North Carolina Substance Misuse Prevention Conference
Amie J. Begg, CSAC, ICADC
Amie Begg is a Lead Student Assistant Specialist for Caron Treatment Centers. Caron, a national leader in substance abuse treatment, provides a full spectrum of chemical dependency treatment programs for all those affected by the disease of addiction. Amie has worked in the field of addiction for over ten years. She currently is responsible for bringing prevention, education and intervention to schools, professionals and youth serving agencies in the North Carolina Region. www.caron.org
Mary Beth Cox, MPH, Substance Use Epidemiologist, NC Division of Public Health
Mary Beth Cox is a substance use epidemiologist with the North Carolina Division of Public Health. Since receiving her MPH in Epidemiology and Global Health, Mary Beth has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi and worked in communicable disease surveillance in New York and North Carolina. She joined the Injury and Violence Prevention Branch in January 2016 and currently serves on several state and national workgroups aiming to reduce alcohol and other drug morbidity and mortality.
Melissa J. Cox, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Education & Promotion, East Carolina University
Melissa Cox is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Education & Promotion at East Carolina University. As a lifelong advocate for adolescents, her work centers on contextual influences on the development of adolescent alcohol use. At the core of this research is exploring how the social and physical environment exerts risk and protective influences on youth drinking. Combining research and field-based experiences, the goal of this work is to inform public health policy and prevention programming to reduce the burdens and consequences of youth drinking. She received her BA in Sociology from Boston College, MPH in Health Education and Health Behavior from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and her PhD in Health Behavior from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill.
Fulton T. Crews, Ph.D., Director, Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry at UNC-Chapel Hill
As director of the UNC Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, Dr. Crews has investigated how chronic ethanol induces structural and functional changes in the brain associated with binge drinking. Dr. Crews discovered that heavy alcohol use damages cortical brain regions involved in impulse control and planning capabilities. He found genetic and age-related risk factors influence vulnerability to alcohol-induced brain damage. Dr. Crews was the first to discover that adult brain stem-progenetor cells are insulted by alcohol. Recently he discovered persistent brain neuroinflammatory gene induction secondary to systemic cytokines and identified reduced neurogenesis as factors in alcohol-related brain damage, difficulty with reversal learning tasks and inducing alcoholic depression- like behavior. Further, he discovered that recovery of brain function during abstinence from alcohol includes a regenerative process with many new neurons and other brain cells being formed during abstinence from alcohol.
Dr. Crews is among the few neuroscientists investigating the adolescent brain as a unique neurodevelopment period that has considerable risk for future alcoholism. He directs a research consortium, the Neurobiology of Adolescent Drinking in Adulthood (NADIA) that test the hypothesis that underage drinking leads to persistent changes in adult brain. His goal is to improve understanding and knowledge that promotes better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of addiction.
Under Dr. Crews’ leadership, the Bowles Center has become a leading center in research on the molecular mechanisms of alcohol pathology, and on the testing of new therapies.
Erin J. Day, B.S., B.A., Director of Wilson County Substance Prevention Coalition
Erin is the Director of the Wilson County Substance Prevention Coalition. She is the Co-Director of the North Carolina Lock Your Meds Campaign. She is also helping to lead her community’s work to address behavioral health disparities through the North Carolina Behavioral Health Disparity Initiative. She has worked with the Wilson County Coalition for 10 years in the prevention of substance use disorders among young people. She has received Coalition Academy training through Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, is a trained Recovery Coach, and has had training in racial equity and disparity issues through the Racial Equity Institute. Erin has a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. Religion & Philosophy from Barton College. She has lived in Wilson for 15 years, has a husband named Aaron, and two children, Audrey (5) & Axel (2 1/2).
Fabbiana Gutierrez, BA in International Studies and Dual Languages, Prevention Specialist and DFC Grant Coordinator
Fabbiana is Ecuadorian by birth but a proud Charlottean. Fabbiana Gutierrez has lived in Charlotte since 2005. She earned her BA in International Studies and BA in Dual Languages (Spanish/Chinese) from Queens University of Charlotte in 2015. She has always had a passion for empowering people, especially Latino youth, and has served the Charlotte community committedly to address the issues of the underserved. She currently works with as a Youth Coordinator for Alianza, where she will be guiding the Alianza Youth to creating drug-free positive change with-in Charlotte!
Zander Guy, Chairman, NC ABC Commission
ABC Commission Chairman Zander Guy leads the NC Initiative to Reduce Underage Drinking and directs Commission staff in implementation of the Initiative and the Talk it Out multi-media campaign. In March 2017, Chairman Guy was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper to serve as Chairman of the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. He previously had served on the ABC Commission from 2009 to 2013 and was Chairman from February 2012 to February 2013. Guy is a native North Carolinian who has always lived and worked in the southeastern part of the state. He attended Campbell University and is a graduate of the Realtors Institute. Chairman Guy is the former Mayor of the Town of Surf City and is a member of the Cape Fear Community College Board of Trustees. He previously served on the N.C. Banking Commission under Governors Hunt, Martin, Easley and Perdue. He is past President of the Neuse River Council of Governments, past member of the Local Government Advocacy Council, and former Mayor and Councilman of the City of Jacksonville. For more than 25 years he held elected office in municipal government. In 2011, he sold his real estate company and retired after 41 years in the business. Chairman Guy is married to Sabrina M. Guy. They have three children and three grandchildren.
Colleen Hughes, CPS, Synar Coordinator, Behavioral Health Wellness Consultant
Colleen Hughes is a Certified Substance Abuse Prevention Consultant employed by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Service as the Synar Coordinator and Behavioral Health Wellness Consultant in the Office of Behavioral Health Wellness. She has been working in the field of prevention for the last 10 years; coming from North Carolina where she worked for Partnership for a Drug Free NC as a Prevention Program Manager and Center for Prevention Resources Consultant. She has been involved with developing, implementing, and evaluating programs, practices, and strategies for youth, adults, and communities. As part of her roll of Synar Coordinator with the Office of Behavioral Health Wellness, Colleen has made the prevention of youth retail access to tobacco products a priority. She has renewed the state’s merchant education initiative and has launched a state-wide retailer verification project which includes individual store audits that will help shape the retail environments of the communities across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Susan Jakes, Ph.D., Associate State Program Leader, Community and Rural Development, NC State Extension
Susan Jakes, Ph.D., is the Associate State Program Leader for Community and Rural Development for NC State Extension. She specializes in program design to promote systems and community change, particularly in the areas of community engagement, strategies to find innovative solutions, economic development, diversity, leadership, local food, and collaboration. Susan believes that communities have the capacity to solve today’s complex community issues, and that education, leadership, and inclusion are the keys to putting that capacity to work. Susan received a B.S. in Psychology and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Community Psychology. When not partnering with communities as they articulate and develop their strength and vitality, you will find Susan on a horse or hiking, or along with her husband, juggling the activities of their 2 high school children.
Robin Knapp, Special Agent/Supervisory Special Agent, NCIS (Retired)
Robin Knapp is a retired Special Agent/Supervisory Special Agent for NCIS, having spent 25 years with NCIS with his prominent field being an undercover narcotics agent. Mr. Knapp worked for over 20 years in Eastern North Carolina, being stationed at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in Jacksonville, NC. Mr. Knapp is a current Onslow County Commissioner, and has been instrumental in securing the re-opening of a detox facility in Onslow County, which is scheduled to occur August 2018. Mr. Knapp is married to Kelli Knapp, a Certified Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist and Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist Associate.
Joshua Main, Coastal Horizons Center IFPS Supervisor
Joshua Main has been working with at risk youth and supporting families for the past 17 years. Working with mental health services in homes, PRTF’s and in Wilderness settings. Josh is one of five trainers in NC for the National Alliance of Children’s Trust & Prevention teaching The Protective Factors Framework. He currently a supervisor for the Intensive Family Preservation Services grant covering 9 counties in NC
Jim Martin, MS, Director of Policy and Programs, N.C. Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch, N.C. Division of Public Health, Chronic Disease and Injury Section, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Jim D. Martin, M.S., is Director of Policy and Programs with the NC Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch (TPCB), Division of Public Health, NC Department of Health and Human Services. Jim’s major responsibilities include providing statewide leadership and expertise on tobacco use prevention and control policy and programmatic solutions. Prior to his current position, (1992-2000) Jim served as Field Director for Policy and Programs with Project ASSIST, now known as the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch. Jim also served as Governor James B. Hunt’s Advisor on teen tobacco use prevention. Prior to Project ASSIST, Jim served as a staff member with the National Cancer Institute’s COMMIT Project in Raleigh, NC–a comprehensive community-based research trial to reduce and prevent tobacco use. Jim has published several articles on tobacco use prevention and control and he has conducted numerous local, state, and national level presentations on policies and programs to prevent and reduce tobacco use. He has also served on multiple national committees including the ASSIST National Strategic Planning Subcommittee and the Tobacco Control Network. Jim is a native of Virginia. Jim received his Master’s (1986) and Bachelor’s degrees (1984) in Community Health Education from Virginia Tech. He worked as a Director of Worksite Health Promotion with the Virginia Department of Health, Mount Rogers Health District from 1986 – 1989, before relocating to North Carolina.
Terri Moy, M.S., TTA Center Manager, Drug Free NC
Melinda Pankratz, Ph.D., M.P.H., Senior Research Associate, Wake Forest School of Medicine
Melinda Pankratz, Ph.D., M.P.H., Senior Research Associate, Wake Forest School of Medicine, has 20 years experience in substance use prevention research, evaluation, and practice. This work has focused on increasing state substance use prevention system capacity, developing and testing methods to improve the quality with which prevention interventions were implemented, and measuring the implementation of prevention interventions. Dr. Pankratz., has presented to international, national, state, and local audiences on her research and evaluation, as both a peer reviewed researcher and invited speaker.
Melissa Radcliff, Program Director, Our Children’s Place of Coastal Horizons Center
Melissa Radcliff has been with Our Children’s Place of Coastal Horizons Center based in Wilmington, NC since February 2007. Our Children’s Place is a statewide education and advocacy program focused on children of incarcerated parents. Prior to that she was the Executive Director and a founding staff member of the Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County (now the Compass Center for Women and Families), the local domestic violence agency serving Orange County, NC. She has worked in the area of victim services since the 1990s at a domestic violence agency, rape crisis center, prosecutor’s office, and police department in Rhode Island, Arizona, and North Carolina. She serves as chair of the Pre-Release Committee for the Orange Correctional Center, a minimum security men’s prison facility located in Hillsborough, NC.
Ronda Sanders, MHA, Director of Tobacco Prevention and Synar Program Manager, Division of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Substance Abuse Services
Ronda Sanders, MHA is the Synar Program Manager and Director of Tobacco Prevention with the Division of Mental Health. She manages North Carolina federal Food and Drug Administration Tobacco Inspection Program and the Synar program. Ronda has seventeen years public health, public policy and state and local government management experience.