As a recovering gambler, Deb Mundinger, Northstar’s newest board member, brings a personal voice of recovery to Northstar. “I’m familiar with the various aspects of gambling treatment and am interested to see how those pieces can work together to serve addicts and compulsive gamblers,” says Deb. “I believe that sharing information between organizations will improve both individual recovery as well as enhance Minnesota’s excellent treatment reputation.”

Deb’s diverse work experience also will allow her to make a significant contribution to Northstar. She owned an e-commerce business for 15 years and has an extensive background in website architecture, user experience and social media marketing. Prior to being a business owner, Deb was in the political realm, working for elected officials, non-profits and government organizations.

While managing her own recovery from gambling addiction, Deb has been struck by the different ways that people find success in treatment. “I’ve learned that what makes one route effective for one gambler may not be the same for another,” says Deb. “Some are drawn to community recovery whereas others are best motivated in a one-to-one setting.”

Deb also notes that there are different bottoms—the point at which people seek help—for each person struggling with gambling addiction. “For some, it’s encouragement from family and friends or pressure from the workplace,” says Deb. “In my case, I woke up one day and realized I couldn’t handle one more day of chaos.”

A member of a 12-step program, Deb learned about Northstar while manning the organization’s booth at a conference. She networked with those working the Northstar booth and subsequently took an interest in the Northstar mission. Deb eventually talked with John Rundquist, Northstar board president, and joined the board in January. Deb was also a participant on a panel presenting personal stories of recovery at the 2016 Minnesota Problem Gambling Conference in November.

Deb is originally from Los Angeles but is proud to call Minnesota her home. She lives in a Minneapolis suburb with her shih tzu, and has many hobbies, including travel and photography. “One of the joys of recovery is that things become interesting and wonderful again. Being behind a camera has given me the courage to go to new places and enjoy the excitement of making pictures.”

“I look forward to getting to know the rest of the board and the leaders in the community and helping to figure out how we can all work together to help those suffering from this addiction.”