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 has been with Mercer Council since 2017. She is both the Administrative Assistant for 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 has been with Mercer Council since 2023 as the Mercer Council 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 has a passion for serving people and communities, both in front-facing and behind-the-scenes roles, and is excited to be working and learning from the wonderful team of MCADA expert staff. Caitlin holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology focusing on 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).
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.”
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 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.
CPRSOORP Recovery Specialist
MCADA Prevention Educators
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..
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.
Prevention Coalition of Mercer County (PCMC) and Prevention Educators
Malissa Arnold has been with Mercer Council since 2017 and is the Mercer County Prevention Coalition Coordinator and 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 of Mercer County. 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.
Ruth Del Pino has been a Prevention Educator with Mercer Council since 2019. She has worked abroad with middle school and high school students as a teacher in Thailand and found joy in being an educator. While there, she discovered teaching life skills and building inner wealth for youth and communities is her passion. After time abroad, she returned to pursue a career in advocacy and education and found her way to MCADA. She was a delegate for the United States at the Belfast Conference of the Transitional Justice Institute and was elected Outstanding Delegate for her Outstanding Delegation Model United Nations Conference, 2017. She is trained and certified in the following evidenced-based programs: Botvin LifeSkills Training (certified for Middle School), Certified for TIPS (responsible alcohol serving), and facilitates needs-based programming for the Mercer County community. Ruth is the Drug-Free Communities Coordinator and helps lead the Prevention Coalition of Mercer County. 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 Certification in Leadership Skills and Transitional Justice. Before graduating from Rider University, she was recognized by the University with the prestigious President’s Award.
Available School Youth Services Support Team (ASYSST)
Dayron Proctor has been with Mercer Council since 2022 as the Program Director of the ASYSST (Available School Youth Services Support Team) which is a state-funded grant for the School-Based Youth Service Program within Ewing High School. The program serves high school youth, young adults, and their families. Dayron directs programming and collaborates with his ASYSST team in creating protective factors, prevention education, and supporting early intervention with Ewing High School students and their families. Dayron is a Grand Canyon University graduate with a B.S. in Sociology and an M.S. in Forensic Psychology. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology. Dayron, in his spare time, is a writer and artist; he also commands a few seats on local boards and constantly engages with local community organizations.
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.
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.
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."