Staff

Larry Almarode

Executive Director
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Learn More About Larry

Larry has been a part of Friends 4 Recovery in some role or another since the Spring of 2011. Larry joined Friends 4 Recovery as a Member after his last stay in the CSU (Crisis Stabilization Unit) ...

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Learn More About Larry

Larry has been a part of Friends 4 Recovery in some role or another since the Spring of 2011. Larry joined Friends 4 Recovery as a Member after his last stay in the CSU (Crisis Stabilization Unit) in Richmond where he had visited for the 4th time in just under 18 months. Larry has been diagnosed with Bipolar, Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and a few other Medicaid billable codes. Through hard work, self-management and lots of time working on Mindfulness meditation, Larry was released from care in 2013 and worked with his medical professionals to become medication-free since. His exposure to meeting other folks with lived experience inspired Larry to pursue opportunities to advocate and work for the expansion of Peer Support services in Virginia.

He served as Executive Director of Friends 4 Recovery from 2012-14 and went on to work for Arlington County CSB as part of a PCBHI (Primary Care Behavioral Health Initiative) grant from SAMHSA as a Peer Health Navigator where he facilitated WHAM and other recovery related classes in multiple peer environments. He went from there to work with Magellan of Virginia as a Peer Navigator on the GAP (Governor’s Access Program) program in Virginia. Larry was part of the team that developed the standards for their Warmline. Larry quit smoking after 30 years and started vaping. Larry hasn’t touched a cigarette in 2 years. This inspired him to open up an eliquid manufacturing company which provided product to 5 stores in Virginia and North Carolina. He closed his company in August, 2015 due to extraordinary FDA regulations. Larry returned to Friends 4 Recovery as a Board Member in December 2015 and was rehired as Executive Director in March, 2017.

Other contributions Larry has made to the Peer Community is serving as a Peer on the Virginia BHAC (Behavioral Health Advisory Council) as Secretary and Member since 2013 and serving as a Subject Matter Expert for IC&RC in the development of the International Peer Support Certification test. He is a trained WRAP facilitator, DBHDS Tot of Peer Recovery Specialist in the state of Virginia, International Peer Recovery Support Specialist and Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist in Louisiana. He has taken several other Recovery oriented trainings as well.
Larry loves Chihuahua’s, good food, time spent with friends and family and does his best to live life moment by moment.

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Traci Jones

Traci Jones

Learn More About Traci

Traci Jones is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, CPRS and certified WRAP facilitator. She co-founded a peer-run program in Woodbridge, VA, Trillium Drop-In Center, and is the founder and...

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Learn More About Traci

Traci Jones is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, CPRS and certified WRAP facilitator. She co-founded a peer-run program in Woodbridge, VA, Trillium Drop-In Center, and is the founder and Executive Director of a peer-run program in the Richmond area, Rise Phoenix Rise. She is very happy and excited to be joining the Friends 4 Recovery family as Peer Navigator. Aside from work experiences, Traci is very engaged with her family, which includes George, her daughter Sadie, son-in-law Travis and granddaughter Auberon. You will notice Traci always has her companion and guide dog, Jessie by her side.

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Mina Padilla

Hispanic Peer and Outreach Coordinator
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My name is Guillermina Padilla , I'm originally from Honduras, and moved to Richmond V A in 2001. I'm a Social Worker with many years of experience. I been working for Friends 4 Recovery since...

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Learn More About Mina

My name is Guillermina Padilla , I'm originally from Honduras, and moved to Richmond V A in 2001. I'm a Social Worker with many years of experience. I been working for Friends 4 Recovery since January 2013, my main purpose is to assist the Hispanic Community, providing help and support to the unique situation my peers may find themselves in. My priority is to make everyone feel welcome. Friends 4 Recovery is a haven, where people can open up with out judgment, finding themselves in the process to solving and overcoming their problems. Education
Peer Recovery Specialist Appalachian Consulting Training Program. Phlebotomy Técnica Medical Educators LLC. Peer Wellness Training Friends 4 Recovery. Services for the Elderly in the family and the Community. Mashav, Monte Carmel Haifa Israel. Bachelor Degree Social Worker. Honduras National Autonomous University. Personal Interest. Family, church, Historical and Astronomy documentaries, Instrumental Music.

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Cliff Connell

Peer and Outreach Coordinator
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Out of high school Cliff worked 22 years as a Master Auto Glass technician and part of the time he was self-employed. After a motorcycle accident in 2002 he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder....

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Learn More About Cliff

Out of high school Cliff worked 22 years as a Master Auto Glass technician and part of the time he was self-employed. After a motorcycle accident in 2002 he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Cliff spent the next 7 years in and out of the hospital and each time it was worse than the last. In 2009 Cliff says he found recovery when he started going to Friend 4 Recovery. Cliff took every training he could in the next 2 years including the Peer Specialist training and he became a board member in 2010. Cliff went back to doing glass work for 2 years but he knew he always wanted to help people with their recovery like he had received. In 2014 Cliff was hired at Friends 4 Recovery as a wellness coach and was certified as a Peer Recovery Specialist in 2016. In 2017 he received a new position at Friend’s as a peer coordinator and now he works with all the Center volunteers to help them get hours for their Peer Recovery Specialist Certification. Cliff is a group facilitator and wellness coach and one of his favorite groups is the “goals group”.

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