The Substance Awareness Center’s Committed Staff

Carrie Maynard-Lester, LMHC, CAP

Carrie Maynard-Lester, LMHC, CAP

Executive Director

Carrie Lester has worked in the helping profession for the past 20 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. 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.

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Jessica Simmons, MSM

Jessica Simmons, MSM

Director of Finance & Human Resources, Compliance Officer

Jessica has worked in child welfare and education for the past 15 years. She brings with her a wealth of financial experience in the non-profit arena, and a passion for helping her community. Jessica earned her undergraduate degrees in Accounting and Business Management, and completed her Master’s Degree at Trevecca Nazarene University. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys travelling and spending time with her husband and three daughters.

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Gina McGirt

Gina McGirt

Office Manager

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.

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Dan Lester

Dan Lester

Drug Lab Technician/Peer Support

Dan has been self employed as a successful construction contractor for the past 20 years. He joins the SAC for a change in his career direction and to achieve a new sense of fulfillment from his work. He aspires to have a greater impact on his community through his employment at the SAC and enjoys working with others in this new capacity. Outside of work, Dan enjoys the outdoors, spending time with his family, and riding his motorcycle.

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Jill Amos

Jill Amos

Clinical Director

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 22 years, Ms. Amos has worked with adolescents and adults in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. She currently enjoys working with clients at the Substance Awareness Council as well as at her private practice.

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Christina DeFalco

Christina DeFalco

LifeSkills Training Director

Mrs. DeFalco is a Certified LifeSkills Teacher in the following areas: Middle School Program, High School Program, Transitions Program, Parent Program, and Train the Trainer.
She enjoys many volunteer opportunities, including: Board Member- UN Women, East Florida Chapter, Certified Religious Education Catechist- Holy Cross Catholic Church, Eucharistic Minister- Holy Cross Catholic Church, and Lector- Holy Cross Catholic Church. She received her Bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Saint John’s University, Notre Dame College. Mrs. DeFalco is married and has three children. She loves to spend time with family and friends, travel, cook, read, bike ride, and take long walks!

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Darleen Medeiros

Darleen Medeiros

LifeSkills Training Instructor

Darleen Medeiros is new to Vero Beach moving from Boston Massachusetts in August of 2016. Darleen holds a BA in Sociology from The University of Massachusetts. Prior to teaching Life Skills©, she has worked in both Education and Social Service, along with raising three daughters, including twins. Darleen likes to spend her free time at the dog park with her rescue dog Nina, reading, and traveling.

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Jennifer Mobley

Jennifer Mobley

Counselor

Jennifer Mobley is a lifelong resident of Indian River County. Jennifer graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services-Addiction Studies from Indian River State College and went on to graduate with a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Webster University. Jennifer is a Certified Addiction Professional (CAP) and an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC). Jennifer is in the process of upgrading these credentials to a Masters Level Certified Addiction Professional (MCAP) and becoming a registered mental health intern for the purposes of becoming a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Jennifer has many years of experience working in the substance abuse treatment. Jennifer enjoys reading, concerts, and travel.

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Edward Tejeiro

Edward Tejeiro

Counselor

Edward has worked in the fields of Mental Health and Addiction for over 18 years. Edward holds a Master in Social Work from The University of Georgia Athens and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Boston College. Edward is currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Sex Therapist and Certified Addictions Professional.

Edward has developed expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of Axis II Disorders. He believes in the early diagnosis and treatment of co-occurring disorders believing they play an important role in maintaining long term sobriety. Prior to his work as a counselor at SAC Edward worked as a clinical director, family therapist, and held a private practice.

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Tony Barcelona

Tony Barcelona

Men’s Assistance Program Manager/Peer Support

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.

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Kathy Jones

Kathy Jones

Women’s Recovery Assistance Program Manager / Peer Support

Kathy Jones relocated from Central Illinois in 1983. She has enjoyed a long and successful insurance career as a licensed Insurance Agent/Owner. In 2004, she was first introduced to the Substance Awareness Center and their mission. Overwhelmed with gratitude for the organization she feels she has personally benefited from, she feels blessed and humbled to work for the Substance Awareness Center. Kathy has dedicated much of her life to volunteering in her community and to non-profit organizations such as Daughters of Naomi and Women’s Refuge of Vero Beach. She is an active member of St. Helen’s Catholic Church. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends in Vero Beach, and cherishes time with her two adult sons, who reside in Alaska and Georgia. Kathy appreciates the outdoors and fresh air, loves to walk and bicycle, and you will often find her about town.

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Suzanne Barkett

Suzanne Barkett

LifeSkills Training Instructor

Suzanne Barkett earned her undergraduate degree from Florida State University and her Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law. She is also a graduate of Vero Beach High School. Ms. Barkett feels fortunate to be a Botvin LifeSkill Training Facilitator, and to able to give back to the community and children.

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Irene Cauwels

Irene Cauwels

Program Director

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.

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Dr. Marylin Richardson-Pryor, Ed. D.

Dr. Marylin Richardson-Pryor, Ed. D.

LifeSkills Training Instructor & ReDirect

Marylin is a graduate of Vero Beach High School and, has worked in education for 17 years. She has worked in various roles in helping youth succeed academically and socially. Marylin earned her undergraduate degree in Professional Studies from Barry University, a Master’s Degree in Administration and Educational Programs, and Doctorate of Education from Nova SouthEastern University. Marylin is married, enjoys time with her family, with her Maltese/Yorkie, Bron~Je, and volunteering.

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Rodney Davis

Rodney Davis

Peer Support

Rodney has worked in the construction industry for 39 years, the last 33 years as a Project Superintendent, managing large construction projects. In 2015, he worked for Hanley Center at Gate Lodge, a drug and alcohol treatment center as a recovering advocate. Rodney has been with The Substance Awareness Center since June of 2018, teaching life skills in the day treatment program, and being a peer support to clients. Rodney is married with three children, and enjoys spending time with his family.

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