You’re the best!
With sincere gratitude, the Fletcher Group Rural Center of Excellence thanks you for attending the 2022 Building Rural Recovery Ecosystems Summit June 8-10 in Memphis. We hope you returned home safely with valuable insights to enhance the effectiveness of the good work you do. We trust also that you met and connected with some of the most giving, dedicated, and inspiring people in the world.
If you enjoyed the Building Rural Recovery Ecosystems Summit in Memphis, you’re not alone. Below are a few of the comments heard during the summit.
SUSAN BINNS, NARR Board Member and Tennessee ARR Founder and President
“This is one of the best conferences I’ve been to. And that’s saying something! The quality of the presenters, the information that’s been shared, and especially the people—everyone so inclusive, friendly, and open. I think it’s because of the people running it, how they help empower us all to be who we are without any rigidity or separation. I’ve gained so much here, not only in new relationships and new connections but most importantly in feelings of partnership. And it’s not just me saying that. I’ve heard the same from everyone I’ve spoken with. It’s been truly exceptional and I’ve had a ball!”
TONY GRECO, Get Help CEO
“The most profound thing for me was gathering together face-to-face as a community—sitting together, eating together, seeing the facial expressions, the responses, the laughter. After all we’ve gone through with Covid and the endless Zoom fatigue, it was so refreshing to be here in person with kindred spirits. On top of that, the conference was very well-run, very effective and efficient. All in all, it was extremely impressive.”
SHARON HESSELTINE, Advanced Implementation Specialist with the Opioid Response Network
“It’s so rare that we get to focus on the challenges, hopes and opportunities experienced in rural areas. We talk a lot about rural challenges such as lack of access, transportation issues, and everybody knowing your business. But there are also tremendous opportunities in rural communities to build relationships that foster amazing change. I’ve seen that same spirit at this summit—a willingness to approach subjects from different directions and bring people together to solve collective problems. It’s really been wonderful.”
RON SPRINGEL, Executive Director, Maine Association of Recovery Residences
“I know Ernie and Glenna Fletcher—an amazing couple doing amazing work—and it shows in the conference. The planning was very precise with educational sessions suiting a wide range of attendees and lots of time between sessions for networking. That was very well thought out. It not only sets the tone for the rest of the year; it also helps set up the NARR conference this October in Richmond. The integration between Get Help, NARR and the Fletcher Group forms an amazing triad that really showed here with the leadership of all three groups working together here in one location.”
LISA SMILEY, Shipps Supportive Housing in Boise, Idaho
“This conference has been amazing—very well-organized with everything happening on time. And the people have been just amazing. I especially love the intimacy. It just feels more intimate than other conferences and I love that. I also love how the Fletcher Group thinks outside the box, bringing in all kinds of people like public defenders and those from the criminal justice system. That’s typical of the Fletcher Group. They’re so flexible and so eager to stretch themselves to do whatever it takes to help people succeed.”
TOM MEJEWSKI, Bowling Green, Virginia
“I’ve been impressed by the summit and am very happy to be here. It’s great to hear how others are dealing with the same challenges we have. We tend to get wrapped up in the process rather than looking at the actual experience and outcomes. Trying to get people to work together—that’s what’s most important. I’m happy that we can get together like this and share the lessons we’ve learned.”
LIZ SIRRICO, Program Manager of Jenna’s Promise in Vermont
“I was surprised by the number and importance of all the connections I made here. It’s inspiring to see how many people are doing this work from all across the country. To make those connections and to take back home all the things we learned here can really help our program grow. And learning about the Recovery Kentucky model is great, too. Now we can now take that back to Vermont and say, ‘Hey, here’s a program that really works’.”
DEMETRIUS FASSOS with the Butte Spirit Home in Montana
“It’s been great to be inspired by other operators, cross-pollinate ideas with them, and learn about advancements, policy initiatives, and strategies for providing better services. I have a renewed interest in the social model and will soon tour one of the Recovery Kentucky sites. Something else I’m really excited about: I formerly worked in sustainable agriculture and I met someone at the summit who wants to link sustainable agriculture with recovery housing!”
DENISE THOMAS-BROWN, Virginia Association of Recovery Residences
“The summit’s been phenomenal. The Fletcher Group really nailed it, especially considering it’s their first conference. The topics have been very informative and the speakers have been awesome. I especially appreciate the downtime, the time that was built in between presentations to meet and connect with other people. Having the opportunity to network with so many great people has been great—just wonderful!”
CLINT ELLIS, Operations Director for A Design for Living Recovery Homes in Nashville
“It’s been so exciting to be here. The breakout sessions were informative, the main speakers were fantastic, and in the time between the breakout sessions we could meet all sorts of new people with new perspectives and new approaches to the challenges we face. As expected, the Fletcher Group really pulled it together. That’s what they’re known for, right? Perceiving a problem, coming together as a team, and making things happen.”
DAWN TATRO, Founder and Vice President of Jenna’s Promise in Johnson, Vermont
“We didn’t really have any set expectations about the summit, but I have to admit: we’ve been blown away by the people, the resources, and the connections that have been made available to us. We’re taking a lot of great information back home with us. It’s been a really, really great event. I can’t say enough good things about it.”
FRANK MEJEWSKI, from Bowling Green, Virginia
“It’s been so helpful to see how others have overcome the same obstacles we’re facing. I’ve learned about aspects of community building that I would never have known about otherwise as well as resources that I didn’t know existed. I’m leaving with more questions than answers, but that’s a good thing because I at least know the questions I need to ask and answer and the resources I need to access that I didn’t even know about before.”
MICHELLE LENNON, Executive Director of Our Choice Family Resource Centers and Recovery Centers in New Hampshire
“The grant-writing guy was phenomenal. I say that because I write grants and I still got a lot out of his one-hour talk. I loved it. It was fantastic. And I loved the gal from the Opioid Response Network. She’s amazing. I’ve worked with her before and, as a result of our meeting here at the summit, will now be bringing her to New Hampshire. So I’m excited about that, too. It’s all been great!”
BRIAN CARLSON of the Washington Courthouse Municipal Court in Fayette County, Ohio
“The summit’s been great. It’s helped us acquire the next-steps knowledge we need to create a men’s housing facility we’ve been wanting to get up and running for a while now. We were one of those lucky enough to benefit from a travel stipend so we thank the Fletcher Group for that because we wouldn’t have had the funds to attend otherwise. We’re very appreciative and so glad we were able to participate in this wonderful event.”
KRISTINE PAQUETTE, the New Hampshire Coalition of Recovery Residences
“We enjoyed the summit a lot. It’s been very educational and we will definitely come back if it’s held again. I think what surprised and impressed me the most is the number of people—the number of allies who came here from all over the country to share what they’ve learned with each other. That’s been immensely helpful and impressive.”
BRAD GLASER of SMART Recovery—Life Skills and Motivational Incentives in Recovery Housing
“This event has been incredible. I’ve never seen so many great speakers at one conference. I am truly inspired.”
PDFs of all Summit Presentations
The images below show the first slide of each presentation. Click on the image and the pdf will open. You can then download the pdf by clicking on the Download Icon in the top right corner.
This web page is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $17.1 million with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.