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The Brain Disease — Leanne Jamison

Andy Knight


Leanne Jamison is Clinical Director at Caron Atlanta. She spoke on the topic of “The Brain Disease – Healing through Mindfulness”. Leanne will be discussing the elements that create addiction, as well as how addiction changes the brain in our adolescents/young adults.  We will look at the early recovery process.  We will also be discussing how mindfulness assists in the rewiring of the brain and practice a mindfulness skill in the group.  

Forgiveness — Jim Seckman

Andy Knight


Jim Seckman is the CEO of MARR, Inc., a residential treatment facility in Atlanta.

Jim will be speaking on the topic of Forgiveness. So many times we, as parents, are so angry with our child dealing with mental health and addiction issues.  We ask ourselves “How can I forgive my child for ruining our family and destroying himself?”

 Jim will begin with the parable of the Prodigal Son (which looks at forgiveness from 3 different angles) and then how we practice forgiveness, why we may be reluctant to forgive, and the benefits of forgiveness.

Jim has also served as the Clinical Director of MARR, Executive Director of Breakthru House, a long-term residential treatment facility for homeless women, Coordinator of Addiction Services at Emory University Hospital, Program Coordinator and Primary Counselor for SAFE Recovery Systems, and has been in private practice for several years.

Jim has also served as the President of the Georgia Association of Recovery Residences and the Ethics Committee for the Georgia Addiction Counselors Association (GACA). He has an MAC, a CACII, and is a Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) through GACA.

Testimony — Jordan Pilzer

Andy Knight


As a coach, teacher and inspirational speaker for children, Jordan has always looked at life with the glass half full. While he, his wife and his daughter struggled through their son’s challenges with the disease of addiction, that outlook was certainly tested. Throughout their family’s 10 year journey to help him break free from the grips of opiates, he never gave up hope and always had faith that things would work out according to God’s will. 

In May of 2016, after winning so many little battles to get clean, his son lost the war and was taken from him. As the family struggled with this tragic loss, Jordan remained determined to find a higher purpose as a means of making his sons life (and death) relevant while keeping his beautiful spirit and energy alive in the best way he knows how. 

While pain from the loss of a child is truly unfathomable, Jordan somehow finds a way to be grateful for the time he had with his son while leaving us with hope and an appreciation for what is now and what can be in the future. 

Testimony — Avery Nix

Andy Knight


Avery Nix is the director of Marketing and Clinical Outreach at Eagle Overlook Recovery for adolescents in Dahlonega, GA. Avery grew up in Clermont, GA and was an athlete in high school and played football, wrestled, and ran track.

He is a person in long term recovery.  He is an advocate for people in self-discovery and those seeking long term recovery. Avery will be discussing how he got involved in drugs at a young age, the many treatment programs he went to and what was the defining moment in his recovery that helped him realize he needed to change his life. 

My past might follow me, but it doesn’t define me — Jared Murray

Andy Knight

Jared will share his personal journey with us.  Jared is a good kid from a great family who got involved with drugs and alcohol at an early age. In college, he moved on to harder substances.  His grades plummeted and he was arrested.  In 2011 , he made the decision to take back his life and sought treatment.  Come here an amazing story of how Jared changed his life and is now helping others do the same.


Jared Murray is the Community Representative for The Reprieve of Bradford Health Services. The Reprieve is a long term, highly structured recovery program primarily for young adult men and women.  Jared works in the substance abuse field and is very passionate about working with families and helping their loved ones find treatment. He has been married for almost 5 years to his wife Lacey Murray of Montgomery Alabama and they are accompanied by their three pups and no kids yet. He is a person in long term recovery and also assisted in helping start the Collegiate Recovery Community at The University of Alabama and is a graduate of that program. After receiving his bachelors from UA in 2014, he then devoted his life and career to helping others find the hope that he found as it pertains to treatment and recovery.

Testimony — Mary Jane Stafford

Andy Knight

Mary Jane Stafford is the founder of Grateful Hearts Ministries in Atlanta which assists homeless, addicted and incarcerated women as they transition through the court system to recovery, restoration of families and productive living in the community.

Mary Jane will share her own story of how this ministry was birthed out of the pain she experience with her own daughter who struggled with the same issues.  God turned her brokenness and pain for His glory.

The Importance of Family Recovery - Lane Rust and Haley Sola

Andy Knight

Lane Rust, LCDC is the Family Clinical Coordinator for the BRC Recovery Family of Programs in Austin, TX. Lane works hand-in-hand mentoring families through the challenges of addiction and alcoholism treatment for their loved ones, leads workshops, and oversees the daily operations of the Family Department. Lane began his career at BRC Recovery in 2010 as a Recovery Manager and was instrumental in launching the Spearhead Lodge program in Austin, Texas. His enthusiasm and dedication to the recovery process is integral to the culture of the BRC Recovery Family of Programs. Through Lane’s personal experience, he is able to help others on their journey from addiction to recovery. Lane is committed to his own professional, mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional development.

Haley Sola will share her story.  Haley is the community liaison for BRC Recovery, serving as an important link between the surrounding communities to the BRC Family of Programs. Haley is an alumni of this program and is passionate about sharing her experience to help others suffering from alcohol and drug addiction. She first started working at BRC Recovery as a resident care associate in 2016 and later transitioned into the role as office manager. Haley is committed to a life of sobriety and living happy, joyous, and free.

The Reality of Vaping — Dean Monteleone

Andy Knight

Vaping: How It Began and Where Are We Headed?

Members of the community are invited to join in the discussion about vaping basics, tools and chemicals, known risks and perceived rewards for users, and how we can work together to address the vaping epidemic among our youth. Dean Monteleone leads attendees through an interesting and informative session, with time built in for questions and answers.


  1. Define the basics of Vaping

  2. Recap the History of the Tobacco Industry

  3. Explore the many Variants of vaping Tools & Chemicals

  4. Discuss the Perceived Rewards and Known Risks of Vaping

  5. Review National Data on Youth Tobacco findings

  6. Understand How Chemical Use Evolves into Misuse, Abuse and Dependency

  7. Discuss how We can work together to address this Epidemic


Dean Monteleone, MS, LPC, CAADC, CCDP, NCC is the Clinical Director for Caron Atlanta outpatient program, and has more than 18 years of experience in the addiction treatment field. Before joining the Caron team in April of 2012, Dean held multiple roles within the addictions field, serving as Clinical Director, Clinical Supervisor, Primary Therapist, and Interventionist, as well as Adjunct Faculty at local universities. Over the course of his career, Dean has worked directly with adults, teens and families affected by addiction, cancer, mental health issues and intellectual developmental disabilities, as well as the unique challenges faced by healthcare professionals struggling with their own self-care. Dean earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, his Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University and has been a Licensed Professional Counselor in PA since 2005.

Addiction and Mental Illness in our Children — Dr. Steven Lee

Andy Knight

When something happens to our children, we, as parents, do whatever it takes to help them and to be there with them. As with any medical disease, addiction and mental illness has to be understood so that the best treatment can be obtained to manage these illnesses. There are treatments that do work. During this discussion you will understand the basics of these illnesses and the accepted standard of care to treat them.


Dr. Lee has over 36 years’ experience as a General Psychiatrist and Addictionologist. He currently holds the following leadership positions at Ridgeview Institute:

  • Program Director, Adult Psychiatric Outpatient Services

  • Program Director, Young Adult Addiction Program

  • Program Director, Young Adult Psychiatric Program

When the Head and the Heart are at War — Dr. Mark Crawford

Andy Knight

Differentiating between Supporting and Enabling


As a parent, we have the best of intentions regarding our children (no matter how old they are). We want to support them, encourage them, protect them, and provide every opportunity for them to be successful. However, sometimes our heart doesn’t always guide us toward the best decision-making.

With the best of intentions to protect and help our kids, we sometimes unintentionally enable them to stay stuck in unhealthy patterns of behavior. Join us for a discussion about how to recognize the difference between supporting vs. enabling our kids as well as how to make courageous decisions that may be necessary to help them get out of unhealthy patterns.

Dr. Mark Crawford, Ph .D. is a well know Psychologist, speaker and author in the Atlanta area.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home — Tim Ritchie

Andy Knight


Tim Ritchie, VP of Business Development from the Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia, GA.  Tim will give a brief history of the PAYH for boys and then Travis, a Senior boy will share his story and what brought him to the PAYH.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home, located in Vidalia, GA provides a second chance to hurting young men ages 16-21 through a Christ-centered, individualized approach that meets their specific needs at the physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual levels.

Living in Fear Hinders Healing — Dick Forbes

Andy Knight

Dick Forbes, MA is president of Forbes Counseling Services and has over 30 years experience counseling individuals, couples and families on a variety of issues including conflict, stress, trauma, depression, addiction and marriage and family issues. 

Dick will speak about how living in fear does not help bring healing to our situation with our Prodigal"

Love and Fear are probably the two most important words we experience in parenting. When we experience a Prodigal, alienated or an estranged child, fear tends to dominate and high-jack our emotions during this time.

We will talk about how fear in parenting can teach us many things and in fact can move us forward to be a better parent. We will also talk about how fear can cause us to make very bad decisions during this difficult time. Ultimately, fear can escort me to love and set me free in my parenting.

Nation Taken Hostage — Heather Hayes

Andy Knight


 Heather Hayes, a licensed counselor, educational consultant, international certified hostage negotiator, (Interventionist) equestrian, and a person in long time recovery.

Heather shares part of her own story of addiction and recovery and how she became and interventionist.

Heather Hayes utilizes her thirty plus years of experience as a Clinician, and sixteen years as a Hostage Negotiator and Psychological Profiler, to liken addiction to terrorism. By reviewing tactical protocol used in infamous hostage situations of the past; Hayes lays the framework that rhetorically encourages viewing addiction as a terrorist, and emphasizes the hard-hitting philosophy of “zero acceptable losses.” By providing solution based strategies, we turn our efforts from an ineffective offense, to a strategic, grass roots defense. With these methods, we can RESIST, and begin taking back our communities, one family system and human being at a time.

Heather was recently on the TV show “Intervention” as she worked with individuals in the “Triangle” of Atlanta to get them to accept the gift of treatment for this tough disease.

Many Faces of Recovery — Missy Owens

Andy Knight


In this presentation you will hear from 4 people that are in long-term recovery or that support the recovery lifestyle. First, you will hear from Missy Owen. She is the co-founder and CEO of the Davis Direction Foundation. The loss of her son in 2014 set her upon the journey that is the Davis Direction Foundation. She is a mother of 4 other children. Missy is also a retired school counselor.

Next, you will hear from Jenny Walton. She is the Director of Operations at the Davis Direction Foundation. Jenny is a strong supporter of the recovery lifestyle. She has 2 sons that have struggled with the disease of addiction several years. She has been on staff with the Davis Direction Foundation since 2015.

Also, in this presentation you will hear from Barbi Harrison. She has been convicted multiple times as a drug felon. She has turned her life around and is now a recovery coach at The Zone, which helps people every day to leave their life of addiction behind. Barbi now has over a decade of time in recovery and uses her past to reach people from all walks of life.

Finally, you will hear from Justin Jackson. He is a single father of 2 young girls and 1 boy. Justin is also a veteran of the United States Navy. He has an extensive criminal background and history of selling many types of drugs. His last arrest allowed him time to get clean and he has been on staff at The Zone since it opened its doors. He has over 2 years clean now and uses his experience and knowledge to share his story and reach out to people who never thought it could be done.

Sober Mentoring Coaching — Bic Clark

Andy Knight

Bic Clark, CDAC, is a top notched addiction counselor, therapist and coach at Therapy Coaching and Consulting Network.


As a counselor, he has been instrumental in helping many people overcome obstacles to creating real change in behaviors and therefore their lives. He specializes in teaching recovery and relapse prevention techniques. His therapeutic style is warm, interactive and direct. He can help you learn effective emotional coping skills and restore balance to your life. He can offer assistance at any stage—from intervention to treatment to after-care and long-term recovery.

He has worked in the field of mental health as a peer counselor and coach since 2008. I have worked extensively with young adults and professionals. In addition to the above mentioned, he does addiction interventions, sober mentoring and coaching, sober transport, sober companionship, and psycho-educational lectures.

What to Expect in the First Year of Recovery — Laura Pugsley

Andy Knight


Laura Pugsley is the Director of Outpatient Services, Foundations Atlanta and Talbott Recovery at Dunwoody.

Laura Pugsley joined the Foundations Recovery Network team in April 2012 and brought with her nearly two decades of experience working in the social services field. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Laura relocated to the US and graduated from the University of Georgia with a BA in psychology, earning a master’s degree in professional counseling from Georgia State University. Prior to joining Foundations Atlanta, Laura worked at St. Jude’s Recovery Center for 14 years, spending five of those years as a clinical program manager. Her broad experience covered nearly every sector of the organization, including roles as case manager, health services coordinator, program coordinator and detox program clinical manager.

Laura officially became a licensed professional counselor in 2007. Specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy skills, she also has extensive experience in providing direct services, leadership and supervision to treatment teams in a variety of substance abuse and mental health disciplines. Having worked in both non-profit and for-profit sectors, she brings a unique perspective to her work at Foundations Atlanta.

From Defendant to Defense Attorney — David Windecher

Andy Knight


David Windecher is a defense attorney in Atlanta, GA.  He represents clients facing major felony and misdemeanor charges. David will share his life story which he wrote in the book “The American Dream.” – the story in which he portrays the difficulty of obtaining the American dream as an impoverished minority.

David grew up in the streets of Miami, and was first arrested at age 11 for shoplifting, stealing out of desperation to feed his family. For the next seven years, David was involved in a criminal lifestyle racked with violence, drugs, and money. He later joined a gang and was arrested over 13 times.  Despite a life of crime, deep inside, David dreamed of becoming an attorney and fighting for justice for all. David’s faith in God and Love for his family were the catalyst for turning his life around.

David founded RED (Rehabilitation Enables Dreams, Inc.) which is a domestic non-profit organization to help administer rehabilitation for pre and post adjudication first time nonviolent offenders.

Natural and alternative treatment methods to addressing dysfunction of the brain. — Dr. Bob Montes

Andy Knight


Dr. Bob Montes offers both biblical and practical approaches that can help everyone improve their brain's function and manage stress in a healthy way, especially when dealing with a struggling son or daughter.

In 2013, Dr. Montes founded BrainFit and along with his staff, has worked hard to help individuals of all ages to overcome brain dysfunction in a safe, non-medical and effective way. Dr. Montes believes the core issues related to drug and alcohol use stem from irregularities deep inside brain.  Using a drug-free treatment module to help repair irregularities and restore efficient brain function, BrainFit strengthens the networks within brain and rebuilds lost neural connections through the use of technology. This technology reduces or eliminates many of the stress responses common in addictive behavior.

Dr. Bob Montes is a licensed psychologist and pastoral counselor who began his career working for The Willough at Naples, one of the country's top addiction treatment centers for alcohol, drugs, and eating disorders, in the 1990s. The Willough was frequently featured on the Geraldo Rivera talk show. Dr. Montes has continued to work with addictive disorders in his private practice, but after attaining his PhD in 1998 from the University of Akron (Ohio), he also began working with individuals with ADHD/learning disorders, anxiety, and depressive disorders.

The Parallel Process of Recovery, The best chance for success! — Lori Albert-Walker

Fair Brocard

Lori Albert-Walker, LCSW, will explore how dynamics develop in the family related to substance use and psychiatric disorders.   She will discuss the opportunities presented for all family members to receive education and support and establish their own parallel path of recovery.


Lori is currently working with Caron Treatment Centers as a Regional Resource Director for Caron Atlanta.  Lori was both the Clinical and Family Coordinator for Ridgeview Institute’s Young Adult Services over the past 25 years. She has a private practice at the Atlanta Center For Wellness in Sandy Springs.  Lori has a passion for helping families learn about Substance Use and Psychiatric Disorders and how it relates to recovery.