The Founder

I have spent my professional and personal life working for and alongside those at the margins of society – the addicted, the homeless, the disenfranchised – those often forced to the fringes of society.  My professional experiences include CEO, nonprofit director, addictions counselor, HIV/AIDS case manager, recovery center manager, trainer/educator, community development specialist, and social entrepreneur..

I have over 30 years’ experience with nonprofits, community change, social impact, and healing movements.  My expertise encompasses nonprofit leadership, addictions counseling, recovery services development, community wellness, program development/management, and organizational sustainability.  I have a deep personal and professional knowledge in addiction and recovery, mental health, trauma, homelessness, spiritual development, community renewal, and the impacts of poverty.

I received my B.A. from Norwich University in Vermont and I have an M.A. in Social Impact (that focused on Social Enterprise development and Nonprofit Management) from Claremont Lincoln University I was trained as a Certified Addictions Counselor (C.A.C.) in the early 1990s and I am a registered Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (C.P.R.S.) registered through the Virginia Board of Counseling.

I am currently pursuing an M.A. in Psychology from Indiana Wesleyan University where my focus is Positive Psychology and Life Coaching.

I am a member of the Board of Directors for the Prevention Council of Roanoke, The UP Foundation, and The Haven, Inc., and a member of the Steering Committee for the Roanoke Valley Collective Response (a collaborative of 200 agencies addressing the community impact of addiction in southwestern Virginia). Since 2019, I have been on the Leadership Advisory Board of the Opioid Research Consortium of Central Appalachia, a consortium made of six major universities and two healthcare providers addressing the addiction epidemic in Central Appalachia, including Virginia Tech, East Tennessee State University, Marshall University, West Virginia University and the University of Kentucky.

I do motivational speaking sharing ‘A Story of Recovery’ and how to lead an empowered life of service and purpose for middle schools, high schools, colleges, churches, civic, business, and leadership groups.

I am a person in long-term recovery who is crazy about coffee, the mountains, and Shadow, my loving German Shepherd/Black Lab rescued service girl.

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