It was a cold and dreary day in early of 2004 when Sharon Hesseltine took the flight that would end up changing everything. Her seat was in the last row and after boarding from the gate at O’Hare, she slipped into the window seat, rested her head and truly slept for what seemed like the first time in a couple years. It felt like only minutes before the flight attended announced “passengers, prepare for landing in Minneapolis/St. Paul” and from there her journey to recovery from many chaotic years in active addiction began.
Today, Sharon is the President and CEO of Intentional Beginnings Consulting & Training of Louisville, KY, a small non-profit with the mission of strengthening organizations and individuals serving those who experience substance use disorders, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma. Sharon received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Southern Illinois University in 1981, and in 2011 completed a post-graduate Certificate in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health from the University of Minnesota. For over 30 years Sharon has worked in Public Health and specialized in early childhood development, women’s health and addiction.
Her career has ranged from providing direct services to women through managing two sober living residences to designing and facilitating statewide and local collaborative initiatives that call on her skills in public policy, strategic planning, cross sector collaboration, program assessment and marketing. She is a national trainer, Technology Transfer Specialist and facilitator for multiple organizations including the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the Addiction Technology Transfer Centers (ATTC)and the Opioid Response Network. In 2018, Sharon took the lead in developing SUD specific training for Peer Support Specialists and Supervisors for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Sharon is passionate about reducing stigma associated with addiction and developing the capacity of communities, organizations and individuals to better meet the needs of individuals with substance use disorders. With her husband, Scott Hesseltine, she currently resides in Louisville, KY.
Funding for this initiative was made possible by grant no. 1H79TI083022 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.