The agency was founded by Mr. Ramon Nolasco, who currently works as a clinical/consultant and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with doctorate level education working in the field of domestic violence and Substance Abuse since 1992.
Avance, Inc. is currently directed by Jorge Argueta. He has been working in the field of Substance Abuse since 1996 when he began working at a Methadone clinic and later for the Department of Corrections at C4. His 14 year of experience with Victims of Domestic abuse and Sexual Abuse brings to the agency the experience needed to advocate for female offenders. He is also the Chair of the Humanities, Behavioral and Social Science Department of St. Augustine College. Under his leadership, he coordinates the Additions Program licensed by the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association. He created the Advance Practicum program in Addictions Counseling, to help College students meet the requirements necessary to become Certified Substance Abuse and Other Drugs Counselors. The students of St. Augustine College have a passing rate in the IAODAPCA, CADC exam of 97%. In addition to his Doctoral studies, he is also a prominent speaker and lecturer at various training institutions and for Argosy and Harper College. Mr. Argueta holds various degrees in Criminal Justice, Clinical Psychology and will become a Doctor in Organizational behavior in the Spring of 2011.
Ms. Araida Palacios, Assistant Director, is a victim’s counselor and coordinator for female batterers. Ms. Palacios has been actively working with victims and offenders of domestic violence since 1997.
Mr. Jose Jimenez, a Medical Doctor, who had his private practice in Mexico City, is our Substance Abuse and DUI program coordinator. Since 1993, he has provided multidisciplinary services in the field of Substance Abuse in DuPage and Cook County. His rigorous knowledge in internal medicine, Infectious Diseases and his certification in addictions counseling, provides the program with the experience necessary to employ methodologies focused on substance abuse and drug preventions. Mr. Jimenez is an instructor at St. Augustine College in the Addictions program. As our coordinator he ensures that our program meets all the standards required by the Department of Social Services in order to provide the treatment services necessary to hasten family reunification and break the cycle of violence and substance abuse.
Laura Baker-Winstrom is our Substance abuse counselor and group facilitator for our female DUI and Substance Abuse program, she has over 20 years of experience in the field of Substance Abuse Dependence, and she is an instrumental counselor in helping establish the Female Addictions Program. She serves as an expert counselor in providing court ordered evaluations for substance abuse female clients and domestic violence offenders. Laura has worked in the field of substance abuse for numerous community organizations and treatment programs. Laura is a compassionate and committed counselor with a wealth of professional experience.
Dr. Nestor E. Manjarres is our medical/psychiatric director who oversees our treatment plans to ensure that our clients are meeting the objectives of the program. He has been a psychiatrist since 1975 and consultant for social service agencies for the last 25 years.
Ivan Zdero is our part-time accountant and finance auditor, he has over 15 years of experience accounts receivable and auditing financial institutions.
Jennifer Linares is our Administrative Assistant; she is a student in Social Work at North eastern University and ha completed her certifications in Domestic Violence Counseling.