The Problem Gambling Network of Ohio (PGNO) seeks to work with all individuals and organizations involved in gaming activities that address problem gambling in Ohio. PGNO believes that success will result from these partnerships.


PGNO is a vital component in building readiness for both communities and professionals. As such, PGNO needs your support in continuing this important work. With the continual expansion of gambling in Ohio, now is a critical time to become a member of PGNO.

In addition to learning more, membership benefits include:

  • Discounted PGNO trainings and events
  • Information about advocacy efforts and opportunities
  • Networking opportunities with fellow members

Download the Membership Form today!


PGNO is funded by annual membership support, grants, and service contracts.  PGNO is a registered non profit organization 501(c)(3).


PGNO is an affiliate of the National Council on Problem Gambling,, and does not take a position for or against legalized gambling. The NCPG maintains a neutral position on gaming and advocates for problem gamblers and their families.



Derek Longmeier, Executive Director

After serving on the Board of Directors, Derek Longmeier became the Executive Director of the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio (PGNO) on February 1, 2016. Prior to PGNO, Derek served on the staff of Drug Free Action Alliance for ten years and led the organization's efforts in problem gambling prevention. In this capacity he worked extensively at the state and national levels.

Derek received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The Ohio State University, a Masters degree in Business Administration from Ohio Dominican University, a certificate in Social Enterprise from The Ohio State University, Fisher School of Business. He is also an Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist II and an Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist.

Executive Committee

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Tristyn Eppley, President

Tristyn Eppley, LSW, OCPS, is the Manager for the Montgomery County Prevention Coalition and serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio.

Ms. Eppley has been with the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio since 2014 and has served on the executive board since 2015 as Treasurer then Vice-President. In addition, she serves on the Problem Gambling Advisory Board led by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. She has served on that board since its inception in 2016.

She has worked in various capacities as an advocate for problem gambling prevention. Ms. Eppley worked to develop the Problem Gambling Alliance, a group located in Southwest Ohio for professionals specialized in problem gambling services. This intent of the alliance is to provide a rich networking experience that produces lasting partnerships with agencies in the region as well as educating professionals on current legislation and best practices regarding problem gambling. Ms. Eppley has developed and implemented several campaigns focused on the prevention of problem gambling among various populations. Ms. Eppley holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of Cincinnati.


 Photo Credit:  dimnikolov

Lynn Burkey, Vice-President 

For 40 years Mr. Burkey has served the Warren / Youngstown area as a counselor, advisor, supervisor, and administrator.  

Major credits include: 11 years as a counselor and administrator at Rebecca Williams Community Center in Warren,  and a current 27 year tenure at  Meridian Healthcare in Youngstown, where he has served as an addictions counselor, program consultant and supervisor in a variety of programs and services.

He has been in charge of gambling treatment services in the Youngstown area for the past 14 years, and has received state recognition having a primary role in state gambling counselor certification and training. He has not only counseled problem gamblers and their families, but has acted as a community resource presenting numerous professional training workshops both locally and throughout the state, while making appearances on numerous local radio, tv and web programs. He is an active member of the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio. He is recognized by the National Council on Problem Gambling as a board-approved clinical consultant.

Mr. Burkey is married with 1 daughter and 3 grandsons. He is a lifelong member of the Methodist Church, holding a number of local, district, and conference offices over the years.

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Beth Logan-Batzer, Secretary

Beth Logan Batzer has been in the field of chemical dependence and mental health treatment for over 30 years.  Trained first in education at Northern Illinois University with the goal of being a school counselor, she came to realize she wanted to help people make changes. Thus she changed focus and completed her masters at Ball State University, Overseas program in counseling. She worked for the Department of Defense as a substance abuse/mental health counselor and gained further training through the 7th Army Training Command in Germany. Additionally, she worked for California’s Office of Mental Health providing direct services. Upon moving to Ohio, she has worked for Project Linden, Maryhaven, and Compdrug.  She has been in private practice as an independent affiliate with the Center for Cognitive and Behavior Therapy of Greater Columbus. She is dually licenses as a LICDC-CS AND A L.P.C.C.-S.  As gambling was discussed in Ohio, she became interest in the impact of gambling on other addictions and mental health.  She attended her first training provide by PGNO in 2010. She has been active in PGNO serving as the secretary.  


Information coming soon.

Board Members

Dr. Heather Chapman

Dr. Heather Chapman is Director of the Brecksville Gambling Treatment Program, and Deputy Director of the Veterans Addiction Recovery Center, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and Associate Professor of Psychiatry Case Western Reserve University. A clinical psychologist, she has conducted assessments, individual psychotherapy, and psychotherapeutic, psychoeducational, and support groups targeting problem and pathological gambling since 1997. Dr. Chapman is a nationally certified gambling counselor and board certified clinical consultant from the International Gambling Certification Board of the National Council on Problem Gambling. She is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, and as such has developed groups specifically designed to enhance change for those struggling with problem and pathological gambling. Her current research interests include suicide and gambling, as well as personality and gambling, co-morbidity, and treatment retention.

Bruce Jones

Bruce is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and a Nationally-Certified Gambling Counselor Level I who has worked for Maryhaven since 2000. For the last 5 years, Bruce has been working with individuals, family members, and communities as the Administrative Coordinator for the Gambling Intervention Program. He saw the need for gambling services in Central Ohio in 2009 and asked Maryhaven to apply for a private grant from the Columbus Foundation to target help to those struggling with gambling addiction. The state then supplied funding after his vision was verified with the amount of clients seeking services that first year.

Bruce also serves on the Treatment Committee for the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board which is addressing changes to licensures and certifications to better help gamblers and their families. He is also a member of the Central Ohio Batterers Intervention Program Coalition.

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Marilyn Rule

Marilyn Rule was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of Findlay and a Master of Social Work from Ohio State University.  She has worked in many different capacities in the behavioral health field and is presently the Problem Gambling Program Director at Zepf Center in Toledo, Ohio.  In her current role she provides program and staff development, materials for social media marketing, treatment for individuals impacted by gambling behaviors, and education regarding gambling prevention strategies throughout Lucas County.  Rule has presented at many conferences and trainings including Stage 1 Foundations in Problem Gambling sponsored by OhioMHAS and she is a co-principal investigator of an OhioMHAS grant that seeks to implement and evaluate a new manualized problem gambling treatment program across five agencies throughout Ohio.

Velerick Watts


Louis Weigele

Louis Weigele is a clinical social worker who has worked with gambling addictions.

Jessica Martin

Jessica is the spouse of a problem gambler. She and her husband Brad understand the devastating effects gambling can have on a person and their family.

Jessica has a Master’s of Science in Teaching, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Wright State University. She has an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences, and an Associate of Arts in Legal Assisting from Sinclair Community College.

Jessica is passionate about finding problem gamblers and their families the help they need. She filmed a gambling awareness commercial for the Maryhaven Center in Columbus to help others like herself. Brad and Jessica filmed “my story” video segments for Maryhaven’s website. Jessica has worked to raise awareness for problem gambling by speaking to groups including being a guest speaker for The Drug Free Action Alliance and Ohio Mental Health and Addictive Services at the 2016 Ohio Problem Gambling Conference in Columbus. She has done media segments about problem gambling with Kate Bartley of WHIO/Dayton and Katie Love of NBC4/Columbus. Jessica helped develop and currently facilitates the program Restoring Hope.  This is a faith based addiction recovery program at Restoration Park Church in New Carlisle, Ohio.  Her goal is to increase awareness, prevention, and treatment for problem gamblers and all those around them.


Michael Buzzelli

Michael A. Buzzelli, MA, MPH, OCPSA is the gambling services specialist for Recovery Resources in Cleveland, OH. Buzzelli is responsible for engaging physical health care providers in the promotion of problem gambling awareness, building problem gambling prevention/treatment capacity at community AOD agencies, hosting statewide trainings, and co-chairing the Cuyahoga Problem Gambling Coalition. He holds a Masters of Public Health from Kent State University and a Masters of Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University.

Ashley N. Hartman

Ashley N. Hartman MPH, CHES, OCPS is a public health and nonprofit practitioner in Cleveland, Ohio. Her main professional interests are health education and promotion, nonprofit management, issue-based organizing, supporter mobilization and fundraising. She has been with Recovery Resources since 2014, serving in the problem gambling department, as well as the employee assistance program (AssistNOW) and Training and Consultation Institute. 

She coordinates the problem gambling prevention and treatment programs for Recovery Resources. Highlights of these programs include the Cuyahoga Problem Gambling Coalition, Problem Gambling Awareness Month, Cuyahoga Problem Gambling Symposium and the Cuyahoga Problem Gambling Recovery Advisory Council. These programs include partnerships with local colleges and universities, high schools, youth-serving organizations, culturally-specific human service agencies, older adult agencies, other behavioral health organization, local hospitals, and others.

Previously Ashley worked at the ACLU of Ohio, the Cleveland Clinic, the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and The Ohio State University. She holds a Master of Public Health from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Applied Health Science from Bowling Green State University. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist.

Ex Officio

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Amanda Blackford, Ohio Casino Control Commission

Amanda oversees the Ohio Casino Control Commission's responsible gambling efforts, including the Voluntary Exclusion Program that permits individuals to self-exclude from entering a casino facility and the disordered and problem gambling plans implemented at each of Ohio's four casinos.


Scott Anderson, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

Scott has over 15 years’ experience as a chemical dependency counselor. He has participated in the development and presentation of current Problem Gambling Level I and Level II training curricula. He has also attended over 100 hours of gambling specific training and several Problem Gambling specific conferences including six national conferences. 

Scott has participated in Gambling Supervision calls as well as provided support for service providers and the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline. He also helped create a Problem Gambling training DVD with the Ohio Lottery for use at new employee orientation sessions for the Ohio Racetracks that have become racinos.

Karen Russo, Ohio Lottery Commission

Krysta Bennett, Drug Free Action Alliance

Krysta serves as the Program Manager of the Problem Gambling Resource Center at Drug Free Action Alliance. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the agency’s gambling awareness programs and providing training and technical assistance to direct service providers. The resource center is the home to the SMART Bet and Campus Cents programs, the Be the 95% awareness campaign, the Ohio Problem Gambling Conference. Krysta also provides training on the Smart Choices and Stacked Deck programs. 

Krysta has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Missouri and is an Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist I.

Kyle Wentz

Kyle has been in the gaming industry for the past decade and currently serves as the Director of Compliance at the Hard Rock Rocksino. Within that time span he has worked as a Supervisor with the Indiana Gaming Commission at various casino’s throughout the state of Indiana and is now currently the Director of Compliance and acting Problem Gambling Officer with the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park. 

He has been certified through the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy as an instructor, and has instructed many casino Team Members on various topics including Responsible Gaming Awareness.  Today he continues to work on building bridges between all interested parties within and around the gaming industry.

PGNO Board Committees and Chairperson

Advocacy Committee   Louis Weigele, Chairperson
The Advocacy Committee has goals of advancing local and statewide legislation, policy and funding to protect all Ohioans.

Communications Committee   Jen Clegg, Chairperson

The Communications Committee will support overall comprehensive marketing and communications strategy. Oversee a consistent and active communication strategy to all stakeholders for the purposes of program messaging, fundraising, awareness and branding.

Membership Committee   Lynn Burkey, Chairperson

The Membership Committee - Keeps lines of communication open between PGNO Board and current and potential members on needed resources,  activities and member benefits.  Compiles a list of potential board and committee members to fill future vacant positions. 

Quality Assurance Committee  -  Marilyn Rule, Chairperson
The Quality Assurance Committee is responsible for ensuring quality services are offered both internally and externally. External work includes conducting monitoring calls to the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline to ensure the call specialists provide beneficial resources to meet the callers’ needs.