transformed2“The Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) envisions a world where the power, hope and healing of recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction is thoroughly understood and embraced.”

CCAR is a centralized resource in CT for all things recovery.  Whether you are contemplating a life in recovery, are new to recovery or are in long term recovery, CCAR is here to help you to navigate the recovery community, by connecting you with others in recovery and providing access area support services.

Living in recovery from alcohol and other drugs is a never ending journey, and wherever you are in that journey, CCAR is here to help you meet your recovery goals.




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CCAR is proud and excited about our upcoming conference,  the Multiple Pathways of Recovery,  that was previously scheduled for October 19 – 21, 2015.  These new dates will still feature the impressive lineup of speakers and workshop offerings, and there has been a great deal of interest from around the states and from other countries.   Click here to read more about the conference.  For sponsorship opportunities, please click here.

Services & Resources

CCAR is the centralized resource in the state of CT for all things recovery. Whether someone is just beginning on their journey, or is in long-term recovery, CCAR offers a variety of services to meet people where they are at.

CCAR provides training, volunteer opportunities, support services, and access to many resources for anyone in recovery. Through our Recovery Community Centers (RCCs), people in recovery or who are seeking recovery are welcomed in a safe environment where they will be greeted with a hot cup of coffee and one question…

“How can we help you with your recovery today?”

A Recovery Community Center (RCC) is a recovery oriented sanctuary anchored in the heart of the community.

It exists to put a face on recovery, to build recovery capital and to serve as a physical location where CCAR can organize the local recovery community’s ability to care. An RCC is not a treatment agency, it is not a 12 Step club, it is not a drop-in center although aspects of all of these are apparent.

  • An RCC will deliver peer-to-peer recovery support services using its volunteer force as the deliverers of these services.
  • An RCC is not a place for people to simply hang out, watch TV, play cards or pool and attend a daily meeting. We are not seeking to duplicate existing resources.
  • an RCC will host specific social events.
  • An RCC is not a drop-in center whose primary purpose is to refer and help people get into treatment.

Obviously, people in need of help will enter the RCC and we will do everything in our power to assist them.  Our centers are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

RCC’s are places where the following recovery support services are offered:

  • All-Recovery Meetings (ARM)
  • Recovery Training Series
  • Family Support Groups
  • Recovery Coaching
  • Recovery Social Events
  • Telephone Recovery Support

CCAR has three Recovery Community Centers located in CT to serve you.  Please click on a location below to learn more about that center.

Hartford  Bridgeport Windham

Serving Greater Bridgeport, this new initiative promotes recovery through development of recovery support networks for young adults in recovery and peer recovery support utilizing Telephone Recovery Support and Recovery Coach Training.  Parent and family support is provided through education and peer support networks that also emphasize empowerment and advocacy skills training.

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Recovery Oriented Employment Services (ROES) Program for Recoverees

The DMHAS funded Recovery Oriented Employment Services (ROES) Program integrates recovery support with vocational tools for recoverees in the Hartford, Willimantic, and New London areas. ROES is a three-pronged approach to helping individuals in early recovery from alcohol or other drugs find employment. The seven week curriculum infuses recovery principles into vocational training. The program also connects participants (recoverees) with one-on-one support through CCAR’s Telephone Recovery System (TRS) and offers volunteer opportunities at CCAR’s Recovery Community Centers.

Individuals who are in either in-patient or out-patient are eligible for the program. CCAR is collaborating with ADRC, a treatment provider on the project. ADRC gauges who is appropriate for the program, connects recoverees to other vocational programs, case manages their efforts at finding a job, and refers recoverees to treatment or other services.

CCAR’s ROES Curriculum, Recovery Works, is based on a nine modules focusing on financial basics and time management, employment risks in early recovery, making your cover letter/resume stand-out, internet job searching, work challenges, interviewing skills including how to handle those tough questions, and integrating recovery thinking into workplace ethics.  This open-ended training is designed to allow individuals to rotate in and out of the modules.

ROES recoverees complete evaluation forms consisting of fill-in and multiple choice questions after each module. These evaluations confirm the success of the trainings; 91% of recoverees answered excellent or very good to their multiple choice evaluation questions.

Through the Employment Services Program ADRC, Alcohol & Drug Recovery Centers, Inc. and CCAR are teaming up at the RCCs in Hartford, New London and Willimantic locations to offer individuals in recovery:

Case Management
  • ADRC’s Employment Specialists assess each participant’s readiness to begin the program and assists with basic needs, case management and treatment or services referrals.
  • Vocational Services include assistance with: recovery, employment, housing, education, life skills training, legal issues, opening bank accounts, and free tax return help.
  • Case management is available for up to 120 days after completing the program.
  • ADRC works with the Department of Labor to provide referrals to job announcements and vocational and educational training such as felony ex-offender workshops where recoverees address past criminal issues and are provided with bonding services.
  • ADRC Vocational Services has worked with the CT Dept. of Labor and other employment services to find jobs for people in recovery throughout Connecticut.
  • CCAR training includes job readiness and recovery plan.
  • CCAR’s Recovery Community Center offers volunteer orientation, training, and opportunities for service.

To inquire about CCAR’s Employment Services, contact your local RCC.

Email the Coordinator

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(877) 676-CCAR

CCAR provides Telephone Recovery Support (TRS) an innovative peer-to-peer support service. TRS offers weekly telephone calls to people in recovery to “check in” and see how they’re doing. Recoverees are given support and encouragement as well as information about community resources, 12-step meetings or other supports that may help them maintain their recovery. Calls are made by trained CCAR volunteers that are, in many instances, in recovery themselves. TRS is offered at all CCAR Recovery Community Centers (RCC).

The beauty is in the simplicity. TRS helps people stay in recovery. Sometimes just a phone call can make someone feel wanted, cared about and included. Dare, we say “loved”. When making the call, the caller will feel rewarded when they have spoken with someone. They share in joys and sorrows, triumphs and setbacks. They have the satisfaction of giving back, of making a difference. It’s a classic win-win scenario.

A person new in recovery receives a weekly call from a trained volunteer. The call simply checks in with the person to see how their recovery is going. That’s it! On average, people receive calls for 15 weeks, often much longer. Currently, we are calling more than 1,000 folks every week!

Imagine the spiritual ripple effect of more than 12,500 conversations each year about the hope and healing of recovery. The impact on our state is literally immeasurable. We do know that our calls help people in recovery when a relapse occurs. When someone tells us they have relapsed, we don’t kick them out of the program; we keep calling them, checking in with them, seeing if they want help. When someone is down, that’s when he or she needs the most support. CCAR is often the only encouraging voice heard at a critical junction on the road of their recovery.

As you can see from the quotes, we often walk side-by-side with people through difficult times, the difficult times that life throws us whether we are in recovery or not.

“It is in my heart to help others. Making the TRS calls makes me feel like a woman and gives me joy.” ~Barbara, Hartford

“I do not get out much. These calls keep me in touch.” ~Pat C.

Note: CCAR has called him for more than 3 years and was with him when his wife died in 2010. Through this time we called him several times a week.

“It frees me! Being able to give inspiration and hope to others, it frees me!” ~Tony, Bridgeport

You may download a detailed brochure in English, or Spanish.

Are you interested in havingTRS 2 TRS at your agency?  Click here for more information.

Find Recovery Housing

The Recovery Housing Project continues to grow by attracting new houses from different states and through traffic to our website.

The website continues to get many visits and currently has 235+ houses listed from nineteen different states. As more and more people use the site, more and more houses are being listed! Since June 2010, houses on the site have been viewed over 27,000 times.  The website has become an invaluable resource for anyone looking to find a safe and sober place to live.

At a time when access to affordable, quality recovery options has been significantly diminished, the Recovery House movement is a bright light on the horizon. The Recovery Housing Coalition was convened as a group of people dedicated to make sure dignified, safe recovery environments where people, in early recovery as well as those who have a history of recovery, are given the time needed to develop the tools necessary to embark on a life of recovery, but also positively impact the quality of that recovery.

The Recovery Housing Coalition of Connecticut (RHCC) continues to meet regularly on the 1st Tuesday of the month at the Hartford Recovery Community Center. The Coalition continues to grow and has been a positive influence in helping new recovery house owners get established. For new house owners the Coalition has been a valuable resource to begin networking and establishing themselves in the unique field of Recovery House ownership. During the past year, the Coalition had guest speakers in to discuss a number of topics including medication-assisted therapy. The RHCC has designed a recovery rating to be applied to houses listed on the website. The rating is determined by three surveys; one from recoverees in the house, another from providers that refer clients to the house and the third survey is an evaluation of the house itself.

The cost to list a house on the site is $29.95 for 1 year.  Click here.

“So, You Want to Open a Recovery House?” is held four times throughout the year. CCAR receives numerous calls from people asking for information on opening a recovery house. This training is one of the most popular trainings CCAR offers. To date, over 450 people have attended this training.

CCAR continues to provide one-on-one technical assistance to owners regarding setting up rules and policies, insurance requirements, drug testing kits and marketing for their programs.

To register or learn of upcoming sessions, please:
Email Manager

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Services 

CCAR is a volunteer agency; promoting recovery through volunteering in our communities. Volunteers maintain their own recovery by giving back and supporting CCAR’s peer support services. Individuals early in recovery are strengthened by volunteer peers who provide support, resources, and encouragement to individuals who are just beginning their road to recovery.

CCAR has developed a Volunteer Management System that offers volunteers a standardized orientation, scheduling, and training process as well as twelve new volunteer position descriptions that contain professional responsibilities volunteers can apply to personal career advancement.

The heart of CCAR’s Volunteer Management System is our volunteer trainings. Volunteers participate in a variety of trainings designed to build skills specific to the volunteer’s task, recovery interests and needs, including volunteer orientation training.  Trainings incorporate transformational language and elements to enhance volunteer’s self-esteem, strengthen their recovery, and build their recovery capital. CCAR’s mandatory training series for volunteers teaches communication skills, team building and focuses on incorporating recovery into a volunteer’s life.  After completed required trainings, volunteers will have a clear understanding of CCAR’s recovery center values and ethics, the policies and procedures, the nuts and bolts of advocacy and recovery service. This orientation is compulsory for all CCAR volunteers.

Volunteers are recruited from all walks of life and bring with them a recovery, cultural, economic, and educational perspective that adds diversity to the team. CCAR volunteers are college students and interns, individuals in early or long-term recovery, retired professionals, unemployed recoverees, allies, and individuals providing community service hours or probation requirements.

Volunteer Mission

The Volunteer Program of CCAR supports the CCAR mission in organizing the recovery community and its ability to care. To provide a variety of effective peer-to-peer recovery support services that addresses the needs of the recovery community.

Core Values

  • We engage in a participatory process.
  • We listen to our membership and attempt to incorporate their suggestions.
  • We promote the primacy of individual recovery.
  • We continue to identify, nurture and develop leadership from within the recovering community.
  • We ensure cultural diversity and inclusion.
  • We look for opportunities for individuals to use their gifts and develop their strengths.

Each of the Recovery Community Centers (RCC) has their own volunteer coordinator that can speak to the needs of their individual center.  To inquire about volunteer opportunities at the center nearest you, please call:

Bridgeport:  (203) 583-4704   Hartford:  (860) 218-9545   Windham:  (860) 967-0492

Email the Manager

Training & Products

Recvoery-Training-CenterThe CCAR Recovery Training Center was established in 2014 in order to provide centralized location for those interested in Recovery Coaching and providing Recovery Support Services with resources and performance enhancement supports. As the creator of the nationally acclaimed Recovery Coach Academy©, CCAR has a desire to continue to build upon the foundations in the Recovery Coach Academy by bringing forward additional training opportunities for Recovery Coaches.

By building the skills of those in this emerging field, the CCAR Recovery Training Center’s mission is to offer products and services with the belief that transformed people, transform people…read more.

Register here

The Recovery Training Center has a wide variety of recovery oriented resources available for purchase through our Recovery Store.  Also, please take a look at our training opportunities, Such as our Recovery Coach Academy, Ethical Considerations for Recovery Coaching and Spirituality for Recovery Coaches.  You may now download 2015 RTC Schedule. If you have any questions regarding our training programs or merchandise please let us know.

Email the Manager

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What is a Recovery Coach?

Anyone interested in promoting recovery by removing barriers and obstacles to recovery and serving as a personal guide and mentor for people seeking or already in recovery.  Read more about the crucial role of Recovery Coaches here.


Why Become A Recovery Coach?

Rod Rushing CCAR Certified Recovery Coach Trainer partnered with Colorado Mental Wellness Network to deliver the 1st RCA training for Colorado in July 2015. After the training concluded, Rod asked each of the participants a few questions about their experience.  What resulted is a power piece that answers the question often asked, “Why become a Recovery Coach?”

Thank you and congratulations to Rod, and the first Recovery Coach Academy graduates of Colorado!  Rod is looking forward to conducting another RCA this October.  For more information on the RCA trainings in Colorado, please visit,

Colorado RCA Class of July 2015

Learn about the CCAR RCA

The CCAR Recovery Coach Academy©  was conceived in 2008 in response to the needs of volunteers in the CCAR recovery community centers. They asked for more training to better handle the variety of scenarios and situations generated from recoverees who frequented the centers.  This included engagement and communication skills.  When graduates returned from the academy, they started calling themselves “recovery coaches”.

The CCAR Recovery Coach Academy© is a 5-day intensive training academy focusing on providing individuals with the skills need to guide, mentor and support anyone who would like to enter into or sustain long-term recovery from an addiction to alcohol or other drugs.  Provided in a retreat like environment, the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy© prepares participants by helping them to actively listen,  ask really good questions, and discover and manage their own stuff.

CCAR Recovery Coach Academy©participants will:

  • Describe Recovery Coach role and functions
  • List the components, core values and guiding principles of recovery
  • Build skills to enhance relationships
  • Explore many dimensions of recovery of recovery and recovery coaching
  • Discover attitudes about self disclosure and sharing your story
  • Understand the stages of recovery
  • Describe the stages of change and their applications
  • Increase their awareness of culture, power and privilege
  • Address ethical and boundaries issues
  • Experience recovery wellness planning
  • Practice newly acquired skills

CCAR Recovery Coach Academy agenda breakdown

Each day of the Recovery Coach Academy© is set up so that participants gain the necessary skills and knowledge to be a Recovery Coach by using the principles behind adult learning theory which states:•Adults are internally motivated and self-directed•Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences

•Adults are goal oriented

•Adults are relevancy oriented

•Adults are practical

•Adult learners like to be respected

By designing the academy as more of a retreat or learning community, each participant comes away with not only the necessary skills, but are fully empowered and motivated.

The lessons taught in the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy© expand way beyond the role of recovery coach, as many graduates leave feeling a greater sense of self, solidifying their position as allies in the every changing recovery community.

Recognized nationally as the original and leading recovery offering of its kind, CCAR’s Recovery Coach Academy© is an innovative new approach to healing people's lives that is unlike any other training. It offers participants the once-in-a-lifetime experience to gain new knowledge, be challenged, and reap valuable rewards, providing the essential learning, tools, and resources needed to become an effective recovery coach.

The CCAR mission and vision can be seen in everything we do, and our guiding principles are woven throughout the Recovery Coach Academy©, making it one of the most sought out recovery oriented training programs.

Who should attend the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy?

"Anyone in the recovery field.  The CCAR Recovery Coach Academy© is an innovative new approach to healing people's lives that is unlike any other training. Utilizing a dynamic approach to learning that blends both process and content, the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy© offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience that has been referred to as "pure recovery genius", If you're ready to learn, be challenged, and reap valuable rewards for life, the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy© is a must for anyone in the recovery field."

For more information about the RCA, contact the RTC Manager.  You may register online here.

For Information on how to become a Trainer of the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy©, please click here.

If you are an RCA Trainer, please click here.


Training of Trainers Program

CCAR has partnered with hundreds of individuals and agencies across the country who are making a difference in the field of recovery while increasing their revenue stream by training the nationally recognized CCAR Recovery Coach Academy©, Ethics and Spirituality Curriculum.  Anyone with a training background, who also has a passion for this work, can be very successful as a Trainer of our CCAR Training Programs.


RCA TOT Program:

Those interested in becoming trainers of the Recovery Coach Academy© can attend a concurrent Training-of-Trainers which will be offered in an additional two hours following each training day and all day Saturday following the Academy. The TOT is designed to familiarize participants with the full curriculum and to learn optimal methods of delivering the RCA. The TOT is not a training primer, therefore those selecting to attend the TOT need to be seasoned trainers.

Ethical Considerations for Recovery Coaches TOT Program

The TOT Program for this program will be offered concurrently with our Ethics training.  Participants will stay an extra 1-2 hours each evening of the Ethics training in order to understand how best to deliver this training program.

Spirituality for Recovery Coaches TOT Program

Like the Ethics program, this TOT program will run in the evening for 1-2 hours immediately following the Spirituality Training.  Participants will have a opportunity to explore the curriculum in order to deliver it back in their community.

For more information please contact the RTC Manager.

Current Trainers can find updated information here.

CCAR Online Recovery Training Center

CCAR is pleased to announce an exciting learning opportunity through our Recovery Training Center.  We now offer webinars that further the learning for Recovery Coaches and/or anyone looking to further their knowledge when providing peer support services to those who have an addition to alcohol or other drugs.


The remaining webinars for 2015 will focus on the following topics:

  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Cultural Competence
  • Building Recovery Capital
  • Stages of Change
  • Eliminating Stigma
  • Recovery Wellness Planning
  • Recovery Coaching as a Group Process
  • How to include family/ loved ones in the process
  • Identifying mental health issues – when to refer
  • How to deal with relapse
  • The RC as an Advocate/Connecting to the community

CCAR has been recognized as an approved training provider with the Connecticut Certification Board and all sessions will offer CEU credit.  These online webinars will not only sharpen your skills as a Trainer, and or Recovery Coach, but will provide you with the hours needed to obtain, or maintain, certification as a Recovery Coach.  Each webinar will last approximately one (1) hour, and participants will be awarded one (1) CEU for their attendance.

Graduates of the RCA will be able to review modules of the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy, while learning about how to use those skills.

A one year membership costs only $99.00.

Webinars may be purchased one at a time at a fee of $25.00 per webinar.

All webinars will be recorded and can be accessed online anytime after the air date, once you make the purchase.

To purchase the membership or an individual webinar, please click here.


Browse products, order training materials, register for events, and more at:

The Recovery Store

CCAR has a number of offerings designed for those who would like to further their learning in the field of peer recovery support.  As an approved training provider by the CT Certification Board, we offer CEUs for all of our programs, and each is widely accepted to meet certification standards for those interested in seeking certification as a Recovery Coach or Peer Recovery Specialist.  If you have questions regarding certification, please refer to your individual state certification board, or local state agency.  To find out what the requirements are in your state, please look at this document.

To register for any of our training programs, please click the links below:

Recovery Coach Academy and the companion Training of Trainer Program

Ethical Considerations for Recovery Coaches and the companion Training of Training Program

Spirituality for Recovery Coaches and the companion Training of Trainers Program

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and Medication Supported Recovery (MSR) for Recovery Coaches

2016 Registration Dates now Available!

Recovery Coach Academy 

February 22-26, Rocky Hill, CT (TOT on February 27)

April (pending)

June 20-24, Rocky Hill, CT  (TOT on June 25)

August 22-26, Rocky Hill, CT (TOT on August 27)

October (pending)


Ethical Considerations for Recovery Coaching

March 14-15

July 11-12

October 10-11


Spiritual Considerations for Recovery Coaching

March 16-17

July 13-14

October 12-13


Coming soon:

Recovery Coaching for all!

Self care for Recovery Coaches

About CCAR
What does CCAR do – and why do these things matter?

Here’s our mission – Along with organizing the recovery community (people in recovery, family members, friends and allies) to 1) put a face on recovery and 2) provide recovery support services, we also promote recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction through advocacy, education and service. CCAR strives to end discrimination surrounding addiction and recovery, open new doors and remove barriers to recovery, maintain and sustain recovery regardless of the pathway, all the while ensuring that all people in recovery, and people seeking recovery, are treated with dignity and respect.

Our Values – CCAR meets people where they are. We don’t push any one form of recovery on anyone. Over the years CCAR has developed some foundational principles on which we base our work. They are

  • You are in recovery if you say you are
  • There are many pathways to recovery
  • Focus on the recovery potential, not the pathology
  • Err on the side of the recoveree
  • Err on the side of being generous.

Many times people are left to navigate the system on their own. By the time they get to us, they are frustrated, crying, discouraged. We talk with them. We meet them where they are. We offer the hope of a new way of living. We help them.


Virginia Adams, Recovery Community Center Manager, Hartford

Virginia Adams joined CCAR’s team in 2011 as a volunteer and subsequently came onboard as the full time Volunteer Coordinator for the Bridgeport Recovery Community Center. Today, Virginia is pleased to have joined Hartford’s team and is now the full time Volunteer Coordinator at the Hartford Recovery Community Center.

Virginia is a person in long term recovery and has been working in human services for more than 20 years. Virginia has worked in the non profit sector all of her life because she believes in the inherent strengths within the community she serves. Virginia graduated from Springfield College with a Bachelor of Science in Human Services. She is passionate about recovery and uses her life experiences and academic study to assist, support and encourage those in the recovery community.

Ken Aligata, Program Manager

Ken Aligata is CCAR’S Program Manager. He has been involved with CCAR for over  15 years, and was a past Board President of CCAR. Ken is a certified CCAR Recovery Coach and Trainer, with over 26 years of long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. In his recovery housing role, Ken provides oversight, technical assistance and training support to Recovery Housing Coalition providers in Connecticut. He is the point of contact for expanding CCAR’s housing website, provides training in sober housing practice standards, and ensures that all inquiries regarding recovery housing network are handled efficiently. For three years serving as CCAR’s Community Educator, Ken provided onsite training and education on recovery support services to over 100 community providers and enhanced care clinics statewide. Ken is also spearheading CCAR and the CT Behavioral Health Partnership’s joint effort in launching a program, which will help hospital’s patient/clients with their recovery from alcohol and drug use. Previously, Ken worked as the Provider Relations Director for Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc. Ken has over 25 years of public relations, sales and marketing experience. Ken believes in blending his recovery values and his passion for customer service in helping to reach out to others in support of their recovery.

Rebecca Allen, Telephone Recovery Support Manager

Rebecca joined the CCAR team in December 2012 as Manager of the Windham Recovery Community Center (RCC) and in October 2013, took a new position as Manager of the Telephone Recovery Support (TRS) program. “While I loved my time managing the Windham RCC, I’m very excited to be managing the TRS program. Telephone Recovery Support is a great resource for people that may be new to recovery or struggling to maintain their recovery. One person reaching out to another…what a great concept.” Rebecca grew up in the Windham area and had previously worked for a local behavioral health agency. Rebecca is a graduate of ECSU and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public Health at UCONN. Rebecca is in long term recovery. Rebecca Allen, TRS Manager.

Michael Askew, Recovery Community Center Manager, Bridgeport

Michael is a gifted presenter and has given numerous presentations on recovery advocacy around the state and country. He is passionate about his own recovery, since May 28, 1989, and believes his position with CCAR is an opportunity to "give back what was so freely given to him". Before joining CCAR staff in January 2000, Michael joined as a volunteer in Feb. 1998. At that time, he worked with Weed & Seed, a federally funded organization, which provides Community Service Projects. He worked as Youth Coordinator and received a Commendation from the U.S. Attorneys Office for his volunteer work within his community and being a mentor with the Drug Education For Youth (DEFY) Program. In 2000, Michael developed chapters of CCAR in Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford. He was instrumental in organizing transportation to the Recovery Walks! over the years to many communities. Michael attended The New England School of Addiction Studies yearly and co-facilitated "Understanding and Utilizing 12-Steps" and promoted both CCAR and Recovery Walks! With the opening of the Bridgeport Recovery Community Center in August 2006, Michael began to support the recovery community in jail and prison, providing "Inner Circle to Winner Circle" peer support groups. Michael understands from first hand experience, the plight of the incarcerated having spent some time in prison because of his addiction. Michael wants to see more treatment and recovery options instead of prison sentencing. "My concerns are for all persons to be able to receive the support and treatment they deserve with dignity and respect." In July 2007, Michael embarked on a vision to go to North Carolina and immediately began supporting the recovery community. He had great success in developing Double Trouble support groups in South Carolina for persons with co-occurring disorders. Michael also consulted with FAVOR SC Board of Directors and supported many Recovery Programs as guest speaker. With the position of a Recovery Manager in Bridgeport open, Michael and his wife, Annie Louise, returned to Connecticut to work with many lifelong friends and colleagues. Michael desires to bring hope to the many lives that will pass through the doors of the Bridgeport Recovery Community Center. Michael and Annie have 3 children, Latoya, Jahnetta and Randell. He has a daughter, Shatisha, from a previous relationship. Michael has shown that people in Recovery are remarkable in their pursuit for being happy, joyous and free.

Carol Cruz, Young Adult and Family Program Manager

Carol Cruz is the CCAR Young Adult and Family Project Manager located in Bridgeport. She has been in long-term recovery from alcohol and other drugs since 1994. Carol resides in Milford with her son Raymond and husband Anthony.
In 2012, she was named Parent of the Year, due to her involvement as the chairperson for the junior post prom at Jonathan Law High School. Her goal was not only to raise money to provide safe activities for teens, but to create an alcohol and drug-free event.
Currently she is attending the University of Bridgeport to work on her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and in February of 2014 received her certification as a Recovery Support Specialist. In that same year she completed the Parent Leadership Training Institute and became a change agent, leader and founder of a nonprofit; whose mission is to educate the community about addiction and recovery. Just this past April, she was recognized as a community builder through the United Way for meeting “Critical Needs”.
She is on the board for the Milford Prevention Council and voted to add “people in recovery” to the bylaws as one of the sectors.
Today she continues to volunteer and outreach in Milford and is hard at work building this new recovery support program for young adults and families within the Greater Bridgeport community.

Deb Dettor, Managing Director

Deb Dettor was delighted to join the CCAR Team as Director of Operations in March 2012.  She last hailed from Maine, where she spent 8 years leading the Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery, promoting recovery through public advocacy and education and creation of a statewide community-based support network.  Deb worked with community allies to open the first state funded Recovery Community Center in Portland, and to launch the Recovering Women’s Leadership Training throughout the state .  In 2009 she became a trainer for CCAR’s Recovery Coach Academy.

Ms. Dettor is a person in long-term addiction recovery since June 1985 and is grateful to share her journey with others who transform their lives through recovery.  Deb’s story has been featured in national spotlights through SAMHSA Recovery Month, Faces and Voices of Recovery, A & E Recovery Project, and CCAR’s Recovery Elders Video Project among others.   Deb was awarded the 2011 Community Vision Award by Day One for her leadership to establish a recovery presence and voice in Maine communities.  Her recovery writings have been published in books, journals, as newspaper columns and editorials, and through online forums; and she has been a professional reviewer for publications by William White, Paula Davies Scimeca and other authors.

Deb has supported people in recovery through a myriad of roles since completing her M.S. in Counseling in 1982.  Before working with recovery community organizations, Deb had been a therapist, staff supervisor, trainer and program manager.

Danielle Elliott, Volunteer Coordinator, Bridgeport

Danielle joined the CCAR Family in August 2012. As the Volunteer Coordinator of the Bridgeport Recovery Center, Danielle takes pride in working with a committed team of volunteers that believe in CCAR’s mission “to put a positive face on Recovery”. Danielle is a long-time recovery ally, with a genuine passion for the population CCAR serves. She enjoys listening to each person’s life experience and assisting those to acquire reaching the goals they have set for themselves. Danielle received her Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work. Danielle has dedicated 12 years to working with non-profit organizations and her work experiences have shaped her “person-centered” approach which aligns well with CCAR’s values

Jim Higgins, Recovery Coach Manager, Hartford

After 25+ years of practicing law, Jim Higgins has found his home in working with people in recovery from addiction at CCAR. He initially managed the Hartford Recovery Community Center for 3 years and now serves as CCAR’s Recovery Coach Manager. It has provided Jim with the opportunity to combine his experience and skills in business developing and managing with his passion for heralding the gifts of recovery, wellness and life.

Yolibel Lebrón (aka Yoly), Director of Administration, HRO

Yolibel joined the CCAR “super team” in 2002 as an Administrative Assistant and is currently the Director of Administration. A Hartford native, she earned a certificate in Human Resource Management from the University of Saint Joseph. As an ally for recovery she enjoys working for an organization where everyone is achieving the same goal. Yolibel resides in Hartford with her husband and two children.

Chiara Maggiore, Special Events Coordinator

Chiara Maggiore joined CCAR in March 2014.  She is a recent graduate of Johnson & Wales University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Sports, Entertainment and Event Management.  At an early age, Chiara discovered her love for planning events.  Chiara is a native of Italy who enjoys traveling, cooking and photography.

Conrad Sienkiewicz, Volunteer Manager

Conrad Sienkiewicz joined CCAR as the Volunteer Manager in August of 2013, and it was a winding trail that brought him here. He graduated from Adelphi University with a BSW and was employed as a counselor for several years at a group home on Long Island and also as a case manager on an Assertive Community Treatment Team in New Britain. He then received a Master’s of Arts degree in English from CCSU, and also worked there as an adjunct instructor. He later taught English for eleven years at Litchfield High School. In 2009, the trail of his life took another significant turn when he left the field of education to begin coordinating volunteers from all over the country for EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs; volunteer management seemed to be a perfect blending of his social work experience and his communication skills. Conrad is currently pursuing certification in Volunteer Administration. Always for the underdog, he is a recovery ally and is excited to be a part of CCAR’s mission. Conrad is a busy volunteer himself at a local soup kitchen and in his church, and he is also involved onstage and backstage with the Goshen Players, the second oldest continuously performing community theatre group in Connecticut. He has been an active member of Rotary since 2004. He lives with his wife and daughter in Torrington.

Stacy Rosay, Recovery Training Center Manager

Stacy Rosay enthusiastically joined CCAR in January 2013.  She brings with her a long history of successful project coordination and a deep commitment to serving her community, having worked in a non-profit setting for over 17 years.  As a recovery ally, Stacy hopes that she can bring her experience of having a parent in long-term recovery to her position as Recovery Training Center Manager.   In her role, she will oversee the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy©, while coordinating, developing and marketing new trainings for the performance enhancement of both CCAR Trainers and CCAR trained Recovery Coaches.  Stacy is honored to work for an organization that not only strives to provide the recovery community with such high quality services, training and support, but believes that by putting a face on recovery, more people will come forward seeking help through hope and the possibility of sustained long-term recovery.

Phillip Valentine, aka Right Click, Executive Director

Phillip Valentine is the Executive Director for the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR). He has been an integral component in this Recovery Community Organization since January 1999. An accomplished speaker and presenter, he has gained recognition as a strong leader in the recovery community; in 2006 the Johnson Institute recognized his efforts with an America Honors Recovery award. In 2008, Faces and Voices of Recovery recognized CCAR with the first Joel Hernandez Voice of the Recovery Community Award as the outstanding recovery community organization in the country. In 2009, the Hartford Business Journal named him the Non-profit Executive of the Year. Currently, he is spearheading CCAR’s effort to build a statewide network of Recovery Community Centers that feature innovative peer recovery support services like Telephone Recovery Support, All-Recovery Groups and Recovery Works! Employment Services.

Mr. Valentine has been instrumental in the development of CCAR’s highly-acclaimed videos "Putting a Face on Recovery!", “The Healing Power of Recovery” and “Legacy of Hope: Recovery Elders Video Project” all produced by Jim Mattingly of Rapid Exposure, LLC,. He served as CCAR’s point man for the first seven “Recovery Walks!", annual walks held for those in support of recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. He has designed and facilitated several trainings including the "Recovery Perspective – Beyond the Treatment Episode" and "The Language of Recovery". Mr. Valentine has willingly shared his experience and expertise with other Recovery Community Organizations in Connecticut and across the country. In recovery since December 28, 1987, Mr. Valentine is the author of "Hooked on Recovery", a column that has enlightened the general public about his personal recovery process. Mr. Valentine believes that by being public about his own recovery from alcohol and cocaine addiction, he can help ease the discrimination surrounding addiction and recovery. He strives to "soften the community" to recovery. A University of Connecticut graduate, he has also worked as a counselor in a detox and residential treatment setting. He is married and has five children. He coaches youth travel soccer and his favorite hobbies are surf fishing, golf and movies.

Amy Yazmer, ROES Coordinator

Amy Yazmer is excited that she  joined the CCAR team in July 2014 as the ROES Coordinator.  She has always been a strong advocate for individuals in recovery and began her work in the field of mental health and addictions at Elmcrest Hospital working with adolescents after she graduated from the University of Rhode Island with her Bachelor of Science in Human Development, Counseling and Family Studies in 1990.  She completed her Master of Science in Counseling with a specialization in Rehabilitation from Central Connecticut State University in 1997 and is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor and is Certified in Connecticut to work with individuals with Co-Occuring disorders.

Amy has a passion to work in this field and  enjoys working  in the nonprofit sector in  roles including a Senior Lead Case Manager at Advanced Behavioral Health for over eight years and as a Counselor at the Hartford Dispensary,  because they coincide with her values of being nonjudgmental, carrying hope and optimism, educating and empowering individuals, and being client centered.  She feels very grateful to be a part of people’s journey through their recovery on whichever pathway works best for them.  She  is  enthusiastic about working at CCAR in this position and  strongly believes in  the organization’s vision of putting a positive face on recovery, as well as, making a beneficial contribution to the community. Amy  has been in recovery since 1991.  She loves her  three beautiful children with all her heart and soul. She believes in carrying a smile wherever she goes which she learned from her mother, anything  is possible with support and encouragement which she always has received from her dad, and no matter what …never give up before the miracle happens.

CCAR Board of Directors for 2015:

Thomas A Kirk - President

Maggie Young – Vice President

Marc Paradis – Treasurer

Rosann Rafala – Secretary

Asher Delerme

John Hamilton

Joel Johnson

Cheryl Malloy

Todd Regan

William Savinelli

Anne Thompson Heller

Ana M. Gopoian

Board Biographical Statements:

Thomas A. Kirk, Jr., President

It is an honor to be associated with a recovery-focused agency such as CCAR given the below biography.

Tom is a retired healthcare professional whose work from 1980 – 1990 involved providing direct care to individuals with substance use issues and later designing and directing outpatient, residential and aftercare programs that promoted “new beginnings” for persons in care in the Washington, D.C. area.

Appointed CEO/President in 1990 of a private substance abuse prevention and treatment agency in Connecticut (Liberation Programs, Inc.), he set a vision/mission that emphasized an overall health theme, i.e. one should expect to get “better” and have an improved quality of life and self-respect rather than shame and limited opportunities so often associated with society’s view of addiction.

Building on the health theme, he framed recovery as the major policy and operational driver of services, funding, and quality indicators during a 15 year (1995-2009) public service leadership role in the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). Initially Deputy Commissioner, he co-chaired the Alcohol and Drug Policy Council. The Council was comprised of executive and legislative representatives along with academic and private sector members. Besides forging strong cross-state agency and private partnerships, the Council’s annual and biennial reports heightened statewide support for policy and service initiatives, along with funding. In addition, its structure and reports drew national attention and significant federal funding over several years.

As Commissioner (2000-2009), he used recovery as the overall umbrella under which mental health and substance abuse would be approached in creating a recovery-oriented system of care. The partnerships forged through the ADPC led to similar goal-oriented groups for mental health issues. The recovery vision and operational focus transformed a traditional state agency into a recovery/wellness-oriented system with innovative care and recovery support services, supported by continuing state funds as well as new federal funding in excess of $150 million over ten years.

He currently holds an appointment as Professor (Adjunct) in the Yale School of Medicine and has completed terms on the Advisory Council of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the comparable national council for the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

 Maggie Young, Vice President

Maggie has been working in the Behavioral Health field at Liberation Programs since June 20, 1994. Over the past 20 years she was responsible for oversight of Residential Services which provides inpatient treatment to 65 men and 10 women with children recovering from substance abuse. Currently Maggie is the Director of Youth and Family Resources in Greenwich, A Program for Youth and Families. The Youth and Family program has offices at GHS as well as at the Greenwich YMCA. Maggie has a Bachelors of Science in Human Service and she is a Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC), Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS), Certified Co-Occurring Disorders Professional (CCDP) and a Medicated Addiction Treatment Specialist (MATS).

Marc Paradis, CPA, Treasurer

Marc Paradis is an Audit Manager at CohnReznick LLP, a national accounting, tax, and advisory firm and is a member of the firm’s Not-for-Profit and Education Industry Practice. Marc has worked at the firm for eight years. Marc is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master’s of Science in Accounting and Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Connecticut. Marc is an Affiliate Member of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Rosann Rafala,  Secretary

Rosann Rafala is Manager of Adult Residential Addiction Services for Rushford, a not-for-profit organization that provides inpatient and outpatient treatment services to more than 12,000 Connecticut children, adults and families each year.

She is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor who holds B.A. degrees in both psychology and fine arts (with a concentration in art therapy) from Albertus Magnus College and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University. Rosann also completed the DARC program at Manchester Community Technical College.

Rosann has worked at Rushford for more than 10 years and is currently responsible for and directly supervises a 42-bed residential program. She has also provided over 4 years of substance abuse education at the State of Connecticut Hartford Juvenile Detention Center. During the beginning of her career she worked 5 years at Long Lane School with adjudicated youths.

She was born and raised in Hartford’s South End and currently resides in Middle Haddam, CT. Rosann is an avid snowmobiler and enjoys cooking, painting and traveling.

Asher Delerme, M.S., LADC, CCS

Born and raised in “El Barrio” (East Harlem) of New York City, Asher Delerme earned a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University, attended the University of Ghana in West Africa, and earned a Master’s in Counseling Psychology at Southern Connecticut State University. He is the executive director for the Chemical Abuse Services Agency, Inc., a multicultural behavioral health services agency and has been a clinician, clinical supervisor, educator, and administrator for over twenty years having worked with monolingual Spanish speaking patients, African-American therapeutic groups, and Women’s programs.  Mr. Delerme is a principle member of MPACT - Multicultural Perspectives in Assessment, Consultation and Training, providing consultation and training regionally and nationally.  Furthermore, he is a seasoned educational/performance artist.  For the past ten years as a clinician and educator, Asher has been exploring the powerful connection between human development, the arts, and learning.  His cumulative knowledge in psychosocial development and the ethnomusicology of African, Caribbean, and Jazz musical genres provide him with a unique perspective in clinical issues and community development.

John Hamilton

John Hamilton is the CEO for Recovery Network of Programs Inc., a non-profit behavioral health agency serving the greater Bridgeport community. Mr. Hamilton holds licenses in Alcohol and Drug Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy and has worked in the field of addiction prevention and treatment since 1981.

Currently, John is President of the New England Association of Drug Court Professionals and serves as Past President of the Southwest Connecticut Mental Health Board. John is a permanent appointee for the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Steering Committee and Research Utilization Committee. John serves on the Advisory Board for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and is actively involved in community prevention councils in Fairfield County.

Previously, John was the Chair of the Ethics Committee for the Connecticut Certification Board and Chair of the Dissemination Committee for the NIDA Clinical Trials Network.

Cheryl A. Malloy

Cheryl A. Malloy served with the Connecticut State Police for over 20 years, retiring in 2009, at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Cheryl serves as the Secretary for Connecticut Alliance for Recovery Housing (CTARH), a group that is passionate and committed to ensuring safe sober housing in Connecticut.

Cheryl currently works independently or in group settings with those who share, and are looking for assistance in living a healthier lifestyle, by incorporating a holistic approach, which in part includes delving into nutrition, exercise, spiritual practice, relationships, and career balance.

Cheryl is a graduate of Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Law Enforcement.  Cheryl became certified as a Recovery Coach in 2014, and holds several additional certifications as they relate to health and wellness.

Cheryl resides with her family in western Connecticut.

Todd Regan

Todd Regan is a partner at the law firm of Robinson & Cole LLP in Hartford, CT.  His practice is dedicated to the construction and surety industries.  He represents the full range of construction and surety industry stakeholders in claims involving project delays and inefficiencies, defective design and construction, unfair trade practices and bad faith, and mechanic's liens and bond claims. Mr. Regan has argued before the First Circuit Court of Appeals and the Connecticut Supreme Court on significant legal issues concerning the construction and surety industries. He also counsels construction industry members in the negotiation and drafting of project-related agreements.

Mr. Regan is member of several national construction and surety industry related organizations, including the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, the ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, and the Surety Claims Institute, and serves on the Attorney Advisory Counsel for the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (“NASBP”). In addition to sitting on CCAR’s Board of Directors, he serves his local community as a pro bono attorney with Lawyers for Children America, aa a volunteer with the United Way’s literacy program in the Hartford Public Schools, and as a board member with Connecticut Landmarks and Organized Parents Make A Difference.

William Savinelli, M.S., LPC, LADC

William (Bill) is the Director of PHP/IOP at Stonington Institute . He has held that position since December 2011. Bill holds a Master of Science degree from S.C.S.U. and holds 2 clinical Licenses LPC, LADC. He has extensive experience working with various populations which include Addictions, Mental Health Co-Occurring and Child and Adolescence.

Bill had served in the Connecticut Army National Guard before beginning his career in Social Services in 1993. From 1997-2011 Bill had worked for Rushford Center in various direct care and management positions. Bill most recently held the position of Clinical Director of Addictions Services. Since 2007 services under his leadership included Child and Adolescence Residential and Outpatient, Adult Intensive Residential, Partial Hospital, Dual Diagnosis Partial Hospital, Intensive outpatient and Outpatient services. Bill had taken an active role throughout the Hartford Health Care system participating in several strategic steering committees. Bill completed DMHAS’s Leadership Institute and received the Emergent Leader Award in 2007. Bill has extensive experience working with DPH, DMHAS and The Joint Commission.

Bill has also served a member of St. Vincent DePaul’s Board. In 2009 he was elected as the Vice Chairman. Bill continues his service to St. Vincent DePaul’s.

Anne Thompson Heller

Anne Thompson Heller is a person in long-term recovery since the age of 19.  She attended the StepUP Program (a collegiate recovery program) at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Metro Urban Studies. In 2011, Anne earned a Masters in Educational Leadership; Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Connecticut (UConn).  Anne has remained at UConn and received a Masters in Marriage and family Therapy in 2013.  She is currently working toward her Doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies, where she studies adolescent risk and resiliency. Her published work appears in the Peabody Journal of Education and the Journal of Human Sciences Extension.

Anne has worked to support youth recovery for a number of years.  In 2013, Anne started the UConn Recovery Community (URC), a collegiate recovery program, at the University of Connecticut.  Past advocacy efforts included serving as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Connecticut Turning to Youth and Families (CTYF) as well as a Member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Recovery Schools (ARS) and as the Chair to the ARS advocacy committee.  She is also a Founding Member of Young People in Recovery (YPR) where she served as a member of the steering and advisory committee for the Young People in Recovery (YPR) Movement.

Ana M. Gopoian

Ana M. Gopoian is a production associate for Xerox based in Connecticut for the last 25 years. She received an Associate Degree in Management and Leadership at Albertus Magnus College 2007, and her BA in Social Science at Albertus Magnus College 2012, Cum Laude. Ana has also acquired a state certification as a Recovery Support Specialist in 2013 followed by certification as a Hypnotherapist 2014. She has been a member of the Coalition for a Better Wallingford where she has served as a facilitator for their Hope & Support Group and a co-chair for their Education Subcommittee. Learning and serving various groups and causes based in community resources is one of her many passions. In 2014 Ana became a board member of Connecticut Turning to Youth and Families supporting advocacy in our state and assisting in their fundraising efforts. Ana also openly identifies herself as a woman in long term recovery (est. July 13, 1995) and has shared her lived experiences on many platforms in hopes of breaking the stigma associated with the disease of addiction. Currently Ana is enrolled in school to be a Drug and Alcohol Counselor and a Progressive Recovery Coach. She will continue her efforts supporting families and their loved ones affected by the disease of addiction. Dedicated to this journey of finding solutions, acquiring available resources, and continued successes needed to thrive in life, will remain Ana’s commitment.

CCAR was founded in 1998 when Bob Savage, a long-time state employee, set out to answer two questions:

Where are the people in recovery when policy decisions are made?

Can the recovery community be organized?

Many years later, thanks in large part to his early vision and dedication, the organized recovery community is at the table (locally and nationally) and our presence is growing. In the early years, CCAR focused solely on advocacy and because of the influence of the recovery community, then evolved into providing recovery support services. Seventeen years later, and its amazing to see how CCAR has come.


  • CCAR holds Connecticut’s first Recovering Community Organization meeting


  • Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery officially named
  • 5 founding members spoke at statewide CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) conference, publicly for the first time putting a face on recovery, resulting in initial funding from DMHAS
  • Mailing list topped 100
  • Awarded an original CSAT Recovery Community Support Program (RCSP) grant
  • Awarded funding from DMHAS


  • 60 members attended 1st Legislative Day at State Capitol
  • 1st Board of Directors meeting held
  • 15 members spoke at CSAT Public Hearing in Hartford "Changing the Conversation, A National Plan to Improve Substance Abuse Treatment"
  • 140 attended CCAR Conference” In Celebration of Recovery!"
  • 1st video “Putting a Face on Recovery” released
  • 5 people in recovery selected to serve on DMHAS State Advisory Board, 2 appointed by Governor
  • Recovery Support Services Concept Paper submitted to CSAT for conference grant


  • Co-presented with Advocacy Unlimited, a mental health advocacy organization, on the "Recovery Basic Premises and Recovery Core Values" (Note: these values ultimately served as the basis for the DMHAS Recovery-Oriented System of Care)
  • Hosted 2nd Legislative Day, over 100 people attended
  • Started “Legacies” support group for parents who had lost children to addiction
  • Hosted training – Racism of the Well-Intended, Slaying the Dragon
  • 700 attended first annual Recovery Walks! at Bushnell Park in Hartford
  • “Putting a Face on Recovery” video distributed to 700+
  • 1st edition of The Recovery Herald newsletter published and distributed to 6500+
  • 112 people attended 1st Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner


  • 1st of 7 Chapters established giving CCAR local and regional presence
  • 200+ people attended 3rd Legislative Day, 36 legislators sponsored the event with 3 talking about their own recovery
  • Non-profit 501(c)3 status granted
  • 10,000+ Recovery Posters distributed nationwide
  • Website goes live
  • “Putting a Face on Recovery" video updated; 2000+ distributed nationwide
  • Awarded CSAT Recovery Community Support Program (RCSP) Track II grant
  • 2000+ participated in 2nd Recovery Walks! held 5 days after terrorist attack of 9/11


  • 16 members testified at Informational Forum at the invitation by CT Legislature Judiciary Committee issues relating to felony conviction and sustained recovery
  • 200+ people attended CCAR’s trauma/recovery forum “Recovery Speaks in the Shadow of 9/11” in New London
  • Membership topped 2000
  • 3000+ participated in 3rd annual Recovery Walks! in Hartford


  • 200+ attended 2nd trauma/recovery forum in Bridgeport
  • Code of Ethics established
  • Shifted successfully from Recovery Community Support Program to Recovery Community Services Program
  • 1st of 42 trainings in the "Recovery Training Series" delivered
  • New video “Healing Power of Recover” completed
  • 3000+ participated in 4th annual Recovery Walks! in Hartford
  • Staff invited to “Innovator’s Meeting: Strategic Planning for Peer Recovery Support Services” SAMHSA/CSAT Access to Recovery (ATR) Program
  • First audit for year ending June 30, 2003 completed and earned a non-qualified opinion


  • CCAR involved in development of state ATR proposal
  • 200+ people attended Grand Opening of Windham Recovery Community Center
  • First Family Support Group met in Windham Recovery Community Center
  • Transition of leadership to new Executive Director
  • Executive Director Co-chairs state team with DMHAS Commissioner at National Policy Academy on Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders
  • Formal Volunteer Management System implemented
  • Awarded CSAT Recovery Community Services Program (RCSP) Track III grant
  • 3000+ participated in 5th annual Recovery Walks! in Hartford


  • New London Recovery Community Center opened
  • Recovery Housing Project developed state-of the-art internet database to include 100 independently owned, privately operated recovery houses covering 1069 beds
  • Recovery Housing Coalition of Connecticut (RHCC) established
  • RHCC established standards for independently owned, privately operated recovery housing
  • Recovery Housing Project training “So… You Want to Open a Recovery House” generated 7 new recovery houses totaling 70 new recovery beds
  • Prison Support Groups established in Enfield and Bridgeport
  • Comprehensive Volunteer Management System implemented
  • An article on Recovery Walks! appeared on the cover of the inaugural edition of Rising Recovery in Action, Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR)’s national magazine
  • Recovery Walks! model replicated in several other states
  • Recovery Walks! drew 2000+, Honor Guard established for first time
  • Executive Director served on CSAT Summit Planning Committee
  • Established Recovery Capital Tool and Recovery Friendly Tool for evaluation purposes
  • Hosts recognition dinner in honor of CCAR founder, Bob Savage
  • The WRCC attracted 10,000 visitors
  • More than 350 individuals attended Recovery Training Series
  • CCAR represented at historic Faces and Voices of Recovery summit in Washington, DC
  • Executive Director presented at CSAT Summit
  • Begin series of Oldtimer (20+ years of recovery) Retreats and Focus Groups
  • The 50th ‘Hooked on Recovery’ article penned

2006 - Annual_Report_2006

  • Core Elements of a Recovery Community Center written
  • Volunteer Coordinator hired
  • Telephone Recovery Support became CCAR’s first “fee-for-service”
  • Article published on Telephone Recovery Support in Addiction Professional magazine
  • New London Recovery Community Center held successful comedy night/pasta dinner event
  • Senior Peer Services Coordinator Diane Potvin received the Dr. Edward Brown Humanitarian Award for her work in support of recovery in Willimantic.
  • Executive Director traveled to AZ to serve as consultant to a sister Recovery Community Organization
  • Hosts 1st Annual Volunteer Recognition dinner with comedian Mark Lundholm, 144 registered CCAR volunteers invited, Keith Sawyer earns Presidential Award with over 1200 hours
  • Legacy of Hope: Recovery Elders Video Project launched
  • CCAR staff ran workshops, served on panels and introduced speakers in statewide DMHAS Recovery Conference: Vision to Outcomes
  • Bridgeport Recovery Community Center opened (#3)
  • Purchased a 3-story Victorian on 198 Wethersfield Avenue in Hartford to house the Hartford Recovery Community Center and the administrative offices
  • Individual Giving campaign launched
  • Recovery Walks! held for the 7th consecutive year, a lead event for Rally for Recovery, banner for 46 other events held nationally on same day
  • Executive Director Phillip Valentine received America Honors Recovery award from The Johnson Institute at the National Press Club, Washington DC
  • Executive Director presented on CCAR, recovery support services and promotes the RCSP at congressional briefing in Washington, DC
  • WRCC attracted more than 15,000 visitors
  • Hartford Recovery Community Center opened (#4)
  • Technology grant received from Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

2007 Annual_Report_2007

  • Hosted HBO “Addiction” premier at St. Francis Hospital Chawla Auditorium for 125 persons
  • Hosted 2nd Annual Volunteer Recognition dinner with comedian Mark Lundholm, more than 200 registered CCAR volunteers invited, 17 Presidential Awards given
  • The CCAR experience highlighted in interviews published on Faces &Voices of Recovery website, Great Lakes Addiction Technology Transfer Center (GLATTC) website, Recovery Solutions magazine
  • Hartford Recovery Community Center launched with Grand Opening for more than 200 people
  • CCAR leased space to Columbus House “Road to Recovery” program on 3rd floor of the HRCC
  • New author Richard Anthony (his pen name) began new recovery column that goes out on CCAR website and list serve, “Reflections of a 10th Leper”
  • Senior Peer Services Coordinator Diane Potvin celebrated 20 years of recovery
  • Legislative breakfasts held in each of the Recovery Community Centers
  • NLRCC held 2nd successful Comedy Night
  • CCAR presents at CCB conference on co-occurring disorders
  • Executive Director presents at NASADAD (National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors) on the CCAR experience in Burlington, VT
  • Senior Peer Services Coordinator Michael Askew retires and moves to North Carolina
  • Executive Director is lead author on a paper titled,” The Recovery Community Organization: Toward A Working Definition and Description” with Bill White and Pat Taylor
  • CCAR won $270,000 DMHAS grant to provide Telephone Recovery Support to 2500 recoverees
  • Staff expanded from 10 to 15.
  • Recovery Walks! held for the 8th consecutive year, Songwriter/vocalist Paul Williams keynotes, first time weather bad, yet sun breaks out during Honor Guard
  • Senior Peer Services Coordinator Kim Haugabook represented CCAR at a Whitehouse Roundtable in Washington, DC
  • Senior Peer Services Coordinator Diane Potvin presented at New England Association of Drug Court Professionals in Boston, MA
  • Executive Director represented CCAR at CSAT Regional Recovery Summit state planning meeting
  • Executive Director served on a consensus panel for a Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) TIP (Treatment Improvement Protocol) on Relapse Prevention
  • Volunteer Manager Normajean Cefarelli presented on the CCAR Volunteer Management System in Kentucky
  • Long time Office Manager Pat Howard retires
  • CCAR completed a strategic planning process
  • Executive Director Phillip Valentine celebrated 20 years of recovery
  • Volunteer hours served topped 10,000

2008 Annual_Report_2008

  • CCAR formed the Recovery Technical Assistance Group (RTAG) to provide consulting, technical assistance to recovery community organizations and other entities
  • Held the 3rd annual Volunteer Recognition and Celebration dinner with Mark Lundholm. 221 people attended, 123 of them volunteers and 21 Presidential awards were given. The CT Attorney General also signed certificates for each of the Presidential Award recipients
  • CCAR won 4 DMHAS Innovative Recovery Initiative one-time grants totaling $139,000 – Oldtimers Conference, Legacy of Hope 2, Women In Recovery through Enhanced Designed (WIRED) and Recovery Coaching
  • DMHAS Commissioner Thomas Kirk attended a CCAR Board meeting and the discussion focused on sustainability
  • CCAR collaborated with a treatment provider, ADRC (Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center) and won a state grant to provide Recovery Oriented Employment Services (ROES)
  • With the CT Certification Board (CCB), CCAR assisted with the Recovery Support Services Conference: Promoting Recovery with Recovery Support Services. Several CCAR volunteers and staff presented.
  • Diane Potvin WRCC Manager was voted in as a co-chair of the DMHAS State Advisory Board
  • United Way contributions to CCAR topped $1,000
  • The 1st Recovery Coach Academy was held, a 7-day training that drew 30 participants in a “learning laboratory” model
  • The number of recoverees reached through Telephone Recovery Support tops 1,000

2009 Annual_Report_2009

  • Held the 4th annual Volunteer Recognition and Celebration dinner with Mark Lundholm. 209 people attended, 108 of them volunteers and 27 Presidential awards were given. The CT Attorney General also signed certificates for each of the Presidential Award recipients.
  • CCAR earned a $100,000 contract form the CT Department of Correction for the Re-Entry & Recovery Project for people in the Hartford parole district.
  • Michael Askew returned from North Carolina to serve once again as the Manager of the Bridgeport Recovery Community Center.
  • DMHAS Commissioner Thomas Kirk retired. The CCAR Executive Director served on the committee to interview candidates for the position. Pat Rehmer appointed new Commissioner.
  • The Recovery Coach Academy was held 4 times, a 5-day training that drew participants from 13 different states.
  • The Recovery Technical Assistant Group expands – a recovery community organization development contract in Sioux Falls, SD; a Recovery Coach Academy in Des Moines, IA; Telephone Recovery Support TA in VA, TX; numerous speaking engagements (MN, VT, ME, NH)
  • CCAR had visits from several states interested in our model – Texas, New Jersey, South Dakota, Massachusetts and Vermont. Also, a gentleman from England visited the HRCC.
  • The number of recoverees reached through Telephone Recovery Support tops 2,000.
  • Recovery Walks! celebrated its 10th anniversary.
  • Hartford Business Journal selects CCAR Executive Director Phillip Valentine as Non-Profit Executive of the Year.
  • became an official e-commerce site.

2010 Annual Report 2010

  • CCAR Recovery Community Centers welcomes over 15,000 visits.
  • New London Recovery Community Center closes, leaving 3 Recovery Community Centers in operation.
  • Telephone Recovery Support enrolled more than 1,218 new recoverees. Our volunteers had more than 6,800 conversations about recovery.
  • lists over 150 houses from seven states.
  • The Recovery Coach Academy was held 5 times and trained 62 coaches representing 18 states.
  • CCAR volunteers continue to be the backbone of the organization; 319 volunteers served over 14,426 hours in 2010.
  • CCAR honored our volunteers at the 5th Annual Recognition dinner. 34 volunteers were presented with Presented with Presidential awards and one volunteer received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Shaded Soul wowed us at the 11th annual Recovery Walks.
  • CCAR staff provided RTAG Recovery Works training for folks in a recovery community organization in Maryland.
  • Men’s Wearhouse supports CCAR and our recoverees by donating professional attire on a regular basis.

2011 Annual_Report_2011

  • Executive Director, Phillip Valentine, traveled to Wales and the United Kingdom to speak on the power of recovery and the recovery community organization model. Phil attended the grand opening of the Newcastle Gateshead Recovery Centre, a recovery center modeled after CCAR.
  • CCAR wide strategic plan was conducted outlining agency priorities for upcoming years.
  • Yoly Lebron was promoted to Director of Administrator/Human Resource Officer role
  • Recovery Works hires new Coordinator; 203 individuals referred to program, 54 completed it and 56 gained employment.
  • Ken Aligata, CCAR volunteer and supporter, hired as Community Educator to conduct outreach to providers and individuals in treatment programs. 16 trainings conducted reached 226 participants.
  • The number of recoverees that received Telephone Recovery Support calls tripled, with volunteers calling nearly 650 people each week.
  • BRCC supported Keytrain, an initiative that prepared people to become more employable.
  • CCAR Recovery Community Centers saw more than 35,000 visitors, hosted 38 different trainings, and held 375 other events.
  • CCAR’s Telephone Recovery Support model expanded to Minnesota, South Dakota, Rhode Island, and the United Kingdom.
  • The Recovery Coach Academy was held 4 times and trained 124 coaches representing 28 states; 32 scholarships were provided to CCAR volunteers.
  • Recovery Coach Academy model trained total of 958 coaches nationwide.
  • 317 CCAR volunteers contributed over 20,438 hours of service.

2012 Annual Report 2012

  • Maine RCO Leader, Deb Dettor, hired as Director of Operations to implement program development based on strategic plan.
  • Volunteer workforce number lessens slightly, but 291 individuals serve even more hours than previous years, contributing 23,264 hours.
  • TRS volunteer callers make 34,230 total calls and engage in 12,765 conversations.
  • CCAR’s Recovery Community Centers saw even more visitors, nearly 50,000 people.
  • Windham and Bridgeport Recovery Community Centers each doubled their space.
  • Community Educator expanded outreach to promote recovery posting YouTube Recovery Minute videos and daily Twitter Affirmations.
  • CCAR Recovery Coach Academy© ran 117 times across the country and trained 2,038 new coaches.
  • Recovery Walks! celebrated simultaneously with Recovery Walk in Manchester, England with live-feed broadcast.
  • CCAR technology upgraded thanks to grant from Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

2013 Annual Report 2013

  • CCAR hired first Recovery Coach Academy Coordinator, Stacy Rosay.
  • Bob Savage Recovery Advocate of the Year Award given to Greg Williams, producer of The Anonymous People.
  • CCAR Recovery Coach Academy© conducted 121 times across the country and trained 1,741 new coaches.
  • A new Recovery Coach Ethics training was developed.
  • Performance Support Learning Communities implemented by consultant/trainer Art Woodard with Recovery Coaches in CCAR Recovery Community Centers.
  • CCAR sponsored the April sneak preview of the groundbreaking documentary, The Anonymous People.
  • Volunteer service rose again, with 293 individuals providing 28,427 total hours, averaging 97 hours per volunteer.
  • CCAR Executive Director teamed with local media celebrity in recovery to host a weekly radio show, Voices of Recovery, on CT’s largest AM radio station.
  • Executive Director Phil Valentine awarded with thanks for 14 years of Annual Recovery Walks! leadership.
  • Recovery Walks! celebrated first ever Friday, drawing 1,000 people. CT Governor Dannel Malloy spoke, as first active Governor keynote at a Recovery Walk event.
  • Rebecca Allen promoted to new Telephone Recovery Support (TRS) Manager position.
  • Significant rise in CCAR’s Recovery Community Centers activities; 300 trainings ran with 2,438 participants and 1,131 other events drew 24,336 attendees.
  • CCAR piloted weekly Artists in Recovery; and sponsored first artwork exhibition at Annual Recovery Walks!

 2014 Annual Report 2014

CCAR Events

Through our events CCAR aims to put a face on recovery.  All of our events are open to everyone, regardless of your recovery status. Please let us know if you would like more information about our events.

Email the Coordinator

Come here Phil share his experience in CT!


I Want to Attend

CCAR began hosting the Annual Recovery Walks! in 2000. In our 16th year we are proud to say Recovery Walks! just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Save the Date! Saturday, September 24, 2016, Bushnell Park, Hartford, CT
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
RW 2015

While we boast numbers of over 1,000 attendees, we are still reaching for even more participants at our next celebration. In 2015, our walk featured honored guests such as DMHAS Commissioner Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, SAMHSA's Tom Coderre and Channel 3’s Mark Zinni as well as live entertainment provided by Shaded Soul. We hope you will join us in 2016 as we descend upon Hartford’s Bushnell park to put a face on recovery in the capitol city.

All questions can be directed to Chiara at CCAR.

We will update this page regularly with more information regarding parking as it is made available.

We couldn't put on this annual event for Recovery without the help from our sponsors!  If you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at this event, please download this Sponsorship Form 2015.

If you would like to donate to this year's recovery walks please do so by clicking here:  

Recovery Walks! Donations

Thank you to our 2015 Event Sponsors!

Gold Sponsors: Havens of Hope, Value Options, CT, Wheeler Clinic, RNP, Inc., Rushford and the Behavioral Health Network at Hartford HealthCare, Advanced Behavioral Health

Silver Sponsor: Silver Hill Hospital, High Watch Recovery Center, Inc., Stonington Institute, Liberation Programs, InterCommunity & InterCommunity Recovery Centers, MCCA, McCall Foundation, TOIVO by Advocacy Unlimited

Bronze Sponsor: New England Health Care Employees Union District 1999, Alpha Prison and Community Ministry, Bettor Choice at United Community and Family Services, The Wilson Company of CT

Copper Sponsor: AIM Insurance, Meehan Daughters Real Estate, O'Heaney Counseling, Carmon Funeral Homes, Inc., Lisa Vanheijningen, LADC, LPC, LLC, Lois Davis, William Leary, BH Care, The Wilson Company

Friends of the Walk: CT Council of Problem Gambling, DMHAS: Problem Gambling Services, Rich & Sharon McCracken, Centro Renacer of CT

Landon’s Tire, Shirley Mack, Lyman Orchards, Massage Envy, Eileen Russo, Dungarvin, Inc., Adult Children of Alcoholics, Marie and John Burns

Save the Date!!!  The 3rd Annual CCAR Cup will be held June 15, 2016 at Hawks Landing!

golf tournament


Stay turned for details regarding our second annual CCAR Cup, by visiting the website, click here.  Or, you may contact the Special Events Coordinator for more information at

annual dinner save the dateEvery April CCAR hosts an annual recognition dinner for the volunteers that give back in each of the centers throughout the year.  The night kicks off with an awards ceremony where every volunteer receives a certificate of appreciation for their service.  Presidential Service Awards are also given out to those volunteers that have provided CCAR with 100 hours or more of service.  A night of dinner, dancing and celebration is provided to each of the CCAR volunteers free of charge.  The event is held each April during National Volunteer Week.  CCAR solicits local sponsors to help offset costs for this annual event and encourages anyone who wishes to sponsor to contact the Special Events Coordinator via email.

To sponsor this event, please click here.  To purchase tickets, click here.



The CCAR annual meeting is scheduled every January.  This meeting is an opportunity for anyone to come and hear about the successes of CCAR over the past 12 months.  Through success stories and report outs from our board, participants will gain knowledge about the history, current operating system, and future goals of CCAR.

Annual Report 2014

Stemming from the emerging field of recovery support services and the lingo of recovery community organizations, we often hear this phrase “Multiple Pathways of Recovery”.  Do we really believe there are multiple pathways to the same destination?  Or do we believe that our own personal pathway (or that of a loved one) is really the only one?  Because it worked. 

This conference is designed to educate us all on the many different pathways that people achieve recovery in modern times.  These are methods, practices, rituals, programs, belief systems that foster long-term recovery.  Pathways of recovery are not triggers or events that lead to someone initiating recovery (things like a car accident, the birth of a child, getting arrested, divorce, loss of a job, etc.  These would be considered pathways to recovery-amazing what one simple preposition can do, isn’t it?

Together, we will explore Multiple Pathways of Recovery that maintain and sustain recovery.  At this groundbreaking,  one-of-a-kind conference, participants will attend keynotes and presentations on  the “Anonymous” programs, the Red Road to Wellbriety, Medication-Assisted Recovery, Celebrate Recovery, SMART Recovery, LifeRing Secular Recovery, Physical Fitness Recovery, Faith-based Recovery, Women For Sobriety (WFS) and more.  To our knowledge this will be the first time multiple pathways will be the focus of a major conference featuring so many leaders in the recovery field. 

CCAR is an approved training provider by the CT Certification Board (CCB).  To be eligible for CEU’s, participants must be preregistered, receive confirmation of attendance, attend the conference and complete a participant evaluation.  Information about evaluations will be provided at the conference. CEC’s provided through the CT National Association of Social Workers will also be available.

Note:  CCAR has been working on the Multiple Pathways of Recovery Conference for over a year and has financial obligations to the venue and speakers, please note for this reason there are no refunds.  CCAR will be happy to facilitate your payment as a donation towards the conference should you not be able to attend.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Keynotes & Breakout Sessions

8:00 AM — 5:15 PM

Anonymous People Showing

7:30 PM — 10:00 PM

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Keynotes & Breakout Sessions

8:00 AM — 5:00 PM


Wednesday, May 4, 2016


8:00 AM — 12:00 PM


Early Bird Special  $199 until February 29, 2016

Regular Price  $250 beginning March 1, 2016

One Day Attendance $100 per person 

Register Now!

Contact Chiara at for questions regarding registration.

The Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery has rooms blocked at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa with a special rate from Sunday, May 1, 2016 through Tuesday, May 3, 2016.  Please stay tuned for hotel registration information.

Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa
625 North Road (Route 117)
Groton, CT 06340

(860) 446-2600

Click here for driving directions.

Please note room rate is available until April 4, 2016. 

Traveling by Plane:


    • T F Green Airport – PVD

      Airport Phone: +1 401 737 8222

      Hotel direction: 45 miles S

      This hotel does not provide shuttle service.

      • Alternate transportation: Airport Car Service;reservation required
      • Estimated taxi fare: 180 USD  (one way)

      Visit PVD airport website

    • Bradley International Airport – BDL

      Airport Phone: +1 860 627 3590

      Hotel direction: 60 miles SE

      This hotel does not provide shuttle service.

      • Alternate transportation: Rental Car;reservation required
      • Estimated taxi fare: 200 USD  (one way)

      Visit BDL airport website

    • Groton-New London Airport – GON

      Airport Phone: +1 860 445 8549

      Hotel direction: 3 miles N

      This hotel does not provide shuttle service.

      • Alternate transportation: Rental Car;reservation required
      • Estimated taxi fare: 15 USD  (one way)

      Visit GON airport website

Conference Speakers:
Doug Gould

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
Executive Director of The Foundations for Recovery

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
I began working with young people in 1982 offering family counseling and adolescent development ages 11 to 18. In 1988 I extended this field into the Juvenile Court System in California. In 1992 this extended into an area of Prison Ministries. Although in 1997 I gave up 21 years of sobriety and relapsed into alcoholism. In January 2009 after a weekend binge I found myself in the ICU of the Rogue Valley Memorial Hospital with a blood pressure of 280 or 220 and in cardiac arrest, it was at that time I reach out in prayer to my Higher Power and after many days of detoxification, I realized my own recovery program was desperately needed. In 2010 I attended the FFR Academy Training to become a peer support specialist for the Foundations for Recovery. However in March of 2012 our founder of FFR suddenly passed away from a heart attack leaving the position of Executive Director opened. In May of 2012 I became the director of FFR providing Faith-Based Recovery to Southern Oregon.

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
I have a degree in Theology through Eugene Bible College with an emphasis on children & family counseling. I am a licensed minister through Open Bible Standard Churches Des Moines, Iowa. I am also a facilitator of CCAR Academy Training in Oregon through the covering of FFR and state certified through ACCBO.

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)
In Production – Children’s Book entitled; “The Adventures on Mount Wonderful” and a food addiction book entitled; “Half the Man I used to be”.

5. What lead you to this field?
My own recovery program and my desire to use a faith-based approach in the area of addiction recovery.

6. Any other professional information to share?
I have developed a program to provide support to parents and family members called “Bridging the Gap”. This support type system hopefully will provide the drug and alcohol awareness and education to families in Southern Oregon. I have also developed a youth mentoring program called “STEP UP, SPEAK OUT, STAND FIRM” which provides a peer support approach to high risk young people ages 11 through 17.

Dona Dmitrovic

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
Optum, National Office of Consumer Affairs, Director for Substance Use Disorders since May 2013

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
Worked in the addiction recovery field since October 1987

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
Master of Human Services degree

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)

5. What lead you to this field?
My own personal journey of recovery and wanting to give others the same opportunities I was afforded when I began my recovery process.

6. Any other professional information to share?

Bill White

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
Emeritus Senior Research Consultant Chestnut Health Systems. Duties include recovery research, interviews with addiction treatment and recovery pioneers, and consultations on recovery management and recovery-oriented systems of care.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
46 years; Since June 1969.

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
Magna Cum Laude Graduate from Eureka College and have an MA in Psychology/Addiction Studies from Goddard College. Bill has many awards in this field in the past 5 years he has received the following awards: 2010 Dr. Nelson J. Bradley Life Time Achievement Award, National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers; 2010 The John P. McGovern Award and Lecture, Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc.; 2011 Recovery Award for Excellence in Addiction Research & Education, Foundation for Recovery; 2011 Recovery Heroes Honoree, NET Institute-Center for Addiction & Recovery Education 2012; Norman E. Zinberg Award & Memorial Lecture, Harvard University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry 2012; Friend of the Field Award (for extraordinary contributions to the field of opioid addiction treatment), American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence; 2012 Lifetime Achievement, The Voice Awards, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration; 2013 Saul Feldman Award for Lifetime Achievement for sustained and significant contributions to leadership and policy in the mental health and addiction recovery field. ACMHA: The College for Behavioral Health Leadership; and in 2013 Resolution of commendation for sustained and seminal contributions to the addiction treatment and recovery field, Board of Directors, The Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association.

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)
Bill has authored or co-authored more than 400 articles, monographs, research reports and book chapters and 18 books, including Slaying the Dragon – The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America, Alcohol Problems in Native America (with Don Coyhis), Addiction Recovery Management (coedited with John Kelly), and The History of Addiction Counseling in the United States. Bill’s sustained contributions to the treatment field in the United States have been acknowledged by numerous awards, including awards from the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, NAADAC: The Association of Addiction Professionals, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Bill’s collected papers can be found at

5. What lead you to this field?
Personal/family recovery and professional interest

6. Any other professional information to share?
Bill was past-chair of the board of Recovery Communities United, and a volunteer consultant to Faces and Voices of Recovery.

Njon Weinroth

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
I chair the board of LifeRing Secular Recovery. I head the leadership of the organization and I represent the organization to other entities. I help develop and implement administrative and operational policy and procedure in a way that keeps us on course with our mission goals and allows us to scale changes to our growing, international network.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
I’ve been volunteering with LifeRing for over 6 years, in various capacities.

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)

5. What lead you to this field?
My personal struggles with addiction and my subsequent revelation at discovering secular recovery has led me to grow and share my knowledge of choice in recovery on a large platform. I truly believe in the “whatever works” model in recovery.

6. Any other professional information to share?
I am an appointed board member of the San Francisco Mental Health Board where I participate on the Program Review and Information and Access Committees where I represent primarily, residents facing addiction issues in addition to their other mental health issues.

Kelly Bensen

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
Certified Bikram-Hatha Yoga instructor at Maine Hatha Yoga, Maine Program Director of One Posture at a Time, which is a non-profit who’s mission is to bring yoga and education to local detoxes, sober homes and recovery centers. Owner of Maine Recovery Yoga- focusing on private therapeutic work.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?

I have been teaching yoga since November of 2012 and many of our students are involved in the recovery community. Our Community Recovery Class began November of 2014.

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?

800 hour Bikram-Hatha Yoga Certified. Trauma Sensitive Yoga Informed. I am also currently enrolled in a YA 200 hour training and will follow that with Integrative Yoga Therapy Training at Kripalu Center Aug 2016.

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)


5. What lead you to this field?

I was a homeless heroin addict on the streets of Boston for several years and was in and out of treatment centers more than 12 times. Yoga saved my life. I became an instructor to spread the knowledge and bring the benefits to those suffering from substance use disorder.

6. Any other professional information to share?

I am an ambassador for Pure Action- Yoga is medicine. We are a national 501c3 non profit who’s mission is to bring the medical benefits of a yoga practice to mainstream medicine through research, education, and community.

Liz Leuthner

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
I have three jobs that happily weave in and out of each other:
1. Program Coordinator for Recovery & Wellness at Hope Acts (Portland)
2. Administrative Assistant for HopeGateWay United Methodist Church (Portland)
3. Principle, Nama Yoga (Portland); emphasis on teaching yoga to recovery community.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
5 years

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
• Iyengar Yoga Center of Maine: Junior Level I certification training (2014-present)
• Y12SR: certificate in 12-step-based yoga teaching with trainer Nikki Myers (2013)
• 200-hr yoga treater certification through Yoga Alliance

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)
Member, IYNAUS (Iyengar National Association of the United States) and board member, The Alcyon Center (Seal Cove, ME).

5. What lead you to this field?
I am in this field because of my own personal experiences with addiction and recovery, specifically the interwoven relationship between the spiritual practices of yoga and the 12 steps.

6. Any other professional information to share?
I am grateful that being a part of Portland’s vibrant recovery community gives me the opportunity to speak publicly about how yoga and meditation practices align with health models for recovery.

Lacey Garcia

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
I am the Women’s Group Coordinator at Fit To Recover, Salt Lake City’s only sober gym for people in recovery from drugs and alcohol. Our weekly women’s group discusses issues, shares hope and encourages and supports one another. I invite different women in the recovery community to come to our meetings and share their experiences, strength and successes with the FTR women’s group. I also organize presenters to bring different perspectives to the group. Mindfulness therapy, life coaching, nutrition discussions, and yoga are part of the FTR women’s program. I focus on creating a safe and nurturing place for women in recovery so that they may feel a part of a vital and resourceful community, and bond with one another and form lasting friendships.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
I achieved sobriety in 2012. In 2013, Salt Lake City’s Recovery Ways Treatment Center offered me a support staff position and then promoted me to the medical department. I am now the lead medical coordinator for Recovery Way and manage a team that ensures patients receive the medical care they need while in treatment. My other duties include medical reports, assisting our psychiatrist, ordering and refilling meds through the pharmacy. Beyond my duties as Lead Medical Coordinator, I offer supportive care, encouragement and understanding for the patients. I also sponsor and work with other women in the 12-step community.
In addition to leading the women’s group at Fit To Recover, I help run FTR physical fitness classes staying in shape myself and encouraging others to do so as well.

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
Attendee of the Women’s Leadership Summit at the University of Utah, First Aid certification, CPR certification. PPD placement certification.

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all).
Through Fit To Recover, I am affiliated with the Utah Non-Profit Association.

5. What led you to this field?
I am passionate about recovery, especially women in recovery. In my own recovery I have found that exercise and community are two key factors for maintaining sobriety. I want to share what I have found to help others.
I have empathy for the people I come in contact with each day, I have experienced addiction, and recovery, first hand. I want to assist others in their journey to create a better quality of life, maintain healthy relationships and live the lives they deserve.

6. Any other professional information to share?
Along with the Women’s Program, Fit To Recover offers physical fitness, creative writing classes, yoga, service work, AA meetings, gardening led by our in-house dieticians, studio recordings and a soon to be built bouldering wall. I enjoy working with those who lead these other service offerings.
Salt Lake City’s recovery Community has been waiting for a place like Fit to Recover, and I am proud to be a part of meeting our community’s needs.

Ian Acker

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
I am the founder and executive director of Fit to Recover, a non-profit gym and community center for people in recovery from drugs and alcohol. We have a 5,500 sq ft membership-based facility in which we run 25 physical-activity classes per week, support group meetings, and a sound studio. Many of these resources are free to people in recovery unable to pay the $30/month membership fees. We work with clients from treatment centers that contract with us as a second source of revenue. I lead some of the fitness classes offered (circuit training, strength training, boot camps), run the sound studio, and work to build memberships. We officially opened doors in January 2015, so I am still focusing on building a safe, creative place to help people maintain their recovery.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
When I got sober 3 years ago, I started working at Recovery Ways, a treatment center in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was during this time that I realized that fitness and exercise were the only things I could rely on to keep my anxiety at bay and my sobriety on track. I started to invite my friends to do workouts with me in the park, and it grew through word of mouth until I realized that I could use my passion for exercise to help other people in recovery, too. Thus, the Fit to Recover idea was born, a crowdfunding campaign was initiated, and we opened our gym to members in January of 2015.

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
I received my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH. I am certified as a personal trainer, a wilderness first responder, and have a basic first aid certification.

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)
I am affiliated with the Utah Non-Profit Association and Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA).

5. What lead you to this field?
I believed that the strategies I used to get sober and maintain my sobriety could be used to help others. There was a missing link for young adults ages 18-35, and I saw the great need for physical activity and creative outlets for people in recovery. I wanted to create a space dedicated to health and physical activity that would foster a strong community bond. A three month internship with Colorado-based Phoenix MultiSport provided a springboard for starting Fit To Recover

6. Any other professional information to share?
Fit To Recover’s mission is to bring creative, nutritionaly-sound, and physically active communities together with the recovery community. Toward that end, we have just started Food To Recover, a program led by certified dieticians to provide nutritional advice and creative meal planning to those in recovery. We also will be building an indoor bouldering wall with the help of the Petzl Foundation to help our community develop the skills, focus, sense of attainment associated with rock climbing—a tremendous resource in our mountainous, granite-rich state.

Don Coyhis

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
President and Founder, White Bison, Inc.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
Over 36 years. For more information on White Bison and the Wellbriety Training Institute, please visit

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
In recognition of his knowledge, inspiration and expertise, Don has been called upon to provide technical assistance by national policy organizations such as the White House Office of Drug Control Policy, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and national recovery organizations such as the National Association for Children of Alcoholics to develop prevention campaign materials and prevention and recovery programs for Native American communities. In 2009, Don was awarded the $100,000 Purpose Prize for his entrepreneurial efforts in changing communities. In addition, he also received the Max Hayman Award for his leadership in bringing healing to Native American communities.

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)
Numerous books, CDs, and DVDs have been authored by Don Coyhis to support the Movement, including the Red Road to Wellbriety: In the Native American Way and Understanding the Purpose of Life: 12 Teachings for Native Youth. Two of the very recent training programs include Mothers of Tradition and Mending Broken Hearts: Native American Grief Recovery Workshop. The programs, trainings, and curriculum resources developed by White Bison are based upon principles, values and laws found in the Teachings of the Native American Elders. Trainings are presented at the Wellbriety Training Institute in Colorado Springs, CO and regionally, throughout the United States and Canada.

5. What lead you to this field?
A spiritual experience led Don to the idea that by adding the culture to the Recovery Programs it would greatly accelerate the Sobriety Movement in Native Communities. This approach was presented to the Elders who committed to giving their cultural teachings (for example putting the Twelve Steps in a Circle and adding the Medicine Wheel Teachings) that began the Wellbriety Movement nationally and internationally to include indigenous communities world-wide.

6. Any other professional information to share?
Don Coyhis is a member of the Mohican Nation. He currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is the founder and president of White Bison, Inc., an American Indian non-profit corporation that has the following vision: A sustainable grassroots Wellbriety Movement that provides culturally based healing for the next seven generations of Indigenous people. Through the leadership of White Bison, the Wellbriety Movement has taken a prominent role in the recovery of many Native Americans, and their communities.
The signature program for the Wellbriety Movement is the Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps.
This recovery and treatment support curriculum has been implemented in Native American communities and treatment centers throughout the US and Canada.

Gisele Harris

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
Presently a co moderator at the WFS Group based at the Providence Center in Providence RI.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
Worked at Rhode Island Hospital in surgery for 3 years and in Long term Nursing and Rehab for 3 years, am currently employed as a LPN Instructor at Lincoln Technical Institute.

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
RN, BSN and MSN from the Medical College of Ohio. Focus on operating room nursing, was a Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant, also taught First Assisting at the University of Toledo.

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)

5. What lead you to this field?
Originally from St. Regis Falls NY, moved to Toledo OH as a child, , moved to Rhode Island in 2007 to be closer to my daughter, son-in-law and 2 grand daughters. Sober since 11-17-2010, have been active in WFS since January 2011.

6. Any other professional information to share?

Joe Gerstein

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
Joseph Gerstein, MD, FACP is the Founding President of SMART Recovery Self-Help Network, a 501c(3) organization supporting 1400 free, weekly group meetings in 17 countries.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
His medical career involved Internal Medicine and Pain Management. He served as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School for 26 years. He has served on the Board of the SMART Recovery UK Foundation and is now a member of the Board of SMART Recovery International and SMART Recovery Australia. He and his wife were instrumental in introducing the cognitive-behavioral approach into the Federal Prison System.

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)
1996, we had solidified the program and we trademarked that: the SMART Recovery four-point program. We also did an international trademark on SMART Recovery and copyright on the SMART Recovery handbook, which has now been published in 9 languages.

5. What lead you to this field?
My involvement came from two sources. As a practicing internist, I encountered patients who had alcohol and drug problems, and my standard practice at the time was to try to get them to go to a 12-step program of some kind. The other thread that led me to involvement was the fact that I am a humanist, an active humanist.

6. Any other professional information to share?
SMART Recovery is an Evidence-Based, Abstinence-Oriented, Self-Empowerment Program. Dr. Gerstein has served as a Volunteer Advisor to SMART Recovery/Massachusetts, which has sponsored over 25,000 free group meetings since 1990. He has personally facilitated over 3,000 SMART meetings, 800 in prisons around the world.

John Hamilton

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
Mr. Hamilton is the CEO for Recovery Network of Programs, a non-profit behavioral health agency serving the Greater Bridgeport community.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
John Hamilton has worked in the field of addiction prevention and treatment since 1981.

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
John holds licenses in Alcohol and Drug Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy.

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)
Currently, John is on the Steering Committee for the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network and is the Chair of the Policy Committee for the Community Treatment Providers Caucus. John is the Chair of the Connecticut State Advisory Board for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and Board Member for the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR). Previously, John served as Chair of the Dissemination Committee for the NIDA Clinical Trials Network, Chair of the Community Treatment Providers Caucus, Past President of the Southwest Connecticut Mental Health Board, Past President of the New England Association of Drug Court Professionals, Co-founder of the Greenwich Father’s Forum, and Chair of the Ethics Committee for the Connecticut Certification Board.

5. What lead you to this field?

6. Any other professional information to share?
John presents locally and internationally on a variety of topics and is considered an expert in the field of addiction treatment and prevention. John was the 2013 recipient of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) Nyswander-Dole Award for his outstanding contributions in the field of Addiction Treatment.

Mark Ames

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
Coordinator of the Vermont Recovery Network.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
Mark Ames has worked in the addictions field for the last 30 years.

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)
documents developed by all the recovery centers include: VRN Report 2014 – explains what we do, our needs and our Pathways to Recovery grant efforts to support the Hub & Spoke system; Progress Report: Vermont’s Recovery Centers & Vermont Recovery Network– provides historical perspective and progress in developing a recovery system; and Making the Vision of a Recovery System Sustainable – documents the need for additional recovery center funding.

5. What lead you to this field?
After 20 years at Vermont’s state addictions agency, he became the Coordinator of Vermont Recovery Network. Since 2007 he has fostered the development of this network that connects and supports eleven community recovery centers in Vermont.

6. Any other professional information to share?
The Vermont centers have created and defined uniform approaches for supporting people on all paths to recovery. This statewide recovery system has developed recovery services, written materials, trainings, board development approaches, a peer governance process, and program standards for providing recovery services with a peer review process. The Network has collected outcome data, which demonstrates that funding recovery services reduces the costs of justice programs, healthcare, and human services. This has led to increased funding for recovery centers and a growing awareness that the chronic nature of addictive disease requires a public health response that includes ongoing recovery support services.

Dana Spungin

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
My husband and I support each other and the Celebrate Recovery ministry at Bethel Church where we attend.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)

5. What lead you to this field?
Recovery began for me in 1996 through a therapist that was counseling me for the loss of my friend. She introduced to me Alcoholics Anonymous. When I admitted complete defeat over my alcohol dependency, my road to recovery began. After two years of abstinence from alcohol I started having trouble coping with my everyday tasks. Getting out of bed and starting my day was unbearable. My appetite decreased and I was losing rapid weight along with feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that led me to the hospital. I then was diagnosed with major depression and PTSD. After receiving medical attention and continuing going to AA meetings my journey of recovery continued. Even though I was sober and doing everything that I can for myself I still had periods of fear, anxiety and depression when faced with major losses along with extreme stress which resulted me back in the hospital. I often cried out to God for help! It seemed I was always fighting for my life! 3 ½ years ago I was home alone lying on my couch. The fight that I always had was getting dim. I felt weary and hopeless like I never did before. I got on my knees while I prayed and pleated for God’s help. I then thought of my friend who recently went back to church. I remembered the light that I saw in her eyes and I wanted what she had. I picked up the phone and I got honest and asked her to come over. I began to feel hope. Two weeks later I met my spiritual mother, she explained to me my sin nature and that we all have one. She explained how he died for my sins because he loves me that much so I can have eternal life and so much more. With tears having my heart wide open I then received Jesus Christ my savior into my life. I felt his love flow into me and that loneliness and emptiness that I felt my whole life I would never have to feel again! Hebrews 13:5 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Through developing a personal relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ, attending church, reading the word of God and people praying for me and over me. Today I am medication free after 14 years for treating depression. John 8:36 If the son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

6. Any other information to share?
I want to always remain grateful and thankful for what God has done for me. He has brought a Godly man with a big heart into my life. God has done a work in me since I have been going to Celebrate Recovery. I have experienced victory, revelations, healing and spiritual growth. Furthermore, I am being set free from unforgiveness from my past hurts so I can have a full life which God intended for me too. Scripture calls us to forgive one another- Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Through my experience, strength and hope I can point God’s children to the true healer, Jesus Christ. Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Peter Spungin

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
I had been attending Bethel Church for about 8 years when the new Pastor heard my testimony at an encounter weekend and asked me to pray about starting CR in our church. I wanted nothing to do with it: I was just enjoying my time with the LORD. God had other plans. I was led to 1Sam 22:2 “And everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him and he became captain over them: and there were with him about 400 men”. I felt the LORD was calling me into ministry. That was 6 ½ years ago. My recovery has grown, I’ve learned a lot about leadership and working with others, and I have experienced God’s hand move in countless lives; not only in my CR family, but in the lives of their loved ones as well. He has given me countless blessings, and a new sense of joy! I know who the true healer is, and I know it’s my job to love his broken to Him. I love Celebrate Recovery, because I love Jesus Christ! 2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old thins are passed away; all things are become new”.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
Recovery began for me 23+ years ago. Due to childhood rejection, low self-esteem, and a strong sense of just not being “as good as” I developed a severe cocaine and alcohol addiction. In an attempt to ease the pain of life and create a false sense of “well being”, I tried desperately to use any and all that was available to me to keep me from getting honest and looking at my true self. I was in shame, denial, and big time fear. And so my life went.

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)

5. What lead you to this field?
My last 2 weeks of full blown addiction were spent in a crack house. I cared very little about anything else but getting my drugs and plenty of them. It mattered little to me that my wife and young were desperately trying to find their husband and daddy. They were calling area hospitals, police stations, and all known associates. I was passed out in the parking lot of a recovery hospital, and, by the time I got in, all beds had been taken. I was denied access. Disgusted I headed down a short flight of stairs and hit the door. I heard a voice, “If you walk through that door, you haven’t got another day” when I turned there was no one there. Needless to say this got my attention. I went back upstairs with a different attitude and was allowed access. Conviction came when the nurse looked at me upon intake and told me by my tests results he couldn’t understand how I was still alive. God had other plans. The next morning Mrs. Hicks hugged me, “God loves you”, she said. I made a decision to try this God thing, everything else had failed. It turned out to be the best decision of my life. 72 days in a 28 day program, off to AA religiously for 6 ½ years. While sitting in a meeting I looked over at my friend Pierre, he was glowing. “Jesus Christ” he said, I had to find out more, he brought me to an Alpha bible study at his church. 12 weeks of arms folded and mind closed I was making sure nothing was getting in. I was asked by friends to go do aerobics with the LORD at another church the night following the last night of Alpha. The church that night was electric! It was my first time in a Spirit-filled service, I was in awe. An alter call was given, I went up. With eyes closed and arms extended I was blessed with a vision of the Father and the Son. They looked at each other, then at me and smiled, “Fear not my son, I am with you” Isa. 41:10. The next day I gave my heart to my Savior Jesus Christ. The next night I went to Bethel church, where I attend to this day and spoke with Pastor Joe. I asked him to pray with me. I couldn’t believe anything this wonderful could be this simple and a free gift.

6. Any other information to share?

Peter Wohl

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
I am currently a priest and teacher at the Treetop Zen Center in Oakland, ME.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
30 years

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)

5. What lead you to this field?
Over the past decade I have fused these two threads of my life, becoming a Registered Maine Guide and leading trips specifically designed to help others experience intimacy with the natural world. In this process, one of the most profound personal encounters I have had was with the caribou on Mount Jacques Cartier in eastern Quebec. Then last summer I was delighted to meet Maine poet Gary Lawless, who as a result of similar experience of being “in the presence of the caribou”, coined the term Caribouddhism, to describe the powerful process of spiritual connection that the creatures of the wild can bring to us.

6. Other information to share?
My personal pathway in recovery has been profoundly shaped by my practice as a Zen Buddhist and by a close relationship with the natural world. Simultaneously, throughout my adult life I have spent many hours in the woods and on the waters of northern New England, finding solace, healing and a sense of deep connectedness, a true home in the woods. I have also worked in the field of addiction treatment for the past two decades. As a result of both my personal experience and that work, I have adopted a model called the Matrix of Connectedness. That model, based on Buddhist and Feminist principles, presents a holistic understanding of recovery, in which eco-spirituality is one of the essential levels.

Scott Strode

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
Scott Strode, an accomplished tri-athlete, mountaineer, ice-climber, outdoorsman, and recovering alcoholic, is the Founder and National Executive Director of Phoenix Multisport.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
Since its start in 2007, Phoenix Multisport (“Phoenix”) has offered a unique approach to combat substance abuse by fostering a supportive, physically active community for individuals who are in recovery and those who choose to live a sober life.

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
For his success in helping others struggling with addiction, Scott received the distinction of being a Top 10 CNN Hero in 2012 and took part in a live global TV broadcast where CNN honored all Top 10 Heroes. In 2014, Scott was invited to the White House and was presented with the “Advocate for Action” award from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Following the award ceremony, Scott took part in a West Wing meeting where experts from across the nation discussed substance abuse and recovery.
Other honors and recognitions: Scott received “The Vernon Johnson Award for 2013” from Faces & Voices of Recovery; In Recovery magazine featured Scott in a cover story of their March 2013 edition; Advocates for Recovery presented Scott with “The Merle Evans Advocate of the Year Award” for 2012; Renew magazine’s July/August 2012 edition featured a story on Scott and Phoenix Multisport; a 25 minute documentary which featured Scott and Phoenix Multisport called “Turning Point” was filmed in Colorado and aired on TV; Scott received the “7 Everyday Hero” award from Denver Channel 7 TV; Scott was profiled by Newsweek; Comcast interviewed Scott for its Newsmakers program; and Scott was interviewed by Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical correspondent.
Scott has carried or carries several certifications including: USA Triathlon Level Two Certified Coach; Avalanche Level One; Wilderness First Responder; the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s Certified Personal Trainer; the USA Cycling Level Two Certified Coach and is certified through the American Mountain Guide Association. Scott has been working, instructing, coaching and guiding in the outdoors for the past two decades.

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)

5. What lead you to this field?
Phoenix is based on Scott’s experience working with hundreds of individuals who discovered the transformative effect that a healthy, active lifestyle can have on long-term sobriety.

6. Any other information to share?
Phoenix has three chapters in Colorado; Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver and in the fall of 2014, expanded to Orange County, California. In the spring of this year, Phoenix will begin programming in Boston, Massachusetts. Phoenix has provided free programs to over 12,000 people along the Front Range of Colorado including programs for active duty members of the military and veterans community. Phoenix also partners with drug courts and in-patient treatment programs to reach people who may be early in their recovery and to introduce them to a sober, supportive community.
In his free time, Scott is an avid athlete and outdoorsman—he has climbed high peaks in the Himalayas, the Andes and Alaska, completed several 24 hour mountain bike solo races and competed in seven Ironman triathlons. He also trains and competes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Scott draws upon his passion for all these activities to help other struggling addicts and alcoholics rise from the ashes of their addiction.

Deb Dettor

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
Deb is the Managing Director at the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery since March 2012.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
Deb has supported people in recovery within a myriad of roles since completing her M.S. in Counseling in 1982. Before working with recovery community organizations, Deb had been a therapist, staff supervisor, trainer and program manager.

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)
Deb’s recovery journey has been featured in national spotlights through SAMHSA Recovery Month, Faces and Voices of Recovery, A & E Recovery Project, and CCAR’s Recovery Elders Video Project among others. She has been a speaker for many years leading trainings, community rallies and events, and through television and radio spots. Deb was awarded the 2011 Community Vision Award by Day One for her leadership to establish a recovery presence and voice in Maine communities. Her recovery writings have been published in books, journals, as newspaper columns and editorials, and through online forums; and she has been a professional reviewer for publications by national recovery experts.

5. What lead you to this field?
Ms. Dettor is a person in long-term addiction recovery since June 1985 and is grateful to share her story to spotlight the healing power of recovery.

6. Any other professional information to share?
Before CCAR, Deb spent 8 years leading the Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery, promoting recovery through advocacy and education, and by creating a statewide community-based recovery support network. Deb worked with community allies to open the first state funded Recovery Community Center in Portland, and to launch the Recovering Women’s Leadership Training throughout the state.

Phil Valentine

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
Executive Director of Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR), Hartford, CT. Tasks include: Deliver daily all grant and contracted services associated with CCAR, an organization dedicated to the delivery of peer-to-peer recovery support services, recovery advocacy and recovery promotion.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
Phil graduated the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science, Biology.
His awards include: Hartford Business Journal Healthcare Hero Finalist (2011); Hartford Business Journal Non-profit Executive of the Year (2009); Faces & Voices Joel Hernandez Voice of the Recovery Community award as the outstanding recovery community organization in the country (2008); Johnson Institute America Honors Recovery award (2006).

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)
Developed Step by Step – a youth focused, adult targeted alcohol and drug prevention program. Included recruitment, outreach, marketing and publicity. Drink Much?!? Report.
Board Member of BPS (Become Part of the Solution) Rockville, CT since 1991.

5. What lead you to this field?
Personal Recovery.

6. Any other professional information to share?
Phil’s activities include: Coaching, refereeing, surf fishing, golf, basketball, hiking, computers, reading, writing. He is currently hiking the Appalachian Trail to promote that anything is possible in recovery. His journey can be followed on

Stacia Murphy

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
She was elected to the Board of Directors of the Smithers Foundation in August 2013 and is a member of the Board of the Smithers Fund for Alcoholism Prevention and Recovery at the Smithers Alcoholism Treatment and Training Center at Columbia University.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
Stacia Murphy was appointed president of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) in September 1999 and held that position until January 2006. Prior to that she was the Executive Director of its New York affiliate, the Alcoholism Council of New York from 1984-1999. She was a member of the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse(NIAAA) 2000-2006, a member of a steering committee work group of the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 1999-2004 that addressed the issues of stigma related to alcoholism and substance abuse.

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
Stacia’s early work experience included community organizing, education and training to adolescents and young adults in East and West Harlem and Brooklyn, New York.

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)

5. What lead you to this field?

6. Any other professional information to share?
Stacia was a consultant to the Christopher D. Smithers Foundation, ABT Associates, the R. Brinkley Smithers
Institute for Alcohol-Related Workplace Studies, ILR School at Cornell University and Adjunct Professor, New School University. Ms. Murphy resides in New York City.

Walter Ginter

1. Current organization, title, and duties:
Mr. Walter Ginter is the Project Director of the Medication Assisted Recovery Support (M.A.R.S.) Project., which is the only federal project designed to provide peer recovery support to persons whose recovery from opiate addiction is assisted by medication.

2. How long have you been doing work related to addiction / recovery?
Since 1999.

3. What are your degrees, certifications, and/or honors in the field?
Walter was the recipient of the Richard Lane/Robert Holden Patient Advocacy Award at the 2009 American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) National Conference in NYC. He received the 2012 Vernon Johnson America Honors Recovery Award from Faces and Voices of Recovery and Hazelton and the Bob Savage Advocate of the Year Award from Connecticut Committee for Addiction Recovery(CCAR) in 2014.

4. Do you have any publications and/or professional society affiliations? (Please list all)
Walter served on the Board of Directors of Faces and Voices of Recovery (FaVoR). Was the Director of Training and Certification, National Alliance for Medication Assisted (NAMA) Recovery, a Planning Partner for National Recovery Month, a Member, the Methadone Treatment Advisory Group of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the NYS OASAS Recovery Implementation Team, and a Member of more then twenty a federal expert panels and advisory groups since 2001.

5. What lead you to this field?
My advocacy career began when I got into treatment in 1999.

6. Any other professional information to share?
In, 2011 Mr. Ginter helped create the Beyond MARS Training Institute to manualize and replicate MARS at 14 OTP’s across the US and two free standing recovery centers across the US. In 2014 while working with the Beyond MARS Training Institute, MARS Peer Recovery Support Services the first international MARS was created by and for peers in Haiphong City, Vietnam.

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