Kim Porter, CFRS is the Executive Director of Be a Part of the Conversation. Having served as the Community Program Coordinator and Parent Liaison for Be a Part of the Conversation since its inception in 2011, she was named Executive Director of this vital organization in 2014.
Kim’s Certified Family Recovery Specialist (CFRS) credential was created for adults who have been directly impacted by another person’s substance use disorder. The CFRS shares their lived experience with other families to provide recovery support services. A CFRS is trained to help families move into and through the recovery process.
Kim is the parent of someone in long term recovery, which led her to explore the impact of addiction on individuals and their families.
Kim earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism at West Virginia University, with a concentration in public relations. She was proud to serve as WVU’s student body president in 1982-83. Kim started out as an advertising account executive at a newspaper, then learned the graphic design trade while working with her mentor and friend, Chuck Moran, at his design firm in Charlottesville, Virginia. Kim worked as a graphic designer and marketing consultant since 1985.
Kim currently lives in Newtown Square, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. She previously lived in Horsham Township for 22 years, where she and Michael raised two wonderful children who support this amazing journey she has embarked upon.
Activities & Honors:
Regional Advisory Board of Caron Treatment Center. Kim is a recipient of Caron’s “Brian Early Community Leadership Award” and the “Catherine Caron Outstanding Volunteer Leadership Award.”
Montgomery County Commissioners’ Overdose Task Force
Philadelphia Mayor Kenney’s Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic, Public Education and Prevention Strategies Subcommittee
Recipient of Synergy Houses’ “You Make a Difference” family award.
“When my family was impacted by addiction, our world suddenly became a dark and frightening place with little understanding of where to turn for help. Our family’s journey through recovery compelled me to explore creative ways to help raise awareness among those who often struggle in silence with a loved one’s substance use, misuse or addiction. I have found that most people have an open heart and mind, and want to learn all they can to support those who are in pain, as well as those in recovery. Helping to create Be a Part of the Conversation has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my experience, strength and hope!”
Judy Hirsh is the Program Coordinator for Be a Part of the Conversation (BPOC). The mother of a son in recovery, Judy brings a diverse background to BPOC.
Professionally, she practiced law for four years, has practiced real estate valuation and managed a family business for 24 years and served as a budget analyst for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She has worked as a Neighborhood Mediator with the Good Shepherd Mediation Program in Philadelphia, PA. Judy is a Certified Family Recovery Specialist (CFRS), which is someone who assists families impacted by a loved one’s substance use disorder.
Judy also ran a spirited campaign for the Pennsylvania State Senate in 2008, garnering nearly 49% of the vote against a 32 year incumbent.
Judy has also been deeply involved in her community, serving as board president of the Londonderry School in Harrisburg, PA for 5 years and leading the development and construction of a new facility. She has also provided various leadership roles for several organizations, including:
Lower Merion Democratic Committee
PAWS – Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society
Judy is a graduate of Penn State University with a BA and MPA and holds a Juris Doctor (JD) from the Dickinson School of Law. She is married (Larry) and is the mother of Max, Alix and Jack and resides in Villanova, PA with her family and three dogs.
With a background in psych services and business development, Tessa’s passion is working directly with people. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Education and Social Policy, and has explored roles in design consulting, performing arts, and marketing.
At the root of all her professional endeavors is empathy. Tessa strives to create positive impact and genuine connection both in and out of the workplace. She continues this mission by running Lit Improv — a theater, learning center, and community dedicated toward cultivating authenticity, spreading positivity, and sparking creativity in individuals and groups across Philadelphia and beyond.
For many years, Tessa has been passionate about spreading awareness of mental health. She believes in the importance and powerful impact of having open discussions in supportive environments, and not skirting around delicate topics. For this reason, she is especially excited to be part of this team.
Casey is the President and General Managing Partner of Delaware Valley Remediation in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Casey and his wife Christine live in Charlestown Township (Malvern) with son Cotter and daughter Coeli. Christine teaches 4th Grade at Radnor Elementary. The Duffys are members of St. Patrick’s Parish and Chester Valley Country Club.
Service Casey is a member of Caron Treatment Centers Board of Trustees, having served a total of 10 years on the Board to date. As a person in long term recovery (over 34 years), Casey has served as Chair of the Chester County Commissioners Drug and Alcohol Services Advisory Board and as Chair of the Chester-Montgomery Behavioral Health Advisory Board. He was an active member of The A&E Network Recovery Project. Casey is a member of the Great Valley Community Organization (GVCO), a Basketball Coach, Rec League and Travel, and for five years, Casey was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles to serve as Chairman of the Season Ticket Holder Advisory Board from 2011 to 2015.
Casey raises funds through his foundation, The Sober Samaritan, to fund treatment services and programs in the area. He also speaks at schools, treatment facilities, and community meetings about his personal experience and strives to be the hand that is there “whenever anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help…”
Doug Leavitt is a partner at Danziger, Shapiro & Leavitt, P.C., with more than 20 years’ experience guiding businesses through all aspects of corporate life, including company formation, acquisition, divestiture, contract negotiation, litigation, bankruptcy, and other forms of business dissolution. He blogs regularly, providing guidance for both clients and other business lawyers. Visit Doug’s blog >
After growing up in Yardley, PA, and attending the University of Rochester, Syracuse Law School, and Georgetown Law, Doug began his legal career at a small Philadelphia firm before moving on to the Philadelphia offices of Saul Ewing and Pepper Hamilton. By the time he joined Danziger, Shapiro & Leavitt in 2003 he had become adept in the handling of sophisticated business transactions and litigation.
Doug is married, and the father of three. He is active in a number of local charities and organizations, including offering free legal services to all of Horsham, Pennsylvania’s police officers and their families, as well as coaching his children’s various athletic teams. He is a member of Congregation Beth Or and serves on its legal steering committee and also serves as one of the congregation’s representatives on the Hebrew Free Loan board.
“When I heard the Conversation starting, I joined because I wanted to be part of a local grass roots movement that brings about positive change and hope to those dealing with the disease of drug and alcohol addiction.”
Joe graduated from West Chester University in 2008 and began his career in public accounting. Joe spent 11 years working at local regional CPA firms, specializing in accounting/auditing and tax planning/preparation services. In October 2018, Joe went off and started his own firm, Gaudio CPA and Business Advisory. His firm primarily services small to medium sized businesses, helping with accounting, tax and business advisory needs, as well as planning and preparing individual tax returns.
Joe currently volunteers with the non-profit Delaware and Chester County SCORE. He presents a monthly seminar with an attorney on “How to Start and Operate a Small Business.” He also volunteers annually with the SBA to assist with their emerging leaders program, serving as an outside expert on Financial Statements and Taxes.
Joe lives in West Goshen with his wife, Jessie, and two small children.
Dawn Tucker is the Conversation Liaison for Hatboro-Horsham School District and the surrounding communities. She also serves as the K-12 Student Assistant Program (SAP) Coordinator for the Hatboro-Horsham School District. She earned a Master’s degree in School Counseling: K-12 from Gwynedd Mercy College and an undergraduate degree from Temple University.
Currently, Dawn is establishing a district initiative aimed at fostering overall health and wellness of elementary and secondary students. Her current projects include mental health awareness initiatives, drug and alcohol awareness through school district/community programs, involvement in curriculum and staff training, student work, professional development, social media awareness and curriculum implementation.
“I first heard of the Conversation when I was working with SAP teams in Bucks County, PA. The program already had a lot of recognition, and when offered the opportunity to become involved, I was ecstatic. I’ve worked with a number of parents and students in various stages of drug experimentation, use, and abuse; I have found it so valuable when families can access resources and feel connected with the community.”
Bill Roberts was born and lived in Philadelphia until moving overseas to finish his education in England and Norway. He has been an executive in a national environmental services company for nearly 30 years. Bill and his wife Pam have been active in the regional Parent Support Group community for the last 10 years, and have authored several manuals outlining the experiences and wisdom accumulated by the members of these groups. Bill has served on numerous corporate boards over the years and has volunteered, among others, as a peer reviewer of start-ups for the Ben Franklin Partnership since 1989.
I believe in the Conversation’s mission, but more so in Kim Rubenstein. She is relentless in getting out the message of prevention, intervention and parent support. She believes stigma is a four-letter word needing to be eliminated. For several years I have witnessed the magic she and her colleagues at BPOC have conjured up for students, school administrators, and families at many of the Conversation events, especially her work with Parent Groups, and was honored to be asked to be a part of the team that supports her going forward.
Chris King is the accounting department administrator for Lincoln Investment, a securities broker dealer located in Ft. Washington, PA, and has been with the firm for over 22 years. In addition to her accounting responsibilities, she manages Lincoln’s employee yoga program and has been an active volunteer with Philabundance. Born in Philadelphia, Chris now lives in Cheltenham Township where she raised two daughters. She earned her BA in Psychology from West Chester University.
“I’ve had the good fortune to experience the bountiful impact BPOC has on communities and individuals alike. BPOC is an invaluable resource for learning about substance use disorder and works diligently to reduce the stigma surrounding it. But more than an educational arm, BPOC extends an understanding and warm embrace to audiences and individuals that is immeasurable. I’m honored to be a part of the team!”
Beginning her career in the juvenile justice field as a graduate from Bloomsburg University, Jill has worked with at-risk youth for more than ten years in multiple facets from juvenile detention, victim services, and juvenile probation, to treating adolescents with substance use disorders and creating programs to serve adolescents with substance use and mental health diagnoses. Jill is the Director of Adolescent Services for Rehab After School and The Light Program which operate under the Onward Behavioral Health organization.
Jill is also a state-wide trainer for the Victim Awareness Curriculum through the National Center for Juvenile Justice and is a certified strengths-based family worker through her work with Temple University, Harrisburg. She enjoys presenting to parents, youth, and other professionals on topics of prevention and intervention. Jill believes that a combination of traditional and progressive treatment modalities work best to achieve healing in a treatment setting in addition to strong family and community connections.
At home, Jill shares her time with her son, daughter, and husband and enjoys activities such as yoga and her “natural high” of cooking.
Caroline Fenkel is the Executive Director of the Center for Families in Malvern, Pennsylvania. The Center for Families is a safe place for teens and families to find community support, education, and sustainable healing for mental health and substance abuse struggles.
Caroline’s passion lies in helping heal adolescents through the use of experiential therapy, group therapy, and animal-assisted therapy. Her career began with her love for horses: She majored in equine studies and minored in psychology at Delaware Valley University, then completed her master’s degree in social work at Bryn Mawr College. From there, she combined these two focuses through practicing equine-assisted therapy and other forms of experiential therapy, including Relational Trauma Repair and adventure therapy. Caroline has worked with adolescents and young adults at all levels of care, including outpatient and residential, at numerous national programs, including Pyramid Healthcare, Adolescent Advocates, Mirmont Treatment Center, Elements Behavioral Health, and Newport Academy. Caroline recently earned her doctorate in clinical social work from the University of Pennsylvania. Caroline’s passion for helping those with substance use disorders stems from her own experience in long-term recovery. Dr. Fenkel’s strong systemic, evidence based social work background, propels her to support prevention programs throughout the region.
“Be a Part of the Conversation is a comprehensive community resource. I am proud to be a part of this organization because I believe it helps to change peoples lives. I wish my parents were exposed to a BPOC event when I was younger! I can’t wait to help expose as many people as possible to this incredible organization!”
Trish Larsen has more than 20 years of experience as a director of non-profits. Prior to joining Minding Your Mind in 2012, she served as the director of Contact Greater Philadelphia, the agency responsible for answering the National Suicide Lifeline in the Greater Philadelphia area. Her responsibilities included program development and agency oversight, and she also served as trainer and educational facilitator. In addition to crisis intervention training, Trish holds certificates in QPR Suicide Intervention Gatekeeper Training, a certification from CONTACT as an Adolescent Suicide Prevention Trainer, as well as certificates in Cognitive Therapy for Depression and Anxiety from the Beck Institute. She has advanced experience in non-profit fund and organizational development, strategic marketing, community resource expansion, as well as volunteer and program management. She is a participating member of multiple county-wide task force committees and community collaborative groups.
Be a Part of the Conversation is a gift to the community. Countless individuals who are affected by substance use disorder find themselves isolated and suffering in silence. BPOC offers an alternative by providing educational programs, a welcoming sense of community and a soft place to fall. I am honored to serve this necessary and impactful organization.
Mr. Fenkel is the founder and CEO of McLean Packaging Corporation, one of the few American manufacturers of corrugated containers, folding and rigid paper boxes. From 1961 until present day, Joe grew McLean Packaging exponentially. McLean Packaging is nationally known as the leading packaging provider to businesses such as Godiva, Loreal, Estee Laudre, Proctor and Gamble, Mars chocolate and many more. In 1960, McLean launched in a modest factory in Fishtown Philadelphia with 8,000 square feet, ten employees and five machines. Today, McLean is based out of four separate plants, with more than 700,000 square feet in office buildings and factory floors, over 300 employees, and over 35 machines.
Joe, or “Bull-Dog” as his golf buddies like to call him, is known for his fierce determination on the golf course, which has clearly manifested in his career. Joe is no stranger to pitfalls, failures and lost sales, but as he would say on the Penn State basketball court, “just tape it up!” Joe is excited to join Be a Part of the Conversation’s Board of Directors because of his own personal ties to sobriety. His daughter struggled through high school with substance use and abuse. Fortunately, through the help of resources like Be a Part of the Conversation, his daughter has been substance free since August 9th, 2007.
Joe is also a Board Member of Firstrust Bank and the Abramson Center for Jewish Life.
“I would like to help people who, similar to myself, are struck by addiction in a vulnerable time in their lives. I wish there were more prevention so high schoolers like my daughter do not fall prey to addiction.”
Lisa Bailey is marketing-communications-development professional with a focus on healthcare. Since 2020, she has served as the Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. She has worked at Fox Chase for more than 20 years, with integral roles in Marketing and Communications, as well as Institutional Advancement.
Lisa’s expertise ranges from digital storytelling, stewardship, writing, and media relations to building philanthropic support, special events, executive communications and social media.
Lisa is an active member of Be a Part of the Conversation’s Parent Partnership Meetings, she chairs the annual fundraising planning committee, and has volunteered for the organization to support its social media and public relations efforts.
“With a family member in recovery, I have come to rely on the Parent Partnership for consistent support and camaraderie. When I learned all that Be a Part of the Conversation is doing to prevent substance misuse, I appreciated the importance of their efforts. I’m proud to be a Board member of an organization with such a worthwhile mission – making a real difference for the members of our community.”
Garrett Snider built his life around addressing the problems faced by youth. Among those problems is the sexual abuse pandemic, and Garrett designed various programs which helped to ignite a robust conversation on the topic of juvenile civil rights.
In 2016, Garrett created The Childhood Resilience Foundation; a resource that extends services to victims of abuse and neglect. In 2017, the foundation installed a new Board of Directors whose expertise spans a myriad of industries and fields. The Board continues to add programs that embody healing, while putting forth new and exciting opportunities to engage in the education and protection of young people.
In addition to his Resilience Foundation activities, Garrett serves on boards for PALS Programs, The Petit Foundation, The Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia, and The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s Advisory Council. He was appointed as a Director of the Child Welfare Oversight Board, Department of Human Services, in 2019.