GET TO KNOW US

OUR TEAM

Domenica Personti

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.”

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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.”

Brian Dietz

Brian Dietz

Chief Operations and Compliance Officer

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Brian Dietz is an accomplished professional with more than 22 years of Residential Programming and Administrative Leadership experience. Brian previously worked for the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Family for the State of Delaware as the Assistant Superintendent of Residential Programming. Brian has established relationships throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland within the Behavioral Health field.

Brian has spent the last 12 years in a leadership role working with patients who were diagnosed with substance use disorders and underlying mental health diagnosis in residential programs such as the Keystone Center(UHS) and Bracebridge Hall(RCA).

Brian comes from a strong background of Risk Management, Performance Improvement, Quality Assurance, and Licensing and Accreditation.

Fun Fact: Brian resides in Harford County, Maryland. He is an avid Philadelphia sports fan, enjoys playing basketball and spending time with his wife and children.

Carrie Kemether, LCPC, LPCMH, ACS, NBCC

Carrie Kemether, LCPC, LPCMH, ACS, NBCC

Clinical Director

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Carrie Kemether is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in both Delaware and Maryland. In addition to maintianing her National Board Certification throughout her licensure, Carrie is also an Approved Clinical Supervisor with over 25 years of experience working in the field of mental health and addiction. Carrie is a graduate of Washington College and Regent University, with post-graduate studies through Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Carrie utilizes an individualized therapeutic approach, often with a combination of methods, with each client I have the pleasure of working with.

Carrie’s experience working with mental health and substance abuse spans through outpatient, inpatient, and residential levels of care across the lifespan. Carrie has also provided individual, group, and family services throughout her career including public speaking, education, and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and addiction. Carrie’s background includes employment through community organizations, the public school system, private practice, inpatient addiction treatment, acute mental health hospitalization, and a multitude of volunteer experiences. In addition, Carrie has experience in leadership positions throughout the field of behavioral health, in the public school system, residential care, and private practice.

Carrie believes recovery is possible, working as a team is vital to meet organization specific goals, and client focused care is paramount. Integrity, compassion, and teamwork remain pillars of successful practice as we strive for excellence in effectively arresting the disease of addiction. The journey of life can be difficult, unexpected, and challenging; the good news is, you do not have to walk through obstacles alone. Resilience, strength, and the capacity for change can be reignited even in the most difficult times.

Nick Gregory

Nick Gregory

Housing Director

Leslie Palladino

Leslie Palladino

Director of Harm Reduction & Outreach

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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.

Zacke Ferry

Zacke Ferry

Recovery Education Director

Rebekah nuttall, cps

Rebekah nuttall, cps

Director of People Operations

Lauren Steward

Lauren Steward

Director of Finance

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Lauren brings over 15 years experience in Finance and Behavioral Health, along with her strong desire to be of service to others. Born and raised in Wilmington, DE Lauren is passionate about supporting the underserved in her community, and is excited to be joining a team dedicated to this mission. In her spare time, she most enjoys time spent with her friends and family, exploring nature, gardening, reading and watersports.
Melissa Aronson

Melissa Aronson

Executive Assistant

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Leah Echevarria

Leah Echevarria

Data Coordinator

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Leah has been dedicated to assisting those in need since before the start of her career. Working across several different fields, she has gained well-rounded knowledge and experience by serving others. Leah is excited to be a part of the IMPACT team not only to apply that knowledge but also to continue to learn and grow. As a devoted mother, she truly recognizes and values the needs of others. As someone with personal experience of the effects of addiction, she understands the need for the work that IMPACT is doing.
Teresa "Teedo" Oakley, FNP-BC

Teresa "Teedo" Oakley, FNP-BC

Nurse Practitioner

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Teresa “Teedo” Oakley is a Board-Certified Nurse Practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Teedo received both her Bachelor of Science and master’s degree from Wilmington University. Teedo is also a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

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.

Ashley Gray, CAADC, LGPC

Ashley Gray, CAADC, LGPC

Clinical Supervisor

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Ashely has been working in the behavioral health field for about 4 years where she has gained both administrative and clinical experience serving those with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. Ashley is very passionate about delivering empathetic and compassionate treatment services that empower individuals in their recovery journey. Ashley possesses a Master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Ashley’s future studies as a PhD candidate and as a dedicated member of the Impact team revolve around addressing treatment barriers for pregnant and parenting women who have social service involvement. In Ashley’s spare time, she enjoys going to the gym, painting, and spending time with friends and family.
Monica McDermott, CADC

Monica McDermott, CADC

Substance Use Counselor

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Monica has worked in the behavioral health field for the past 15 years. Started as an admission coordinator and advanced to Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor. Monica has experience facilitating educational groups, family groups, individual and family sessions. Monica has worked in different levels of care including detox, IOP, OP and transitional housing. Monica utilizes CBT, motivational interviewing, and person-centered approach in counseling. Monica possesses an Associate Degree in Business Administration and is a Delaware Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC).

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.

Tara Papini

Tara Papini

Care Coordinator: Women's Services

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Tara has been working in the behavioral health field for 9 years. Tara started out working with individuals diagnosed with intellectual/developmental disabilities and has made her way into the field of addiction for the past 2 years. Tara has been personally affected by addiction by watching the physical and emotional toll opioids had over the life of my older brother. He never gave up and fought hard for his life and today celebrates about 7 years sober. Because of the pain and stigma that surrounded his life, and the willpower he possesses, Tara is dedicated to offering resources and support to those who are struggling with addiction and in recovery. Tara has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and is currently working on obtaining my master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling, specializing in addiction treatment. Tara's future goal is to become a therapist for individuals diagnosed with substance use disorder with a co-occurring mental illness. In her spare time, Tara enjoys reading horror novels, particularly by Stephen King, and finds comfort and meaning behind his quote “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”
Julie Montouri

Julie Montouri

Care Coordinator: Children & Family Services

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Melissa Sellers

Melissa Sellers

Farm Education & Operations Supervisor

John Edwards

John Edwards

Assistant Housing Supervisor

Mary Owens, CPRS

Mary Owens, CPRS

Case Manager

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Mary has been working in behavioral health for years and brings a specialized skillset in recovery support to the team.
Tim Morefield, CPRS

Tim Morefield, CPRS

Case Manager

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Tim Morefield entered into recovery in 2019 and has worked in the behavioral health field Since. Tim has held multiple roles since then such as Peer Specialist, Rentry Specialist, and Lead Behavioral Health Tech. Tim is well versed in the 12-step fellowships, residential treatment programs, and recovery residences. Tim has committed his life to service work on all levels. Tim recognizes the importance of Recovery and Connection and what they can do for the person who is struggling with substance use and or mental health. In his free time, Tim likes to give back and help people by instilling hope and insight into the disease of addiction. Tim enjoys showing them a new way of life by showing people that recovery is possible and that people can change!
Sandy Sycz

Sandy Sycz

Case Manager

Dennis Vickery

Dennis Vickery

Case Manager

Travis Minus

Travis Minus

Case Manager

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Travis Minus is a Case Manager with Impact Life who utilizes his own experience as the fuel to have a positive impact in his community. Travis began work in this field not only because of his own challenges, but also due to experiencing two of his siblings suffering with substance use disorder.

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.

Ellis Richardson

Ellis Richardson

Case Manager

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Ellis is excited to work with Impact Life as a Case Manager with the Men’s programs where he can be a positive role model and use his own story to inspire and show others that a successful life in recovery is possible.

Ellis is a proud Delawarean who grew up in Kent County and graduated from Delaware State University in 2006 with Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. During his time at DSU, Ellis was inducted into the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology.

Ellis’s personal stuggles with addiction lead him to enter into an inpatient substance use treatment program in January 2020. Since then, Ellis succesfully transitioned through both sober living and outpatient treatment programs. Ellis credits his experience with Narcotics Anonymous and the 12-steps as a pivitol tool that showed him that a life in recovery was possible.

Since entering into recovery, Ellis began working in the substance use recovery field as a Behavioral Health Technician and Lead Case Manager before joining Impact Life. Ellis also looks forward to continuing his education and hopes to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the future.

Fun Fact: Ellis is a proud father of two beautiful daughters who keep him on his toes. In their free time, they enjoy spending time outdoors, laughing as much as they can, and being as silly as possible. Ellis credits his own Sponsor for showing him that we can recover and have fun while we do it!

Danielle Bolden

Danielle Bolden

Peer Support Specialist

Dan Cote

Dan Cote

Peer Support Specialist

James Allen

James Allen

Peer Support Specialist

Jen Teeter

Jen Teeter

Peer Support Specialist

Jessica Phillips

Jessica Phillips

Peer Support Specialist

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Jessica Phillips is a Peer Support Specialist who has a passion to bring healing to those who have experienced trauma and substance use disorder by helping them to recognize unhealthy behaviors, identify triggers, and learn coping skills. She also enjoys helping residents identify their own recovery goals.

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.

Gabbi Upole

Gabbi Upole

Outreach Specialist

Paul Norris

Paul Norris

Recovery & Wellness Educator

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Paul will be working for the Project Ops program which serves youth and young adults ages 13-24 by offering Harm Reduction and Prevention Education as well as Wellness, Fitness, and Nutrition Programs. Paul will work within the schools, as well as with multiple community partners to ensure that our kids and their families are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of substance use and connect them to treatment resources. Paul will also be training people on opiate overdose and reversal and providing them with the life saving medication, Naloxone.
Hannah Bartley, LPN

Hannah Bartley, LPN

Outreach Worker

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Hannah Bartley has been a Licensed Practical Nurse since 2010 and began working in behavioral health and substance use treatment in 2021. Hannah has personal experience with 12-step programs, treatment centers, as well as sober living environments. Hannah is passionate about harm reduction and street outreach, believing that taking these actions is the most compassionate way to show love to those still suffering from the disease of addiction.

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.

Chris Luard, CMT-P

Chris Luard, CMT-P

Mindfulness Instructor

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Christopher Luard has been studying and practicing various forms of meditation for nearly four decades. He has received formal training in Korean and Japanese Zen; Mahamudra and Dzochen from the Tibetan traditions, Vipassana from the Theravada Burmese tradition, and Vedanta from the Hindu tradition. In addition to these trainings, Chris has studied (and continues to study) extensively within more modern traditions such as Secular Dharma, Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness, Nonviolent Communication, Neuroplasticity, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.

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.

DAWN Oaks

DAWN Oaks

Transitional Housing Specialist

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Dawn has worked in Human Services since seeking recovery in her early 20’s. Her career started as a teacher in Queens, NY working with at risk youth. After moving to the Delmarva area, she has served in similar capacities at high schools in New Castle County.

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.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Erin Booker

LPC, Vice President for Community Health and Engagement in the Office of Health Equity, Christiana Care

David Heitur

Photographer, David Heitur Photography

Penny Rogers

Founder, Face the Facts recovery advocacy group

Jessica Facciolo

 Juvenile Probation at the Delaware Division of Children and Family Services

Kyle Armedio

Business Manager, Union Park Buick GMC

BJ Betts

Owner, State Street Tattoo Gallery and Co-Owner, Trademark Tattoo

Clark Perks