As Founder, President and CEO of META Services in 1990, Gene had the vision of a non-profit organization that would create a better future for those receiving mainstream mental health services. Moving beyond stabilization, META Services soon became known as “the Recovery Alternative” – offering individuals the opportunity to find their own recovery path to health and wellness.
Learning from experts by experience, those with lived recovery experiences, in 1999 Gene made a declaration to stop the violence in the agency’s crisis facilities. Within 18 months seclusion and mechanical restraint had been eliminated and the principles and practice of “No-Force-First” was created. Believing that an education model would promote recovery outcomes, in 2000, Gene formed the Recovery Education Center where individuals shifted their role from patient to that of student, colleague and teacher and began to earn college credits. Having started several peer-run organizations, Gene understood the power of support from a peer. In 2001, Gene added a new discipline to all his service teams; Peer Support Specialist. Since then, over 5,000 service recipients in the United States and abroad have graduated from the Recovery Innovations Peer Employment Training program. Today Recovery Innovations employs over 425 Peer Support Specialists, 62% of the Recovery Innovations workforce, who work in complimentary roles alongside other mental health professionals delivering recovery-oriented programs of crisis response, housing, employment, education and peer support. In 2008, Gene created an innovative approach to outpatient services, Wellness City, based on the principles of citizenship and wellness in nine dimensions.
Today Recovery Innovations has recovery services in 21 locations in Arizona, Delaware, North Carolina, California, Washington State and New Zealand serving over 25,000 individuals annually.
In 2013, Gene was recognized for his work by receiving the esteemed Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association John Beard Award for outstanding contributions to the field.