People 1st is a non-profit corporation providing a community that supports men who have demonstrated a substantial commitment to their own sobriety by having completed an extended rehab program. This community provides ongoing support and encouragement to stay sober. This support includes:
The Produce and Grocery Truck businesses provide jobs that not only increase supportive contact with other men on the same journey, but also provide a significant number of life lessons about making things whole/new again. There is also an emphasis on how to make a positive impact on all whom one’s life touches, starting with the community impacts of the businesses we run.


Rich Thompson
“Rich trained as a scientist and spent the first 23 years of his career working for IBM Research. He has restored a non-functional rooming house into a profitable venture and operated both it and several small businesses over the past 40 years. Rich retired in 2019 to focus on People 1st.”

Rich Thompson founded People 1st. Rich believes that the first label for everyone is that of being a person. All other labels are secondary to this and the respect that comes with it. Many people are marginalized by labels coming from outside their control, such as race, gender or choices their ancestors made. Others are marginalized due to choices they have made themselves, such as addicts or convicts. While some of the marginalization for this second group may be appropriate, every person deserves the opportunity to reverse those choices and rebuild their life. People 1st was formed to provide such an opportunity to men seeking to reverse the choices that led them into addiction. This involves treating them with respect (i.e. as a person) while also providing boundaries and support for this reversal. People 1st will provide supportive environments and the core social services needed for both supporting the men and detecting boundary issues. When someone does lapse (i.e. single return to the addictive behavior) these services will enact a response seeking to assist the individual to return to a sober lifestyle and protect the other community members from secondary effects of the lapse. The expectation is that this combination will make it easier for the men to maintain their sobriety even if they choose to leave the People 1st community at some point.

Management and development of the business will be provided by Rich Thompson. Rich grew up on a farm and has extensively gardened his entire adult life. At age 5 he started working in his family’s businesses. The family built 2 houses a year as a team and successfully built over 84 houses. He remembers his father at the kitchen table in the morning working out his plan for the day relative to managing the farm and construction businesses. Rich learned at an early age how to envision what he was building and get it done, either by building it himself or leading others to achieve the goal.


People 1st has a working board drawn from a diverse set of backgrounds. Each brings a unique perspective helping us as a team to achieve the mission of People 1st.

Josyl Barchue

Josyl is a Senior Associate General Counsel at UnitedHealth Group specializing in Intellectual Property, technology and litigation. He has served with the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in-house counsel at Liberty Mutual, and project management with IBM Global Financing.

Josyl serves at church in roles like the prayer leadership team, leader for Dads of the Rock, leading a class named Learning to Pray Boldly and on the Financial & Planning committee.

Pastor Gail Bowman

Gail is a LCSW, CSAC and MDiv with 30+ years clinical experience. She has used these credentials in situations such as work, private practice and charitable environments. She is also an ordained Anglican priest.
Gail has served on the board of Pivot Ministries for 5+ years. She has also been active in the program, teaching “addiction and its dangers” classes and offering counseling services to the students.

Gail describes herself as in recovery and has been clean for the past 44 years.

Troy Magnuson

Troy is a Production Mechanic at Bigelow Tea, responsible for production / packaging equipment repair, maintenance and quality functions. He also has 29 years experience in various medical technology manufacturing and engineering roles.

Troy graduated from Pivot Ministries in 2018. He brings a spiritual perspective to addiction issues, fully integrating into Pivot’s faith centered program. Troy enjoys working with people on spiritual development and leadership skills to maximize their potential.

Beth Thompson

Beth is a Licensed Professional Counselor with 10+ years of clinical experience. Beth works with adolescents, individuals and families dealing with anxiety, depression, mood disorders and relationship issues. She has worked in agency, inpatient psychiatric hospital and private practice settings.

She is passionate about bringing hope & healing by helping clients embrace an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ, leading to restoration of all their relationships through their identity in Him.


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