Kentucky Recovery in the Workplace Conference - Speakers

Ryan Bowman, Manager, Workforce Recovery Program, Workforce Center, Kentucky Chamber
Ryan Bowman is the Program Manager of the Workforce Recovery Program at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. He works with the business community to help show how being a transformational employer can be mutually beneficial for everyone involved. Ryan is a combat veteran, serving two tours in Iraq. He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Morehead State University and is currently pursuing his MPA from Murray State University. Ryan is excited to have a hand in sculpting the business landscape of Kentucky through his continued efforts to reduce the stigma of addiction, addressing criminal justice reform, and assisting employers and organizations in those areas through programs offered by the Kentucky Chamber Foundation.

Matt Brown, Chief Administration Officer, Addiction Recovery Care
Matt Brown serves as Chief Administration Officer at Addiction Recovery Care (ARC). He helps oversee the 700+ employee organization that operates a network of more than 30 addiction treatment facilities across Kentucky.  Matt oversees finance, human resources, marketing and communications, business development, strategic initiatives, public relations, culture, and leadership. He has been involved in the development of ARC’s program expansion since May 2015, during which ARC opened well over 20 programs. Matt is a leader, communicator, and relationship/team builder who drives results by working hard connecting dots, developing/maintaining trust, being consistent, and valuing, equipping, and empowering people.   Matt has a deep and personal understanding of addiction and the recovery process. Matt began his recovery journey in May 2014 after an 18-year battle with addiction. Like many of ARC’s employees and management, he personally received long-term care from the company. During his time as a client at ARC, he completed an internship with the company. This opportunity convinced him to leave the practice of physical therapy and to pursue a career in addiction treatment with ARC.   Matt holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Kentucky in Health Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from UK. Before coming to ARC, Matt had a 12-year career practicing in the field of physical therapy. He helped launch and operate several successful physical therapy start-ups, is co-founder and board chair of rising Above (a community-oriented non-profit), and leads The Table Church in Louisa. Matt and his wife Summer live in Louisa, KY.

Van Ingram, Executive Director, Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, Commonwealth of Kentucky
Van Ingram is the Executive Director for the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.  Van joined ODCP in November 2004, shortly after it was created with the mission of coordinating Kentucky’s substance abuse efforts in enforcement, treatment and prevention/education. Van served with the Maysville Kentucky Police Department for more than 23 years, the last six as Chief of Police.  He is a former President of the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police, and was named “Kentucky Chief of the Year” in 2001.  He is a former recipient of the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement, as well as the Melvin Shein Award for distinguished service to Kentucky law enforcement.

James Lay, Maintenance Tech, Corporex Companies
Growing up in poverty, drinking & drugging I found myself homeless, walking with my head down. After losing my children I wondered while sitting in jail what I was going to do. A staff from LLC talked about the program and instantly caught my attention, so I walked out of jail and into LLC. After graduating from the program, I could see a big change in every part of my life. Today, I am substance free, employed FT, have a truck, & 3-bedroom home. LLC helped pump life back into me, and I now walk with my head high.

LaKisha Miller, Executive Director, Workforce Center, Kentucky Chamber
LaKisha Miller is the Executive Director of the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center.  For nearly five years, the Kentucky Chamber Foundation's Workforce Center has represented over 68,000 businesses, convening employers to understand their hiring needs and providing programs to educate Kentuckians and prepare them for meaningful employment.  LaKisha has spent the last four years advocating for the workforce in Kentucky by aligning talent to the needs of businesses across the state.  LaKisha serves on several Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board committees and statewide workforce development committees.   The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has recognized her nationally as a leading workforce professional to guide the national movement towards employer-led workforce systems.  LaKisha currently serves as the chair of the Jobs and Workforce Data (JWD) Network and on the T3 Leadership Committee committed to improving the development, sharing, and utilization of high-quality workforce data.

Jonathan Poynter, Director of Reentry Programming, Cumberlands and South Central Workforce Development Board
Aaron Poynter currently serves as the Director of Reentry Programming for the Cumberlands and South Central Workforce Development Boards. Aaron has always had a passion for service and began his professional career in Law Enforcement serving as a police officer/ Deputy Sheriff in Warren County Kentucky. Upon relocating to Russell County Kentucky, Aaron transitioned into workforce development with an emphasis on assisting the justice involved population across the commonwealth. With a passion to assist individuals, employers and communities Aaron has been the tip of the spear in the successful development and implementation of innovative programming across the region. Aaron is a graduate of Western Kentucky University, The Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training, and Leadership Kentucky’s BRIGHT and Elevate programs. Aaron was selected as a Fellow to represent Kentucky in the 2022-2023 Appalachian Leadership Institute an ARC initiative. Aaron currently serves as the President of the Young Professionals of Lake Cumberland, and on the Board of Directors for the United Way of South Central Kentucky and the Southern Kentucky Reentry Council. Aaron is also an assistant high school football coach, youth league coordinator/ coach. Aaron resides in Russell Springs with his wife Sara and daughter Reese.

Kristin Porter, Director of Reentry Services KY Department of Corrections
Kristin Porter is the Director of the Division of Reentry Services for the Kentucky Department of Corrections. A seventeen-year veteran of the Department, she has held many roles, including Correctional Officer, Probation and Parole Officer, Probation and Parole Assistant Supervisor, and Program Administrator. Director Porter has proven to be an innovative thinker in the Department of Corrections. She has received numerous awards during her tenure for spearheading projects such as developing the FTO program and leading the implementation of a new risk and needs assessment system. Porter is a graduate of the Department's Commissioner's Executive Leadership Program, in which she serves annually as a mentor for future leaders. Porter was appointed Director of the newly created Division of Reentry Services in February 2018 and has held the position since. The Division consists of 84 employees working towards removing reentry barriers for the justice-involved population in the institutions, jails, and communities throughout the state. Director Porter received her Bachelor of Science in Justice Administration from the University of Louisville and strives to make the focus of her career to rehabilitate the Justice-Involved population.

Brian Privett, J.D., Government and Public Affairs Director, Isaiah House
Brian Privett is Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for Isaiah House, Inc., a full service substance abuse and behavioral health treatment company.  Isaiah House has eight in-patient facilities in Central Kentucky, and offers a full range of inpatient, out-patient, and transitional living services, while also employing people in recovery through affiliated businesses.Until January 31, 2022, Privett served as Circuit Judge for the 14th Judicial Circuit of Kentucky of Bourbon, Scott, and Woodford Counties. A longtime advocate for recovery and helping people with substance use disorder in the criminal justice setting, Privett joined Isaiah House in order to focus solely on his passion for helping others. During his time as Judge, he served on the leadership team of the Kentucky Chief Justice's RESTORE Initiative, was one of two Kentucky judges on the 8 state Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative ( RJOI), ran an innovate, jail-free, drug court that was awarded a SAMHSA grant in 2019, and implemented the first Recovery Oriented Court System in the state (KyROCS). Privett has also been involved in the recovery community in Central and Eastern Kentucky, provided assistance to nonprofit boards, and has been a frequent speaker at recovery events. A native of Corbin, Judge Privett lives in Paris, Kentucky with his two daughters. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville School of Law. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Privett was in private practice in Paris and Cynthiana, Kentucky and was a prosecutor in Bourbon, Scott, and Harrison Counties in Kentucky.

Sam Quinones, Journalist, Best-Selling Author
Sam Quinones (pronounced Kin-YOH-Ness) is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, a reporter for 35 years, and author of four acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction. He is a veteran reporter on immigration, gangs, drug trafficking, the border. He is formerly a reporter with the L.A. Times, where he worked for 10 years. Before that, he made a living as a freelance writer residing in Mexico for a decade (1994-2004).  His latest book, released in November, 2021, is The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth. (The book is released in paperback in November, 2022.) In The Least of Us, Quinones chronicles the emergence of a drug-trafficking world producing massive supplies of synthetic drugs (fentanyl and meth) cheaper and deadlier than ever, marketing to the population of addicts created by the nation's opioid epidemic, as the backdrop to tales of Americans’ quiet attempts to recover community through simple acts of helping the vulnerable. With The Least of Us, Quinones broke the story of how the methamphetamine now produced in Mexico has covered the U.S. and is creating widespread and rapid-onset symptoms of schizophrenia, becoming in the process a major driver in the country’s homeless problem. In January 2022, The Least of Us was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) award for Best Nonfiction Book of 2021. The Least of Us follows his landmark Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic (Bloomsbury, 2015), which ignited awareness of the epidemic that has cost the United States hundreds of thousands of lives and become the deadliest drug scourge in the nation’s history. Dreamland won a National Book Critics Circle award for the Best Nonfiction Book of 2015. It was also selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by, the Daily Beast, Buzzfeed, Seattle Times, Boston Globe, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Entertainment Weekly, Audible, and in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Business by Nobel economics laureate, Prof. Angus Deaton, of Princeton University. In 2021, GQ Magazine selected Dreamland as one of the “50 Best Books of Literary Journalism of the 21st Century”. Dreamland was selected as one the Best 10 True-Crime Books of all time based on lists, surveys, and ratings of more than 90 million readers. In 2019, selected Dreamland as one of the 50 best nonfiction books of the last 25 years. For Dreamland, Quinones has testified before the U.S. Senate’s Health Committee, numerous professional conferences of judges, doctors, librarians, hospital administrators and at more than two-dozen town hall meetings in small towns across the country. A Young Adult version of Dreamland – for 7th through 12th graders -- was released in July of 2019.His first two books grew from his 10 years living and working as a freelance writer in Mexico (1994-2004).  True Tales From Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino and the Bronx was released in 2001. It is a cult classic of a book from Mexico’s vital margins – stories of drag queens and Oaxacan Indian basketball players, popsicle makers and telenovela stars, migrants, farm workers, a narcosaint, a slain drug balladeer, a slum boss, and a doomed tough guy. In 2007, he came out with Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration. In it, Quinones narrates the saga of the Henry Ford of Velvet Painting, and of how an opera scene emerged in Tijuana, and how a Zacatecan taco empire formed in Chicago. He tells the tale of the Tomato King, of a high-school soccer season in Kansas, and of Mexican corruption in a small L.A. County town. Threading through the book are three tales of Delfino Juarez, a modern Mexican Huck Finn. Quinones ends the collection in a chapter called "Leaving Mexico" with his harrowing tangle with the Narco-Mennonites of Chihuahua. Dagoberto Gilb, reviewing Antonio’s Gun in the San Francisco Chronicle, called him “the most original writer on Mexico and the border.”

Dennis Ritchie, Senior Director of Reentry, Goodwill Industries
Dennis Ritchie is the Senior Director of Reentry for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. Previously, he has served as the Reentry Director, Interim Director of Career Services, and as Career Services Manager for LifeLaunch, a DOL grant-funded program for adults reentering society. In 2019, under Dennis' leadership, Goodwill was awarded the Lucille Hurt Robuck Commitment to Corrections Award for its efforts in the reentry field. He has been involved in the community as a member of the Greater Louisville Reentry Coalition, Equity/Reentry Task Force of Urban Strategies, National Criminal Justice Association, National Reentry Workforce Collaboration, Recovery Housing Coalition, and Chairs the Opportunity Network. He graduated from Bradley University 1994 B.S. in Finance, University of Kentucky College of Law 1997 J.D. law, and before joining Goodwill, was a partner in the law firm of Dillingham & Ritchie 1999 -2006, and a sole practitioner, Dennis M. Ritchie, attorney at law, specializing in criminal defense 2006-2012.

Jason Roop, PhD, Executive Director of Workforce Education, Campbellsville University
Dr. Jason Roop serves as Executive Director of the Technology Training Center and adjunct Professor of Business Management at Campbellsville University, as well as Pastor of Asbury UMC. Dr. Roop spent 17 years in active addiction and would ultimately become homeless before entering recovery in 2013. Since then, he has earned his master of theology degree in 2018 and in 2022 completed his Ph.D. in Business Management with a specialization in Leadership. He was recently appointed to the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission by the KY Attorney General and serves as board member for Hometown Connect, a nonprofit organization focused on making addiction treatment and health education accessible for all. Dr. Roop’s research interests focus on the positive qualities and traits found in people with substance use disorder. His work is changing how people view addiction through understanding the underlying traits which provide a pathway for effective approaches to treatment, as reflected in his Trait-Based Recovery Model. Dr. Roop continues to be heavily involved with addiction research and recovery efforts while being an advocate for treatment accessibility and second-chance employment.

Randy Stinson, PhD, President, The Millard College
Randy Stinson currently serves as President of The Millard College in Louisa, KY. He has worked in higher education for over two decades.  Prior to coming to The Millard College, Stinson served as the chief academic officer at two institutions. He holds Bachelor of Arts, Master of Divinity, Master of Theology, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. In recovery himself, he is committed to helping others in recovery get the education they need in order to move from crisis to career.

Tesa Turner, Special Populations Project Manager for the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP), Inc.
Tesa Turner is the Special Populations Project Manager for the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP), Inc., a workforce development organization that serves 23 counties in Eastern Kentucky. She holds a degree in education from Morehead State University and has more than 24 years of experience working with all facets of the population in eastern Kentucky and across the Commonwealth. Her current responsibilities include management of EKCEP’s Strategic Initiative for Transformational Employment (SITE) program and the IPS Supported Employment Program. Ms. Turner has been with EKCEP for almost 7 years. Previously she helped develop and manage the eKART (Eastern Kentucky Addiction Recovery & Training) program in the EKCEP area. Tesa is passionate about helping people find their career paths, develop successful life skills, and get a genuine chance to succeed.

Brandon Wilson, Director of Workforce, Destiny Workforce Solutions
Brandon is the Director of Workforce Opportunities with Destiny Workforce Solutions.   Before being named Director of Workforce Opportunities in November 2022, Brandon was Addiction Recovery Care’s Community Engagement Specialist. In this role, Brandon partnered with communities to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of addiction along with implementing reentry programs that allowed ARC clients to sustain long lasting recovery.   Prior to joining ARC, Brandon served as the Recruiting and Apprenticeship Coordinator for RAM Contracting and was responsible for exposing and recruiting high school students to the Heavy Highway Construction industry. In this position, Brandon understood that early career development was an effective way to divert young adults from negative social influences.   Previous to his work at RAM Contracting, Brandon was the Administrative Program Director at Marion County Detention Center. During his 9-year tenure, Brandon was instrumental in the expansion of the Substance Abuse Program from 40 clinical beds to 208, with 80 beds being dedicated for re-entry.   Brandon earned a B.A. in Psychology from St. Catharine College, where he found his passion in raising awareness concerning the disease of addiction and eliminating barriers to recovery. Brandon, his wife Nicole and four children live in Washington County where he is actively involved in the community.

John Wilson, Kentucky Market President, Addiction Recovery Care
John Wilson serves as the Kentucky Market President overseeing our network of residential treatment centers across the Commonwealth. He started his career as the CEO of Crown Recovery Center, which is believed to be the largest and most comprehensive treatment facility of its kind in the United States. Prior to entering the recovery field, Wilson served four terms as Judge Executive in Garrard County, Kentucky where he saw firsthand the devastating toll America’s drug problem has taken on our families and communities.   Wilson is also a licensed attorney who served on the Kentucky Criminal Justice Council, tasked with making recommendations on Kentucky’s penal code to the General Assembly, and was appointed to the Access to Justice Commission by Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice Minton. Wilson has served in various leadership roles on dozens of boards and commissions and previously served as a legislative aide in the Kentucky General Assembly.

Dale Zdolshek, Director of Job Placement and Employer Relations, Life Learning Center
Dale E. Zdolshek is a driven Business Development Executive with career history in multi-state distributed businesses and proven skill in hiring, developing and retaining high-performance teams. Shortly after receiving his bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Cincinnati in 1982, Dale began his career at Duro Bag Manufacturing Company. Dale received much of his experience as Vice President of Northern American Sales for Charoen Pokphand Group located in Thailand. Dale is a motivating leader with strengths in building strategic relationships to support key business initiatives. He is highly skilled in change management, management transition and merger integration. Dale offers excellent interpersonal and communication skills and has extensive experiences managing matrixed organizations. Dale currently lives in Northern, Kentucky with his wife Sally, and two daughters, Dana and Isabella.