Meet Our Board of Directors

Tony Beatty

Tony Beatty, MA, LCAS, CCS
Foundation President

Hickory, NC
Board Term 1st: (Oct.1) 2013 – (Sep. 30) 2017
Board Term 1st: (Oct.1) 2017 – (Sep. 30) 2021

Tony Beatty began his first career as a part-time Substance Abuse Tech at the Seventh Street Detoxification Center in Charlotte in August 1982. He retired in November, 2012 as the Program Administrator for the Mecklenburg County Substance Abuse Services Division of the Provided Services Organization. He now teaches in the Substance Abuse Counseling Program at Central Piedmont Community College. Tony earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1982, a Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1989 and a Master of Divinity degree from Gardner-Webb University in 1998. Tony is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist and a Certified Clinical Supervisor. In addition to serving on the NCFADS Board, he is serving his second four year term on the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board.

Brenden Hargett

Brenden A. Hargett, PhD
Foundation Vice President

Proverbial Solutions
High Point, NC
Board Term 1st: (Oct.1) 2014 – (Sep. 30) 2018
Board Term 2nd: (Oct.1) 2018 – (Sep. 30) 2022

Brenden has extensive clinical experience in a variety of behavioral health settings both public and private. He holds a Ph.D in Rehabilitation Counseling and Rehabilitation Counselor Education from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, NC. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor, (LPC) a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS), and a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC).

Brenden has acquired knowledge and expertise as a trainer in trauma informed care, social and emotional development, and multicultural competency. Additionally, he has vast experience in program development, clinical supervision, and co-occurring disorders for adolescents as well as adults. Brenden works tirelessly on workforce development strategies with the intent to bridge the gap between research and practice while creating more comprehensive behavioral health service systems.

Heather Jennissen, RN, BSN
Foundation Secretary

Director of Business Development, Biomech Health
Charlotte, NC
Board Term 1st: (Oct.1) 2015 – (Sep. 30) 2019

Heather Jennissen has a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Mankato State University and extensive clinical and management skills in mental health and addiction treatment. She also has a strong background in strategic planning and community education. Heather is an active member of International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA) and a volunteer for Girls on the Run. Currently, Heather is the Director of Business Development at Biomech Health.

Peter Baker

Peter L. Baker, DTh, CSAC
Foundation Treasurer

RTP Site President/Professor, NC Theological Seminary
Roxboro, NC
Board Term 1st: (Jan 1) 2018 – (Sept 30) 2020

Peter has extensive experience in managing substance abuse and mental health services in the criminal justice arena since 2001. He has previously worked in a variety of substance abuse settings from 1992-2001. He holds a Doctorate of Theology from the North Carolina Theological Seminary in Clinton, NC

He has served as a state and national trainer for Drug Treatment Court operations, as well as having served on the Alliance Behavioral healthcare provider advisory board. He is very much vested in helping to sustain and create better ways to serve those persons mandated to treatment through the criminal justice system. Peter’s more recent years have specifically been spent focused on addressing the challenges of mentally ill offenders by helping them to acquire needed services in the community.

Wilmina Rosario

Wilmina Rosario, PhD
Foundation Board Member

Independent Clinical Consultant
Jacksonville, NC

Board Term 1st: (Oct.1) 2017 – (Sep. 30) 2021

Wilmina is also a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) and is a Diplomate and Clinical Mental Health Specialist in substance use and co-occurring disorders of the American Mental Health Counselors Association.

Dr. Rosario has worked counseling individuals and families affected by substance misuse and substance use disorders as well as counseling individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. She has worked as a clinician, clinical supervisor, program supervisor and as Division Director in the substance use and mental health fields since 1987. She has extensive experience developing, managing and directing a wide range of substance use treatment and prevention programs. Dr. Rosario is currently an Independent Clinical Preceptor and Consultant for the United States Navy’s Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program located at Camp Lejeune North Carolina.

Shawn Ricks

Shawn Ricks, PhD
Foundation Board Member

Ass’t Vice President, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion;
Associate Professor, Race and Ethnicity Studies;
Salem Academy and College
Winston-Salem, NC |
Board Term 1st: (Oct.1) 2017 – (Sep. 30) 2021

Shawn is the Assistant Vice President, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; and Associate Professor, Race and Ethnicity Studies; at Salem Academy and College. Prior, she was an Associate Professor in Counseling and Human Services at Old Dominion University, where she taught courses in crisis intervention, methods and addictions. In addition, Dr. Ricks maintains a private practice in Winston-Salem, NC. Dr. Ricks received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations, and her Masters in Counselor Education from the Pennsylvania State University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (Associate), as well as a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (Associate). She is certified in Motivational Interviewing, Strengthening Families and Preventing Long Term Anger and Aggression in Youth (PLAAY). Prior to joining Old Dominion University, Dr. Ricks spent 9 years at Winston-Salem State University where she created a university-wide minor in addictions.

Erin Ditta

Erin Ditta, CSAPC
Foundation Board Member

Prevention Coordinator at Coastal Horizons Center
Wilmington, NC

Board Term 1st: (Mar. 1) 2019 – (Sep. 30) 2021

Erin Ditta is a Certified Substance Abuse Prevention Consultant and has worked in the Prevention field for 15 years. She is a Prevention Coordinator at Coastal Horizons Center in Wilmington, North Carolina. Her experience includes providing technical assistance and support for local providers and communities. She assists in specialized substance use prevention programs, managing grants, creating evaluation tools, and record keeping required by funding sources. Her skills include facilitation of experiential education programs to build critical life skills and improve communication, teamwork, leadership and self-confidence. She also has interest in implementing work-site wellness strategies.

Michael Daniels

Michael Daniels, MSW, LCSW-A, LCAS, CCS
Foundation Board Member

East Carolina University School of Social Work
Greenville, NC

Board Term 1st: (Mar. 1) 2019 – (Sep. 30) 2020

Michael is coordinator of the Addiction Certificate program at East Carolina University School of Social Work where he trains and prepare students to become licensed clinical addiction specialist (LCAS). He teaches courses in group counseling, foundations of addictions and advanced techniques in treating substance use disorders. Michael has extensive experience in providing clinical supervision for students and other professionals seeking licensure. Prior to joining East Carolina University, Michael worked 20 years in prisons with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety in various roles such as, providing services for offenders with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders and as a clinical supervisor for treatment teams. Michael earned his Bachelor of Science in Education from NC State University and his Masters in Social Work (MSW) from East Carolina University. Michael is passionate about preparing future clinicians to enter the addiction profession.


Debbie Caton Rogers, MA
Executive Director

North Carolina Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Studies
Greenville, NC

Staff Term 1st: (Oct. 1) 2016 – Present

Debbie Caton Rogers was named Executive Director of the North Carolina Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Studies effective October 1, 2016. She retired from the Eastern Area Health Education Center (AHEC) August 31, 2016, where she had served as Director since 1994.

Debbie joined Eastern AHEC as Assistant Director of Mental Health Education, coming from positions in state facilities as a staff psychologist and behavior programming specialist. She holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees from East Carolina University, with specialization in IDD and Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and has also completed extensive graduate coursework in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Debbie was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in August 2016 for her contributions to her community, exemplary professional career and years of service to the state of North Carolina. As Executive Director, she is the principal staff member of the Foundation. This position is central to the overall operation of the Foundation and includes administrative, financial management, technical/clerical production, logistical/program planning and oversight of the daily operations of the Foundation office. The Executive Director also provides assistance to the Foundation Board on matters pertaining to strategic planning

Virginia Lynne Johnson

Virginia L. Johnson, CSAPC
Ex-Officio Foundation Board Member

Empowered Ideas
Fuquay-Varina, NC | Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Empowered Ideas
Board Term 1st: (Oct.1) 2009 – (Sep. 30) 2013
Board Term 2nd: (Oct.1) 2011 – (Sep. 30) 2015

Virginia is a speaker, instructor, facilitator, communications specialist and marketing strategist. Her experience  bridging gaps between nonprofits, government and corporations; along with expertise in strategic planning, organizational development, event management and nonprofit sustainability have positioned her as a knowledge leader in several fields – including her passion for substance abuse prevention, in which she has been a Certified Substance Abuse Prevention Consultant since 2001.

Virginia has coordinated federal and statewide initiatives, community mobilization and capacity efforts, developed targeted messaging and integrated digital advocacy within the nonprofit sector. She also has over 12 years of community festival and professional conference management experience. Virginia is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Empowered Ideas, a marketing communications firm focused on small businesses and nonprofits.

NCFADS Consultants

James C. Wong

James C. Wong
Marketing Communications & Technology Consultant

Co-Founder, Empowered Ideas (Fuquay-Varina, NC)
Director of Marketing, MTI Dental (Coatesville, PA)
Years of Supporting NCFADS: 2013 to Present

James Wong is a nationally recognized speaker, instructor, digital marketing and communications strategist and passionate social entrepreneur.

From 2007-2012, James served as the Marketing Communications Manager for the iContact Corporation (a division of the Vocus Corporation), an industry leading email marketing services provider, and pioneered digital strategies which spearheaded iContact into the social media marketing industry.

Today, James is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Empowered Ideas, a nationally recognized marketing communications firm for small businesses, nonprofits and government agencies — with a diverse coast-to-coast client portfolio.

His passion for diversity in leadership and community outreach has led to special recognition by the Society of New Communications Research (SNCR)North Carolina Army National Guard, the National Black MBA Association (NBMBA)The Men of Semper Fidelis (MSF), and by Asian Focus of North Carolina. In addition, James currently serves on the Senior Advisory Council, and is a past President of the RTP Chapter of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP); a Marketing Committee Member for the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce (2014-Present); and as the Marketing Chair for the Triangle Association of Black Journalists (TABJ). He has also served as the President of the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association (TIMA) in 2012.

In Honor of Our Founding Executive Director

Jim Edmundson

Jim Edmundson, EdD
Founding Executive Director

North Carolina Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Studies (1978-2016)
Clayton, NC

Jim Edmundson began an affiliation with NCFADS in 1978 serving as its administrative coordinator. As a university administrator, Jim contributed leadership, academic program planning, and operational processes to the development of NCFADS. After retiring from UNCW as Vice Chancellor of Continuing Studies in 1992, he was named Executive Director and served in that role until his retirement in 2016. Jim’s exceptional leadership over a span of 38 years resulted in the NCFADS Lifetime Achievement Award being changed to include his name to honor his extensive and valuable service.