Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

BOARD MEMBERS

Ben Gray Bass

Executive Director, El Paso Alliance, Inc.

Ben Bass is the Executive Director of the Recovery Alliance of El Paso. Mr. Bass is in recovery and began at the Alliance as a volunteer. He has been director of the Alliance since May 2002 and has led the management team in a successful membership drive, organizing and mobilizing the recovery community, community assessments, development and delivery of peer-based recovery support services and financial stability. Mr. Bass is the administrator of the El Paso Alliance, Inc., a 501 [c] 3 corporation. He is the chief executive of the corporation and is currently operating contracts with theState of Texas to deliver peer recovery support services for people seeking help for opioid use disorders. The Alliance has successfully completed four federal SAMHSA grants. The Alliance operates a peer run residential recovery facility that serves individuals exiting homelessness and others who wish to recover and guides them into the recovery community through immersion in the culture of recovery.  

Mr. Bass is a Recovery Advocate in service to people seeking recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction. He is the current vice president of the board of the El Paso Coalition for the Homeless; a former member of the board of directors of Faces and Voices of Recovery in Washington, DC; is on the Advisory Board of the South by Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center at the University of Texas at Austin; served as the director of the Recovery Coalition of El Paso; on the Social Service Advisory Board for Centro De Salud La Fé; is a current member of the Intergroup Committee of El Paso; served as the president of the board of El Paso Alliance; as a member of the board of the West Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; El Paso’s Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel To End Chronic Homelessness In 10 Years; as a board member of the Recovery Coalition of Texas, and the Texas Department of State Health Service’s Texas Recovery Initiative task force member. Mr. Bass published in 2009 in Family Community Health Journal an article called Faith Based Programs and Their Influence on Homelessness. In 2011 Mr. Bass was honored at the White House as a Presidential Champion of Change for this work. Mr. Bass has led the development and execution of a five-point plan for sustainability for the corporation. He is the sole employee of the board of directors and reports to them on a monthly basis. Prior to becoming director, he was a board member. He has experience in advertising, marketing, technology, business planning and consulting and in the operation of a small business. Mr. Bass has lived in El Paso, Texas since 1963.

Eric Broughton

Eric Bruce Broughton has been in recovery since October 1993. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Tyler Winners Circle and is also a Board Member and Co-Chair of the Winners Circle Peer Support Network of Texas Inner Board. In addition, he is the Executive Director of the Tyler Winners Circle Peer Support Network. The Winners Circle was established in the 1990’s as a peer support and peer-driven network of men and women returning to their communities after completing substance abuse rehabilitation in an in-prison therapeutic community program and community-based therapeutic transitional center. The men and women completing the therapeutic community treatment modality discovered that they are their brothers’ keeper and established the Winners Circle to help other releases in their reintegration and recovery.

He also served for 3 years on the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Council for Advising and Planning for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.

He is active in faith-based recovery and serves as Co-Coordinator of the North Tenneha Church of Christ Overcomers Support Ministry in Tyler. In addition, he serves as a Substance Abuse and Chaplaincy Volunteer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  He is aTDCJ Certified Recovery Coach and Trainer, a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, A Board Certified Therapon Counselor, a Mentor for the 321st Family Drug Court and a Certified Recovery Coach.

Eric has his Associate of Applied Science, majoring in Human Services – Addiction Counseling. He currently works at the TDCJ Johnson’s SAFPF Unit in Winnsboro, Texas.

Joe Powell

President/CEO, Association of Persons Affected by Addiction Executive Director, El Paso Alliance, Inc.

Joe Powell is in long term recovery with thirty-one year’s free of alcohol and other drugs. A family member of 7 brothers and 1 sister who experience addiction and mental health challenges. Joe is the President/CEO of APAA-Association of Persons Affected by Addiction in Dallas, a recovery community organization that provides peer-to-peer integrated mental health and addiction recovery support services for individuals, family members, and the community. Mr. Powell is a licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor for over 25 years. His accomplishments with APAA includes:

  • The first Peer Recovery Community Organization in Texas funded in 1998 by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
  • APAA holds a National Accreditation for Peer Recovery Support Services.
  • Initiation support and trainer for Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRP) at University of North Texas (UNT) and Eastfield College.
  • Peer advocacy for passing of House Bill 1486, Peer Medicaid-Reimbursement.
  • Chairman of the Peer Committee for Texas Certification Board (TCB) 2020.
  • Trainer of Trainers for APAA Training Entity and Certified Peer Specialists.
  • Started the first African American NAMI Chapter in Texas in 2001.
  • In 2003, Advocate of National Faces and Voices of Recovery in Washington DC.
  • Since 2002, provided first Peer services in Divert, Drug, Re-entry, STAC, Veteran Courts, and Community Court in South Dallas.
  • Implemented the first APAA Recovery POD (63 men) in Lew Sterrett Jail.
  • In 2019, Initiated the naming and grand opening of the first “Dr. Louis E. Deere Behavioral Health Complex” and essential (COVID-19) crisis and forensic supports at North Texas Behavioral Health Authority “Living Room” in Texas.
  • Served as the President of the National Leadership Council on African American Behavioral health (NLC).
  • Member of the Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Centers Regional Advisory Council (SWATTC).
  • Governor appointment, on the Rehabilitation Council of Texas (RCT).
  • Chair of the largest Big Texas Rally for Recovery in 2016 & 2019.
  • Recipient of the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference, Rep. Garnet Coleman Eternal Flame Award, (February 2020).

Joe Powell is originally from Harlem N.Y.C., performed as a tap dancer with his 2 older brothers and Dad for 15 years. Joe is a Servant leader, lifelong learner, Innovator and Initiator of Telehealth peer recovery support services and a national subject matter expert in the Peer recovery movement.

Dr. Eden Robles

Dr. Eden Hernandez Robles has a background in social work, with training on qualitative research methods, health services and service user evaluations, and qualitative data analysis with an emphasis on alcohol health related disparities with Latinos. She is interested in treatment seeking experiences and health service practices towards a recovery-oriented system of care.

As a research associate on several university- and NIH-funded grants, she has laid the groundwork for the proposed research grant by investigating the social, cultural, and other psycho social factors relevant to Latinos on the US/Mexico Border. In addition, she is serving as a co-investigator successfully administering follow-up research projects (e.g. the experience of change associated with alcohol recovery) by collaborating with other researchers, and community members.

She currently serves as the co-convener for the Paso del Norte Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC)in El Paso. As co-convener, she has helped lead the strategic vision of the ROSC through professional guidance and mentorship.In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Recovery Alliance,Inc. in El Paso.

Joy Rucker

Joy Rucker is originally from New Bedford, Massachusetts.  She has worked in the human services/social justice field for the last 30 years.  She has served homeless persons ,juvenile delinquents, substance users, pregnant incarcerated women, homeless and people living with HIV/AIDS.

Joy’s AIDS work began in 1982 in Provincetown, Massachusetts. At that time, there were no services for people with HIV/AIDS. She and a circle of friends provided in-home care to gay, male friends. In 1983 Joy moved to Boston and was part of the first HIV/AIDS outreach efforts targeted to IV drug users in the African-American community. It was also in Boston that she developed trainings and educated various treatment programs and social service agencies in the African-American community about substance abusers living with HIV/AIDS. Joy moved back to New Bedford in 1986. There she created the first support group for recovering addicts living with HIV, which was later named the Greater Bristol Support Network.  In 1991 Joy became a certified NIDA trainer for AIDS Prevention in the African-American Community.

Joy moved to San Francisco in 1992 and developed Rafiki House, a program of the San Francisco Black Coalition on AIDS (BCA). Rafiki House is a transitional housing program which serves homeless, African-Americans living HIV and substance use issues. Rafiki House is an award-winning program which was designated a Special Project of National Significance (SPINS) by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1994. The SPINS award provided Rafiki Housing $718,000 capacity-building grant over a three-year period. Joy also served BCA as Director of Housing and Deputy Director until 1995, during which time she developed two permanent housing sites for persons with HIV/AIDS during her tenure. 

Joy worked for the Corporation forSupportive Housing as Deputy Director of the Health, Housing and IntegratedServices Network, a multi-million dollar, three year, demonstration program for 6 years, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The initiative brings support services, and health services to apartment buildings in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, where formerly homeless, very low income persons with disabilities (including HIV/AIDS) live. This program is now a national model for services for formally homeless people with multi-disabilities.

Joy was a member of the San Francisco Mayor’s HIV Health Service Planning Council for three years. The Council allocates Ryan White Care funds to 17 categories of care services available to persons with HIV/AIDS in the City of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin Counties. The Care Council allocated $33 million in 1996-97. Joy was also  a board member of the Federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program which allocates grants to local agencies serving homeless people. In 1996, Joy received an “Unsung Heroine” for World AIDS Day. In 1997, Joy was appointed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to the Local Homeless Coordinating Board (Local Board). The Local Board functioned as a city-wide advisory body on homeless funding priorities and budget allocations for the use of federal and state funds.

In 2001, Joy became an independent consultant and worked for agencies such AIDS Housing of Washington, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Alameda County Children Services, Berkeley High School Health Clinic, and Skidrow Housing of Los Angeles, National Community Training Institute, Harm Reduction Training Institute. Joy was hired at Compass Point Consulting Services for the lead consultant role on the National Minority AIDS Project for a capacity building initiative for local AIDS providers. Joy received the award for Outstanding Leadership in Prevention for Alameda County in 2005.