Project Turnabout looks within for leadership

Project Turnabout has tapped Marti Paulson from its own ranks to lead the addiction and recovery center and succeed Mike Schiks, who is retiring after guiding the organization since 2006.

Marti Paulson

GRANITE FALLS — Project Turnabout Addiction Recovery Centers has turned to its own ranks for leadership to succeed Mike Schiks, who is retiring after leading the organization since 2006.

The Granite Falls-based center announced this week that Marti Paulson will serve as its new chief executive officer and executive director, effective Oct. 1.

Paulson, currently Project Turnabout’s chief operating officer, joined the organization in 2005. She has served in various roles, serving as senior director of external relations and as director of healthcare and intake services, in which she managed care for up to 131 patients in specialized addiction services.

“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 in the announcement of her selection as CEO.

Schiks applauded the selection of Paulson, calling it “an affirmation of the mission and values that I believe make this agency so special.”


Schiks devoted 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 before leading Project Turnabout.

According to the announcement, Paulson brings 30 years of experience in nursing and addiction treatment to her role. She was instrumental in the development of an internal occupational medical department for a national company and was the director of nursing for a large, 11-site medical organization in rural Minnesota. Paulson is one of a handful of nurses in Minnesota who is an Internationally Certified Addictions Registered Nurse and holds a certification in rapid cycle improvement from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

She holds a bachelor's degree in business management and a master's in business/organizational development.

“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 in announcing the leadership transition. “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.”

The nonprofit center offers drug, alcohol and gambling treatment at its 122-bed residential facility in Granite Falls, and operates outreach services in Willmar and Marshall.

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