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Learn from the Best

Take a closer look at some of our trained professionals.

Jan Brown

The Rev. Jan M. Brown is the Founding/Executive Director of SpiritWorks Foundation Center for the Soul.  Jan is a person in long-term recovery from addiction meaning she has not used drugs or alcohol or drugs since January 1, 1987.  She is an ordained Deacon in the Episcopal Church, presently serving at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Psychology, is a certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist and currently an international scholar in the International Programme on Addiction Studies. Jan will receive her Master of Addiction Science Degree in 2018 through a specialized program with King's College in London, the University of Adelaide and Virginia Commonwealth University. Jan is also an Addictions Educator and sought-after speaker on topics of recovery-oriented systems of care, recovery support services and recovery management. Jan serves as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Face and Voices of Recovery, Recovery Consultant on SAMSHA States Targeted Response (STR) Technical Assistance Center Team, Consensus Panel member for the SAMSHA TIP - Peer Recovery Support Specialists and co-chair of the Addiction and Recovery Commission for the Diocese of Southern Virginia. In 2014 she was appointed by the Governor of Virginia to serve on the Governor's Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse

Phil Valentine

Phil Valentine is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR).  An accomplished speaker and presenter, he has gained recognition as a strong leader in the recovery community.  In recovery since December 28, 1987, Phil believes that by being public about his own recovery from alcohol and cocaine addiction, he can help ease the discrimination surrounding addiction and recovery.

Lynn Smyth

Lynn Smyth is the Volunteer Coordinator at SpiritWorks Foundation. She is the mother of a recovering addict.  Through her journey,  Lynn found a passion for nurturing those in recovery that SpiritWorks serves. She loves to celebrate birthdays, milestones and organize events and fundraisers that are designed to celebrate life in recovery.  Formerly a trial paralegal, Lynn has woven together a network of volunteer attorneys donate their time to help members of the SpiritWorks community to navigate their legal issues.  Lynn also serves SpiritWorks by monitoring pending state and federal legislation that promote recovery services and funding initiatives.  Lynn graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. in Political Science and received her paralegal certificate from the National Center for Paralegal Training in Atlanta, Georgia.  Last year, Lynn completed SpiritWorks’ peer recovery specialist training course.

Dr. Allison Jackson

Dr. Jackson aims to bring trauma-and-resilience-informed practices to professionals who serve at-promise youth, families, and adults in their communities. She lives out her mission by providing educational opportunities directly to community members as well as to people in the direct care and leadership levels of an organization.

Dr. Jackson grew up in Richmond, VA. She is a person of lived experience from whom we can learn valuable lessons about lie and resiliency. As a professional, she has provided leadership development services via behavioral health, educational, child welfare, and criminal justice systems for more than 20 years.

Her clinical practice and research focus on advancing trauma-informed treatment practices for persons who experience behavioral problems. She offered outpatient therapeutic services for military service men and women and their families. Also, she provided crisis therapy services to youth and adults who were diagnosed with mental health problems.

Lauren McDonald

The Rev. Lauren McDonald is the Director of Spiritual and Community Programming at SpiritWorks Foundation. Lauren has been a friend and volunteer of SpiritWorks since 2008 and began employment in January 2012. She has been living in recovery from co-dependence since February 2011. Lauren is an Episcopal priest with a passion for healing and spiritual practices. At SpiritWorks she oversees volunteer management, faith community education and training, and recovery ministry.  Lauren received a B.A. in Speech and Theatre Arts from The University of the South in 1991 and an M.Div. from Seabury Western Theological Seminary in 2008. She has a Certificate in Spiritual Caregiving to Help Addicted Persons and Families through the National Association for Children of Addiction and is a Level 1 USA Archery Instructor.  She co-chairs the Addictions and Recovery Commission for the Diocese of Southern Virginia.  Beginning in June 2016, Lauren began serving as the Associate Rector for Outreach and Women’s Ministries at Bruton Parish.

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