GET TO KNOW US
Founder + CEO
Domenica Personti has been a powerhouse in the State of Delaware working in the behavioral health field for over twenty years. Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, Domenica has worked in a multitude of treatment environments. From corrections, to MAT programs, to community based outreach services, to facilities that boast a yoga studio and spa, state-of-the-art fitness services, farm-to-table meals, and the scenic surroundings, she has done it all. But Domenica doesn’t show up to her job to relax. She spends her days with working with individuals who are sick and suffering from the disease of addiction. She does everything she can to help them obtain the tools they need to help them regain a lost sense of self after the damage of addiction.
“I introduce myself to anyone that walks through the door,” Domenica says. “It helps keep me grounded and reminds me why I’m there. Hearing them share their stories, how they got here and what we’re doing that’s working — it’s always important, and it helps us improve.”
Domenica is in recovery herself, which helps her relate to what her patients are going through. Nearly two decades ago, while working as a peer counselor in an corrections based treatment program, Domenica began helping out the staff and inmates, acting as a sort of “junior counselor.” She caught the eye of a supervisor, who helped her apply for a scholarship that largely funded her undergraduate education and helped her get her first job in the field.
“I just fell in love with it,” Domenica says. “The fulfillment of giving the gift back is like nothing else.”
Domenica worked in corrections facilities and health clinics, where the intensity of the experience eventually took its toll. In the first three months of 2005, she lost four patients to violence and overdoses. She recognized that the work was starting to affect her mental well-being. Domenica went back to school for an MBA, but before she graduated she was offered a job designing and implementing a community based recovery program in Wilmington. After many years working in the field in many different modalities of mental health and addiction treatment she was well aware of the gaps in service. This began to drive her passion to create something to address those gaps.
“When I think about what keeps me whole and grounded I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt it is a solid spiritual program, a great support circle, and a life of service. For me that is what we have to provide people if we want them to get, and stay well. After treatment, what we offer and provide them is critical.”
At IMPACT Life, Domenica has designed a program that sets up the clients up for success. In addition to vocational career services, there are wellness programs and training for basic life skills, like how to balance a checkbook, communicate with other people, and have fun while staying sober. There will also be recovery residences.
“We focus a lot on recovery from addiction, but for me, it’s about overall wellness,” Domenica says. “My investment is looking at the whole picture: if we don’t help people get and maintain employment, get old charges pardoned and expunged, assist them in navigating social services, and simple things like knowing how to communicate effectively, the recovery eventually collapses.”
The program Domenica has developed, and the life she’s led, are supported by the three consistent pillars. If you have ever heard her speak you have definitely heard her talk about them. Connection, Compassion, and Kinship. They lead to services delivered with dignity and respect and in turn people are open to change.
“Those of us in recovery, we’re constantly cranking that gift out,” Domenica says. “We’re saying, ‘We’re an example of how this can work.’ It’s about reassurance and compassion and empathy. You have to help people through their process that’s how people get well. We have to work to install hope that recovery is possible, and then we have to prove it. That’s on us.”
Director of People Operations
Director of Support Services
Leslie Palladino is the Director of Recovery Services at Impact Life. Leslie grew up in Claymont, Delaware and is in long term recovery. Leslie has worked in the field for almost 10 years and has experience in harm reduction, clinical services, and mobile outreach. Leslie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and is a certified HIV and HVC tester as well as a DOSE trainer for the state of Delaware. Leslie would like to expand Impact Life’s services statewide and create a supervised injection site within the Tristate area. She would also like to create a pilot program that integrates animal rescue with reentry components. One quirky fact is that she is a taco enthusiast.
Director of Finance
Adam believes in a personal approach to recovery that varies from person to person and he has had the privilege of experiencing the miracle of recovery with numerous clients, friends, and family members. Adam is very excited to be working with Impact Life, an organization that values a team approach in assisting individuals in building a foundation of recovery. Over the years Adam has worked hard and has dedicated himself to building a life that consists of raising three children with his wife, following a strict exercise regimen, and rooting for the Philadelphia sports teams. Adam is a recently devoted Disney fan, with his favorite character being Gaston from Beauty and the Beast.
Farm Educator + Operations Supervisor
Certified Peer Recovery Specialist
Assist Housing Supervisor
Prevention and Wellness Educator
Peer Support Specialist
Fun fact: Alan enjoys riding motorcycles, great food,, going to the batting cages to hit a few balls and spending time with his family , his daughter, and 2 grandsons, and getting back to all the things he once enjoyed doing.
Peer Support Specialist
Peer Support Specialist
Peer Support Specialist
Men’s Case Manager
Upon witnessing the tragic events of September 11, 2001 in Manhattan, Chris dedicated his life to the study and teaching of contemplative practices. He teaches evidence-based practices from a secular voice and is committed to bringing this timeless wisdom to all whom wish to receive. Chris has facilitated in recovery and retreat centers in Portugal, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Judy looks forward to being part of the Impact Life team and utilizing her nursing skills and interpersonal ability for the betterment of the organization and the community.
A devastating and lengthy relapse with substances finally led her back to recovery and she has worked in the treatment field since. Dawn has experience with recovery housing, community resources, professional resources and self-help programs that are all important in ensuring continued recovery for those seeking services.
Dawn’s lived experience as a mother in addiction and recovery lends a perspective that she can use to help other women and mothers start a new life in recovery. Helping women move through guilt to acceptance is a critical factor in their continued recovery towards reunification with their children, the struggles that come with it and maintaining self-care. Dawn is excited to be part of Impact Life and looks forward to continuing to foster the vision of implementing services as they come to fruition.
Fun Fact: Dawn enjoys spending time with her teenage girls, going to amusement parks and the beach. Her hobbies include painting and more recently, gardening.
Hannah entered into recovery in 2019 after struggling with addiction, homelessness, incarceration, and losing custody of her child. Since then, Hannah has experienced first-hand some of the many blessings that come along with recovery such as regaining custody of her child, reinstating her nursing license, and being able to give back to her community. She is excited to work with such a strong and diverse team, whose members are empowered to make the most impact in their communities.
Fun fact: Hannah enjoys spending time outdoors with her daughter and being around animals.
Jessica started her own journey in recovery in 2017. Jessica’s personal experience with several therapeutic communities gave her the tools to help herself and others grow into a sober lifestyle.
Fun fact: Jessica loves spending time with her three children and enjoys scary movies, making others laugh, and the outdoors.
Monica's personal experience in recovery dates to the early 90’s and is approaching thirty years in recovery. Monica is an active member of a 12-step program that helps develop and maintain her sober lifestyle. Monica is very excited to be working with Impact Life, an organization that values a team approach in assisting individuals in building a foundation of recovery, which is her passion, and she looks forward to making a difference in our resident's clinical care and recovery.
Fun Fact: Monica is an identical twin. Her twin is also in long term recovery and CADC Substance Use Counselor. Monica enjoys health and wellness, personal development, helping people, the beach, and spending time with family and friends.
Teresa “Teedo” Oakley
Teedo has extensive experience working as a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner, an Emergency Department Registered Nurse, and as a Residential Treatment Program Associate Medical Director. In addition, Teedo has also worked as a travel nurse throughout various emergency departments along the East Coast.
Teedo believes in individualized care for her patients. She can discern patients’ needs to maintain their individual health concerns. Teedo’s works closely with patients to educate and empower them to participate in their own healthcare decisions. Teedo believes in the mission and vision of Impact Life and is proud to be a member of their team.
Fun fact: In her free time, Teedo enjoys traveling with her husband of forty-six years, as well as spending time with children and nine grandchildren.
Additionally, Travis is a publish author who wrote the book “I Had to Hurt A Lot of People to Get to You.” Travis wrote the book as a way to facilitate healthy conversations about unlearning the behavior that may have shaped poor decision making. His book also strives to give readers a blueprint on how to get to the root of why they have made certain decisions in their past and learn how to avoid making the same mistakes again.
Travis is excited to join Impact Life and to be part of the change and positive influence in the community. Travis enjoys sharing his personal journey as an example of what can happen when you take accountability and ownership of your life so that past mistakes no longer affect your present in a negative way.
Fun Fact: In his free time, Travis mentors’ teens who are dealing with similar challenges he faced as a child. When not serving his community, Travis enjoys time with his family, being a dedicated husband and father, and enjoys training his sons in basketball, which is one of his favorite sports.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
LPC, Vice President for Community Health and Engagement in the Office of Health Equity, Christiana Care
Photographer, David Heitur Photography
Founder, Face the Facts recovery advocacy group
Juvenile Probation at the Delaware Division of Children and Family Services
Business Manager, Union Park Buick GMC
Owner, State Street Tattoo Gallery and Co-Owner, Trademark Tattoo