Inaugural Event

September 30th, 2017

The Sheen Center

5-10 PM

18 Bleecker St, New York, NY, 10012

NAADAC approved CEUs for the event sponsored by CARE Talks LLC.


Carol McDaid

Carol McDaid serves as Principal at Capitol Decisions, Inc.  Capitol Decisions has a special expertise in addiction and mental health policy.  For 25 years, Ms. McDaid has worked with mental health and substance use disorder treatment systems, addiction physicians, prevention and educational organizations and addiction and mental health consumer organizations to refine public policy addressing addiction and mental health.  

With over 30 years of Federal legislative experience in Washington, Ms. McDaid provides clients with government relations consulting on issues that span the breadth of health care, including behavioral health, Medicare, Medicaid, and private sector reimbursement issues.

Ms. McDaid helped establish and coordinate activities for the Parity NOW Coalition, which was influential in passage of the 2008 “Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.”  This landmark legislation requires insurers to treat addiction, mental, and physical health problems equally.

To expand both addiction and mental health coverage at parity, McDaid served as strategist to this behavioral health Coalition during the health care reform debate in Congress.  Capitol Decisions also served as consultants to the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose (CSOO) who were part of the successful multi-coalition effort to pass the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act in 2016 as well as to include mental health and substance use disorder and mental health provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act.

Ms. McDaid is a founding Board Member of Faces and Voices of Recovery and currently serves on the Board of Young People in Recovery.  In 2007, she received the Johnson Institute’s America Honors Recovery Award and in 2016, she received the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s John P. McGovern Award.

Honesty Liller

Honesty Liller is a woman in long-term recovery from a Substance Use Disorder since May 27, 2007. She is the Chief Executive Officer of The McShin Foundation, a non-profit peer-to-peer Recovery Community Organization (RCO), that serves individuals and families with Substance Use Disorders. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of McShin as well as community and advocacy events. Honesty serves as a personal guide and mentor for people seeking recovery from addiction, works with participants to develop individual and personalized plans for recovery, provides problem solving and life skills as well.  Honesty's mission as CEO is firmly rooted in community outreach and involvement. She spends each day connecting with individuals and families who have been touched by addiction. Honesty works tirelessly in the community to help individuals and families heal from addiction. She campaigns for individuals with a SUD to put the shame and pain of addiction behind them. Also, she was on the Enforcement Workgroup for Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Prescription Drug & Heroin Task Force and is a founding board member of Addiction Recovery Political Action Committee (ARPAC). She is the recipient of the Vernon Johnson Award given by Faces and Voices of Recovery in 2015. In 2016 she was awarded the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Great Boss. In 2017, she was the recipient of a grant from the Stettinius Fund for Nonprofit Leadership through The Community Foundation.  She was also featured on Face The Nation discussing addiction & recovery in America. In addition, she has been the Secretary Clerk of Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church for the past five years where McShin’s Recovery Community Center is located. Recovery has given her an amazing life.  To spend time with her husband and 2 children is a gift that keeps giving!!

Judge Jodi Debbrecht Switalski

As a former Metro Detroit felony prosecutor with a perfect trial record involving mostly violent crimes, Judge Jodi has witnessed first-hand, the devastating effects surrounding interpersonal violence, substance abuse and dependency within our families, our children and our communities.  

Appointed by the Governor to the bench, Judge Jodi immediately became a leader in the fight against synthetic drugs and the opioid epidemic in Michigan. She is humbled to be called a “Warrior!” and a “Savage Advocate!”

Among numerous other endeavors, she was recognized for her distinguished service and contributions to Michigan’s Treatment Court Legislative Advisory Board and founded the nationally recognized North Oakland County Veterans Treatment Court.  She was unanimously selected to receive the state wide, first ever "Integrity in our Communities" Award and began a not for profit called RADEO, the Regional Anti-Drug Education and Outreach program which achieved state and regional notoriety.

Among one of the highest rated speakers at the 2016 International Conference on Opioids at Harvard Medical School, Judge Jodi has been invited to speak again in 2017 focusing on the issue of informed consent.  Other notable presentations include MD Anderson Cancer Hospital in Houston, a panelist for Boston University’s SCOPE of Pain national training program for doctors and medical professionals and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.  

Judge Jodi is partner in The Stutman Switalski Group where she presents well over 150 presentations annually to medical, dental and legal professionals, schools, communities and numerous other organizations; performs at least as many consulting engagements and has numerous publications to include the recent, “Your Name is on the Bottle.”  She continues to practice law at the firm of Lippitt O’Keefe Gornbein PLLC in metro Detroit focusing primarily on family, criminal, malpractice litigation and consulting on risk evaluation and mitigation strategies for medical and dental practices through her firm and Switalski Consulting LLC.

Nora Milligan

Nora Milligan is a woman in long term recovery and the loving parent of a young man in recovery.

She is a critical care RN and has completed CCAR recovery coach training. She is the President of A2R Addiction to Recovery Magazine and  is a member of Families in Support of Treatment (F.I.S.T.) and Long Island Recovery Association ( LIRA). Nora has been a part of the NY State Advocacy movement that has brought about real legislative change aimed at targeting the opioid epidemic. In 2014 she was appointed to Governor Cuomo's SUD workgroup committee to represent the recovery community and their families. She is passionate about issues such as safe recovery housing and community outreach. She sits on Suffolk County's Recovery Home Oversight Committee and is on the Advisory Committee of Long Island's  Recovery Community Outreach Center THRIVE. Nora shared her experiences with the  NYS Office of  Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to help create the educational Kitchen Table Toolkit and she was also featured in Newsday's Heroin Diaries. She is a passionate public speaker and frequently shares her story of recovery with families, community members, legislators, schools, treatment centers, and jails  to decrease stigma and show others that recovery is possible for all.

Laurie Walker Dhue

Laurie Walker Dhue (born February 10, 1969) is an American television journalist. Until April 2015, Dhue hosted episodes of TheBlaze's investigative journalism news magazine For the Record, and presented highlights of evening news on TV. Previously she was a Fox News Channel anchor from 2000–08, reporting for the television show Geraldo at Large and the host of Fox Report Weekend.


Before joining the Fox News Channel in 2000, she worked for MSNBC as host of its Special Edition. She started at MSNBC in April 1999 as the anchor of Newsfront. She worked at CNN from 1990-99, where she served as anchor for weekend programs, such as CNN Saturday, CNN Sunday, World View, and The World Today.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is a folk artist, a rock’n roller, and a storyteller. Weaving personal experience with a timeless style, Butler brings honesty and openness to his classic approach to songwriting.    

Matt Butler first gained notoriety as the lead singer of the New York based band Reckless Sons, who released two Eps, the latter with legendary record producer David Kahne. Parting with the punk and garage rock of his past, Butler’s heart and voice have found a new home in the world of Americana. In late 2015, he stepped into Degraw Sound, A Brooklyn studio owned and operated by long time friend and colleague Ben Rice (The Mooney Suzuki, The Skins, Blackbells).  Although forever indebted to his songwriting heroes Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, this trip to the studio saw Butler draw inspiration from contemporary artists like Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson and Ryan Adams.  What resulted was Reckless Son, a poignant confession of Butler’s struggle with alcoholism and addiction and his inspiring path to recovery. Rich and masterful storytelling makes a listen through the record a journey of its own. Moreover, Butler was able to pull together a community around his message and crowdfund the entire project through a successful Pledge Music Campaign. Butler’s band on the record included Josh Lattanzi (Norah Jones, The Candles, Lemonheads, Ben Kweller) Greg Wieczorek (Norah Jones, The Autumn Defense, Joseph Arthur), Wes Hutchinson (The Candles, Lenka, Hugo),  and Kurt Thum (Zak Smith).    

Reckless Son was released to critical acclaim on Sept. 9th, 2016. Immediately following the release, Butler wrote and performed ‘Just One’, the original song for the feature length and nationally distributed documentary Generation Found. The film portrays the devastating effect the current drug and opiate epidemic has had on adolescents in and around Houston, TX, and the unprecedented way in which the community has rallied to support them.   During his relatively short professional career, Butler signed a development deal with Mercury Records (Island Def Jam), toured the United Kingdom (including main stage appearance at the Brighton Beachdown Festival), was a featured performer for TEDx San Francisco, recorded a single with Jeff Saltzman (The Killers), appeared in The LA Times, Nylon, Vanity Fair, Spin Magazine, and New York Times, as well as being the face of John Varvatos STAR USA ad campaign with Converse. As a solo artist, he has shared bills with the likes of Neil Young, Norah Jones, and Willie Nile.    

A gifted singer/songwriter on the rise, he has co-writes with Angelo Petraglia (Kings Of Leon), Bobby Huff (Shinedown), Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem, Flogging Molly), Scott Stevens (The Exies), Mike Viola (Candy Butchers) and Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace). Songs of Butler’s have been licensed to numerous films and television shows including American Pickers (Main theme song), NBC’s The Voice, A&E’s Biography of Bruce Springsteen, Pawn Stars, NY Ink, STARZ Network series Crash, Ax Men and Burn Notice.  

Greg Williams

Greg is a person in long-term recovery from addiction, and the award winning documentary filmmaker of The Anonymous People and Generation Found. Greg has a Masters degree in addiction public policy from New York University, and over a decade of experience working with non-profits and government agencies on addiction. Greg served as the Campaign Director and one of the executive producers of the historic UNITE to Face Addiction rally on the National Mall on October 4, 2015 (B.A. Quinnipiac University; M.A. New York University).

Joe Schrank

Joe Schrank is the Founder and Program Director of High Sobriety.  He founded High Sobriety in 2017 as a response to the minimal choices for people who reject the idea that total abstinence in AA is the only valid path to recovery. Joe has had a long career in helping people find their recovery. As a young man at USC he treated his depression with alcohol and avoidance. Once sober, he returned to academia, studying clinical social work at Iona college and in a Masters program at the University of Illinois where his research was focused on college athletes with depression and alcohol abuse. From there, Joe became a residential therapist at Promises in Malibu, California. Joe founded '' which continues as the premiere source of news and information about addiction and recovery.

Joe Schrank on Today: 

Ryan Hampton

Ryan Hampton serves as an outreach lead and recovery advocate at Facing Addiction, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ending the addiction crisis in America. Prior to that, he worked with multiple non-profits across the country and served in a staff capacity for various political campaigns. In 2016, Hampton publicly disclosed his decade-old struggle with heroin and prescription medications, along with his journey in recovery, in an effort to advocate for reform on a national public policy level.

Hampton produced a 7-part documentary series, Facing Addiction Across America, chronicling his cross-country road trip to the DNC advocating for reform and seeking out other like-minded people in long-term recovery to join the growing movement to end the addiction epidemic.

For his work on the #AddictionXAmerica project, Hampton has been called “the guy who is changing the way America looks at addiction.” His journey has been featured by the Huffington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, CBS, NBC, ABC, Upworthy, Dr. Oz, and the White House. Most recently, Hampton was featured by Forbes Magazine as one of four top social entrepreneurs advancing the nationwide recovery movement.

Tom Coderre

Well known in the addiction recovery community, Tom Coderre has been in long-term recovery since 2003. In his current role as senior advisor to Altarum's Behavioral Health Technical Assistance Center, he oversees the work of the Center to ensure best practice approaches for recovery, and supports the behavioral health technical assistance team with its work in substance use disorder recovery and mental health programs and services.

Prior to joining Altarum, Tom served as chief of staff and senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) from 2014 until January 2017. While at SAMHSA, Tom led the team that produced Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. He is the former national field director of Faces & Voices of Recovery and has an extensive background in government, serving as a member of the Rhode Island Senate from 1995-2003 and as chief of staff to the Senate President from 2009-2014. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Rhode Island College.

Richard Buckman

Richard is in long term recovery for 29 years and is Chairman of the Board of Directors at Faces and Voices of Recovery. He is a founding member of the Long Island Recovery Association (LIRA) established in 2000 to advocate for the rights and needs of individuals in recovery and their family members. A multiple term LIRA President he was also the founding President of Friends of Recovery New York (FOR-NY) the statewide recovery community organization and remains active at the state level as a current board member.  He serves on many committees, community advisory boards and task forces on Long Island and at the state level. He is a go-to person and an expert on addiction and recovery issues.   By trade Richard is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Employee Assistance Professional, Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor, Certified Recovery Peer Advocate and Coach and a Level II Certified Experiential Therapist.    Since 1990 he has worked in addiction treatment and Employee Assistance including nearly 5 years as Senior EAP Specialist and clinical supervisor of the FDNY Counseling Services Unit where he conducted extensive trauma resolution therapy with members of service impacted by their work at the World Trade Center on and after 9 11.    Since 2009 he has been the Director of LECSA EAP, a not for profit employee assistance program affiliated with the Long Island Federation of Labor the 4th largest central labor council in America representing more than 250,000 union members.  

Randy Fisher

Randy Fisher is the executive director of the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council, Inc. (HHSYC), founded in July of 2001. The organization is the #1 not for profit, social service Hip-Hop organization in the world with a host of programs funded by the NYC Council and the Nassau County Community Development Agency, including the Art A Catalyst for Change anti-gun violence initiative. The company has partnerships with Power 105.1, iHeart Radio, FUBU Mobile, NYPD, NYC Dept. of Education, and "The Shark" Daymond John from the Two Time ABC Emmy Award Winning TV Show “Shark Tank”. The group has received proclamations for their Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence project, now in its 6th year, by NYC Mayor DeBlasio, NYC Council, Former Mayor Bloomberg, NYS Governor Cuomo and a special “Presidential Message” from former President Barack Obama in 2015 and 2016.  Randy worked as an executive assistant for the management company of two time Grammy Award Winning Recording artist and NCIS TV Star LL Cool J and the Lost Boyz, one of the hottest Hip-Hop Groups of the 90’s who attained two RIAA gold selling Albums.  In 1995 he worked with the marketing company that helped launch FUBU Apparel, founded by Daymond John.  He is President of P.O.G. Entertainment and Publishers, Inc.  The company has published 50 Hot Hip-Hop Books on some of the biggest stars in music including Jay Z, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Usher, Dr. Dre, Diddy, Kanye West, Chris Brown, and Will Smith.  The HHSYC is now working with Power 105.1, celebrities, community and government agencies to address the Heroin & Opioid epidemic through their Hip-Hop Against Heroin Addiction project.  

Richmond, Virginia

October 7, 2017

5-10 PM

Virginia Historical Society

428 N Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220


Anne Moss Rogers

Anne Moss Rogers, President of Beacon Tree Foundation, has been an outspoken mental health advocate and on the board for Beacon Tree since 2010. From articles to TV appearances, she has tirelessly and persistently fought for the cause to erase stigma for mental illness including addiction. Despite her family’s best efforts to get help, her 20-year-old son Charles died by suicide June 5, 2015 after many years of struggle. He was 20 years old and suffered from anxiety, depression and addiction to heroin.    Anne Moss chronicled the story in Richmond Times Dispatch which ranked as the #1 article of 2016. Thanks to her dedicated tribe of passionate followers of her blog, emotionally naked at, she has reached hundreds of thousands of visitors since February 2016 and receives messages from visitors weekly on how reading the posts has inspired them to share their own grief or seek help for mental illness, addiction and suicidal thoughts. Anne Moss graduated from UNC Chapel Hill and has had a lifelong career in marketing starting at the Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia. She was co-owner of a successful digital marketing firm, Impression Marketing, which she sold to focus on mental health advocacy full time after receiving a email from a 22 year old who said she was moved to seek help for her suicidal thoughts after reading “The Final 48 Hours.” She raised two sons, the late Charles Aubrey, a comedian, brilliant writer, actor and rap artist, and Richard, a graduate of UNC School of the Arts, currently living his dream as a filmmaker, screen writer and editor in North Carolina and soon LA.   

Attorney General Mark Herring

Mark Herring was raised by a single mother in Loudoun County, Virginia. She instilled in him that when you see a problem in your community, you have an obligation to try and fix it. He worked construction and other jobs in order to help pay for college. And he's never forgotten where he came from, which is why he works every single day to make our families and communities safer.

As Attorney General, Mark has assembled an elite team of prosecutors to crack down on heroin dealers, violent gang members, gun runners, human traffickers, and those who attempt to exploit our children online.

He is helping survivors of sexual assault pursue justice by eliminating a three-decade-old backlog of more than 2,000 untested rape kits to find and prosecute criminals.

He has made communities safer by cracking down on illegal guns and promoting commonsense gun safety laws, like universal background checks, that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. And he has worked to improve relations between police departments and the communities they serve with innovative training and recruiting initiatives.

Since the day he was sworn in, Attorney General Herring has worked nonstop to defend the rights of Virginia taxpayers, seniors, veterans, and military families. He has won more than $100 million in debt relief and restitution for veterans and military families, and his best-in-the-nation Medicaid Fraud unit has saved taxpayers more than $60 million.

Just 12 days into his term, General Herring became the first attorney general to successfully argue that his state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples should be struck down, winning at the district court and appeals court before the United States Supreme Court let the decision stand, bringing marriage equality to the Commonwealth within 10 months of his taking office.

He has won huge victories in courts for clean air and water including the Chesapeake Bay, for affordable health care, and for the right of all Virginians to live and worship free from hate and discrimination.

Ed Gillespie

Ed Gillespie is a business owner, longtime conservative leader and a Republican candidate for Governor in 2017.

Ed grew up working in his parents’ grocery store, the JC Market. The son of an Irish immigrant, Ed started his career as a Senate parking lot attendant and eventually worked his way up to become Counselor to President George W. Bush.

A former Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and the Republican National Committee, a lead author of the 1994 Contract with America, and a long-time policy and communications aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Ed has always been a conservative leader.

As Chairman of the RNC, Gillespie in 2004 was the first GOP chairman in 80 years to preside over a party that won the White House, House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. In 2009, he was general chairman of Bob McDonnell’s highly successful campaign for governor, reclaiming the governorship after back-to-back Democratic governors.

In 2014, Gillespie was the Republican nominee for United States Senate in Virginia, losing by less than one percentage point in a near-upset of popular incumbent Mark Warner. The race was widely hailed as one of the best campaigns in the country.

In 2015, Gillespie led successful efforts by the Republican State Leadership Committee to help hold the GOP majority in the Virginia State Senate. The RSLC spent over $1.1 million in the Commonwealth, helping to fend off millions in outside money from liberal groups that poured into Virginia.

Tom Bannard

Tom Bannard, CADC, MBA, is the Program Coordinator for Rams in Recovery at Virginia Commonwealth University. Tom is a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor and has spent most of his career working in homeless services at CARITAS. A person in long-term recovery, Tom is an advocate for people in recovery or who are struggling with a substance use disorder.   

Tom has played a key role in the growth of Collegiate Recovery at VCU spending his first 2 ½ years as a volunteer on the project team until he was hired in October 2015 as the program’s first coordinator. VCU’s program has grown rapidly in the past 18 months with more than 50 students attending meetings on weekly basis, and 13 weekly recovery groups on campus. Tom is passionate about changing the way we treat substance use disorders and firmly believes that we must improve our systems of care by focusing on long-term recovery supports, allowing easier access to treatment and recovery resources, and reducing stigma around substance use disorders.   

Michael Zohab

Mike is a lifelong resident of Henrico County and has been a Richmond Police Officer for 28 years. The majority of his law enforcement career has been in investigations with a primary focus in all levels of drug enforcement. These include working in an undercover capacity, supervision of narcotic and violent crime investigations, asset forfeiture and money laundering investigations, and currently the Commander in charge of the Special Investigation Division.

In 2013 Mike saw a need for the renovation of how law enforcement addressed opiate addicts. The drastic increase in over-dose victims, coupled with years of professional and personal contact with individuals struggling with addiction, fueled a passion to be a change agent in this opiate epidemic. Mike instituted policy changes and educational programs to better serve the victims of the disease of addiction and in the spring of 2016 founded the Virginia Recovery Foundation. In his downtime Mike loves all aspects of outdoor life- in particular fishing and hunting.

Jimmy Christmas

Jimmy Christmas has been a professional social worker in Richmond, Virginia since

1994 and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) since 2002. He has been employed in many behavioral health agencies and roles throughout his career: The Daily Planet, CARITAS, Hallmark Youthcare, Lakeside House, Henrico Drug Court, Rubicon, Family Counseling Center for Recovery, Casselton Consultants and Insight Physicians. Other roles have included serving as an adjunct faculty and field instructor for VCU’s School of Social Work for 15 years, as well as other state and national universities such as Liberty, Baylor, Radford and Capella Universities. Jimmy has served on various boards and workgroups to include the Richmond Regional Reentry Council, the McShin Foundation, and currently serves on the Metro Richmond Behavioral Health Innovation Collaborative. 

Jimmy is currently the CEO and Clinical Director of River City Comprehensive Counseling Services, River City Integrative Counseling and the new Staunton Treatment Center. Founded in 2009, River City’s services include Crisis Stabilization, Intensive In-Home, Mental Health Skill Building, Veteran’s Employment Program, DUI and criminal justice programming such as the MATRIX, and traditional Outpatient

Services such as individual, group and family therapy. In 2016, River City added an Opioid Treatment Program in Hanover with another OTP opening in Staunton Virginia under the banner of the Staunton Treatment Center around September 2017.

Jimmy is a provider of direct clinical services, an educator, field instructor, and clinical supervisor to other professionals. He attempts to ‘walk the walk’ as a model of professional responsibility and self-care and stays abreast of emerging and innovative behavioral health trainings, programs, and services that may enhance the quality of life for clients and their families, the community and other professionals. Jimmy is also a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher, Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist, Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor and as a practitioner of ‘mindfulness,’ and

meditation for many years, he completed a 6-month long intensive in Mindful Yoga

Therapy in mid 2017.

Jimmy has been a runner, martial artist and golfer for over 25 years. He loves spending

time with his Wife, adult children, grandchildren and a host of many family and friends. As a presenter, Jimmy utilizes the many stories that he has heard from clients, the community and other professionals at every crosswalk and integrates them with his own to create healing experiences for others and himself.

Del. Lamont Bagby

Delegate Bagby is a graduate of Henrico High School.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education from Norfolk State University as well as a master's degree in Education Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Delegate Bagby currently serves as the Director of Operations at the Peter Paul Development Center, too.

Delegate Bagby was a member of the Henrico County School Board from 2008 to 2015, even serving as chair in 2011.  In 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Bagby to the Norfolk State University Board of Visitors.  Bagby was then elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in a special election on July 21, 2015, and took the oath of office July 23, replacing Joe Morrissey, who resigned in April earlier that year.  He defeated David Lambert, son of longtime Virginia State Senator Benjamin Lambert.  With all 33 precincts reporting, Bagby received 2,192 votes, or 84.5 percent, to Lambert’s 398 votes, or 15.34 percent.  Bagby also defeated Lambert in the general election on November 3, 2015. 

Dr. Sarah Scarbrough

Dr. Sarah Scarbrough works as the Program Director in the Richmond City Sheriff’s Office under Richmond Sheriff, C.T. Woody, Jr. In this capacity, Dr. Scarbrough provides oversight and supervision to all programs offered to jail residents of the Richmond City Justice Center,. She is charged with creating new opportunities for program availability for residents, in order to ensure a successful re-entry back into the community. This includes rehabilitation and treatment services through the RCJC’s nationally and internally recognized behavior modification program, The REAL Program. Through the REAL Program, participants are able to participate in a variety of educational opportunities from remedial education, GED, and college level courses, addiction recovery, re-entry preparation, religious services, and other opportunities that help pave a path to successful re-entry back into the community. She founded REAL Life, a non-profit created to continue assisting men and women who were in The REAL Program, as they transition back into the community upon release.   

Justin Fairfax

Justin was raised primarily by a single mom and his grandparents in a neighborhood besieged by guns, drugs and gangs. He saw childhood friends fall victim to the culture of crime and violence that threatens many Virginia communities. Those experiences led him to a career in public service, starting with his tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Justin is committed to ensuring that every child and family in Virginia have the same opportunities that he had to succeed. Despite humble beginnings, Justin has achieved great success in the private and public sectors. During his career, Justin has worked in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, developing a keen insight into how to improve the lives of all of our citizens through public service.

Justin currently serves as a litigator as a prestigious national law firm with offices in Fairfax County, Virginia. He previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia in the Major Crimes and Narcotics Unit of the Alexandria Division. During his tenure as a federal prosecutor, Justin was appointed to serve as the Deputy Coordinator of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force.

In 2014, Justin served as Co-Chair of Virginia Senator Mark Warner's successful reelection campaign. In 2013, Justin was a candidate for Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In that election, he earned the endorsement of The Washington Post and more than 48% of the statewide primary vote. He later served as Co-Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia's Statewide Coordinated Campaign. In 2013, Justin was awarded the National Bar Association's Nation's Best Advocates Award, which recognizes 40 top attorneys nationwide under the age of 40.

Justin received a scholarship to attend Columbia Law School where he was selected to be a member of the Columbia Law Review. He also received a scholarship to attend Duke University where he graduated with a degree in Public Policy Studies. Justin went on to serve a three-year term on the Duke University Board of Trustees and is currently serving his third term on the Board of Visitors of the Terry Sanford School of Public Policy.

Dr. Linda Hancock

Linda Hancock is the Director of VCU’s Wellness Resource Center and a Family Nurse Practitioner who has provided primary health care to college students for three decades. Linda’s specialty is making science user-friendly and fun. She specializes in all the “S’s” – substances, sex, stress and social norms. She has conducted several research studies on the impact of social norms and alcohol use harm reduction. She is passionate about educating students and adults about Substance Use Disorder and is an enthusiastic supporter for Rams in Recovery at VCU.

John Adams

John Adams was born and raised in Chesterfield County, Virginia. He attended the Virginia Military Institute for college, graduating with a B.S. in economics. After college, he was commissioned as a service warfare officer in the United States Navy, serving for almost five years. At the completion of his service in the Navy, he went to law school using the G.I. Bill at the University of Virginia, where he was editor of the Virginia Law Review. After law school, John attained clerkships with two of the most respected judges in the country—first with Judge David Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., and then with Justice Clarence Thomas on the United States Supreme Court.


Following his time at the Supreme Court, John worked as an Associate White House Counsel for President George W. Bush. He later returned home to the Richmond area to serve as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office. There he prosecuted violent criminals, white-collar felons, and corrupt public officials. In 2010, John went into private practice at McGuireWoods LLP, Virginia’s largest law firm, where he chaired the Government Investigations Department, leading a team of over 60 attorneys worldwide. John and his wife, Lisa, live in Chesterfield County, raising their four sons in the same Chesterfield Public Schools they attended.

Dick Satori

Dick Satori is a person in long term recovery who now is a certified yoga and meditation teacher as well as a nationally touring recovery comedian, storyteller, and speaker.  His autobiographical one person show, 'Monkey Off Back - Circus Still In Town!' which he wrote and previewed in Richmond and premiered in New York City, exhibits his experience, strength, and hope with hilarity. He has performed at International Recovery Conventions, Colleges, Theaters, and Jails...oh my. For more information visit

Stas Novitsky

Stas Novitsky is a person in recovery from substance use disorder. He started and ran Virginia's first, and only, recovery high school, McShin Academy. He is currently the Brand Manager at the Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine, and his concept app won the 2017 Governor's Datathon for solutions for the opioid epidemic.

Dr. Georges Gay

G. Mantovani Gay, MD is the medical director for the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office in Chesterfield, Virginia. He has been the medical director for the past 13.5 years. He is an Internal Medicine physician with a sub-specialty in Hematology and Medical Oncology. He was previously the medical director at the Greenville Correctional Center, the state’s largest prison, in Jarrett, VA for 2.5 years. He has been practicing correctional medicine for the past 20 years. Dr. Gay is the only son of Haitian immigrants and was born in Brooklyn, New York. He matriculated from the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, Florida. He did his internship, residency and fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia. In February 2016, Dr. Gay was involved in assisting Chesterfield County Sheriff Karl Leonard in starting a Heroin Recovery Addiction Program (HARP) at the Chesterfield County Jail to help battle the Heroin/Opiate epidemic. The Program has garnered wide spread local and national attention. The program also won a Virginia Association of Counties 2017 Award for Best Large County Achievement. The program has had 400 men and women participate in the recovery process. Dr. Gay also wrote and applied for a grant in which the Sheriff’s office was awarded $416,000.00 to create a pilot program for increasing the mental health care in the jail. The program is helping increasing numbers of individuals with obtaining medication, transitional housing, mental health appointments, and group therapy after they have been released from jail.