Meet the hardworking experts who bring The SOAR Initiative’s work to life.


Kimberly Adams (she/her)

Executive Director
Kim graduated from The Ohio State University in 2021 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health and a specialization in Sociology. Kim joined SOAR in 2020 by helping launch SOAR's Strip Club and is now serving as Executive Director. Kim is passionate about helping people stay safe, make informed decisions, and find a sense of empowerment through knowing what resources are available to them. While Kim does not have lived experience with drug use, she anchors her leadership style and decisions on the feedback and voices of those who have. In her free time, Kim is focused on her friends/family, her husband Max and their dog Remi, reading and mountaineering.


Community Relations

Jessica Mitsch (she/her)

Director of Community Relations
Jessica is a Neuroscience major and Pharmaceutical Sciences minor at The Ohio State University. She is interested in pursuing a career in medicine and making healthcare more inclusive. As Director of Community Relations, she would like to share SOAR’s resources and mission with more of the drug-taking community throughout Ohio and beyond. She focuses on fentanyl test strip distribution and creating connectedness and accountability by enrolling people who use drugs, their friends, and their families in the text alert system. She works to increase awareness of the overdose crisis, especially among college students.

Tonja Catron (she/her)

Community Outreach Worker (Troy, OH)
Tonja is an outreach worker for SOAR, she has been with SOAR for about a year. Tonya takes care of west central Ohio (Montgomery and Miami Counties, The Miami Valley.) Tonja is passionate about harm reduction and the population she serves. She got into harm reduction work in 2016 because she got tired of seeing her friends die senselessly. She is also the founder and Executive Director of Miami Valley Harm Reduction Ohio. If she’s not on the streets doing boots on the ground outreach or working as an SUD therapist, you’ll find her doing her most favorite thing, being a Grandma to 4 amazing grandchildren, a wife, a friend, a granddaughter, a person in long term recovery, board member and advisor to the board on harm reduction for other agencies, as well as a student at Indiana Wesleyan University studying for her BSW and then on to a Masters in Public Health. Tonja’s favorite quote is “There is no room for EGO in outreach.”

Holly Woodruff (she/her)

Community Outreach Worker (Wooster, OH)
Holly started her outreach journey because she lost her brother and bestfriend in March 2022 to a fentanyl overdose. She decided someone was going to live because he died. She gathered a couple of friends and started Dale‘s outreach. Going door-to-door sitting at the local parks giving out Narcan and harm reduction kits, feeding the hungry and educating people about overdose awareness!

Jessica Collier (she/her)

Community Outreach Worker (Cleveland, OH)
Jessica is a member of our outreach team in Cleveland and serves other surrounding areas of Cuyahoga County. She has lived experience as she is a person in long term alternative recovery for 8 years. She became a Naloxone distributor over 2 years ago in an attempt to help those in her community and has been actively adapting since in all areas of Harm Reduction. She has volunteered with many local non-profit organizations and today partners with many different organizations in order to share her resources and knowledge to all in her community. Jessica has a passion for Harm Reduction work and her experience gives her a unique opportunity to connect, collaborate, and advocate for our community.

Jamie Decker (he/him)

Community Outreach Worker (Findlay, OH)
Jamie is a father of 4, grandfather of 3 who lives in Hancock County. Jamie has worked for the Hancock County Health Department for 3 years as the Harm Reduction Coordinator/Peer Supporter, as well as working as an outreach specialist for SOAR. He is a person with lived experience who uses his unique perspective and knowledge of resources to help those in his community to live.

Abby Spears (she/her)

Community Outreach Worker (Portsmouth, OH)
Abby Spears is a lifelong resident of rural southern Ohio. She has spent over twenty years working, volunteering, advocating, and building relationships and community in the place she calls home. Abby believes in radical love, human rights, dignity and autonomy, and the power of individuals and community to create change.

Jordan Mays (they/them)

Community Outreach Worker (Columbus, OH)
Jordan is an organizer, writer and outreach worker in Central Ohio. Their work focuses on meeting the needs of those around their city most affected by capitalist housing and medical austerity policies. Jordan works with a handful of other grassroot community orgs to strengthen the community to organize around those most marginalized by the status-quo.

Rontae Bass (he/him)

Community Outreach Worker (Hamilton, OH)
Rontae is a father of 1, who lives in Butler County/Hamilton City OH. Rontae has worked for the Regional Harm Reduction Collaborative just over 2.5 years as the Harm Reduction Supervisor, as well as working as an outreach specialist for SOAR. has worked in mental health and substance abuse for over twenty years, as a case manager and harm reduction advocate. Rontae believes "everyone needs a little love from time to time".


Linda Smolak (she/her)

Financial and Grant Coordinator
Linda Smolak joined SOAR as a volunteer in April, 2023. She first learned about harm reduction over 15 years ago at a west coast syringe exchange and outreach. She has multiple family members in recovery from OUD. Linda was formerly a professor and administrator at Kenyon College. Linda also previously volunteered at Harm Reduction Ohio. She shares the passion of everyone at SOAR: empowering people who use drugs to control their health and safety, and fighting stigma against people who use drugs. She mainly helps with finances and grants at SOAR. Linda has 6 perfect grandchildren.

Executive Board

Larkin Cleland (he/him)

Board Member
Larkin Cleland is a current student at Ohio State and a SOAR co-founder. He served as Director of Operations before transitioning to the Executive Board. In addition to his interest in harm reduction in Ohio, he is broadly interested in global public health, especially in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Dennis Pales (he/him)

Board Member
Dennis Pales is a SOAR co-founder and is currently a medical student at The University of Colorado School of Medicine. He graduated from Ohio State in 2022 and served as the Director of Community Relations from SOAR's inception through his graduation.

Pranav Padmanabhan (he/him)

Board Member
Pranav co-founded The SOAR Initiative in 2019 and graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Geography and Disease Modeling in 2022. He currently works as a Professional Research Assistant at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, conducting quantitative research to study substance use and homelessness and advocating for policy change to address structural determinants of health.

Emily Medosch (She/her)

Board Member
Emily graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies. After this, she attended the University of Cincinnati's College of Law and graduated in 2022. Emily currently works as a Trial Attorney with the Hamilton County Public Defender's Office. In this role, she represents clients from a myriad of backgrounds in their criminal cases through arguing motions and trials. Prior to this, Emily was a law clerk at an immigration law firm and worked in a variety of legal clinics throughout the Cincinnati area. She is very passionate about harm reduction and overall destigmatizing drug use to allow people to make informed and safe decisions.

Hannah Richards (she/her)

Board Member
Hannah Richards is a passionate Community Health Advocate who specializes in harm reduction and overdose prevention. She is dedicated to meeting community members where they are both literally and figuratively through focused outreach and education to reach underserved populations. Hannah received her Master’s of Public Health from The University of Arizona GC and her Bachelor’s in Psychology from The Ohio State University. With over 8 years of education and professional experience in community and inpatient health care Hannah emphasizes a person centered and trauma informed approach to care. In her free time, you may see Hannah volunteering with grass-roots organizations throughout Columbus.

In Memorial

Mark Verhoff (he/him)

Community Outreach Worker (Columbus, OH)
IN MEMORIAL: Mark passed away on July 11, 2023. Mark was a fixture at Safe Point and the Reeb Center as SOAR's outreach liaison. He was an activist who was eagerly hoping for an active citywide drug testing program. Mark was an instrumental part of SOAR's team and is deeply missed.