Speaker Lineup

Addiction/BH VIP Symposium II

June 24th and 25th of 2015


The June 2015 Addiction/BH VIP Symposium II will feature a wonderful lineup of speakers!  With a number of designated tracks and focal points, BHNR is proud to announce the following speaker lineup for the event...


*Event Co-Chair Speakers: Acme Ranches - www.acmeranches.com

*Event Co-Chair Speakers: Wellington Counseling Associates - www.wellingtoncc.com

*Jeffrey Lynne Partner/Shareholder at Weiner, Lynne & Thompson, P.A. - www.zonelaw.com - Presentation on Patient Brokering, Anti-Kickback and Zoning.

Sponsored by Event Co-Chair Wellington Counseling Associates - www.wellingtoncc.com

*Tracy Strawberry, Co-Founder Strawberry Ministries and Darryl Strawberry Center - www.strawberryministries.org   Presentation Topic is TBD.

  • Tracy is an ordained minister
  • AUTHOR: "The Imperfect Marriage, Help for Those Who Think It's Over"
  • FOUNDER: Born Unique Ministry-Training Teens to live in the power of Christ-Next Generation of Greatness
  • President/CEO of Strawberry Ministries & Straw Marketing, LLC

Sponsored by Event Co-Chair: Acme Ranches - www.acmeranches.com


**EVENT CO-CHAIR: Cassandra Sierra, CEO Wellington Counseling Associates, M.S., M.S., LMHC, CAP ICADC, CEO New Options Royal Palm Beach, Professional Consultant &Corporate Trainer, presenting "Best Practices and DCF Compliance." This presentation is designed to help substance abuse providers and professionals increase their knowledge and compliance with common licensing standards and best practices. Providers and professional staff, including chief operating officers, clinical directors, compliance officers, therapists, clinicians and directors of human resources will take home knowledge, skills and competencies to improve program performance ratings for audits.  Participants will also take home best practices with policies and procedures, personnel records, quality assurance, staff development and training programs.  Administrative staff who attend will advance their leadership and supervisor skills in these best practices and standards.  Learn directly from leaders who have extensive current experience working in the treatment field.

  • Identify common licensing standards and best practices for all levels of care
  • List requirements and best practices for Quality Assurance
  • Improve clinical documentation knowledge, skills and competencies
  • Identify requirements for personnel records and staff training
  • Learn about measuring outcomes through an evidence best practice

Sponsored by Event Co-Chair Sponsor Wellington Counseling Associates - www.wellingtoncc.com

Cassandra is a seasoned professional in the addiction treatment industry. She has worked in the substance abuse industry for over 20 years in many roles including CEO, Founder, and as one of the nations most sought after consultants and trainers. Cassandra has a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Studies and a double Master’s degree in Human Resource Development and Administration from Barry University and a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Springfield College in Tampa, FL.

Cassandra Sierra was employed by the Palm Beach County Health Department for 19 years. She served as the Staff Development and Training Manager and provided training for over 1,100 employees. She works with many agencies in Palm Beach County as a consultant and corporate trainer. Her most recent work is with the Hanley Center teaching up and coming addiction therapists. In addition, as a Life and Business Coach/Consultant, she has assisted many entrepreneurs to established and manage new business ventures especially in substance abuse treatment industry in Palm Beach County.


*EVENT CO-CHAIR: Debbie Perkins, IMAC, NTIP, NCAMP, NCFRC, NCCM, NCLC, NCRCI, NCRCII | Founder of Acme Ranches Transition Houses-  www.acmeranches.com - Presentation "Where I was, where I am & where I am heading to".

Debbie Perkins has been in active addiction since the age of 10. She has endured a lot of trauma in her childhood due to being molested at the age of 6. She held on to that secret most of her life. She was in and out of rehab, but never staying sober more than 6 months because she never got honest with her past.

She had to learn to forgive those who hurt her and ask for forgiveness to those she had hurt during her active addiction. She learned all this through a 12 Step Program and is now at peace with her past. Her purpose with her Transition Houses is to help clients learn how to become whole and healthy again.

She is now nationally certified in several areas of the addiction field along with her Master's Addiction Coaching Certification. While her journey has not been an easy one it has been full of self-discovery, she has learned how to become a woman of dignity and honor..

Sponsored by Event Co-Chair: Acme Ranches - www.acmeranches.com


*Dr. Barry M. Gregory Ed.D., M.Ed., LMHC - www.drbarrymgregory.com/about-us - Presentation: "Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment: Proven and Practical Treatment Interventions for Everyday Clinical Practice"

Sponsored by Event Co-Chair: Wellington Counseling Associates - www.wellingtoncc.com

Despite advances in evidence based treatments for addiction, implementing these best practices remains challenging for most treatment centers. This hands on practical seminar will provide participants with the knowledge, skills and competencies to implement proven and practical interventions into everyday clinical practice. Updates on substance use disorders from the DSM-5 will be presented.

Participants will learn the top techniques and interventions from the most effective addiction treatments including Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive-Behavioral Approaches, Relapse Prevention, Contingency Management, Community Reinforcement Approach, 12 Step-Facilitation Therapy and Family Based Therapies. At the end of the seminar, participants will have new knowledge and clinical skills to take back to their everyday clinical practice. All treatment center staff will benefit from this best practices seminar.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the neurobiology of addiction and the brain.
  • Learn about the top most effective treatments for addiction
  • Describe the way addiction medications can support treatment and recovery
  • Identify the DSM-5 substance use disorder diagnostic criteria.
  • Identify keys to increasing family involvement in treatment
  • Learn ways to implement evidence based treatment interventions

Dr. Barry has a tremendously large amount of education and experience in the addictions field. He is currently Director of Training: New Options Training Institute of Royal Palm Beach, Inc., Clinical Director: Footsteps to Freedom Recovery Center, CEO/President: Consultant National Addictions Training and Consulting Institute. His past roles include; Clinical Director: Wellington Retreat, Director Outpatient and Residential Services for South County Mental Health Center, Inc., Addictions Counselor and Mental Health Therapist, Private Practice Addictions Therapist, DCF Training Program Consultant, Adjunct Instructor: FAU, Barry & Lynn Universites, National Seminar Trainer: National Addictions Training Institute, Clinical Mobile Assessment Supervisor: Federal Access to Recovery Grant for the Homeless, Associate Dean Lynn University, Assistant Director: University Counseling Center Florida Atlantic University.


*Carol Benevy, MSW | Project Manager at Turning the Tides and Banabas Health Institute for Prevention. Presentation "Turning the Tides: Managing Traumatic Stress Reactions in Recovery"

"If you’re not addressing the trauma, you’re missing the boat.”  Surveys of adolescents receiving substance abuse treatment show that more than 70% have a history of trauma exposure, with long term effects which continue into adulthood (National Child Traumatic Stress Network).  Participants in this workshop will learn strength-based strategies for trauma survivors in recovery to increase clients’ resilience and decrease the impact of emotional triggers.  These skills, such as Helpful Thinking, Managing Reactions and Building Healthy Social Connections, will enhance protective factors and serve as a complement to other treatment services.

Carol's Bio: Carol Benevy, MSW, is the Quality Assurance and Sustainability Specialist at Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention in Lakewood, New Jersey.  Carol has served as Program Manager for Turning the Tides, which uses evidence- based curricula to address the long term emotional recovery needs of children, schools and families impacted by Super Storm Sandy across five counties.  Prior to that, Carol was the Project Lead for New Jersey Hope and Healing where she managed a team of 22 crisis counselors who made over 43,000 face-to-face contacts providing emotional support, resources and skill building groups for people impacted by Super Storm Sandy in Ocean County, NJ.  Carol’s previous professional experience includes working for county government as coordinator for both the Sussex County Youth Services Commission and Children’s Inter-Agency Coordinating Council. She also served as an Adjunct Professor of Macro Social Work at Centenary College in Hackettstown NJ and was the Chair of the Sussex/Warren County Unit of the National Association of Social Workers, New Jersey Chapter. Carol earned a Master of Social Work degree from Rutgers University.

Sponsored by Event Co-Chair: Acme Ranches - www.acmeranches.com


Sponsored by: www.behavioralhealthnetworkresources.com - Behavioral Health Network Resources


Jack Kelly, CAP, NLP, LHMP | Author of "RADICAL RECOVERY: 12 Recovery Myths - The Addiction Survivors Guide to The Twelve Steps" and Founder of Lazarus House, Inc.,- www.jackkellycap.com - located in Boca Raton, FL and the author of "- Presentation Topic is on "12-Steps Refined"

Jack is also the founder of the M.I.N.E. Program | Motivate - Inspire - Nurture - Empower.  When a person relapses, after completing treatment, it is not due to a lack of knowledge, it's due to a lack of motivation and support. The M.I.N.E PROGRAM provides that motivation and support. Daily emails and 3 minute motivational DVDs, along with a Virtual Recovery Coach that provides patients with powerful tools and resources that teach them how to become more resilient, how to prepare for, recover from, and adapt in the face of stress, adversity and challenge. The program enables a therapist to track their patients progress.


Jameel McCline, NTIP | Retired Professional Heavyweight Boxer and Former U.S. Congressional Candidate for District 20 - Presentation Topic is "My Will"

From an abandoned child in foster care in a poverty stricken family throughout 1970's, to heavyweight world class fighter, hear how “his will” survived foster care, abuse, imprisonment, drug addiction, sobriety and ultimately, success. While countless opportunities were thrown away during his teens and early adulthood for a multitude of reasons, there came a point in which “his will” took the lead and created a total life turnaround. “Recovery led me into a career in intervention and proudly spreading the word that success can, and often does, follow the process of recovery from addiction.”


Rev. Kevin T. Coughlin, Ph.D. | Founder & Director at New Beginning Ministry Residential Addiction Recovery Program - Presentation topic is "Rev. Coughlin will share his experience, strength, and hope on the 12-Step process, the Blocked spirit, basic instincts, and how the solution works." | www.newbeginningmin.org

Rev. Kevin T. Coughlin PhD Is a founder of and has been the Director of New Beginning Ministry in the Poconos of Pennsylvania for the past eighteen years. The Reverend and his staff have helped to change and save thousands of lives during that time. The program at New Beginning is modeled after the original program used at The Ministry of the Highwatch started by Bill W. the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous when Joy Farm was Donated to help alcoholics to recover from addiction. (Joy Farm later to become Highwatch Farm is mentioned in AA literature)

Rev. Coughlin is a member in good standing of the The American Association of Christian Counselors, The Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling, and The National Council on Problem Gambling, NAADAC, USAPL, and IAM Minister’s Fellowship, and The Christian Coach’s Network. He is an internationally published poet and writer, on Addiction and Christian subjects. RevKev is the founder, CEO, and President of Phase II Christian Coaching, LLC.

Rev. Kev is a Nationally Certified Recovery Coach and Anger Management Specialist, a Nationally Certified Family Recovery Coach, a Nationally Certified Christian Recovery Coach, Family Recovery Coach,  Nationally Certified Gambling Addiction Coach, Nationally Certified Case Manager, Life Coach, an International Master Addictions Coach, Sexual Addiction Coach, Life Recovery Coach and Trainer. Rev. Coughlin is also a Certified and PA credentialed Interventionist.

The Reverend has been awarded five Doctorates: a Doctorate in Christian Counseling and a Doctorate in Divinity, a Doctorate in Life Coaching, a Doctorate in Domestic Violence Christian Advocacy, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology. He also has a BS and an MS in Christian Counseling. He is Board Certified with DIT Seminary in Christian Counseling with specializations in Grief, Substance Abuse, Alcohol Abuse, Family, and Developmental. He is a licensed Domestic Violence Christian Advocate, a licensed clinical Christian counselor, an AACT-DCU Associate Professor. He also is the Northeastern Vice President of the Administrative School Board.


Linda Potere, MBA, LHCRM, CHCQM, LADAC, NCACII, CAS | CEO at Millennium Behavioral Health - www.mbhc.com - Presentation Topic "Accreditation Assistance"

Linda possesses over 30 years’ experience in Behavioral Health Care Services specializing in accreditation and quality assurance. She has served in administrative positions in licensed and accredited community mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals and substance abuse treatment programs. In addition, she has led several multisite behavioral health care and long-term care agencies through their The Joint Commission accreditation.

Ms. Potere is certified in Health Care Quality Management by the American Board of Quality Assurance Utilization Review Physicians, Inc. and is a Licensed Heath Care Risk Manager. Ms. Potere has been the president and CEO of Seacrest Resource Center, Inc., Millennium Behavioral Health Care, Inc. and Millennium Medical Records Consultants, Inc. since 1995. Ms. Potere's presentation topic will shed insight and awareness around matters relating to:

  • The accreditation process and harnessing the many benefits
  • The science of reaching new heights as a recognized leader in behavioral health
  • Measurements and standards
  • EMR compliance and consultation
  • Technical aspects and the overall process


Nathan Hardage, NTIP, NCRC1: All American Football Player & Founder/Owner of "The Drug Recovery Coach." Mr. Hardage Presentation TBD

AbbVie  View Website - Presentation Topic "Hepatitis C Education"


Rev. David Grier Jr.: Ordained Baptist Minister - Presentation Topic "The 12-Steps from a Christian Perspective"

Rev. Grier received his Bachelor of Religious Education and Master of Theology degress from Freedom Bible College & Seminarian in Rogers, Arkansas.


Commencement, Networking, prize giveaways (40” Flat Screen TV, 14” Laptop Computer)

6:00 pm to 8:30 pm - Addiction Professional Woman of the Year Gala honoring Ms. Linda Potere in her commitment toward the betterment of the behavioral health industry for over 20 years!


Sponsored by www.behavioralhealthnetworkresources.com Behavioral Health Network Resources