Gregory Jefferson  President/CEO

Gregory Jefferson, MA, LICDC-S, OCPC, has more than 20 years’ experience developing, implementing and monitoring state-wide and local programs for youth and adults. He has worked at a variety of levels from corrections officer to director of training for the State of Ohio, Department of Youth Services (juvenile prison system). Some of his past achievements at the Department of Youth Services include being selected Employee of the Year and being inducted into Who’s Who of Professional Managers.

Greg served for three years as associate director of programs at Community for New Direction before being appointed as the CEO in 2007. As the CEO, Greg is primarily responsible for carrying out the strategic plans and policies as established by the board of directors. He is a licensed independent chemical dependency counselor and a certified prevention consultant with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Fisk University (Nashville, TN) and a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from The Ohio State University.

John Dawson  Vice President/COO

John Dawson, BS, LCDCIII, OCPC, is a highly motivated leader with 20 years’ experience working with disadvantaged and behaviorally challenged adults, youth, and families. John is licensed to provide both chemical dependency counseling and prevention services. John is very passionate about helping others and has continually made a difference in the lives of Franklin County adults, youth and families. John is dedicated to researching best practices for the prevention and treatment of adolescents. John has been described by supervisors and colleagues as being professional, an excellent leader, and a role model in the field of prevention and treatment services. John Dawson has previously worked for House of Hope, Inc., and Maryhaven, Inc.


William Gardner III  CFO

William L. Gardner III – William joined Community for New Direction in 2014.  As CFO, he is responsible for planning, implementing, managing and controlling all financial-related activities of the organization. William has more than 30 years’ of combined experience in accounting, tax preparation and financial related activities in both for-profit companies and non-profit organizations, as well as operating his own CPA firm. He is a former adjunct instructor at Columbus State Community College where he provided traditional classroom and web-based course instructions for “Legal & Financial Issues in Non-Profit Management.”

William is a licensed CPA in Ohio and graduate of Franklin University in Columbus where he received a Bachelors of Science in Accounting and Bachelors of Science in Business Management and Public Administration.


Kari Roll  Director of Development & Community Relations

Kari Roll, MBA, joined Community for New Direction in 2017 as Director of Development and Community Relations.  Kari has more than 10 years’ of professional fundraising experience including annual, planned and major giving.  Kari has a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies from Furman University (Greenville, SC) and a Masters of Business Administration from Ohio Dominican University in Columbus.  She serves on the board for the Central Ohio Association of Fundraising Professionals Central Ohio chapter and loves working in this vibrant, philanthropic community.




Community for New Direction Staff


Jesus Becerra Mora
Prevention Specialist

Renee Blackford
Manager Education Services

Brenda Davis
Executive Assistant

Andre Davis
Intervention Specialist

Jessica Dogan
Case Manager

Whitney Garrett
Prevention Specialist

Robbin Goods
Prevention Specialist

Donavan Gresham
Director AOD Programs

Shirocco Haynesworth
Intervention Specialist
Eric Johnson

Assessment Counselor

Ronnell Johnson
Intervention Specialist

Larry Milton
AOD Counselor

Joan Nienkirchen
Accounting Clerk

Dick Overton
Director Outpatient Services

Ethel Shelton
Prevention Specialist

Myia Thomas
Prevention Specialist

Denise Thorpe
Billing Specialist

William Womack AOD Counselor
William Womack
AOD Counselor