The son of a 2nd generation German/Polish father and a 1st generation Welsh mother Ted was raised in Nanticoke a small coal-mining town in upstate Pennsylvania. Nanticoke is a traditional yet diverse immigrant town where Ted shaped his life vision, beliefs and values. Ted was churched at Nebo Baptist Church in Nanticoke. Nebo was then a Welsh immigrant church. There as a boy Ted attended church, Sunday School, Bible Study, BYF, Church Camp and sang in the choir (even though he did NOT have a Welsh voice).
From an early age, Ted’s vision included a passion for organizing, from the directing of Cub Scout plays to founding his own theatre group in high school. Upon receiving the Performing Arts award in this senior year in high school, he immediately invested his cash award in his vision of an independent all teen theatre group. No adults allowed. The signature line of the Janus Players was “Juvenile Decency not Delinquency.” All aspects of this organization were controlled by the teens, and it served as an early organic lesson in empowerment.
Ted’s interest in both acting and leadership continued in Mansfield State University where he was selected by his peers as “Best Actor of the Year” and President of their theatre company The Players. He received his Bachelor of Arts with a major in Theater Arts from Mansfield University in 1968.
Ted then transplanted himself to California and spent 15 years in the food and beverage industry, managing restaurants for both private owners and major corporations. The diverse scope of these entrepreneurial operations ranged from the docks of San Pedro, Keminski’s Sports Bar, to The Marquis Restaurant and Carlos and Charlie’s on Sunset Strip in Beverly Hills.
Ted was one of the founding members of the Log Cabin Club in 1982. 1n 1982 the membership of the Log Cabin Club was 15. Ted was charged with developing the organization and now it is a national organization. As an open member of the Log Cabin Club he ran for the California 46th Assembly District in 1994.
After running for the State Assembly, Ted’s organizations abilities were put to the test when he was retained as the community organizer for the first AIDS Walk for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). Because of the success of this event APLA asked he to manage many other fundraising events including the national in-home viewing parties for “An Early Frost.” Subsequently, he has helped raise over one million dollars for AIDS education.
Returning to education and his interest in individual change, Ted received his Chemical Dependency Specialist (C.D.S) certification in 1989 and has worked at Exodus Recovery at Daniel Freeman Hospital in Marina del Rey, St. Luke’s Hospital and High Road Program in Pasadena. He received his Masters in Organizational Management (MAOM) at Antioch University in 1995. Ted has 32 years of recovery from alcohol and 17 years of recovery from Compulsive Eating.
In 1990, Ted founded I AM . . . Foundation, Inc. a California Public Benefit, 501(c)(3), Non-profit Corporation dedicated to the empowerment of individuals who are on a path of renewal. Here he created and implemented an innovative court probation-certified Batterer’s Intervention (52 week) Program. Subsequently, Ted was elected to the Board of Los Angeles County Association of Batterer’s Intervention Program (ABIP) and the California Association of Batterer’s Intervention Program (CABIP).
In 1994, Ted became the Executive Assistant to Bud Hayes the then Executive Director/Founder of Social Model Recovery Systems dedicated to education and treatment in the Alcohol/Drug field. This gave him an opportunity to learn skills on the executive level. He was asked by Mr. Hayes to join him in 1996 on an executive team to reengineer the troubled Single Room Housing Corporation (SRO Housing) in down town Los Angeles. The Board of Directors subsequently elected him as their Corporate Secretary. SRO Housing was the largest provider for housing for the homeless west of the Mississippi River.
In October of 1999, Ted received a call from the Chair of Whittier Area One Stop Center and was asked to volunteer as a consultant to their project. In June of 2001, he was hired as their Executive Director.
Ted is also active in the Whittier Community. He is currently Board member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); founder/consultant of the Whittier Consortium on Homelessness (WCH). WCH is a social capital organizing association to bring together and leverage citizen support in the effort to “End Homelessness in Whittier” and founded and is the moderator & consultant the Heritage Friends of Whittier (HFW). HFC was created to balance the needs of development and historic preservation in Whittier.
He is also, former: Chair of the Southern California Intergroup for Compulsive Eaters Anonymous-HOW; founder and co/o facilitator of the Whittier Area Recovery Network (WARN), former Member of PIH Health’s Community Benefit Oversight Committee; is LA County Commissioner on Nutrition for Supervisor Don Knabe; Board Member of the Rotary Club of Whittier; Board Member of the Rio Hondo Symphony; and Board Member of the Intercommunity Counseling Center.
Ted currently lives in Whittier with his husband of 31 years, Richard Cisneros and their cat Blinky and dog EffDee. They were married on July 03, 2008. Ted is currently the principal in his consulting firm Knoll & Associates.