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Ron Baer, M.A. - Director
Ron Baer left the business world after 17 years to pursue a career which he felt had more meaningful endeavors. He completed a master's degree in Communication Science, operated a private counseling practice, and expanded his efforts by purchasing The Counseling Center in 1982. Ron stopped his direct counseling in favor of directing the Center's growth. He has taken a leadership role in the State's fight against the D.U.I. problem as evidenced by his activities below:

The McHenry County DUI Programs Steering Committee

Founding Member and principal initiator of the McHenry County DUI. Programs Steering Committee established in 1984. Chairman from its inception through its first eight years, and continuing active member in good standing.

The Illinois Association of Professional DUI Service Providers

This Association was established in 1994, and grew to approximately 67 members statewide. Ron has lead the Association as Chairman of its steering Task Force from its inception. The Association had authored two important documents related to the State's DUI effort:

  • "Critical Choice" which successfully offered the State an alternative to a State sponsored plan at that time to change, on a Statewide basis, the way DUI Services were delivered. A portion of this document presented the McHenry Steering Committee model, which model is now being followed in other counties.
  • "Code of Conduct and Standards of Practice" which is the first attempt in Illinois, and perhaps the nation, to formalize and professionalize a DUI Service Provider system.

Illinois Department of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (D.A.S.A.)

As Chairman of the Illinois Association mentioned above, Ron and two other Association members sat on D.A.S.A.'s Advisory Council Sub-Committee on DUI. As a Sub-Committee member, he helped draft new State Regulations finalized and published in the fall of 1996, that govern the DUI Evaluations and Education Classes most DUI offenders must take. Such regulations also govern the alcohol abuse/alcoholism treatment which is court ordered for the vast majority of offenders.

McHenry County DUI Sheriff's Task Force

1995-1997 A member of the McHenry County DUI Sheriff's Task Force since inception, Ron Baer led the subcommittee on the recommendation for Improved Treatment Outcomes from its creation as one of the Plans of the Sheriff's Task Force.

McHenry County Board Sub-Committee on Alcohol Abuse

Ron previously served for several years on the McHenry County Board Sub-Committee on Alcohol Abuse, representing himself as a DUI Service provider, and representing the McHenry County DUI Programs Steering Committee. In 2001, Ron became the County's chief spokesperson for their recommended legislation, Senate Bill 727. He testified twice in Springfield for the bill, which targeted improved remedial outcomes for D.U.I. offenders.