Special/Signature Issues » Top 40 Under 40

J. Daniel Payne, 29

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Executive Director
McShin Foundation

Daniel Payne has been sober for five years now, but he hasn't moved beyond substance abuse. Once he got his life together and moved out of his parents' house at 28 (a real point of pride for him), he dived right back into the labyrinth of addiction, serving as a mentor and fundraiser for the McShin Foundation.

McShin's purpose is to catch those with substance-abuse problems as they come out of jails or rehab and before they find themselves going back to their destructive habits. They often don't have a means to work or live, he says, so McShin provides one.

John Shinholser and his wife, Carol McDaid, founded the organization in 2004, but it wasn't until they brought in Payne in 2005 that the vision took shape. The organization has three recovery houses, 28 beds total, which gives them a transitional space to find their way. "We operate as a herd. We're a group of folks that stick together," Payne says. "It's definitely a 'we' thing."

There are 12-step meetings and peer-to-peer mentoring sessions, and Payne has also started a company, Widespread Solutions LLC, which offers the opportunity to work (landscaping or construction, for example) to give something back to the foundation.

Payne estimates that 1,000 people have passed through the program. Sometimes he brings people home to sleep on the porch -- after he clears it with his wife, of course. With a new family, he has a whole new life to get together.

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