Kris Gabrielsen is the co-director of the Great Lakes Prevention Technology Transfer Center. She has worked in the substance misuse prevention field for over 30 years. Kris was the Associate Director of the Western Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT), co-authored the first Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Training curriculum, and co-authored the textbook, Substance Abuse Prevention: The Intersection of Science and Practice. As a consultant, she has worked with states and communities across the nation to bridge the gap between research and practice, assisting prevention professionals in maximizing their effectiveness.
Lorenzo Lewis is a social entrepreneur, professional speaker, and founder of The Confess Project, an initiative that centers on mental health and wellness for young men of color. Born in jail to an incarcerated mother, Lorenzo struggled with depression, anxiety, and anger throughout his youth. At 17, after almost reentering the system of mass incarceration he had come from, he began his journey to wellness. In 2019 Lorenzo received the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Multicultural Outreach Award and the American Psychiatric Association Award for Advancing Minority Mental Health, and he was a finalist for the Little Rock Regional Chamber Small Business Owner 30 & Under of the Year Award. In 2020, he became a fellow of both the Roddenberry and Echoing Green Foundations. Lorenzo has appeared in O Magazine as one of eleven 2020 Health Heroes, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Watch The Yard, and
more. The Confess Project was recently listed by Fast Company as a Top 10 Most Innovative Health Company. Since May 2016, The Confess Project has reached over 1,000,000 individuals in 40 Cities heavily focused across the United States.
Krysten Isaac is the Vice President & Group Management Director overseeing Tobacco and Cannabis Control Programs at Rescue. In her work, she oversees multiple public health programs and teams to promote health equity and behavior change with youth and adults across 15 different states. With 15+ years experience working across diverse communities, Krysten leads cross-departmental teams across the agency to help organizations across the US achieve behavior change results and build sustainable programs. She currently oversees cannabis control and prevention programs at Rescue as well as tobacco control programs, vaccination communications, and more.
Tasha Wilkerson holds a Master of Arts in Training and Instructional Design and is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Preventionist, with over 26 years as a professional trainer and community activist. Tasha has a broad knowledge of organizing, coalition building, and staff capacity building. Tasha has focused her efforts on strategic planning and community capacity building for many years, spending many hours working with adults and faith leaders to help build a safer community. Tasha provides training and action planning for customized community solutions for increased performance in local communities. Tasha’s training collection includes Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), coalition building, capacity building, evaluation, cultural competency, designing and delivering training, facilitation skills, environmental strategies, community organizing, Health Disparities & Equities, and evaluation to name a few. Tasha has a fervor to support the adult learner and incorporates adult learning theory and practices in all her training designs. Tasha Wilkerson is the author of the book “When the Other Shoe Drops” a book that highlighted her journey through the justice system, through sharing her journey she shares insights and some tools that will aid others in their own personal and professional journey.
Public Relations Specialist at Hamilton Center, Inc. He received his degree from Indiana State University. Experienced Public Relations Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the mental health care industry. Skilled in Public Relations, Social Media Management, Event Planning, and Fundraising. Strong media and communication professional with a Bachelor’s degree focused in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Indiana State University.
Albert Gay was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. He was ordained into the ministry in 1994, and since that time, he has worked with youth and communities in many capacities. Albert has been in full-time ministry as a youth pastor, counseling urban youth in positive directions and providing them with alternative solutions to the “streets.” Albert expanded into the Prevention field in 1997 when he was employed by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana as a Prevention Coordinator. He received credentials as a Certified Prevention Professional by the Indiana Association of Prevention Professionals in 1999. While attending ministry school in Florida, Albert worked as a Behavioral Specialist with troubled youth. Albert is currently a Master Trainer for TTJ Group, LLC providing services to non-profit, faith-based, and community organizations and governmental entities in developing and implementing technical assistance and training services in an innovative and practical format. Albert obtained his B.A. in English Arts from the historically distinguished Hampton University in Virginia and his Master of Science in Management from Oakland City University in Indiana. He received ministry training from Christian International’s
Ministry Training College in Florida.
Dave Closson is the owner of DJC Solutions, LLC, a modern-day consulting company with a combined focus of serving substance misuse prevention professionals, law enforcement officers, and military veterans. DJC Solutions connects others to sustainable habits, aligned experiences, and next-level excellence. Dave is the author of “Motivational Interviewing for Campus Police” and was chosen as one of the few Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) #StillServing Heroes nationwide. Dave was most recently the Co-Director of the Mid-America Prevention Technology Transfer Center which is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. His PTTC serves as a prevention catalyst, empowering individuals and fostering partnerships to promote safe, healthy, and drug-free communities across Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. He was previously a Training/Technical Assistance Specialist for SAMHSA’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT). Before joining CAPT, Dave was Assistant Director of the Illinois Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Other Drug, and Violence Prevention. Dave brings a unique experience to substance misuse prevention, having served as a university police officer at Eastern Illinois University. Dave was deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While spending a year in Iraq with his infantry battalion and his recon team, he earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and was awarded two Army Commendation Medals (one for valor and one for meritorious service). Training, coaching, and helping others is what he does best!
Rick is a Certified Human Behavior Consultant who for the last 30 years has been helping individuals and organizations maximize their potential and productivity. His goal has been to study human behavior and identify barriers to change. As the Founder and Executive Director of Youth Services Alliance, he has invested 23 years in the prevention field. Over the last few years Rick and his team has compiled a program to supplement and enhance any curriculum. His passion is to help teachers/ facilitators reach their target audience at a deeper level.
Justin Phillips, MA and White House Champion of Change for Advocacy, Prevention and Treatment is the Founder and Executive Director of Overdose Lifeline, Inc. (ODL) ODL is a nonprofit dedicated to reducing the stigma of substance use disorder and preventing deaths resulting from opioid overdose. Justin holds a Master’s in Clinical Addition Counseling and a Master’s degree in philanthropic studies and nonprofit management. Justin is a featured speaker on the national, regional and local circuit.
Katharine Sadler, MEd CPS is a Public Health Consultant and Community Prevention Specialist who has worked as a teacher, school counselor, business executive in graphics and marketing, community activist and grant evaluator. She holds her Master’s in Education as a School Counselor and post graduate certification in Social Marketing and Social Change. Katharine has been with Prevention Insights at Indiana University (IU), Bloomington since 2007 where she
provides technical assistance to Substance Abuse Block Grant agencies. Her book, What Adults Need to Know About Kids and Substance Use, Dealing with Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs was published by Search Institute in May 2011 and is on Library Journal’s 2012 best seller list. Katharine is a Certified Prevention Specialist and is on the board of Indiana’s credentialling agency, ICAADA, where she also serves as a representative with IC&RC.
Karesa Knight Wilkerson
Graduated University of KY -1994 Healthcare Communication Earned my Certified Prevention Professional National Certification in 2020. I am a Certified Trained Tobacco Specialist (2021) I have been working in Tobacco Control since 1996 while working at American Cancer Society. Youth Coordinator at Communicare Regional Prevention Center in Elizabethtown KY 2000-2002 Came to work in Madison County, IN in April 2002 on a two year Tobacco Prevention Grant and built it into a 7 employee substance prevention agency, Intersect. I am married and have two children Allye and RyKar and reside in Lapel, IN.
Dr. Minnick is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at Ball State University, the Executive Director of the Addictions Coalition of Delaware County (ACDC), the Director of the Ball State Center for Substance Use Research and Community Initiatives (SURCI), and a former fellow with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Dr. Minnick’s research and practice experience has centered on the
development and implementation of community environmental strategies to address substance misuse, and he is a licensed social worker and board-certified in substance misuse prevention and problem gambling.
Becky Savage Becky is the mother of Nick and Jack and the co-founder of the 525 Foundation. She is a certified prevention specialist and has been a registered nurse for over 30 years. She is a sought-after national speaker who educates teens, parents, first responders, and school officials on the dangers of prescription drug misuse. Becky is passionate about primary prevention through outreach, education, and support. She has a BS in nursing from Ball State University and an MS in nursing education from Bethel University. Becky and her husband Mike love spending time at Donnell Lake, Michigan with their two young adult sons, Justin and Matt. When Becky is not out on the lake or at home in Granger, Indiana, she can be found at an ice rink or chasing her crazing dogs- Tucker, Sadie, Cash and Josie
Dr. Stitt has served in public, private, and non-profit sectors here and abroad. She has presented workshops and research papers in national and international conferences. She has been working with multi-sectoral groups to develop, implement, and evaluate programs to foster intercultural understanding and professional collaboration. She sat on several public and non-profit advisory boards to help build sustainable community-based intervention programs, strengthen health equity and access to care, and to promote social justice. Currently, she coordinates the Virginia Refugee Healing Partnership, a statewide initiative to establish sustainable public-private collaboration to insure refugee access to mental healthcare, to develop pathways to support behavioral health
providers prepared to serve refugees, and to strengthen refugee mental wellness and capacity building measures. This initiative has produced the Virginia Behavioral Health Interpreting Curriculum (BHIC), a pioneering tool that was developed through collaborative action of providers, clinicians, interpreters, and educators. It is designed to train behavioral health interpreters to provide service in behavioral health settings. Dr. Stitt holds a Master’s in Education degree major in Guidance and Counseling and a PhD in Public Policy and Business Management.
Rebecca Mueller, M.A./M.P.H. is a Public Health Consultant with Prevention Insights. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Albania, Health Education, 2008-2009) with 10+ years of professional experience cutting across the public health, aging, disability, youth, and social service sectors. Much of her work has centered around the provision of culturally relevant programs and services to under-resourced communities.
Diana Hendricks, CHES, is the Executive Director of Beech Grove Comprehensive Drug-Free Coalition. Diana holds an Associates in Business Administration from Robert Morris University in Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the University of Indianapolis. She is a Certified Community Health Educator (CHES®) through NCHEC and earned a diploma of Personal Training through the Exercise Science Program at Indiana University. Diana has over 20 years of program development experience and being an advocate for the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities through her business Healthy Lifestyles Center, LLC and other past work experiences. Diana received the Drug Free Marion County “Community Service Award” in recognition of her outstanding service and dedication to combating substance abuse in Marion County in 2018.
Frank Spesia is the Positive and Adverse Childhood Experiences (PACEs) Coordinator for the St. Joseph County Department of Health. He works with community partners to increase data sharing and collaboration to strengthen protective factors and address ACEs. He is particularly interested in aligning existing programs and services around a collective vision for PACEs prevention and support. Frank is a former elementary school teacher, and holds Master of Education and Master of Global Affairs degrees from Notre Dame.
Lisa has been the director of the IN Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking since its inception – she is honored to be celebrating 25 years this year! Attending the University of TN, she earned a master’s degree in Education with a focus on counseling. She has also been the Vice President of Prevention and Policy at Mental Health America of Indiana for 18 years and in that capacity is also part of the lobbying team. With a focus on prevention, she educates communities and policy makers on alcohol, cannabis, and problem gambling and equips communities to address these issues through training and technical assistance. Lisa has been married to her husband Scott for 33 years and they have two sons – Oliver, who is a senior in high school and Henry, who is a senior at Purdue University. She learned a lot during the pandemic – working at home with your husband and two sons is not easy and she doesn’t want to do that again any time soon. Baking was a great hobby during the pandemic but she wishes she would have bought more stretchy pants, and most importantly she learned to stop being busy and just be present.
Alfarena (Alfie) McGinty, MBA is currently the Chief Deputy Coroner at the Marion County Coroner’s Office in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is an Indiana certified Medicolegal Death Investigator and has worked at the Marion County Coroner’s Office for 25 years. She is the first African American female appointed as Chief Deputy Coroner in Marion County, and has served in that capacity for 16 years. As Chief Deputy Coroner, she is responsible for the agency operations, managing a staff of 40, including Deputy Coroners, Autopsy Assistants and Administrative Office staff. Overseeing and managing 9 contractual Forensic Pathologists and other professional service providers for the office. She oversees over 3000 death investigations annually, coordinates trainings and education for the staff, and develops agency work policies and procedures. Alfie has supervised the death scene investigation and management of three mass shootings in Indianapolis in 2021, including the nationally known, April 15 Incident that involved the Fed Ex Facility where 8 people were killed, and the shooter committed suicide.
Cameron McNeely is the Manager of Education at Overdose Lifeline, a non-profit in Indianapolis, IN. Cameron’s main roles are connecting youth substance misuse prevention programming to various schools around the state, including trainings and technical support. Cameron has held this position for 2 years after receiving a Master’s of Social Work degree from IUPUI.
Alison Muckerheide, CHES, is the project coordinator for the Beech Grove Comprehensive Drug – Free Coalition. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Indianapolis with a major in public health education and promotion in 2021. She is currently on track to graduate with her Master of Public Health with a concentration in social and behavioral sciences in 2023 from the Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health.
Mary A. Lay
Mary A. Lay, MPH. MCHES, CPS: Mary Lay is the Operations Director and Disordered Gambling Program Project Director at Prevention Insights in the Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington. She has an extensive track record of successful implementation, training, technical assistance program coordination and grants management in substance use, risk prevention, disordered gambling, professional development CECH Coordination, conference logistics, online training series development, teaching, and addiction related education/training.
Lauri Miro, RN, MBA, MA, an independent consultant, has more than 25 years of healthcare management, consulting, and clinical experience. She is currently
a consultant for the St. Joseph County Department of Health and associate faculty at Indiana University South Bend. She has served in senior executive roles for
both hospital and physician practice network administration and as a health care consultant in medical group management and healthcare operations. Lauri received her MBA, MA and BSN degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is a resident of Granger, Indiana.
Cassy White has worked at the Department of Health since 2017 and helped create the Unit of Health Equity, Epidemiology, and Data (HEED) in July 2020. She serves as the Director of the HEED Unit to advance equity within the Department of Health and across the community by supporting projects, policies, and research to change the correlation between inequities and quality of life. Cassy’s background in epidemiology and environmental health support the Department’s efforts to use data-driven approaches to identify and address health disparities in our community.
Robin Vida, MPH, CHES currently serves as the Director of Health Outreach, Promotion, and Education (HOPE). She has been with the St. Joseph County Department of Health for almost 15 years. Her strategic focus at the Department of Health is substance use and suicide prevention as well as maternal and infant health initiatives. Robin also serves as Associate Faculty at the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Science at Indiana University- South Bend cultivating the next generation of public health professionals. When not advocating for public health, she spends time with her two young sons and husband.
Robert Einterz, MD, is the Health Officer of St. Joseph County Department of Health and Professor Emeritus of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Nicki Cochran is the Program Director for Camp Mariposa – Aaron’s Place, operated by Overdose Lifeline. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science from Hope College and a Master of Public Health in Family and Community Health from Purdue University. She started with Overdose Lifeline in 2022
Julie Kurrasch is the Clinical Director for Camp Mariposa Aaron’s Place, operated by Overdose Lifeline. She is a licensed Occupational Therapist and has a career of working with youth through Occupational Therapy, including at Indianapolis’ Hope Academy, a recovery high school.
Desiree D. Reynolds, EdD, MPH, MCHES is a research associate for the Indiana University School of Public Health and has served as the project manager for the Indiana Problem Gambling Awareness Program at Prevention Insights for the past 15 years. This program provides training, research translation, and technical assistance to those working in prevention, treatment, and disordered gambling recovery in Indiana. Dr. Reynolds has facilitated trainings across Indiana and assists a variety of counselors and therapists regarding disordered gambling treatment best practices.
Dawnya is a current graduate student in the social work program at Ball State University. She is also a graduate student affiliate of the Ball State SURCI and member of the Addictions Coalition of Delaware County.
Trained as an adolescent chronic disease epidemiologist, Laura has more than a decade of translational health communication and drug prevention experience. At Rescue, Laura serves as the Sr. Director of Substance Use Programs where she oversees multiple public health programs across the country to promote health equity and behavior change. She currently oversees state and local harm reduction and prevention programs on alcohol, fentanyl, cannabis, opioids, and stimulants.
Prior to joining Rescue Laura spent time at national organizations like the American Cancer Society and served as the Sr. Director of Health and Wellness at Boys and Girls Clubs of America where she led the strategy and implementation of health initiatives for nearly 5,000 Clubs across the US. She has designed health interventions and media campaigns with FDA Center for Tobacco Products, NIDA, CDC, SAMHSA and for rural, military, tribal, and LGBTQ+ audiences and is published in a variety of peer-reviewed, chronic disease prevention journals.