Our professional staff have been trained in evidence-based prevention programs and practices and are passionate about their work. We come from backgrounds as teachers, social workers, certified prevention specialists or mental health professionals and more. Get to know the people behind our organization.

Executive Team

Margarita Leahy, MA, Ed.S, NCC, LPC, LCADC, ACS

Executive 396-5874

Ms. Leahy comes to the council leadership position as a bilingual, bicultural resident of Mercer County. She is a Rider University graduate with her M.A. degree in Community Counseling and her post-master’s degree (Ed.S.) in Counseling Services. She is committed to the Mercer County community and to the mission of the Mercer Council.

Ms. Leahy is a New Jersey Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a New Jersey Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC), a National Board Certified Counselor (NCC), and an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) along with being a Certified EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) Therapist. She is proud to have received a scholarship from the New Jersey Prevention Network for all of her LCADC courses that she diligently completed at the Trenton Rescue Mission. In her quest to help her community thrive, she participated as a Leadership Trenton Fellow, class of 2004. Ms. Leahy has years of clinical, administrative, psychiatric, educational/prevention work, and leadership experience, with her most recent position as one of The College of New Jersey’s Counseling and Prevention Services Assistant Directors.

Catherine Arulmohan

Director of 396-5874 x220

Catherine manages the Council’s finances and fiscal reporting requirements, facility oversight, office and human resource, outreach initiatives and IT.

As part of the Executive Team she is responsible for sustaining the revenue of the agency and seeking new funding opportunities to expand the Council’s services. She has been with the Council since 2006, initially serving as a volunteer before becoming full time administrative assistant, being in the current role since 2017.

Catherine cherishes her life outside the Council being a wife and mother of two school-age daughters. She enjoys serving at her local church and is a student of the Word. Cooking, reading, organizing and working on DIY projects are some of her favorite activities.

Administrative Leadership Team

Lisa Kauffman
Office Manager / Prevention Educator | x214

Lisa has been with Mercer Council since 2017. She is both the Office Manager among the leadership team and the Older Adult Program Coordinator.  She enjoys going into the community to inform and equip our community of older Adults with the latest evidence-based information on appropriate medication use and management. Lisa is excited about teaching others alternative approaches to treating chronic/acute pain. 

Lisa supports all agency outreach programs and fundraising. She is trained in the Botvin LifeSkills, Healthy Outlooks for Older Adults, and WISE programs. Lisa graduated from Taylor Business School and has worked in many diverse offices over her career.

Outside of work, Lisa is a pastor’s wife who enjoys spending time with God and listening to contemporary Christian Music. She loves her husband and Children but has really loved becoming a Mom Mom to her grandchildren. Lisa is never without coffee or chocolate.

Caitlin Allen
Community Engagement Coordinator | x207

Caitlin Allen has been with Mercer Council since early 2023 as the Community Engagement Coordinator after serving the agency as the Program Assistant Intern. In her current position, Caitlin supports Mercer Council’s mission and day-to-day functioning and operations; she works internally to organize the staff and externally to represent the agency at community events. Caitlin has a passion for serving people and communities, both in front-facing and behind-the-scenes roles, and enjoys connecting with community partners to find ways to collaborate and deepen existing relationships.

Caitlin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Non-Profit and Community Development from The College of New Jersey. She and her husband live in Yardley, PA, and enjoy walks along the canal into town for coffee shop dates (or Wawa runs).

Lorenzo McCollum
Administrative Assistant / Prevention Educator | x201

Lorenzo has been with Mercer Council since the Fall of 2023 as an Administrative Assistant of the leadership team. He is the first face that will greet those that walk through the doors of our agency, offering assistance and knowledge to visitors and fellow team members. Also, recently WISE certified, Lorenzo is excited to educate the community on better ways to care for yourself and loved ones with a healthier outlook on life.

Outside of the agency Lorenzo is a mentor for the Top Teens of America and a 2013 inductee Gentleman of the Urban League Guild’s Gentlemans Ball. He is also passionate about giving back to his community, providing tutoring under non-profits like Trenton Children’s Chorus and Young Scholars Institute of Trenton NJ. He is currently attending Rider University with a focus in Secondary Education and Mathematics to obtain a teaching career in the Mercer district. Lorenzo enjoys arts and crafts, specifically knitting, and is self taught for 15 years in piano partaking in plays, requested accompaniment, and personal enjoyment.

Joseph Adaikaladoss
Execution and Strategy Facilitator

Joseph joined our Mercer Council Leadership Team at the end of 2023 to facilitate and expand our strategic operational functions. He comes to Mercer Council with a long and rich experience in finance and organizational strategy as well as project management execution. He has worked with many multinational companies such as Unilever, Akzo Nobel, ICI, and V-Guard Industries and has handled various jobs including Internal Audit, Accounting, Treasury, Logistics, Commercial, Business Controlling, Strategy, and Execution excellence over a span of 30+years.

Joseph has been trained as a Finance professional and worked largely in India qualifying as a Chartered Accountant after graduation as a Bachelor of Commerce from Loyola College, University of Madras in Chennai. He loves to walk and exercise daily and is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction, with a focus on management-oriented topics. He loves to work with people and build teams for goal orientation.

Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP) Team

Dave DeCamp
Director of Recovery Services / Patient Navigator | (609) 651-1623

David (Dave) DeCamp serves as the Patient Navigator for the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP) in Mercer County and the Director of Recovery Services since 2019. Previously, Dave served as a full-time Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and Assistant Patient Navigator for OORP before getting promoted. Before joining Mercer Council full-time, Dave also served as a “per-diem” Peer Recovery Specialist for the OORP program.

Dave brings multiple years of experience working in the private SUD treatment field, having served as a Senior/Lead Behavioral Health Technician at numerous facilities including Ambrosia NJ, Pinelands Recovery Center at Medford, and Princeton Detox and Recovery Center. Before entering the SUD Treatment field as a career change, Dave was a Global Vice President in the Enterprise Information Technology Software sector for over 20 years, specializing in the global Financial Services vertical industry as a developer, solution architect, and technical sales expert for IT Security, Management, and Governance solutions with various software and consulting organizations.

Dave has been in continuous recovery for nearly 7 years, after decades of struggling with alcoholism and addiction. He sees it as both his purpose and passion to help others overcome their struggles with addiction through sharing his experience, strength, and hope.

Kenneth Lynch, Ed.S., NCSP, LPC
OORP Clinical Supervisor

Ken Lynch is the Clinical Supervisor since 2023 and he assists the Certified Peer Recovery Specialists with their wellness as they perform their challenging duties within the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program for the Mercer Council. He also serves as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)Therapist in Mercer Council’s Metro Employee Assistance Services (MEAS). Ken is a State and National Certified School Psychologist and a Licensed Professional Counselor for over 30 years and is dedicated to helping people with their educational and psychological growth. His undergraduate work was completed at Rutgers University and his graduate studies and advanced degree (Ed.S) was completed at Rowan University. Advanced studies in Clinical Psychology at Immaculata College and Early Childhood Assessment at Temple University was also accomplished. Ken recently retired after serving 31 years with the State of NJ – Department of Children and Families.

Through the years, he worked part-time as a Therapist for South Jersey Hospital Systems, Families Matters Inc. Ken volunteers as a therapist for the City of Angels assisting disabled veterans. He also volunteers feeding and assisting the needy through the St. Vincent DePaul Society. Ken has served on the Board of Directors at: New Hope Retreat in Pennsville NJ; New Jersey Association of School Psychologists; Boys and Girls Club in Vineland NJ; and, the Starting Point in Westmont, NJ. Ken is grateful for 40 years of continuous recovery from alcoholism.

Stacey Ross, CPRS
Recovery Specialist

Stacey Ross is a NJ Certified Peer Recovery Specialist that is in long-term recovery for nearly eight years and has been a part of the MCADA OORP Team since 2019. In addition to her OORP work, Stacey has spent the last five years working for a local non-profit organization that offers free substance use interventions, education, referrals, peer recovery support, and case management to anyone seeking help, regardless of insurance status.

She also voluntarily assists in running two non-profit female sober living homes in Burlington and Mercer County. She is passionate about helping those most in need, with heavy involvement in law enforcement “deflection/diversion” programs in Mercer County. “Everyone deserves a chance at recovery, and anyone is capable of achieving it with compassionate care and support. We rise by lifting others.”

Marc North, CPRS
Recovery Specialist

Marc North is a NJ Certified Peer Recovery Specialist with a focused expertise in Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) treatments and Peer Recovery work with Law Enforcement. His start to his career in the recovery field was as a behavioral health technician in several treatment centers.

Marc has been a member of MCADA OORP for three years and has been in recovery for over six years. “I found my calling when I began working with non-profit peer recovery programs, finding meaning for the life I once lived in active addiction.”

“I now utilize my personal experiences in active use and recovery, painful past tragedies and continued education to help the next person regain hope in their life.”

Trina Nixon, CPRS
Recovery Specialist / Assistant Patient Navigator

Trina Nixon is an NJ Certified Peer Recovery Specialist that has been in recovery for nearly five years and has been a part of MCADA for almost a year. Trina brings to the table several various sectors of treatment in addition to working for the OORP program at MCADA.

She currently works in the (MOUD) field. She found that she is passionate about working with people with co-occurring disorders while working as a Behavioral Technician and overseeing sober living homes in Mercer County. While also gained experience with working with the homeless that suffer from Opiate substance when employed with Oaks Integrated as a CPRS with their Safe at Home program.

“I have a passion for helping others that suffer from the same disorder that I once experienced for many years of my life. I can share my past and present with individuals who need just a little hope to start them on a journey of recovery. Watching the light in someone’s eyes come back after being lifeless for so long makes this endeavor that I have been blessed with well worth every moment.”

Jon Macciocca, CPRS
Recovery Specialist

Jon Macciocca is a NJ Certified Peer Recovery Specialist that is in long-term recovery for over nine years and has been a part of the MCADA OORP Team for over five years. He is involved in the treatment industry for 7 years and continues to volunteer for a nonprofit that helps individuals throughout the Northeast find help and navigate the treatment process. “I believe that when someone asks for help, there should always be a hand available to them, and I try my best to live up to that expectation on a daily basis.”

Mike Ziccardi, CPRS
Recovery Specialist

Michael Ziccardi is a certified peer recovery specialist, recovery coach and recovery coach trainer. Mike is a person in long-term recovery from substance use disorder who has been with Mercer Council and the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program for over five years. For the last 10 years he has been passionate about helping those who struggle with substance use disorder and mental health.

Miquia Delvalle, CPRS
Bilingual Recovery Specialist

Miquia Delvalle-Davis is our Spanish bilingual OORP Certified Peer Recovery Specialist. She joined our team in September 2022. Miquia has a Certified Peer Recovery certification. Outside of Mercer Council, Miquia also works for Iron Recovery as a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, Mercer Council Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey as an Education Specialist, Recovery is Essential (R.I.E) as Administrative Assistant.

Miquia is also a Notary. Miquia loves to serve her community with empathy and compassion heart driven to help others as someone did it for her. She just wants to reciprocate it by helping others. Miquia’s favorite statement is “We do recover”.

Prevention Educator Team

Amy Argiriou

Amy Argiriou
Director of Prevention Education Services | x209

Amy Argiriou has been a Prevention Educator for Mercer Council since 2017. Empowering students with knowledge and skills as she guides them through their very complicated but exciting adolescent years is a true passion of hers.

Amy is a certified Botvins LifeSkills Training facilitator. Botvins is an evidence-based substance abuse prevention curriculum. This program is presented in middle schools throughout Mercer County. This comprehensive and developmentally appropriate curriculum addresses the underlying cause of substance abuse and provides students with the skills needed to make healthy decisions. Topics such as decision-making, coping with anxiety/anger, peer pressure, and understanding/dealing with conflict resolutions will strengthen the student’s skills in dealing with life’s many stressors.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from West Chester University and is a certified K-6 elementary school teacher. She has many years of teaching at the elementary school level as well as the preschool level.

Aliyah McRae

Aliyah McRae
Prevention Educator | x210

Aliyah McRae has been with Mercer Council as a Prevention Educator since 2023. She advocates for disease prevention among youth and peers. Prior to being a Prevention Educator she was an intern at Girls Inc. serving as a Health Educator regarding social developmental skills. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health with a concentration on Social and Behavioral Sciences from The College of New Jersey. She enjoys engaging individuals in their health with a lighthearted approach using her creative and witty abilities. 

Smriti Singh
Prevention Educator

Smriti Singh has been a Prevention Educator with the Mercer Council since 2022. Prior to being a Prevention Educator, Smriti was employed at the Council as an Administrative Assistant for seven years starting in 2009.

Smriti has a Bachelor’s degree in Teaching from India. She is looking forward to using her teaching skills to impact the community. Smriti is a certified Botvin’s LifeSkills Training facilitator. She loves spending time with her family and playing board games during her free time.

Wil Kauffman

Wil Kauffman
Prevention Educator

Community Prevention Coalitions Team

Charlene Phelps, MBA
Director of Advocacy & the Prevention Coalition | x205

Charlene Phelps joined Mercer Council in March of 2024 as the Director of the Advocacy and Prevention Coalition. She holds an MBA in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University and a BS in Business Administration and Management from Chestnut Hill College. She has a passion for DEI work and is a licensed Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Qualified Administrator. Charlene has 20 years of community engagement and political experience, having served as a Campaign Manager in the 2022 City Council At-Large political race. Charlene is most passionate about helping people and seeing them reach their highest potential.

In her role as the Director of Advocacy and Prevention Coalition, Charlene will lead the efforts to increase awareness of the Council in its efforts to collaborate with all groups advocating for Prevention Activities. She will also coordinate the County Substance Abuse Regional Prevention Coalition.

In her spare time, Charlene loves to hang out with her twin sister, family, and friends. She also loves math and serves as a tutor for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Malissa Arnold, CPS, NHA
Community Coalition Prevention Educator | x203

Malissa Arnold has been with Mercer Council since 2017 and is the Prevention Coalition of Mercer County’s Prevention Educator. She is a Certified Peer Specialist and has worked in substance use and prevention for over 8 years. Currently, she is a certified trainer for The Nurtured Heart Approach, a laughter yoga leader, and certified in Mental Health first aid for adults and youth.

She is passionate about creating connections and networks for change in her work with the Prevention Coalition. Malissa wants to keep her community healthy and safe by discussing harm reduction and preventing addiction early in life. She focuses on and specializes in tobacco, marijuana, vaping, opioids, and alcohol prevention. She is active with several county and state drug abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery coalitions and alliances and is a part of a special task force on cannabis.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Salem (Women’s) College and a master’s degree (MPA) from Rutgers University. After graduating, Malissa had an opportunity to work for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Malissa has been married to her husband for 25 years, has 2 children and 2 cats, and lives in Mercer County. She is an active member of her church and community. She loves all things nerdy, crafty, and dance-able.

School-Based Youth Services Program Team – Ewing High School

Shakita Johnson, BA, CD, PCD
Interim Program Director

Shakita Johnson is the Youth Development Specialist for ASYSST (Available School Youth Support Services Team), our New Jersey State funded School Based Youth Program housed at Ewing High School. She has been a part of the team since 2018. Helping her students is her passion. She has taught life skills and evidence-based prevention programming, which allows high school seniors in the Mercer County area to transition from high school to post-secondary education and other career training.

Outside of work, Shakita is enthusiastic about community service. She serves as a Community Health worker(CHW), a CHW positively affects vulnerable communities as a liaison between medical, social services, and the community. Shakita graduated from The College of New Jersey with a degree in Business.

Ian Smith, MA, LPC
ASYSST Therapist

Ian Smith has worked as the Mental Health Counselor/Therapist at ASYSST (Available School Youth Support Services Team, New Jersey State-funded School Based Youth Services Program) at Ewing High School since 2022. Ian was previously Mercer Council’s Program Coordinator/Prevention Educator in 2013 for over six years.

Ian has been working in the behavioral health field since 2011 providing prevention education programming and individual and group counseling. Ian is passionate about delivering positive support, building connections, and advocating for others. Ian loves to bring creativity and authenticity to his work with students. Ian graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Rider University and a Master’s Degree from The College of New Jersey’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Ian is a New Jersey Licensed Profession Counselor. Ian is an avid musician in his free time and loves to perform live.

Clinical Services Team

Rodrigo Molineros, CADC
JJC Substance Use Evaluator

Rodrigo Molineros is Mercer Council’s Substance Abuse Evaluator for the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) and has been with our agency since 2011. Rodrigo provides assessments for JJC primarily at the New Jersey Training School for Boys in Jamesburg, NJ. He is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Kean University and is bicultural and bilingual. He started working in the field of substance abuse in 1995. “Most of my experience comes from outpatient facilities and methadone clinics.” “I also have experience working with DCP&P, Family Court of Mercer County, and Work First New Jersey.”

David Petersen, MA, CEAP, SAP, CART
MEAS/EAP/DOT Therapist

David Petersen holds a Masters degree from Seton Hall University in Counseling. He is a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP). He is also a Qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). In addition, David is a Certified Anger Resolution Therapist (CART). His certification is from The Center for Anger Resolution, Inc.

David received his CEAP in 1987. He was named Employee Assistance Professional of the Year (2001) by the NJ Chapter of EAPA. He is a member of the International Employee Assistance Association (EAPA). From 2000 to 2010, David was the Director of the EAP at Saint Clare’s Health System in Morris County, NJ.

As a Qualified SAP, he has conducted SAP evaluations since 1996. He has also conducted Critical Incident Stress Debriefing services within the business community since 1997. David received his Basic and Advanced Trainings from The International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.

Denise Higgins
MEAS/EAP Trainer

Denise Higgins is a certified job coach and wellness coach that lives by the motto of being proactive and creative. Denise has successfully coached and advocated to help individuals identify and use their strengths to achieve their goals by making productive decisions that come from an individual’s natural gifts and abilities with a growth mindset.

Denise has experience working for and with a variety of agencies, corporations, offices, non-profits, higher education, and in an outpatient setting for mental health and substance use disorders. She created a program called “Empowering You to Manage Your Own Career,” which was used to broaden organizational career management consulting services.

Denise continues to serve on the boards of many non-profit organizations including The Rescue Mission of Trenton, The Citizens Campaign, and Trinity Episopal Cathedral, and remains invested in supporting and empowering individuals to be their best selves.