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2016 Presentations and Speakers

2016 ECS Coalition Retreat Sessions

Is That All There Is? The Prevention to Recovery Continuum Re-Imagined 

This session explores the evolution of a “purist” prevention agency as it developed beyond a strictly prevention only mission to encompass a community wide holistic approach to wellness. Using the “Prevention to Recovery” continuum as context, participants will be taken along the journey from “prevention as we know it” to a place where a re-imagined model of the continuum now operates creating high leverage opportunities for maximum growth and rapid change.  Through Strategic Planning, leveraging available grant opportunities and tactical mission growth, Morris County Prevention Is Key transformed itself from a “prevention services only” agency into a multi-faceted leader in the areas of Community-based Recovery Support, Relapse Prevention, Peer Training & Mobilization, D & A Prevention, Advocacy and Cross-Systems Collaboration.

Chris Goeke
Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Morris County Prevention is Key
Rockaway, NJ

Chris has served as the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of MCPIK since 2006 having been an entrepreneur for the previous twenty years of his career. His responsibilities include: developing and overseeing MCPIK’s strategic plan; planning for program services, staffing, physical resources, and funding; monitoring implementation of policies and procedures to assure programs and services are delivered effectively and efficiently; and establishing and maintaining working relationships with community groups, service providers, government offices, and the media. Chris also has extensive experience identifying and developing sustainability for agency initiatives as well as developing and launching significant agency projects as a social entrepreneur. In 2014 Chris launched the Center for Addiction Recovery, Education and Success, (CARES) as the first peer to peer Recovery Community Organization in Morris County and the flagship initiative into Peer Recovery Support Services. The CARES RCO model was replicated as a pilot in a second location in 2015. CARES has rapidly expanded its service offerings to include Telephone Recovery Support, Recovery Coaching, Sober Social Activities, Community Ambassadors Projects, Prisoner Diversion/ Re-entry Programs and a State level pilot project matching Peer Recovery Specialists with offenders leaving incarceration. CARES/MCPIK was selected by the Addiction Professionals Certification Board to develop and be the exclusive trainers of the new Certified Peer Recovery Specialist curriculum on a state wide basis. Chris is a Certified Prevention Specialist, trained as a CCAR Recovery Coach Academy Trainer of Trainers and CARES Certified Peer Recovery Specialist trainer. When not training, presenting, writing a grant or chasing down the next big idea for the agency, Chris can be found restoring his 115 year old Victorian home, standing hip deep in a favorite trout stream or enjoying his lake house in Pennsylvania with his wife Lorise and four rescue dogs.

Melody Runyon
Associate Director, Morris County Prevention is Key
Rockaway, NJ

Melody Runyon is the Associate Director of Morris County Prevention is Key (MCPIK).  She has 16 years of experience working in the prevention field with extensive experience in project planning, implementation and oversight of both evidence based programs and coalitions. She serves as part of the grant writing team at MCPIK and has successfully applied for over four million dollars in funding for prevention. This includes local, state and federal dollars. Ms. Runyon has a long history of working with Drug-Free Communities Support Program funded coalitions.  This includes two mentee coalitions who have been mentored to full DFC funding and who are currently in year 6-10 as well as mentoring two coalitions, one of which was funded and the other of which is in year two.  It was at her first DFC Applicant workshop that Melody “caught the prevention bug”  while listening to then DFC Director, Jack Claypoole, share the value and impact that coalitions can and do make in their community. Seeing prevention as a continuum Melody has broadened her scope of work to include addiction relapse prevention. After spending time researching best practice for recovery support services and recovery community organizations she provided the guidance and structure to opening of  CARES, the Center for Addiction Recovery and Success. Melody is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist in NJ.

Marijuana Round Table

Coalitions will share their experience with the process and impact of legalized marijuana in their community along with a group discussion of what has been found most effective way to prevent youth access and use. Riverhead Community Coalition will share the challenges of addressing the opening of a medical marijuana dispensary in their NY community and the steps they took to address it, how the community and media responded, the public hearing they attended, what worked and what recommendations they have for other organizations dealing with this issue.

Kelly Miloski
Project Coordinator, Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth
Riverhead, NY

Kelly Miloski has been the Project Coordinator of the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth since 2014. She grew up in Riverhead, New York and holds a Masters degree in Public Health focused in Health Services Administration. As part of her role as coordinator, she provides strong support for planning and implementing environmental strategies and has successfully increased engagement in all 12 sectors of the coalition. Kelly was instrumental in developing the Riverhead Youth Coalition. She is also a certified TIPS trainer and oversees a Life Skills Training program taught to 5th and 6th grade students. Some of her other accomplishments as coordinator involve working with the town to create safer alcohol use at local festivals and relocating a medical marijuana dispensary away from the town’s school district. Prior to her work with the coalition, she worked for other public health organizations, including the American Cancer Society and American Diabetes Association.


Felicia Scocozza
Executive Director, Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth
Riverhead, NY

Felicia Scocozza earned a Master of Social Work Degree in 1994 and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1991, with a major in psychology, both from Stony Brook University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She graduated from CADCA’s National Coalition Academy in 2015. She has worked as the Executive Director of Riverhead Community Awareness Program, Inc. (CAP) since 1999. Prior to that she worked in the fields of community mental health, both as a direct service provider and as an administrator. As Executive Director of Riverhead CAP, she provides oversight to the nonprofit community-based drug and alcohol prevention organization and supervises a staff of six, including three social workers that provide school-based prevention counseling and evidence-based programming, and two community prevention specialists that coordinate coalition initiatives, environmental strategies, and volunteer recruitment and training. In 2013 CAP applied for and received a Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program Grant on behalf of the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth, for which she also serves as the Program Director. She collaborates with school districts, local governments, stakeholders, other organizations and individuals in the Riverhead community, and utilizes these partnerships toward the sustainability of CAP and the coalition. She received the NYS OASAS Making A Difference Award in 2016, the Kiwanis of Greater Riverhead Star of the Community Award in 2015, and proclamations from the Riverhead Town Board (2004 and 2015) and the Suffolk County Legislature (2015). She is also a certified TIPS trainer and certified in Teen Intervene.


Holly Zweizig
Prevention Coordinator, Union County Drug Free Coalition
Union County, OH

Holly Zweizig has been the Project Coordinator of the Union County Drug Free Coalition since 2013 and has actively worked with the Coalition since it began in 2009. She has worked in the field of prevention since 1993 and has served as program coordinator and grant manager for several federally funded prevention programs at the state and local level. She served as coordinator for the first CSAP funded statewide coalition and developed the nationally recognized “Parents Who Host, Lose the Most” campaign. Holly provides oversight for prevention services in Union County as well as direct coordination of the Drug-Free Communities funded Coalition. Holly holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from The Ohio State University.

Beyond Substance Abuse Prevention: One Coalition’s Key to Sustainability

What makes a healthy community?  The Coalition for a Healthy Community – Oxford Area will share their work related to sustainability post Drug Free Communities funding.  A key factor in the success includes partnering with key community leaders to assess the public health needs beyond substance abuse prevention.  This presentation will highlight the process and engagement required to make this a reality.

Amy Macechko
Project Coordinator, Coalition for Healthy Community
Oxford, OH

Amy Macechko has been with the Coalition for a Healthy Community – Oxford Area for the past 10 years and has served as Project Coordinator since 2010. A former high school teacher, Amy serves as the Health & Wellness Coordinator for the Talawanda School District. In this capacity she oversees the prevention and health promotion initiatives for both students and staff within school district, engaging many community partners in this critical work. The partnership between Talawanda School District and the Coalition is one of the many that has been instrumental in the sustainability of the Coalition’s work in the Oxford Area. The community’s commitment to addressing the issues of substance abuse prevention, mental health, healthy eating and active living at the community level fuel her passion for this work.


Sharon Klein, RN, BSN
Director of Community and Employee Wellness, McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital
Oxford, OH

Sharon has worked at McCullough-Hyde for over 36 years.  During her tenure, she has held many roles, including:  Director of Emergency Department, Director of Ambulatory Care, and for the last 15 years, the Director of Community and Employee Wellness.  In 1995 MHMH formed an Employee Wellness Committee, which Sharon has been a member of and now chairs.  This committee was charged with developing MHMH’s first Employee Wellness Program, and assuring it continues to meet their Employee’s needs. She has been instrumental in helping the wellness programs grow over the last 16 years.  Sharon has been a member of the Coalition for a Healthy Community- Oxford Area Leadership team since 2001.  In 2014, the Obesity Reduction/Prevention Workgroup was formed, and Sharon has been the Chair of the workgroup since its inception.  The committee has received a Thriving Community Grant and launched a healthy living social marketing campaign. Sharon is active on many wellness initiatives in her community, the Talawanda School District’s Health Coordinating Council and a founding member of the Oxford Free Clinic. Sharon is a graduate of Miami University.

Cultural Humility vs. Cultural Sensitivity: Do You Know Me?

The approach of cultural humility goes beyond the concept of cultural competence to encourage individuals to identify their own biases and to acknowledge that those biases must be recognized.  Cultural competency implies that one can function with a thorough knowledge of the mores and beliefs of another culture; cultural humility acknowledges that it is impossible to be adequately knowledgeable about cultures other than one’s own.  Humility has traditionally connoted as a kind of meekness or humbleness, but it can also be used to “denote a willingness to accurately assess oneself and one’s limitations, the ability to acknowledge gaps in one’s knowledge, and an openness to new ideas, contradictory information, and advice.
This session will challenge our understanding of cultural competence and help move us toward cultural humility; enhancing our effectiveness while engaging the communities we serve.

Earl Greene, M.A., CAMS-1/Fellow
Community Development Specialist, Finger Lakes Prevention Resource Center
Rochester, NY

Earl Greene is a Community Development Specialist with Finger Lakes Prevention Resource Center in Rochester, NY; providing training and technical assistance to 19 coalitions in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York, covering 12 counties. Earl’s background include over 35 years of experience in community engagement and mobilization in both Rochester, NY and Boston, MA where he worked extensively in mental health, youth violence, gangs, youth leadership development, social justice and advocacy; cultural diversity and inclusion, and is the founder and director of the Family Life Center in Newark, NY, serving Wayne County, NY.

Earl is a certified facilitator for Racial Justice Work through the Interaction Institute for Social Change in Boston, MA, President of the Wayne Action for Racial Equality (W.A.R.E.) organization, and a Nationally Certified Anger Management Specialist/Fellow through the National Anger Management Association (NAMA).

He is also a Professional Mediator & Arbitrator with the Center for Dispute Settlement in Rochester, NY and a Guest Instructor for “Renewing the Mind;” through the Office of Mental Health Promotion at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and provides training in Cultural Competence, Cultural Humility, Anger Management, Conflict Resolution, Stress Reduction and more/


Jerry Bennett, B.A., CPP
Community Development Specialist, Finger Lakes Prevention Resource Center
Rochester, NY

Jerry Bennett received his B.A. degree in Sociology/Community Development at St John Fisher College, Rochester NY.  His work include: the VISTA Program as a volunteer and supervisor; working with migrants and seasonal farm-workers in upstate NY, Red Cross Youth Services director, safety instructor and trainer, volunteer and consultant.  He also serve at the Puerto Rican Youth Development as the Resource Development Director, Substance Abuse Prevention Educator, and now as a Community Development Specialist with the Finger Lakes Prevention Resource Center in Rochester, NY; and is a Credentialed Prevention Professional (CPP)

Jerry is married, has 3 adult children and 8 grandchildren.  His interests/hobbies are research, reading and presentations on ‘The Slave Experience and the Underground Railroad!’

Engaging and Mobilizing Youth for Policy Change

 In 2014 the Hemet Community Action Network coalition successfully help advocate for a smoke-free park ordinance in all city parks within the City of Hemet. This process was successful with the collaborative help of multiple sectors within the coalition, but was primarily motivated by the work of youth members. The session will outline the needs assessment component, the advocacy of nearly 65 teens, buy-in and support from Hemet’s City Council, and the framework needed to make this project a success.

Michael Ramirez
Hemet Unified School District
Hemet, California

Michael Ramirez serves as an Elementary Counselor in Hemet Unified School District. Previously Michael was the Director of the Hemet Community Action Network Coalition; part of his duties included the oversight of a Drug Free Communities grant and a California Tobacco Control Program CTCP Inequities grant, working with members of the community and local government to change the landscape of the community that promotes the use of underage alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. Michael obtained his Bachelors degree in Psychology from Washington State University and his Masters degree in Educational Counseling from Azusa Pacific.

Engaging Effective Evaluation Committees

This session will discuss practical ways to create a functional evaluation committee as well as highlight key steps and work that can be done by members increasing participation, ownership and reducing staff time.

A.S.A.P. developed an Evaluation Committee during their one year of DFC mentoring and has effectively implemented it during their first 2 years of DFC funding.  This panel discussion will cover how we use our Evaluation Committee and who is good fit to be a part of the committee.  Learn how the coalition staff, Evaluation Committee, and Evaluator work together to move the work of the coalition from data collection to developing strategies to completion.  Getting to outcomes faster becomes a reality when you engage your coalition members in the process.

Sandy Rayhons
Project Coordinator, Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention
Britt, IA

Sandy is the Project Coordinator at Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (A.S.A.P.) a county coalition in north central Iowa. Sandy has over 20 years of experience in the social work field working with children and families. Her career includes working as an In-home Family Therapist, Family Development Specialist and Program Coordinator for a state funded home visiting program serving a multi-county area. She has been in the field of prevention for five years, and is currently the Vice Chair of the Alliance of Coalitions for Change, a unified group of coalitions across the State of Iowa working together to further reduce the effects of substance abuse on Iowans and serves on the Hancock County Board of Health.  Since working with A.S.A.P. she led a successful effort to educate landlords in Hancock County on their rights when it comes to illegal drug activity.  She received her BA in Human Services from Buena Vista University and has her license in Social Work.


Karie Terhark
Director, Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention
Britt, IA

Karie is the Director for Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention.  A.S.A.P. is a community coalition serving all of Hancock County to reduce or prevent underage drinking and drug use.  Previously, Karie worked 10 years in the Human Resource field along with being a small business owner. She has also been a volunteer youth group director at her church for last 15 years.   She currently serves on the Executive Board for the State of Iowa coalition, AC4C, and the Hancock County Wellness Coalition.  Since coming to A.S.A.P. she has led a successful effort to educate parents on what is trending with marijuana, tobacco, and prescription drugs by creating a Hidden in Plain Sight bedroom that the coalition sets up at various school activities.  She is a graduate of West Hancock High School and Hamilton Business College. Karie, her husband, and two children reside in Britt.   Karie has a passion for working with youth and meeting new people.


Deacon Dzierzawski
President, Epiphany Community Services
Swanton, OH

Deacon, a name not a title. Dzierzawski President of ECS has been in the field of public health since 1991. He holds a degree in public health from Ohio University, where he was on the water ski team and a Masters from Lourdes University, where he learned all about the uses of different fonts to irritate professors. Deacon has been recognized as an expert in coalitions, public health and evaluation by many organizations including the National Institutes of Health, Community AntiDrug Coalitions of America and the State of Ohio. He is sought after for his humor, expertise and general good looks by those working in public health nationwide. His favorite poem is “A Man Said to the Universe” by Robert Crane, which guides his thoughts and interactions in his life. Deacon is a big fan of cured meat and cheeses.

Making Meetings Matter: Action Oriented Meetings

Meetings…the general consensus is that they go on forever and accomplish nothing.  Well, we have a few tips and suggestions to make them more engaging, move along quickly, and more productive.

Kelli Keck
Epiphany Community Services
Durham, NC

Kelli, yes with an i, Keck, Vice President of ECS, has worked in the nonprofit and public sectors for over 15 years. She received a BA from Duke University, while continuing to be a UNC fan, and attended the University of Colorado for her Master’s in Public Administration, where her skiing skills did not improve. Kelli has experience in the fields of education, health policy, and public health. She has managed both local and state level coalitions. On a day off Kelli might be found watching classic movies such as The Goonies or spending time with friends and family.  Kelli is known for her sarcastic wit, terse communication style, the ability to rein in her coworkers as they head down a bunny trail, overall nerdiness, and love of travel.

Community Collaboration

This session will discuss and highlight the work of how coalitions can bring multiple groups in the community together to collaborate on larger community wide issues beyond substance abuse.

Deacon Dzierzawski
President, Epiphany Community Services
Swanton, OH

Deacon, a name not a title. Dzierzawski President of ECS has been in the field of public health since 1991. He holds a degree in public health from Ohio University, where he was on the water ski team and a Masters from Lourdes University, where he learned all about the uses of different fonts to irritate professors. Deacon has been recognized as an expert in coalitions, public health and evaluation by many organizations including the National Institutes of Health, Community AntiDrug Coalitions of America and the State of Ohio. He is sought after for his humor, expertise and general good looks by those working in public health nationwide. His favorite poem is “A Man Said to the Universe” by Robert Crane, which guides his thoughts and interactions in his life. Deacon is a big fan of cured meat and cheeses.

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