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A Kentucky group of concerned individuals
working to eliminate barriers to recovery from addiction

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Mike Barry

Board of Directors


Jason Merrick


Michele McCarthy


Tony White


Anita Prater

Board Members
Brian Anthony
Derrick Arthur
Kristie Blanchet
Jenell Brewer
Maetta Broadus
Carmel Cline
Rebecca Collett
Holly Dye
Lisa Lee
Tara Moseley
Chris Weber
Charlotte Wethington

1425 Story Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206



Michael E. Townsend Leadership Academy

The Michael E. Townsend Leadership Academy is an opportunity for those who wish to become leaders throughout Kentucky in the field of substance abuse/recovery and mental health to collaborate and further enhance their skills. Since 2005, participants in the Leadership Academy have been challenged to grow both individually and professionally. The larger outcome of the Leadership Academy Challenge Projects has been widespread influence throughout law enforcement, prevention, recovery and treatment arenas, and many of the results of these Challenge Projects have continued to be widely used today.

The definition of leadership we use is:
Leadership is a process of influence that generates the commitment and capabilities required to translate vision into reality.

Leadership a process that creates change. It’s the role of leadership to bring about change, to drive innovation, encouraging people to do different things differently.

Leadership is about influence and therefore is a social process, with the result being the willingly commitment by people to the vision and the process of change.

Given that leadership is about change it requires the development of new capabilities required to translate vision into reality.

The Leadership Academy views leadership as a set of interrelated capabilities and provides a lens to assist a leader to develop a robust approach and guide for action. This leadership framework is based around five interrelated leadership capabilities, each supported by a number of leadership practices. These five leadership capabilities include leadership context, setting direction, building capability, inspiring commitment and personal effectiveness.

Specifically, during the 3 day workshop and the two retreats, the Leadership Academy cohort will be introduced to skills required to become the next leaders in their fields, including building coalitions and teams, effective strategic planning, communication, decision-making, creativity, resolution of conflicts, dealing with diversity, press relations and messaging, and more.  They will also hear about the histories of substance abuse and recovery and mental health treatment in the State of Kentucky to gain context for their work.  The teaching methodology during the Leadership Academy includes techniques they can employ immediately in their own workplaces. 

In addition, the Leadership Academy participants will be required to work on a team of their Leadership Academy peers for the entire year, creating and regularly reporting on projects that will be designed by them to greatly benefit their fields.  These projects are the legacies the Leadership Academy members leave behind as a service to their fields.  They will also be required to read and review current leadership literature provided to them both before and during their Leadership Academy year, and complete other assignments as directed.

Download the application here


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