President of NextStep Solutions Inc. in Rochester. Ballenberger's oversight includes product design, implementation, marketing, and sales of patient-management information systems. This includes promoting a new suite of Web-based products – NextStep Practice Pro, NextStep MS, and NextStep PHM – intended for private practices, residential service providers, and hospitals. The systems are designed by behavioral experts to accelerate the documentation and evaluation of client treatments. Ballenberger has 34 years of experience in social work, from direct care and counseling to administration, with emphasis on behavioral treatment program development. He has held senior leadership positions serving adults, families, and children through residential, outpatient, and community support programs at such organizations as Rose Hill Center, Camp Oakland Youth Programs, Rubicon Odyssey, and Boysville of Michigan. He has provided direct care to delinquent, neglected, and abused adolescents; operated an adolescent substance abuse program; and directed outdoor education, independent living, group homes, family counseling, aftercare, and school social work programs. He has designed programs in independent living preparation; supervised independent living, day treatment, short-term residential care, and aftercare; developed the first group home program in the state of Indiana; managed the transition from public agency to private nonprofit status; and designed early intervention programs. Expert in developing and implementing programs, he has used and developed technology for staff training and program management and streamlined evidence-based practice and accreditation compliance processes. Ballenberger is president of the National Association for the Mentally Ill for Michigan and a director of the Mental Illness Research Association and the Mental Health Association of Michigan. He is also an active member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Michigan Federation of Private Child and Family Agencies, Michigan Alliance of Children's Agencies, and Michigan League of Human Services. Ballenberger received his bachelor's degree in social work from Siena Heights College and his master's in social work from Wayne State University.

WHERE BORN: “Adrian.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "I spent 37 years in human services. I started working for Boysville of Michigan in 1970. Edward Overstreet, a Holy Cross brother, really influenced me in staying in the field of human services."

LAST BOOK READ: "The Soul of a Horse by Joe Camp. I'm big into horses so it's very interesting.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Hard-working, goal directed. I start something and I finish it."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "At NextStep, the software we use in behavioral health is going to become more automated to assist in providing better service and will be more economical so more folks are served on the same dollar. Over the years in human services, just about everything is done on paper. It gets accumulated in huge charts and no one looks at it again because they think ‘it's there' but in reality it's not. When creating a treatment plan, you have to know the plan and why it's written the way it's written. On paper, it's not looked at by everyone. Electronic Medical Record (EMR) forces you to look at it daily if you're doing your charting as you should, so you have real ongoing support."


FAVORITE PLACE: "Cadillac, where I can take my horse and go for a long ride."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "Horseback riding, golf."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Steak and a baked potato."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "I'm a very good organizer in terms of putting things together for projects. I can look at a problem, break it up in such a way that it can be taken care of and solved, and bring the resources together to fix it."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "As someone who took care of his family and took care of others and was able to create systems that really worked in helping people."