Speakers Page

brian bauner

Brian Bauner

Community Relations Specialist
Speaker Bio

Brian is a hands-on, multifaceted business development strategist and Community Relations Specialist at Never Alone Recovery with over 10 years of experience in recovery and crisis intervention. Brian has dedicated his life and persevered throughout his harrowing journey to turn his story of survival into one of triumph and hope as a recovering addict himself.

Brian's mission is to break the stigma and support the community he once helped destroy. He holds a CAPRC I certification as a Peer Recovery Coach and was the director of various sober living homes in the Midwest. Brian's purpose and core focus are fueled by his unwavering dedication to the seamless integration of mental health, substance use disorder, and addiction-related services into HR programs for companies, non-profits, and government agencies of all sizes.

With a proven track record of over 1,000 successful interventions, Brian and his team at Never Alone Recovery have revolutionized how communities respond to substance abuse and mental health emergencies by prioritizing responsive, efficient, and compassionate programs that provide quality treatment with the end goal of fostering healing and sustained recovery.

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jess kern

Jess Kern

Advocacy & Trauma Specialist
Speaker Bio

Jess Kern is an Advocacy and Trauma Specialist and a Certified Peer Recovery Coach who spends her time advocating for change and creating a voice for the future at Never Alone Recovery. Her superpower lies in her lived experiences and her strength in recovery and survival.

Jess is an experienced and well-versed Trauma and Peer Recovery Coach, a Sexual Assault Response Expert (SART) for local organizations and courts, and a public speaker with a mission to deliver support and education to those in the fight of their lives and the organizations who support them. She's mercilessly dedicated to effecting change and breaking the stigma around addiction through awareness and education.

Over the last ten years, Jess has worked in recovery and treatment centers, providing training for professionals on disclosures and drug trends. Today, Jess spends her time advocating for survivors of trauma and other severe circumstances.

Whether she is on a stage speaking on behalf of a company for mental health campaigns or local law enforcement or educational institutions to train their teams and first responders, Jess harnesses the critical techniques from her lived experience coupled with her intricate areas of trauma and victim studies to break through to her various audiences and inform new ways to address otherwise desperate situations where knowledge or training is limited.

Not only does Jess want to foster a kinder world for her four children, she also strives to create awareness around a message of hope.

Sessions:

allison bilton

Allison Bilton

Community Outreach Coordinator
Speaker Bio

Mrs. Allison Bilton received her bachelor's in sociology with a focus in education from the University of South Carolina in 1992. She has been with the Berkeley County Coroner's Office for 8 years and currently is the Community Outreach Coordinator. Prior to her current work, she worked for 10 years as a probate court-appointed guardian for incapacitated adults struggling with substance use disorder. She currently is the facilitator for Berkeley County's OFR.

Sessions:

Nanci Shipman

Nanci Steadman Shipman

Speaker Bio

Nanci Steadman Shipman received an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood and elementary education from the College of Charleston. In late 2016, Nanci started WakeUp Carolina, a nonprofit recovery community organization founded to raise awareness, promote education, and provide hope in recovery for young adults, individuals, and families touched by substance use through collaborative community partners, trusted resources and lived, peer and recovery-driven support services in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties. She has identified gaps and barriers helping to create, partner, and implementation for all to receive access to recovery support, harm reduction measures, and family support services in the Greater Charleston area at no cost. Celebrating with her team in January 2024, WakeUp Carolina hit the milestone of serving over one million community members since 2020.

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Odika Brown

Odika Brown

Speaker Bio

Corporal Odika Brown has been in law enforcement for twelve years. She is currently employed with Summerville Police Department supervising the Crisis Intervention Team. Corporal Brown is a member of Honor Guard, Crisis Negotiators, and an advisor for the Employer Program. Corporal Brown is passionate about working with young people and the mental health community.

Sessions:

Mark Andrews

Deputy Mark Andrews

Speaker Bio

Deputy Mark Andrews holds a master peace officer license and is a TCOLE certified instructor. He began
his career as a dispatcher for Boerne Police Department, graduated from the academy in 2001, and
became a Deputy in Comal County in 2002. In 2007, Deputy Andrews moved to the Hays County Sheriff’s
Office and is currently assigned to the Community Outreach Unit.
Over the course of his 23-year career, he has worked in several different capacities, including patrol,
environmental crimes, and crime prevention. Deputy Andrews obtained his Certified Crime Prevention
Specialist certificate in 2018 and enjoys working with the community in all aspects of his current
assignment.
Over the summer of 2022, Hays County experienced the loss of several high school-aged children due to
fentanyl poisonings. In response, the Sheriff’s Office formed a task force to include other area law
enforcement agencies and the DEA. Sheriff Cutler tasked Deputy Andrews to learn everything he could
possibly learn and present that information to as many people as possible. Deputy Andrews joined Janel
Rodriguez, the founder of the forever15project who lost her son to fentanyl in 2022, to bring a very
emotional and moving presentation to anyone and everyone. Together they have presented to more
than 25,000 students and adults in more than 350 presentations.

Sessions:

Janel Rodriguez

Janel Rodriguez

Speaker Bio

Janel Rodriguez and her husband suffered the loss of their 15-year-old son, Noah Rodriguez, a Hays CISD student by fentanyl poisoning on August 21, 2022. They have started an organization called the Forever 15 Project and have worked tirelessly across the nation to spread the word about the fentanyl crisis by sharing their story. Hearing from Ms. Rodriguez is a life-changing experience. 

Sessions:

Bear

Bear

Next Level K-9 Texas
Speaker Bio

Drugs are the game, Bear is my name. 

Sessions:

Steven Antommarchi

Steven Antommarchi

Next Level K-9 Texas
Speaker Bio

Over the last 15 years, Steven Antommarchi has held the law enforcement titles of Patrol Officer, Canine Handler, Canine Supervisor, Canine Trainer, and Interim Chief of Police. He is a K9 detection trainer for the Global Forensic Justice Center at FloridaInternationalUniversity, a K9 Instructor and SME for the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University, the Law Enforcement Secretary for the American Working Dog Association, and the Founder of Next Level K9, a company that provides training and scientific research on all things K9. Officer Antommarchi has provided K9 deployments that have led to several millions of dollars’ worth of drugs, currency, and property seizures while working with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies across the United States. Officer Antommarchi conducts several workshops and seminars focusing on K-9 detection, supervision, training records, court testimony, program budgeting, scientific research, and operational readiness. He does this for the disciplines of narcotics, explosives, patrol, person borne IED, electronic storage device detection, tracking, trailing, accelerant detection, and personal protection. Annually Officer Antommarchi trains, certifies, mentors, assesses and provides professional support for over 150 K9 units worldwide.

Sessions:

Stodola

Mark Stodola

Probation Fellow
Speaker Bio

As National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Probation Fellow, Mark Stodola brings over 30 years of experience working in the field of court management and adult probation in Arizona.  Mark worked at the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department for 18 years serving in a number of capacities including division director overseeing drug and alcohol treatment programs, problem solving courts and services for the mentally ill. Mark later became the Court Administrator of the Tempe Municipal Court where he served for eight years managing the day to day activities of the court. Most recently Mark served as Program Services Manager in the Adult Probation Services Division of the Arizona Supreme Court where he had oversight of treatment programs for Arizona’s Adult Probation Departments.  Mark has presented training on topics surrounding high risk drunk drivers at national, regional and state conferences throughout the country. Mark also is an adjunct instructor at Arizona State University.

Mark received his undergraduate degree in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Master’s Degree in Education from Northern Arizona University.   Mark became a Graduate Fellow through the National Council of State Courts Institute of Court Management.

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