Event Speakers

**NEW THIS YEAR: We are offering continuing education units (CEUs). Stay tuned for more information.**

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Holly Geyer

Holly L. Geyer, M.D., is an Associate Professor of Medicine and dual board certified in Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine.  She serves as the physician lead of the Opioid Stewardship Program at Mayo Clinic in Arizona as well as Medical Director of Occupational Health. She is a national speaker on the topics of opioids and addiction and has authored more than 120 journal articles, book chapters, and abstracts related to opioids, quality of life and cancer. She is the author of the patient education book on pain and opioids, Ending the Crisis: Mayo Clinic’s Guide to Opioid Addiction and Safe Opioid Use. Dr. Geyer has a passion for public education on the Opioid Crisis and has been active in opioid-related policy formation and advocacy at a state and federal level. She has held positions with the Arizona Medical Association Legislative Committee and assisted with state law development on opioids.

Mark Rosman

Mark Rosman has been a Hollywood writer, director and producer for over 30 years and is well known for classic family entertainment such as A Cinderella Story, The Perfect Man, Life-Size, as well as the TV series Ghost Whisper, Lizzie McGuire, and Even Stevens. After a seven-year journey during his teen daughter’s struggle from addiction to sobriety, Mark wrote and is prepping to direct Keep Coming Back, an indie drama that will be the first addiction-related narrative feature film focusing on the family. When parents look at their own behavior and change, it can often open a space that leads to recovery for their loved one. Mark is a longtime member of the Writers Guild of America and the Director’s Guild of America and has taught directing and film production for over 20 years at USC, Columbia College Hollywood, and is currently at UCLA.


Dr. Aaron Weiner

Dr. Aaron Weiner is a board-certified Psychologist and addiction specialist and speaks nationally on the topics of addiction and behavioral health, and the impact of drug policy on public health.   His perspective is informed by his years of experience growing and directing addiction service lines for hospitals and healthcare systems, the current state of medical and psychological research, and his own observations in private practice.  Dr. Weiner is a past president of the Society of Addiction Psychology, and his opinions have been featured in numerous outlets including Newsweek, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, Psychology Today, and The New York Times.  He is currently on the Public Policy Committee for the American Society of Addiction Medicine and a member of the Science Advisory Board for the Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions.

Breakout Session Speakers

Josh Azevedo

Josh Azevedo is a licensed substance abuse counselor and a recovered addict with 30 years sober. He has been working with youth, young adults, and their families since 1996. Josh currently operates The Pathway Program, providing substance abuse treatment programs and alternative peer groups. His focus is on peer driven recovery with heavy family involvement. Josh has served many nonprofits, community coalitions, task forces, and school prevention agencies, and he regularly consults and trains parents, teachers, and professionals about responding to youth who abuse drugs. Josh is passionate about recovery and dedicated to providing the best drug and alcohol programs for youth and their families.

Father John Bonavitacola

Father John Bonavitacola grew up in Philadelphia and attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and earned a Masters in Theology. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1988, was pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Tempe, AZ from 2000-2021, and for the past two years he has been Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish and Mission in Sun City West. Prior to that, Fr. John served as Director of Chaplaincy Services for the Philadelphia Prison System for 12 years. Fr. John is a trained substance abuse counselor and has worked with the Twelve Step Community for 30 years. In 2010 Fr. John established the FullCircle Program. This program offers services at no cost to young people and their families who are struggling with substance misuse and other harmful behaviors.

Brenda Cochran

Brenda Cochran, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2002, has extensive experience in mental health and substance abuse treatment. She worked at a large in-patient psychiatric hospital before becoming the counseling director at Pure Heart Church. There, she developed a comprehensive counseling center, aiding thousands of families with addiction, mental health, and trauma. A key achievement was her collaboration with a major addiction treatment center to create a unique intensive outpatient program at Pure Heart Church. Brenda is dedicated to a whole-person, trauma-informed approach to mental health and substance use treatment. In 2015, she founded Zoe Integrated Health PLLC, her private practice, where she continues to provide psychotherapy for adults.

Crissy Groenewegen

Crissy Groenewegen has served as Director of Parent Action Network, SAM since January of 2023. She comes from a counseling, education and prevention background and was the Director of a small non-profit prevention agency prior to joining SAM. She is a skilled prevention specialist, experienced at building the capacity of small grass roots community groups and movements.  Her main focus at PAN is to build a network of parents and families who will be able to tell their stories effectively, and in turn educate lawmakers and other stakeholders, and advocate for safe policies surrounding the issue of legalized marijuana and the dangers of today’s high potency THC products.

Christi Jen

Christi Jen, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCEMP, FASHP, FAzPA is the Clinical Pharmacy Manager at Mayo Clinic Arizona since 2021.  Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, Dr. Jen served as a Clinical Manager for 2 years and an Emergency Medicine Clinical Pharmacist for over 11 years.  Dr. Jen currently serves as ASHP’s Immediate Past Chair for the Section of Clinical Specialists and Scientists and in various capacities in its Section Advisory Groups and Council on Therapeutics.  She has presented both locally and nationally on various topics pertaining to emergency medicine, disaster preparedness, opioid stewardship and preceptor development to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel.

Parker Smith

Parker J. Smith is a certified addiction specialist (CAS). He is a dynamic figure in the behavioral healthcare industry, recognized for his unwavering commitment to innovation, servant leadership, and quality of care improvement within substance abuse and mental health treatment centers. Parker previously operated a full continuum of care treatment center in Boulder, CO.  where he was drawn towards operations and quality improvement in the mental health and substance abuse treatment field. This passion for helping others led him to found Simplifyance, an operations and compliance software company. He is not only the company’s founder, but current CEO.

Dan Steffen

Dan has been serving in ministry since 1988 and was ordained in 1995. He joined the staff of Pure Heart in 2000 and has been the Senior Pastor since 2005. Dan is the co-founder of School Connect which serves over 1,000 public schools in 7 cities in 6 different states. He is the co-founder of Resilient Church Conference, equipping the local church to be trauma informed. He also is the chairman of Better Together Family of churches, uniting churches across greater Phoenix area and helping pastors finish strong. Dan and his wife, Nicole, have five children, Joshua, Luke, Abigail, Olivia and Ava.