Hello and thanks for taking a moment to let me tell you a bit about Willard. I completed my undergraduate education at Madison College, now James Madison University in Virginia with majors in Elementary Education, Library Science and Music Education. I started my career as a Media Specialist (Librarian) at JFK High School in Suffolk, Virginia and quickly decided that working in a school setting was not what I wanted to do. I ended up quitting teaching school and teaching dance instead. One thing led to another and within a few months I opened my own studio in Baltimore, subsequently buying the master franchise for Maryland and Delaware and moved to Wilmington to open another studio. After 11 years in the dance business I sold the franchise and began my journey in human services. I started working as a weekend educator at The Recovery Center of Delaware, where my supervisor told me that if I wanted to stay in this field, I needed to be certified and have a Masters degree. I achieved my CADC, completed my Master of Social Work and was promoted to Director of Alternatives, the long term residential program at RCD. Recognizing that many of the people in treatment had significant mental health struggles, for the next 4 years I worked to successfully transform the program into a co-occurring program.
I completed the requirements to be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and moved the Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health as a Senior Quality Assurance Operations Specialist, where I became the Unit Manager for Licensing and Medicaid Certification. In this position, I visited all substance abuse treatment programs for licensing reviews and all Medicaid certified mental health programs for certification reviews. After 5 years with DSAMH, I returned to RCD as the Residential Services Director and subsequently the Director of Kirkwood Detoxification Center. In 2005, I quit full time employment, maintained my private social work and consulting practice, and spent time traveling and at the beach. A year later, after much recruitment, I joined the management team at Horizon House as a team director and subsequently the CCCP director where I stayed for seven years. In 2013, I discovered Recovery Innovations, interviewed with Michelle Bloss and Gene Johnson, and knew that I had found a home to finish my career.
In retrospect, I suppose my career in human services began in my early years and has evolved to where I am today – proudly working with a company that not only embodies my belief in the Recovery Journey, but demonstrates its Mission statement and Values with the individuals served, the staff and communities in which they are located.