Our Wonderful Staff

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Reico Hopewell, Founder/Executive Director

 Reico Hopewell, a native of Knoxville, TN, is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Mend House Sober Living Community for Men. The Mend House opened in 2015 and is a newly determined 501c3 charitable organization. The Mend House is focused on mending lives via education, employment, accountability, mentoring and spiritual guidance. The Mend House has decreased the recidivism and relapse rates for many of its residents and has supported the health and economics of the Knoxville community.

Mr. Hopewell is also the founder and owner of Hopewell A&D Counseling LLC, a private practice in which he facilitates alcohol and drug counseling for individuals, groups, families, DCS, DHS, DOT, the FAA and judicial system.

Mr. Hopewell is the founder and CEO of Hopewell Helping Hands Inc. HHH was created for the purpose of offering an opportunity for employment for those who may have a less than perfect background. HHH is dedicated to empowering its employees to serve customers who need minor repairs and upgrades to their homes or business.

Mr. Hopewell has 12 years of clinical experience and holds an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor license from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health. Additionally, he holds a National Certified Addictions Counselor certification from the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals and a Substance Abuse Professional certification from The Association of Addictions Professionals. He holds a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist certification from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. In addition, he holds a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor from the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium.

Mr. Hopewell’s faith in God and passion to help others has earned him the “Community Champion Award” presented by the Metro Drug Coalition and the Overcomer Believers Church’s “OBC Heroes” award.

He has served as Vice Chairman and Chairman for the Metro Drug Coalition and is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the E.M. Jellinek Center. He recently graduated from Leadership Knoxville’s Class of 2021. Additionally, Mr. Hopewell is also a board member for the Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee, the Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley and the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee.

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Walter Simpson, Assistant Director

I’m originally from Newport Tennessee. I transitioned to Knoxville, TN in July 2016 to the Mend House Sober Living  Community. In February of 2017, I began working for the Mend House as the community manager assisting the property manager and helped holding residents to community guidelines. As of 2018, I became the property manager of the Mend House and am currently the assistant director.  Also while training for my license to become a certified alcoholic and drug counselor. 

 

As a graduate of the Fourth Judicial Drug Court, I have personal experience attempting to change my life around. I was given all the necessary tools readily available to help me succeed. It was through my own journey and having the proper support that I decided I wanted others to achieve so much more than what they were accustomed to. I wanted to arm myself with the knowledge, support network, and genuine love that was given to me along my journey. 

 

Today because of the support given to me, I am a proud father, son, brother, uncle, and grandson.

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Edward Crook, Support Staff

Edward Crook moved from New York to Knoxville in 2019 after a 25 year career with the Airlines. In 2020, Reico Hopewell offered him the challenge of becoming a Counselor of The Mend House. Ed is a graduate of Florida State University with a B.A. in Media   Performance and Communications. He is currently working towards being a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor. Ed’s passion is Motivational Counseling to give hope and structure to his community.

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Matthew Lynn, Support Staff

My name is Matthew Lynn, and I am from Paragould, Arkansas. I came to the Mend House Sober living community in June 2017. I was 40 years old, broken and desperate for a new way to live. And thanks to Reico and Walter, I have found such a life: a life with purpose and meaning, better than I could’ve ever imagined. 

I know I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work for the people who saved my life, and show them this new life that was given to me. I do not take my responsibility to these men, lightly. I make sure these men have a safe environment, are able to make meetings and other various

appointments, and always have an ear that’ll listen. I am currently studying for my license to become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor, As well as maintaining my own personal sobriety.

 Board of Directors

Heidi Shafer Shuler, Vice President

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Heidi Shafer Shuler is a Knoxville native. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in Elementary Education. She taught for eight years at Rocky Hill, and presently teaches preschool at West Hills Baptist.

 

Heidi has a heart for helping those that need it the most. She is a volunteer at Joni and Friends. She is a member of Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, where she teaches Sunday school and serves at Serenity Shelter. She’s married to Chris Shuler and has two children, Christopher (21) and Blakely (18).

Verna Mansfield, Treasurer

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Nearly three years ago, Verna was introduced to the Mend House and the needs of the young men in the program. She began serving right away in a voluntary capacity, providing home baked goods weekly for “her boys,” as well as food and gifts on holidays. But mostly, she has reminded them that they are valued and loved by her and by our Heavenly Father. She is a court reporter by profession. She has been married for over 30 years to Attorney Brian Mansfield and they have three children, ages 26, 20 and 14. She and her family are long-time members of Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church and live in West Knoxville.

Heather Reyda, Secretary

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Heather Reyda was raised in Knoxville, TN having graduated from Bearden High School and attending The University of Tennessee.

Lt. Reyda began her career in Corrections with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in October 1993. She was promoted to Corporal in 1997. In 1998, she attended the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Basic Police Academy and was elected by her peers as Class President. In 1999, Lt. Reyda was transferred to the Patrol division, earning Patrol Officer of the Month twice, and was promoted to Patrol Sergeant in 2004. In 2007, she was transferred to the Major Crimes Unit where she investigated all major crimes against people, including but not limited to, homicide, rape, kidnapping, and assault, and earning Detective of the Month on four occasions. She remained in Major Crimes until the end of 2017 when she was promoted to Lieutenant in Juvenile Investigations. In 2018, Lt. Reyda became a part of the Appalachian High Intensity Drug Traffic Area (AHIDTA) Drug Related Death Task Force, where she is currently assigned and investigates drug related deaths.

To date, Lt. Reyda has been assigned over 5000 cases stemming from major crimes and drug related deaths.

Brian Mansfield, Board Member

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Brian is an attorney in private practice. He resides with his family in West Knoxville. A substantial portion of his practice involves representation of nonprofit associations, as well as small businesses and individuals. A native of Chattanooga, Brian received both his undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Tennessee.

Charles Bible, Board Member

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Charles Thomas "Charley" Bible is vice president of business development at KaTom Restaurant Supply and has been in executive leadership at the company through its rise from a minor player to No. 6 in its industry in sales volume.

 

Charley began working at the company, which was founded by his parents in their home garage in Russellville, while he was still a student at Morristown East High School. After graduating at the top of his class, he attended Furman University and Georgia State University, earning a bachelor's degree with high honors in business administration and finance from the latter.

As he planned his first professional moves, he was recruited by some of KaTom's manufacturing partners but ultimately opted to take on creating an adaptive culture at the family business. As lean coordinator, he reinvented processes and systems, equipping the company for the meteoric growth it experienced in the last couple decades.