Executive Director

Sandy Valentine, RCP-F

Sandy is a person in long-term recovery who is passionate about bringing recovery tools and practice to those seeking and in recovery from substance use disorders, and their families. Prior to joining RICARES, Sandy led the collegiate recovery program at the University of Connecticut, and was awarded the Association of Recovery in Higher Education’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022 for her efforts. Sandy also brings over 30 years of experience leading operational, learning, and performance consulting teams at the The Hartford Financial Services Group.

A Recovery Coach Professional since 2019, Sandy is also the co-host of the Recovery Matters! podcast, a certified facilitator for CCAR’s Recovery Coach Academy and a member of the International Association of Recovery Coach Professionals (IARCP). A graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University, Sandy is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Social Work at the University of Connecticut.

Email svalentine@ricares.org

Sandy Valentine

Program Director

Ian Knowles

Ian lives in rural Rhode Island and is in long term recovery from his addiction to alcohol and other drugs. He has worked in the substance use disorder field as direct care staff at the state detox unit, a case manager, an alcohol/drug counselor, Administrator of Community Services at the now Department of BHDDH, and Executive Director, now Program Director, at RICARES. He serves on the Executive Committee of the ACLU, the Executive Committee of CODAC, and is an appointed member of the Governor’s Council on Behavioral Health.

Email iknowles@ricares.org

Ian Knowles

Program Coordinator

Alyssa Stalaboin

Alyssa (she/her/hers) joined the RICARES team in September of 2023 as a Program Coordinator after graduating from Johnson & Wales University with a degree in Sports, Entertainment, Event Management in May of 2023. Her areas of focus include recovery housing, the RICARES volunteer network, and fundraising for the organization. Alyssa enjoys learning tips and tricks to help peers follow their path to recovery. Alyssa’s background includes planning minor events and baking various deserts in her free time.

Email astalaboin@ricares.org

Ian Knowles

Program Coordinator

Troylynda Williams

Troylynda Williams, a proud Native of Rhode Island, has pursued a diverse educational journey and accumulated a wealth of experience in the human service field. Troylynda holds a Certificate in Case Management from Rhode Island College, a bachelor’s degree in theology from the Bread of Life Bible Institute, and is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Non-Profit Studies from Rhode Island College in May 2024.

With a passion for community service and a deep commitment to advocating for individuals, Troylynda has dedicated 13 years to the human service field, serving as a case worker for individuals with disabilities. Currently serving as the Program Coordinator at RICARES, Troylynda brings a wealth of knowledge and a personal understanding of addiction recovery and mental health.

Troylynda’s journey in the human service field is not just a professional endeavor but a deeply personal one. Having navigated her own path of recovery, she brings a unique perspective and empathy to her role at RICARES.

Email twilliams@ricares.org

Ian Knowles

Recovery Coach

Kieshana Dawkins

Kieshana (she/her) is a dedicated and compassionate professional with over 20 years of experience in the social human services field. With deep commitment to helping individuals overcome substance use disorders and achieve lasting recovery, Kieshana brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to support recoverees on their transformative journeys

In her role as Recovery Coach, Kieshana is eager to continue to make a positive impact on the lives of our clients and their families. Leveraging her own lived experience and combining it with evidence-based practices, Kieshana aims to create a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals to explore their own personal strengths and develop effective coping strategies.

Email kdawkins@ricares.org

Kieshana Dawkins

Communications Coordinator

Arame Sembene

Arame (she/her) started her tenure at RICARES in 2017 as a high school intern seeking to study psychology and explore the field of recovery. She attended The MET High school at the time, which was a career-oriented high school that encouraged its students to develop their passion through real-world experience while doing internships. Arame has learned a lot about the addiction recovery field, from matters of recovery advocacy and de-stigmatization, to legislation focused on prevention. Arame continues to be a key contributor to our team as she pursues her Psychology degree at Rhode Island College.

Email asembene@ricares.org

Arame Sambene

Recovery Coach

Kevin Monteiro

Kevin (he/him) is one of our recovery coaches. A native of Providence, Kevin is a person in long term recovery and truly loves helping others. Formally incarcerated for 30 years, Kevin uses his own recovery and that experience to inspire others with substance use disorders to begin a life in recovery and find the hope, happiness, and wellness that he has found.

Email kmonteiro@ricares.org

Kevin Monteiro