Brooke Willard

Program Coordinator

Brooke Willard is a Ludlow native and graduated Black River High School in 2014. Brooke is the Program Coordinator for the Black River Area Community Coalition. She prides herself in the role she plays in the prevention of substance misuse. Brooke’s endeavors as a Program Coordinator include collaborating with school officials and prevention specialists in order to plan events and activities pertaining to wellness and the prevention of drug misuse.


Brooke graduated from Colby-Sawyer College with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Health and a minor in Psychology. Her internship at Hope for New Hampshire as a peer volunteer exposed her to the importance of such community health centers and led her to become a certified recovery coach. She is passionate about the prevention of substance abuse and is an advocate for educating the youth and the community about such a paramount issue. Two quotes that Brooke lives by are, “let’s build wellness rather than treating disease” and, “knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family”.

Paul Faenza

Executive Director

Paul Faenza has been with the coalition since December of 2005. A graduate of Northeastern University’s College of Criminal Justice, he retired from the New York City Police Department as a Sergeant in 2003.  From 2012 - 2017 he worked part time for the Ludlow Police Department on patrol and as the DARE Officer.  He has taught Project Alert to Middle School students, coordinated Vermont Kids Against Tobacco groups in Mount Holly and Ludlow Elementary School and taught an adult Tobacco Cessation Program for RRMC and Springfield Hospital. He participates in the Rutland County Sophomore Summit at Castleton University; speaks about his career with the NYPD and 911 to Public Safety students at Stafford Technical High School in Rutland. Paul is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Mount Holly Volunteer Fire Department and is the First Constable for the Town of Mount Holly. When not working at BRACC he operates Big Eyes Bakery with his wife Brigid. He has two daughters Alice and Mary who are in college.

Pam O' Neil


Sarah Roy


Sarah is a Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Consultant with the Vermont Department of Health.  She works with community groups, schools, human service agencies, hospitals, law enforcement, parents, youth and others to strengthen the community’s health and reduce substance misuse and abuse. 

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Rich Oppenheimer


Rich who has roots in Nyack, New York moved to Ludlow from Paramus, New Jersey.  As a retired police chief from Park Ridge, New Jersey his career spanned 32 years.  Rich was President of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association and spent 20 years as one of Park Ridge's Juvenile Officers.  He was one of the first in the nation to be trained as a DARE Officer by the Los Angeles Police Department. 

Prior to his police career he served for three years in the US Army Medical Corps, primarily in Germany.  Rich has also earned his AA in Humanities and Social Sciences.  During the winter months he can be found at Okemo working and playing while in the summer months he can be found volunteering at the Weston Playhouse.  Rich is also an active member of the Holy Name of Mary Church in Proctorsville. 

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(802) 228-7878

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PO BOX 197

Ludlow, VT 05149