Gregory Jefferson  President/CEO

Gregory Jefferson, MA, LICDC-S, OCPSII, has more than 20 years experience developing, implementing and monitoring state-wide programs for incarcerated and paroled youth. 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 in 1996 and being inducted into Who’s Who of Professional Managers in 1999.

Greg served for three years as associate director of programs at Community for New Direction before being appointed as the CEO in 2007. He is a licensed independent chemical dependency counselor and a certified prevention specialist II 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.


thumbnail_john-dawsonJohn Dawson  Vice President/COO

John Dawson, BS, LCDCIII, OCPSII, 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 extremely dedicated to researching best practices for the prevention and treatment of adolescents. John has been described by supervisors and colleagues as being highly professional, an excellent leader, and a role model in the field of prevention and treatment services. John Dawson has worked for the House of Hope Inc., Maryhaven Inc., and currently works in the capacity of Vice President / COO at Community for New Direction.


thumbnail_wlg-pic1William Gardner III  CFO

William L. Gardner III – Chief Financial Officer for Community for New Direction since January 27, 2014, where he is responsible for primary day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling all financial-related activities of the organization. William has over thirty 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 Franklin University in Columbus where he received a Bachelors of Science in Accounting in 1992 and Bachelors of Science majoring in Business Management and Public Administration in 1984.



Liz Martin

Liz Martin joins Community for New Direction as Community Relations Manager. Liz is experienced in grassroots fundraising and community building. She comes to Community for New Direction from the Arthritis Foundation, where she was a community development manager. She is the founder and executive director of Columbus SOUP, a volunteer-run crowdfunding organization. She was named a “YP to Know” in the 2015 Edition of City Pulse Magazine, published in Columbus, OH by the Columbus Young Professional’s Club. She is also a volunteer leader with Columbus Gives Back.

Liz has a Bachelors of Arts in history from Capital University and has called Columbus home since 2001. She is highly motivated by the amazing and positive energy in the Columbus Community and is excited to be part of the Community for New Direction family.


Community for New Direction Staff

Whitney Garrett
Prevention Specialist

Ronnell Johnson
Intervention Specialist

Renee Blackford  
Manager of Education Services

Andre Davis Intervention Specialist

Myia Thomas Prevention Specialist

Robbin Goods Prevention Specialist

Jessica Dogan
Case Manager

Brenda Davis
Brenda Davis
Executive Assistant

Dick Overton
Director of Outpatient Services

Ethel Shelton
Prevention Specialist

Joy Livergood
Accounting Clerk

Laurie Rivard
 Counselor Assistant

DeVon McCallister  
Intervention Specialist