All of us have been part of the recovery movement for over 150 years combined.
AWF confronts barriers to recovery by providing free access to all vulnerable individuals for solutions to improve physical and mental health, and support and educate all people seeking recovery from substance and mild to moderate mental health disorders.
John Borrego, Chairman of the Board
John was raised in a traditional Hispanic household in Longmont. His professional background and experience are in the area of Information Technology, having worked at Seagate for 35 years. He served on the Board of Directors of the Addiction Treatment Center for 7 years, as well as another nonprofit organization in Longmont whose work is with substance use disorders. He remains active as an advisor to one of those nonprofits.
Keith Cox, Treasurer | Certified Recovery Coach
Keith is the owner of Longmont Insurance Brokers. He was born and raised in Boulder County. He has strong ties to the Longmont community and through his service wants to give back to the people of Longmont. He has experienced the impact of addiction in his own family, and thus brings pertinent personal experience to fulfill our mission. He has proven himself to be a businessman of good character, fully aware of his fiduciary responsibilities and honest reputation in the Longmont community.
Larry Rand, Secretary | Certified Recovery Coach
Larry has been involved on the board level with four different nonprofits in Longmont, three of which specifically addressed addiction and alcoholism, including The Addiction Treatment Center. He is also the parent of a child with this affliction. Larry had been in active in ongoing recovery from alcohol and drug addiction for 15 years when his 17-year-old son, Levi, was killed in a single car accident on the Longmont-Boulder Diagonal in 2004. The accident was related to alcohol and drug use and abuse. It was only in the aftermath of this tragic event, that Larry realized that those of us closest to the problem are hopelessly ineffective at finding solutions for the family on their own. Since the accident, Larry has been intent on creating a memorial to his son’s memory by helping others find recovery. He brings these experiences and knowledge to ‘A Way Forward’. Finally, Larry is a combat veteran of the Vietnam War. Larry has been involved in the recovery movement and veterans’ outreach for the past 32 years. He was a founding member of Veterans Helping Veterans NOW.
Edward “Sonny” Smith, Director-at-Large, Diversity Officer
As an African-American, Sonny brings his unique perspective as having grown up during the Civil Rights Era. Sonny was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Japan, North Carolina, Colorado, and New York. Sonny is a Vietnam era Air Force veteran. He left the Air Force 1973 and became one of the very first stewards for United Airlines. In 1980, he moved to Boulder to study at the University of Colorado. Sonny then worked until 1987 managing a hedge fund. In 1989, he moved to Australia where he worked for the Commonwealth Bank. During this time, Sonny decided to pursue his passion in Art and Art history. While working at the Bank, he enrolled at the University of New South Whales to study painting and art history. In 1993, he returned to Boulder and in 1995, Sonny opened an art studio in Boulder, while lecturing and teaching studio painting at CU. In 2010 he moved to Lyons where he facilitates a children’s art program, as well as other programs. Since 2015, he has served on the Board of the Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission.
Debbie Platts – Executive Director, MBA, Certified Recovery Coach
Debbie was born and raised in Boulder. Most of her career was in Banking and Financial Consulting. She speaks fluent German and Russian. She worked for the Deutsche Bank in Chemnitz Germany, shortly after the reunification of East and West Germany, as a credit analyst and later managed the credit department of a subsidiary of the Deutsche Bank in Warsaw, Poland. She worked on two different USAID projects; one in Ukraine and one in Kazakhstan advising the governments of those countries on privatization methods of large enterprises and establishing financial markets. In Moscow, she worked for the World Bank managing a $94M line of credit to the Russian Federation. Eventually, she moved back to Colorado to be near her family and care for her elderly parents. Most recently, she worked for the SVVSD School District at a Longmont middle school as a paraeducator. Here, she was able to witness firsthand many families who suffered the impact of substance use disorders in their own families or close circle of friends. This experience helped fuel her passion to give back to our community and be of service. Debbie is a single mother of a teenage son. She has been active with her son’s Boy Scout troop, holding various leadership positions throughout his journey which began when he was 6 years old. She is also a breast cancer survivor.
Richard Booth – Graphic Designer, Administrative Assistant, Certified Recovery Coach
Richard grew up in California in a poor household. Never getting along well in school, Richard eventually flunked out of the public school system and joined an alternative learning program where he earned all his high school credits in 2.5 years. Born an artist and a musician, Richard spent all of his young years creating and eventually started teaching himself graphic design.
Having always felt a little different from the crowd, struggling with self-esteem, a neglectful home life, bullying, obesity and poverty, Richard found himself retreating into the numbness of drugs and alcohol at the age of fourteen. Richard battled his various addictions for 25 years and on his path to recovery has spoken to many different groups about his story, including various Alcoholics Anonymous clubs and Barrios Unidos Santa Cruz.
Richard has a passion for helping and applies this to his daily responsibilities at A Way Forward, always striving to do better and give back what was so freely given to him on his journey to recovery.
Mark Wade – Volunteer, Certified Recovery Coach
Mark was born and raised in Framingham Massachusetts and graduated from Marian Catholic in 1980. Mark served as an Armored Reconnaissance Specialist in the U.S. Army from 1982-88, achieving the rank of Sergeant. Honorably Discharged after serving in Germany, Canada, Kentucky and New York, Mark entered the Veteran’s Educational Development Program at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and earned his B.A. in 1996. Mark worked as an Industrial Radiologist but has spent most of his career as a Technical Sales Representative in the Redi-Mix Concrete Industry, living in Florida and Colorado. He proudly participates in the community recovery movement.
Cameron Stevens – Volunteer, ICF Certified Life Coach and Certified Recovery Coach
Cameron Stevens is a Colorado native, born and raised in Longmont. She is a recent graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver with a bachelor’s degree in Human Development & Family Studies with a minor in Psychology. In addition, she is also a ICF certified life coach and recovery coach. Her true passion is rooted in helping others build a strong and sustainable internal support system. Developing tools that create self-worth, resilience, intention, purpose, and emotional regulation is the foundation for setting and achieving desired goals.
Phil Sidoff – Volunteer, Psychocalisthenics Instructor
Phil and his wife have lived in Longmont for the past 22 years. He served in the US Airforce and was stationed in Vietnam, 1964-1965. Phil has been in recovery for some years and feels strongly that for successful recovery from substance abuse, one needs first and foremost to have a commitment to living a clean and sober lifestyle. Phil has continually enhanced his lifestyle by continually enhancing regular schedule of daily meditation, and physical activity which has included hiking, yoga, and “Arica Psychocalisthenics” that he teaches at A Way Forward. Phil has personally found that the series of 26 exercises fond in Arica Psychocalisthenics which is a hybrid of yog and Tai chi (an internal Chinese martial art practiced for defense training, health benefits and meditation) ca be easily be learned and memorized. Phil is excited to be a part of the volunteer team at A Way Forward.
Joan Foster-Volunteer, Certified Recovery Coach
Joan was born in Evanston Illinois and grew up the youngest in a family of 4. She attended the University of Dayton and graduated with a degree in Communications Management. After fulfilling career in Medical Device sales she began her dream of being a mom to two daughters. After a variety of corporate moves around the country, Joan, her husband and daughters settled in Longmont. Joan has always had a love of children and volunteered and mentored many years in the SVVSD and Kids Hope, to be involved with her children and the community. Joan has witnessed how devastating addiction can be in a family and friends and is committed to sharing her experience with the Boulder community.
Steve Esenwein – Volunteer, Certified Recovery Coach
Steve has lived in the Longmont area since 1978. He entered treatment for addiction to alcohol in 1983 and has been sober since then. Most recently, Steve worked as a Peer Support Specialist for Mental Health Partners. Steve received extensive training from Mental Health Partners. One program he particularly liked was “Advocates for Recovery. Aligned with the guidelines of peer support workers, Advocates for Recovery encourages people to build their own recovery paths, which follows their own spiritual beliefs and goes at their own pace. Steve has been active in sponsorship and service positions in the Longmont Recovery Community since 1983. For many years Steve has been involved with many recovery groups besides AA, such as LifeRing, Dharma Recovery and Red Road. This has given him in depth experience in a wide variety of approaches to recovery. Steve’s life philosophy is to be helpful to people looking for help: “It helps me to be helpful. I believe recovery is a two-way street between peers and peer support.” Steve is very well read in a variety of philosophies and spiritual teachings as well as recovery approaches.
Danny Poole – Volunteer, Yoga Instructor
Yoga Danny is 72 years young has been teaching Hatha yoga poses for over 40 years. Specializing in an easy and gentle yoga practice for athletes, beginners, and seniors. “Remember to breathe.”
Gigi King – Volunteer, Yoga Instructor
Gigi has been a faithful member of the recovery community for many years as well as a certified yoga instructor. It is great fun when she brings to goat to our outdoor yoga classes.
Michael Rodgers – Volunteer, LSW, CAC
Currently Michael works with Mental Health Partners at the Crisis Unit in Boulder. Previously Michael was a peer mentor in Adams County Veterans Treatment Court in Brighton, CO. Additionally, Michael was a case manager at the Salvation Army men’s homeless shelter and street outreach program in Denver. Michael is a combat veteran of Afghanistan and has been involved with veteran outreach programs for ten years. Michael has experience with addiction in his own family and personal recovery as well. Michael oversees our programs and is available for individual and family therapy.
Ted Murphy – Volunteer
This is Ted, a Colorado native and a Veteran. Ted helped work on the construction of the addition to the original house in 2007. He took quite a liking to the yellow house on the corner and has lovingly cared for the garden for over a decade. Another passion of Ted’s are the two aquariums at A Way Forward. If you would like to know about the proper temperature and pH of the water for various breeds of fish, Ted is your guy. He is always ready to help around the house and give people who walk in a warm, helpful greeting. In his spare time, you will find Ted pursuing his passion working on advanced math problems and following along with Khan Academy (yes, he does it for fun).
Mart Ford – Volunteer / Artist Extraordinaire
Mart Ford is a drawing instructor for adults and children and has taught classes ranging from math to cartooning. He uses cartooning for creative problem solving. His specialties include airbrush, murals, pin-stripping, lettering, and cartooning. Mart has been drawing for 30 years commercially was one of the lead technical illustrators in Publications for Ball Aerospace Systems Division
Alejandro Rodriguez – Bilingual Outreach Specialist
Alejandro is originally from Mexico City. He has resided in Longmont since 2016. He is a first-generation graduate and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the university of North Texas. Alejandro is passionate about working with monolingual Spanish speakers, underserved communities of color, and LGBTQ+ communities. Through his work he aims to address stigma and normalized conversations about mental health. During his free time, he likes to play Mario Kart, go hiking and spend time with friends.