Our Story

Tim Schaffner

Board President

Timothy Schaffner was named Executive Director of Trumbull County Children Services in November 2012. As a leader in behavioral health and residential care for children and adults, Schaffner has provided consultation and training for many behavioral health, educational, residential, and child welfare facilities and brings a wealth of management and behavioral health treatment experience to his role as Executive Director. Schaffner had been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Valley Counseling Services prior to joining Trumbull County Children Services (in April 2012), from 1995 to 2006 served as Corporate Clinical Executive for the Center for Behavioral Medicine at Forum Health, and prior to that, he was director of Youth Services at Tod Children’s Hospital in Youngstown. Schaffner brings a total of 45 years of experience in professional, clinical services to his position.

Julia DeSmith


Julia is a skilled team player with a strong background in Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation environments.

Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Julia is currently a stay-at-home mom raising two young children with her husband. Prior to making the decision to stay home with her children, she spent years in the addiction field and held various positions such as group facilitator, detox case manager, and assessment provider. She even spent time working as a certified recovery advisor.

Julia proudly represents that she has been in recovery since August 2015 with experience in both inpatient and outpatient programs. After residing in a sober living community for over a year, she became heavily involved in the recovery community. She spoke with local centers and media about hope, recovery, and the disease of addiction.

Over the past years, Julia partook in the Mental Health First Aid program to increase her knowledge and skills to better respond to signs of mental health and substance use. She also became credentialed to work in the addiction field by obtaining her Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant and Peer Support certifications.


Mike Fuchs


Mike Fuchs was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. He currently lives in Hudson with his wife, Abbey, and daughter, Sydney.

After earning his B.A. in political science from Miami University, he attended The University of Akron School of Law where he still acts as a guest speaker on the topic of Health Law. Mike also speaks at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He enjoys being involved in his community. For a few years he served on the Board of Trustees for Portage County Children’s Advocacy Center.

For years Mike has worked as legal counsel in the healthcare industry. In April 2023, Mike accepted a position as Corporate Counsel at Alpine Physician Partners after working for University Hospitals Health System for twelve years. He is part of the American Health Lawyers Association and previously served on the Board of Directors for Society of Ohio Healthcare Attorneys.

Marilyn Sessions


Hope Town is proud to announce our newest board member, Marilyn Sessions. She will be a valued asset to Hope Town as we continue to build our commitment to helping individuals on their personal path to recovery. Marilyn resides in Kent with her husband Brian, two Golden Retrievers, Cashew the cat and is a passionate Master Gardener. Marilyn is extremely active in Portage County and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our board and this is certainly a WIN for Hope Town! Not only has Marilyn demonstrated a lifetime of contributions to our community, she is well respected and has compassion for helping people with their daily struggles. Her genuine enthusiasm and how engaged she is to lend a helping hand is one of the reasons Hope Town is thankful to have her on board.