National Office

The Adult & Teen Challenge National Office exists to provide a leadership role while functioning as a service and resource agency for the Adult & Teen Challenge ministries throughout North America. In addition, the national office serves as an ombudsman and public relations liaison for the ministry.

The services provided include accreditation standards; Christ-centered, biblically-based student curriculum; staff training; promotions and media support; management and financial guidance; a student information system; and a referral service to help Adult & Teen Challenge USA ministries accomplish their mission of evangelism and discipleship to people with life-controlling problems.

Gary Blackard, President & CEO

Gary is currently the President and CEO for Adult & Teen Challenge. Prior to this role, Gary was Vice President, Strategy & Innovation and Chief Information Officer for Evangel University. He is also an Adjunct Professor for the graduate program in Healthcare Administration at USC, a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt leader, and executive consultant. Gary has extensive global experience as Vice President for Client Operations and Strategic Services Delivery for Xerox Corporation where he led organizations as large as 700+ people and managed annual revenues of $540M.

Gary earned his B.A. in Business Administration with emphasis in Organizational Management from Vanguard University in Southern California and his Master’s in Health Administration from the University of Southern California. He also served as the chair of the board of directors for Teen Challenge USA. He has served in a variety of ministry roles including interim youth pastor, lifegroup leader, men’s ministries director, worship team member and church board trustee.

Gary and his wife Debra have been married for over twenty-eight years and have four grown children (including spouses), and four grandchildren. They currently reside in Ozark, Missouri.

Board of Directors

John Rossi, Chairperson
U.S. Army Officer, Retired

Dr. Sue Gengler, Vice Chairperson
Health Education, Retired

Daniel Ruiz, Secretary
Institute for Learning and Innovation

Ted Papit, Treasurer
Adjunct Professor of Business – Evangel University

Malcolm Burleigh
Assemblies of God, Executive Director of US Missions

Juan Cruz, Jr.
Senior Technology Manager – Clinical Engineering

Dave Phillips
District Superintendent, Montana Ministry Network

Paul Eckels
Businessman, Retired

Chris Hodges, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Northwest region

Jeff Richards, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Southwest region

Tom Truszinski, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, North Central region

George Thomas, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, South Central region

Jeff Bonzelaar, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Great Lakes region

Gary Bentley, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Gulf region

Mike Zello, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Northeast region

Brice Maddock, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Southeast region

Steve Paulson, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Canada region

National Office Staff

Lisa Bornert

Executive Administrator

Lisa manages the day-to-day office operations and assists the president. 

Wendy Buttacy

Chief Operating Officer

Wendy works closely with ATC staff, field leaders, and partners to develop, communicate, and execute the operational strategy.

Rebecca Mitchell

Chief Development Officer

Rebecca coordinates fund development, addresses advancement issues, and oversees communications at ATC.


Director of Field Operations

Shanon provides oversight and direction to ATC accreditation, provides support regarding program operations and best practices, and facilitates resolutions for program-related grievances across the ATC network.

Sarah Walters

Director of Ministry Intelligence & Research

Sarah’s role includes empowering, educating, and equipping ATC corporations with various information related to the faith-based recovery. She is a resource for those wanting to learn more about ministry health, stewardship and student outcomes. She also advocates for faith-based recovery at the local, state, and national levels.

Erica Carter

Curriculum & Publishing Coordinator

Erica oversees ATC’s national curriculum-based publication initiatives.

Dale Gehris

Creative Director

Dale creates visual pieces for advertising, marketing, and in-house publications.

Eunice Tyler

Accreditation Manager

Eunice provides accreditation assistance and support to ATC centers.

Boyd Patterson

RNR Program Coordinator

Boyd assists all RNR facilitators as they move through the process of becoming an approved facilitator and launching their groups. He also assists with facilitator coaching, group launch, and group dynamic questions.

Assemblies of God U.S. Missionaries

Jimmy & Yvonne Oakes

Ready Now Recovery Directors

Jimmy and Yvonne help expand the reach of Adult & Teen Challenge into communities through recovery support groups.