Sherri Layton oversees our Intensive Outpatient Programs located in Austin and College Station and advocates for state and national laws that support those in recovery and addiction treatment programs.
She is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, an Advanced Addiction Counselor, and a Certified Clinical Supervisor, and holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
“People can and do recover from the disease of addiction,” she replies when asked why she chose this field. “Being part of this work allows me a front-row seat to the miracles that occur daily.”
Grateful for Recovery
Addiction treatment has always been Sherri’s vocation. After achieving recovery early in life, the Houston native started working in the field the summer after her freshman year of college.
“I was grateful for the opportunity to be introduced to recovery as a young person. For my first job in the industry, my qualifications were that I was sober and knew how to take blood pressure. Without recovery, I might never have stepped into this field at all.”
She served with a non-profit program helping teenagers and young adults and their families. Then she worked for an inpatient treatment center and had a private practice.
God Opened a Window
In the early 1990s, she applied for a position at La Hacienda. During the drive from her home to Hunt, she realized that it was a long commute she did not want to make daily. “I told the interviewer I just didn’t think it would work so it was short interview, but it introduced me to La Hacienda.”
A year passed, and Sherri was contract teaching for the La Hacienda intern program. Leadership asked if she was interested in the new director’s position for the intern program.
“The drive was the same, but my situation had changed. I was trying to figure out what the heck am I going to do after losing the office space for my counseling practice, and the position came open. God opened a window.”
That was 1992. She took the director’s job and has been on our team ever since.
Mentors Key to Involvement in Advocacy
Through the influence of other advocates, Sherri started campaigning for public policies supporting addiction prevention and treatment and recovery.
“There was no formal training process for advocacy. Much of what I learned and my passion for it I attribute to wonderful mentors.”
And a natural aptitude for learning.
“I’m a learner. That fuels my interest in investigating things and digging deep into issues. I want to have a good understanding of the issues.”
Acknowledged by Her Peers
Sherri’s involvement at the state and national levels led to recognition for her leadership and efforts.
In August 2018, the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals (TAAP) inducted her into its Hall of Fame, and in 2016 named her its Addiction Professional of the Year. She was elected TAAP President for 2019-2021.
NAADAC, the national Association of Addiction Professionals, named her Legislative Advocate of the Year for 2014. She is chair of NAADAC’s Public Policy Committee.
“Support of La Hacienda’s leadership has allowed me to do advocacy work for 15 years,” says Sherri. “It is a great honor to be trusted to represent La Hacienda in that arena.”
Making Beneficial Connections
Sherri also has a talent for making connections, an asset she finds productive in her continuing care work.
“I have a natural affinity for connecting people. When I hear about something that one person or place is doing, I think of other people and places and I connect with that.”
Sherri hopes that people who know her will feel that she “represents the love that the Lord has shown to me, and that I am a good steward of the talents and resources He gave me.”
She has two adult sons and four grandsons (all in the Netherlands!). When not working, she enjoys traveling with her husband Steve (a retired addiction counselor), reading, and being with family and friends.