Who Are We?
We are a group of people who have come through the recovery community and have succeeded in becoming productive members of society. As Peers, we step up to provide support for the recoverees and recovery community in general. We are driven to fill the gaps of the system to help ensure that those starting in recovery stand a better chance at success.
Tree of Hope Association is a non-profit organization built by people of the recovery community, friends, and family. We are interested in helping the disadvantaged get a fresh start by offering peer services, workforce development, and social integration for those in need.
Board of Directors
LaTonia Rich currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Tree of Hope, a volunteer Recovery Community Organization in Montgomery County, MD. She is also the Supervisor of the 24-hour Opioid Response Team for Montgomery County, STEER. LaTonia is a person in long-term recovery for 19 years, a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and a Registered Peer Supervisor. Her town hall meetings connect the providers, peers and resources in the State and beyond to work together to help those in need. She manages recovery groups in local treatment programs, the supervision of many peers, training of hundreds of peers across the state and beyond. She is the Southern Peer United Leader for the State of Maryland in cooperation with MPAC, overseeing connecting the Peer community in the Southern region of MD. She has served as a Board member of Cornerstone as a representative of the recovery community and an active participant in the Alcohol and Other Drug Advisory Council and Opioid Intervention Team of Montgomery County. She has dedicated her life to service in the recovery community along with her loving husband, Edwin Rich, who is also the Co-Executive Director of Tree of Hope.
Edwin Rich currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of the Tree of Hope (formerly known as Avery Road Alumni Association). He has been a long-standing voting member of the AODAAC (Alcohol and Other Drug Advisory Council) committee where he is also has served the Chair of treatment and recovery committee for as many years. He has also served as the Vice chair for the AODAAC committee. Edwin was also a founding member of Peer2Peer and served as the Vice-Chair for 4 years. Edwin is a person in recovery of 20 years. For the last 20 years he has served to bring hope to the recovery community through mentorship and support, and volunteers by helping facilitate groups in various facilities in Montgomery County. He has volunteered for the last 14 years at the Clarksburg jail where he facilitates groups in the Jail Addictions Service program.
Larry Simmons is the President & CEO for Business & Financial Solutions. He holds an undergraduate degree from Auburn University in accounting, with a minor in computer technology, as well as an MBA in Finance. Before founding Business & Financial Solutions in 2002, Mr. Simmons worked for Deloitte and Touche as the Director of Government Contracts and Non-profit Services.
In addition to his professional credentials, Mr. Simmons serves the community in various areas. He is the Chairman of the Board for Women Who Care Ministries, and Executive Director for XYZ Services, Inc, both for which are Maryland non-profit organizations. Mr. Simmons serves as a Board Member for the Jamisons Center of Kindness in Texarkana Arkansas, a non-profit community outreach program. He is a General Public Representative for the Montgomery County Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction Advisory Council to the Montgomery County Council, appointed by County Executive Isiah Leggett.
Mr. Simmons is committed to the assistance of those who are less advantaged, or vulnerable to society and the economic systems. He serves in several other capacities in the non-profit community in his attempts to help effect change.
Bruce Hargrave serves as President of Team Consulting Inc. and has over 30 years industry experience in the Commercial, Public and Department of Defense sectors. He has experience in the commercial B2B and B2G sectors providing IT, Telecommunications and Financial services. Bruce previously served as a Manager with Price Waterhouse Coopers, LLC, providing IT program management support to the Department of Homeland Security and Commercial sector. In previous positions, Mr. Hargrave served with Winstar Communications as National Sales Manager for Microsoft/Great Plains Application Services and Qwest Communications as Regional Sales Manager for Hosting and Data Center services. Mr. Hargrave has 17 years of experience within the public sector delivering IT and Cyber Security program management and project management support to the federal and state governments. He has a BS in Business Administration from the University of Maryland.
Judith Clark is an author, speaker, poet, and transformational thought leader. Having overcome many of life’s challenges her motto is: “My former pain is going to bring gain to others!” Judith is also the Founder and CEO of Women Who Care Ministries, a nonprofit formed in 2001, to help hurting people heal. In addition to providing preventative and restorative domestic violence services, their signature program is the “Helping Kids Eat Backpack Weekend Meal Program” which provides weekend meals to thousands of low-income students who would otherwise go hungry. Additionally, she specializes in nonprofit management, fundraising, budgeting and strategic planning. Judith is a member of Leadership Montgomery and Montgomery Village Rotary Club. She’s a Board member with Montgomery County Family Justice Center Foundation and Sisters 4 Sisters Network, Inc. The recipient of numerous awards, Judith’s most notable achievement was receiving an honorary degree from Montgomery College in 2014. Although celebrated for her terrific comeback from hardships, and for her phenomenal transition from homelessness to home(s) ownership, what people note as most significant is her philanthropic heart of love and service to the community.
Kevin Shorb has been a board member for Tree of Hope for over a year. He works with men to assist in rehabilitation and inpatient treatment programs. With the help of others, Kevin has embarked on a new journey that focuses on saving people's lives from addiction. Since starting on this journey, he has been working in a program for over 5 years and is actively a part of a home group. Kevin has been working as an Architectural Wall Panel Designer for 16 years in addition to his career as a consultant for a construction company in Florida. Kevin's focus on aiding those recovering from addiction strengthens our mission at Tree of Hope.
Dr. DARRELL BRATTON
Advisor to the Board
Dr. Darrell Bratton started his recovery process more than 31 years ago and has been an IT professional with federal courts for more than 17 years. He holds a Ph.D. in Organization and Management from Capella University. Moreover, he is an adjunct professor at multiple colleges at both the graduate and undergraduate level. The focus of his research is about how power is shared among co-owners through the practices of planning, organizing, staffing, and leading within a co-operative that practices egalitarianism and workplace democracy. There is no community service project that he does not love, especially related to recovery. Currently, he visits the Jennifer Road detention facility in Annapolis on a regular basis to carry the message of recovery. As an entrepreneur and real estate investor, he is the CEO of DL Bratton Enterprises LLC in Bowie and a principal partner of Mink Properties LLC in Baltimore.
Advisor to the Board
Meghan Westwood has been the Executive Director of Maryland Treatment Centers Montgomery County Programs since 2006. With over 20 years experience in the delivery of addiction treatment services, she formerly served as the Director of the Avery Road Treatment Center, Journeys for Women and the Journeys for Adolescents outpatient programs. She brings particular experience and expertise in program leadership, including attending to the complexities of the regulatory environment, managing complex braided funding streams, and collaborating effectively with key community and government stakeholders at both the County and State levels. Meghan has been an advocate for treatment services in the public sector in Montgomery County through her active involvement in the ROSC change leadership team and support of the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council. She is a CCAR certified trainer of Recovery coaches, participates in the County’s newly formed Overdose Intervention team and is a member of the Montgomery County Overdose Fatality Review Team.