We seek to be the organization that helps each person on the road through recovery — beyond treatment and simple sobriety and into a renewed sense of freedom.
About The Team
Those on the journey need a steady source of support. Not a wizened guide with all the answers, but someone who can say, “Here are the options. Here are things that could help you. Take what you need. I have plenty to give.” To accomplish this, we’ve built a leadership team that has varied backgrounds and experiences in addiction treatment and recovery.
Who We Are
Chief Executive Officer
The Be Free Board sought out a leader not afraid of a big challenge and interested in making a big impact, a strategic thinker, and willing to think outside the box. To develop initiatives that will move the needle requires an experienced leader with vision and the ability to manage multiple programs, The Board chose Brandon.
Brandon has been in recovery from drug and alcohol misuse since 2012.
Brandon has founded three businesses, grew them, and taken them to profitable exits. The Board believes the same entrepreneurial skill that Brandon used to build successful companies will be used to build Be Free.
Brandon joined Be Free in March of 2020.
Louis D. Steele
Partner, Sustainable Development Partners Kansas City, and Principal, SGCC Global
Lou’s daughter started using prescription drugs while in college. After several failures with relapses in Intensive Outpatient Programs, his daughter was accepted into an out-of-state residential treatment program. At the end of her 30-day stay, they strongly suggested that she go to a strong recovery community. Kansas City was discouraged as it lacked many of the recovery supports available elsewhere. Lou is committed to making Kansas City a strong recovery support community with a broad collection of supports and availability. Lou’s daughter now has over 16 years in recovery.
Lou was co-owner of the Prudential CRES commercial real estate firm in Kansas City for nearly two decades. He also has done extensive business consulting in the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, and China. He has been active in Kansas City’s civic community.
David Roberts, CRADC, ICADC, CRPS, CPS
Program Director – The Crossroads Program, Kansas City
David Roberts is a certified alcohol and drug counselor as well as a prevention specialist. As Program Director for The Crossroads Program, his team provides treatment and long term support for adolescents, young adults and their families. David has been working in the field of substance abuse and recovery for youth since 2007. His passion and investment in this work is founded in his own recovery journey. David struggled with substance abuse from an early age and also began his sobriety as a teenager. He attended one of the nation’s first recovery high schools in Denver, Colorado. David is adamant about improving recovery services for youth and their families in the Kansas City area. He serves as co-chair of Be Free’s Recovery High School Committee.
Gary P. Henson, CFA
President, Tortoise Ecofin
Gary’s son started using drugs when away at college. His life ended with an overdose. Gary has committed much of his time since his son’s death to helping others avoid the same outcome his son and family experienced. He is a board member of Shatterproof, a national non-profit and Be Free.
Gary has nearly 30 years of experience in institutional money management for banks, Gary joined the Tortoise Board in 2009 and began employment there in 2016. He now serves as President.
Chief Executive Officer, Vibrant Health of Wyandotte County
Patrick Sallee is the CEO of Vibrant Health, a federally qualified health center that provides medical, dental, and behavioral health services to nearly 20,000 primarily low-income patients at four Wyandotte County locations.
Patrick has been in recovery since 2012.
Vice President and Partner (retired), Integrated Communications and Digital Marketing
Addiction was the last topic Willetta Willis-McGhee wanted to tackle as she joined the ranks of the blissfully retired. In fact, when in 1996, her God-fearing, happy-go-lucky, crack-addicted sister was murdered, her initial reaction was to pretend what everyone knew happened, didn’t. Then in 2020, as COVID-19 lockdowns removed the distractions, Willetta mustered the courage to channel her pain into her first novella, The Sin-Sick Soul, (Amazon). Reliving her sister’s story is what compelled her to get more engaged in the substance-use disorder fight.
Professionally, Willetta spent more than 30 years in communications leadership for such iconic brands as HNTB-Kansas City, Hallmark Cards and H&R Block. In 2017, after 11 years, she retired as senior vice president and partner for FleishmanHillard Kansas City, one of the largest agencies in the world. Willetta holds degrees in public relations and advertising from Central Missouri State University-Warrensburg, and graduate-level Executive Leadership certification from the University of Kansas. Past board positions include Kansas City PBS and the Kansas City Public Schools Education Foundation (KCPSEF). In addition to BeFreeKC’s Executive Committee and Recovery High School Committee, Willetta is on the board of PrincipalsConnect, a private foundation that links metro-area school principals to much-needed community resources.
Director of Development, Artists Helping the Homeless
Burt left a career in banking and marketing to devote himself to helping those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. He received his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and a Juris Doctor’s degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City.
Burt is in recovery himself. He and his family now reside in Dallas.
Ron’s purpose is fulfilled through creating and supporting leaders who will build organizations that solve the world’s problems.
As a Purpose Sherpa, Ron is a catalyst for leaders to unlock peace and love within themselves, creating the conditions for those around them to thrive. When leaders live congruent lives, companies are able to build cultures that unlock the collective wisdom of everyone in the organization. This paves the way for change and healing to happen in the world.
Through his own transformative leadership journey and 25 years of experience growing a purpose-driven company, Ron understands the importance of creating psychological safety within organizations. Collective wisdom in organizations will always outweigh the wisdom of a few leaders who think they need to have all the answers. It’s an updated operating system for leading in a world where we, as individuals, can no longer keep up with the current rate of change.
Ron currently resides in Leawood, KS and Bozeman, MT. He is married to his life partner, Barbie Porter Hill and has two adult sons on their own journeys which continue to teach, guide and inspire him.
Business Development Specialist at Signature Psychiatric Hospital
Jamie has worked in the addiction and recovery field for several years. Heroin addiction took the life of her 20 year old son and Jamie has dedicated her life to helping children and their families deal with all aspects of the disease of addiction.
Connecting Your Loved Ones To Us
Are you looking for assistance or resources for an individual who is struggling on their road to recovery?
Making a commitment to recovery is saying, “Yes,” to a lifelong journey of discovery and growth. There are ups and downs, forks in the road, and difficult choices to be made. If you know someone who needs us, please fill out our contact form below and a representative will be in touch.