Cher Randall, our new Women’s Director.

The Extension Welcomes Cher Randall as our new Women’s Director.

Cher Randall has worked with The Extension for over ten years and holds a B.S. in Education from Georgia State University.  Before moving into her current role, Cher served as the Assistant Director of the men’s program and the Director of Quality Control and Compliance for The Extension. Cher is currently in a Master’s program for mental health and will graduate in 2022. Her inspiring of tenacity, personal growth, and achievement is an inspiration to those in recovery and the community we serve.

Cher started working at The Extension men’s campus as the front desk receptionist in 2007. At the time, there was talk of opening a women’s program. In 2009, a property was found off the Square in Marietta. The property served as a private home and a funeral parlor in its’ former life but was now dilapidated and abandoned. Our Executive Director, Tyler Driver, caught the vision, and a Capital Campaign put together to raise funds to bring a place that once served people in death, to a place that brought new life and new beginnings. 

To help raise money for the campaign, Cher and Tyler spoke to different Rotary Clubs, churches, law enforcement, and various organizations in Cobb County. The financial goal was met, and the renovation of the property was completed in 2010. Wynema Barber came on board as the first Women’s Program Director. Cher then moved from the men’s campus to be Wynema’ s program assistant at our new women’s program.

At first, the place was empty. There was a no TV, and the desks and furniture were free off of Craig’s List. It was just Wynema, Cher, and different interns for a few years.  Cher was like a sponge, absorbing and learning everything she could under Wynema. She started counseling classes with Diane Sherman in 2014 and in 2016, she moved back to the men’s program as a phase 1 case manager. In 2017 she became a level II Counselor through the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Certification Board of Georgia.

While working with the men’s program as a counselor, Cher gained a different perspective and new insight into how to help her clients. She also learned Robert Jordan’s management style and the way he runs the ship at the men’s program. “I learned balance by taking care of my clients, my family, and myself.” After Cher gained her certification as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor level II, she took on more administrative work. She discovered that she enjoyed the organizational aspects of her job and made it her primary focus over the next year. 

When COVID 19 hit and Wynema decided to retire, Cher was asked if she would consider returning to the women’s campus as the new Women’s Director. “I wanted to start working with women again and begin applying the new knowledge I had gained while taking part in making the women’s program even stronger than it was, and so I accepted the position.” 

What are some things that you would like to change at the Women’s program? 

“My goal is to better align the women’s and the men’s programs to make us a better program as a whole. A model that, hopefully, we can replicate as we grow. Administratively, I am using everything that I learned at the men’s campus to bring uniform compliance and strong administrative skills to the Director role and to better support the women’s counselors. 

To make a smooth transition, I’m following the existing staff’s lead in making changes. I’m taking one day and one issue at a time. When I see something that doesn’t look right, we talk about it as a team and make changes when needed. My desire is for clients to call The Extension home and continue coming back!

I’ve also made some staffing changes. Men and women have different issues and different perspectives, so, I’ve hired a fantastic male counselor as our evening group counselor. He has multiple credentials and is passionate about helping those who struggle with addiction. He is also in a master’s program for mental health counseling. He has implemented a best practice curriculum called, “Helping Women Recover.” Once a week, he brings a female classmate, and they co-facilitate the group. The clients seem to be responding positively. In addition, they are new support staff members who are valued by both staff and clients.

What you put into your recovery is what you’re going to get out of your recovery. I would like for the women to start with their transition in mind and what their long-term recovery will look like from the beginning. The staff will educate clients and give them the tools to sustain long term sobriety and live the life they desire. My journey has led me full-circle back to the women’s program and for that I am grateful, excited and highly motivated to cheer the client’s on through their journey of recovery. I am committed to working hard to provide assistance and education to the staff and encouragement through love and hope.”

We are excited to have Cher as our new Women’s Director. She is a valuable member of our team who brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and heart to our women’s campus. We look forward to supporting her in her new role.  

Renee McCormick

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