Updates on the OneOhio Recovery Foundation
On Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced his five appointments to the OneOhio Recovery Foundation board and his two appointments to the Foundation’s expert panel. The Foundation will soon be established to distribute a portion of the settlement funds from the drug manufacturers and distributors of opioids to communities in Ohio.
“Establishing the OneOhio Recovery Foundation is the next step in enhancing Ohio’s prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. The investments made by the Foundation will create an opportunity for local communities to plan for and sustain efforts that address the ever-evolving drug epidemic,” said Governor DeWine. “There is not one part of the state that hasn’t been impacted by the opioid crisis, and this is critical to beginning the healing process.”
The Governor’s Office worked with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Ohio’s local community leaders to create the OneOhio plan to jointly approach settlement negotiations with the drug manufacturers and distributors of opioids. OneOhio ensures a settlement recognizing that every corner of the state has been hit hard by the crisis and outlines how the funds can be used. To launch the work of the OneOhio Recovery Foundation, 55 percent of all Ohio settlement dollars will go directly to the Foundation for addiction abatement and to promote mental wellness.
The Foundation board, which will consist of 29 members when all appointments are made, will comprise of:
- Six members selected by the State, five selected by the Governor and one selected by the Attorney General.
- Four members from the Legislature.
- Eleven members, with one member selected from each non-metropolitan region.
- Eight members, with one member selected from each metropolitan region.
See the map for a breakdown of regions.
Governor DeWine's Board Appointments
Tom Gregoire joined the faculty at The Ohio State University College of Social Work in 1996 having earned his MSW and PhD at the University of Kansas. In 2003 he was appointed Associate Dean and has served as Dean of the college since 2008.
Under his leadership the College of Social Work has advanced its commitment to community engagement, advocacy, and enhancing diversity. The College works with over 950 community agencies as a partner to produce our next generation of social workers. Over the past ten years the College has substantially increased its commitment to research and teaching in substance misuse and its consequences. The College of Social Work is among Ohio State’s leaders in training and workforce development for students and professionals in the substance abuse field, and college faculty and staff have been awarded 16.8 million dollars in research and training grants in substance misuse. Tom has an active role in supporting Ohio State’s university-wide commitment to responding to our nation’s most recent addiction crisis.
Tom enjoys a very effective leadership team, and a talented faculty and staff through whose efforts the College has seen increases in research productivity, philanthropic support, and enrollment to all-time highs. The College also enjoys its highest national rankings; 6th among public institutions, and 13th among over 290 graduate social work programs.
Tom’s research focuses upon access to substance abuse treatment, particularly for vulnerable people. His most recent study explores the experiences of persons in virtual self-help groups during the pandemic and their capacity to build recovery capital in that context. His teaching focuses upon substance misuse and leadership in human service organizations, with an emphasis on creative and strength-based approaches to organizational change.
Prior to his academic career Tom spent nine years as a clinician and then an administrator of a group of non-profit adolescent and adult inpatient and intensive outpatient treatment programs in Kansas and Oklahoma. He is a past president of the then Kansas Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Counselors Association (renamed the Kansas Association of Addiction Professionals in 2000). Tom’s commitment to this work is informed by his own lived experience as a person in long-term addiction recovery. He has been active in the recovery community for over 42 years. Tom is an practitioner and proponent of mindfulness as a tool for supporting recovery, and enhancing both personal well-being and organizational effectiveness.
He is married to Carolann, and they have two adult children, Eric, and Paul. Tom and Carolann enjoy traveling on their motorcycle, having ridden in 42 states so far. Their home is made more joyful by Oskar and Pippin, two loving, grateful, and occasionally brilliant, rescued dogs.
Lawrence “Larry” Kidd
Larry Kidd is recognized throughout the State of Ohio as an award-winning entrepreneur and talent development expert. With more than 15 years of experience fueling domestic and international trade throughout the US, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, he has been an integral player in statewide business development initiatives while starting up or turning around multiple companies.
This two-time Entrepreneur of the Year and serial business owner launched and currently leads :Hire Our People Your Solution temporary and permanent employment services solutions serving employers throughout the US. He turned around American Warehouse & Logistics, modernized and overhauled International Packaging & Specialties after rising through the ranks in manufacturing management, purchasing, logistics leadership roles at Luigino’s and Hilti.
Larry is a Director on the U.S. Chamber Board, Member of the U. S. Chamber Small Business Council, a Director of Holzer Health Systems, Director of Appalachia Partnership, Inc., Member of the Legislative Committee of the American Staffing Association, and a member of the Ohio Commodores. Larry is the Co-founder of the Jackson County Drug Task Force. In addition, he is the Founder of the Business Council and Co-founder of 10-in-10, an initiative striving to create 10,000 new jobs in southeastern Ohio over a 10-year period.
Larry earned an MBA from National University and a BS in Marketing from Miami University. He resides in Jackson, Ohio, with his wife.
Jane and her husband, US Senator Rob Portman, reside in Cincinnati, OH, where they raised their three now-adult children. Her professional background includes serving as Director of Communications at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and as a “Trained Brain” marketing consultant at Eureka Ranch. She has been actively involved as a hands-on volunteer and board member in the nonprofit community for many years.
In 2004 Jane joined the Board of Trustees at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where she remains deeply engaged. From 2017-2020, she served as Chair of the Board of Trustees.
Cincinnati Children’s has long been a national leader in the issue of pediatric and adolescent mental and behavioral health. It has one of the largest and busiest treatment facilities in the country. Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s have addressed the impact of the opioid epidemic upon patients and their families, including awareness and treatment of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, where babies born to addicted mothers suffer from withdrawal symptoms.
For many years, Jane has followed the important work of Ohio’s outstanding network of children’s hospitals, as well as the community health organizations, anti-drug coalitions and programs, to as they build best practices and offer strategies for addiction prevention, recovery and treatment.
Christopher Smitherman was born on July 16, 1967, in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father, Dr. Herbert Smitherman, was a chemist and the first African-American with a PhD hired at Procter & Gamble. His mother, Mrs. Barbara Smitherman, was a teacher and administrator at Cincinnati Public Schools. Christopher has five siblings – one sister and four brothers. Christopher and his five siblings grew up in North Avondale – a neighborhood within Cincinnati.
Christopher attended St. Mark Elementary for primary school. After graduating from grade school, Christopher went on to attend the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) where he studied singing. After graduating from high school, Christopher attended The Ohio State University where he earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. It was at OSU that Christopher became a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, where he remains a paid member to this day.
After completing his undergraduate program, Smitherman moved to Bowling Green, Ohio, to attend Bowling Green State University. Christopher studied at BGSU to obtain a master's degree in counseling. Throughout his time in college, Christopher worked as a resident advisor (RA) and, in 1990, he accepted full-time employment as a hall manager at BGSU.
It was at BGSU that Christopher met Pamela Thorton.
Pamela and Christopher married in 1990 and, in 1997, returned to Cincinnati and settled in North Avondale. Together, they raised five children – four boys and one girl - all products of Cincinnati Public Schools.
Christopher is a Financial Planner and small business owner. He has owned and operated his financial planning practice since returning to Cincinnati in 1997.
Christopher & Pamela with their five children
In 2009, Christopher purchased the old Bond Hill Library and relocated his financial planning office to the building located in Bond Hill, Cincinnati. As a financial planner, Christopher focuses on helping his clients gain wealth through systematic savings, life insurance, and estate planning.
On January 15, 2019 Pamela died after a two-year battle with breast cancer and an autoimmune disease. Pamela Smitherman was an educator at Cincinnati Public Schools and left behind her husband and five children.
Christopher was elected to Cincinnati City Council on November 4, 2003. During his term, Christopher focused on neighborhood improvements. He introduced legislation to pioneer regional economic cooperation via Joint Economic Development Districts (JEDD) and Cooperative Economic Development Agreements (CEDA). Christopher also worked to firm up the city's working capital fund and played a leading role in ending Fire Department brownouts.
On March 27, 2007, Smitherman was elected president of the Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP. During his term the chapter's membership increased 600% from 500 to 3,000 members and the chapter's debt was eliminated.
Christopher was reelected to Cincinnati City Council in 2011. He ran on a platform of balancing the budget, properly funding police and fire, and fixing the city's pension. He went on to win reelection in both 2013 and 2017. On December 13, 2017, Christopher was appointed as the Vice Mayor. Smitherman was also chosen to serve on the Cincinnati Planning Commission. Christopher serves as Chair of the Law and Public Safety Committee and the Economic Growth and Zoning Committee.
In the Spring of 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine appointed Christopher to serve on the State’s Minority Health Strike Force. As a member of this board, he helped craft directives to address the covid impacts on minority communities across the state.
Christopher remains passionate about advocating for treatment of addiction and substance abuse and he continues to fight the spread of drug use within our communities.
John Tharp of Maumee is a Vietnam veteran who served 25 years with the Toledo Police Department. Then, he served 24 years with the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office, elected as Sheriff for eight of those years. As Sheriff, he founded the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office Drug Abuse Response Team (D.A.R.T.). He has expertise in opiate addiction epidemic help and treatment and has been a part of the RecoveryOhio team and the HEALing Communities Advisory Board.
Governor DeWine's Expert Panel Appointments
Entering the health and human services sector in 1993, Lovell Custard has served in a variety of management and leadership positions. His expertise and experience covers the entire lifecycle of how human services organizations design, deliver and manage programs and services. Custard’s background includes senior leadership, program management, marketing, public and government relations, financial management, fund development, strategic planning and organizational development.
After eight years as Executive Vice President of Murtis Taylor Human Services System, Custard was appointed to the post of President & CEO in 2010. He leads a dynamic human services organization that provides behavioral health, addiction, youth, family, residential and senior services through ten locations to over ten thousand individuals across Cuyahoga County. Over his twenty‐eight years in the health and human services sector, he dedicated more than twenty years in leadership roles at community mental health and substance use disorder treatment agencies. While at the Center for Families and Children, he
established the Safe Harbor Children’s Center with two locations providing community mental health, and substance abuse disorder treatment and prevention in Cleveland’s Glenville and Collinwood neighborhoods. Through his leadership, treatment and prevention services addressing both mental illness and chemical dependency were made directly available in these economically disadvantaged Black and Brown communities creating unparalleled access to care that had been absent for several decades.
Custard’s leadership at Murtis TayIor Human Services System began with the design and implementation of an integrated service array blending services addressing basic human needs with community mental health and substance use disorder treatment. This changed access for thousands of individuals and families by creating new and innovative avenues to enroll in and receive holistic services based on individual needs and expectations. Through his leadership and the cultivation and nurturing of internal and external constructive relationships, he has grown and expanded the agency from six locations to ten locations providing comprehensive community mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment including intensive outpatient treatment, chemical dependency counseling, day treatment, residential services, crisis services, psychiatry, psychotherapy, case management, peer support, forensic outreach, police coresponder services, food security, youth development, senior services and family preservation services.
Custard is a graduate of Cleveland State University’s James J. Nance College of Business Administration where he received the degrees of Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration. Finance was his major area of study for both degrees. He also holds a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Cleveland State University. During his studies, he was admitted to the Golden Key, Financial Management Association and Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society for Scholastic Achievement.
Custard’s Board involvement includes serving as Board Trustee and Vice President for NAMI Ohio from 2008 to the present; as Board Trustee and Board President for The Woodruff Foundation from 2015 to the present; as Board Trustee and Treasurer for the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation from 2019 to the present; as Board Trustee for the Mental Health Advocacy Coalition from 2017 to 2021; and as Board Trustee and President for NAMI Greater Cleveland from 2004 to 2010.
Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio to migrant farmworkers, Deb is a proud graduate of the University of Toledo (UT). She earned her Bachelors of Social Work in 1990 and a Master’s of Public Administration in 1997. Her professional career started as a frontline social worker working in an outpatient Community Mental Health Center and utilized her outreach skills to engage patients. After working in the social work field she transitioned to The University of Toledo (UT). Deb spent nearly 10 years at UT performing duties including Admissions and Financial Aid Counselor, the Coordinator of Hispanic Outreach Programs and the Coordinator of New Student Programs. After leaving UT she was hired as a Division Director at the Lucas County Department of Job & Family Services (LCDJFS) and Child Support. While at the County she was promoted several times from Assistant Director to the Executive Director of LCDJFS. Deb returned to the Behavioral Health industry at the Zepf Center as the Chief Operations Officer. In 2018, she was named the permanent Chief Executive Officer. While balancing an $50 million with nearly 500 employees she continues to provide leadership to the Toledo/Lucas County community.
Deb has served on numerous nonprofit boards during her career. She is a receipt of the “20 under 40” Leadership Award, the 2010 YWCA Milestones: A Tribute to Women Honoree – Social Services, 1996 Outstanding Minority Alumni from the University of Toledo and 2008 Outstanding Director from the Job & Family Services Association. Recently, she was inducted into the University of Toledo Inclusive Wall of Honor. As a lifelong resident of Toledo she surrounds herself with family to include her husband, Tony, which together they have raised six children and are now proud grandparents.