approached by the founders of “Addict in the Family” to help form a non-profit that would offer families who may not have the financial means a chance to send their loved ones to treatment, Karen was eager to help out. She is actively involved in the fundraising, addiction awareness, scholarship process, and day-to-day operations of The Family Restored.
Karen holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Management from USM and is employed full-time at the University as an Administrative & Financial Manager. She and her husband have three children and reside in Portland.
Corey Gamberg – Secretary
Corey Gamberg was born and raised in South Jersey. He has experienced first hand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. From the age of 14, he had begun a six-year run of drug use and treatment. Starting with prescription drugs and leading to severe opiate addiction. After various and multiple forms of treatment, in the summer of 2010 Corey checked himself into detox for the last time. He relocated to Portland, ME, where he has resided ever since. Through the practical application of the 12 steps, and having found a relationship with God, Corey remains sober today just over four years.
During his active addiction, Corey saw the damage done onto his family first hand. At a point in his using, he suggested his parents attend a support group. Little to his liking, when his parents arrived back from this group, his world quickly shrank. His parents had finally found support in saying NO, and his using became harder and harder. After being sober for about a year, Corey went back to speak at this support group, and saw something special. For one, he saw how badly parents and families need help just as much as the addict, and also the community and fellowship of parents helping each other. This experience helped Corey to come up with the idea for The Addict in The Family support group, in Portland ME.
While residing in Portland, Corey was a founder of both The Addict in The Family support group, and The Family Restored. He has served as Oxford House President, as well as house manager of Hillview Sober living. He has worked in the mental health field, and currently works as a Staff Contact at The Plymouth House, in New Hampshire, and is working towards his CADC.
Julia Whyel – Director of Special Events
Julia Whyel came to Maine in 2011, and has been an active member of the Portland recovery community ever since, working in depth with The Family Restored and many of the recovery based institutions and women’s sober houses in the area. Julia found the spiritual solution of 12 step recovery after a hard battle with addiction, and is very grateful to have the privilege of giving back to the 12 step community in her daily life. Julia joined the board of The Family Restored in early 2014 after seeing the profound work the Addict In The Family support group was doing over the years. She is very grateful to have the opportunity to provide recovery based options and support to other suffering addicts and their families. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, exploring Maine, being with her wonderful family and friends and caring for her sweet rescue dogs; and she is pursuing a career in international social justice based photojournalism.
Stanton W. Gavitt, Jr. – Accountant
Stan is a CPA in Portland who maintains the company books and records, provides monthly reporting to the Board and provides tax services for The Family Restored. In addition, Stan provides tax services to members of the Recovery community. He graduated from Bentley College with a BS in Accounting in 1974. He then worked with the public accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand for six years and a local environmental consulting firm for twenty two years before opening his own CPA practice in 2002.
Stan first became involved with the Recovery community in 2009 when he learned the story of a friend caught up in addiction. He proceeded to go through the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 steps of recovery and helped his sponsor start up a Beginners Step meeting at the Mercy Recovery Center in 2011 once he saw the value of the 12 steps and understanding that they truly are Life steps. Stan continues to be involved in this meeting as a means to reach out to and give back to the Recovery community. It was a real honor and privilege to be asked to work with The Family Restored as its accountant during its infancy stages of start-up in 2014.