Until 2015, FOR-NY consisted of a volunteer Board of Directors committed to raising awareness and support for Recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs throughout New York State. Today, with the support of a professional staff, the Board remains dedicated to advancing the FOR-NY mission and guiding the continued growth of the organization.

Chacku Mathai is person in recovery, currently serving as Board President and is one of the founding board members of FOR-NY. Chacku started his recovery advocacy journey when he was 15 years old by joining a small group of students of recovery and their families in Rochester, NY who organized the Students of Brighton Encourage Recovery (SOBER) Barn in November, 1985. The SOBER Barn was the first example of a Recovery Community Organization in NYS dedicated to and operated by young people in recovery.

Chacku’s personal experiences as a youth and young adult with racism, xenophobia, trauma, suicide attempts, and serious mental health and substance use conditions, launched Chacku and his family toward a number of efforts to advocate for recovery-oriented services, inclusive social conditions, and wholistic alternative supports in the community.

He has since accumulated over thirty-five years of experience in his personal recovery, systems advocacy, and organizational leadership. Chacku’s advocacy and leadership continue in his roles on local and statewide police and crisis response initiatives, and across the country as a National Advisory Council member for the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health in Texas and the National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems. Chacku is also an appointed member of the New York State Integrated Block Grant Committee and the NYS Behavioral Health Services Advisory Council.


ERIC W. DYERFOR-NY Vice President
Eric Dyer is an attorney and practices at the law firm Casner & Edwards, where he is an Associate in its Nonprofit Organization Group. Eric graduated from Albany Law School and Clarkson University in 2016 with a Juris Doctor and Masters in Business Administration in Healthcare Management. Prior to graduate school, Eric attended Union College, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2013. Eric grew up outside of Boston, MA and now lives in Albany, NY. Eric is proud to be a person in long-term recovery.
Erika Rosenberg has been in recovery for over two decades. She brings to the FOR-NY board experience in data analysis and synthesis, strategy development, nonprofit management, stakeholder engagement and research and writing. Erika leads the Center for Governmental Research, a Rochester-based nonprofit research and consulting organization with a mission to support positive change in communities. Before joining CGR in 2005, she was a newspaper reporter, including 5 years in Albany covering a range of issues including mental health and addiction. Erika is passionate about social justice, anti-racism, nature, spirituality, tennis and raising her two children.
I have been in the behavioral health field for over 14yrs where I was able to obtain CASAC certification and after semi-retirement due to health issues, decided to become a CRPA to continue helping the population that we serve at a different level.

I have 18 yrs in Recovery. My pathway to recovery was through abstinence based treatment and MAT. (Methadone). I am currently working as a CRPA/Supervisor Peer Services at Samaritan Daytop Village Independence in the Bronx.
I am the Chairperson for the Alumni Association of NYS
I co-chair for consumers at the Bronx Council on Alcohol and substance use disorder and recently appointed FOR NY Board Member.
I am on the OASAS/DOHMH/OMH BRSS (Bringing Recovery Support to Scale) NYS EPICS (Employing Peers in Community Services) team, RIT member and a member of the Bronx Opioid Collective Impact Project where we do community outreach twice a week to provide the homeless (MH/SUD) population with daily living needs, harm reduction material, food and information on treatment and Recovery support services available to them and the community.

Dr. Felecia Pullen specializes in program and policy development for the fields of substance use disorders, teen misuse prevention, non-medical models of harm reduction, and recovery supports. Much of her focus is on the design and implementation of community-based initiatives. Through multi-tiered approaches, she believes we can prevent the onset of use, reduce overdoses resulting from misuse, increase the attainment of recovery capital, and promote healthier communities.

Dr. P. founded and is the President & CEO of Let’s Talk SAFETY, Inc., a not-for-profit which includes SAFE in Harlem, a SAMHSA-funded teen-led substance misuse prevention coalition; The PILLARS, Manhattan’s first OASAS-funded Recovery Community & Outreach Center; and The SAFETY Net, a teen-designed Clubhouse in Harlem. Each division offers holistic, complementary and alternative approaches to recovery, for individuals and family members who are loving someone in active use.

Dr. P.’s advocacy and activism has been recognized nationally and throughout New York CIty & State. She has delivered numerous workshops in Culturally Responsive Recovery at SAMHSA’s National Leadership Forum; has twice been appointed by former NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio to the City’s Municipal Drug Strategy Council; currently sits on the FOR-NY Recovery Community Steering Committee, and has produced several substance misuse awareness campaigns for the State.

Through the strength of her partnerships with NYPD, The NYC Dept of Health & Mental Hygiene, Colleges and Universities, Public and private healthcare systems, and political figures she has delivered programs and services…free of charge…to over 20,000 individuals.

Her work is inspired by the vision of a drug-misuse-free world…one child, one family, and one community at a time!

Jonathan P. Edwards is a social scientist, public health professional, licensed clinical social worker, and a person in long-term recovery living in New York City. He contributed to the development of, and subsequently led, the largest peer support workforce within the New York City Hospital system at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn. Jonathan’s contributions to peer support include research on job satisfaction, involvement with the National Association for Peer Supporters (N.A.P.S.) in developing National Practice Guidelines, and independent consultancy. He is also a Certified Peer Specialist and Certified Personal Medicine Coach. Dr. Edwards also serves as adjunct faculty at Columbia School of Social Work, and was instrumental in planning and facilitating the inaugural “Surviving Race Dialogues” in Savannah, Georgia in August 2022, which was hosted by Surviving Race: The Intersection of Injustice, Disability, and Human Rights. He is also the recipient of several awards and is co-editor of numerous articles and the forthcoming book, “How It’s Done: Wisdom from Peer Support Specialists and Supervisors”. Jonathan has particular interest in collaborating on participatory action research within the Harlem Community to explore strengths, resiliencies, and recovery focused approaches among people who use drugs and are considering decreasing risk through various pathways including harm reduction and abstinence. Jonathan received his Ph.D. and M. Phil. in Social Welfare from City University of New York Graduate Center, Masters in Social Work from Hunter College, and Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Psychology and Interdisciplinary Studies from City University of New York.

In Memoriam

  • Past President, Charles J. Devlin, Vice President of Substance Abuse & Development, Brightpoint Health, New York City
  • Past President, Laura Elliott-Engel, MA, CASAC-G, LMHC


Board of Diretors Interest Form (fillable)

“You just don’t know where the ripples are going to go.”

~ Laura Elliot-Engel

“You just don’t know where the ripples are going to go.”

~ Laura Elliot-Engel