About us

Board of Directors

Susan Sweeney Crum - President

Susan Sweeney Crum has been a member of the COPES Board since 2005. As a reporter and anchor in the local radio and TV news market for the last 25 years, Susan has reported multiple stories on the effects and damage from drug and alcohol abuse. When approached to be part of COPES, she became committed to helping COPES bring about positive change for individuals and families, and ultimately, the entire Louisville community. The programs employed by COPES teach life skills and coping techniques that have been proven to transform participants. The Creating Lasting Family Connections® program, developed by COPES, has actually been replicated across the entire nation.

Susan is currently the Afternoon News Host during All Things Considered on WFPL Radio in Louisville, the local NPR affiliate. Prior to that, she spent 15 years as a reporter and anchor with WDRB TV. She is married to retired U of L Basketball Coach Denny Crum. Susan is also involved on the boards for Hand in Hand Ministries, Cerebral Palsy Foundation of Louisville and the Mattingly Center for Continuing Education, as well as the Louisville Advisory Board for the Kentucky Arthritis Foundation, the Spalding University Athletics Advisory Board and is involved with the Denny Crum Scholarship Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Louisville.


Don Weobong

Don Weobong, MBA, ICSA - Vice President

Don Weobong is president of Telania, LLC., a technology software company in Louisville, Kentucky.

Mr. Weobong has a rich and varied background. He has degrees in Business and Technology and has studied in Ghana, Great Britain, France, and the United States of America.

While completing his studies for a Master in Business Administration at the prestigious Bellarmine University, Mr. Weobong developed the blue print for the eLeaP Learning Management System. Today, the eLeaP Learning Management platform is being used by over 650 companies worldwide creating over 250,000 course lessons.

Mr. Weobong passionately believes that humankind can leverage technology to help solve our most intransigent challenges. A serial entrepreneur, Don continues to lead the development of business applications ranging from web publishing and Press Release Platforms, to the latest project - the Azimio Online Subscription Management Platform.

Mr. Weobong believes in paying it forward. He and his family continue to support education and schools for over 500 kids in Ghana, West Africa. Through the St. Benedicts School System, the Weobong's provide much needed pre-school, primary and junior high school education to children who would not otherwise have such opportunities.

Don Weobong volunteers, mentors and sits on the boards of several non-profit organizations in Louisville Kentucky. He is currently the Board Vice President of COPES, Inc.

Mr. Weobong enjoys travelling, running, theater and spending time with his beautiful family of two sons Lazarus and Cornelius with his wife Marsha.


Chris Tobe

Chris Tobe - Secretary

Chris Tobe was elected to the COPES, Inc. Board in 1993. He has served as President, Vice President, and currently serving in the role as Secretary. Chris Tobe and his wife, Lisa Scott Tobe, a Nurse Practitioner at the UofL Trauma Center, reside in Anchorage. Together they have 6 children and attend the Church of the Epiphany. Chris and his wife Lisa are both involved in FEAT (Families for Effective Autism Treatment) as their youngest child Brooke is Autistic. He currently serves on the investment committee of the Delta Tau Delta Educational Foundation. His past efforts include being a Trustee and Investment and Audit Committee member for the $14 billion Kentucky Retirement Systems, the President of Louisville Third Century and the CFA Society of Louisville, and serving on a number of boards and committees, with the AEGON Teachers Awards Committee, Portland Boys and Girls Clubs, Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and Louisville Central Area. He has been recognized by Louisville Business First as a top 40 Business Leaders under 40, been selected as a Bingham Fellow by Leadership Louisville, and awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash by Indiana Governor Obannon.

In his investment career he has over 25 years of experience working with complex investments as a consultant, money manager, trust officer and regulator. His firm, Stable Value Consulting, reflects a specialty in 401(k)'s where he has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Barron's and Market Watch. Tobe has written a bestselling book, “Kentucky Fried Pensions” and has published over 30 articles on investing and has spoken at over 25 national conferences. He holds a BA in Economics from Tulane University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University - Bloomington and has taught the MBA Investment Class at the University of Louisville.


Jason R. Segeleon - Treasurer

Jason R. Segeleon is an attorney engaged in the private practice of law in Louisville. Segeleon graduated from Louisville Trinity High School in 1989, and attended the University of Kentucky where he received an athletic scholarship for soccer. Segeleon graduated with a BA in English in 1993, and immediately enrolled in the University of Kentucky, College of Law. Segeleon graduated from the University of Kentucky, College of Law in 1996 and immediately began the private practice of law. He has represented thousands of clients in countless types of legal issues ranging from the mundane to the catastrophic.

Segeleon has litigated cases at all of the state level courts and appellate courts (Court of Appeals and Supreme Court), and appears regularly in both District and Circuit Courts. Mr. Segeleon is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, the Louisville Bar Association, and is admitted to practice in both the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky for the United States District Court.

Segeleon is a proud member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, where his 2 youngest children attend, and where he spends most of his free time coaching soccer, and football. His oldest son attends Louisville Trinity High School.  His wife is Dr. Jenny Segeleon, a pediatrician and former COPES Board member, who also spends her free time with their 3 children and gardening.

Segeleon has served on the COPES Board of Directors since 1999 in various capacities. He served as Vice-President from 2000-2003; President from 2003-2011, and currently serves as a Treasurer.


George Merrifield

George has spent his life in Louisville. He married June Hopewell and they have four children. He graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1950 and from Bellarmine University's first class in 1954. He holds a BA in Accounting from Bellarmine University. He is currently a member of St. Bernadette's Church where he serves as a lector. He is also active with the church's Men's Group.

George had a long career in the railroad supply industry and worked from being a cost accountant to developing many companies and partnerships. The influence of this work was related to manufacturing for highway crossing signals, upgrading and repairing railroad cars, manufacturing railroad work equipment and supporting other services to the railroads including inventions of new labor saving products. George has served the industry nationally and internationally. He is also the major owner of a locally based packaging company that serves customers nationwide.

George was a member of the Prospect/Goshen Rotary Club for 10 years. He transferred to the Downtown Louisville Rotary Club as his community work now is in West Louisville, where he grew up.
George and June formed The St. Jude Foundation that established The St. Jude House, the first house dedicated as a recovery center for women. The St. Jude Recovery Center is administered through the St. Vincent DePaul Society. The program now serves women living in 32 apartments. These apartments were built through the direction of the society.

The current St. Jude Foundation program that is being implemented is titled Family Focus. This program serves families in West Louisville by creating a home-like setting for participating family members. These educational sessions are related to nurturing of parenting skills, nutrition and general family skills. Family Focus contains special emphasis on education, and talent development of youngsters.

George partnered with U of L in "Rail-Gating" via the red cabooses at Papa John's Football Stadium. The cabooses are used for special events and football games held at the stadium.

George is active in a number of organizations including:

  • Right to Life (Treasurer)
  • School Choice Scholarships
  • Louisville Sports Commission
  • GLI's Private 100 Group

In the past George has been co-chair and secretary of the Catholic Education Foundation. He has also been a past director of DePaul School.

Ebony O’Rea - MSSW

Ebony O’Rea, an independent community organizer with Making Changes Together, LLC., vastly skilled in community building, leadership development, facilitation and curriculum development. Most recently, Senior Manager of Network Organizing for the former Network Center for Community Change, a non-profit social justice and social change organization, focused on building stronger communities and changing the outcome for individuals, children and families in Louisville’s urban core.

The last few years have been dedicated to strengthening social networks across race, class, and socio-economic differences; sharing opportunities and resources throughout the community utilizing grassroots strategies; facilitating a variety of conversations, leading trainings focused on education, community organizing, and leadership development; cultivating valuable relationships within community that deliver value, respect, accountability and reciprocity.

Ebony attended the University of Louisville, earning a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Pan-African Studies. After gaining experience in adolescent mental health, child abuse and neglect she decided to pursue her masters in order to have more influence over the policies that impact children and families. Earning her master of science degree from the Kent School of Social Work, her studies concentrated on policy change for social justice issues, with a heavy emphasis on fatherhood practices and policy.

Ebony currently serves as a member of the Re-Entry Fatherhood Initiative Project Advisory Group, chair of the Connect-Immunity II Project Advisory Group and a member of Board of Directors for COPES, Inc. She also serves as a board member for Nativity Academy at St. Boniface, Louisville, Kentucky.

In her free time, Ebony enjoys music of all genres, shopping for shoes, traveling, finding meaning in life and being a mother to her eight year old son, Makel.


Michael Rabkin

Michael Rabkin is the Communications Director for Passport Health Plan, a provider-sponsored, non-profit, community-based Medicaid health plan based in Louisville that serves more than 240,000 people around Kentucky. In this role, he serves as the primary contact for members of the news media and helps set the strategy for all communications and public relations messages to consistently articulate Passport's mission: to improve the health and quality of life of all our members.

Michael moved to Louisville in 2014 after working in Nashville as the Director of Communications for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, a Cabinet level department in Governor Bill Haslam's administration. Prior to that, he worked for more than 17 years in the journalism industry as an editor and manager at a number of different publications, including The Miami Herald, The New York Post, and The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal, among others.

He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Nonprofit Excellence and is a member of the Bluegrass Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.


David Tomes

David Tomes has a lifetime of experience in large construction and land development projects. He is one of the Town Founders of Norton Commons where he is actively involved in building the 600 acre, one billion plus dollar project. Beyond his business career David has had a long involvement in charitable and civic work in Louisville and the United States.

He has served on many boards including being chairman of Catholic Charities of Louisville and the Campaign for Human Development, a Trustee for Catholic Charities of the United States during the 911 and Hurricane Katrina disasters, the Metropolitan Housing Coalition and various low income and senior housing projects. He is also a Planning Commissioner for Metro Louisville.

David was ordained as a Permanent Deacon to the Catholic Church in 1984 and currently serves the Archdiocese of Louisville at St. Boniface Parish which is now the oldest continuing church in the city.





Executive Director

Ted N. Strader, M.S., C.P.S.

Ted N. Strader has served as Executive Director at the Council on Prevention and Education: Substances, Inc (COPES) since the agency was incorporated in 1981. He earned a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in Community Development from the University of Louisville. He has extensive professional training in chemical dependency treatment, prevention and in personal, couple and family development. He has assisted in bringing millions of dollars of services to COPES and throughout the Louisville community through grants and contracts. Mr. Strader has published several books, curriculums, articles, films and has presented papers, keynote addresses, seminars and workshops at many local, state and national conferences. His theory on behavior change is outlined in his book published by Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishing Corp. (2000), entitled Building Healthy Individuals, Families, and Communities: Creating Lasting Connections.

Mr. Strader has served as a consultant on personal and family life skills, recovery skills, fatherhood and motherhood skills, healthy marriage skills, violence prevention, alcohol and drug prevention, HIV prevention, and prison recidivism prevention to innumerable public and private organizations, including national associations, federal agencies, state agencies, hospitals, treatment agencies, universities, athletic departments, the military, prisons, local departments of corrections, and 1000's of schools, professional agencies, mental health centers and community groups over the past 30 years. Mr. Strader was founder of the National Association of Prevention Professionals and Advocates, and is a former member and past President of the National Prevention Faculty.

Mr. Strader is the lead author/program developer for the Creating Lasting Family Connections® Curriculum series which has been used in all 50 states and several other countries. Under his direction, COPES has received several distinctive honors and awards. In the early 90's, Mr. Strader was involved in drug abuse prevention consultation in Ghana, West Africa where he was awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree in Education by the St. John Bosco's Teachers' Training College. In 1997, Mr. Strader served as a citizen ambassador on substance abuse prevention and traveled to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Prague to share his knowledge and skills with his international colleagues.

Mr. Strader's programs have received the National Prevention Network's Exemplary Program Award four times (1995, 1999, 2000 and 2010). This four-time recognition by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Directors and the National Prevention Network is unprecedented. His published curriculum series, Creating Lasting Family Connections®, holds 3 separate listings on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). In 2013, Mr. Strader was listed as one of the top 100 leaders in the U.S. by the John Maxwell Leadership Team.

Click here for Ted's resume.

You can reach Ted by clicking here.



Brooke B. Arnold, CPS

Brooke Arnold joined the COPES team in 2007 as a trainer/facilitator for the Jefferson County Healthy Marriage Initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. In that role, she facilitated an adapted version of the Creating Lasting Family Connections® (CLFC) curriculum to married couples who had experienced previous incarceration and/or were in recovery for substance abuse. Less than a year later, Brooke transitioned to the coordinator role for the Healthy Marriage Initiative, serving close to 150 couples in the Louisville area. Currently, Brooke is coordinating a new Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) funded project, Connect-Immunity II, working with African-American females who are considered high-risk for substance abuse and/or HIV/AIDS transmission.

Brooke received her Bachelor's degree in Family and Consumer Sciences from the University of Kentucky, has over 6 years of experience working in the non-profit field of substance abuse, and has been a Certified Prevention Specialist since 2009. As a certified CLFC Master Trainer, Brooke has traveled around the country training other professionals in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Kentucky. Brooke has also presented nationally at the Christian Association for Prison Aftercare in Milwaukee, WI and at multiple Administration for Children and Families conferences in Washington, D.C. and Jacksonville, FL.

Brooke and her husband, Neil, enjoy traveling and spending time with their friends and families, especially their 5 nephews.



Andrew Boone, MSW, CPS

Andrew Boone was born and raised in Louisville, KY. He received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work from Spalding University. He is also a Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS) at the Council on Prevention and Education: Substances (COPES) Inc. He has worked in the recovery and prevention fields for the past 10 years. He and his wife Robbi are raising one teenage granddaughter. Andrew delivers the Creating Lasting Family Connections® (CLFC) curriculum to reentry and recovery populations as a facilitator/trainer and also serves as a case manager.



Keyonna Johnson, MSW

Keyonna Johnson joined the COPES team in 2014. She completed her practicum at COPES in 2012. She is a proud graduate of Spalding University, where she obtained her Bachelors of Science in Social Work in 2012 and her Masters of Social Work in 2013. She was actively involved in the Social Work Student Association (SSWA), where she served as the chair of the Professional Development committee, and the Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work, where she served as the vice-president and president. Before coming on board with COPES, she worked in the JCPS school system for approximately 3 years. Keyonna has a passion for helping others and believes that she was called to the field of social work. Some of her future goals include becoming a Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS), obtaining her Certified Social Work licensure (CSW), and becoming published, just to name a few.

Additionally, Keyonna and her husband of nine years are originally from New Orleans, LA. They are both Hurricane Katrina survivors. They have three beautiful children, one girl and two boys, and they also have guardianship of their niece. They are proud members of First Virginia Missionary Baptist Church were they are actively involved.



Christopher Kokoski, CPS, CLFC Master Trainer

Christopher Kokoski serves as Project Coordinator and facilitator of the Fatherhood Program at COPES, and is certified as a Master (or National) Trainer of the Creating Lasting Family Connections® (CLFC) Curriculum. He is a Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS) who has played a critical role in bringing over 3 1/2 million dollars of prevention services to Louisville, KY. In 2015, he was recognized as the Certified Prevention Specialist of the year for the state of Kentucky. After visiting Brazil and Mexico, and living in Germany for three years, he developed a deep passion for touching the lives of people of different cultures. Christopher has presented at local, state and national conferences on a wide range of topics including behavioral change, body language, HIV prevention, substance abuse prevention, storytelling and more. His publications include co-authoring an article published in the peer-reviewed journal, Criminal Justice Policy Review (2013), the CLFC Fatherhood Adaptation Guidebook (Resilient Futures Network, LLC, 2012), several novels and numerous articles. He is married to his college sweetheart, Kristi, and the two of them are the proud parents of their two young children.



Teresa Boyd Strader, LCSW, CPS

Teresa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Prevention Specialist in the State of Kentucky. She graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL, with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish which included a semester abroad studying in Madrid, Spain. In 1998, Teresa obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Florida International University.

Teresa serves as Clinical Case Management Director for all programs at COPES, Inc. and as the National Training Director for the evidence-based Creating Lasting Family Connections® (CLFC) curriculum series. She is a Certified Master Trainer for all 3 CLFC programs in this series. Teresa has trained hundreds of teachers, counselors, social workers, mental health clinicians, criminal justice workers, and countless other caring professionals and volunteers who work with parents, youth and families regarding personal growth and healthy development. She has provided a number of national presentations at professional conferences across the U.S. and its territories. She also served as editor for the 2002, 2007 and 2015 editions of the CLFC curriculum series.

Teresa enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband Ted and her daughter Sierra at their home in Louisville and nearby farm in Nelson County, KY.



Paul Susan, MSW

Paul Susan has been on the COPES Fatherhood program staff since 2012 as a trainer for the Creating Lasting Family Connections® curriculum. Prior to coming to COPES, Paul lived in Indiana where he taught for eleven years in the Social Work Department at Taylor University.

Paul spent his child and teen years in South America, Bolivia and Ecuador, and then attended Asbury University in Wilmore, KY where he majored in pre-medical biology. He received a master’s degree in biological science from Michigan State University and worked there in a laboratory doing medical research in high blood pressure. Later he earned a master’s degree in social work, also from Michigan State.

After graduate school, Paul was a counselor/psychotherapist for 18 years, providing mental health and family counseling. He also developed and led a group treatment program for male spouse abusers. Paul has presented at regional, national and international conferences on a variety of topics and has been published in a professional journal.

Paul lives in Frankfort, KY along with his lovely wife Cyndy. They have three married children and three grandchildren.



You can reach COPES staff by clicking here.


Call or email COPES at (502) 583-6820 or tstrader@sprynet.com


History of COPES

Beginning as a tentative and pioneering prevention program in Louisville, KY in the 1970's, the Council on Prevention and Education: Substances (COPES) has evolved into a nationally recognized and innovative prevention agency. COPES has demonstrated and published results in peer-reviewed scientific journals across the diverse fields of substance abuse prevention, HIV prevention, violence prevention, prison recidivism, and family strengthening, including special curricula for fatherhood, motherhood, healthy relationships and healthy marriage. While remaining local in service delivery, COPES has also expanded globally through curriculum dissemination, awards, honors, recognitions, presentations, publications, consultations and trainings. Through a licensing agreement with Resilient Futures Network, COPES' award-winning Creating Lasting Family Connections® (CLFC) curriculum is recognized on several national and international evidence-based program repositories, including the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

The agency was incorporated as the Council on Prevention and Education: Substances in 1981. By 1985, COPES had received a steady flow of requests to develop programs for special populations in our service area. Partnerships quickly multiplied to include local schools and universities, various social services providers, local businesses, police, juvenile justice workers, churches, health providers, military institutions, substance abuse prevention agencies and centers of recreational activity. Since then, COPES has added many more local, state and national partners, including Dismas Charities, Inc., Volunteers of America of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

By 2000, COPES had already received the National "Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention" Award three times for various programs. COPES was also selected to join the International Youth Foundation "YouthNet", a global effort to replicate highly successful programs as demonstrated by research. Only the most rigorously evaluated and effective programs for youth meriting world-wide replication are found worthy of receiving this great honor.

As a result of this growing international recognition, Thomas P. Gullota, editor of the "Prevention in Practice" library series requested COPES Executive Director, Ted N. Strader, to write a book about the core concepts of CLFC. Ted published Building Healthy Individuals, Families, and Communities: Creating Lasting Family Connections (Strader, Collins and Noe, 2000) with Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers in 2000. In the book, Ted demonstrates how connectedness is a critical protective and healing force in human beings -- young or old, rich or poor, male or female. Deep, healthy human connections build strong protective shields (or immunity) to prevent harm and provide both nurturing and healing support, even when challenges penetrate this shield. From this reference, Mr. Strader coined the term, "Connect-Immunity." COPES programs are designed to help people reconnect to themselves, their innocence, their family and their community in order to improve the quality of life for all.

Three recent projects were funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Quasi-experimental research demonstrated strong successes in each project. The CSAP project focused on HIV and substance abuse prevention for minority, reentry men. The ACF project (Click here for results) focused on substance-abuse prevention and family strengthening for minority, reentry fathers. Both of these recent projects for men achieved statistically significant impacts on relationship skills and/or prison recidivism. An article highlighting these results will be published in Criminal Justice Policy Review, a peer-reviewed journal, in March, 2012.

In the third federally funded Healthy Marriage Initiative, COPES achieved outstanding quasi-experimental research results on nine measures of relationship skill improvement (Click here for results). These results have been submitted for publication in another peer-reviewed journal, Family Relations. The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) has expressed interest in reviewing these two new Creating Lasting Family Connections® (CLFC) programs for inclusion in their list of evidence-based programs.

COPES staff members are now conducting two new multi-year evaluation studies: a 5-year study of an adapted version of the CLFC curriculum specifically for HIV and substance abuse prevention with African American women, and a separate 3-year study on Fatherhood and prison recidivism with the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

Over the past 30 + years, COPES staff members have published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Adolescent Research, The Journal of Volunteer Administration, Social Work, Journal of Community Practice, and Criminal Justice Policy Review. COPES has also received numerous awards, honors and recognitions at the local, state and national level. In 2010, COPES received an unprecedented 4th National Prevention Network (NPN) Exemplary Program Award; and in 2011, COPES was selected to participate in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA's) prestigious Service to Science Academy.

The following is an abbreviated list of national agencies recognizing COPES programs: the Administration for Children and Families, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the US Department of Education, Health Canada, the National Prevention Network (NPN), and more. All of these agencies have recognized COPES programs as effective, evidence-based and worthy of national or international dissemination.

COPES began as a local "grassroots" prevention entity but has expanded into an internationally recognized agency that has never forgotten the need to recognize local differences and to include the target population's involvement in every step of program design and implementation. As a result, the agency continues to serve local populations, and has developed a number of evidence-based programs in use all across our nation and in several other countries. COPES' award-winning programs and services continue to empower individuals, families and communities around the world in making positive strides toward greater health, success and wellbeing.

Picture Gallery

2010 Exemplary Award and 2000 CSAP Exemplary Award Ceremonies

Below you will find pictures from the 2010 Exemplary Award and 2000 CSAP Exemplary Awards ceremony.

(Click on the thumbnails to see a full screen!)

Washington 2000 (Photo Credit: Herman Farrer)

CLFC Training Pictures

Career Opportunities