Stephanie Guthrie currently serves as the President of the newly formed nonprofit Tennessee Association of Peer Specialists (TAPS), advocating for and promoting the peer support profession. In addition to her work with TAPS, Stephanie is a state trainer for the CPRS program. She has previously served in management and advocacy roles within the peer support field. Stephanie was also the recipient of the 2019 Trailblazer Award, in recognition of her transformative leadership and innovative contributions to the CPRS profession. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree, in addition to her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management.
Ron Morton has been working in the areas of substance abuse and mental health since 1984 having earned 2 Masters Degrees in Clinical Psychology and achieved candidacy for a Ph.D. at California School of Professional Psychology. He is currently the Manager of Recovery and Resiliency for BlueCare and TennCare Select Tennessee and provides behavioral health services for the TennCare population. As a part of his work, Ron is heavily involved in advocating for the Recovery Movement and Peer support in TN.
A proud member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, he also enjoys Creek and Choctaw lineage. Mr. Morton worked for the San Diego American Indian Health Center for 10 years and was the President of the National Council of Urban Indian Health. During that time Ron advocated across the country and in Washington D.C. for increased funding for urban Indian Health programs. Mr. Morton developed the first Substance Abuse Treatment Program for Native Americans in the urban Center of San Diego as well as the first Native American Mental Health Needs assessment in San Diego County.
Lori Rash has a lived experience of trauma, psychiatric and substance abuse. She has worked as a psychiatric social worker, as a public health representative and as a case manager for persons living with HIV. For the past 20 years she has she worked as a peer supporter fulfilling many different roles. Currently, she works for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee as a Recovery and Resiliency Outreach Coordinator. Today she embraces her journey of recovery and wellness, while holding the hope for other peers. Lori holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work, is a Tennessee State Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, Mental Health First Aid Trainer and an Advanced WRAP II facilitator.
Jules Wilson is the Youth and Young Adult Coordinator for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. They graduated with their BA in English from Vanderbilt University in 2017 and obtained their Certified Peer Recovery Specialist certification in 2018. Jules was an original member of the Statewide Young Adult Leadership Council, a collaboration between TDMHSAS and TN Voices, and now serves as the facilitator for the council. They serve as a representative at the state level for young adult peers who are on a journey of recovery with mental illness and substance abuse. In their role, they oversee the development of the Certified Young Adult Peer Support Specialist certification and provide training and technical assistance to the Department’s youth-serving programs, specifically System of Care Across Tennessee and Healthy Transitions. Through the System of Care Across Tennessee Training and Technical Assistance Center, Jules is available to create individualized trainings on Y/YA engagement, development of Y/YA councils, and cultural responsiveness for Y/YA. Joining Jules on the panel will be Crystal Hutchins, Rebekah
Lewis, and Jordan Scruggs.
Marta Hernandez-Fontenot is a native of Puerto Rico. She relocated with her mother, father and seven siblings to the United States at the age of 12. She learned about peer support in 2005 when one of the Peers who was running a Self-Help Peer Support Center offered her an opportunity to work as a peer specialist at the Self-Help Center facilitating mental health groups to the Hispanic Community. She has been working as a Peer Advocate since 2005. Marta has served as a Board member at the NJ Consumer Public Policy Committee, which represents thousands of consumers in the State of New Jersey. She is the supervisor of Turning Point Peer Support Center in the city of Memphis and has been Certify as a Peer Support Specialist by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services since 2014. Marta has served as Chair for the Consumer Advisory Board by the Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services. She is a member of Region VII public & policy committee, and Licensure Review Panel committee. She is serving now as Secretary of NAMI Memphis Board and is board member of TAPS (Tennessee Association of Peer Specialists). Marta is certified as an Art Therapy Coach. Due to her personal experience she has helped many people accomplished their recovery goals through teaching WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan), NAMI Basics, NAMI Family to Family for caregivers and family members who suffer from a mental health condition, and through sharing her recovery story as an IOOV (In Our Own Voice) Presenter. Marta serves her community together with her husband Paul at Second Chance Resource Services Ministry, providing resources to people in need of mental health, substance abuse, and foster care transitioning services. She is also the president of her organization called Women Moving Forward, whose initiative is to empower, educate, and encourage women with mental & physical challenges to overcome self-doubt, victimization and achieve their full potential.
Deven Johnson is a Peer Wellness Coach in the Upper East TN area with Frontier Health. She was trained as a Pastor through Milligan College (Milligan University) and Emmanuel School of Religion (Emmanuel Christian Seminary), focusing on counseling. She was ordained through the PC(USA), and has spent most of her years working with all ages in Christian education and pulpit ministry. As a Chaplain Resident at her local VA hospital, Deven discovered a passion for working with people with mental health and/or substance abuse issues. She has also struggled with depression and anxiety through different seasons in her life. She found her recovery through wellness. Deven loves to learn and read, watch The Office, hike, camp, and spend time with her kids and partner.