About Us

ERS Team

Gary S. Cohen, LCSW, CEAP

Mr. Cohen co-founded Employee Resource Systems, Inc. (ERS) with William R. Heffernan.  For 41 years, he has worked as a corporate consultant specializing in Employee Assistance and Work-Life Programs, managed mental health care, and chemical dependency treatment.

Mr. Cohen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s of Science in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP).

Mr. Cohen has been an active member of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and its Drug-Free Workplace and Workplace Excellence Committees. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago from November 1997 to November 2003. Mr. Cohen’s prior experience includes being the Director of Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s and Rush North Shore Medical Center’s Employee Assistance Program. He has extensive experience working in the addictions field and has worked at Managed Health Network, Mount Sinai Medical Center as well as St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Mr. Cohen’s career began with the City of Madison, Wisconsin’s Department of Human Services in the Welfare Division providing public assistance to the indigent population.

Over the years, he’s played many vital roles within the Northern Illinois chapter of EAPA including Member of the Year in 2000, Treasurer, Vice-President, and President of the Northern Illinois Chapter of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association (NIEAPA).  In 2014, Mr. Cohen assumed the role of Chairperson for the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s School of Social Work Advisory Board of Visitors and transitioned to a regular board member status in 2017.

William R. Heffernan, LCPC, CEAP

Mr. Heffernan co-founded Employee Resource Systems, Inc. (ERS) with Gary S. Cohen in 1993 after extensive experience in addictions treatment and as a corporate consultant specializing in Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Drug-Free Workplace Programs. In 2001, Mr. Heffernan co-founded another firm, ScreenSafe, Inc. which administers drug free workplace programs for organizations across the country.

Mr. Heffernan holds a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP).  Mr. Heffernan has served as the chairperson for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s Drug-Free Workplace Taskforce.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the Northern Illinois Chapter of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association (NIEAPA) and has served as its Vice President and President.   Mr. Heffernan served three consecutive terms as the Chairman of the Board of Community Health Charities of Illinois and served on the Charity’s National Board of Directors in a variety of positions for over 6 years.

Mr. Heffernan has been named the National Volunteer of the Year for Community Health Charities, and was named Employee Assistance Professional of the Year for his many contributions to the Northern Illinois chapter. In 1988, Mr. Heffernan was awarded a Join Together fellowship, underwritten by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered by the Boston University School of Public Health.

Mr. Heffernan is a skilled trainer and facilitator and has significant expertise in developing drug-testing policies and procedures for labor unions as well as large and small companies. 

Andrea Harkleroad, LCSW

Director of Operations

Ms. Harkleroad has been with Employee Resource Systems, Inc. since 1996.   She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and a member of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA).  She has worked with many client populations such as people with HIV or AIDS, the chronic mentally ill, families, and adults struggling with addiction through her prior work experience.  Ms. Harkleroad was a case manager at a nursing home for the chronic mentally ill, as well as Director of Social Services for Bonaventure House, a residential facility for those diagnosed with AIDS.  Ms. Harkleroad originally joined ERS as an EAP counselor and then moved into managing its Provider Relations department.  She transitioned into Account Management in January 2001, and conducts trainings and Critical Incident Stress Debriefings (CISD), while working closely with a variety of client companies as their primary liaison. 

In 2007, Andrea was promoted to the position of the Director of Operations.  She is the database administrator for ERS and oversees all the hardware and software systems.  Andrea is involved in the creation of much of the promotional materials ERS uses and is the contributing editor for the quarterly newsletter “ERS Press”.  She supervises three staff members and is the primary contributor to ERS’ social media campaign.

James Korenich, LCSW, CEAP, CADC

Director of Clinical Services

Mr. Korenich completed his Bachelor’s Degree at Indiana University and his Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP), and a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC). His clinical experience includes working with chronically mentally ill young adults as well as the role of Counselor/Clinical Coordinator in a residential chemical dependence treatment program for adolescents.    He entered the Employee Assistance field in 1990 as an EAP clinician at a large family service agency and worked for several years at a national EAP/managed behavioral healthcare company where he provided both clinical and account services to a diverse client population.   Mr. Korenich joined ERS in 1996.

Mr. Korenich’s role as Director of Clinical Services encompasses both internal quality control and direct client service.  He performs clinical supervision of several ERS EAP Counselors, develops internal clinical policies and procedures and oversees staff/company compliance with all clinical matters.  He engages in consultations with client companies for a variety of reasons including policy issues, CISD requests and Job Performance Referrals.  Mr. Korenich also participates in on-site EAP services as needed such as New Employee Orientations, Health/Benefit Fairs and topic focused panel discussions.   He is primarily responsible for the hiring of new clinical staff and, along with the Director of Operations, ensures ERS maintains compliance with all HIPAA regulations.

Kathleen Horton, LCPC, CEAP, CADC

Account Manager, EAP Counselor

Ms. Horton joined the ERS Team in 2004 as an Employee Assistance Counselor.  In 2005 she was promoted to the position of Account Manager and in 2006 she took on the role of Director of Provider Relations.  Throughout her tenure at ERS, she has concurrently provided direct clinical services, training and consultation to managers, Account Management support and assistance to Provider Relations.   

Ms. Horton received a Bachelor’s degree from Marquette University, a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and earned her Master’s Degree from National-Louis University.   She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), a certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP) and a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC).

Prior to joining ERS, she worked in a private EAP setting for nine years providing both clinical and account management services for a variety of corporate populations.  She also worked with individuals, families and groups to provide clinical services in both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings. 

Lawrence H. Gard, Ph.D.

Dr. Gard is a consulting psychologist to Employee Resource Systems, Inc., meeting regularly with ERS clinical staff.  Dr. Gard received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University. In addition to his role at ERS, Dr. Gard consults to businesses, providing Executive Coaching, Pre-hire Assessments, and 360-Degree Feedback Surveys.   

Margie Laughlin, LCPC, CEAP

Ms. Laughlin joined the ERS Clinical Team as an Employee Assistance Counselor in 2008.  She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP). She received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Saint Xavier University and her Masters in Applied Behavioral Science from the Leadership Institute of Seattle.  Her clinical experience includes working in residential settings with children and adolescents ages 6-18 and their families. She has worked as an EAP specialist and case manager in the United States and Canada for the past 30 years and has amassed extensive counseling experience working with individuals, groups and couples during a decade of private practice. 

Keith Erickson, LCPC

Mr. Erickson completed his internship at ERS and joined the Clinical Team as an Employee Assistance Counselor in 2011.  He is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). He received his bachelor’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago and earned his graduate degree in Clinical Counseling from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  In addition to his work as an EAP counselor, Keith’s clinical experience includes working with adults as well as with adolescents ages 12-18 and their families in inpatient mental health settings.  Keith returned to the counseling profession after working 16 years as an operations manager with a healthcare system in the Chicago area. 

Mary Beth Ryan, LCPC

Ms. Ryan joined the ERS team in 2018. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology and Master of Science degree in Clinical-Counseling Psychology from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.  Ms. Ryan is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and she completed her clinical practicum at a community agency where she counseled adults, children, adolescents, families, and couples. She has experience training and supervising volunteers at a 24-hour crisis hotline answering for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and United Way 2-1-1.  Prior to joining the ERS clinical team, Ms. Ryan spent 4 years working for a Global EAP company where she provided clinical assessment, crisis stabilization, and case management services to clients as well as supervising and training a team of clinical counselors. Ms. Ryan understands that many clients reaching out to EAP for assistance have become overwhelmed by trying to handle life stressors on their own. By engaging in counseling that is tailored to them as individuals – focused on their current needs – clients can feel empowered to make informed and healthy choices, increase their well-being, and function better in both their personal lives and at work.

Julie L. Greenberg, LCSW

Ms. Greenberg holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. She worked for many years in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago Health System and has maintained a private practice for more than 30 years. She serves adults with a wide range of issues including, depression, anxiety, grief, chronic health conditions relationship and family problems.  Ms. Greenberg has facilitated employee groups following the death or loss of a co-worker, as well as given lectures on parenting issues, stress and aging parents.

Paula Fitzpatrick, LCSW

Ms. Fitzpatrick joined ERS in 2009 as an Employee Assistance Counselor.  She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Michigan, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago.  Her clinical experience began at a family service agency.  She worked with a variety of different client types including individuals, couples, families and groups, as well as the elderly and immigrant populations. She maintained a private practice for a number of years and for the past 20 years, has worked as an EAP Specialist and Case Manager. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

Ashley Repinski, LCPC

Ms. Repinski joined Employee Resource Systems, Inc. in December 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies, both from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio as well as a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University (NU). As a student at NU, Ashley was a research assistant for the study of somatic counseling as a trauma intervention. This research greatly influenced her professional interests in mindfulness, crisis intervention, vicarious trauma, and self-awareness. Ashley has completed additional training in the areas of suicide prevention in the workplace, critical incident stress management (CISM), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and the influence of psychological trauma on substance use disorders. Prior to joining ERS, Ashley worked as a mental health and substance abuse counselor for offenders on federal probation. She maintains her connection to NU by serving as Reflective Practitioner Supervisor for first year Master’s students in the online counseling program.

Kevin Stanford, LCSW

Mr. Stanford joined the ERS Clinical team in 2018.  He received his Bachelor of Social Work degree with a minor in Spanish from Providence College in Providence, RI and his Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Connecticut.  He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has experience working with various populations such as at-risk children/adolescents, adults of all ages struggling with mental health and addiction issues, as well as families in both inpatient and outpatient therapy settings.  Before joining ERS, Mr. Stanford worked as a behavioral health clinician in a multi-disciplinary wellness program.  He helped clients develop positive behavior patterns to achieve their goals and improve overall health. He believes strongly in his ability to provide the resources and support necessary to make a positive impact on the lives of the people ERS serves – tailoring interventions to each client’s specific needs and acting as a guide to help them successfully navigate the challenges in their lives.

Theola R. Mack

Ms. Mack joined ERS as the Administrative Coordinator in 1995.  Her primary responsibilities include the routing of all incoming calls, database management for account services and provider relations as well as maintaining and processing clinical records. She assists in the daily operations of the office including shipping and mail processing, coordinating office supply and printed material orders as well as equipment training and maintenance. In addition, she coordinates all aspects of the ERS Customer Satisfaction Survey process – sending survey cards to clients,  recording responses in the clinical database for reporting and helps with special projects as needed.  She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Data Processing from Roosevelt University and prior to joining ERS, she worked for Roosevelt University in the Counseling, Testing & Career Services Office. 

Patty Gudas

Ms. Gudas joined ERS in 2003 as the Executive Assistant to Gary Cohen and Bill Heffernan.  Prior to becoming a member of the ERS staff, she worked in both the manufacturing and hospitality industries. Her extensive office administration knowledge and customer service skills have been immensely valuable to the staff members in all departments at ERS.   Her primary role is providing administrative support by creating sales proposals and developing customized marketing materials.  She generates quarterly/annual utilization reports and works closely with our printing and mailing house vendors to develop and coordinate targeted client mailings.  Her extensive knowledge of client company history enables her to provide excellent service support to managers and company representatives. 

She assists the clinical operations staff with the creation of clinical forms and updating the clinical database.  She also coordinates all aspects of the ERS Work-Life Services account by negotiating rates, managing promotional materials, and processing monthly billing.   She also works with the accounting department to process billing and reimbursements for all ERS clinical affiliates and the majority of ERS’ vendors.  She has a positive attitude and an abundance of energy.  Her primary goal is to make life easier for everyone by working hard, working smart and sharing joy whenever possible.

Tiffanie Harper

Ms. Harper joined ERS in 2013, flexing her Master of Science in Management and Human Resources as the Clinical Administrator for the Provider Relations department. This position has helped to cultivate her skills of provider recruitment and contract negotiation. She manages the credentialing of over 3,000 ERS Network Affiliates (license/insurance renewals, specialty verification, database management, mailings, correspondence, etc.)  and has implemented a system that delivers certificates to providers when clients offer positive feedback.  She  has recently been tasked with enacting ERS’ new EAP Effectiveness Protocol – The Workplace Outcomes Suite 5– by performing client outreach calls, conducting surveys and documenting results in the clinical database.   

Loyalty to her  employer is paramount. For nine years, she fulfilled a variety of roles for Thresholds, serving youth displaying Axis I and II diagnosis. That organization provided her with clinical, administrative, and supervisory experience. Time management to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and proficiency in a variety of computer software are valuable skills gleaned from this experience.  Her life motto is, “Work hard and be grateful.”