Austin TAAP Board Election - Nominees

Diversity & Inclusion Chair Nominees

TJ Sachdev

Discovery Behavioral Health, Strategic Relations Manager

Are you licensed?

 

MBA

 

Why do you want to serve? 

 

I strongly believe in giving back to the recovery community and am passionate about social issues relating to healthcare. As a new resident of Austin, I hope to meet and connect with like-minded professionals in the addiction treatment field and work towards providing minorities and underserved communities with greater access to behavioral health treatment.

What makes you qualified?

 

With over 7 years of experience in behavioral healthcare, I bring a multitude of skills and expertise to the role of Diversity and Inclusion Chair. As a South Asian woman in recovery, I have served as chair on several boards, including the Bay Area Women's Association of Addiction Treatment (WAAT). I have presented at numerous conferences on the topic of stigma and addiction and most recently was interviewed for the Conscious Recovery Podcast on the topic of Cultural Shame. I hope to bring my personal and professional experience to the Austin TAAP board to better serve the community at large.

Brittney Lollis

Spearhead Lodge, Clinical Director

Are you licensed?

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor

Why do you want to serve? 

I believe with everything going on in the world and in our country today, it’s important that the field of addiction and recovery remains open and welcoming to all diverse populations. I have been in the field for nearly 8 years. I believe I have a lot to offer in professional experience to work with other board members to enrich the Austin addictions network.

What makes you qualified?

As a woman of color in the field of addiction and recovery, I’ve personally witnessed exclusion and lack of diversity. My social work back ground also serves me in being able to look at the entire network and implement working interventions toward positive change. I’m also working to improve the diversity and inclusion education of all staff with my current employer, BRC Family of Programs.

Laura Folks

Indeed, Inc. & Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DI&B) Program Manager for the Americas.

 

Are you licensed?

No

Why do you want to serve? 

I want to promote DI&B broadly, both internally and externally from my company. I also am the parent of two therapists who work with those fighting addiction, so I understand the importance of the work your members execute every single day.

What makes you qualified?

I have seven years working in the tech industry in the DI&B space, first with VMware and now with Indeed. During this time I have supported numerous employee groups from all demographics as we guide them into being not only a place of culture-building but also subject matter experts that support the business. I am adept at working with all underrepresented groups, and have a keen awareness of the obstacles that are faced. Additionally, I am extremely creative in my processes to ensure innovation and engagement by those involved.

Lawrence C Spain

I have been employed at Tx Neuro Rehab Center for 17 years. I work on the adolescence unit with kids that have behavior problems ranging from mental, physical and aggressive behaviors , also work with autism kids. I teach them life skills, how to use coping skills when becoming agitated, worked on their social skills and also help them work on their program so that they can succeed. I've also worked with adults in recovery from addictions, participated in their meetings , follow the lead of the social worker. I've work on the hospital side of the facility, there I help with lifting patients , showering them and changing them when soiled, help with feeding and assist the nurse as needed. I am also the Crisis Intervention Instructor for the facility. I've been employed at Austin ISD for 14 years in the special education department , there I assist the teacher in her lesson plans , help students as needed with their work and teach them life skills as well as social skills.

Are you licensed?

I do not have the required license but my last five years of experience has given me the ability to work with those who struggle with recovery and work on a plan of action and help support my peers.

Why do you want to serve? 

I've always had an ambition in helping others. Over the years I've had the experience with learning and working with those suffering from addiction. That gave me the motivation into opening my business Spain Sober Living and giving back to the community by helping those wanting to be successful in recovering from their addiction but also to those needing motivation. If given the opportunity to serve on the Board of Austin TAAP , it will allow me grow and work with those that have the same ambition and dedication as I do.

What makes you qualified?

I have a strong dedication and compassion towards helping others overcome their addictions. I go the extra mile to help guide them to have a more positive mind set. I have been able to connect with different people of all races and also been able to educate them on the importance of diversity.

Gina Kaye

Are you licensed?

Peer Recovery Support Specialist - - Certified Family Recovery Specialist (Texas Certification Board of Addiction Professionals) - - Trained through Recovery People

Why do you want to serve? 

It would be an honor to join the board and help enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion among addiction professionals throughout the Austin area. As you know, I’ve been part of Austin TAAP in some capacity over the past 5 years. My NAADAC and TAAP memberships are current and I also keep an active membership with the Society of the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH). I am drawn to this position as someone that has experienced power imbalances my whole life. I know privilege and I know what it’s like to be marginalized. When addressing diversity and inclusion, I believe it’s important to address all areas of inequity: gender inequality, sexism, misogyny, patriarchy, racism, disability, and all forms of discrimination. I would come to this role merging lived experience and professional training to help grow awareness and create positive systemic change. My professional training includes a Master of Education in Health Education from the University of Texas at Austin, years working in addiction treatment and recovery, a year and a half working at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, knowing and following the founder of Be the Bridge and some other advocates for racial reconciliation, and training with Recovery People to expand the peer recovery model to be more family centric/inclusive of everyone in the family system. I am team oriented but also a self-starter. My approach would be to offer to facilitate some exercises, assessments, and discussion for the board to enhance personal growth and discussion first. I believe it would be important to get clear as a leadership team what we want to accomplish together. Then I would work to make things happen. My top strength from StrengthsFinder is Activator. I will keep a pulse on policy for diversity and inclusion, assist the Austin TAAP Board on outreach efforts, regularly monitor and evaluate activities for diversity and inclusion, and serve as a liaison between general membership and the board. It would be great to have a chance to discuss the position further and see how my experience, skills, and training can serve the mission of Austin TAAP and a focus on diversity and inclusion.

What makes you qualified?

See above. 

Legislative Chair Nominees

Ashley Olson

Shadow Mountain Recovery- Regional Clinical Outreach

Are you licensed?

No.

Why do you want to serve? 

I'm passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of all who suffer from the impact of addiction. I've gone through my own journey of recovery and am always looking for ways to be an advocate for those still struggling.

What makes you qualified?

I'm a good communicator and team player. I am also open-minded and consider all sides before forming an opinion. I believe that there are multiple pathways to recovery and that addiction cannot be treated with a one size fits all approach.

Chrissy Glenn

Infinite Recovery, Director of Business Development

Are you licensed?

No response.

Why do you want to serve? 

I’d like to get more involved in helping the recovery community

What makes you qualified?

I have an interest in the legislative action that lawmakers make and how they can impact addiction professionals.

Vice President Nominees

Chris Quaglino

I am self-employed in private practice at i to i Counseling

Are you licensed?

I am ann LCSW and an LCDC. I also have a Master of Science in Social Work from UT and a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication from St. Edward’s University.

Why do you want to serve? 

I have been a member of the wonderful Austin TAAP board for several years now and hopefully for many years to come. I apply for the VP position with anticipation of continuing on as President. The main focus is to be an active, driving participant in continuing the momentum already initiated by the current Board to grow the Austin Chapter of the TAAP toward more inclusivity and diversification. This includes an increased variety of participation from both individuals, and modalities of care, for persons suffering from a wide range of addictions. I would like to ensure that the internal broadening of focus leads to increased participation from the broad range of talented professionals from throughout Austin and the Central Texas area.

What makes you qualified?

‘Unique’ is an interesting choice of words. I am surely not the only person who could fill this position. However, having been involved with the Austin TAAP Board for over two years now does give me experience and a clear vision of this organization and its long-term goals. I have assisted with two annual Austin TAAP Symposiums … and I look forward to assisting with the Symposium in 2021, which I am sure we will make happen. Honestly, I have taken a back seat for too long, observing and speaking up when I felt I could contribute, and would now like to progress into a more participatory role. In my prior career, of almost 25 years, I built, worked with, supported and supervised, multiple successful teams and projects. This experience has allowed me to help groups develop the space and resources needed to accomplish a variety of goals. I know when to step up, when to listen, and when to advocate for whatever teams may need to accomplish higher objectives and I look forward to doing so with the Austin Chapter of TAAP. I also feel my experience with leading teams would be a good fit for our Board as it transitions to a more diverse representation of the Austin area addiction professionals and larger community. And finally, I am happy to commit to many more years of service with members of Austin TAAP and the greater Austin Addiction Community.

Sharon Sauer

Beacon of Light in Recovery - Executive Director Living Amends - Principal

Are you licensed?

Peer Support Certified Interventionist & Recovery Coach

Why do you want to serve? 

Giving back to an organization that has always been there for me. Austin TAAP was one of the very first marketing meetings I went to at BRC, years ago. I met David Hutts there & he made me laugh.

What makes you qualified?

I have an MBA, 15 years sober and an extended network of friends & family. I’ve established a reputation in the Austin market and I work well with others.

Brittany Bass

Business Development at The Last Resort

Are you licensed?

No.

Why do you want to serve? 

I am on the board, and have loved being on it this last year. I truly feel that I am a leader, and would be an amazing Vice President. I have integrity, ethics, and compassion.

What makes you qualified?

I don’t see things as black and white. There is a place for every concern, opinion, and viewpoint. I also have a way about me that I can hear even viewpoints I don’t agree with, and address with compassion.