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.
Claudia Archuleta – Board of Directors, Chairman
Rhonda Dick, MA, CNE – Board of Directors, Secretary
Rhonda was born and raised in the Denver-metro area. She moved to Longmont in 2019 after falling in love with the community while visiting a friend. Rhonda is a Research Director for the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her experience at CU spans public health practice and research. She is grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Indigenous communities for more than 30 years. Rhonda has a BA in psychology and computer science from the University of Colorado, Boulder and an MA in Educational Technology Leadership from George Washington University, DC. She has served on several boards including the Intermountain Humane Society and the Hover Ridge HOA. She has decades of experience volunteering for non-profits. In her free time, Rhonda enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and long walks with her dog, Anastasia.
Kim Jandro – Board of Directors, Treasurer, CCAR Trained Recovery Coach
Kristina Schostak – Board of Directors, Member at Large
Kristina Hernández Schostak is the Director of Business Development and Public Information Officer at Mental Health Partners, the community mental health center of Boulder and Broomfield counties. Schostak holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Victoria Wellington, New Zealand. Born and raised in Orange County, California, Schostak has studied in three different countries in efforts to build cultural competency and expand the ways she views and appreciates our shared human experience. In over a decade of marketing and communications work, including social media, advertising, website creation and management, copywriting, customer relations, and digital communications strategies, she has worked with both non-profit and for-profit legacy brands to cultivate, freshen, and invigorate brand identity, awareness, and engagement. Schostak loves to explore business development opportunities that maximize resources while diversifying revenue streams and building upon client loyalty. Her personal wellness journey and challenges with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation, have deeply impacted her professional life and her lived experience fuels her passion for mission-driven and community-focused work, specifically in the space of mental health and recovery. She currently resides in Longmont, Colorado with her husband, daughter, and loveable Bernese mix, Guinness.
Edward “Sonny” Smith – Board of Directors, 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.
Larry Rand – Board Liaison, CCAR Trained Recovery Coach, Veterans Outreach Specialist
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.
Debbie Platts, MBA – Executive Director, CCAR Trained 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.
Tania Blamey, SPHR – Director of Human Resources, Bilingual Peer Support
A mindful living promoter, mental health and addiction recovery advocate, JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) campaigner, and mountains lover. Born in México, Tania has made Colorado her home for 25 years (and counting). She brings her bilingual and bicultural skills to A Way Forward. Tania graduated with BA (Honors) in Hospitality Management from the Swiss Hotel Management School in Caux-Montreux, Switzerland. Certified Senior Human Resources Professional (SPHR). Tania is also a certified yoga teacher and therapist. Tania joins AWF after a highly successful career as a Human Resources director in the for profit and non-profit world. Her past positions and life experiences gave Tania an inside look at employee wellness, and the effects it has on the work place and human condition; she chose to parlay her passion for yoga, HR, and mindful living into a lifelong career in the recovery community. She wishes to serve others by helping restore the mind-body connection in all of us, and through helping individuals live richer, longer and more fulfilling lives.
Angelica “Angie” Halbert – Bilingual Outreach
I was born in Matamoros, Mexico. As an infant, my father brought me to the United States through the Rio Grande River as he did the rest of my older siblings. I grew up in Mendota, California as a kid working in the fields helping the family during summers. I learned to work hard and appreciate equity and activism as a kid.
I remember seeing and hearing Caesar Chavez, an activist who frequented the fields near the ranch where we lived and worked as farm workers when I was about 8 years old. He came to rally farm workers to unionize for better working conditions. He was loud, strong, and held a bugle horn which he yelled into. He made an impression on me especially after I worked in the fields and saw first-hand how the working conditions of the fields are so harsh and soul sucking.
It made me appreciate my father that much more. Most embarrassing of all things was that I didn’t know who Ceasar Chavez was. He wasn’t mentioned in schools. We all sort of knew what was going on with the movement but no one felt comfortable talking about it. My father later informed me of what was going on and we talked about it.
Growing up in that small town in California, it was an expectation that most of us were expected to work in the fields forever and drop out of high school by 9th grade. College was not in the cards for any of us. My family was not religious but traditional in that my father worked away from the home and my mother stayed home to attend the cleaning and child rearing.
Like many families, I grew up in a home where substance use disorders plagued us. Several of my brothers were and are poly users, and one passed away because of drug and alcohol abuse. I currently have a brother who is unhoused or couch surfing.
Professionally, I have worked for organizations that help people who are struggling or in recovery from mental health disorders, substance use disorders, are in domestic violence relationships, have been crime victims of the highest misfortune, child protection, the unhoused populations including children, youth, parents, adults, people with disabilities, veterans, and elders.
I possess a master’s degree from the University of Denver, in Applied Communication and Conflict Resolution. My undergraduate degree is in Behavioral Science, and I am bilingual in English and Spanish. I also received a CAC II, in 2019, and have tons of training hours in most human services sectors with a combined 38 plus years of non-profit and government work as a leader and/or front-line staff member.
I am inspired by this amazing organization and I am happy to be here!
I look forward to meeting you!
Cody Love – CCAR Trained Recovery Coach
Cody is a Colorado native. He participated in competitive paintball for over 20 years. This sport develops your sense of strategy and tactics and offers great exercise. You need to outthink your opponents on the field and constantly come up with new strategies. Cody attended Colorado Northwestern College where he studied Criminal Justice. He is a recovering alcoholic which allows him to come to the recovery coaching from a position of strength. Cody’s journey and experience in his recovery are invaluable to those he coaches.
Aletta Martinez – Bilingual Specialist
Aletta Martinez grew up in Longmont in a traditional Hispanic household. Having grown up on “the other side of the tracks.” Aletta experienced much racism in her early days. Aletta is the mother of 3 children, one of whom has struggled with substance use. Aletta has the lived experience of a mother trying to help her son get healthy. She has also experienced homelessness. Most recently, Aletta worked for the St. Vrain Valley School District and for the City of Longmont. Prior to that, she worked for 19 years as a Court Clerk for the 20th Judicial District.