National Speakers

Jay Armstrong

Jay Armstrong was a child who was always told he had a lot of “potential” and spent most of his early years in school in gifted programs for genius kids. At 16 he discovered heroin and spent the next 9 years struggling with addiction, homelessness, and even served a little time in prison on drug charges. In 2005 he went to rehab and since has been the quintessential story of redemption and recovery.

Tim Ryan

A six-figure salary, a beautiful home in the suburbs, a loving family – Tim Ryan had it all, then lost it all because of an addiction to heroin, cocaine, other drugs and alcohol.

For years, Tim had great success in business and in life, despite a habit that was forming around “drinking and drugging.” But when he added heroin to the mix, Tim’s balancing act spiraled out of control. Often spending nearly $500 a day to support his opiate habit, his career and relationships suffered setback after setback. His uncontrollable addiction to substances resulted in multiple overdoses, rehab stays, and even jail time.

Frank Greenagel

Frank Greenagel, MPAP, LCSW, LCADC, ICADC, CASAC, ACSW, CJC, CCS, is a clinical social worker who specializes in addiction & recovery treatment. He is licensed in NJ, NY, and PA.

Frank is an adjunct professor at the Rutgers School of Social Work and an instructor at the Center of Alcohol Studies. He writes a blog at He conducts trainings and delivers keynote speeches around the country. He completed a Master in Public Affairs and Politics in 2015.

Jam Alker

Jam Alker is a songwriter who spins his experiences into stories. These stories, told through music, often touch on life’s dark, gritty underbelly, without judgment or condemnation, but often with a message of hope. 

In his formative years on Chicago’s music scene, Jam played virtually every stage in the city, then toured the country. Though he loved music, he lost his way. In the depths of misery and addiction, on the verge of losing everything, he reached out for help.

Ricky Byrd

Recovery Troubadour

“I have been leading acoustic recovery music groups for the past few years at various detox and treatment centers and know first-hand about the powerful healing power of music. I see it in the patients’ faces and read it in the message they send me when they’ve left treatment.”

Whether to help mend a broken heart or reach deep down into the soul of the still sick and suffering addict and alcoholic, music can be the spark plug that is needed to begin the journey into recovery.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is a folk artist, a rock’n roller, and most importantly – a storyteller.  Matt has found his artistic voice in sobriety and is a powerful testament to the creative power of recovery.

Butler found recovery over 3 years ago, and his debut solo album, Reckless Son, is a chronicle of his experience during and leading up to early sobriety.  The songs are insightful and at times heart wrenching, but always translate a positive message of hope and redemption. Rich and masterful storytelling makes a listen through the record a journey of its own. 

Brandon Novak

Brandon Novak was 16 and a professional skateboarder on the Powell Peralta Team, but lost his spot due to what he says was a long bout with “psychoactive substance abuse.” Brandon is most well-known for his starring roles in the “Jackass Series” and his relationship and appearances with Bam Margera from the same series. Brandon Novak raises awareness and brings hope to those struggling with addiction and the epidemic of addiction across the country.


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