Project Turnabout names Marti Paulson CEO, replacing retiring Mike Schiks

Staff Writer
Granite Falls Advocate Tribune
Project Turnabout CEO Marti Paulson

Project Turnabout Addiction Recovery Centers, which is marking its 50th year providing drug, alcohol and gambling treatment services, has named Marti Paulson its new chief executive officer and executive director, effective October 1, 2020.

Paulson, most recently Project Turnabout’s chief operating officer, succeeds the retiring Mike Schiks, the organization’s leader since 2006. Schiks, who has had a long and distinguished career in the treatment field, will be assisting Paulson in the transition process over the coming months.

“We’re certainly sad to see Mike leave, and we’re extremely grateful for the impact he’s had on Project Turnabout,” said Duaine Amundson, president of the Project Turnabout Board of Directors. “As a board we are pleased with our mission, culture, strategic plan and the cohesiveness of the teams currently in place. The board’s unanimous decision was that Marti was the best candidate to succeed Mike, and we’re confident of her abilities to lead the organization.”

“I joined Project Turnabout 16 years ago with energy and a passion to make a difference in the lives of those continuing to suffer with the disease of addiction, and I look forward to this new role with the same intentions,” said Paulson. “I am privileged and excited to have been given the opportunity to lead an exceptional management team and staff and help Project Turnabout meet the challenges of the next decade and beyond. I am honored to be a part of this great organization.”

Schiks spent the first 26 years of his career in the treatment field with the Hazelden Foundation, rising to the position of executive vice president of recovery services, in charge of the organization’s operations in Minnesota, Chicago, Florida, New York and Oregon. He also served as executive director of the Hazelden Center for Youth and Families in Plymouth, Minn. In 2017, Schiks was a driving force behind the establishment of the Minnesota Alliance of Rural Addiction Treatment Programs (MARATP).

“I am happy and excited Marti Paulson will be my successor,” said Schiks. “I could not agree more with her selection. I see it as an affirmation of the mission and values that I believe make this agency so special.”

“I want to thank everyone who has supported me and the agency over the years,” he added. “When I first arrived at Project Turnabout in 2006, I could not have known what a special place Project Turnabout is, or how much it would steal my heart. I look forward to watching it continue to grow and serve the people who need its help.”

“Since the day he landed at Project Turnabout, Mike Schiks has been a mentor, a coach and a great role model, all while leading this very organization to great levels,” said Paulson. “I have big shoes to fill, but I am determined to fill those shoes – one step and one day at a time.”