Dennis S. Farmer, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Legacy Village, LLC, was raised in Shafter, California, a small farming town in the Central Valley area of the State. At 24, he took an entry level position with the State of California and was promoted through the budgetary and accounting fields to become the Head of Accounting for Kern Valley State Prison. Experiences during his tenure included the activation of two prisons, management of budgets and fiscal policy, coordination with legislative accounting and budgetary affairs, internal control development and implementation, financial security audits, executive level administration of accounting, finance, and budget policy.
Through his late 20’s a struggle with alcohol became more pronounced, and by his early 30’s alcohol began to affect his personal and professional life. Mr. Farmer’s addiction to alcohol had resulted in two failed marriages and was taking an increasing toll on his professional life and personal health. It was here that he entered rehab for the first time but was clearly not convinced he had a drinking problem. A second failed attempt at sobriety would lead him on a dangerous and destructive two-year path, that would almost cost his life. At 135 pounds, with serious health troubles, Mr. Farmer found his way into treatment a third and final time. “I truly began a real process of recovery, embracing the concepts of recovery and most importantly, reconnecting with my faith in God,” said Mr. Farmer. “I was lost, and I knew without help I wasn’t going to make it much longer.”
It was during this final treatment experience, that despite sound advice against making long-term plans, Mr. Farmer had a vision for more accessible and affordable care in his own community. Born of his personal experience having a difficult time finding help, he felt led to the design and building of Legacy Village. “It is my belief that my experience was not solely, or even predominantly for me – but rather so I would be equipped to help others” said Mr. Farmer, who went on, “God has saved me from this affliction, literally from the threshold of death for a reason, and that reason wasn’t to keep it to myself!”
Legacy Village soon became a primary professional pursuit. Since that time, it has developed into an exemplary model for addiction treatment and recovery services. “We are proud of our commitment to individualized care, and we are proud to be part of so many success stories,” said Mr. Farmer. “It is with an unapologetic faith in God, and a daily adherence to the principles of recovery, that I remain sober – just for today, and that I’m able to actively participate in the work of Legacy Village, and in life.” According to Mr. Farmer, “Through the services we offer I am able to give back, give away the solution that I found to others who still suffer. We’re not just providing help or a way to get clean or sober – we’re giving people a chance to recreate a Legacy, for them and their families.”
With the success of the flagship location of Legacy Village, LLC – the Oregon Street Recovery Center – doors opened and the opportunity to relocate was presented in late 2020. The new location, with more than 25 acres of land and ample therapeutic spaces was an answer to prayer and soon, with some bittersweet moments, the entire operation was relocated to Nipomo, California and renamed appropriately from “Legacy Village – Oregon Street” to simply “Legacy Village”. Mr. Farmer’s love of Country, and his unwavering gratitude for those who served this Nation, led to a fundamental shift in program philosophy in 2020. It was at that time Legacy Village became an exclusive veteran and active-duty only facility. In his words, “it is a way to give back – to be of service to those who have served.”
In January 2022, Legacy Village secured its new and permanent location on 10 Acres in Arroyo Grande, California where a remodeled, state-of-the-art facility is under construction. The new facility is slated to open by the end of 2022.
Today Mr. Farmer is remarried to wife Erica, and together they are raising a blended family with three daughters, Leila, Alyssa and Emily and son Anthony. Mr. Farmer, in addition to his leadership of Legacy Village is an active member of the Vanguard Christian Center Board of Directors. He remains active in the recovery community and advocacy for increased access to drug and alcohol treatment for our service members.
Phillip Jones is an Air Force Veteran who served in Desert Storm. Mr. Jones has more than twenty-five years’ experience working in the mental and behavioral health fields, including specialties in substance abuse and addiction. His passion for helping others is clearly demonstrated by his professional, compassionate, and educated approach to treatment methodologies. His passion extends beyond traditional clinicians to include the dedicated treatment of Veterans and Active-Duty Service members.
Mr. Jones has worked with a variety of demographics in his career, including with youth and families. In his capacity as a therapist, he has direct, hand-on experience with difficult issues and complex mental health concerns. As an administrator, Mr. Jones managed and directed programming to address homelessness, dual-diagnosis mental and behavioral health care needs and underlying root-causes of systemic problems facing those who are struggling. During his time serving the youth population, Mr. Jones managed programming at the Youth Correctional Institutes and Department of Rehabilitation in Washington D.C.
Mr. Jones has traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad, including some of his favorite places as Spain, Greece, Amsterdam, Philippines, and Thailand. He enjoys reading, jazz festivals, physical fitness, meeting new people and making new friends. He is quoted as saying, “In society today we have so many people that are struggling with the disease of addiction which, in most cases, are caused by unresolved trauma and mental health demands that go unmet for many years. Here at Legacy Village Wellness Centers, we meet those needs.”
Denny R. Moss, Clinical Director at Legacy Village Nipomo, was born at Astoria Naval Hospital and raised in a Navy family. Mr. Moss later joined the United States Navy serving aboard the USS John F. Kennedy
(CV-67) completing two tours as part of the Multinational Peace-Keeping Force in Beirut, Lebanon.
After completing his master’s degree in psychology, Mr. Moss dedicated his life to counseling and therapy work, holding a variety of positions as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Celebrating more than 30 years of personal recovery from alcoholism, Mr. Moss is uniquely qualified to serve as the Clinical Director at Legacy Village. His commitment to recovery and the promotion of positive mental health is unparalleled.
Mr. Moss brings to Legacy Village the insight, experience, education, and training that allows our clients to fully realize their potential. His personal journey of recovery and vast knowledge on all thing’s recovery, afford him and our clients the opportunity to connect on an intimate level – allowing real work and positive change to happen.
In his personal life, Mr. Moss is a former musician who has passed on a love for music to his daughter. As a proud father, Mr. Moss credits his greatest achievement as seeing her excel as a flutist majoring in Music at the University of California, San Diego.
Raymond Fisher, Clinical Supervisor for Legacy Village, grew up in Bakersfield, CA. Much of his youth was spent in active addiction, and as a consequence, Raymond spent many years in-and-out of prison or jail. At age 35 Mr. Fisher began a life of recovery, and through working a program of healing and positive action, he went from being a menace to society, to a thriving productive member of the community.
Mr. Fisher was the first employee hired at Legacy Village, LLC – Oregon Street Recovery Center, the first facility opened by our company. For more than six years he has worked diligently to pursue a higher education and a better understanding of addiction treatment. After obtaining his certification in drug and alcohol counseling, Mr. Fisher was promoted to Counselor. More recently, with the opening of Legacy Village, he promoted again to Clinical Supervisor.
A passionate advocate for recovery, Mr. Fisher brings unique experience and insight to the clients he serves. He is a wealth of information and resources and is truly dedicated to the healing power which lay in a life of recovery.
Dennie Watson, Spiritual Director for Legacy Village is the Founder, and Senior Pastor of Vanguard Christian Center in Bakersfield, California. Pastor Watson was raised in Kern County and has devoted his life to community outreach through ministry, sports, coaching and life skills training. Throughout his life, coaching has taken a prominent role allowing him to mentor kids of all ages through a variety of sports. This passion provided the inspiration for a unique combination of sports and ministry. Pastor Watson’s vision of a truly integrated church with respect to community, sports and preaching the Gospel came together in with the recent opening of Vanguards Field of Dreams. This much needed sports facility allows all members of the community, especially children, to have a safe, healthy and positive place to engage in a variety of sporting events. It also allows the team at Vanguard to fellowship with the community and engage with those in need.
The broad scope of Pastor Watson’s experiences has made him an invaluable member of the Legacy Village team. His coaching experience gives him an approachable nature, allowing our clients the freedom and ease to explore spiritual questions. His understanding an patience with those who struggle has led many clients to realize their own need for a deeper spiritual connection.
Bill Edmonds is a retired U.S. Special Forces officer, author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert on the emotional, psychological, and spiritual impacts of military service. He writes and speaks on the “invisible wounds of War”; how subjective experiences change our entire body, which includes our brain, often impairing our innate capacity for enjoyment, engagement, self-control, and trust. His focus is on methods, practices, and pursuits that build resilience and promote long-term healing, especially those that engage physiology as a pathway to attentional agency, emotional-intelligence, and self-awareness.
Mr. Edmonds is a retired Army Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel, a veteran of our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Kosovo, and East, Central and North African, and a Purple Heat and Bronze Star with Valor Device recipient. He is the author and contributor of multiple books and essays, to include the critically acclaimed memoir God Is Not Here, the anthology War and Moral Injury: A Reader, essays The Ugly American in Iraq and After Moral Injury, the published King’s College of London thesis A Compassionate Nudge, and the Apple+ TV docuseries TheLine. Bill is an internationally recognized expert on the emotional, psychological, and spiritual impacts of military service: how overwhelming subjective experiences change the body, which includes the brain, impairing our innate capacity for enjoyment, engagement, self-control, and trust. Bill is an ordained minister, a spiritual teacher in the ancient tradition of Vipassana, and a certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher, Yoga Nidra/iREST instructor, and psychedelic integration specialist. Bill also began the non- profit The MindfulWriting Project which is dedicated to creating and offering free-of-charge a therapeutic writing process based on key mindfulness teachings and principles. Bill offers Legacy Wellness Center clients Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Nidra instruction while also pursuing his licensure as a Clinical Social Worker at the University of Southern California. Bill’s energy and focus are on many and varied practices and pursuits that train attentional agency as pathways to emotional balance, mental harmony, and lasting happiness. I live in Cambria with my wife, Cheryl, and our two daughters, Natalie, and Ava.
Van Curaza, surfer for 49 years, is the founder of Van Curaza Surf School. Once a professional surfer, Van has dedicated his life to helping others through surfing. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including ESPN and Southwest Airlines Spirit magazine, and has earned him the first annual Blue Mind Award. He has recently been featured in the award-winning Netflix documentary, RESURFACE. Additionally, his work has been featured in the first study of its kind on surfing as an alternative treatment for veterans with PTSD by Dr. Russell Crawford, “The Impact of Ocean Therapy on Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
In addition to creating Van Curaza Surf School Van founded the nonprofit Operation Surf (Amazing Surf Adventures) to help at-risk youth, wounded military men and women, and many other individuals in need. Having experienced his own struggles, Van turned to surfing throughout his life as a means to stay positive. With hopes of being of service and passing on this positive experience, he set out to help others.