A tree, depicted by two hands raising a bushel of multi-shaded purple leaves. The conference title beneath the leaves: Elevating Voices Bridging generations for mental wellness

If you are an Independent Living, Inc. consumer (receiving services from ILI), please contact your staff member for registration.

Cannot attend? Consider sponsoring students, consumers, or individuals who might not be able to attend without your generous support!

Elevating Voices: Bridging Generations for Mental Wellness

A discussion about the Value of Lived Experience and Engaging Youth in Mental Health Conversations

4 Continuing Education Credits will be provided by the Trauma Institute of Orange County
After registering, apply for your credits.

Event Schedule
Breakfast Included!

  • 8:00 a.m. Registration Opens
  • 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast & Networking
  • 9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks
  • 9:15 a.m. Keynote Presentation, Tiara Springer-Love
  • 10:30 a.m. Bridging Gaps Presentation, Adrienne Voltaire
  • 11:00 a.m. Panel Discussion
  • 1:00 p.m. Closing Remarks

Meet Our Wellness Conference Speakers

Image Description: Graphic design with light purple background with light gray hands reaching out and leaves. To the left it says "20th Annual Chris Ashman Wellness & Recovery Conference. Tiara Springer-Love, LMSW Youth & Young Adult Advocacy Leader. Keynote Speaker." Below that in the left corner is an alarm bell with "April 11th 2024, 8am-1pm, Wallkill Golf Club." There's an RSS logo on the lower right.

Tiara Springer-LoveKeynote & Moderator

Tiara is a transformative leader, mental health advocate, and devoted community organizer, holding a LMSW. She has led the Youth Peer Infrastructure Network in New York State and managed the borough’s first Youth Recovery Clubhouse in Jamaica, Queens. Tiara also played a pivotal role in Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2023 Youth Mental Health Summit and statewide Youth Mental Health Listening Tour. Tiara is dedicated to amplifying the voices of underserved youth to drive change in child-serving systems.

A purple and yellow graphic design with "20th Annual Chris Ashman Wellness & Recovery Conference." There's a portrait of Adrienne, a woman with long straight blonde hair and freckles. She's standing outside in front of trees and is wearing a blazer.

Adrienne T. VoltairePresenter

Adrienne T. Voltaire is a native New Yorker, born and raised in the Hudson Valley.  She holds an undergraduate degree from New York University and completed her graduate studies at Long Island University.  Currently practicing as a mental health professional, she has spent over 20 years working in the fields of education and human services.  From classroom teacher to child welfare worker to public servant to mental health professional, Adrienne has made advocacy for the under-represented part of her personal creed.  As a person in recovery, Adrienne has turned her attention to the plight of the addict in recent years—committing to using her personal experience with addiction and recovery to help others and to lend her voice on behalf of those who cannot or will not be heard.  Adrienne is the very proud mother of a brilliant 18 year-old daughter, whose strength and tenacity inspires her daily.

Image description: A light purple background with gray leaves and text that says

Sarah SalicePanelist

Say hello to Sarah Salice (she/her), a Registered, Board-Certified, and Licensed (CT) Art Therapist as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate and Certified Group Psychotherapist. She works with adolescents and adults in inpatient and residential settings at @silverhillhospital.

Sarah served as a member of the Young Adult Council for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA @dbsalliance ), an organization with a mission to provide hope, help, support, and education to improve the lives of people who have mood disorders; she is now the Vice President of the DBSA Associate Board.

Sarah has supported in Crisis Intervention Training with the @nyspolice by sharing her lived experience. She is the co-founder and co-leader of The Mood Pros Society, an affiliate of DBSA, support and social group for Mental Health Professionals living with mood disorders. She has supported young investigator research on Bipolar Disorder through the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

Sarah continues to work philanthropically with nonprofit organizations who advocate for mental health and are dedicated to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health disorders, and providing information and resources for mood disorders and other diagnoses.

Image Description: Yellow and purple graphic design with text that reads "20th Annual Chris Ashman Wellness & Recovery Conference. Nora Shepard, Director of Crisis Response & Community Programs for Independent Living Inc., Speaker." There's an oval with Nora's portrait in it. Nora has short brown hair, small hoop earrings and has a serious look on her face.

Nora ShepardPanelist

Nora Shepard serves as the Director of Crisis Response and Community Programs at Independent Living, Inc. She is dedicated to breaking down barriers and empowering individuals to overcome challenges such as stigma and adversity.

At the forefront of her work, Nora collaborates closely with clinical teams to foster positive change and promote holistic wellness. Her extensive 38 years of experience and certification as a Recovery Peer Advocate and New York State Peer Certified professional underscore her commitment to advocating for individuals’ rights and facilitating meaningful system changes.

Beyond her role within Independent Living, Nora is deeply engaged in community service, serving as the Chairperson for a Community Service Board and actively participating in various local committees. She firmly believes that community involvement is paramount in driving advocacy and fostering systemic transformation.

Nora’s Bachelor’s Degree in Community and Human Services, coupled with her numerous certificates of accomplishment, exemplifies her dedication to lifelong learning and professional development. Nora brings with her a unique blend of lived experience, professional expertise, passion, and advocacy.

Image Description: Purple and yellow graphic design with text "20th Annual Chris Ashman Wellness & Recovery Conference. Marcella Galucci-Ritchko, Managing Directot, RSS Children & Youth Services, Speaker." Next to the text is a headshot of Marcella. She has on a navy blue top. Her hair is up in a pony tail and she's smiling.

Marcella Gallucci-RitchkoPanelist

Marcella Gallucci-Ritchkno is the Managing Director at Rehabilitation Support Services (RSS).

Marcella obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Binghamton University. She found her calling at RSS in 2012 and was captivated by the agency’s programs and the impactful work with youth and families.

She is deeply committed to using trauma-informed and strength-based interventions to empower youth and families with support, guidance, and innovative solutions for independence and success. Marcella believes in the multitude of solutions available for every challenge, barrier, or concern, tailored to each child or family’s needs.

Marcella currently collaborates with an exceptional Children and Youth Staff Team at RSS, where “The Children and Youth teams allow work to feel less like a job and more like a community of individuals united in the same mission. Each one of the supervisors and staff members is truly amazing in their dedication, innovation, and overall compassion in healing and recovery.”

Photo shared by Independent Living, Inc. on April 04, 2024 tagging @marist, and @townofwallkillgolfclub. 20TH ANNUAL CHRIS ASHMAN Wellness & Recovery Conference Kimberly Marsden, Clinical Counselor Speaker April 11th 2024 8:00am-1:00pm Wallkill Golf Club'. Photo of Kimberly wearing a floral shirt smiling.

Kimberly MarsdenPanelist

Kimberly is very connected and familiar with the Marist College Community as she has been part of it since 2013 as a student, intern, and professional staff member within the counseling and housing offices. So, it is fair to say, Kimberly has a strong insight into the unique challenges that college students face. She comes to therapy with a compassionate, empathetic approach, meeting clients where they are to start growth and change together. Kimberly understands the importance of working from a holistic approach, keeping in mind one’s intersectional identity, the impact of systemic oppression, and the client’s unique personal background.
In her free time, Kimberly can often be found attending events on campus, reading, crafting, and cuddling up with her cat all while usually listening to Taylor Swift.

John HarperPanelist

Ordained as a priest in 1975, John Harper’s journey includes serving in the Philippines and as the Vocation Director for the Maryknoll Society in New York. Following his resignation from the priesthood in 1988, he took on the role of Executive Director at Emergency Housing Group (now HONOR) for 28 years. John successfully led and managed numerous programs providing shelter, transitional, and permanent housing, along with support services for the #homeless community, as well as establishing a residential addictions #crisis center for individuals battling substance use disorders.

Additionally, he founded the HUD-directed Orange County Continuum of Care Consortium (#COC) in 1996 and served as its President from 1996 to 2006 and again from 2010 until September of 2023. John also shared his expertise as an Instructor in the Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (#CASAC) Program at SUNY Orange before joining Independent Living Inc. as the Systems #Advocate, a role he continues to excel in today.

John is a writer, published author, public speaker, and an active member of the Fellowship of #AlcoholicsAnonymous. He’s a colleague here at Independent Living who brings a special wealth of knowledge and sincerity to every room he’s in. He has a lifetime of experience in the field of human services, and we cannot wait to learn from John on April 11th.

Purple graphic with portrait of Angela Turk, a woman with short, wavy brown hair, posing with a smile. Image text: Wellness and Recovery Conference. Angela Turk Director of Childrens Services Speaker. April 11 2024. 8a-1p. Wallkill Golf Club.

Angela TurkPanelist

Angela Turk, LCSW-R, is the Director of Children’s Services for the Orange County Department of Mental Health. Angela has worked for the Orange County Department of Mental Health for thirty-four years. She has been in her current position for eighteen years and prior to that held the position of Clinic Director for the Child and Family Clinic in Newburgh, NY and Clinician for the same clinic. Angela is the Local Governmental Unit for Children’s Mental Health Services in Orange County and the Children’s Single Point of Access Coordinator. She is the co-chair of Orange County Suicide Prevention Task Force and the Coordinating Council for the OC System of Care.

Angela participates in various community initiatives and task forces to address and improve the current system of care for children, youth and families in partnership including the Children’s Community Support Team, Connecting the Dots, and the Interagency Collaborative County Team Meeting and also serves on the Board of the Orange County Youth Bureau. Before coming to Orange County Angela worked for Federation Employment and Guidance Services in Bronx, NY managing a Community Support Services program for adults who were de-institutionalized from a New York State Psychiatric Facility.

Angela received her Master of Social Work degree at Hunter College School of Social Work in New York City in 1984 and her Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Lehman College in Bronx, NY in 1982.

Image Description: Purple and yellow graphic design with text "20th Annual Chris Ashman Wellness & Recovery Conference. Jasper SUNY Orange Student, Speaker." Next to the text is a headshot of Jasper. They have on a tan top with an overlay brown sweater, a black necklace, multi-color earrings, a nose ring and a smize.

Jasper, Panelist

Jasper is a college student, studying Human Services at SUNY Orange. They’ve been working as an in-home caregiver for elderly populations for the past three years, and have just begun working with Healthy Families to support expectant mothers and families with child development, connection, and needed resources. They also have personal experience navigating mental health resources and systems throughout their education. They believe in the humanistic theory that people are innately good and that mental and social problems result from deviations from this natural tendency.

Image of a Meet the Presenters flyer. 3 rows of 3 small circle headshots with titles: Nora Shepard Director of Crisis Response & Community Programs Independent Living, Inc. Jasper SUNY Orange Student Marcella Gallucci-Ritchko Managing Director Rehabilitation Support Services Sarah Salice Art Therapist Silver Hill Hospital Meet the presenters Elevating Voices: Bridging Generations for Mental Wellness Angela Turk Director of Children’s Services Orange County Department of Mental Health Kimberly Marsden Clinical Counselor Marist College John Harper Statewide Systems Advocate Independent Living, Inc. Tiara Springer-Love Youth & Young Adult Advocacy Leader Adrienne Voltaire Mental Health Professional