Stella Maris News
14 Jan 2019

Stella Maris Appoints New Executive Director

Veteran leader of national addiction recovery programs will guide Stella Maris’ continued response to Northeast Ohio’s opioid epidemic

CLEVELAND (January 14, 2019) — Stella Maris, the region’s oldest and leading comprehensive addiction recovery program, is pleased to announce Daniel Lettenberger-Klein, MS, LMFT, as its new Executive Director. He succeeds Executive Director Deborah Bridwell, PhD, who retired in October 2018.

As Executive Director, Lettenberger-Klein will lead Stella Maris at an important time in the organization’s 70-year history. As it continues responding to Northeast Ohio’s opioid epidemic, Stella Maris advances an ambitious plan to expand its facilities, in the interim, and through a permanent capital construction project. The expansion will serve thousands more people. During and after this capital expansion, Lettenberger-Klein will oversee Stella Maris’ operations, private and public fundraising, strong financial stewardship and compliance with accreditation and licensure.

Lettenberger-Klein brings extensive, firsthand experience working at each level of addiction treatment and recovery. He has served as a substance abuse counselor, family therapist, clinical director and executive leader. Prior to joining Stella Maris, he served as the Regional Executive Director of Operations for RiverMend Health and as the leader of Bluff Plantation, RiverMend Health Centers, and Atlanta Addiction Recovery Center, all in the Atlanta area. Previously, Daniel served as the Executive, Clinical and Regional Director for a detoxification and treatment center with locations in three states.

“We selected Daniel after a national search and know he will be a vital resource for the entire recovery community when so many people and families need the continuum of care found here at Stella Maris,” said Board President Susan Gragel. “Daniel is positive and energetic and will share our message of hope. He has dedicated his career to tackling people’s dependencies and rebuilding lives.”

Lettenberger-Klein holds a Master of Science degree in marriage and family therapy from Purdue University and a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Bradley University. He has completed specialized training in crisis intervention, leadership development, and trauma-informed care.

“I am excited to return to the Midwest and join this tremendous organization that is fighting the addiction epidemic at ground zero in Northeast Ohio. Every day, the team at Stella Maris provides high quality services with outcomes that exceed national benchmarks. Stella Maris is a tremendous organization, and I am honored to join the team,” said Lettenberger-Klein.

About Stella Maris: Founded in 1948, Stella Maris is Northeast Ohio’s oldest provider of addiction treatment and recovery services. As chemical dependency has evolved across the past 70 years, so has Stella Maris’ programs. Today, the organization provides detoxification for men and women, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient counseling, case management, family counseling and supportive housing for men and women. Stella Maris’ continuum of care serves anyone in the community without discrimination and regardless of ability to pay. To learn more about Stella Maris, please visit or call (216) 781-0550.