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. 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.

BEN RIKERDirector of Policy
Ben is a father of two, a person in recovery and a passionate advocate for data-driven, 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 FOR-NY Best Practice Trainer, a member of the ASAP-NYCB Trainer Registry and serves on the Partnership to End Addiction’s FIRST Research Network National Advisory Board, Faces and Voices of Recovery’s National Public Policy Committee and the NY Association of Substance Abuse Provider’s Harm Reduction Committee.

“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 Director of Policy at FOR-NY, my goal is to listen to and amplify the voices of New Yorkers who have been affected by addiction, developing and executing a strategic agenda that supports our communities’ needs.”

CASSANDRA FARRUGIACommunications Manager
Cas is joining us from her last position as the Associate Director of Communications and Outreach at the New York State chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NMAI-NYS). Cas received her BA in Psychology and Women’s Gender and Sexualities Studies from SUNY New Paltz.

Cas was born and raised in the Bronx, NY and identifies as a Queer Latina who is living in mental health recovery and is a family member of a person in long-tern sustainable recovery, who demonstrates everyday that recovery is possible. Her previous experience with NAMI-NYS and as an active activist and leader with Voices of Community Activists and Leaders – New York (VOCAL-NY), has allow her to strengthen her voice to advocate for herself, loved ones and her community. In addition, Cas is a board member of NAMI Capital Region, NY and a member of Women United Capital Region.

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 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”.

Youth Voices Matter NY Team

ASHTON DALEYYouth Recovery Program Coordinator
Ashton joined us in May 2019 as our MSW Macro Practice Intern was our Wrap Around Peer Support specialist, and is now our Youth/Young Adult Recovery Program Support Specialist.

Ashton received his BSW at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and his MSW from University at Albany. 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 experiencing addiction.

Ashton is also 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.

Pronouns: he/him/his

MADELINE HOGANYouth & Young Adult Recovery Program Support Specialist
Madeline is a person in long-term sustained recovery. Maddie is excited to be a part of YVM because she used substances between the ages of 14 and 25 and believes her direct lived experience is a valuable asset to YVM and the population they serve.

Maddie graduated from Hudson Valley Community College in 2008 with an A.A. in Individual Studies (English). She brings over five years of clerical and administrative assisting experience with her from the home remodeling industry. She was the Project Assistant for FOR-NY before transitioning to being the YVM Specialist

Maddie an activist in the pursuit of a variety of social justice causes including prison reform, improved conditions, and rights for people who are currently incarcerated, ending homelessness as well as harm reduction efforts. She is a community leader with VOCAL-NY (Voices of Community Activists and Leaders- New York) where she has gained experience with community organizing, public speaking, and lobbying.

Alumni Association of New York State

WILVENA GORDONAlumni Association of New York State Coordinator
Ms. Gordon is a person in long term recovery who has done service commitments for the addiction recovery community continuously since 1986, including Public Relations coordination on the multi-state, Regional and Zonal level for the past four years. Ms. Gordon taught as a Lecturer at Queensborough Community College and was a public school English teacher for over 20 years.
Ms. Gordon has extensively traveled in relation to professional addiction recovery service in Thailand, Indonesia, Switzerland, Poland, Canada, and Peru. Ms. Gordon is a graduate of Harvard College, Bank Street College of Education and has graduate course work at New York University, Oxford University and Columbia University Business School. Ms. Gordon is a mother of three sons. She sponsors women internationally and is an ally of the LGBTQ community.

“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