Sharon (Schlerf) Newcomb



First as a one for the co-founders of a community church and school in

Berlin-Ocean City, MD in 1982, a Chaplain by earning a B.A. in Counseling &

Theology (Biblical Studies) at Trinity Seminary & Theological  College, Sharon

has also been active since 1985 in community development, emergency response,

and achieving her MA Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) in 2002, after

serving on President George Bush’s Citizens Response Team with Pastoral Crisis

Intervention services during  9/11 in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, PA. 

Eight months prior to 9/11, how own experience of being  struck  by car during a

storm emergency response, caused serious injury and permanent physical disabilities

along with a diagnosis of Post- Traumatic Stress (PTS) first-hand.  As so, she became a

‘Peer’ with a comprehensive knowledge of both personal and clinical approaches of

care. Sharon the daughter US Army Lt Colonel Robert Lyons, Retired, a 3 - war veteran

(World War I, Korea, Vietnam) died in 2010 chose to be honored in a small Maryland

Veteran Cemetery, two veteran brothers (Vietnam), son (US Air Force  OIF, OIEF) two

nephews active-duty (Navy/Army OIF/OEF) and currently, grandson active-duty (Army OEF).

Serving veterans, since 1993 as the architect for ‘Replicare’ a homeless Comprehensive-of Care (CoC) for HUD and

Mayor Kurt Schmoke’s Office of Homeless Services, she provided a program in order to implement  funding for the

Maryland Center for Veteran Education & Training (1994), a best-practices practice delivery system recognized nationwide. The Chaplain is widely known for  insight into the body, mind, spirit needs of our Service Members, Veterans & Families,

as well as her service with US DHHS SAMHSA Faith-Based & Community Organizations (FCBO) adjunct faculty and technical assistance for them nationwide,  from 2012-2015. 

'Compass' is Sharon's Service Dog, originally bred and trained by US Army Veterans for Military K-9  & Law Enforcement duties. When Sharon's beloved service-dog, golden retriever 'Thor' died, she was asked to visit them. The eight-week old German Shepherd climbed into Sharon's lap, enlisted and trained for service-dog duites and faithful companion (for Michael, too). She is six years old now, and this is her 'parade rest' position.

Her email address is

Michael 'Mike' Newcomb

US Army Veteran,Vice-President,

Veteran- Certified Support Specialist (V-CSS)


Michael ‘Mike’ Newcomb, US Army Veteran, one of Virginia’s pioneers advocating for

‘Peer to Peer’ mental health professional recognition, evidence-based best practices

and credentialing (2006). A Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS) and Peer Bridger

in the civilian community until 2012, as a military member with his own ‘body, mind, spirit’

wounds,  recognized the serious lack of military holistic health support services.


He became the first Peer Specialist hired by US Department of Veterans Affairs

for Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, VA in June 2013. Mike

introduced US DHHS SAMHSA Action Planning for Prevention & Recovery (APPR)

program for both in-patient and out-patient veteran care until June, 2018.


As a State of Virginia Office of Recovery Services (ORS) listed as VA Certified Peer

Recovery Specialist curriculum trainer, Mike is the Master Trainer for APPR & CPRS training

programs for Beacon Institute, and provides workforce development training at Warrior Way

Wellness Center, and off site by contractual agreement for government agencies, veteran

services organizations, colleges & university campus, and for such as faith-based and community

services nationwide.


  • University of Kentucky 1984         BS- Nursing

  • University of Kentucky 1985          BS - Psychology 

Milissa Mackem

Registered Nurse (RN),

Director of Community Health Sevices

Milissa attended the University of Kentucky where she received her degrees in Nursing and Psychology. She has held the title of Registered Nurse since 1984. She served as a spouse of a military veteran since 1986. She is proud to be the mother of two sons. Her travels both stateside and overseas allowed her to further develop her career in both military and civilian settings within a variety of cultures and age groups. Her emphasis has been the health, wellness and prevention of both physical and psychiatric conditions. 

Her first position as a registered nurse was on an inpatient psychiatric unit at the University of Kentucky Medical Center where the patient population consisted of those with a multitude of psychiatric needs to include an emphasis on Eating Disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia. 

As a Department of the Army Civilian she worked as a Training Specialist and Director of the Civilian Program at the Alcohol and Drug Control Office in Baumholder Germany. She taught classes and held groups on a variety of health and holistic related subject matters to include tobacco smoking cessation and stress management. She volunteered as Nursing Director for the Red Cross and as an on call support provider for cases involving domestic abuse. She also worked as a Training Specialist for Walter Reed Army Medical Center teaching military and civilian healthcare providers the computerized Composite Health Care System. 

She then accepted position as Community Health Nurse at Fort Meade, Maryland as the Health Risk Appraisal Program Coordinator. She worked with soldiers to create a health profile and an overall summary for their command unit on the health status of their troops. Her Program management continued with the position of Special Projects Officer for the US Department of Defense PHIDISA (HIV/AIDS) international research project in Pretoria, South Africa. She also was the Program Coordinator for the US Department of Defense, Prevention and Education Program for HIV/ AIDs for the South African Army. 

Her next position was the Clinical Nursing Director for a private school. She developed the High School age nursing program and worked with elementary school age children on treatment, health education and screenings. 

She continued her psychiatric nursing as Registered Nurse for The Pavillion at Williamsburg Place. She worked on units for Acute Psychiatric, Mood Disorder and Geriatric nursing. 

Home Health nursing became her next accomplishment. She worked for Nurturing Hearts and Care as a Registered Nurse where she obtained patient assessments, educated nursing aide staff and provided patient care. She then worked as a Behavioral Health Nurse for Amedisys Brookside Home Health. There she made home visits to those in need of medical and psychiatric assistance such as coordinating care with physicians, therapists and family members. 

Will Richardson

Director Peer Support Services,

Navy Submarine Veteran


Will has extensive training in the Peer recovery system and has several years of

experience guiding men and women through the process of recovery.  He has gone

through the process of recovery himself a  journey that began in 2012 and has been

a life/game changing experience.  

William is a firm believer that there is nothing that cannot be accomplished with Faith,

Focus and Perseverance.  He is a key member of our Courage to Change team with his constant dedication helping our brothers and sisters rebound from a troubled time.

Focusing on a solution and striving towards that goal of complete recovery.   


  • Submariner

  • The Healing Place Alumni

Michelle Poiter

Veteran Peer Support Specialist

US Navy Veteran

A United States Veteran of the Navy Intelligence Community with 13 years honorable service, mother, grandmother and leader; Michelle is a force of nature and mouthpiece for recovery and reconciliation to the

communities she serves.

A Graduate of the University of Phoenix she earned a Bachelor of Science in Management. CEO of "Michelle Speakz If You Hide It You Can’t Heal It", a Coaching & Mentoring Organization; Founder of Healing Women Healing Nations NE Florida Inc, a Social Service Organization; Board Member of Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition, a organization focused on ending infant mortality; Trainer and advocate for National Alliance on Mental Illness.

  • West Virginia University 2008

  • McDaniel College - Masters in HR Development 2011

Jordan Alkire

Human Resources Specialist


Jordan grew up in West Virginia and made her way to Newport News, VA by way of the Midwest. She graduated from West Virginia University in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Public Relations. Quickly knowing she wanted to continue her education Jordan attended McDaniel College in Westminster Maryland for their accelerated Human Resources Development Master’s Degree Program. She graduated from McDaniel in 2011 and entered into the staffing and HR industry in San Diego.


Jordan has worked in recruiting and HR for the past decade and recently launched her own business, Staffic Hiring, LLC. Staffic Hiring focuses on HR Consulting and Staffing in a world that is ever-changing across many industries. Prior to launching Staffic, Jordan worked as the Internal Corporate Recruiter at CORT-a Berkshire Hathaway owned company for 5 years. She was responsible for hiring sales and operations professionals throughout the United States.


Jordan’s passion in HR and recruiting gave her the idea for Staffic and helped her to create their motto: Generating Traffic in Today’s Modern Workforce. It isn’t all about hiring here. We want to build relationships within our communities, get to know people and organizations and really dig deep to figure out what their needs are and how we can help meet them. We believe that productive relationships within organizations allow them to find their best people.

Gail Taylor Black

US Army Veteran


Gail embarked upon her military career in February 1989 and served in the Texas National Guard for six years prior to joining the active component. Upon completion of her four-year tour to Germany and deployment to Bosnia and Herzegovina she returned to the U.S., and served as a Personnel Sergeant, at Ft. Lee Virginia. Her career path soon led her to switch gears and join the ranks of the Virginia Army National Guard soldiers serving on active duty as an (AGR) Active Guard Reserve at Fort Picket, Virginia. Gail completed her career after serving eight years with the Recruiting and Retention Battalion, at Ft. Pickett Virginia, as a Senior Human Resource NCO and Battalion Equal Opportunity Representative. While serving, she was able to complete her Baccalaureate of Science degree at Bluefield College in 2006 and her MBA in Business, from the University of Phoenix in 2011, in which she was nominated and selected as Student of the Year. After a combination of 25 years of service, she retired and continues to devote her time to the service-members, veterans and their families. Gail was sought out to contract with the the Virginia Army National Guard to work as a Citizen Soldier for Life, Career Readiness Counselor, and is now a Career Readiness Counselor as well as a Veteran Peer Recovery Specialist at the Warrior Way Wellness Center, located in Williamsburg Virginia. She also serves on the Board of Directors, at the Ft. Lee Women’s Museum as well as a host of other veteran organizations.