Hotel Reservations

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Richmond - Midlothian

to reserve your room

*A block of rooms has been reserved for August 25, 2019 - August 27, 2019. The special room rate of $94/night will be available until August 6th or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first.

1021 Koger Center Boulevard Richmond, Virginia  23235
Phone Number:






MONDAY • AUGUST 26, 2019

7:30am: Registration

7:30-8:30am: All Recovery Meeting

7:30-8:45am: Breakfast

9:00-9:30am: Welcome Remarks
Program Overview: Jan Brown, Executive Director & Founder, SpiritWorks Foundation, with Centers in Williamsburg & Warrenton, Virginia & Mark Blackwell, Director, Office of Recovery Services, DBHDS

9:30-10:45am: Workshops/Film

  • Not My Child: A documentary film featuring conversation with parents who share their personal experiences and knowledge to help support other parents and families. This film explores the disease of addiction and the different paths to recovery.

  • Professionalism & Ethics for Peer Recovery Support Specialists: Mandated Reporters and other topics, Mary McQuown, MA, CPRS, Peer Recovery Specialist Liaison, Office of Recovery Services, DBHDS.

  • Hot Topics: Recovery Housing, David Rook, True Recovery RVA

10:45-11:15am: Break

11:15am-12:30pm: Speaker
Ben Shaw, MA, PMP – Regional Director, Virginia Veteran & Family Support Program, Virginia Department of Veteran Services 

12:30-1:30pm: Lunch & Speaker
Becky Sterling, CPRS, former Director, Office of Recovery Services, DBHDS

1:30-2:00pm: Speaker
John Shinholser President & Founder, McShin Foundation, Recovery for All, Tragedies & Hope

2:00-3:00pm: Workshops/Film

  • Advocacy Forum: Kathy Harkey, Executive Director, SAARA of Virginia, Moderator

  • Re-Entry Employment- Rick Gilbert, Team Leader. Community Employment Recovery Project (CERP), Peer Recovery Services, Middle Peninsula Northern Neck CSB

  • Multiple Pathways to/of Recovery, Jan M. Brown, Executive Director & Founder, SpiritWorks Foundation

  • Film: Heroine – a documentary film that tracks three women: a fire chief, a judge and a missionary, who battle West Virginia's opioid epidemic.

3:00-3:30pm: Break

3:30-5:00pm: Workshops/Film

  • Tools that Should be In Your Toolbox: CPR & First Aid: Robyn Olivo; NARCAN: Alexandria Robinson, REVIVE

  • Hot Topics – Harm Reduction-Lawson Koeppel, Executive Director, Virginia Harm Reduction

  • Recovery Boys a documentary film that tells the story of four young men, in a region ravaged by opioid abuse, who forge a bond in a farming-based treatment center as they try to reinvent their lives after years of addiction.

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

7:00pm: An Evening with Comedian Mark Lundholm




7:30am: Registration

7:30-8:30am: All Recovery Meeting

7:30-8:45am: Continental Breakfast

9:00-10:45am: Let’s Talk Recovery in VA
Moderator: Holly Mortlock, Policy Director, DBHDS. Discussions around Criminal Justice, Employment and Other Topics. 

10:30–11:00am: Break

11:00am-12:00pm: Q & A
Where Do We Go From Here & Wrap 

Noon Conference Dismissed

12:00-1:00pm: Buffet Style Lunch
For those participating in the Professionalism for Recovery Coaches training

Parlor E

1:00-5:00pm: Post-Conference CCAR Professionalism Training: Complete Professionalism Training (separate ticket required)

Parlor E


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the RECON2019 Conference?

Our goal is to share recovery, with as many people as possible.  We will explore and celebrate all facets of recovery from drugs, alcohol, and other addictions. We will do this with the help of amazing keynote speakers, workshops, panels, films and networking opportunities.  

When is the Conference? 

The first ever, ALL Virginia recovery conference will be held Monday, August 26 to Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel & Conference Center in Richmond (Midlothian), Virginia. Register and reserve your room NOW. 

Who is the organizer of the conference?

SpiritWorks is proud to host RECON2019!  We are grateful to the Virginia Department of Behavioral and  Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) for their sponsorship of this first ever Commonwealth-wide recovery summit. SpiritWorks Foundation Center for the Soul is a Recovery Community Organization (RCO) based in Williamsburg, VA. Founded in 2005, SpiritWorks is a pioneer in a growing field of peer led addiction recovery and wellness organizations.  SpiritWorks Foundation is comprised of, and led primarily by, people who live in recovery from addiction. We deliver peer to peer programs and services for children, youth, and adults living in recovery from the disease of addiction. Our programs and services build resilience in children, inspire youth to live drug free, and support, educate and empower adults who live in recovery.  We believe that recovery from alcohol and other substance use disorders is possible and can be attained by a variety of pathways. We deal in HOPE!  Our advocacy, education, spiritual and service efforts are designed to support those in recovery and to chip away at the discrimination and stigma surrounding addiction and recovery. 

Who should attend the conference?

EVERYONE!  Recoverees, allies, healthcare providers, treatment professionals, insurance providers, friends, family,  and anyone who's involved in the recovery community will find this to be an invaluable and inspiring experience.

Can we co-sponsor this event or sponsor a portion of the event?

Absolutely.  We would love to work with you!  There are sponsorship opportunities at various levels including opportunities to sponsor a meal, a segment of the conference such as the town hall or the evening comedy  show!  If you would like more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Lynn Smyth,  We look forward to hearing from you!

Is there a scholarship or
discount available for
attendee registration?

Scholarships will be available for this conference. Please contact Lynn Smyth if you would like to apply, There are a limited number of scholarships available.  

Will there be vendor space available at RECON2019?

YES!  There will be an Exhibit Hall and we hope you will book at space!  Applications for vendor space are coming soon to the RECON2019 page. Space will be limited and may be purchased at a fee of $75 per space for non-profit organizations and  $100 per space for for profit organizations. 

Can I pass out handouts
at the conference? 

No handing out of anything—including flyers, stickers, cards, or any promotional item—is allowed in any area inside or outside except from within a vendor booth or Sponsor table in the Exhibit Hall or when pre-approved for placement on the Freebie Table in the information booth.

Can I take pictures & video
during the conference?

Please do!  The only exception would be if a presenter states that they would not like to be filmed or photographed.  We ask that you respect those requests.

I'm driving to the conference. Is there a fee for parking?

No. The Doubletree Hilton Conference Center offers free onsite parking spaces.  In the event conference parking fills up, there is additional parking available within walking distance.

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Tom Bannard
CADC I MBA I Program Coordinator,
Rams for Recovery, Virginia Commonwealth University

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

Mark Blackwell
CPRS I PRS I ICPR I MSA I Director of Office, Recovery Services of Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services

Over 20 years of experience in the behavioral healthcare field in various leadership positions to includes in profit and nonprofit sectors; representing providers and payors. Areas of specialization are business development, marketing, provider network development/relations, non-profit leadership, and contracting (including managed care). Mark has become a leading advocate in mental health and addiction recovery, seeking to promote the use of individuals with lived experience and recovery oriented services as a pathway to health and wellness. Mark currently serves as Director of Office of Recovery Services of Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services having served most recently as Director of Consumer and Family Affairs for Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board. Mark has a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University in Public Administration and an advanced graduate degree in Health Services and Masters in Administration from Central Michigan University.  

Jan M Brown
Founding & Executive Director
SpiritWorks Foundation

The Rev. Jan M. Brown is the Founding/Executive Director of SpiritWorks Foundation Center for the Soul. Jan is a person in longterm recovery from addiction meaning she has not used drugs or alcohol or drugs since January 1, 1987. She is an ordained Deacon in the Episcopal Church, presently serving at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Psychology. Jan received her Master of Addiction Science Degree in 2018 through a specialized program with King’s College in London, the University of Adelaide and Virginia Commonwealth University. Jan is also an Addictions Educator, a sought-after speaker on topics of recovery-oriented systems of care, recovery support services and recovery management. Jan serves as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Face and Voices of Recovery, Recovery Consultant on SAMSHA States Targeted Response (STR) Technical Assistance Center Team, Consensus Panel member for the SAMSHA TIP - Peer Recovery Support Specialists and co-chair of the Addiction and Recovery Commission for the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Jan is a certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist and a Recovery Coach Professional.

James Easley

James came to the Community Employment Recovery Project as a recruit referred by one of their probation districts.  Having completed CPRS training and Heroin Addiction Recovery Program (HARP) while incarcerated, Jayme was given the upfront option of a regular job and paycheck or beginning the lengthy process of coming to work with us in Recovery Services.  He chose the latter and is collecting his CPRS hours, attending trainings, and working part time at the Community Employment Recovery Project. His secure environment experience is very relevant to what they do.

Jim Freund

Rick Gilbert

Rick Gilbert was hired as a peer but put to work in the SA Department where he did groups for forensic populations for 7 years and worked closely with District 33 in Warsaw.  Having found a few people jobs along the way, when the Community Employment Recovery Project came along, he wrote the grant and has run things.  Rick has a strong sales and sales management background.  He is also in long term recovery, has a history of encounters with the legal system and got sober while incarcerated in 2008.

Kathy Harkey
Executive Director, SAARA of Virginia

Kathy Harkey is the Executive Director of SAARA of Virginia. Prior to joining SAARA, Mrs. Harkey served as the Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness of Central Virginia (NAMI-CVA). Mrs. Harkey has served as a board director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Virginia, board President of NAMI Central Virginia, and President of the Hanover Community Support Services Board. Mrs. Harkey is a Family-to-Family education trainer, Advocacy trainer, Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trainer, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST) trainer, and a Mental Health First Aid Youth trainer. Mrs. Harkey holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and undergraduate degrees’ in Psychology and Multidisciplinary Studies with business management and education cognates. Mrs. Harkey has a certificate in non-profit management from Duke University and completed an extensive internship in biogenetic research at Virginia Commonwealth University. Mrs. Harkey is the recipient of several awards including the CIT International advocate award. 

Amanda Head

Amanda Head ran her own medium size business for 25 years.  She has a lot of real-world experience with administrative challenges and identifies easily with other business owners.  If Community Employment Recovery Project had provided her more recruits, she would have placed most of them.  With her own substantial experience in the correctional system, she understands a lot about criminal thinking and is good at cutting straight to the chase. Because she has known most of the business community for years and they know she is in recovery, Amanda is a great role model for recovery in her community and people are happy to help her.

Honesty Brackett Liller
CRPS I CEO, McShin Foundation

Honesty is a woman in long-term recovery from a Substance Use Disorder since May 27, 2007. Honesty’s mission as CEO is firmly rooted in community outreach and involvement. She works tirelessly in the community to help individuals and families heal from addiction. She campaigns for individuals with SUDs to put the shame and pain of addiction behind them.

Patty McCarthy Metcalf
MS I Executive Director, Face & Voices of Recovery

Prior to joining Faces & Voices, a national recovery advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, she was a senior associate with the Center for Social Innovation (C4), where she served as a deputy director of SAMHSA’s BRSS TACS initiative.  Patty served for a decade as the director of Friends of Recovery-Vermont (FOR-VT), a statewide recovery community organization conducting training,  advocacy and public awareness activities.  In addition to public policy and education, her work has focused on community mobilizing, peer-based recovery support services, and peer workforce development and was instrumental in the development of a national accreditation standards for peer recovery support service providers. She holds a master’s degree in community counseling and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and has been in long-term recovery from alcohol and drug addiction since 1989.

Mary McQuon
CPRS I MA I Peer Recovery Specialist Liaison, Office of Recovery Services, DBHDS

Mary J. McQuown has over 20 years of experience in the behavioral health field.  Mary lives with mental health challenges and spent a decade as a Virginia behavioral health advocate at the local and state level. She has seven years of experience training and supervising peer providers.  Mary has a Master of Arts in Management and is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist.  As the Peer Recovery Specialist Liaison in the Office of Recovery Services, DBHDS, Mary works to increase the peer workforce in Virginia.  In her free time, Mary enjoys reading, crafts and camping.

Holly Mortlock
MSE I Policy Director, Office of Policy and Public Affairs

Holly Mortlock, MSE is the Policy Director in the Office of Policy and Public Affairs at DBHDS. She has extensive policy, legislative, and educational experience with expertise in comprehensive health policy, state legislative processes, and secondary education classroom settings.   She is a member of the DBHDS legislative team and provides strategic policy guidance on key behavioral health priorities.  Prior to joining DBHDS, she served as the Legislative Liaison for the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner, and served as a Policy Analyst for the Washington State Legislature Health Care and Wellness Committee and the Early Learning and Human Services Committee. She has also taught middle school and high school social studies in Washington state and Hawaii.

Robyn Olivio

Robyn Olivo, PRS. For over 16 years, Ms. Olivo has taught CPR & First Aid and she also trains peer. Recovery specialists. She is a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Facilitator. She currently works at Emergency Service in Fairfax as a Peer Recovery Specialist while working on her Master’s in Counseling. Originally from New York, Ms Olivio is the mother of 3 children and grandmother of 6.

Gerald Powell

Gerald Powell came to Community Employment Recovery Project as a recruit and referral from another probation district.  Gerald’s recovery story includes 30 years in prison but, because of his commitment to personal growth, it wasn’t difficult to find him a job. He already has several other irons in the fire and his courage and gratitude are infectious. Gerald is taking CPRS training this fall and Community Employment Recovery Project will be fortunate to hire him in the near future.  He expands their ability to meet people where they are and are excited to see what Gerald does in his new life...if we can get him.

Alexandra Robinson

David Rook
Director, True Recovery RVA

Through his personal and professional experience, David Rook has built an extensive knowledge of recovery, which he finds passion in passing on to others. David served as the Director of Operations of the McShin Foundation for four years, creating a name for himself in the recovery community.  He is a court advocate, peer recovery coach, family liaison and advisor, DBHDS Peer Recovery Specialist trainer of trainers, and presence in the political community and a presence in the political community.  David has served as President of the board of directors of the Virginia Association of Recovery Residences.  He has helped build VARR in the local area and worked with other groups, and state agencies to ensure the standard of living for people in recovery homes meet the national best practices. David believes the quality of recovery housing is a crucial aspect in the success of individual seeking recovery. 

Ben Shaw

After enlisting in 2003, Ben Shaw served two tours in Iraq as an infantry Marine, participating in hundreds of combat missions in the “Sunni Triangle,” and a third tour as a foreign weapons instructor under Multi-National Forces West - Advanced Infantry Training Center. He is a combat veteran. After his service, Shaw spent time embedded with US Army troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a civilian combat journalist and photographer. Currently Regional Director (Central Region), Shaw has worked for VVFS since 2010, holds an MA in Management and is currently pursuing a masters in public policy.

John Shinholser
President, The McShin Foundation

John Shinholser serves as the President of The McShin Foundation, which was founded in 2004 and named for its two recovering co-founders, John Shinholser and Carol McDaid. Shinholser and McDaid have dedicated their lives to helping individuals and families in or seeking recovery from the disease of addiction. The McShin Foundation operates on the founders’ belief that by helping others find and sustain recovery, they can better sustain their own recovery. John has been in long-term recovery since 1982. John is a United States Marine Corps veteran. He owned and managed a successful contracting business for over 30 years, during which time he served as President of the Richmond Chapter of the Painting and Decorating Contractors Association and was twice recognized as a national award winning Original Design Faux Finisher. John served as President of SAARA of Central Virginia Affiliate and is a former board member of SAARA of Virginia. Shinholser also served as Chairman of the board of Rubicon, Inc (2012-2014).

Becky Sterling

Becky Sterling is a Virginia Commonwealth University graduate, whose career has spanned work as a recreational therapist, a nursing home administrator, and a qualified mental health provider.  She has over 14 years of leadership experience in recovery under the Mental Health Services Act, having been the founding leader of the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck’s Consumer Operated Program that employed 16 peer specialists, had a supported employment program, and initiated a Peer Run Resource Center. Mrs. Sterling served as the initial Director of the Office of Recovery Services with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.  While there she served as managing Editor for the Peer Recovery Specialist training manual and was a pivotal voice in achieving Medicaid funding for Peer Recovery Services. She is a past President of the State’s Behavioral Health Planning Council, a past board member of VOCAL Virginia, and was one of the first four Advance Level WRAP Facilitator Trainers in Virginia. MS. Sterling uses her own recovery story as she expresses her passion for helping others find their hope, voice and strength.

Emily Westerholm
CSAC I Program Coordinator, Comprehensive Harm Reduction/Needle Exchange Program at the Health Brigade

Emily Westerholm is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor and the Program Coordinator for the Comprehensive Harm Reduction /Needle Exchange Program at the Health Brigade. Since 2001 Emily has been providing direct support and program management for individuals experiencing substance use disorders, incarceration, and homelessness. She utilizes strengths based counseling techniques and harm reduction principles to empower the individuals she serves.