Emily graduated from Eastern CT State University in 2008 with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in Elementary Education. In 2017 she earned her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and Addiction Counseling from Bay Path University. Emily is a Licensed Professional Counselor and an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor with many years of experience with residential treatment for mental health and substance use. She specializes in the areas of addiction, trauma, grief and loss, women’s issues, anxiety, depression, and co-occurring disorders. Emily also has extensive experience as an Emergency Service Clinician managing crisis overdose calls, suicidal ideation, self-harm, mental health, and police interaction.
Emily has a passion to help others and give back to her community. Addiction is one of Emily’s most fond works as she has lost many close to her from overdose and knows many who struggle with Addiction. Emily believes that the best way to help people remain sober is to define their strengths so they can be used as a road map to overcome the addiction. She believes the experiences we have in our past make up our present and influence our future. Emily can see the good in every person and encourages individual healing and growth today and seeks hope for the future.
Phil is a resident of the Quiet Corner and owner of Northeast Flooring and Kitchens in Putnam, CT. Phil’s years of business experience position him to help keep our organization fiscally sound and compliant with today’s organizational regulations. Phil came to the organization with the hope of impacting the lives of all those affected with substance abuse disorder; those that live with the disease and all those that love those that live with the disease. Phil hopes to help change the stigma associated with this disease in our area and create an environment of understanding and support. Phil lives in Woodstock, CT with his wife, Rev. Denise Esslinger.
Public Relations Director
Romeo Blackmar is an active member of the recovery community and has sustained long-term recovery himself. He is currently the Program Director for Substance Abuse Prevention at the Hale YMCA Youth and Family Center in Putnam, CT. Romeo graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University in 1975 with a Bachelor’s in History/Social Studies and later attended the MBA Program at Anna Maria College Paxton, MASS. In 1975 he was commissioned as an U.S. Army Infantry Officer from the University of Connecticut ROTC Program. Romeo has been an active member of the community serving 12 years on the Woodstock Board of Education, 9 years as a member of the Board of Directors for United Services Inc., 6 years on the Executive Board of the Putnam Business Association; 2 years as Vice President and 4 years as the Board Secretary, and he has served as the President of the Putnam Lions Club 3 times.
Romeo has worked in the fields of Treatment/Intervention, Prevention and Recovery starting in 1987 serving as a Client Supervisor, Counselor, House Manager and Education Coordinator. He has served as the Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator for Putnam PRIDE for 12 years, the Town of Putnam’s Drug Free Community Coalition from 2009-2018. Romeo currently resides in Pomfret Center, CT. with his wife Joy. Romeo has two adult children and 7 grandchildren.
Ginny has been a 5th grade teacher at Thompson Middle School for 16 years and a resident of the Quiet Corner for the last 24 years. She has 3 grown children, a cockapoo named Bronx, and has been happily remarried to her college sweetheart for the last 5 years. She is a certified yoga outreach instructor, certified Reiki I practitioner, certified Smart Recovery Facilitator and mindfulness and growth mindset educator. She believes we are all in recovery in some form or another. Her mother has been in recovery for over 30 years and her daughter has been in recovery for 3 years. They inspire her every day to “do the work” on her journey to wholeness. She is grateful that she can guide others on their recovery journeys through her work at Quiet Corner Cares.
Lindsey is a lifelong resident of the Quiet Corner, a mother of 4, and an avid volunteer . She has extensive experience with management, customer service, sales, and fundraising in a variety of industries. Lindsey holds a Masters in Business Administration and a Bachelors of Science in Business Management. She loves her work, but her true passion lies with volunteer work and the betterment of her community.
Lindsey joined Quiet Corner Cares after the devastating loss of her husband’s cousin, Ryan to substance use disorder and depression. Her desire to change the stigma attached to addiction is strong. She has witnessed firsthand the loss of life to this dreadful disease and has also seen the beautiful new life that arrives with sobriety and wishes that for all who suffer from substance use disorder.
Jason is a lifelong resident of Northeast Connecticut and now resides in Pomfret with his wife and four children. Jason Verraneault is the owner and founder of NorthStar Home Loans LLC. He created NorthStar Home Loans to be able to personally help other families with their home financing needs and to establish a Mortgage Company who lives up to its Fiduciary Responsibility and always put the client’s needs first. Jason is a member of several local organizations and sits on the board of The Northeast Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Placement services, Pomfret-Eastford Little League, and both the Killingly and Putnam Business associations. Jason lost his cousin, Ryan Lefevre, to substance use in May of 2020. He was determined to help save the lives of others with substance use disorder and provide resources to families and those in need. Jason’s mission is to keep the memory of Ryan alive while starting conversations about opioid awareness and to remove the stigma surrounding addiction.
Dr. Jeffrey Danforth recently retired from a career as a clinical child psychologist. He was the associate director of a child inpatient mental health unit at a university medical center, and a clinical director for a residential treatment program. Then, he worked for 28 years as a Professor in the Department of Psychological Science at Eastern Connecticut State University. He wrote the child psychology curriculum, taught courses on child mental health and research methods, and published peer-reviewed research focusing on children with ADHD and related challenges. Jeffrey also ran a private practice conducting individual therapy, assessments, and staff training for schools throughout the region. Finally, he coached youth and schoolboy soccer for 20 years. Jeffrey has lived in the quiet corner for more than 30 years; he is married with three grown children.