Nancy McConnell is a Florida native who for 30 years struggled with substance use disorder,
incarceration and homelessness. Her recovery journey began in 2009 and she has spent the past 11 years working in the Substance Use and Mental Health field while pursuing her education goals. She is an alumnus of Palm Beach State College and Florida Atlantic University where she received a Master of Social Work degree and earned membership in Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Phi Alpha Honor Society. In 2016, Nancy and Justin Kunzelman were asked to serve on the Palm Beach County Heroin Overdose Task Force and provide peer support services in the county’s first Emergency Room/Overdose response team which led to them co-founding Rebel Recovery Florida as one of Palm Beach County’s first peer-led and peer-run Recovery Community Organization, (RCO).
As Chief Operating Officer and Program Director for Rebel Recovery, Nancy has the opportunity to create, develop, and implement all programs that are currently being utilized. These include Peer Supportive services, outreach in the community which includes Naloxone distribution, educational trainings, expanding incarceration alternative programs and the latest endeavor of building the county’s first Recovery Community Center with the goal of building community support systems and increasing access to peer support services. Nancy is a Certified Master’s Level Addiction Professional, (MCAP), Certified Recovery Peer Support, (CRPS), a certified trainer in the “Helping Others Heal” curriculum and Advanced Level WRAP facilitator. Nancy also oversees the development of all new curriculum for Rebel Recovery Continued Education program.
Nancy has a deep-rooted passion in advocacy for people directly impacted by substance use due to her many years of personal experience. She is a devoted advocate for Women’s issues, LGBTQI rights, Criminal Justice reform and developing trauma informed practice. Nancy is a firm believer in Harm Reduction and supporting multiple pathways of recovery and continuously fights for basic human rights and social justice reform for the community that she serves. Nancy currently is a member of the Florida Certification Board Behavioral Health Advisory Council and Faces and Voices Criminal Justice and Recovery Policy Committee.
Nancy has two grown daughters Pagen and Chelsea and a granddaughter Olivia and spends her free time being an Emotional Support Human to her slightly neurotic German Sheppard “Reco”.