SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) Recovery Program Coordinator
Executive Director She/Her/Hers
Louise Montag, CPC
Louise Montag, Certified Prevention Consultant (CPC), has over 7 years of experience in the field and has been the Executive Director of Prevention Network since 2020. She has a degree in Wellness and Health Promotion from Oakland University and uses her personal experience, background in public health, and passion for mental health promotion to support effective local community prevention strategies across Michigan. Louise was awarded the Top 10 Alumni within 10 Years at Oakland University, the Arthur Ashe Award from ESPN, Michigan Preventionist of the Year in 2019 by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service. She has presented at conferences, keynoted discussions, is a Mental Health First Aid and prevention ethics instructor, and has written journal articles on Substance Use Disorders and mental health promotion. In her free time, Louise enjoys exploring the Lansing area, cheering on MSU sports teams, traveling, and spending time with her husband and 2 dogs.
Coalition Support & Community Change Program Coordinator She/Her/Hers
Ruth Schwendinger, CPS
Ruth cut her teeth in community building growing up on the south side of Des Moines, volunteering on political campaigns, neighborhood revitalization projects, faith-based youth counseling, and literacy services. Before joining Prevention Network, Ruth was working as Prevention Specialist with the Community Mental Health Authority in the Thumb of Michigan for 4 years, helped high-risk youth apply their behavioral health interventions at Boystown Intensive Residential Treatment Center in Omaha, and cared for people with substance use disorder at the Moore Center for stabilization with what was at the time called Addictions Recovery Center in southern Oregon. Ruth holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa and is a Certified Prevention Specialist in Michigan.
Michigan Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking Program Coordinator He/Him/His
Mike Tobias, CPC
Mike is the Coordinator for the Michigan Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking (MCRUD) and has been employed with Prevention Network since June 2010. Prior to his employment with PN, Mike was involved with MCRUD for about 10 years and served as chair for some of this time. For leisure he enjoys camping, fishing, reading, attending concerts and sporting events, traveling, and spending time with his family. He has been in long term recovery for over 20 years, has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan, and is a certified prevention consultant.
Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose Related Deaths Program Coordinator She/Her/Hers
Ieshia graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A in Health Education and minor in Community Health. She has a passion for serving the community and has worked as a Diabetes Coordinator, Health Coach, and Family and Adult Prevention Specialist. Ieshia enjoys helping people with health issues, chronic diseases, adults with disabilities, and any related health prevention strategies. In her free time, she loves to be outdoors and camp out and enjoys traveling to hot places. One thing on her bucket list is to visit the Grand Canyon. Ieshia loves being with family. She always finds events to attend to create memories. In her spare time, she calls herself a handyman, as she loves to fix and create projects.
Michigan Higher Education Network Program Coordinator She/Her/Hers
Alex Wray, CPS
Alex, a Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS), is a recent graduate from Central Michigan University with a B.S. in Public Health Education and Substance Misuse, and took the position as the Michigan Higher Education Network (MIHEN) Coordinator through Prevention Network in August of 2021. Her passion is connecting with others in the community on prevention efforts for youth and those on college campuses regarding mental health and substance misuse. In her free time, she enjoys reading novels, being outside, playing with her dog, and being with friends and family!
Parenting Awareness Michigan Program Coordinator She/Her/Hers
Sara is a CMU grad with a B.A. of Science in Family Studies and Human Development and a minor in Psychology. Sara enjoys working with people and has experience working with just about every population in the human services field with a focus on children and families. She has two young daughters and in her free time enjoys reading, crafting, gardening and camping. Sara is big on family time and cherishes making lasting memories with her daughters and dog, Murphy. Fire up Chips!!
Michigan Youth Coalition Network Program Coordinator She/Her/Hers
Shelbie has recently obtained her Masters of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan and is a Michigan State University Alumni. Shelbie has been involved in non-profit work in areas such Maternal and Infant Health, Youth Development, After-school programming, and Community Development and Stabilization. She is passionate about working with youth and empowering the next generation of Public Health leaders. In her free time she enjoys hiking, the outdoors, and traveling.
Program Liaison She/Her/Hers
Effie Alofoje-Carr brings over a decade of non-profit experience to her position at Prevention Network as a Program Liaison. Her experiences with project coordination, program and case management, non-profit consulting, workshop facilitation and public speaking equip her for this role. A proud Detroit native and Michigan State University alumni, (GO GREEN!), she has a passion for public health and its intersection with policy and advocacy.
Effie and her husband have an elementary age son and in her spare time she enjoys bargain shopping for her family and friends.
SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) Recovery Program Coordinator
Joshua is a Certified Peer Recovery Coach with over 7 years of personal sobriety and he is our SMART Recovery Facilitator. Joshua is a Junior at Michigan State University finishing his degree in Criminal Justice and plans to help reduce stigma with persons who are involved with the criminal justice system and who are dually diagnosed. He is an advocate for all things recovery-oriented and loves MSU. In his free time he enjoys catching games with his children, working out and hunting.
Joe Thayer has been the Chair of Prevention Network’s Board of Directors for several years. He has a Master’s Degree from Central Michigan University and has obtained his Certified Prevention Consultant-Reciprocal (CPCP-R) certification from the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals (MCBAP). Joe believes in the mission of Prevention Network and appreciates the opportunity to be part of a dynamic and leading agency within the State of Michigan!
Board, Co-Chair She/Her/Hers
Melea Belton, MA, MS, LPC, NCC, CPS
Melea T Belton is a nationally board certified counselor and certified prevention specialist who currently is the Director of Behavior/Mental Health Services at Eaton RESA. Prior to that, Melea served as the coordinator of the Ingham Substance Awareness and Prevention Coalition. Additionally, as a clinician she provided trauma services to underserved populations in a variety of settings, including foster care and residential substance use disorder treatment. Melea serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for MidMichigan Recovery Services, as well as on the Board of Directors the Eaton Community Health Collaborative. Melea holds a Master of Arts in Family Studies, and a Master of Science in Counseling in Clinical Health Psychology from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is also a Doctoral Candidate at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology where she concentrates on Trauma Focused International Psychology. She currently is serving as subject matter expert for the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium. She has worked in treatment, prevention and recovery, which she believes gives her a unique perspective in the field. In her spare time, she enjoys finger painting with her two sons, reading fiction novels, and being dragged down the street by her two German Shepherds. She also fancies herself to be a dessert tasting expert.
Board, Secretary She/Her/Hers
Board, Governance and Recruitment Committee Chair
Mr. Newton has been in the field of treating substance use disorders since May of 1978. He has experience in all aspects of care from prevention to short-term and long-term residential treatment, sober living facilities, detoxification, outpatient, medical professionals, medication assisted treatment, adolescents, sobriety courts and developing all of these programs in his capacity as the CEO of Harbor Hall for 23 years. He also worked with veterans for a number of years and was a counselor at Betty Ford Center and Hazelden. He is presently retired and serves as a Rotarian. He also serves on the Northern Michigan Regional Entity advisory board in Northern Michigan and has also served on the MAADAC Board for a number of years.
Board Member He/Him/His
Todd E. Bradley is a native of Flint, Michigan and is a graduate of Southwestern High School class of 1976. He then attended the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff graduating in 1981. Todd has been certified as an Addictions Counselor through the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals, a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Treatment Specialist through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Professionals as well as a Certified Sexual Offender Treatment Specialist through the American College for Forensic Counselors. Currently he is a Certified Human Resource Specialist through the College of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Michigan State University. Todd has worked in either behavioral health care or human services for over 32 years. He has been both a program and unit director for the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing. He has also served as a milieu therapist for Borgess Medical Center and a program director for a psychiatric hospital serving adolescent patients. He was a director of outpatient and residential services for Insight Inc., in which he was employed for 17 years. Currently Todd is employed by Michigan State University in Central Human Resources’ Organization and Professional Development unit as a Senior Learning and Organization Development Specialist. Todd also is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., a board member for the Prevention Network and a past board member and supporter of the Care Free Medical and the Uplift Our Youth Foundation Board of Directors. Todd is a professional trainer, interventionist, and motivational speaker, providing workshops in such areas but not limited to Change Management, Workplace Violence Prevention, Cultural Sensitivity, Trauma, No Harassments, Anger Management, Customer Service, Assertion, Positive Thinking, Team Building and Conflict Resolution. He also delivers motivational messages to students, faculty, and parents from various school systems on Substance Abuse Prevention, Anti Bullying, Goal Setting and Positive Parenting.
Board Member She/Her/Hers
Ms. Burkett has been employed as the Director of Kent County Veterans Services since December of 2018. Ms. Burkett was previously employed as the Director of Amarillo Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs (ARAD), Substance Abuse Section Head at Headquarters Marine Corps, Counseling Psychologist for the United States Army in Europe, and Program Administrator for the State Bar of Michigan Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program. She has also been employed as a counselor in the public and private sectors.
She has previously been a member of the Michigan Counseling Board, Michigan Certification Board for Addictions Professionals, Michigan Association of Addictions Counselors, and Finish the Mission. She is a current Member or the Lakeshore Regional Entity Oversight Board.
Ms. Burkett holds master’s degrees in Public Administration and Counseling Education. She has earned a Graduate Certificate in Holistic Health, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Additionally, she has earned advanced level certification in Addictions Counseling, as well as certification as an Auricular Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist. Ms. Burkett is also a Certified Approved Clinical Supervisor.
Board Member He/Him/His
Ron is a metro Detroit native and holds a Master and Bachelor degree in Accounting from Michigan State University. Ron is a Certified Public Accountant, acting as a Director at PwC. He brings extensive governance and compliance experience as an auditor to the Board with a focus on internal controls and policies. When Ron is not at work, he is balancing visits to the Pilates studio with running around town with his wife trying new restaurants, while chasing his two school age boys.
Dr. Tess Gordon
Tess Gordon is a board-certified Medical Doctor (MD) in OB/GYN, with an MBA who has enjoyed a robust career in nursing and medicine over the last 34 years. Specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Gordon has made prevention of illness and pathology a central theme in her practice. Given the evolving influence of Epigenetics upon humans from conception to death, the importance of choosing healthy lifestyles before, during, and after pregnancy for generational
health benefits is her primary focus.
It is through educational conversation with individuals, groups, colleagues, and students about limiting harmful activities, substances, choices, and mindsets to increase health-wealth accounts that Dr. Gordon finds her passion for the Hippocratic Oath realized. Dr. Gordon hopes to continue to preserve lives and families through telemedicine, rural health visits, and delivery of educational information regarding the dangers of illicitly manufactured substances and medications not prescribed as intended to pupils in grades 4-12.
Dr. Gordon uses her MBA to facilitate understanding of the medical-industrial complex and to find pricing options for her patients. Innovating strategies using low-cost, high-value solutions with attention to desired outcomes and going back to the drawing board for undesired results is a key part of Dr. Gordon’s day. It is through understanding the multi-lever business model of health delivery for internal and external customers that Dr. Gordon is able to bring clarity to
A native of Ohio, Dr. Gordon moved to Michigan in 2019 living in Clare with her husband Alexander Manga PhD, MBA, son Thomas, and two Huskies Jaxx and Bella. Collectively Tess and Alex have six adult children and six grandchildren. Family fun revolves around sports, boating, racing, semantics, debate, and the art of negotiation.