Founder of the TTJ Group in Illinois, Mr. Johnson, with over 25 years of experience, has worked closely with nonprofits, small businesses, and communities in helping them with community organizing, environmental strategies, strategic planning, Substance Abuse Prevention, Coalition Building, cultural diversity, and effective program. He has led projects on effective substance abuse prevention strategies with states and communities. Has extensive knowledge of SAMHSA's Strategic Prevention Framework process and Strategic Initiatives.
Kory Carey, Ph.D., HSPP
Dr. Kory Carey is the Executive Director of Equity and Systemic Integration for the Division of Mental
Health and Addiction (DMHA) at Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). In this role she provides leadership, support, policy, and planning related to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and oversees initiatives related to behavioral health workforce development, housing, justice-system collaboration, and other initiatives that advance Indiana’s behavioral healthcare system. Dr. Carey is a licensed psychologist with over 10 years of clinical experience and service in Indiana with special interests and experience in crisis intervention, grief and loss, identity development, racial trauma, racial identity, reintegration after incarceration, suicide prevention, and work with persons of color. Dr. Carey earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Howard University, and her Master’s in Counseling and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University. She has been licensed as a psychologist and endorsed as a Health Service Provider in Psychology (HSPP) in Indiana since 2013. She has been with DMHA since February 2021.
Breanca Merritt, Ph.D.
Dr. Merritt is the Chief Health Equity and ADA officer for FSSA. She was a founding director of the Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, as well as a clinical assistant professor in IUPUI’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and adjunct faculty for the Africana Studies program. Dr. Merritt has a long history as an academic and practitioner with real-world experience working among marginalized populations to understand racial and ethnic disparities and encouraging policies that promote equity. Dr. Merritt earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism before a master’s degree in political science from Texas A&M University. She then earned a Ph.D. in health promotion sciences from the University of Oklahoma’s Hudson College of Public Health with a specialty in health disparities.
Minkah Becktemba is the founder/director of Multiple Pathways to Recovery LLC providing resources and peer support services to Marion and Hendricks counties, having been educated as a CAPRC II, a CHW/CRS, and MATS. Raised in a white community in Texas until age seven, then adopted into the Indianapolis black community, he is a biracial man that has lived experience in homelessness and incarceration while suffering from mental health and substance use disorder due to the lack of access and encouragement to enter into recovery. He has been in recovery for over 4 years and 10 months now, and is helping others find their pathway to recovery.
Shaina currently serves as the Director of Peer Recovery Services for Daviess Community Hospital, having been employed with Daviess Community Hospital for over 5 years. She is an alumna of the Indiana University School of Social Work, receiving a Master's of Social Work with a concentration in Mental Health & Addiction in August of 2022, as well as an alumna of the University of Southern Indiana, receiving a Bachelor's of Social Work with a concentration in Substance Abuse Counseling. She's a Certified Addiction Peer Recovery Coach II, and is also in long-term mental health recovery. Her passion has been to help be the positive change needed throughout the community, being originally from Daviess County and returning home to do the work that she intended to do.
Brian Peek is a Certified Addiction Peer Recovery Coach (CAPRC II) and a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC), having been in the recovery field for approx. 15 years. He previously served at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility as both a Counselor and Director of the Substance Abuse Department. He is in long-term recovery from alcohol addiction and has been in active recovery since 1990. Daviess County is his home and when approached about starting a Peer Recovery Coaching Program and partnering with Daviess Community Hospital, he was excited to take the position in order to be part of getting help to those who are suffering with addiction disorders in the community. After being approached 10 years ago by the Daviess County Sheriff’s department to help start a substance abuse program in the local jail, he contracted with them and helped start the therapeutic community called RARE. Today, he is the Executive Director of Peer Recovery Services for Daviess County, and has a team located in the Washington Security Center and Daviess Community Hospital.
Dr. Gina Forrest, MPH
Dr. Gina is a native Hoosier and wants to make Indiana a more inclusive, healthier, and happier state! She has earned a Master's of Public Health and a PhD in Health Behavior from Indiana University–Bloomington, with a research focus on Health Inequities, and a minor in Non-Profit Management. For more than twelve years, Dr. Gina has been in the field of training and facilitating discussions in the areas of diversity, inclusion, equity and intercultural competence. Her expertise includes topics as Unconscious Bias, Race/Ethnicity, Healthy Communication, Aging, Gender Identity, Socioeconomic Status, Inclusive Language and more. In addition, she has over 18 years of experience in the public health field where her expertise is in grant management, conducting needs assessments, program planning, and evaluation. Dr. Gina has taught undergraduate courses at Central Washington University, Brown Mackie College, Butler University and has been with Indiana University - Bloomington for ten years. Her current role is the Chief Culture Officer with Aspire Indiana Health.
Danielle Schneider-Moran, LMHC
Danielle joined the staff of Exodus in 2019. As a bilingual Mental Wellness Coordinator, Danielle manages the mental wellness program by providing individual, family, and group counseling. Danielle meets with clients in the office, at their homes, or via telehealth to break down the barriers to mental health services. Danielle also provides psychoeducation to both clients and Exodus teammates to bridge the gap in understanding the mental health experiences of the clients Exodus’ serves. She also provides trainings for master’s level counseling students. Danielle previously worked in Study Abroad for 8 years and ran faculty-led programs in Havana, Cuba. Danielle holds a Master of Science Degree in School Counseling and a Licensed Mental Health Certificate from Butler University. Additionally, she holds a licensure in mental health counseling, and she is a National Certified Counselor. When Danielle is not working, she enjoys rollerblading, cycling, and finding new coffee shops in Indy.
Claire Pollock, LCSW
Claire Pollock is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who lives in Westfield, Indiana. Claire worked at Exodus from 2015-2018, first as a case manager and then as the Youth Program Coordinator. Claire received her Master's of Social Work from Indiana University in 2019 and worked as a school social worker at an elementary school for 2.5 years. In 2021, Claire returned to Exodus as the Mental Wellness Community Trainer. In this position, she provides Mental Health First Aid trainings in order to educate providers and community leaders on providing culturally appropriate care. When Claire is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, dog, and loves to do anything outside. She is always up for an adventure and has traveled to 12 different countries.
Imane Vijasa, MSW
Imane Vijasa joined Exodus in August 2022 as the Mental Wellness Advocate. In this position, Imane educates providers and community leaders on providing culturally appropriate care. She also builds stronger partnerships with Community Mental Health Centers in order facilitate referrals. Prior to this she worked as an Arabic and French interpreter for Exodus for over 10 years. Imane received her Master's of Social Work from Indiana University Purdue University in 2022. When Imane is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Ashley Kibiger is the Associate Victim Care Program Manager with Amani Family Services. Originally from Fort Wayne, Ashley is currently pursuing her Bachelor's in Human Services with Purdue University Global. After embarking on an exploration trip to Mexico, Ashley worked alongside Youth With A Mission Mexico City, providing basic needs and community to men and women in situation of homelessness and/or prostitution from 2011 to 2017. From 2012-2021, Ashley committed her life to the fight against human trafficking with El Pozo de Vida (The Well of Life) and 27 Million (Global Freedom Alliance). In 2017, Ashley took on the role of operations director in 27 Million and founded the Justice School 5.24 that launched in 2018 in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The training program was designed to equip frontline workers to be prepared in their work of prevention, intervention, or prevention of human trafficking. Ashley was also a certified trainer for anti-human trafficking by the secretary of tourism in Mexico and trained workers within the hospitality industry. Ashley is fluent in English and Spanish and is a qualified interpreter between the two languages.
Melissa Grossman holds an MSW from IUPUI and a B.A. in history and political science from Huntington University. In 2013, Melissa had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia and this experience instilled a passion in her to pursue a career in social work, specifically working with immigrant and refugee populations. Melissa’s professional experience has consisted of providing case management to families through the refugee resettlement processes, working with survivors of human trafficking, and providing support to families navigating immigration processes. While Melissa has extensive experience working directly with families, she is also a macro social worker providing support at the community level to address policies and barriers that impact those who are most vulnerable. Today, Melissa is the Chief Operations Officer at Amani Family Services, an organization that provides services exclusively to immigrants and refugees in Allen County.
Gina Woodward is the Director of Behavioral Health Workforce Development for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. She has 25 years of experience in public education working as a classroom teacher, school counselor, adjunct faculty instructor and professional leader in education focusing on all areas of student services specializing in program development and student advocacy, equitable access, and data-driven problem-solving.
Ari Nassiri is the Director of Behavioral Health Integration for the Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) at the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). Ari’s responsibilities at DMHA focus on progressing the level of integration across the continuum of care for behavioral health and substance use disorder providers in Indiana. Current integration efforts are primarily focused on the advancement of the CCBHC (Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic) model in Indiana. Ari earned a Masters in Healthcare Administration from Indiana University and has been with DMHA for the past 5 years.
Dr. Micki Webb
As program director of the LaPorte County Drug Free Partnership, Micki works toward creating an inclusive approach to bring more people’s authentic voices and lived experiences to the table when it comes to creating solutions for mental health and substance use issues in her community. A licensed clinical social worker and former school administrator (she opened the first alterative school in Michigan City in 1989), Webb’s career has largely focused on children and families. Webb wrote her doctoral capstone dissertation on building trauma-informed communities, and she has long noted the unique challenges faced by children who face mental health and substance use issues at home. Webb sees her role as working to better the community she calls home while supporting an issue she cares about personally.
Kara Biro is the Director of Behavioral Health Crisis Care for Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) focused in Psychology from University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She is skilled in Nonprofit Organizations and Eligibility, Case Management, Mental Health, and Dual Diagnosis.
Kari Jones has been with the Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) since May 2019. She started out on the Addiction team as the State Opioid Response Grant Manager and was promoted to Health Equity Director in September 2022. As a representative of DMHA, she is also the 2023 chair of the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males.
Kari played an integral role in creating DMHA’s BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Initiative & Outreach Committee in 2020. The BIPOC Initiative & Outreach Committee was created to include the knowledge and expertise of BIPOC led and/or serving community organizations in DMHA’s planning processes. Kari understands the importance of grassroots and faith-based organizations and the services they provide in our communities. She is passionate about holistic health, health equity, and self-care. Kari strives to always be her authentic self.
Falicia Brewer, Senior Consultant and President of Brewer & Associates, is a lifelong resident of Indiana. An entrepreneurial executive with almost two decades experience in the nonprofit industry, she has leveraged over $98 million dollars on behalf of her clients. Ms. Brewer received her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education & Master’s Degree in Political Science, as well as a Certificate in Facilitation from Ball State University. She also possesses a Certificate in Fundraising Management from the Fundraising School in Indianapolis, Indiana and is a 2023 Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute participant.
She is an advocate of empowerment that meets leaders where they are as she guides them to achieve a common goal. These skillsets include services such as program and project management, start-up/business development and coaching, human resources, proposal writing/administration, board development, strategic planning, public outreach, event planning & coalition building. As a national facilitator, Ms. Brewer has presented at local, state & national conferences. In addition, she is an author & served as an Adjunct Faculty Professor at Indiana University Northwest in the School of Public & Environmental Affairs.
Christie Gillespie brings over 30 years of executive level, non-profit experience to her clients.
Throughout her career, Christie has been committed to community development, human services delivery, social justice and public policy in Indianapolis and the State of Indiana. Since February of 2019, Christie began her consulting practice that includes community planning and engagement, design and implementation of initiatives, budgeting, project management, board development and administration and operational goal setting. She is most interested in providing consulting in a way that supports and partners with the next generation of leaders to succeed and organizations who support and empower historically marginalized people.
Prior to consulting, Christie was the Executive Director of Community Alliance of the Far Eastside and
Indiana Association for Community Economic Development (now Prosperity Indiana), Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Central Indiana and President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Indiana University-Indianapolis.
April specializes in program development, organizational capacity building, coalition building, and performance measurement in the areas of health and human services. April graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Psychology and went on to complete her graduate work at IUPUI. She holds a Master of Public Affairs degree with a concentration in nonprofit management. She began her work as a consultant with Community Solutions nearly a decade ago. She also served as the Training Manger at The Bail Project, a national non-profit organization that pays bail for people in need, reuniting families and restoring the presumption of innocence. Prior to her work with Community Solutions and The Bail Project, she worked at the Division of Mental Health and Addiction as project director for Access to Recovery (ATR), a federal grant that provided community-based services to high-risk populations with substance use disorders. In this capacity, she worked with over 200 faith and community-based agencies in 11 counties, helping them build networks in the community to meet clients’ diverse needs in a holistic way. April currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors at Trinity Haven, Indiana’s only LGBTQ+ transitional living program.
This year’s conference tracks are:
Track 1: Listen: State Strategic Initiatives for the Future of Workforce
Track 2: Go: From Essential to Advanced Models of Care
Track 3: Grow: Co-Producing Fresh Community Approaches
Each track consists of eight workshops.
Each workshop has a total session time of 45 minutes. It is highly recommended that speakers conduct interactive workshops. If speakers choose to conduct a lecture style format, please reserve 30 minutes for speaking and 15 minutes for Q&A.
Timeline: Applications Open 2/14/2023 Applications Close 3/15/2023 Speakers Notified 4/3/2023
Optional Rehearsal 5/8/2023
Applications Open 2/14/2023
Applications Close 3/15/2023
Speakers Notified 4/3/2023
Optional Rehearsal 5/8/2023
Daily Proposed Schedule
Track - Listen: State Strategic Initiatives for the Future of Workforce
Track – Go: From Essential to Advanced Models of Care
Track – Grow: Co-Producing Fresh Community Approaches