WIN Recovery’s leadership structure consists of formerly incarcerated women and LGBTQ2 individuals. We cultivate strong determined leaders that have made great strides to change their lives and the lives of others.
WHO WE ARE
BETHANY BRITTON LITTLE
Founder & Executive Director
Bethany Britton graduated in December 2018, from the University of Illinois Master’s MSW Program with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health.
In 2017, she received her bachelor’s in communication from the University of Illinois. She was awarded the YMCA Bailey’s Fellowship, for her service in creativity passion, and commitment through community organization. The 2017 Fred H. Turner Leadership Award was awarded as she proceeded to complete her bachelor degree.
In 2018 she was awarded Roxie A. Watson Student Leadership Award for succeeding in academic pursuit despite encountering her person obstacles. While working toward her MSW, she founded the non-profit organization “Women in Need Recovery”.
Bethany was inspired to make a change due to her own experience of despair with homeless and involvement with the justice system. She began to pursue transitional housing for women and LGBTQ population who are being discharged from treatment or released from Jail and/or prison.
Dana moved in to WIN Recovery on August 1, 2019. While at WIN Recovery Dana completed all groups, repaired relationships with family, build a foundation in recovery, and give back to her community through service work. One of her biggest accomplishments was getting her driver’s license back after 20 years and purchasing a new car.
Dana is able to share her experience and knowledge of recovery with the women in the house making her a great fit as the Housing Coordinator. She is able to show women empathy and kindness and hold them accountable at the same time.
She formed close relationships with women in the house while becoming someone they could confide in. Dana is committed to guiding the women that come into WIN with compassion and by living the example of how WIN helped her
Jenny started working for WIN Recovery in May 2020 as a Development Assistant. She is a graduate of the program and a successful participant in WIN’s Decarceration program as well.
Jenny moved into WIN Recovery on September 1 2019 and instantly found the home she was always looking for. She made a decision to restart her life in Champaign after completing the program in April 2020.
During her time at WIN Recovery, she successfully completed all groups, worked through legal issues, complied with DCFS, and regained custody of her daughter all while focusing on her recovery building a strong foundation.
Jenny has a passion for helping people and giving back to the community which she now gets to do every day working at WIN with other women like her.
Board of Directors
Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center
Marla Elmore has earned a 1992 Bachelor of Arts in Teaching University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL. In 1995 she received her Master of Education Degree University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Marla currently works at the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center, as Assistant Superintendent for the past 10 years. She has experience working with people that are struggling with substance abuse, mental health issues, crisis resolutions, domestic violence and abuse and neglect criminal thinking, individuals in the justice system (adult and juvenile), individual and group therapy. Marla is experienced in taking assessment, diagnosis, case management, crisis intervention, conflict resolution, and verbal de-escalation.
Director, Education of Justice, University of Illinois
Rebecca received her Bachelor’s degree in English from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, her JD from the University of Michigan Law School, and a PhD in Architectural History from the University of California at Berkeley. It was while she was a graduate student at Berkeley that she first became involved in prison education. Rebecca Ginsburg is a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a co-founder and current director of the Education Justice Project (EJP), a unit of the College of Education. EJP offers for-credit courses and a range of extracurricular activities to men incarcerated at Danville Correctional Center, a medium-security state prison. EJP also does outreach with family members and friends of incarcerated people and promotes critical discussion of issues related to incarceration and criminal justice on campus and in the community. Almost one hundred faculty, graduate students, and staff from across campus are involved in delivering these programs. They, along with incarcerated EJP students, also produce scholarship on higher education in prison and related topics.
Attorney, Heyl Royster
Bryan focuses his practice on civil litigation, with a focus on complex civil rights, governmental defense, and professional liability. Much of his practice entails defending government, law enforcement, and educational institutions in cases alleging violations of civil rights in state and federal court. Bryan also represents counties and municipalities in tort litigation and contract disputes, including employment, infrastructure, and construction disputes.
Bryan joined Heyl Royster in 2017 after receiving his J.D., summa cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Illinois College of Law and B.S., magna cum laude, from the University of Illinois-Springfield. While in law school, Bryan was Managing Articles Editor for the University of Illinois Law Review, and was recognized by the Clinical Legal Education Association for his work in the College’s Civil Litigation Clinic. Prior to joining Heyl Royster, Bryan worked at the Champaign County States Attorney’s Office, a Chicago-based firm specializing in complex litigation, and the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation.
Web Application Development Manager, Secretary
Paul Thornhill has earned a B.A.S Business at Depaul University. He is U of I ITLW Program graduate, completed the University MGRDev Program with honors. Paul currently works as a Web Application Development Manager, Extension. University of Illinois. Paul has 20 years of work in technical and systems development. He has 6 years of project and strategic technical leadership, and 7 years of team supervision. He is skilled influencer of complex strategies across many subject areas and organizational structure. Effective hands-on leadership with success implementing innovative, strategic initiatives in a multidisciplinary environment. Strong, intuitive and perceptive business analyst and team leader creating strategies, timelines, modeling solutions, scheduling production, budgeting, and allocating resources. Tenacious and collaborative leader who is able to create teams, identify and remove impediments, and provide guidance to the best possible solutions providing the highest standards of quality.
Emily Cross Vayr
Development Director Champaign County CASA, President
Emily Cross Vayr is the Development Director for Champaign County Court Appointed Special Advocates and believes all women deserve a chance at a healthy and productive life. She is the President-Elect of Junior League of CU and serves on Champaign West Rotary and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She has her Master’s from University of Illinois-Springfield.
Chaplin Carle Foundation Hospital
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WIN Recovery was founded in 2015 by Bethany Little, a formerly incarcerated person in recovery who was eager to support other women returning from prison.
In 2019, WIN Recovery opened its first home and became part of the SAFE Housing Network, created by A New Way of Life Reentry Project and dedicated to supporting the replication of its innovative, internationally acclaimed reentry model. In 2020, WIN Recovery opened its second home and began planning to create a statewide network.
Through two homes that serve up to 30 women annually, WIN Recovery provides housing, access to comprehensive community-based support services, and trauma-informed, gender-responsive programming to create a safe, stable recovery and reentry environment.