Terri Hayden, Co-Chair
Chief Executive Officer, Pride Institute
Before joining Pride Institute, Hayden served as the Executive Director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in St. Paul, Minnesota for over ten years. She also was Director of Chemical Health Services at Chrysalis, a Minneapolis nonprofit organization providing a wide array of services and care to women and their families. Hayden served as an adjunct professor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Augsburg College and a master’s degree in Psychology from St. Mary’s University.
Philip Rutherford, Co-Chair
Chief Operating Officer, Faces & Voices of Recovery
Philip Rutherford is the Chief Operating Officer at Faces & Voices of Recovery. He is a recovery coach, a passionate member of the Recovery Community and possesses a self-described Doctorate from the school of Hard Knocks. As COO, he is responsible for multiple lines of business within the Faces & Voices ecosystem. Phil is credited with a significant role in the conception, design, launch and facilitation of the Recovery Data Platform (RDP). This cloud-based platform is the first of its kind and has quickly become a valuable asset in longitudinal data collection for Peer-Based Services.
Dr. Neeru Bakshi
Staff Psychiatrist, Headspace Health
Neeru Bakshi, MD, FAPA, CEDS is a board certified psychiatrist, speaker, and advocate for mental health equity. Dr. Bakshi completed her psychiatry training at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Washington. She is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and co-chair of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals African-American/BIPOC Subcommittee. Dr. Bakshi is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and she has served in a variety of positions in various organizations. Dr. Bakshi is a national speaker on issues pertaining to mental health equity with a focus on South Asians.
Founder, Lumos Marketing
Tania Bhattacharyya was raised for twelve years in the nonprofit behavioral healthcare field as a fundraiser, marketer, and eventually Executive Director after graduating from the University of California, Irvine with a degree in Psychology and Social Behavior. She supported New Directions for Women Foundation, a NAATP member, whose specialty is serving women, pregnant women, and women with children. Tania founded Lumos Marketing in the noise and chaos of 2020’s triple public health crisis. She encountered too many women who were making incredible impact yet felt like a “best kept secret." Her passion is helping women become more visible, finding the clarity, courage, and strategic roadmap to attract their dream allies.
Rev. Eyglo Bjarnadottir cand. theol.
Copenhagen Recovery Counseling
In a career that spans over two decades and multiple countries, Rev. Eyglo has dedicated her life’s work to helping individuals recover from Substance Use Disorder. From 2003 until 2019, Eyglo was on staff at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Center City, MN, as a Spiritual Care Counselor. In her role at Hazelden, she led groups, ran workshops, gave lectures and provided individual spiritual care to patients. In her last five years with Hazelden, Eyglo worked with the treatment of Health Care Professionals seeking treatment and provided education for professionals in residence.
In 2019, Eyglo moved to Copenhagen Denmark and founded her own recovery support agency Copenhagen Recovery Counseling. The agency provides recovery support for Danes as well as international clients. Eyglo is an ELCA ordained minister.
Ariel "Air" Britt, MSW
Ariel “Air” Britt is the creator of the award-winning podcast, Beauty in the Grit. She is an exceptional speaker with a passion for community and service. Most of her career has been focused on developing prevention, intervention, and recovery support services for youth and young adults. She also served as a political appointee for the Biden-Harris Administration at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Air received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Master’s in Social Work from The University of Michigan.
Dr. Carol Burrell-Jackson
Therapist, The Refuge, A Healing Place
For nearly 40 years, Carol Burrell-Jackson has provided home-based family centered therapy to juvenile delinquent youth and their families, families at risk of abuse and neglect. She has also provided individual psychotherapy and premarital and marital therapy. With a goal of contributing to the field, Carol has been invested in training graduate and post-graduate mental health professionals to develop compassionate and competent helping skills.
Counselor, Cumberland Heights
Dovie, as an advocate for people, used her skills in the private sector to develop the “Backpack Project." Children removed from their homes received age appropriate “Backpacks,” with personal items, school supplies and toys to ease the trauma of separation and the fear of the unknown. This project was recognized and implemented nationally by the Telephone Pioneers of America. Her work as chair of the Women of Color Caucus earned her the “People who Care Award" from the Domestic and Sexual Assault Coalition. She served on a Tennessee Legislature sub-committee representing victims of domestic violence. This team assisted in writing the “portability law,” making Orders of Protection valid in Kentucky. She currently works as a LADAC II counselor in the outpatient department at Cumberland Heights in Nashville, Tennessee.
Managing Director, JC Counseling and Consulting
Joint CEO, Ashley Addiction Treatment
After having been a part of Ashley in many different roles since 2009, Alex now serves as the joint CEO of Ashley Addiction Treatment together with Dr. Greg Hobelmann. Alex started working at Ashley in 2009 as a patient care coordinator and continuously progressed into new positions, including director of Alumni Services and Clinical Outreach, vice president of Business Development, and until recently, senior vice president and chief growth officer. In his new role as joint CEO, Alex will combine his talents with those of Greg’s by overseeing Intake, Clinical Outreach, Patient Care Coordination, Communications, Alumni and Development, as well as Human Resources, IT, Finance, Maintenance, Safety and Security, Grounds, and Maintenance. Alex received his undergraduate degree from the University of Baltimore in Health Systems Management with honors and his Master in Business Administration from the University of Maryland Global College. His association with Ashley started in 2003 when, at age 20, he became a patient at Ashley. Alex has remained in recovery and is an active member of the local recovery community. He is passionate about using his personal experiences and 15+ years of background in the industry to help ensure that Ashley creates the best possible care environment for our recovering patients and their families
Dr. Tori Dudley
Consultant, The Olori Group
Tori Dudley is passionate about developing key partnerships and alliances in the behavioral health community. Tori joined Family First with a decade of experience in the mental health industry and 12 years of training in counseling and organizational psychology. Having entered the field of behavioral health as a psychotherapist, her professional background includes clinical, leadership, and business development roles with nationally known mental health and addiction programs. Tori has expertise in working at the intersection of behavioral health and organizational psychology, supporting the growth and development of national treatment programs. Tori holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from The Chicago School, along with an M.S. in Counseling Psychology and B.S. in Psychology, both from the University of West Alabama. In addition to her role as Strategic Relationship Ambassador, Tori is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology and a practicing therapist. She resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband Christopher and enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her many nieces and nephews.
Supervisor of Outpatient Programming, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
Manuel (Him, He, His, El) graduated with a Psychology degree in 2012 out of Anahuac University in México City, México, and then moved on to receive his graduate degree at the Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies in 2013. Manuel has most recently worked as a Supervisor of Outpatient Program out of Hazelden Betty Ford in Saint Paul, MN. He also is a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at Hazelden Betty Ford. He has great passion for giving back to the world through his work in Substance Use Disorder recovery. He has a special interest in helping students and professionals accomplish professional goals through Clinical Supervision with a humanistic approach, as well as a passion for bringing positive change to our organizations. His dream is that we can help people from underrepresented populations access Substance Use Disorders treatment and that we eliminate their barriers to do so. Special interest in helping remove barriers and providing services to members of the LatinX community.
CEO and Founder of Doable Recovery Institute
RJ has twenty-five years of successful leadership and workforce development in start-up and corporate expansion in public state agencies and private sector environments. RJ was a founding member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at Hazelden Betty Ford in 2010. RJ was founding Chair of the Austin Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) Initiative and currently serves as President and board member of the International Society of Mental Health On-line (ISMHO). RJ is a member of the American Counseling Association and NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals. RJ is a Certified Diversity Trainer, Certified Mediator and a trained Certified Case Manager Interventionist.
Director of LBGTQI+ Programming, Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers
Beck is a master’s level clinician with an undergraduate degree in Sociology with an emphasis on Gender & Sexuality and a master’s degree in Addiction Counseling. Beck has worked in the mental health and substance use field for over 10 years in various capacities. The main focus of his work has been invested in the LGBTQI+ community, adolescents, and families. Over this decade, Beck has trained numerous facilities on LGBTQI+ best practices, has been a keynote and presenter at many conferences and has facilitated workshops about LGBTQI+, trauma, adolescents, gender and sexuality.
Shari is a Trusted Advisor for SHE RECOVERS Foundation and an anti-racist consultant who works with recovery and treatment organizations to help them explore their own biases and create pathways to greater diversity, equity and inclusion. She is the founder of Served Up Sober, a non-profit organization devoted to increasing healthy equity in marginalized communities by creating holistic spaces for women of color who are sober or sober curious. As a Certified Recovery Coach, Motivational Speaker, and woman in long-term recovery, Shari combines her years of professional and personal experience to offer a spiritually driven and empowered approach to healing. Shari is a fierce recovery advocate and workshop presenter. She most recently participated in the SHE RECOVERS panel discussion, "Critical Conversations: Healing the Effects of Racism for Black Women in Recovery," and offers her own training: "Healing Recovery Spaces - An Anti-Racism Training" specifically for treatment centers committed to anti-racism work. Shari continuously works towards centering the issues of Black and brown communities in recovery spaces.
Founder and CEO of Addiction Therapeutic Services and Recoveryview.com, Josie Ramirez-Herndon been working in the field of Healthcare, Behavioral Health and Addiction Services for over 30 years. She was born, educated, and began her professional career at Loma Linda University Medical Center and Behavioral Medicine Center. Playing an instrumental role to the success of countless addiction professionals and treatment facilities by marketing their services and providing continuing education over the past 17 years, Josie founded and became the CEO of a national marketing and events agency, Villareal & Associates, Inc. In 2008, Josie expanded Villareal’s function to include an educational component by launching an award-winning CEU website and online journal, RecoveryView. In 2011, Josie was appointed as CEO of Oregon’s Astoria Pointe. Seeing first-hand that women CEO’s in the behavioral health care field needed a place for support and advisement, she helped found the Women’s CEO Global Alliance. Harnessing her knowledge and passion for running high-quality treatment centers, Josie launched her own outpatient treatment center in 2013, Addiction Therapeutic Services. Josie now sits on the Board of Directors of the Addiction Treatment Advocacy Coalition ATAC, expanding her leadership to include industry and political advocacy along with national speaking.
Clinical Manager, Great Lakes Psychological Services
Melanie Heu is the Clinical Manager of Asha, A Division of Great Lakes Psychological Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has over 12 years of experience developing mental health and addiction treatment programs that serve marginalized communities. As a diversity, equity and inclusivity advocate, Heu has trained and supervised many bipoc, bicultural and bilingual emerging behavioral health professionals. She also provides consultation and training to organizations that strive to provide culturally responsive services in all program areas. Heu is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Alcohol Drug Counselor. She believes that an honest and healthy therapeutic relationship between clinician and client sets the foundation for successful therapy and will prioritize trust when working with individuals to overcome life challenges. In addition to her work as a clinical manager and therapist, Melanie is an Adjunct Professor at St. Catherine’s University where she teaches a class on Addiction and Recovery: Families and Diversity.
Family Ambassador, Family First Adolescent Services
Vanina Hochman, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, earned her Master’s in Science from Nova Southeastern University in 2004 after completing her internship at the Brief Therapy Institute and the STEPS program at Memorial Regional Hospital, an intensive inpatient adolescent substance abuse treatment program. From 2005 to 2013, Vanina was at Kids in Distress in the roles of therapist, clinical supervisor, clinical director, and program director, where she was able to treat and be involved with many different populations and many different aspects of treatment and program development, including grant writing, fundraising and advocacy. In addition to her work with other government funded programs, she also functions as a clinician, educator, and supervisor in her private practice, Family Therapy Center, which she continues to do until present day. In the last five years, Vanina expanded her role to clinical outreach and business development, where she is able to provide education on addiction and mental health treatment and her passion for cultural competent mental healthcare, and help bring quality treatment to individuals dealing with the disease. Vanina currently serves as Family Ambassador for Family First Adolescent Services. She is bilingual with a fluency in Spanish, which has become an important tool in her success in accessing and treating a diverse population in the South Florida area.
Executive Vice President, Origins Behavioral HealthCare
Rick began working in the addiction treatment industry in 2002 and has significant experience in multiple aspects of treatment administration including admissions, utilization review, marketing, referent relations and business development. Rick is a trained intervention specialist with over 14 years of sobriety. His extensive professional and personal experience has empowered the recovery of many patients and families from the horrors of addiction and has helped hundreds of individuals find a new way to live. Rick brings to Origins a strong background in finance and real estate, which includes many years as an executive in commercial banking and real estate lending for one of the largest independent bank holding companies in Texas.
Dr. Danielle Jackman
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Aurora Mental Health Center
Throughout her career, Dr. Jackman (she/her/hers) has been focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion work. Dr. Jackman has conducted both basic and applied research both nationally and internationally regarding oppression and quality of life among various groups who have been historically marginalized. Additionally, Dr. Jackman serves on different consulting boards related to creating more equitable and inclusive spaces. Dr. Jackman’s work is founded on her vision of using diversity and inclusion as a platform to stretch creativity and innovation beyond current cultural boundaries and to move diversity, equity, and inclusion from moralistic obligations to pragmatic understanding and utility.
Director of Clinical Services, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
Cecelia Jayme is Clinical Director at Hazelden in Center City, MN. She started with Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation (HBFF) 26 years ago as an intern through the L.C.O. Tribal College and was then hired as an on-call counselor, later to a full time counselor position. In 2000, Cecelia was promoted to Supervisor of one of the Women’s Recovery Units and was a key member in designing the Simmons and Simpson buildings on the Center City Campus and creating the Women’s Recovery Center (now The Betty Ford Women’s Recovery Center) when it opened in 2007. She has advanced opportunities for addictions treatment through developing and expanding both men’s and women’s campus based day treatment programs on Center City campus.
Sara (she/hers/ella) is an advocate for substance education in the Punjabi/Latinx community with a focus on the youth population. Sara has 6 years of healthcare experience working with marginalized communities and for the past year, she has served as a substance abuse educator with Jakara Movement's Khair organization. In this position, she not only was responsible for educating her students on substance and public health but also was tasked with community outreach and education. Her main project was pushing for harm reduction policies in her local community for youth populations.
Sara is now attending medical school in California and will be continuing her commitment to marginalized communities, especially those with substance use disorders.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Imagine Recovery
Felicia has been active in the mental health/substance-use field for the last ten years, spending a great deal of her time working with families and individuals looking for help. She is passionate about creating solutions that give people hope. Felicia has formed and continues to build relationships with top local and national mental health professionals and treatment centers who have the same ethics and commitment to help others. As a woman in long-term recovery, her personal and professional life are all about connection, collaboration, healing, and living a big, authentic, fun-filled, purposeful sober life.
Doctoral Candidate and Adjunct Faculty, Fordham University
Margaret Knapp, L.M.S.W., is an Adjunct Professor and Doctoral Candidate at Fordham Graduate School of Social Service. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Master's of Social Work degree with a focus on community-based leadership from Fordham University. Meg started working to address structural inequalities that disproportionately affect historically marginalized communities while working toward her bachelor’s at the University of Colorado, Boulder. During her time there, she researched communities affected by the dumping of toxic waste materials in Colorado and discovered that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are disproportionately affected by unhealthy living environments. With the data she gathered, she organized a large community protest calling attention to the corporations responsible for polluting communities where Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) reside. Meg continues to be an activist today, and her research continues to focus on addressing institutional racism. In addition, Meg worked with pregnant women and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless for nine years.
Clarice Redding Louis
Chief Recovery Community Officer, Hanley Foundation
Clarice Redding Louis has dedicated her life to enriching the lives of residents in her local community. Familiar with the socioeconomic, educational, and political deficits plaguing minorities in Palm Beach County, Miss Redding seeks to close this gap of disparity, by helping to offer more access to opportunities for advancement. In her role as Chief Recovery Community Officer at Hanley Foundation, Louis focuses on establishing Hanley Foundation's legislative priorities, assisting in opening a recovery community center, supporting the update of Palm Beach County’s response to the opioid crisis, and overseeing the design of evidence-informed practices to help individuals sustain long-term recovery. She also assists the Lifesaver Scholarships and securing grants for the Foundation. Most recently, Louis was the Director of Community Services for Vita Nova, Inc. in West Palm Beach, a human services organization serving 200 families. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intercultural Communication as well as a Master of Education Leadership degree. She is currently pursuing an Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Louis is a current member of Leadership Palm Beach County’s Engage Class of 2022 and Vice President of the LupieGirl, an organization that provides support to families affected by Lupus and other chronic illnesses. She is a past President of the Urban League Young Professionals of Palm Beach and Immediate Past Co-Director of New Leaders Council of Palm Beach. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She resides in West Palm Beach with her husband Elton.
Dr. Sara Matsuzaka
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Virginia Research on Intersectionality, Sexuality, and Empowerment (RISE) Lab
Sara Matsuzaka, LCSW, PhD is a Postdoctoral Research Associate within the Research on Intersectionality, Sexuality, and Empowerment (RISE) Lab at the University of Virginia. She received a BA from Tufts University, MSW from Florida Atlantic University, and PhD in Social Work from Fordham University. As a clinician, she has worked in outpatient and inpatient addiction treatment settings as well as in private practice. As an academic, she is interested in examining how interlocking hegemonic discourses and policies systematically disempower and sustain mental health and substance use inequities among SGM people. Dr. Matsuzaka is also an Adjunct Instructor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, training master’s students to provide evidence-based culturally-affirmative care to people, families, and communities afflicted by substance use disorder.
Ester Nicholson, Founder of Soul Recovery, author of Soul Recovery - 12 Keys to Healing Dependence, and She Recovers coach, turned her incredible journey from addiction to freedom into a practical program that heals the root causes of unworthiness, shame and trauma. Her life-changing program, Soul Recovery - The Roadmap Home, bridges the gap between the 12 Steps of Recovery and universal “spiritual” practices that have assisted thousands in recovering and rediscovering their essential nature of wholeness. Ester's unique approach reveals the spiritual depth and healing power of the 12 steps and removes the stigma of addiction. Ester's story of addiction and recovery was featured in a 30-minute presentation on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Ester has inspired thousands with her keynotes and workshop presentations at conference events including: The National FED UP Rally, NCAAD, She Recovers and US Journal - in addition to alumni and featured events at Ashley Treatment Center, Renewal House, and many others.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Z&D Consulting
Zina Rodriguez has over 25 years of marketing and social work experience in marketing and behavioral health care. She has held senior leadership positions for national and global behavioral health care companies where she has served as Executive Director and in Senior Marketing and Business Development roles. Zina has a global referral network and a specialty in multi-cultural marketing. She is a global speaker on topics of cultural competency and diversity, equity, and inclusion in behavioral health care and is a Certified Diversity Executive®. Zina’s mission is to assist providers with creating inviting, intentional, and inclusive healing spaces for individuals to achieve mental wellness and create pathways for success for those from unrepresented communities. Zina holds an MSW with a concentration in Administration from Fordham University and a BSW degree from Rutgers University.
Dr. Carolyn Coker Ross
Carolyn Coker Ross, MD, MPH, CEDS is an African American author, speaker, expert the treatment of eating disorders, trauma and addictions. Dr. Ross completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. She is board certified in Preventive Medicine and in Addiction Medicine. Dr. Ross is the CEO of The Anchor Program an online non-diet program for people with binge eating. Dr. Ross presented a TEDxPleasantGrove talk on “The Gifts of Intergenerational Trauma” in 2020. She is a co-founder of the Institute for Antiracism and Equity (antiracismandequity.com) that does consulting and training on diversity, equity and racism.
Executive Director, Friendly House
A leader, connector, change maker and a disruptor to the status quo.
As a student at Arizona State University, Christina founded Students Against Discrimination (S.A.D.). This group held the largest social justice rally on ASU’s campus and was responsible for creating social justice policies and changes that still stand today. She graduated with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication and was recognized by her alma mater and various organizations including the Lambda League for her work.
In 2013 Christina started working in treatment as a detox technician. Over the last nine years she has held a variety of jobs, learning every aspect of the treatment industry from HR/compliance, management, admissions, marketing/business development to operations. As Director of Operations, one of her proudest achievements was helping a well-functioning recovery environment become a first-class treatment center through the creation of policies, acquiring licensures and ASAM certification, and ensuring that the staff was as inclusive and diverse as the population served.
In April of 2021 Christina returned to the facility that she originally got sober at in 2005 - The Friendly House. She took on the role as Admissions and Business Development Manager. In January of 2022, she became the 4th Executive Director of the Friendly House and one of the few women of color to hold an Executive level position.
Dr. Damir Utrzan
Manager of Mental Health Services, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
Damir S. Utrzan, Ph.D., LMFT, DAAETS is manager of mental health services at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Previously, he was treatment director of an Intensive Residential Treatment Services facility operated by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Dr. Utrzan is a licensed marriage and family therapist and board-approved clinical supervisor. He was born in the former Yugoslavia and lived in Germany for ten years with his parents before being deported and applying for asylum to the United States. Dr. Utrzan completed fellowship training on the intersection of psychological trauma and human rights in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He has a doctorate in family social science; couple and family therapy specialization with a human rights minor, from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Utrzan also completed advanced doctoral training on co-occurring disorder treatment in traditionally marginalized groups through the Minority Fellowship Program in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy; in addition to, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He serves as a consulting scientist and grant reviewer to the Administration for Children and Families in the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Utrzan has authored peer-refereed journal articles and book chapters while also presenting at professional organizations, such as the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Director, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
Andrew Williams is Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s first Directory of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Williams' experience includes more than 20 years in higher education diversity and multicultural leadership, including posts at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs in Minneapolis; and Carleton College in Northfield, MN; and the Posse Foundation, Chicago. At Hazelden Betty Ford, Williams drives cultural and behavior change across the organization to increase diversity, advance equity and foster inclusion. Serving as a strategic partner with others throughout Hazelden Betty Ford, he champions DEI awareness, understanding, allyship and advocacy as well as the advancement of underrepresented groups. He aims to inspire others through example, challenge colleagues to live up to institutional values and legal obligations, and engage in creative and meaningful intercultural experiences.