Nicky Fadley is the founder and Executive Director at Strength In Peers. Grounded in her lived experience with mental health recovery and overcoming trauma, she focuses on developing peer recovery support programs and advocating for individuals who struggle with behavioral health challenges. Nicky has over 12 years of experience in the field of nonprofit public health, including seven years in grant writing and program management. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from George Mason University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from James Madison University.
Director Of Operations
Ragan is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and serves as Director of Operations at Strength In Peers. Ragan joined the team in 2017 and has provided peer support through all of the organization’s programs. She is a certified Supervisor of Peer Recovery Specialist and utilizes various recovery models including 12-step recovery, W.R.A.P. (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) and Motivational Interviewing. Ragan has been sober and in recovery since May 28, 2008. In addition to her work as a Peer Support Specialist, Ragan holds a Master’s degree of Fine Arts from CalArts and a B.F.A. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Prior to working at Strength In Peers Ragan served as Chief Curator and Director of Education at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach. In her spare time Ragan enjoys hanging out with her family, making art, and working with homeless populations.
Adult Programs Manager
Jenni serves as Strength In Peers’ Adult Programs Manager. In her role, she supports Peer Specialists that work for the organization’s Back on Track and Pathways to Wellness programs. Jenni is passionate about helping other people find recovery so they may have a better way of life. She has worked a program of recovery since 2006. Prior to Strength In Peers, Jenni was as a Licensed Practical Nurse for over 20 years. She is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and is trained in W.R.A.P. (Wellness Recovery Action Plan), Chronic Pain Management, Chronic Disease Management, HIV and Hepatitis C Testing/Counseling, and Motivational Interviewing. She enjoys spending time with her family, guiding women through their recoveries, and cooking.
Youth Programs Manager
Veronica is the Youth Program Manager and oversees youth mentoring and family support services. She is passionate about working with children and helping them talk about challenges they face and helping them develop coping skills to deal with those challenges. Veronica is also trained as a Peer Recovery Support Specialist and SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training). She has lived experience with recovery in mental health, trauma and substance use. She is studying for her Associates degree at Lord Fairfax Community College in Human Services. Veronica joined Strength In Peers in May of 2018. Her hope is to be able to make a difference in people’s lives through her passion of work for recovery.
Mary Beth Hill
Resource Center Coordinator
Mary Beth Hill is the Coordinator of the Community Resource Center. She has a background in social work and worked with the Head Start Program before coming to Strength in Peers. After losing her infant son in 2014, Mary Beth became active in the Sadie Rose Foundation, a local organization providing support for child loss. This is where she was first introduced to non-clinical peer support and the healing that comes through peer support groups. Recently, Mary Beth also completed the Peer Support Recovery Specialist training offered by the VBHDS. Through the Community Resource Center, Mary Beth offers one-on-one support to help connect community members with local resources. She enjoys listening to people’s unique stories as they work towards improving their lives.
Peer Support Specialist
Richard is a Virginia Certified Peer Recovery Specialist who moved from Florida to Virginia in 2002. It is his desire to assist others in achieving their life goals and overcome addictions, trauma and mental health issues. He and his wife are Statewide Volunteers with the Virginia Department of Corrections, conducting Christian services in prisons. He is also associated with Kingsway Family Outreach/Prison Ministry. Prior to being employed with Strength In Peers in November 2015, he worked with Open Doors Shelter and saw the great need in the community for hope and recovery.
Peer Support Specialist
Alex is a Peer Support Specialist with Strength in Peers who is from the Northern Shenandoah Valley. She currently works on Strength In Peers’ Alcohol and Drug program serving Page and Shenandoah Counties. Alex is in long term recovery from substance use. She pursued being a peer specialist because she has first-hand experience seeing how Peer Support has helped her life. Now she enjoys being able to use her lived experience to help others move forward in their recovery. She is trained in SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training), has gone through Peer Recovery Support training, and is currently working toward being state certified.
Rural Programs Manager
Jordan serves as Rural Program Manager and oversees recovery programs in Shenandoah and Page Counties. As a Harrisonburg native, he is committed to improving lives within the community that raised him and has worked with numerous nonprofits in the area, while also serving on several Boards of Directors. Jordan is devoted to the idea that all people are tremendously valuable and deserving of recovery, and believes that quality peer support has the power to truly change the world. A graduate of Harrisonburg High School and Eastern Mennonite University, his dream is to one day open a peer-run recovery center which provides housing, employment, transportation, and all the other necessities for positive life transitions within the beautiful nature settings of the Shenandoah Valley. In his spare time, Jordan enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with his wife, Kim, and their dog, Butters.
Betsy is Program Coordinator for the Pathways to Wellness Program. Betsy has lived experience and long-term recovery from substance use. She has been trained as a Peer Support Specialist, and also has experience working with children that have trauma-related challenges. It has always been her heart’s desire to help anyone she can so they may see that recovery and hope are attainable. She enjoys working with children and adults from all walks of life, using her lived experience to help in any way possible.
Peer Support Specialist
Chris is the Peer Support Specialist serving on the Side-by-Side Recovery Program in Shenandoah and Page Counties. He is in long-term recovery from substance abuse, trauma, and mental health challenges. Chris has an associate’s degree in Human Services from Blue Ridge Community College, and is trained in Intentional Peer Support, and W.R.A.P. (Wellness Recovery Action Plan). His personal recovery comes from a 12-step background and is grounded in his lived experience.
Street Outreach Specialist
Hannah Bailey started at Strength In Peers on July 6, 2020, and has hit the ground running! As our Street Outreach Specialist, Hannah is working with our homeless friends by conducting housing intake assessments, connecting people to Centralized Housing Intake, providing folks with essential items, and lending peer support to those in need. Hannah previously worked at Open Doors shelter and First Step in Harrisonburg. Her warmth, ability to connect with others, and giving spirit makes her a perfect fit at Strength In Peers. Hannah has already completed Cultural Competency training, Trauma-Informed Care seminars, and learned the HMIS (Homeless Management Information System) data system. Hannah also is taking steps to become a Certified Peer Support Specialist.
Peer Support Specialist
Jeremiah Buracker, a native of Page County, Virginia, began working at Strength In Peers as a Peer Support Specialist in mid-July 2020. Jeremiah’s previous work history points to machine operations and warehouse management, but he’s been a natural peer supporter in his community for years. In January 2019, Jeremiah completed the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) 72-hour Peer Recovery Specialist training and is finalizing his 500 hours of peer service so that he can become certified through the state. Jeremiah has already completed Strength In Peers’ annual Cultural Competency training and is on his way to become a S.M.A.R.T. Recovery facilitator. His tumultuous history and subsequent recovery and success from drug dependency and mental health challenges have been an inspiration to many Strength In Peers staff members. Jeremiah’s passion, motivation, and eagerness to collaborate with others on their recovery journeys makes him a strong addition to our team
Jennie Amison, President
Cognitive Therapeutic Community Supervisor
Virginia Department of Corrections
Leslie Ashman, Treasurer
Senior Financial Analyst
Professor of Justice Studies
James Madison University
Crisis Intervention Team Assessment Site Program Coordinator
Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Homeless Management Information Systems Administrator for the Western Virginia Continuum of Care
Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority
James Madison University