Community Recovery Program Staff

Kat Heredia

Kat Heredia took her first Peer support Specialist training in 2008, in Arizona. She began working at a Peer Run Organization that Focused on community drop-in centers, housing and employment services. In 2012 she began facilitating trainings across Southern Arizona. She spent a few years working as an intake assessor and then in 2018 She moved to Virginia to begin her work in Crisis Stabilization with Piedmont Community Services. Kat became a Registered Peer Recovery Specialist for Virginia and is now the Community Recovery Coordinator for the PACE to Recovery, Community Recovery Program, Occupational Therapy Program, Recovery Residences, and Pathways to Recovery programs.

Michelle Corns

Michelle joined the Community Recovery Program as an Employment Specialist serving Patrick County in April 2022.  She has over twenty years’ experience working in the human services field.  She has been employed with Piedmont Community Services since 2011 doing skill building, case management and jail diversion.  Previously she worked at Social Services serving families and children in foster care for 10 years.  Michelle received her Bachelor of Science in Human Services degree from Virginia Tech.  She enjoys helping people in the rural area of Patrick County find employment and make their lives better.

Michele Whitlow

Michele joined the Community Recovery team in October 2018 after serving as a probation officer for 18 years.  Michele serves as the Service Coordinator for CRP. She is responsible for collaborating with community partners to assist individuals in obtaining, and maintaining employment. Michele also facilitates job readiness workshops for CRP participants, as well as incarcerated individuals, as part of the Bridging the Gap program at Franklin County Jail.  Michele is utilizing her many years of knowledge, skills, and training to assist individual’s as they  travel the road of recovery in becoming productive members of the community. Michele received her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, from Roanoke College.  Michelle is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor-Assistant. When not working, Michele enjoys time with her friends, family, and spending time at the beach.

Laura Buchanan

Laura joined the Community Recovery team in October 2021 as the Business Services Coordinator. In this role, she is responsible for collaborating with community partners and employers to assist individuals in obtaining employment. Laura also facilitates job readiness workshops for CRP and coordinates workshops to assist participants in life skills, such as budgeting and banking basics. She had the unique opportunity to work with CRP in its infancy, connecting participants with internships and partnering with Lisa to meet employers in our region. Laura obtained her BBA from Averett University in 2006 and utilizes her experience in HR and industry to prepare participants for the workforce. She serves as secretary on the Blue Ridge Human Resource Association Board and is a member of Leadership Patrick County 2021/2022 Cohort.

Viola Rich

Viola Rich joined the Community Recovery Program in August of 2020, after several years of working for Public Partnership, caring for her mother.  She is a Peer Recovery Specialist, and has been trained to support individuals who struggle with substance use, mental health, or psychological traumas.  She is the Coordinator of the Occupational Training Program, where she teaches individuals valuable job skills and responsibilities through on the job training. Viola facilitates the operational aspects of the men and women recovery homes. She assists participants in their pathways to recovery by heading various activities and programs at the Peer Recovery Center. Viola became a Certified Peer Support Specialist in September 2019.  She has been active in her recovery since February 2016. Viola began a women’s recovery group titled, “Recover 4 L.I.F.E.” (Living In Freedom Effortlessly), designed to empower, and support women in learning to trust each other in their recovery journey. In April 2020, Viola earned her Digital Peer Support Certification, as well as training in Career Coaching and LGBTQ Recovery Resources. For Viola, this is not merely a job, it is her passion to help those in need find their path to recovery.  We do recover!


Irma Preston

Irma Preston is the Transportation Specialist here at CRP.  Irma provides transportation support; by assuring individuals get to their various appointments, and places of employment. She does this while using her excellent communication skills, to provide hope and encouragement to individuals, helping them navigate the major life changes of refraining from drug use and re-entering the workforce.  Irma is a retired correctional officer and court security officer with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department. Irma attended Winston-Salem Business School, as well as graduating from Radford and Salem Police Academies. 

Tonya Ingram

Tonya has returned to the Community Recovery Program as a Case Manager-Employment Specialist. She brings with her over 15 years of experience working with a diverse population seeking assistance with finding employment, by linking them to necessary community resources. Tonya earned her Master’s degree in Human Services from Liberty University. Tonya states, “She is a helper by nature, so doing her job comes naturally, and she finds it rewarding to help anyone with becoming productive and successful in achieving their goals.” In her spare time Tonya loves spending time with family and friends, (cooking and playing games), and going out dancing with her sweetheart.

Staff members, Irma Preston and Viola Rich
Peer Support Specialists, Jamie Redd and Viola Rich