Carrie Lester has worked in the helping profession for the past 25 years. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology in 1995 and completed her master’s degree in 1998. She has worked in residential, partial hospitalization, and outpatient clinical settings. After spending some time in private practice she found herself working part time for the Substance Awareness Center and eventually assumed a full time position as Clinical Director and now leads the agency as the Executive Director. Carrie embraces her roles as a wife, a mother, a counselor, a friend, and most importantly a woman in recovery. She has a passion for the work she does and believes in the hope, healing, and transformation that recovery offers.
Jill Amos, a 1987 graduate of Vero Beach High School, earned her undergraduate degree in Rehabilitations Services from the Florida State University and her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She is a licensed mental health counselor with areas of specialty in Chemical Dependency, Parenting, Domestic Violence, and Grief. Over the last 20 plus years, Ms. Amos has worked with adolescents and adults in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. She enjoys her role at SAC both working directly with clients and their families as well as teaching/supervising other clinicians.
Irene Cauwels has worked in many roles in the helping professions. She earned her undergraduate degree in Applied Behavioral Science in 1985 and completed her Masters of Science in Human Services and Counseling in 2005. She has worked as a domestic violence advocate, a clinical supervisor of an addictions partial hospital program, and in private practice. Whether an individual is struggling with mental health, career stressors, substance abuse and/or trauma, she believes that each person has the inherent ability to be healthy, and works to help individuals connect with their personal power while achieving healthy lifestyle changes. She is a National Certified Counselor and Advanced Clinical Heart-Centered Hypnotherapist. She is loves her roles as a wife, mother, and grandmother and believes that living in Florida is waking up in paradise every day.
Michele Buldo began her experience in the prevention field more than 15 years ago. In her first position, she worked for RWJBarnabas Health in Toms River, NJ where she was the Finance Manager for 10 years. For the past 5 years, she worked as the Coalition Coordinator for the DART Coalition of Ocean County, NJ.
Michele has advocated and established several ordinances and policies surrounding underage drinking; trained over 1,000 servers and bartenders in TIPs (Responsible Beverage Server training); advocated additional Rx drop boxes in the county; and coordinated several county-wide events and initiatives surrounding underage drinking, the illegal use of marijuana, and prescription misuse.
She relocated to Vero Beach in November 2018, where she was hired as the Director of the SAFIR Coalition. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Montclair State University and a Master’s degree in Administrative Science from Farleigh Dickinson University in NJ. Michele has 2 children and enjoys the beach and traveling.
Gina has been an integral member of the SAC team for 13 years. Hers is the first face you will see and the first voice you will hear when contacting the agency. Her position of Office Manager includes drug test coordination and appointment scheduling.
Shelley Stuart has been working in the field of Public Health and Prevention since 2006 when she became the tobacco coalition coordinator for four years at the Center for Prevention and Counseling in Newton, NJ and later took on the role of program manager for the Coordinated School Health grant in the northern seven counties of NJ. She then took a position at Childrenâ€™s Aid and Family Services in Bergen County, NJ where she served as director of Coalition and Community Services, overseeing both a countywide coalition and a Drug Free Communities coalition in the city of Garfield, NJ. Most recently, Shelley worked in Palm Beach County overseeing sub grantees of the Overdose Data to Action grant at the Health Council of Southeast Florida from 2020 to 2022. She recently relocated, with her son, to Indian River County and happily took on the role of Coalition Coordinator at the Substance Awareness Center. Shelley is a native of Massachusetts and raised her three children in NJ where she received
her degree in Public Health from William Paterson University and her Certified Health Education Specialist credentials. She enjoys traveling in her spare time.
Manager Drug Testing Lab
Dan earned his bachelor’s degree in Fisheries Biology from North Eastern Oklahoma State, Tahlequah Ok. He relocated to Vero Beach in 1986 and has raised his family here. Dan has environmental lab experience locally and brings a diversified background, including working in the family insurance business. He has many interests such as aviation, motorcycling and many hobbies.
Dan has long been a supporter of the Substance Awareness Center and their mission and is grateful to be a part of the team at SAC.
Kyleigh moved to Indian River County in 2010 from Vermont. As a long-term resident of Indian River County, Kyleigh is passionate about making the community a better place for youth and families. Kyleigh graduated from UCF in 2018 with her BA in Sociology with a focus on social determinants of health. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2021 with her Master’s in Public Health with a focus in Epidemiology exploring how tobacco use is associated with food insecurity. Kyleigh began her work in the prevention field in 2019 as the tobacco control advocate in Indian River County. Through this position and passion for tobacco control, Kyleigh recognized there was more to be done to promote healthy decisions for youth. Kyleigh began as the Communities That Care coordinator in July 2022, with a strong belief that addressing youth risk and protective factors in Indian River County will create the best community for our youth. In her free time, Kyleigh enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
Lisa Mellott has been a resident of Vero Beach since 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a focus in Intelligence and Analytics. Lisa is responsible for entering information into multiple systems, updating existing entries and working with administrative staff to analyze and correct missing data.
Molly J. Scanlon, PhD, MS is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapy Intern and serves as the Intensive Outpatient Counselor at the Substance Awareness Center. She received her degree in Couples and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. This relational approach to therapy inspired her interest in CRAFT and its promise of improving quality of life for concerned friends and family as well as their loved ones with a substance use disorder. Molly facilitates a CRAFT group weekly at SAC.
Holly Hughes has been an advocate for underserved youth and adults through education and empowerment for over 20 years. She earned her BA in Anthropology and her MA in History and Museum Studies focusing on creating programs designed to make change. She also enjoyed several years of experience working in the health care field in both clinical and hospital settings. More recently, Holly graduated from Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies with her MA. She is now dedicated to providing hope and healing to a recovery community of individuals and families experiencing the effects of addiction and seeking physical, spiritual, and relational health.
Tony Barcelona, CRPS
Peer Support Specialist/RAP Manager
Tony was born and raised in Vero Beach. He is working towards a degree in Human Services at Indian River State College. Tony is an active member of Unity Spiritual Center of Vero Beach and enjoys being a Prayer Chaplain there. He also enjoys being a student and group facilitator of an A Course in Miracles study group. Tony is a Certified Recovery Peer Specialist.
Jimmy was born in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and moved to Florida nearly 25 years ago. He has worked in radio, aquaculture, and pet care. After receiving services at the Substance Awareness Center, Jimmy became interested in the role of the peer specialist and decided to pursue training and certification as a CRPS (Certified Recovery Peer Specialist). When he is not helping others, he enjoys hiking, camping, cycling, and listening to music.
KJ journey of recovery began 21 years ago. Since that time, she has dedicated her personal and professional life to encouraging and empowering people with addictions and co-occurring mental health issues to change and heal. KJ’s career path reflects her passion for both addiction and mental health and covers a diverse range of environments. During her time with the Public Defender’s office and Martin County Jail as a substance abuse counselor and client advocate, KJ gained extensive experience navigating and managing the challenges many addicts and individuals with mental health issues face in the legal system. KJ furthered her knowledge in this area when working within the mental health forensics sub-field. KJ’s spirituality has been an integral part of her recovery and led her to become a Program Director of a women’s program for Alpha Ministries. As a group therapy facilitator, KJ engages clients easily and her charismatic and enthusiastic style assists them to face challenging truths while beginning to believe in their own ability to succeed. Central among the many unique gifts that KJ brings to Foundations Wellness Center and its clients are a passionate and realistic approach to the 12 Steps and the professional and personal experience to assist clients in overcoming common difficulties they’ll face as they embark on their new recovery journey.
Prevention Coalition Coordinator
Julianna Scavullo moved to the sunny state of Florida in 2023 from upstate New York and comes from a background of training and development in early childhood mental health, and trauma informed practice. She has worked extensively on connecting resources and opening up systemic silos for children and families to support a healthier community and easier access. Julianna has developed trainings and info sessions for youth, families, and providers surrounding ACE’s, Child welfare support, crisis management, and Trauma informed support. She is dedicated and passionate about supporting the Indian River County community in her work on the SAFIR team.
Youth & Community Coordinator
Lauren Folds has been raised in Vero Beach, Florida and is a graduate of Indian River Charter High School. She is a dedicated and community-oriented individual, with a strong background in administrative work. Lauren is honored to be titled the Youth and Community Coordinator for the SAFIR Coalition and aspires to positively impact the youth and families of Indian River County. Lauren has a passion for helping others and loves working hand in hand with other members of the community. In her spare time she enjoys being a mom, adventuring with her family and fitness.
Catherine is originally from Bloomington, Illinois. She received her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and her Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Illinois State University. She retired from Indian River School District in 2019 after 42 years of teaching in grades 3-6. Having worked in Middle School for the last 14 years, she became a proponent of the Botvin LifeSkills Training program in her classroom. She joined the SAC team in the fall of 2019. Catherine loves working with students, teachers and her community. She was on the Executive Board of the Teacher’s Union (IRCEA), taught Academic Games for 20 years, and is currently on the School Advisory Council at St. Helen Catholic School. She and her husband Victor are parents of one daughter, Victoria. Catherine has many interests including traveling, photography, music, needlework, and reading. Catherine is a Certified Botvin LifeSkills Training Facilitator.
Shea is originally from Pennsylvania and moved to the IRC area in May of 2023. Having served in a number of roles in the mental health field before arriving in Florida, Shea joined the Substance Awareness Center as a Prevention Specialist. Shea holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Kutztown, and has spent the last five years in behavioral health, working both in the field and case management, before switching to prevention.
Arianna grew up in Sebastian and graduated from Sebastian River High School. She completed the Dual Enrollment Program and went on to earn her Bachelors in Human Services at Indian River State College. Arianna is passionate about helping and being a support others. She has worked different positions in serving the community, but most recently worked as a Special Education teacher for the School District of Indian River County. She now works as a Prevention Specialist. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and the outdoors.
Catrina (Cat) Fisher
Front Office & Drug Testing Assistant
Cat began working at SAC in 2023 when she moved to Florida from Pennsylvania. She is highly experienced in customer service, data entry and clerical based work.
Here are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)