Our Board Members are people who have been touched by addiction and recovery, whether personally or professionally or both; people who are dedicated to our Mission and to helping Virginians find hope and healing.
Our organization is governed by a Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors uses policy governance to envision the future and to ensure operations are aligned with our mission statement and meet the evolving needs of our constituency. Our board currently meets once a month. For more information please contact Vince Sawyer at email@example.com
Vince Sawyer, President
Vince Sawyer is retired from New Land Samaritan Inns (The Gateway). In the 1980s he was a founding board member of New Land Jobs and New Land Industries. He is one of the founders of The Haven. Vince is also a member of the Church of the Covenant where he currently serves as its Treasurer.
Vince earned an AB degree from Dartmouth College in 1959. In 1969, while employed by the Dodge division of Chrysler Motors Corporation, Vince and his family moved to Lynchburg where he was responsible for sales to 18 dealerships in the “Hill City” and Southside Virginia. He later spent 16 years in banking (Central Fidelity) and eight years with First Colony Life Insurance Company before beginning his work with New Land Samaritan Inns where he was a founding board member and Director for nine years. His time at The Gateway helped him become familiar with the disease of addiction and the lack of affordable addiction recovery programming for those who struggle with substance use disorders.
Tom Seaman, Ph.D., Treasurer
Tom is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology from the University of Lynchburg. Starting there in 1966, he rose through the ranks and retired as a Professor and Director of the Center for Community Development and Social Justice. His academic career, including his Ph.D. work at the University of Maryland, focused on distressed urban neighborhoods and the social problems that plague them.
Throughout his career and into retirement Tom is a “hands on” academic who engages in local, applied social research and serves on numerous nonprofit boards. He is currently the chairman of the Central Virginia Opioid Epidemic Coalition.
Katherine Epley, Secretary
Katie Epley grew up in Richmond. She has a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!). Later she acquired a MS in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University. Katie spent most of her working career with General Electric. After starting out in the Engineering Department of GE, she moved into Quality Control. It was through American Society for Quality that she met Vince Sawyer. Also though ASQ Katie achieved several professional certifications. She served 6 years as an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. After retirement from GE and successor companies, Katie taught quality classes at Central Virginia Community College for 10 years.
Katie is intimately aware of the reality of addictions - in 2011 Katie lost her nephew, Chris, to alcoholism and her former husband died due to alcohol. She also lost a dear uncle and his oldest son to alcohol. Katie feels that "there but for the Grace of God go I". She wants to provide hope and help for people suffering from this illness in memory of those she has loved.
James Stewart, Ph.D.
Dr. James Stewart is a licensed clinical psychologist with a background as a clinician in administration, supervision, training and team leadership. Dr. Stewart has worked in private, public and academic settings and has extensive clinical experience in the treatment of mood disorders, trauma and abuse issues and substance use disorders.
A graduate of E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Virginia, Dr. Stewart received his masters and doctoral degrees from Ohio State University. In addition to maintaining a successful private practice for many years, he has also served as the clinical director of psychiatric units and residential programs and as an adjunct professor at The University of Virginia in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. He is the current chair of the Central Virginia Opioid Prevention Committee.
Dr. Stewart is an advocate for prevention, increased access to recovery services and reducing the stigma of addiction. Recognizing the tremendous need for more recovery support services for young people and their families in Central Virginia, Dr. Stewart co-founded The UP Foundation, a recovery community organization and Alternative Peer Group program for young people in March 2015. He presently is the clinical director for The UP Foundation.
Julia Hickson Crim
Julia grew up in Lynchburg, VA and is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA. She also did graduate studies in rehabilitative counseling. She has three sons and a daughter. She is personally acquainted with the destructive power of addiction as her first husband died from alcoholism, and his alcoholism effects upon her sons and herself. She remarried to a Presbyterian minister. One of her sons lives with schizophrenia.
Being intimately acquainted with addiction and severe mental health issues, Julia has spent a lifetime ministering, serving, and giving hope to people living with illness.
Kay Brewer is originally from Asheville, North Carolina. She holds a BS in Psychology from East Carolina University. Kay has been married for 43 years and has two children and two wonderful grandchildren with another on the way.
During a difficult period in high school, their daughter began recreational drug use. This continued until 2005 when there was a sudden life-changing tragedy in Emily's life. Using more potent drugs was the only way she found to ease the pain. Thus began the family's long painful journey with addiction. Quite a few years went by that Emily was in denial of her addiction and refused help. Her situation worsened until she was injecting heroin, homeless, and was in an abusive relationship from which her Dad had to rescue her. From this point, Emily decided she wanted to be well and in 2014 entered a peer-run long-term treatment facility in Raleigh, North Carolina. Today, Emily is enjoying a full and joyful life, married with two little boys.
Kay knows her family is one of the fortunate ones. She is grateful for the excellent recovery services that saved Emily's life. It is Kay's great privilege and passion to serve on The Haven board, whose mission it is to save addicted individuals and families by building and offering such a treatment model here in Central and Southwestern Virginia.
Connie Snavely is the Director of Lynchburg Covenant Fellowship, Inc. (LCF). She is a graduate of Radford University and began her career working with emotionally disturbed youth in a group home setting. Her next position brought her to Lynchburg as the program director with the Agency on Aging.
Subsequently, she oversaw housing programs with Region 2000 before heading up Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s community development department. Connie came to LCF over eight years ago and is continuing to carry out LCF’s mission of providing affordable housing to families, elderly and disabled. She has been blessed to have a career of helping those in need.
Hal Craddock was a founder and partner of Craddock Cunningham Architectural Partners in Lynchburg, Virginia where he served as principal, partner, and president for over 30 years. The firm (now called “Architectural Partners”) created a wide body of successful and award-winning design work focused on the adaptive use of older and historic buildings and the master planning and architectural expansion of Virginia’s private independent colleges and secondary schools. In addition, he helped plan and develop Lynchburg’s highly successful Downtown/Riverfront District, including the Sasaki Master Plan, the Bluffwalk Center, the DPO building, The Anhauser Busch building and the Riverviews Artspace.
Today, Hal is a partner in Creative Boutique Hotels LLC, a Roanoke-based Hospitality Company which recently opened the Western Front Hotel and Milton’s Restaurant in St. Paul, VA and is constructing the Sessions Hotel, Shovel and Pick Restaurant, Simply Grand Restaurant and the “Fillin” Station Outdoor Music Venue in Bristol, VA. He is also helping develop the John Randolph Hotel in South Boston and the Petersburg Hotel, both Virginia historic landmarks.
After growing up in Lynchburg and attending public school, Hal received his Bachelor of Architecture and a Masters in Urban Design from Virginia Tech. He served in the United States Peace Corps from 1973- 1974 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, helping the fast-growing urban and industrial area preserve land for public parks and recreation. Hal is committed to helping both small and midsize communities discover and market their social and economic uniqueness and diversity. He strongly believes in “story telling”, vision and creative design as a means for these struggling areas to convert their economies from traditional manufacturing, extraction, and agriculture, to destination tourism and experiential hospitality.
Lewis Johnston is the coordinator of the Central Virginia HOPE Initiative.
Lewis Johnston co-founded The UP Foundation. The Up Foundation is an alternative peer group program that serves young people and their families to have access to therapeutic and professional help that they need by providing a safe, educational atmosphere to treat substance use disorders, and encourage prevention, abstinence and recovery at its earliest stages.
Lewis is proud to acknowledge that he is a person in long-term recovery (over 30 years). His combined passion for the individuals with disabilities and youth at risk gave birth to his desire to found a youth-oriented recovery community organization that could better meet the needs of young people in need of recovery support.
Lewis also served as a professional Sales Representative for 26 years at Lynchburg Sheltered Industries in Lynchburg, Virginia. A private non-profit corporation that provides vocational training and long-term employment for people with disabilities or disadvantages.