AURORA—A professor at Waubonsee Community College, with decades of experience as a mental health and addiction counselor, has been appointed to the board overseeing the distribution of public money to social service organizations in southern Kane County, dedicated to helping those with various mental health, disability or substance abuse needs.
John Reese, of Aurora, Associate Professor of Human Services at Waubonsee, was appointed in October to a three-year term on the Board of Directors for INC 708 Board – Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services Inc.
The Aurora-based INC 708 Board is a partnership of seven township community mental health boards, which were established under local referendums in previous years to provide funding to support programs for those requiring services related to mental health, developmental disability or substance abuse.
INC 708 Board distributes money raised through property taxes levied in those seven townships to 22 agencies, which serve about 17,000 southern Kane County residents each year.
Reese said providing assistance to those with mental health and substance abuse issues remains “my passion.”
“This is just part of my commitment to giving back to the community,” Reese said.
The appointment marks Reese’s first formal involvement with the INC 708 Board.
However, Reese said he had remained very familiar with the INC 708 Board’s work during his years of work since 1969 as a mental health and substance abuse professional in the Aurora area.
Reese has served in various roles within the mental health and counseling field, including as a counselor, clinical supervisor, and executive director of both inpatient and outpatient programs.
Reese serves on the board of directors for the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association (IAODAPCA), where he serves as chairperson of the Accredited Counselor Training Programs Committee.
In 2007, he was named the IAODAPCA’s Counselor of the Year.
At Waubonsee, Reese helped to develop the college’s human services department, and served as an adjunct instructor for a decade, until he was appointed a full-time instructor in 1999.
Within the community, Reese also serves as chairperson for the advisory board for Gateway Aurora, as president of Citizens Organized for Recovery and Education of Illinois, and as a member of both the West Towns and Aurora community resource team.