Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is made up of a group of volunteers from the community that want to see change, and are working to make this dream a reality. 

Michael Cole

Founder/ Chairman

Michael grew up in Morgantown with his father, mother, and two sisters. After high school, he attended West Virginia University majoring in Economics, and graduated in 1986.

He then married his wife Cherie, and they started their family in Morgantown.  They have three children, Ryan, Kristin, and Lauren, forever 26.

Michael is the Director of Planning and Scheduling at Viatris (formerly Mylan Pharmaceuticals.)

His youngest daughter Lauren suffered from addiction. In July 2020, she was sold a fatal dose of Fentanyl that ended up taking her life.

Michael is committed to carrying out Lauren’s wishes by helping those suffering from addiction and their families, as well as educating our youth.

Dr. Kevin Blankenship

Director/Medical Services Director

The son of a coal miner, Kevin grew up in a small town in southern West Virginia. After graduating from high school, Kevin joined the U.S. Army to serve his country. Upon completing his military service, Dr. Blankenship earned both a degree in pharmacy and medicine and went on to complete his emergency medicine residency at West Virginia University.  He became board certified in emergency medicine and worked in numerous medical settings throughout West Virginia. In 2001, he cofounded MedExpress Urgent Care, which ultimately became the country’s largest urgent care company.

In 2014, his son Jacob’s substance use brought Kevin face-to-face with the significant issue of the growing substance use epidemic and the lack of recovery options throughout our country.  Inspired by this experience, Dr. Blankenship has dedicated himself professionally to being part of the solution through directly serving the recovery community. This dedication is what has become Jacob’s Ladder at Brookside Farm.  Jacob’s Ladder is a long-term residential treatment program for men centered around a working farm in Aurora, West Virginia. Jacob’s Ladder was featured in the Netflix documentary “Recovery Boys”.

Dr. Blankenship’s mission has been to help fight the stigma of addiction, to treat and care for those suffering from addiction, and to educate the public about this fatal disease that is killing our families.

Edward P. Boyle II

Director of Facilities

Ed is a graduate of the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University. He has been with Preston Contractors since the mid-1980s and has served in all financial aspects of the company. His current duties include reviewing all company financial statements, reviewing all company banking transactions and relationships, reviewing company cash flow analysis, financial reviewing, and forecasting, reviewing and managing the company investment portfolio, managing the company insurance and workers compensation programs, ensuring company bonding requirements and managing the company legal and personnel programs.

Currently, Ed serves on the board of directors for Gulfstream West Investments, Inc. and Mon Health System. He currently resides in Morgantown with his wife, Kathy.

John Todd

Director of Event Planning/Fundraising

John attended WVU and the Culinary School of Washington DC.  He currently serves as the Senior Manager, Ancillary Services at Viatris (formerly Mylan Pharmaceuticals) where he has worked for the past 22 years in several leadership roles.

John’s greatest strength is his ability to be a visionary.  As an Executive Chef, he strives to create culinary masterpieces.  As a master event planner, he prides himself on ensuring customer satisfaction and creating an experience for all, and as a community leader, he wants his hometown to reach for its unlimited potential and works hard to help identify opportunities.

John and his wife, Jane, have 5 kids and one grandson.  John resides in his hometown of Morgantown, WV. 

Rebecca Crytser

Director of Staffing

Becky is a registered nurse with over 25 years of experience in healthcare with many years in the emergency department.  Three years ago, her oldest son lost his battle with addiction. This experience exposed her to the many resources and treatment options that are available to help persons struggling with substance abuse disorders as well as the many barriers that prevent them from seeking help. She would like to combine her clinical expertise with the valuable resources within her community to create processes that provide personalized pathways to treatment and recovery.  Substance abuse disorder is a medical disease.  We need to treat it as such and educate and empower this population to find the treatment plan that works for them.

Mike Castle

Director of Real Estate

Michael Castle is the president of The Phoenix Group, a West Virginia real estate development, consulting, and advisory firm.  He has been an active member of the Morgantown community and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from Bridgewater State College, a Masters in Business Administration from West Virginia University, and is an Adjunct Professor at the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics.  He lives in Morgantown with his wife Stephanie and has two sons Adam and Conner.

Our future depends on what we do today.