The StaffBehind Mercer Council
Our professional staff have been trained in evidence-based prevention programs and practices and are passionate about their work. Our staff come from backgrounds as teachers, social workers, certified prevention specialists or mental health professionals. Our core values include integrity, teamwork, empathy, accountability, relevance and commitment to those we serve and one another.
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. Margarita completed all her Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counseling courses at the Trenton Rescue Mission through a New Jersey Prevention Network scholarship. She is a Leadership Trenton Fellow, class of 2004. Ms. Leahy has years of clinical, administrative, and leadership experience, with her most recent position as one of The College of New Jersey's Counseling and Prevention Services Assistant Directors.
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.
Lisa goes into the community to inform and equip our Older Adults. Presenting them with information regarding appropriate medication use and management and alternative approaches to treating chronic/ acute pain.
As Administrative Assistant Lisa provides assistance to all aspects of Mercer Council. She is the face that greets you when you enter our building and the voice on the phone when you call.
Lisa is a graduate of Taylor Business School and has worked in many diverse offices over her career. Lisa Assists with our outreach programs, fundraising, website, and is trained in the Botvin LifeSkills and WISE programs that we offer. 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 the light of her life is her grandchildren. Lisa is never without coffee or chocolate.
Opioid Overdose Recovery Program Team
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.
Adrienne Petta is a National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist for Mercer Council on Alcohol and Drug Addiction's Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP). She uses her self-disclosed life experience as a person in recovery from SUD (substance use disorder, more specifically OUD opioid use disorder) to assist individuals seeking help with their substance use challenges. Her passions lie with working with families of those with SUD, pregnant women with OUD, as well as women who are working to be reunited with their children due to removal caused by their substance use. Having a husband in recovery (with a history of going through the prison system) as well as 3 children (born with NAS (neonatal abstinence syndrome) on MAT (medication assisted treatment) allows Adrienne to have a lived experience perspective from both the angles of the families trying to cope with their loved one's substance use in addition to the substance user him/herself. It is that patience and understanding that allows the personal connection to be made and gives the families and substance users the chance to be heard and for lives to be changed for the better.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
MCADA Prevention Educators
Prevention Coalition of Mercer County (PCMC) and Prevention Educators
Amy Is a program coordinator for the Mercer Council. She is a certified k-6 elementary school teacher. She has taught at the elementary school level as well as the preschool level. She is a certified Botvin LifeSkills Training facilitator and works with middle school students in Mercer County. She has been with the Council since March 2017.
Malissa Is the Program Coordinator for the Drug Free Communities grant at Mercer Council which focuses on assisting communities with drug and alcohol misuse and focuses on families, students, and other individuals across the lifespan.
She holds a bachelor's degree in History/Political Science from Salem Women's College and a master's degree in Public Policy and Administration (MPA) from Rutgers University, is a Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS), is a certified trainer for The Nurtured Heart Approach, a laugher yoga leader, and certified in Mental Health first aid for adults and youth. Malissa works with the Prevention Coalition of Mercer County in many capacities, and heads youth initiatives on peer to peer learning, and specializes in tobacco and vaping education.
Ruth Is the Drug Free Communities Coordinator. She has been the former Mercer County Grant Coordinator and former Trenton Municipal Alliance Coordinator at the Mercer Council. Ruth graduated from Rider University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, American Studies, and Global Studies with a Certificate in Leadership Skills. Training certified for Middle School. She heads the Youth Coalition for Mercer County and is on the executive board for the Prevention Coalition of Mercer County.
Available School Youth Services Support Team (ASYSST)
Dayron is the Program Director of ASYSST, housed at Ewing High School. Dayron graduated from Grand Canyon University with both a B.S in Sociology and an M.S in Forensic Psychology.
Dayron has a fervent passion and desire to stabilize, advance, and fuel the community. He previously has worked for the Division of Children and Families, and most recently the Isles Youth Institute in Trenton, NJ; where he created and developed programming, facilitated job readiness training, as well as being an in-house counselor to the students.
Shakita is a graduate from The College of New Jersey, with a degree in Business. Helping others is her passion. Shakita is the Youth Development Specialist working at ASYSST, housed at Ewing High School. She has been working with School based youth since 2013.
Prior to taking her current position, she was an Education Specialist at Mercer County Community College. She has taught life skills, and helped high school seniors in the Mercer County area transition from high school to post-secondary education.
Clinical Services (JJC and MEAS/EAP)
Rodrigo Molineros is the MCADA Substance Abuse Evaluator for the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) and has been with Mercer Council Alcoholism and Drug Addiction 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."