MEET OUR TEAM

Victor McKenzie Jr..jpg

Victor McKenzie Jr.

Executive Director

Victor joined the Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance (SAARA) of Virginia as Executive Director in June 2020. Victor is committed to growing the impact of SAARA of Virginia’s advocacy work and peer recovery network to ensure that communities are free from substance abuse and addiction.

“Growing up, I saw many individuals and families suffering from addiction, but the stigma and negative association surrounding the disease has created barriers to treatment and resources that can save lives and improve communities. I hope to correct that narrative through further community education and advocating for changes in policies that focus on prevention measures and greater support to those affected by it.”

  

He was previously serving as Interim Executive Director and Program Director of NRC Fulton. In this community-based organization, he led the strategic growth and management for multiple programmatic and operational areas as well as external projects for the organization, developing an innovative and collaborative culture.

He has received several recognition for his work including being named one of the Community Foundation of Greater Richmond’s Emerging Leaders in Nonprofits (Cohort 13). Victor was appointed to the by Richmond City Council to the Capital Area Uplifting People. Inc Board of Directors and also serves on the board of Innovate Fulton. Previously serving on the Better Housing Coalition YP Board (2018-2020). He is also apart of several cohorts and commissions on poverty reduction, economic mobility, and affordable housing in the Greater Richmond area.  

Victor enjoys spending time with his family, biking, and golfing.

 

Contact Victor at victor@saara.org for questions related to administration, advocacy, and statewide affiliates. 

          

Kelsi Website Photo_edited.jpg

Kelsi Sober

Communications & Development Specialist

Kelsi Sober joined SAARA in February 2019 after interning at SAARA for a year. Today, Kelsi is SAARA’s Communications & Development Specialist. Kelsi is a native of Chester Virginia and a proud mother. She holds certifications in Addiction and is in the home stretch of obtaining her Bachelors of Social Sciences degree in Human Services from the University of Phoenix. Kelsi is a REVIVE! Trainer and has completed the Voices of Recovery Training.

 

Substance Use Disorder is near and dear to Kelsi’s heart. As an adolescent, Kelsi began experimenting with drugs and alcohol and admits that this experimentation quickly led her down a destructive path. Kelsi is now living in long-term recovery. She is dedicated to helping and advocating for individuals with substance abuse use and their families.

Contact Kelsi at kelsis@saara.org for information on special events, the website, social media and communications.

Jason Cox, CPRS

Peer Recovery Specialist

Jason Cox is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist with Alive RVA and SAARA of Virginia. He has completed the Voices of Recovery Training, Resilience Action Planning Workshop for Peers, and the Virginia Association of Recovery Residences Authentic Recovery Advocacy Training.

 

Jason is living in long-term recovery and plans to continue gaining knowledge to become the most effective Peer Recovery Specialist possible. Jason is truly grateful for the opportunity to give this knowledge to those who need help and seek recovery from substance use disorder and addiction.

Contact Jason at jasonc@saaracenter.org for information on the Alive RVA program.

Jeff McGhee, CPRS

Peer Recovery Specialist

Jeff McGhee is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist that works on the Alive RVA Warm Line. Jeff has completed the REVIVE Training, Applied Suicide Intervention Support Training (ASIST), Medically Assisted Recovery Support Training (MARS), and the Voices of Recovery Training. He presents at Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for Henrico County, local high schools, and Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU).

Jeff is a person in long term recovery who uses his experience to support others who are struggling with substance use disorder. He loves working as a Peer Recovery Specialist because it gives him a greater sense of purpose within the community and the potential to offer hope to the peers he interacts with on a daily basis. Advocating is high on Jeff's priority list because it is important to him to help break the stigma for those who suffer from substance use disorder. 

Contact Jeff at jeffm@saaracenter.org for information on the Alive RVA program.

Richard Howard, PRS

Peer Recovery Specialist

Richard Howard is a Peer Recovery Specialist with SAARA of Virginia. Prior to his journey with SAARA, Richard was a Peer Mentor Supervisor at The Healing Place for 7 years where he supervised 14 employees and oversaw roughly 140 program participants. Richard currently coordinates group schedules, facilitators and oversees volunteers and program participants at the SAARA Center.

Richard is in long-term recovery and strives to provide support for individuals impacted by substance use disorder.

Contact Richard at richardh@saaracenter.org for information on peer recovery support services at the SAARA Center.

Lynda Clarke, PRS

Peer Recovery Specialist

Lynda Clarke is a Peer Recovery Specialist with SAARA of Virginia. She began volunteering with SAARA of Virginia in 2011. In 2012, Lynda opened On Purpose Transitional Recovery/Re-entry, LLC providing women with recovery support and assisting them in gaining employment, computer skills, dressing for success, parenting skills and preparing meals. She has completed the Applied Suicide Intervention Support Training (ASIST) and is a Certified Recovery Coach, Certified WRAP Peer, and Lay Health Promoter. Lynda is currently the Drug Court Coordinator at the SAARA Center where she provides on-on one peer support using her experience with Substance Use Disorder, Trauma Informed Care, and Mental Health Challenges. She facilitates a women's recovery group every Tuesday from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM.

Lynda is in long-term recovery and strives to be an example for others to see that recovery is possible. "Trust the Process".

Contact Lynda at lyndac@saaracenter.org for information on peer recovery support services at the SAARA Center.

Mary Chamberlain

Peer Recovery Specialist

Contact Mary at maryc@saaracenter.org for information on peer recovery support services at the SAARA Center.

Chris Pittman

Peer Recovery Specialist

Contact Chris at chrisp@saaracenter.org for information on peer recovery support services at the SAARA Center.

Olivia Claytor

Peer Recovery Specialist

Contact Olivia at oliviac@saaracenter.org for information on the Alive RVA program.

Contact Us

SAARA of Virginia
2000 Mecklenburg Street

Richmond, VA 23223

info@saaracenter.org
Phone: (804) 762-4445 | Fax: (804) 762-4333

  • Twitter Clean
  • Google+ Clean
  • Facebook Clean

© 2020 SAARA of Virginia.