National Advisory Board

Our advisory board represents community advocacy organizations, prevention and education networks, public health agencies, corporations and non-profit's, and even faith based organizations. Below you will see who makes up the #dreamteam:


Anthony Alvarado, BM – President & Co-Founder of Rise Together

As a person in long-term recovery, Anthony has a strong desire to change the way we educate the youth of today. He is a recognized speaker, communicator, educator, national advocate, recovery coach, and a father of two beautiful children; his son Gavyn and daughter Jaedah.

Rise Together's mission is rapidly spanning the United States and helping to save the lives of youth. Over the past 3 years, Anthony has personally traveled over 100,000 miles with his team, taken the stage over 400 times, and educated over 120,000 youth on addiction and mental health. His team efforts have now been featured in well over 100 news media stories. Their research has been included alongside investigative drug reports with the FBI and further recognized by U.S. senators, governors, legislators, leading advocates, teachers, professionals of all sorts, and 1,000's of students across the nation.

He speaks primarily to students in elementary, middle school, high school, and college environments. Also has been invited to speak across the country at places like the New England Institute of Addiction Studies, SAMHSA’s “Road to Recovery” expert panel in Washington DC, the National NAADAC Conference, Young People in Recovery National Leadership Conference, Wisconsin's and the Las Vegas Statewide Recovery Rally, UW Marshfield Mental Health State Conference, Northwood's Coalition Statewide Mental Health Conference, WI State Mental Health Conference, WI Statewide School Resource Officers Conference, Statewide Children's Juvenile Justice Conference, Wisconsin Family Based Services Association Conference, Nurses Association WI State Conference, United Way Teen Symposium, Pre-Action Network Prevention Conference, Human Service Association Statewide Conference, SAMHSA's & New England ATTC's Adolescent Conference: Effective Approaches to Engaging & Treating Teens, and among many others.

He speaks on many different topics but most efficiently addresses the need for creativity and connecting with youth today in a relevant manner and also with raw honesty. He shares successful strategies with prevention agencies and school administrators. Anthony often presents on new techniques in communication and effective programs to reach youth today.

He has also founded, Rise & Grind Recovery Radio, where he looks to invite conversation from all over the nation & all around the world; educating millions on recovery.

Douglas DarbySpeaker & Co-Founder of Rise Together

Douglas Darby is a person in long-term recovery that is committed to setting the very spark in the person that will help change the world we live in.

Douglas, Co-Founder and distinguished motivational speaker at RISE TOGETHER, has educated over 120,000 people across the nation. It is their mission to create communities where today's youth can be heard, loved, and inspired to live in hope. Through that passion and commitment, RT was recently recognized by the White House Office of the National Drug Control Policy

Douglas speaks out with passion, heart, and a powerful deliverance of redemption that not only motivates young people but also has helped to make a difference in our community's across the nation. By going out and asking the youth what they need most he has been able to not only relate but connect with the youth of today.  Taking on the real understanding that programs do not fix communities but relationships do.

Darby has a great passion for advocating, educating, and bringing a voice back to the voiceless. As he works to improve the recovery landscape for adolescents all across the country, he knows his efforts will help prevent substance use disorders and misuse in every community around the world.


Nadine MachkovechCo-Owner & Program Manager of Rise Together

Nadine Machkovech is a certified recovery coach and educator in long-term recovery. As a scholar of addiction recovery, she helps to improve the recovery landscape for adolescents, especially young women, across the country. Through her unique style of storytelling, Machkovech has created measurable social change while educating students, teachers, professionals, and peers on topics of substance use and misuse, mental health awareness, leadership, and the development of life skills.

Machkovech is the Program Manager of RISE TOGETHER, a grassroots organization that is helping to lead a movement of young people to stand up and break the silence around suicide, bullying, mental illness, drugs, and alcohol.

Recently recognized by the White House Office of the National Drug Control Policy, Rise Together's mission is rapidly spanning the United States. Since September of 2013, the organization has traveled over 200,000 miles, taken the stage over 400 times, and educated over 125,000 young adults and adolescents on addiction and mental health.

Additionally, Machkovech has been invited to be a planning partner with SAMHSA’s Recovery Planning Committee and has presented at many conferences including Wisconsin’s Statewide Recovery Rally, UW Marshfield Mental Health State Conference, Northwood's Coalition Statewide Mental Health Conference, Nurses Association WI State Conference, United Way Teen Symposium, and Human Service Association Statewide Conference.

Machkovech carries this responsibility with a great amount of passion and purpose in hopes that these efforts will help to not only develop peer leaders but also help save the lives of our nation’s youth.



Ingrid E. Blair - Vice President of Business in the Drug Delivery Systems Division of 3M, a recognized world leader in business based on strong innovation.

Blair has spent 30 years at 3M in positions of increasing responsibility in technology development, laboratory management, and global business leadership. An engineer by training, she has a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.  She earned her certification as a Design for Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

Blair has held board positions in Solumed, a wholly owned subsidiary of 3M Canada, a manufacturer of medical consumables and of Zargis, a developer of diagnostic software for health care applications.  She was an advisory board member for the Business School of Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.  She was 3M’s executive sponsor for the Middle East Education to Employment Fellows Program with Hamline University under a US State Department grant to develop leadership, philanthropy and entrepreneurship for young leaders from the Middle East. She is presently representing 3M on The Conference Board, New Product and Services Council.

Ingrid has a direct, personal interest in creating awareness, removing the stigma associated with and finding solutions to the disease of addiction that took the life of her eldest son, Hunter. Check out more at 3M


Jesse Heffernan– Outreach & Training Manager for Faces & Voices of Recovery 

Jesse Heffernan is a Recovery Coach & consultant with 15 years in long term recovery from substance use and mental health. As a Servant Leader, Program Director and Community Net worker he works to create a meaningful and positive change through innovative solutions to complex community and individual needs. Through Helios Recovery he has trained over 90 coaches statewide in WI, led numerous recovery capital development planning sessions, and worked one on one with several individuals and families in creating recovery plans and linkages to services. He recently became the Director of the Iris Place, a mental health respite center in Appleton, WI. He currently sits on advisory boards for RISE TOGETHER, WI Voices for Recovery, Stop Heroin NOW and serves as an appointed member of the WI Governors State Opiate/Heroin Task Force. It is his belief that Recovery is a process of moving from surviving to thriving as a whole person.


Kimber Walker – Founder & CEO of Spread Hope Like Fire

Kimber Walker, Founder and CEO of Spread Hope Like Fire, is a woman in recovery from addiction and a mental health disorder. Kimber is the former National Program Manager for Young People in Recovery (YPR) and has launched more than a dozen recovery programs across the United States. She also supported the rapid growth and development of the YPR movement in more than 25 states.

Kimber has presented at conferences across the country and values the opportunity to share knowledge facilitating comprehensive community responses to addiction recovery. She has spoken at the New England Institute of Addiction Studies, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America National Leadership Conference, Young People in Recovery National Leadership Conference, the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, and the Mississippi Public Defenders Conference among many others. She is a passionate advocate for people with substance use and mental health disorders.

Kimber got her start in addiction recovery response programs as Senior Program Director for BCFS Health & Human Services. While with BCFS, she launched a program for transitional age youth and managed a transitional youth center serving more than 400 young people per year. She helped launch six state-wide initiatives for transitional age youth across Texas addressing young adults with substance use disorders involved in the criminal justice system. Kimber has also worked in recovery support services with MAP Health Management.

Kimber Walker’s social impact business, Spread Hope Like Fire, provides Peer Recovery Supports services and mobilizes people in recovery to create community change


Ryan Hampton- Huffington Post contributor on addiction and politics, and Outreach Coordinator for Facing Addiction

Ryan Hampton is a featured contributor to the Huffington Post on addiction and politics. He currently serves as the Los Angeles outreach lead for Facing Addiction, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ending the addiction crisis in America. Prior to that, he worked with multiple non-profits across the country and has served in a staff capacity for various political campaigns. In 2016, Hampton publicly disclosed his decade-old struggle with heroin and prescription medications, along with his journey in recovery, in an effort to advocate for reform on a national public policy level. He was an elected delegate for Hillary Clinton to the 2016 Democratic National Convention from California, specifically advocating for the addiction & recovery community. Hampton, along with his best friend Garrett Hade, produced a 7-part documentary series, Facing Addiction Across America, chronicling their cross-country journey to the DNC advocating for reform and seeking out other like-minded people in long-term recovery to join the growing movement to end the addiction epidemic. For his work on the #AddictionXAmerica project, Hampton has been called "the guy changing the way America looks at addiction." His journey has been featured by the Huffington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, CBS, NBC, and Dr. Oz. Check out his #AddictionXAmerica project.

CAROLINE MILLER, B.A., M.S.W. - Director of Wisconsin Voices for Recovery 

Ms. Miller is the director on the Wisconsin Voices for Recovery project, a Department of Health Services funded project which she has been involved in since 2013. She is also Director of the John Adams Recovery Home for Women in Sauk City, a unique model of recovery living that supports women in recovery utilizing MAT and trauma support. Additionally, Caroline started Creative Consultation Services, LLC which provides consultation and training on a number of recovery-related projects and initiatives with a focus on policy, procedure, and program development; non-profit administration; community development and capacity building; training, presenting and strategic planning. She has worked with both state and national organizations. Caroline is on the State Council on Alcohol and other Drug Abuse Intervention and Treatment Committee. She also is Founder of Live Free – Student Wellness and Recovery, the Collegiate Recovery Program at UW-Madison, along with Connect House Sober Living Foundation, Inc. which completed a successful merger with the Aaron J. Meyer Foundation. In 2015, she won the Texas Research Society on Alcoholism, John T. and Patricia A. O’Neill Addiction Science Education Award for her research on stigma reduction and social support for recently deployed Veterans. She also volunteers with Connections Counseling as a mentor to women in or seeking recovery. Caroline is a highly motivated professional with a passion for increasing capacities on both the individual and community level and has a unique understanding of human services because of her extensive experience working directly with diverse populations: children and adults with developmental disabilities, older adults, Veterans, and individuals and families in mental health and addiction recovery. Check out the Wisconsin Voices for Recovery Project



Camden Briedenfounder of New Way Recovery, Inc., Wait21, Crave21, and Better Drinking Culture

He is the founder of New Way Recover, Inc. – a 501 c3 non-profit focused on youth addiction prevention and education. Found Wait21, Crave21, and Better Drinking Culture.  Also, social impact entrepreneur with a degree in economics, certification in financial and valuation modeling, and strong experience in private equity. Check out his educational video “Understanding Addiction as a Disease


David JohnsonPastor at New City Community Church of Wisconsin

B.A. Communication - Bethel University, St. Paul, MN.  10 years of church ministry experience.  15 years of design and marketing experience.  15 years of live performance experience.  Married to Rebecca Johnson.  Father to Ford and River.  Planted urban church community in 2012, for the purpose of bringing holistic peace to downtown Oshkosh, WI.  I want to be a part of the Rise Together board, because I believe that addiction is real…and it is tearing apart families and cities all over the world.  It’s an epidemic that’s swept under the rug of shame, and it’s time for light to shine in that darkness.  I want to be a part of a team that shows the world that recovery and prevention is possible.  That your past doesn’t need to define your future.  And there is hope for those in the struggle.  More info @ New City


Alicia Cook- a writer from NJ whose award winning work focuses on the drug epidemic’s effect on entire families.

Alicia is a results-oriented professional with comprehensive writing and editing experience as well as eight years of higher education experience. Background includes consistent promotions to positions of increased responsibility. Published author, freelance writer for popular blogs and newspapers such as The Huffington Post and Gannett. Will appear on an episode of the Emmy nominated PBS documentary series, Here's the Story, in the fall. Check out her recent book release “Heroin is the Worst Thing to Ever Happen to Me” on Amazon.


More About Rise Together: 

Rise Together, founded in September of 2013, aims to eliminate the social stigma around mental health and addiction through education and awareness. Today, this cause is led by a team of dedicated professionals, all of whom have diverse backgrounds, educations, professions, and skill sets. Alongside a national advisory board, the Rise Together team works to reduce negative attitudes toward people with mental health and substance use disorders. By changing the way young people are educated in today’s culture, they are igniting change and breaking the silence around suicide, bullying, mental illness, drugs, and alcohol.