LEADERSHIP & STAFF

We work to demonstrate the power and promise of Recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, and the value Recovery provides to individuals, families, and entire communities throughout New York State.

DR. ANGELIA SMITH-WILSON
DR. ANGELIA SMITH-WILSONExecutive director
Dr. Smith-Wilson brings over 20 years of human service and addiction experience to Friends of Recovery-New York. Angelia’s career spans across working with human service agencies that have served individuals with mental health, substance use, residential, and homeless issues. She has worked as an intensive case manager, a primary therapist, a director of client services and eventually progressing to level of vice president throughout the greater Rochester area.

Angelia has centered her career around improving treatment outcomes for those in recovery, as well as exploring research designed at substance use counselor development. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled, “Examining the Relationship between the Substance Abuse Counselor Knowledge of the Models of Disability and their self-assessment of cultural competence working with the Deaf Sign Language User,” afforded her the opportunity to learn and study addictions from the counselor’s perspective.

Dr. Smith-Wilson has a B.S. in Psychology from SUNY Brockport, Master of Social Work from Roberts Wesleyan College and a Doctorate in Education from St. John Fisher College. Dr. Smith-Wilson is adjunct faculty at the School of Social Welfare, Graduate MSW Program, University of Albany, where she teaches Macro Practice Social Work.

Dr. Smith-Wilson comes to us from her most recent position as the Assistant Director of Local Program Operations at the New York State Office for the Aging, within the Local Programs Division.

ALLISON WEINGARTEN
ALLISON WEINGARTENDirector of Policy
Prior to joining FOR-NY, Ms. Weingarten served as an Empire Fellow at both the New York State Division of Budget (Nonprofit Coordination Unit) and the New York State Commission on National and Community Service. She was the Program Director for the After School Enrichment & Summer Discovery Day Camp at the Queens Community House (QCH) in Forest Hills, New York. Prior to working for QCH, Allison served as Legislative Director of the NYS Assembly Subcommittee on Workplace Safety under its Chair Assembly Member Rory Lancman (now, a New York City Councilman). Allison’s achievements have resulted in several honors including being named one of New York State Nonprofit News’ “40 Rising Stars under 40” (2016) and New York State News’ “40 Rising Stars under 40” (2010).Allison holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Masters in Social Work; Community Organization, Planning and Development from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.
SHANNON SCHIELKE
SHANNON SCHIELKEEducation, Training & Support Coordinator
Shannon joined FOR-NY in September 2018 through the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) Program. The AmeriCorps Program is our nation’s domestic PeaceCorps; its members are committed to living in and supporting their local community to help alleviate this nation’s most pressing issues. Shannon has a passion for community service and involvement and comes to FOR-NY with experience in data analytics, community engagement, and communications. After her time with AmeriCorps ended, Shannon officially joined the FOR-NY team as the Education, Training & Support Coordinator. Shannon is a college graduate of Binghamton University (B.A.) and has previously worked for the United States Geological Survey.
DEBBIE BROSEN
DEBBIE BROSENDirector of Operations
Debbie comes to FOR-NY with over 30 years of experience in office management and organization. During this time, Ms. Brosen worked in the private, non-profit sector, as well as in state and county government positions. Ms. Brosen effectively managed programs and oversaw technology and training areas. During her tenure as District Clerk of the Hyde Park Central School District, Ms. Brosen organized the creation, implementation, and on-going review of Board policies. Debbie’s organizational talents enabled more efficient work processes to be put in place, thereby leading to an increase in productivity. She assisted in budget development and hosted all budget votes. Through Debbie’s strong commitment to the District Clerk profession, she became the Chairperson for the District Clerk Strand of the New York State School Boards Association for over six years, where she worked with a team of volunteers to bring training to District Clerks from across New York State.
THERESA KNORR
THERESA KNORRDirector of Recovery Education & Training
Theresa is a family member in recovery and works her own process addiction recovery program. She comes to FOR-NY with over 30 years of professional experience in counseling, coaching and case management, specializing in addiction treatment and recovery. She has been teaching, training & developing curriculum focused on wellness, staff and client self-care, relapse prevention and personal growth for more than 15 years. She has also been volunteering in the community teaching meditation and esoteric pyschology for over 17 years. As a former Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) in New York and CADAC in Arizona, Theresa has been a clinician, a clinical supervisor and program director. Ms. Knorr’s previous employers include Pahl, Inc., Hope House, Hudson Mohawk Recovery Center, Equinox and Hedgerow House (Transitional Services Association, Inc.). She is currently owner of BALANCE Recovery Consultation | “Tai Chi for Recovery”.
JEFFREY WATSON
JEFFREY WATSONCommunications and Development Manager
Jeffrey “Jeff” Watson is a veteran marketing and communications professional with experience with non-profit organizations as well as collegiate athletics. Before joining FOR-NY, Watson worked as a Director of Marketing, as a journalist and as a consultant.

In his role as Communications and Development Manager at FOR-NY, Watson will be able to utilize his experience in fundraising, marketing and public relations. He will also bring knowledge of multimedia editing and production to the FOR-NY team.

Watson is a graduate of Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina where he holds a degree in Communications with a concentration in journalism.

ASHTON DALEY
ASHTON DALEYWrap Around Peer Support Specialist
Ashton joined us in May 2019 as our MSW Macro Practice Intern from SUNY Albany. He is now our part time Wrap Around Peer Support Specialist. Ashton is a graduate of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. Hailing from Rochester, New York, Ashton spent the past year with the Wesley Community in Saratoga Springs so he is getting to know the different communities in New York State! Ashton is an ally to the Recovery Community and a passionate activist looking forward to working with the Recovery Community to organize and advocate for progressive change and eliminate the negative perception of people in recovery and those struggling with addiction. Ashton is a member of the transgender community and looks forward to assisting the Recovery Community in becoming more accessible to people of all gender identities and expressions.

Youth Voices Matter NY Team

Visit website: youthvoicesmatter.org

BEN RIKER
BEN RIKERYouth Recovery Program Coordinator
Ben is a father of two, a person in long term sustained recovery and a passionate advocate for intelligent evidence-based policy surrounding education, treatment and recovery from substance use disorders. His professional background includes all aspects of organizational peer-professional integration and programming including training, coaching, and supervision as well as community and professional education and outreach.
Ben is a New York State Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA), a Certified Peer Specialist and a Friends of Recovery – NY Best practice Trainer.
“For me, sustained recovery came as I began to make honest human connections with others whom I shared similar lived experiences. Through those connections I found my voice and my purpose. As the Youth Recovery Program Coordinator, my goal is to empower my team to facilitate dynamic and engaging opportunities for youth and young adults from all over New York State to create meaningful and supportive peer-to-peer connections.”

“It’s an honor to be part of an organization that is leading the way and doing wonderful things in the community”

~ Rachelle Brown

“It’s an honor to be part of an organization that is leading the way and doing wonderful things in the community”

~ Rachelle Brown