Amanda was born and raised in South Florida. She is in personal recovery from drugs and alcohol since February 12, 2007. Amanda, a once broken addict has turned her life around and helps women get clean and sober today. Amanda has Bachelors Degree in Alternative medicine in August of 2016 while in , is certified in Ashtanga yoga, and has various fitness certifications. Amanda lost her best friend from middle school to the disease of addiction in December 2015. This loss hurt more then the rest, it was tremendous pain. This anger and hurt was channeled into raising money for women in recovery to go to college. Amanda united with the group of women from Women Empowering Women and together they have built something beautiful to give back to women who want a better chance at life, through a college education. “This can give women something to look forward to and can help them to heal and recover and know their worth in the world, education is something that no one can take away from you.”
Beth DeRicco, Ph.D.
Beth DeRicco has been on the faculty at Drexel University as an Adjunct Professor in Nursing and Behavioral Health, Directed Higher Education Outreach for Caron Treatment Centers, and has worked at the campus, state and national level to develop, evaluate, and refine policies and programs that address alcohol and other drug use. Beth’s work as Associate Center Director for the US Department of Education’s Higher Education Center focused on putting research into practice through the development of trainings, publications, and workshops. She has been a principal or co-principal investigator on projects funded by local foundations, state, and federal agencies, with a focus on applied research.
Beth is on the Board of the National Hazing Prevention Organization, Kol Ami of Boca Raton, and Women Empowering Women.
Cynthia Weseman was blessed with the gift of sobriety in 2012 and it has been her passion ever since. The ability to share her skills from years of business management and volunteering event planning has proven to be a perfect fit for Women Empowering Women in Recovery, Inc. As a founding board member, she has been integral in the advancement and growth of its cause. She is a visionary, and a strong leader driven to serve the vision and mission of Women Empowering Women in Recovery, Inc. She is grateful to be the loving mother of two fine young men, who never gave up on her while suffering from the disease of alcoholism and today is a proud mother-in-law to two beautiful young women and a very delighted new grandmother to a baby boy. Originally from Boston, Ma, raised her family outside of Buffalo, NY and has resided in Palm Beach County since 2007.
Kate has been in the behavioral healthcare field for over a decade. She believes that mental health and substance use disorders need to be addressed through education, awareness and comprehensive treatment. She has a passion and commitment to bring professional, caring people together.
Kate grew up on the East Coast but after college first pursued a career in the entertainment industry which over 17 years took her to California, London and Florida before returning back to the East coast to work in the Behavioral Health/Addiction treatment field. Kate now resides in Vero Beach Florida with her British husband John and their rescue Redbone Coonhound Mick “Jagger”. Kate works for Futures Recovery Healthcare in Tequesta FL and covers Central and Northern Florida and the Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia region.
Heather Ann Adams is a born native Floridian. She is one of the original board members of Women Empowering Women. She has a passion and drive for wanting to help people over the last 18 years she has worked in the medical field with an Associates degree in Cardiovascular Technology & Medical Assistant. She is also involved in Spiritual modalities with certificates as a Level I Reiki Practitioner as well as Crystal Healing Practitioner spreading Love & Light through Guided Meditations. She is a woman in long term recovery with 13 years continuous participation in the recovery community. She has transitioned over the last two years into the mental health and substance abuse field where she currently is employed.
Allison was born and raised in Florida. She is in recovery from alcohol and drugs since December 11, 2013. Allison received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from FAU and recently graduated with honors from FAU with an advanced master’s degree in Social Work. She is a certified cognitive behavioral therapist and is working as a therapist at a substance abuse treatment center. Allison is passionate about helping others in recovery, especially women in recovery seeking an education, as education has been a cornerstone in her recovery. Allison is planning to pursue a PhD in Social Work where she can research different interventions in addiction, such as mindfulness and positive psychology, and plans to incorporate the holistic modalities into her therapeutic practice. Allison also volunteers with a therapeutic riding organization that uses equine therapy to work with clients that are struggling with addiction and mental health issues. She is passionate about promoting awareness and reducing the stigma surrounding addiction. Allison is honored to be a part of Women Empowering Women where she is implementing the peer support mentorship program.
Hanna Marks is born and raised in West Palm Beach, Fl. She’s an active member of the recovery community and graduated with BA from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She started her business wherehab.com in January, 2017. They have quickly grown impacting the online recovery community. Hanna has traveled to over 20 countries and is very passionate about online marketing.
Nikki Soda is a passionate advocate for recovery, experienced marketer and meeting planner. With over 10 years of nonprofit and corporate meeting planning, she brings an energy and level of professionalism used to create successful outcomes. Prior to working in the healthcare industry, Nikki was an event planner and organized large scale events while working for both corporate and nonprofit organizations. Her background in recovery led her to shifting into the behavioral health field. In the past few years, Nikki has worked in the capacity of Director of both Business Development and Marketing for nationally recognized treatment facilities, as well as overseeing several Alumni programs while being on the board of the Treatment Professionals and Alumni Services. Advocacy and Public Policy are two passions that Nikki continuously puts effort into, through volunteering and community engagement.
Nikki holds a BA in Communication from the University of Tampa. Her experience working on both the front end and back end of treatment has given her a wealth of knowledge and has contributed to her understanding of systems within the field of substance use.
Elizabeth Duffy, MBA, CAP, ICADC, CMHP, is the Regional Resource Director for Caron Treatment Centers in the Florida region. In her role, Elizabeth provides professionals, families, and potential patients support and information regarding programs and services, within the Caron continuum or the region, to ensure everyone’s unique needs are met. Elizabeth’s career at Caron began in 2010 in clinical roles both at Caron’s Renaissance and Ocean Drive programs. Being able to bring a therapeutic lens to the Regional Resource Director role allows Elizabeth to speak with direct experience and knowledge of the programs and services offered within the organization and the community.
Elizabeth found recovery herself on May 22, 2006 and has been sober, active in the fellowship that saved her life and her family, ever since. Since being bless with her second chance, Elizabeth has shared her experience in many channels in an effort to fight the disease and stigma of addiction: she has completed marathons all over the world – from New Zealand to New York City – as an ambassador for the charity Runwell, raising awareness on addiction treatment and scholarship fund, she wrote an essay submission on her recovery that was published in the now New York Times Bestseller Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It, she has participated in a round table discussion with Governor Chris Christie, but most importantly, is her ongoing work supporting young women in the local community who are just starting out on their journey of recovery.
Elisa Saunders was born and raised in South Florida and even Graduated from Florida University!!! She got a BA in Communication at FAU in Boca Raton. After being a Palm Beach County School Teacher for 14 years did a career change to work in Substance Abuse inspired by being in long term Recovery from a Substance Abuse Disorder. It was also that aspect of her life that got her very involved in charity where she won 2013 Palm Beach’s Finest Women of the Year for Cystic Fibrosis raising money for CF along with working on many other charities over the years. She will celebrate 6 years free from Drugs and Alcohol and the most important thing in her life today is to help others just like her!!!
Unlike many people who came to South Florida in order to seek recovery resources, Megan was born and raised in the “Sunshine State.” She was able to seek help for her own struggles with addiction at the young age of 19, and as a result has fallen in love with helping others who face those same struggles. She is currently going to school to be a licensed dietitian and nutritionist, which has been found to be an extremely beneficial resource for those who battle with addiction issues. Alongside her passion for heathy eating habits, Megan is also avid about physical health and wellness. She has participated in multiple marathons and is a huge advocate for healthy lifestyles. Megan held the chair position for the 2018 “EveryBODY Walk” with the Alliance for Eating Disorders. In her personal career she is the Business Development Representative for a Mental Health and Substance Abuse facility. She has thrived in this field almost 7 years now. Aside from her current position, she has training in all areas of the recovery business including Recovery Coaching, Human Resources, Case Management, and Admissions. Megan continuously grows in all areas of her life and remains teachable and true to her own personal recovery.
Lauren Arpel is a native New Yorker, increasingly becoming a faithful Floridian.
She is a business woman and has been in the fashion industry for over 25 years. She began in her family business of cosmetics & skin care as well as costume jewelry design, production & sales.
She has done many years of on air television sales in the US & internationally as well as international retail and online sales.
Lauren is very involved in helping and mentoring women to achieve success, especially those In the recovery community, which she is passionate about.
Sehar Ryan was raised in South Florida. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Sociology at Florida Atlantic University. She Currently holds a position as Senior Outreach Manager and Court Liaison in the addiction treatment industry. She has been in the recovery field for over 4 years. As a committed and passionate person in the treatment industry, Sehar aids in all court-related matters including, but not limited to; Marchman Act procedures, downward departures, alternate sentencing, custody assessments and status reports. Sehar is committed to working diligently for families affected by substance use disorder and is an advocate for mental health in the court systems. Sehar has been in long term recovery herself since 2010 and is very active in her personal recovery process. She knows first hand the struggle of addiction and therefore, understands the importance of education for people in recovery.
Attorney Audra Simovitch has been practicing law in both Massachusetts and Florida for the past 24 years in the areas of Estate Planning, Guardianship and Probate. She graduated from Nova Southeastern Shepard Broad Law School in 1992 and continued her legal studies to earn an LLM in Taxation from Boston University Law School in 1994 and an LLM in Banking and Finance from Boston University Law School in 2010. Her practice of law began in Boston Massachusetts in 1994 at a prestige law firm of Rosencrantz and Daily. Her practice handled high net worth estate planning and probate clients. In 1998 until 2001 she worked at McCullough, Steivater and Polvere a Real Estate law firm handling their guardianship, probate and estate planning matters. From 2001 until 2011 Audra opened her own Law Firm in Newton, Massachusetts concentrating on the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, and Guardianship. In 2011 Attorney Simovitch returned to Florida with her two children and worked at Labovick Law Group heading up their estate planning, probate, guardianship and foreclosure division. In 2014, Attorney Simovitch opened up her own law firm and since 2016 Attorney Simovitch has joined as Co-Counsel to the firm Drug and Alcohol Attorneys. At Drug and Alcohol Attorneys, our focus is on heling families in crisis because a loved one is facing a substance abuse or mental health disorder. Our firm uses the Marchman Act and Guardianship to help the family get control over a very stressful situation. Audra is very passionate about the work she is doing at Drug and Alcohol Attorneys and her goal is to help as many families find a solution of treatment for their loved one who suffer from a mental health disorder. Attorney Simovitch is admitted to practice law in both Massachusetts and Florida as well as the District Court of Massachusetts, Southern District Court of Florida and United States Tax Court. Attorney Simovitch has lectured on numerous occasions on issues regarding asset protection, probate litigation and guardianship.
Charlene Mariner was raised in Hawaii and moved to Florida in 2007 to partner with her families manufacturing company. She has over 10 years of experience in the professional health, nutrition and medical industry. Charlene has launched multiple successful businesses from the ground up. Her greatest accomplishment is being a sober mother, wife and entrepreneur. Charlene is very active in the local community, does extensive volunteer and charity work, serves on many committees and is passionate about spreading the message and solution of recovery. She brings great organizational skills, problem solving abilities, strong communication skills, fundraising capabilities, team development and has visionary leadership experience. Charlene and her husband are shareholders and co-founders of Chapel Hill Medical Detox located in West Palm Beach, FL. As Charlene’s husband puts it, she is a “self-made woman”.