Community Recovery Program Staff

Lisa Smith

Lisa Smith has over twenty years of experience working in the human services field, specifically working with individuals who are struggling with substance use and criminal histories.  She has been employed with Piedmont Community Services since 2011 as the CRP program manager.  Prior to employment with PCS, she was an adult probation and parole officer with the Virginia Department of Correction for 12 years.  Through mentorships and collaboration with community partners, under Lisa’s leadership, CRP was developed into the program it is today.   CRP has gained state, regional and national attention.  Lisa truly believes that people can and do recover from substance use disorder.  

Lisa is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a degree in Criminal Justice.  She is Certified Substance Abuse Counselor.  She has a certificate from Duke University in non-profit management.  She is a Board Member with the Anchor Commission and Southern Area Agency on Agency.   And, she is a member of the Martinsville-Henry County-Patrick County Re-entry Council and the Martinsville-Henry County Human Resources Association.  In her down time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family and improving her culinary skills.

John Luther

John Luther started with the Community Recovery Program in April 2015.  He brought his experience from working as at Trinity Support Services.  He also had experience working in the Department of Corrections.  John serves as a case manager/employment specialist at CRP.  He uses his training and knowledge to help individuals locate employment and find available treatment options.  He assist the participants with providing support to help in their path to recovery.

John received his bachelor’s degree in human services from Old Dominion University.  He enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors with his family.

Michele Whitlow

Michele joined the Community Recovery team in October 2018 after serving as a probation officer for 18 years.  Michele is the service coordinator.  In this position, she assists individuals to obtain and maintain employment and she collaborates with community resources.  Also, Michele facilitates job readiness workshops for the individuals enrolled in CRP and for individuals who are incarcerated as part of the Bridging the Gap program with Franklin County Jail.  Michele is using her knowledge, skills, and training as a probation and parole officer to assist the individual as they  travel the road of recovery in becoming productive members of the community. 

Michele received her bachelor of arts from Roanoke College in Criminal Justice.  She is also a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor-Assistant.  Michele enjoys her time with her friends and family.   And, she enjoys spending time at the beach.

Jacqueline “Jackie” Scales

Since 2018, Jackie has been a peer support specialist with CRP.  As a peer support specialist with CRP, she provides one-on-one peer mentoring, support on recovery related activities, and guidance on developing a wellness plan and a relapse prevention plan.  She provides support to the women and to the men who resident in the recovery residential program.  In addition to the supporting the individual enrolled in CRP, she facilitates the recovery group at the Franklin County Jail to the inmates enrolled in the Bridging the Gap program.  Jackie uses her training as a Certified Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) to assist individuals who attend the Pathways to Recovery Center.

Jackie has an Associate Degree in Human Service from Patrick Henry Community College and she is working on becoming a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor – Assistant.  When Jackie is not working, she likes spending time with her grandbabies, doing homework, watching TV, dancing (that is how I exercise), reading,  and riding her motorcycle.

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 working as one of the peer recovery specialists that have been trained to support individuals who struggle with substance use, mental health, or psychological trauma.  She is the coordinator of the Occupational Training Program that helps to train individuals to learn job responsibilities and skills. Viola also oversees the operational accepts of our men and women recovery homes. She helps participants in their paths to recovery by leading various activities and programs at the Peer Recovery Center.

Viola became a certified peer support specialist in September 2017.  She has been active in her recovery since February 2016. In January of this year, Viola started a women’s recovery support group that is geared towards women empowering, supporting, and learning to trust each other in their journey of recovery. She has also received her Digital Peer Support Certification in April 2020. She has also completed training in Career Coaching and LGBTQ Recovery Resources. This is not merely a job, this is her passion, helping those in need find their path to recovery.  We do recover.


Irma Preston

Irma Preston is employed at CRP as the transportation specialist.  As the transportation specialist, Irma provides transportation support by providing the individuals with transportation to interviews, appointments, and to jobs.  While transporting, Irma uses her excellent communication skills to provide the participants with hope and with encouragement as they make major life changes of reframing 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 and she graduated from Radford and from Salem Police Academes. 

Dwight Penn

Dwight Penn is the house manager at The Landing, a recovery residence with CRP.  In this position, he provides support and guidance to the residents.  In addition to his position at The Landing, he is employed at Drake Extrusion.  Dwight has a goal of becoming a peer support specialist and eventually, working at Piedmont Community Services.  Dwight is an excellent communicator and is grateful for his recovery journey.