North Carolina Substance Abuse Prevention Conference

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Speaker Biographies


Stephen Ashton, Vice President, WRTCA; Education Director, Cameron Boys Camp
Stephen has had the honor of learning directly from the founding practitioners of Transformational Wilderness Camping Programs.  For the past 15 years he has worked directly with boys, girls and families in crisis.  He assisted in founding Camp Duncan for Girls in 2011, and was the Director of Cameron Boys Camp from 2012-2017.  Presently he is developing a GAP program utilizing apprenticeships and experiential college credits to help at-risk high school graduates transition successfully into meaningful careers.

Thomas Bashore, Chief of Police, Town of Nashville
Tom Bashore is the Chief of Police for the Town of Nashville Police Department. He has over 19 years of civilian law enforcement experience and 24 years of military police experience. Chief Bashore holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Western Carolina University and a Master’s degree in Leadership from Bellevue University in Nebraska. Chief Bashore started the HOPE Initiative in February 2016 and has helped over 115 individuals with substance use disorder start their recovery.

Randolph Cloud, President, Randolph Cloud and Associates
Randolph Cloud is President of Randolph Cloud and Associates, a firm with over 32 years of advocacy, government affairs and not-for-profit-management experience. Since its founding the firm has assisted hundreds of organizations, businesses and individuals attentive to public policy issues in North Carolina and Washington, DC. Randolph Cloud is a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina. He has a baccalaureate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from East Carolina University.  He is a former member of the Raleigh Appearance Commission, the administrative board of Hayes Barton United Methodist Church and vice-president of the Raleigh Host Lions Club.  He was appointed by the Governor to the Commission on Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse and by the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives to the Mental Health Study Commission.  He has served on the board of directors for The Tammy Lynn Center, The Triangle Educational Advancement Foundation, The Common Sense Foundation, SouthLight, Incorporated and the National Students of AMF.

Milton Creagh
Milton Creagh has been considered the premier motivational speaker for parents, teachers and teens, pre-teens and college students over the last 2 decades, having spoken live to over 8 million AMERICANS. Additionally, Mr. Creagh has  delivered over 25 years of Diversity and Inclusion training to organizations as diverse as the US Department of Energy,BellSouth,  UAW, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing, the Central Intelligence Agency and numerous other corporations, universities,elementary, Junior and Senior High School students and faculties, in the US and abroad. Mr. Creagh was the lead subject matter expert featured in the MTI/Coronet Film’s  features, 1)“Prejudice: Dividing The Dream” and 2) “Diversity In The USA”.

Erin J. Day, Director of the Wilson County Substance Abuse Coalition
Erin Day has been the director of the Wilson County Substance Abuse Coalition for 9 years.  She has been working with her community to reduce prescription medication misuse and underage alcohol consumption during her time as Director.  She is trained in the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Academy and was one of the members of the first North Carolina Coalition Initiative in 2008.  Erin lives in Wilson with her husband, also Aaron, two children, Audrey (4) and Axel (1 ½), dog, and cat.  She enjoys running and lots of strong coffee.

Karen De La O Medina, BSPH, DFC Grant Coordinator, Center for Prevention Services
Karen de la O Medina is the Drug Free Communities Grant and Alianza Coalition Coordinator at Center for Prevention Services. The Alianza coalition is the first Latino – serving coalition that focuses on preventing drug use in Mecklenburg County youth. She is a graduate from the UNC Charlotte Public Health program and has worked serving various different communities, including youth and Latinos. Valuing highly the power of prevention, Karen has worked as a Health Educator for the YMCA and in the Office of Policy and Prevention of the Mecklenburg County Health Department. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and has lived in North Carolina since 2006.

Pamela S. Erickson, President/CEO Public Action Management & former Director, Oregon Liquor Control Commission

Ms. Erickson is passionate leader on alcohol issues.  Currently, she owns Public Action Management, a Nevada small business, and operates an education campaign for a “Healthy Alcohol Marketplace.”  From 1996 to 2003, she directed the Oregon Liquor Control Commission where she transformed an antiquated bureaucracy into a high performing, results oriented organization.  In 2003, she joined Oregon Partnership to direct leadership and media campaigns to reduce underage drinking.  She has authored many publications that help explain how complicated alcohol regulations foster public health and safety. 

Deeanna Hale-Holland, MA, CSAPC
Deeanna has a Master’s degree in Human Services Leadership Development and is a Certified Substance Abuse Prevention Consultant (CSAPC).  She has served on various advisory boards and coalitions at the state and local level to develop strategic prevention plans for quality improvement.  Deeanna is the former Secretary of the North Carolina Substance Abuse Prevention Providers Association (NCSAPPA) Board of Directors and current Secretary of the Addiction Professionals of North Carolina (APNC) Board of Directors.   She facilitates community mobilization and policy advocacy involving alcohol, tobacco and prescription drug misuse prevention.  Deeanna has experience providing technical assistance and training on evidence based programs, practices and policies for substance misuse prevention through the North Carolina Centers for Prevention Resources (NCCPRs) and is the Director of Prevention Services at Coastal Horizons Center, Inc. 

Nancy Hans, Community Coalitions of Virginia (CCoVA) Chair and Executive Director of Prevention Council of Roanoke
Nancy is one of the founding members of the Community Coalitions of VA which has been in existence since June 2008 and she currently serves as the Chair/President. She also serves as Executive Director of Prevention Council of Roanoke. Nancy guided the council through the second phase of the DFC in 2008 and was instrumental in securing the National Coalition of Excellence “Got Outcomes!” award 2010 from CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America). In her free time, Nancy enjoys traveling and is usually found somewhere completing triathlons, her favorite pastime, completing 40 to date including her first full Ironman 140.6 miles in October 2013.

Kristen Harper, M.Ed., Executive Director, Recovery Communities of North Carolina
Kristen Harper is the Executive Director of Recovery Communities of North Carolina. Formerly, Ms. Harper was Executive Director of the Association of Recovery Schools (ARS), a national nonprofit devoted to the creation and sustainability of recovery high schools. Kristen has worked extensively at the national level to advocate for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and has recently been appointed to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services National Advisory Council. Before joining ARS, Kristen was the Collegiate Recovery Community Replication Coordinator for the Texas Tech University’s Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery from 2011-2013. As a person living in long-term recovery, Kristen has dedicated her life to helping others access recovery support services, locally, nationally and internationally.

Luke Marcum, BA Criminal Justice, DRE/SFST Instructor, Crash Reconstructionist
Luke Marcum is a veteran NC Law Enforcement Officer with nearly 20 years of service. He currently serves at the Elizabeth City Police Department and is part of the Administrative Services Command Staff. During his career, Luke’s primary interest has been on Impaired Driving Enforcement, Crash Investigation and Substance Abuse Awareness and Prevention. Luke has been a certified law enforcement instructor for 15 years and has more than five thousand classroom lecture hours. Luke has been called to speak at numerous conferences across the state and country and has served as an expert witness in criminal and civil courts in multiple counties across North Carolina.

Jessica Montana, MPH, CHES
Jessica Montana is currently Latino Program Manager at Center for Prevention Services, overseeing the Latino Program Department and the Alianza Latino Drug Free Coalition, which currently holds grants from the Mecklenburg County ABC Board and Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program.  These grants allow the coalition to provide outreach, education and community-wide prevention initiatives for the Latino community in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County.  Jessica has experience implementing policy, systems and environmental level initiatives through her work with the CDC-funded Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant, as well as public health research experience from her work with the NIH-funded Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP).  Jessica received her Master of Public Health in Community Health Education from the CUNY School of Public Health in New York City and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). She is bilingual in English and Spanish, has a strong belief in the importance and power of prevention, and has lived in Charlotte, NC since 2014.

Henry “Hank” Raper, Town Manager, Town of Nashville
Henry “Hank” Raper is the Town Manager for the Town of Nashville. Raper holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Bachelor of Science in Social Science History from Campbell University. He also holds a Master of Public Administration from North Carolina State University and a Juris Doctor from the Campbell University School of Law. He is a licensed North Carolina attorney. Raper has been the Town Manager for the Town of Nashville since October 2015 and proposed the creation of the HOPE Initiative.

Diane Riibe, BBL, Chairperson, U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance
Diane serves as the chairperson for the U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance, a nonprofit whose mission is to translate alcohol policy research into public health practice. She served for nearly 20 years as the executive director for a statewide nonprofit, Project Extra Mile, in Nebraska that worked to prevent underage drinking and youth access to alcohol. Diane has provided training and technical assistance to communities across the country. She has spoken at global, national and state conferences as well as serving on the EU/US Civil Society Dialogue on Underage Drinking.

Kevin Sabet, President, SAM
Author, consultant, former advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations, and assistant professor, Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., has researched and implemented drug policy for 20 years. In 2011 he stepped down as senior advisor in President Obama’s drug policy office, having been the only drug policy staffer to have ever served as a political appointee in a Democrat and Republican administration. He has been featured in virtually every major media publication and news channel on the subject of drug policy and in 2013 published his first book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana, (Beaufort). He is the co-founder, with former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, and President of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), which advocates for a public health based marijuana policy, and the Director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida.

Alba Sanchez, CSAPC, Stakeholder Engagement & Diversity Services Coordinator, Alcohol Drug Education Traffic School (ADETS) State Instructor
Ms. Alba Sanchez is originally from Costa Rica. She called NC State home since December 2001. She has an associate in Rural Education at the Universidad National the CR (UNA). She is certified as Certificated Substance Abuse Prevention Consultant (CSAPC) and Alcohol Education Traffic School Instructor (ADTES). She currently is the Stakeholder Engagement & Diversity Services Coordinator at InnerVision, Charlotte NC, a Human service organization that specializes in providing comprehensive recovery orientated resources, services and supports for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. She volunteers with organizations such as Hispanic Voter Coalition, Latino American Coalition, Centro Camino, and Enlace Council of Charlotte. She dedicated special time to participate with organizations that embrace minority inclusion and development initiatives to improve community integration. 

Josh Stein, NC Attorney General
Josh Stein was sworn in as North Carolina’s 50th Attorney General on January 1, 2017. Stein is focused on protecting North Carolina families from crime and consumer fraud.  Prior to being elected Attorney General, Stein served as a state Senator and as a Senior Deputy Attorney General in the North Carolina Department of Justice. In the State Senate, Stein successfully led efforts to put more violent criminals behind bars and keep innocent people out of prison by expanding the state’s DNA database. Stein wrote the School Safety Act and worked to ban stalking using GPS tracking devices. While in the state Senate, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the AARP of North Carolina each named him legislator of the year and his Republican and Democratic colleagues elected him as the most effective Democratic senator. As Senior Deputy Attorney General, Stein worked to protect kids from online sexual predators and to help run the payday lenders charging loan shark interest rates on working families out of the state.  Stein is a graduate of Dartmouth College and earned law and public policy degrees from Harvard University.

Regina Whitsett, Community Coalitions of Virginia (CCoVA) former Vice Chair and Executive Director of Substance Abuse Free Environment, Inc. (SAFE)
Regina Whitsett is the Executive Director of Substance Abuse Free Environment, Inc. (SAFE). During Mrs. Whitsett’s two decades as a substance abuse prevention specialist, she has gained expertise on the adverse effects of drugs on youth, families, public health and safety. Mrs. Whitsett joined SAFE as coordinator of the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant to reduce alcohol related crashes among 18-24 year olds in Chesterfield County. Prior to leading SAFE, Mrs. Whitsett was the chair of the national and state award winning Alcohol and Aging Awareness Group (AAAG) and vice-chair of Community Coalitions of Virginia (CCoVA) in her 5 year position as an Education Coordinator with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Mrs. Whitsett is married, has 5 children, 4 grandchildren and is a huge Florida Gator fan.

Abby Wilson, MHA, Positive Parenting Program Coordinator, Children’s Trust of South Carolina
As the Positive Parenting Program Coordinator, Abby Wilson helps Children’s Trust of South Carolina continue to build a strong network of providers who focus on keeping children safe. She coordinates training, coaches, and provides assistance for the Positive Parenting Program providers throughout the state. Abby comes to Children’s Trust with experiences in program planning, coalition building and youth substance use prevention.  Abby holds a Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree from the University of South Carolina as well as a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Clemson University. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, hiking and reading.

Birley Wright,  M.Ed., Prevention Training Manager, Children’s Trust of South Carolina
Birley Wright is the Prevention Training Manager for Children’s Trust of South Carolina, she helps to maintain and build strong relationships with partner organizations through education and training throughout the state of SC. Birley has been active in child advocacy for 20 years, with many years of experience as a classroom educator, trainer and grants project manager. She is passionate about early childhood development and keeping children safe. She and her husband are busy raising two very active teenage daughters. In their spare time they enjoy traveling, bike riding and making the most of the quality time with family.