BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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
CHACKU MATHAIFOR-NY Board President
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.

(he/him/his)

Vice President: ERIC W. DYERJ.D., M.B.A., Associate, Casner & Edwards
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.
Treasurer: DR. CHARLES MORGANMD, DFASAM, FAAFP
Charles Morgan, MD, DFASAM, FAAFP is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He completed his fellowship in Addiction Medicine at Willingway Hospital in Statesboro, Georgia and his Fellowship in Regional and Obstetric Anesthesia at the University of Pennsylvania. He did his graduate work in Human Genetics at Cornell University. Dr. Morgan has worked in the field of Addiction Medicine for nearly four decades and has published in both the anesthesia literature and the addiction medicine literature. He has lectured extensively regionally and nationally, and has taught fellows, residents and students for his entire medical career from as far away as as the former Soviet Union, and from universities from Florida to the Northeast. Dr. Morgan has worked in all modalities of treatment from outpatient to inpatient, including office-based practice to providing medical direction for a large health care system in addiction services, in both the private and public sectors. He is the Past Medical Director of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and currently sees patients at Wayne Behavioral Health Network, in the county where he was born and raised on his parents’ farm. He is a passionate advocate for people and families with addiction and for recovery. “Charlie” is deeply grateful for his own long term recovery from addiction, which began over 38 years ago, and which for all of the support and love from family, friends, colleagues and particularly the other people in recovery “some of whom I’ve met and some of whom I have yet to meet, but who have always accepted me unconditionally, warts and all, and with whom I’m always safe and home.”

“I’m excited to serve on the Board of Friends of Recovery New York. My hope is that I’ll be able to provide a strong voice for those who have not or are still not able to have a voice them-selves, in such a way that one day all families, loved ones and people with addiction can have their own voices,” expressed Dr. Morgan.

Board Secretary: ANNEMARIE BRIGNONI
SAMUEL ENCARNACION
STEPHANIE COLON
STEPHANIE COLON
Stephanie is a full-time Bilingual Peer Specialist at the Institute for Family Health at the Center for Counseling at Walton, OnTrackNY since November 2017.

Stephanie has 40 years of experience in community organizing the non-profit and public sector in the capacity of administrative, direct line social service worker (i.e., bilingual case manager, clinical supervisor, group facilitator and peer specialist) and teaching experience in the performing arts, recovery communities, academia, and afterschool settings. In addition, Stephanie has worked for state and municipal organizations in Africa, Central America and throughout the United States.

Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies/ minor – alternative therapies from Long Island University, completed a certificate program in Non-Profit Management at Columbia Graduate Business School and a Candidate for a Master of Arts degree in social justice and community organizing at Prescott College.

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

FRIENDS OF RECOVERY – NEW YORK BOARD OF DIRECTORS INTEREST FORM

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