Donald J. Wright LPC, MAEd, NBCC, CADCIII
Donny is a dual diagnosis counselor who has been providing mental health and addiction services in the area for over 15 years.
Donny Wright, clinical director of FIR, supports this project because it fits his therapeutic beliefs and style. “I believe that it’s within the caring, safe relationship and a safe community where the greatest amount of healing can start and end.” He believes it’s more about the relationship and support than the type of therapeutic theory. “A community should care because everybody is impacted directly or indirectly by the overall health of a community. Whether it’s somebody in your family, your child’s friend, your friend, anybody and everybody are impacted, and everybody should be a part of the healing and solution process.”
Anne Marie Lowe
Anne Marie is a career financial director, bringing over 20 years of banking and nonprofit management experience to local nonprofits. Her financial expertise includes working as a commercial banker in Portland bringing an array of financial products and services to a commercial banking client base. Over the course of her career, Anne Marie has spent time working within the nonprofit sector, bringing relationship management and cash management needs to the nonprofit industry. Her nonprofit experience includes organizational advancement through development and fundraising initiatives, fiscal management, budgeting, grant writing, workshop creation and facilitation, event management, and strategic planning facilitation to various nonprofit missions within the Portland metropolitan area.
Lowe holds a degree in International Business from Linfield College. An active member of the community, Anne Marie is an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Portland where she served as President in 2010-2011. Other community involvement includes serving as an Advisory Board member for the Salvation Army and a member of the Royal Rosarians.
Taralynn Rayburn, BS, CADCII
Program Recovery Counselor
Taralynn is passionate about working with others in recovery. She brings her clinical experience as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADCII) to work at FIR. She is considered a jack-of-all trades and has worked in a variety of jobs in Substance Use Treatment. This includes working as a Counselor, Office Manager, Sober Housing Manager and Clinical Director. Outside of her time at FIR she manages a coaching and companion company for mental health and substance use. She advocates that change in the family system can help enact lasting recovery. Taralynn believes that looking at the whole person, and whole family will allow both clients and their families to find a place of emotional sobriety.
Early into her career she found her love for program and curriculum development and helped develop curriculum on emotional sobriety. She utilizes this approach to help clients find autonomy as they work to accept life on life terms. She utilizes a person-centered and Gestalt approach to help individuals address the various parts of themselves that have been blocked off due to substance use. Taralynn is presently a graduate student at Arizona State University working toward a Masters of Social Work. She relies on the words of a mentor, “one day teacher, next day student.” Her view is that we have many opportunities to learn each day.
Taralynn hopes to help her clients find their own strength and to see that recovery does not have to be dull! She is known for her adventurous and energetic spirit. In her free time she enjoys hiking, snowboarding, rock climbing, reading books, attending concerts and spending quality time with her cats.
Riley Nelson received treatment and recovery support as a teen at Teen and Family Services an Alternative Peer Group in Houston, TX. He also graduated from the recovery high school Archway Academy in 2013. He spent several years working for Teen and Family Services on both the clinical and developmental side. He is now using his experience to assist adolescents and their family to find the support he received as a teen. He will share his experience, strength, and hope as the program coordinator at Family Inspired Recovery the first alternative peer group in our state.
Josh has worked in the treatment and recovery field for over 2 years. His roles in these fields have allowed him to seek to understand, accept, and help those around him; demonstrating the worth of recovery through his own personal word and deeds. FIR, an APG model is another opportunity to connect youth with a new way of life and hope for the family. He is excited to be part of the team. He also enjoys anything outside, staying physically active, and a good cup of coffee
Pam Pearce, Certified Recovery Mentor
Co-Founder, Community Organizer
Pam Pearce is a wife, mother, and a person living in long-term recovery (24 years). She takes advantage of every opportunity to share her passion for the gifts and hope recovery has given her. She wants all to know that hope and healing are possible.
She leads Community Living Above, an organization that provides prevention education, access to support resources, and peer-to-peer encouragement. Over the years, Pam has been a contributor and prevention resource for online prevention and recovery sites and has shared her personal experience in recovery and as a prevention leader on blogs and through speaking engagements. Her passion for prevention awareness education led her to get involved with local, state, and national groups supporting prevention, awareness, and recovery.
She is a member of the following groups/councils: Clackamas County Prevention Coalition, Mental Health and Addiction Council for Clackamas County, an Advisory Committee member for Clear Alliance, a member of the Prescription/Opioid Taskforce (RxOT) Youth Initiative, and a participant in the national group The Communities Project.
She has been honored and recognized at the local, state, and national levels for her work in prevention and recovery awareness and supports. She was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year in the West Linn Wilsonville School district for her work with youth to engage, empower, and educate them on drug/alcohol prevention. She was chosen in 2018 as the Freedom Award winner given by DePaul Treatment Centers. An honor given to those who help battle the stigma of addiction by sharing their story of recovery and giving back to the community in a meaningful way.
Most recently, Pam co-founded two new projects that will serve teens and their families. The first is Family Inspired Recovery, an Alternative Peer Group model. FIR is a community of families growing and healing from the effects of teen substance use and other high-risk behaviors. The other organization Oregon Recovery High School Initiative, a coalition of recovery advocates, educators, health system professionals, and business leaders committed to launching the first recovery high school, Harmony Academy in Oregon for students impacted by substance use disorders. Both organizations are the first of their kind in our state. It is Pam’s mission to create communities where families can grow and heal from the effects of teen substance use and other high-risk behaviors. Pam believes that her passion for helping teens and families has become a story of redemption.
John Cates, MA, LCDC
John Cates is an expert at helping individuals and families cope, heal, and recover from substance abuse problems. John is world renown as a therapist, author, speaker, and designer of successful inpatient and outpatient drug treatment programs. He serves as Chair for the Association of Alternative Peer Groups (AAPG) board which consists of professionals from Alternative Peer Groups and community organizations that support APGs.
Recipient of multiple awards, the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) named John Counselor of The Year for the United States in 2001. John has a Masters Degree in Counseling, he is the co-author of “Recovering Our Children: A Handbook for Parents of Young People in Early Recovery,” and the founder and Chief Executive Officer for Lifeway, a substance abuse (APG) Alternative Peer Group program serving young people across the nation for over 28 years.
Since 1976. John has also specialized in creating sober schools that offer students in recovery a safe place to learn in a chemical-free supportive environment.
Besides being one of the most influential therapists in his field, John is a recovering heroin addict. He has been clean and sober for more than four decades and knows first hand what it takes to live a successful drug free life.
Dr. Crystal Collier, PhD, LPC-S, Therapist, Author, Educator
Dr. Crystal Collier has been working with adolescents and adults suffering from mental illness, behavior disorders, and substance abuse since 1991 when she started out as a mental health technician while studying undergraduate psychology. She earned her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake and her doctorate in Counselor Education at Sam Houston State University. Crystal’s areas of expertise includes addiction, adolescent brain development, prevention programming, independent living skills training, parent coaching, and training new clinicians. She serves not the board for the Association of Alternative Peer Groups (AAPG) board which consists of professionals from Alternative Peer Groups and community organizations that support APGs.
Crystal’s dissertation focus was the creation of a comprehensive prevention model to teach the neurodevelopmental effects of risky behavior to children, teens, and parents which was selected for the 2015 Prevention and Education Commendation from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. In addition, Crystal teaches counseling skills and addiction classes as an adjunct professor and was awarded the Torch Bearer of the Year award in 2018 by the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals.
As the Murphy-Petersen Behavioral health fellow, Crystal will write a high-risk behavior prevention guide for parents, develop a prevention video series, conduct research on Alternative Peer Groups, and continue to educate the community regarding how a variety of high-risk behaviors can turn into addiction and effect healthy neurodevelopment. Crystal and her husband enjoy traveling and cuddling with their three cats.
Tony Vezina, CRM + PRC
Tony Vezina identifies as a person in long-term recovery from alcohol and drugs and has been sober since July 20, 2012. He is the co-founder and current Executive Director of The 4th Dimension Recovery Center (4D), an innovative non-profit youth recovery center that serves over 500 young people each month with comprehensive recovery support services, including peer-mentoring, sober social events, recovery advocacy projects, mutual aid support meetings and much more. 4D is the first youth-led recovery community organization of it’s kind in the United States.
Over the past four years, Tony has been a force for change in Portland, founding the Portland Community College (PCC) Recovery 101 Club in addition to his ground breaking work with 4D. While at PCC Tony had the distinct honor of serving as the Phi-Theta Kappa Honors Society President, gaining regional and national recognition for his service projects. In his last year at PCC Tony served as Student Body President, receiving a Diversity Award for his student advocacy efforts. During his tenure as Student Body President, Tony also led an initiative that was successful in adding an Ex Officio Student to the PCC Board of Directors.
Tony is a visible and respected leader in the youth recovery field in Oregon, and as such, is often invited to present about effective youth recovery support practices at high schools, community colleges and trade associations. Additionally, Tony has been a keynote speaker at large recovery-related events and organizations in Oregon, including Hands Across the Bridge, Northwest Institute of Addiction Studies and Generation Found screenings among others.
Tony was recently elected to serve as a Board Member of the Metro Area Association of Addiction Peer Professionals, a new trade association representing addiction peers from the Portland Tri-County Region. Tony was also instrumental in the production and distribution of the first Recovery Voices Count! Voters Guide in Portland, OR and helped organize the first Portland screening of Generation Found, the groundbreaking documentary on recovery high schools. Most recently Tony was invited to serve as a Board Member of the newly formed Oregon Recovery High School Initiative, a group of community leaders committed to launching a recovery high school in Oregon.
Tony is a proud dad to two girls. He contributes his recovery experience generously within the 12-Step community in Portland, supporting many young men on their recovery journey. Tony holds credentials as a Certified Recovery Mentor and Peer Recovery Counselor. Additionally, he has an Associate of Arts and is working on a Bachelor’s of Social Work at Concordia University, where he is on scholarship for academic excellence.