Recovering Hope Conference Speakers & Leaders

Plenary Speakers

Josh Stein

Attorney General of North Carolina

Josh Stein, JD, MPA, serves as North Carolina’s 50th Attorney General. Stein has made combatting the opioid epidemic a top priority of his office. 

Dr. Monty Burks

Director of Faith Based Initiatives – Tennessee Department of Health

Dr. Monty Burks, CPRS, PhD, serves the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as The Director of Faith Based Initiatives where his role is to actively engage the Faith Community in providing recovery support options in their community.

Drew Brooks

Executive Director – Faith Partners

Drew Brooks serves as the Faith Partners Executive Director providing leadership, administration, and training for this congregational team ministry model.

Greg Delaney

Outreach Coordinator – Woodhaven Ohio

Greg Delaney, Pastor; Outreach Coordinator Woodhaven Ohio;
Faith Collaborator, the Office of Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Heroin/Outreach Unit

Session Leaders

Mark Teachey

Harnett County Veterans Treatment Court

A retired US Army Military Officer and Law Enforcement Officer that was part of the inception of the 1st Veterans Treatment Court for North Carolina. Started this Specialty treatment Court program November 6, 2013 which has grown from a small group of volunteers help a couple of veterans to a internationally acclaimed Veterans treatment court that is changing lives of those that were willing to die to ensure our freedom.

Judge Jacquelyn Lee

Harnett County Veterans Treatment Court

Judge Lee is a native Johnstonian who lives in the southern part of the county. She graduated from Four Oaks High School. Upon graduation from college, she taught French and English at Midway High School in Sampson County for 18 years. She then attended law school at Campbell University, where she was a member of Cambell Law Review and selected into Omicron Delta Kappa Society. After practicing law with Narron, O’Hale and Whittington for ten years, she became District Court Judge in 2000, being one of the first two women elected in the district. She continues to serve, and Chief Justice Mark Martin appointed her Chief District Court Judge effective 2015. She has presided over Harnett County Veterans Treatment Court since that time. She is married to Tommy Lee, a disabled Vietnam Veteran and retired farmer. Her daughters, Allison, exceptional children teacher and Jacklyn, speech therapist with preschool program, are employed with Johnston County Schools. She has three grandsons.

Roxana Ballinger

Health Education & Community Outreach Director, Dare County Health & Human Services

Roxana is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a certification in Case Management. A native of Virginia Beach, Virginia she moved to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in 2012. Roxana has worked in Acute Care for 32 years in many different roles and most recently as the Director of Case Management Services and Performance Improvement/Patient Safety. She is currently working with Dare County Health & Human Services as the Health Education & Outreach Director. In this current position she oversees school and community substance use prevention education, Quality Improvement, Accreditation, Emergency Preparedness, Diabetes , Medicaid programs and Co-Chairs the Dare County Saving Lives Task Force with Commissioner Wally Overman addressing substance use in Dare county.

Elizabeth H. Shilling, PhD, LPC

Assistant Professor, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Dr. Elizabeth Hodges Shilling received her Bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University, her Master of Arts in Counseling degree from Wake Forest University and her PhD in Counseling and Counselor Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Shilling is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Health and is the Co-Director of the Addiction Research & Clinical Health Masters of Science Program in the Biomedical Campus of the graduate school at Wake Forest University. She also directs the peer support services and supervises peer support specialists and clinical addiction specialists providing substance use intervention services in 8 departments at Wake Forest Baptist Health. Previously she served as an adjunct Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University in the Department of Counseling where she taught clinical courses in practicum and internship for more than three years. Prior to moving back to North Carolina, Dr. Shilling served as an Instructor in the Family & Community Medicine Department at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas where she brought expertise in motivational interviewing skills and substance abuse treatment to a SAMHSA-funded grant which trained more than 400 medical residents on Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for substance use problems over the course of 4 years. Dr. Shilling has over eight years of experience in substance abuse treatment and research and more than nine years of experience in clinical research and graduate level education.

Brigid Flaherty

Co-Director of Down Home North Carolina

Brigid Flaherty is the co-Founder and co-Director of Down Home North Carolina, a grassroots organization building power for working communities in rural and small town North Carolina. She was mostly recently the Organizing Director of ALIGN, where she led winning policy campaigns at the city level that strengthened standards for 4,000 commercial sanitation workers as well as improving public health for three overburdened low-income and people of color districts; drove labor-community coalition mobilizations around Fight for 15 and various Wall Street actions. Prior to ALIGN, she worked for seven years at the Pushback Network where she eventually served as Executive Director. At Pushback, she worked with the Board to drive strategic planning and fundraising for a national network of eight states that were building power with people of color and low income community organizations through state-based integrated civic engagement programs.

Steve Mange

Senior Policy & Strategy Counsel, North Carolina Department of Justice

Steve Mange serves as Senior Policy & Strategy Counsel to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, where his current focus is on strategies to address the opioid epidemic. Steve previously worked as Senior Policy Advisor to the Illinois Attorney General, Executive Director of the Illinois Meth Project, and consultant to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws. He has a B.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, an M.A. in Latin American History from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Michelle Mathis

Executive Director, Olive Branch Ministry

Michelle Mathis is the Executive Director and co-founder of The Olive Branch Ministry, a faith-based harm reduction organization, based in Hickory, NC. She was ordained in 2004 served for several years as a minister of her home church, before leaving to serve in full time ministry with Olive Branch. She has over 15 years experience in harm reduction work, including HIV/HepC education/testing, syringe exchange, and Naloxone distribution. Her role with Olive Branch includes the implementation and management of mobile syringe exchange programs in several Western NC counties. Working in partnership with the Gaston County Substance Abuse Coalition, she helped to develop, and is the program coordinator for the Gaston County Opioid Overdose Response Team. Michelle currently serves on the board of several NC statewide organizations, including the NC Harm Reduction Coalition. Michelle believe strongly in the challenge to “Go and do likewise.” wherever Spirit leads and encourages other to do the same.

Giles Blankenship

Minister of Worship, Snyder Memorial Baptist Church

Born and raised in a small town in the Virginia foothills, cutting his musical teeth in church and school choirs, and an unashamed and self-­proclaimed band geek, Giles tried his hand at writing his first songs at 16. Now with six studio albums of original songs and arrangements of some of his favorite hymns and worship songs, Giles’ latest studio recording is the single, That’s A Lie, a song, in fact, written to stand in the face of the nation’s growing drug epidemic. Giles and his family currently reside in Fayetteville, NC, where he has served as a worship pastor with Snyder Memorial Baptist Church since 2003. Find his music at, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other digital outlets and download the song, That’s A Lie, at Giles enjoys dark roast, French press coffee, reading, and playing music with his kids.