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



Co-Executive Director

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.



Co-Executive Director

Edwin Rich currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of the Tree of Hope (formerly known as Avery Road Alumni Association). 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, volunteering to 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.




Acting Chair

Robeena Walker is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Program Manager of Journey’s Outpatient Treatment Facility, with 15 years experience in Addictions Counseling, Mental Health Therapy, and Program Management and Development.

Under Robeena Walker’s leadership, Journeys has been able provide intensive outpatient services to adults in the evening as well as provide services to special groups such as women, adolescents young adults and clients with legal barriers




Since 1989, Eric E. Sterling has been the Executive Director of The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, a private non-profit educational organization that helps educate the nation about criminal justice issues and failed global drug policy. Mr. Sterling frequently lectures at colleges, universities, and professional societies throughout the nation and is regularly interviewed by the national news media.

 Mr. Sterling helped found and serves on the boards of directors of FAMM -- Families Against Mandatory Minimums (Secretary) and Marijuana Majority (Vice-Chair). He also serves on the boards of directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and the Andean Information Network. Mr. Sterling also serves on the advisory boards of Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), DrugSense, Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet), and Flex Your Rights Foundation. He helped found FEAR -- Forfeiture Endangers American Rights in 1993, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) in 1995, the Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative in 2003, and the Voluntary Committee of Lawyers, and served on their boards. Mr. Sterling was Editor-in-Chief of NewsBriefs, the newsletter of the National Drug Strategy Network, for ten years.

In 2017, he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and the award was re-named in his honor. In 2015, he was presented with the NORML Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. In 1999 he was honored with the Justice Gerald LeDain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law by the Drug Policy Alliance (then the Drug Policy Foundation). 




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. Mr. Simmons also holds, from Auburn University, an MBA in Finance. Before founding Business & Financial Solutions in 2002, Mr. Simmons worked for Deloitte and Touché 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- PIC.jpg


Committee Member

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 postions, 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.



Committee Member

Dave Sidhu is a lawyer with the boutique criminal law firm of Hopwood & Singhal PLLC, and with the Office of the Maryland Attorney General. Prior to this, he worked at the Supreme Court of the United States and the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and served as a law clerk to a federal judge.  He teaches at the University of Maryland, and previously taught at Georgetown, Baltimore, and New Mexico, where he received tenure.  He served as an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the Gucci Changemakers Council, is a member of the William O. Douglas Society of the C&O Canal Trust, volunteers with the Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department, and is on the Board of Trustees of a Sikh temple that his father helped found.  He helped open an outpatient addiction facility in Montgomery County.  He has earned degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, and George Washington University.  Dave is born and raised in Maryland.



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



Advisor to the Board

Dr. Darrell Bratton started his recovery process started more than 31 year 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, his 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 Rd 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 principle partner of Mink Properties LLC in Baltimore.