Substance Use Disorder: Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Advocacy Conference
The goal of the Northern Illinois Recover-Con event is to bring our community into greater alignment in awareness, prevention and treatment of substance use disorders and the support and advocacy of recovery.
We suffer alone, we recover together...
Funded in whole or in part by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery
2023 Headline speakers
Former Miss USA, Model, and Recovery Advocate
Tara Conner is a Television Personality, Actress, and Recovery Advocate. Through her work, she shares her experience, strength and hope with audiences throughout the United States.
Conner was crowned Miss USA in 2006. During December of that year, she entered the Caron Treatment Center and completed 30 days of treatment for alcohol and drug addiction. She has since remained sober.
Tara hopes to raise awareness that addiction is a disease and that many people go on to lead a healthy, productive life in recovery. She especially wants educators, families and professionals to know that sobriety at an early age is achievable and that it greatly enhances life’s possibilities.
“It’s so important to understand that addiction is a family disease,” said Conner. “I experienced this firsthand within my own family. But I’ve also learned that through treatment and recovery you can break the cycle.”
In 2017, Tara joined forces with Greg Hannley of SOBA Recovery. Together, they are beating down the doors of our politicians, and raising awareness for longterm recovery solutions. Once a month, they are joined by actor Daniel Baldwin on their television show “SOBA living”. Each episode highlights current events, potential problems, and solutions to combat the Opioid Epidemic.
Watch Tara's Tedx Talk from 2017 Click Here
Pro BMX Champion, Olympic Coach and Recovery Champion
On December 13th, 2008, Tony Hoffman was paroled by the California Department of Corrections after serving a two-year sentence for a drug-related robbery. While incarcerated, Tony set four goals: Race BMX professionally, go to the Olympics, start a non-profit called the Freewheel Project, and become a professional mental health and substance abuse speaker.
During his senior year at Clovis High School he was featured on the cover of BMXer Magazine, and was sponsored by Fox Racing, Spy Sunglasses and Airwalk Shoes. On the surface, Tony's path seemed destined for stardom. However, in reality, Tony experienced crippling anxiety, depression and suicidal ideations. Tony's substance use began during his senior year, leading to the deterioration of his mental health and opioid addiction soon followed. Due to his misuse of Oxycontin, & other drugs a life of addiction, crime, homelessness and incarceration became his reality.
Since parolling prison, Tony has tirelessly worked towards achieving his goals and the dreams he’d set out for while incarcerated. He raced BMX professionally for several years and continued on to coach Brooke Crain to a 4th place finish at the Rio Olympic Games, accomplishing his dream of going to the Olympics. The Freewheel Project was very successful for many years helping thousands of youth through action sports before moving on to pursuing a very demanding national speaking career. Today Tony is an author, an owner of pH Wellness drug and alcohol treatment facility, and one of the world's most requested mental health and substance use speakers.
Watch Tony's Ted Talk Click Here
Speakers, Seminars and Workshops
Author and Former Arkansas State Director of Recovery Services
Jimmy McGill is the Executive Director of Next Step Recovery Housing. He served as the Director of Peer and Recovery Services for the state of Arkansas from 2018 to 2023, where his lived experience has allowed him to lead the development of recovery services throughout Arkansas. Jimmy is a founding member of the SAMHSA Region 6 Peer Support Advisory Committee, an executive board member of the National Peer Recovery Alliance, and the Chairman of the National Association of Reentry Professionals.
Overcoming a lifetime of incarceration and twenty-three years of addiction, author and speaker Jimmy McGill has found his purpose. His childhood was marked by trauma, but what should have destroyed him is now being used to transform reentry and recovery across the country.
Hear Jimmy speak at the Arkansas "Saving a Generation" event Click Here
Jo Harvey Weatherford
Best-selling Author and Founder/CEO
of Conscious Recovery
Limited Seating Available for
90 minute Narrative Disruption Workshop
in-person with Joseph Green
Other Confirmed Presenters
Mike Tyson, CEO of Take Action Today - Unlocking the Potential of the Recovery Community
Cheryl Root of Recovery Corps/Ampact
Pastor Michelle Knight
Joseph Simms, My Lived Experience
Lyndsay Hartman, Street Outreach Coordinator for AID Kane County
Dr. Steven Holtsford, MD., Medical Director and Addictionologist
Koren VanderWeele, Program Manager for TASC Center for Health & Justice
Laura Frye, CEO of Live4Lali - Bring a Casserole: Supporting Families in Crisis
Dora Dantzler-Wright, CEO of Chicago Recovering Communities Coalition - The Importance of ROSC
Eric Gremminger, Author and CEO of ERP Health, Inc. - Reclaiming the Brain
Darell Pass, Kenneth Young Center
Dr. Tanya Sorrell, Rush Medical School - The Overdose Crisis
Peer Worker Townhall
Grant Writing Seminar
Police Deflection Program Summit
Visit the HERO (Heroin Epidemic Relief Org) Hidden in Plain Sight Trailer
Admission to Recover-Con is free! We have partnered with Northern Illinois University to provide 9 CEUs to attendees for the low cost of $22.
NIU - Barsema Alumni and Visitor Center
231 N. Annie Glidden Rd., DeKalb, IL 60115-2854
Located on the campus of Northern Illinois University, The Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center is one of the area's newest venues offering a truly distinctive experience for events. Op[ened in October 2005, this architecturally striking facility is situated on beautifully landscaped grounds dominated by a large terrace and sculpture garden.
The facility is located on the NIU campus in DeKalb, just 1.5 miles north of the I-88 Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway. There are many restaurants within a 5 minute walk of the venue and a hotel available on campus. Convenient free parking is available adjacent to the building.
Available Sponship Packages:
Includes Prominent website logo display on the landing page, logo display on all flyers (printed and digital), logo display on all outdoor billboards, logo, and mention as a presenter on TV/Radio ads and print, logo display on Auditorium podium, most prominent banner display, exhibitor booth, mention in all social media ads, logo display on the cover of printed program and a full-page ad
Includes logo display on website Sponsor Page top line, logo on flyers (printed and digital), logo display on all outdoor billboards, logo on Lecture Hall podium, prominent banner display, exhibitor booth, mention in some social media ads, logo display on the inside cover of printed program and a 1/2-page ad
Includes logo display on website Sponsor Page, logo on flyers (printed and digital), prominent banner display, exhibitor booth, mention in some social media ads, logo display on the inside cover of the printed program, and a 1/2-page ad