Lauren Kestner is the Harm Reduction Program Manager and Prevention Specialist at Center for Prevention Services located in Charlotte, NC. It is at this agency that she oversees the Queen City Needle Exchange Program, leads the Charlotte Regional Harm Reduction Coalition, and provides resiliency focused programs for youth. Originally from New Jersey, she received a…

Melea is the Partnership Engagement Manager with Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina. Melea believes that all children deserve to grow up in a safe, stable, and nurturing environment free of abuse and neglect. She is a National Trainer in the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework and the trauma informed curriculum Connections Matter. She represents Prevent…

Project Director-NC Div. of MH/DD/SAS Martin has worked in the behavioral health field for over 30 years with an emphasis on addictive disorders.  Initially in the US Air Force where he grew from providing counseling to those in need on various bases to managing addictions clinics, to being handpicked to join the Inspector General’s team…

Since 1999, Stephanie Almeida has devoted her adult life to supporting individuals and families affected by substance use.  As a person affected by the war on drugs, Stephanie is a dedicated harm reductionist who meets people where they are at, regardless of their stage of readiness to change. She is credentialed as a NC Certified…

Jessica has twenty years of experience in substance misuse prevention, including thirteen years conducting training and technical assistance to prevention block grant providers, law enforcement, coalitions and collaboratives in Illinois and North Carolina. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of…

Robert “Sam” Melville Raised a military brat until age 18. Father USMC Officer Mother School Teacher Lived all over The United States: NC,SC,VA,TX,CA, AZ,HI Lived in Egypt and Israel: Summer 1975 Raised in Military Culture during Vietnam Era Alcohol part of same. That’s where it all began First beer at age five Family dysfunction from…

Lisa Macon Harrison, MPH local health director in Granville and Vance Counties in North Carolina, has worked at the intersection of public health research and practice in North Carolina since 1995. Ms. Harrison’s areas of expertise and public health leadership and training include: Advocating for the Public Health Workforce and Rural Health Working with partners…

NC Senator Jim Davis

Senator Jim Davis has represented NC Senate District 50 since 2011. He serves on a range of committees including: Chairman Joint Legislative Committee Transportation Appropriations; Chairman Senate Transportation Policy Committee; Member Senate Finance, Health Care, and Judiciary Committees; Chairman Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on General Government; Chairman Joint Legislative Committee on Local Government; Member Joint…

NC Senator Robinson, PhD

Senator Gladys Ashe Robinson, Deputy Minority Leader of the North Carolina Senate, has been elected to her fifth term in the Senate. She is Chair of the Guilford County Delegation and is a dedicated advocate for the people of North Carolina, specifically Guilford County. Senator Robinson serves on the following Legislative Committees: Appropriations/Base Budget, Education/Higher…

Vernisha Crawford serves as CEO at Bringing You Excellence(BYE), LLC an organization that provides consulting services, youth program development and workshop facilitation to maximize how organizations positively impact the youth they serve. Vernisha is also the Director for the Charlotte Resilience Project, a community initiative focused on creating AWARENESS of the impact of adverse childhood…