Our Team

Leadership from Family Help & Wellness

Decades of Experience in Providing Care

  • Adam Ray
    Adam Ray
    Director of Program Development - Foundations Asheville
  • Becky Simpson
    Becky Simpson
    Founder - Uinta Academy
  • Brandon S. Park, Ph.D.
    Brandon S. Park, Ph.D.
    Founder, Executive Director - New Focus Academy
  • Bryan Tomes
    Bryan Tomes
    Business Development Director - Equinox RTC
  • Cat Jennings
    Cat Jennings
    Owner / Executive Director - Asheville Academy for Girls
  • Elizabeth McGhee, L.C.S.W
    Elizabeth McGhee, L.C.S.W
    Director of Admissions - Sandhill Center
  • Graham Shannonhouse
    Graham Shannonhouse
    Executive Director - Trails Carolina, Trails Momentum, Foundations Asheville
  • Hayden Dupell
    Hayden Dupell
    CFO - Finance - FHW
  • Jennifer Wilde
    Jennifer Wilde
    Executive Clinical Director - Elevations RTC, ViewPoint Center
  • Jenny Kudna
    Jenny Kudna
    SVP of Operations - FHW
  • Jon Worbets
    Jon Worbets
    Clinical Director - BlueFire Wilderness
  • Josh White
    Josh White
    Executive Director - Red Mountain Sedona
  • Judith Jacques
    Judith Jacques
    Executive Director - Elevations RTC, ViewPoint Center
  • Kathryn Huffman
    Kathryn Huffman
    Admissions Director - Asheville Academy for Girls
  • Kathy Rex
    Kathy Rex
    Executive Director - BlueFire Wilderness
  • Keoni Anderson
    Keoni Anderson
    Executive Director, Founding Partner - Solstice West
  • Kera Miller
    Kera Miller
    Executive Director - Red Mountain Colorado
  • Kyle Gillett
    Kyle Gillett
    Executive Director - Equinox RTC
  • Laura Burt
    Laura Burt
    Business Development Director - Elevations RTC
  • Linda Zimmerman, M.A., L.P.C.C.
    Linda Zimmerman, M.A., L.P.C.C.
    Executive Director/ Founder - Sandhill Center
  • Maureen White
    Maureen White
    Program Director - Red Mountain Sedona
  • Mike Wellons
    Mike Wellons
    Chief of Business Development - FHW
  • R. Jeffrey Simpson MS, LCSW
    R. Jeffrey Simpson MS, LCSW
    Founder - Uinta Academy
  • Randi Nelson
    Randi Nelson
    Admissions Director - ViewPoint Center
  • Rebecca Gebb
    Rebecca Gebb
    Program Director - Asheville Academy for Girls
  • Reid Treadaway
    Reid Treadaway
    Director of Admissions and Business Development - BlueFire Wilderness
  • Russ Pryor
    Russ Pryor
    Executive Director - Uinta Academy
  • Scott Hess
    Scott Hess
    Primary Therapist - WinGate Wilderness
  • Shalene Pierce
    Shalene Pierce
    Primary Therapist - Trails Carolina
  • Shayne Gallager
    Shayne Gallager
    Executive Director - WinGate Wilderness
  • Sheri Gallagher
    Sheri Gallagher
    Director of Operations - WinGate Wilderness
  • Steve Stradley
    Steve Stradley
    CEO - FHW
  • Wayne Laird
    Wayne Laird
    CFO - Accounting - FHW
  • Kami Black
    Kami Black
    Founder, Executive Director, ROOTs Transition
  • Lauren Angerosa
    Lauren Angerosa
    Admissions Director, ROOTs Transition
  • Stacey Rosenberg
    Stacey Rosenberg
    Program Director, ROOTs Transition
  • Patrick Hawkins
    Patrick Hawkins
    Founder, Executive Director, Triple Divide Lodge
  • Anthony Geraci
    Anthony Geraci
    Founder, Admissions Director, Triple Divide Lodge
  • Steve Stradley
    Steve Stradley
    CEO - FHW
  • Wayne Laird
    Wayne Laird
    CFO - Accounting - FHW
  • Hayden Dupell
    Hayden Dupell
    CFO - Finance - FHW
  • Mike Wellons
    Mike Wellons
    Chief of Business Development - FHW
  • Jenny Kudna
    Jenny Kudna
    SVP of Operations - FHW
  • Becky Simpson
    Becky Simpson
    Founder - Uinta Academy
  • Brandon S. Park, Ph.D.
    Brandon S. Park, Ph.D.
    Founder, Executive Director - New Focus Academy
  • Cat Jennings
    Cat Jennings
    Owner / Executive Director - Asheville Academy for Girls
  • Graham Shannonhouse
    Graham Shannonhouse
    Executive Director - Trails Carolina, Trails Momentum, Foundations Asheville
  • Josh White
    Josh White
    Executive Director - Red Mountain Sedona
  • Judith Jacques
    Judith Jacques
    Executive Director - Elevations RTC, ViewPoint Center
  • Kathy Rex
    Kathy Rex
    Executive Director - BlueFire Wilderness
  • Keoni Anderson
    Keoni Anderson
    Executive Director, Founding Partner - Solstice West
  • Kera Miller
    Kera Miller
    Executive Director - Red Mountain Colorado
  • Kyle Gillett
    Kyle Gillett
    Executive Director - Equinox RTC
  • Linda Zimmerman, M.A., L.P.C.C.
    Linda Zimmerman, M.A., L.P.C.C.
    Executive Director/ Founder - Sandhill Center
  • R. Jeffrey Simpson MS, LCSW
    R. Jeffrey Simpson MS, LCSW
    Founder - Uinta Academy
  • Shayne Gallager
    Shayne Gallager
    Executive Director - WinGate Wilderness
  • Russ Pryor
    Russ Pryor
    Executive Director - Uinta Academy
  • R. Jeffrey Simpson MS, LCSW
    R. Jeffrey Simpson MS, LCSW
    Founder - Uinta Academy
Adam Ray
Director of Program Development - Foundations Asheville

Adam Ray brings a wealth of experience to Trails Momentum and Foundations Asheville.  For 13 years Adam has been wholeheartedly meeting the needs of students, families, and educational consultants.  Adam’s breadth of experience in all realms of therapeutic programming is what allows the strengths of our diverse staff to shine through.  His leadership champions the collaboration and cohesion of our staff community, allowing  Foundations and Trails Momentum to deliver on its truly integrated and unique program.

Adam holds a Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Leadership from Warren Wilson College and has developed multiple vocational training, mental heath, and transitional living programs.  He served several years as a Family Resource Specialist helping families of youth at risk identify continuing care options and therapeutic resources while coordinating outbound referrals and marketing strategies.  Adam spent a semester in Kenya with an intensive NOLS leadership training program and enjoys bringing his knowledge of experiential learning and careful cultivation of group culture to wide-ranging outdoor and cultural expeditions with the students.

When not taking care of the needs of our students and staff, Adam can be found riding the trails and roadways of Western North Carolina on any manner of bicycle.  An accomplished athlete and former captain of an elite road cycling team, Adam continues his dedication to adventure alongside his well-loved dog, Bollo while enhancing the adventurous culture of The Academy at Trails Carolina.

What I really love about working with teens is watching them reunite with their family. After hearing all of the hardships families go through it is very rewarding to know they are back on track and their futures are brighter because they came to our program.

click here to go to Foundation Asheville

Becky Simpson
Founder - Uinta Academy

Becky studied music education at the University of Arizona with the goal to teach high school music. She has spent her entire professional career working with adolescents, but in a different capacity than she originally envisioned. Becky started working with children in Arizona as a youth care worker at Desert Willow Ranch. She was a Certified Family Teacher at Father Flanagan’s Boys Town in Nebraska and was the Director of Training and Evaluation at the St. Labre Home for Indian Children in Montana. She was responsible for staff training and evaluation at the Youth Village in Utah. There she developed and ran a parenting program that consisted of community parenting classes and support groups. She also trained teachers in the Granite School District on classroom management and trained foster parents for the Utah Department of Child and Family Services.

Her experience includes being a foster parent, consulting to treatment foster homes, providing in-home training to parents, and supervising a sexual offender program. Becky is a certified Teaching-Family Model Trainer, Evaluator, and Consultant. She is a Crisis Intervention Specialist certified by the Crisis Prevention Institute and a Level I Parelli student. Becky also served as a site evaluator for the Teaching-Family Association and a lecturer for the Governor’s Initiative on Families. At Uinta, Becky supervises the therapeutic milieu, conducts staff training, instructs Parelli natural horsemanship, manages human resources, and does a little interior decorating. Becky’s experience with applied behavioral analysis makes her a valuable member of the treatment team. She also runs the Culinary Club and Singing Club.

On a personal note, Becky still loves music; she plays the piano, writes music, sings and accompanies her church choir. She enjoys gardening, sewing, reading, and most of all, her grandchildren.

click here to go to Uinta Academy

Brandon S. Park, Ph.D.
Founder, Executive Director - New Focus Academy

I obtained my Bachelor degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) in Psychology graduating with honors. I continued on at UNLV for my Masters and Doctoral degrees. While doing this my mind was drawn to the significance of the brain and cognitive processes, leading to studying neuropsychology for my Doctoral degree.

During my internship and post-doctoral studies, I worked with a wide array of clients suffering from traumatic brain damage, severe mental illness, fetal alcohol exposure, congenital/developmental disorders, anoxia, and stroke. Through this process, I learned about the power of cognitive rehabilitation, a dynamic field of looking at how we can improve brain function and went on to create a cognitive training program for 1200 patients at a state hospital.

As a neuropsychologist, I am passionate about the importance of using assessment to make changes in the lives of the people I work with. I will use those skills to understand the barriers and limitations of the students under my care, as well as predict the heights of their potential.

Through many great opportunities, I developed positive interactive approaches using an understanding of the brain-behavior relationship leading to significant improvements in the students I work with. I also began to see how properly designed adolescent programs could help students begin to take accountability for themselves, appreciate the power of their own choices, and assist families to improve the systems and interactions they need to have a rewarding relationship with their child. I am excited to bring my knowledge, experience, and an incredible team to you as we strive for success with your child.

Education

Bryan Tomes
Business Development Director - Equinox RTC

Bryan was one of the founding team members of Asheville Academy for Girls.  Bryan has overseen the development of accredited academy’s at both AAG and SE, as well as designed and managed operational systems for all three business. His role has been instrumental in the startup of hit new program Equinox. With Equinox, he’ll be supporting yet another start up while adding Marketing and Business Development to his portfolio.

Bryan’s prior experience includes work in multiple therapeutic and traditional school settings – residential and day.  Bryan has taught classes, led schools, managed accreditation and developed therapeutic programs from the ground up, including marketing, budgeting, infrastructure development, systems and client referrals.

Bryan is married with one child. Having grown up in the area, he loves being close to his extended family while also having the ability to get lost in the mountains. Most of his free time is spent outdoors, either with sports or gardening.

Bryan’s education at the University of South Carolina and Western Carolina University focused on history, secondary education and school administration.

I love seeing the changes each one of our students goes through as they enter and exit our programs. Hearing back from families about the success their children are having at home is one of the greatest rewards this job can give me.

click here to go to Equinox RTC

Cat Jennings
Owner / Executive Director - Asheville Academy for Girls

Cat brings more than thirty years of experience making an impact in the lives of adolescents. Cat has developed multiple programs helping children, teens, and young adults in a variety of settings and with a diverse range of diagnoses. She has dedicated her career to behavioral health and is honored to be part of the passionate team at Asheville Academy for Girls.  She recognizes how delicate this age is and is proud of the role she and her team play in helping girls grow and prosper.

Cat received her degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Asheville. With her free time, Cat enjoys spending time with her wonderful family and close friends, sharing stories and making new ones. She loves being active and getting outdoors whenever she can.

Click Here to go to Asheville Academy

 

Elizabeth McGhee, L.C.S.W
Director of Admissions - Sandhill Center

Elizabeth has worked extensively in the field of residential treatment for over 30 years in a variety of capacities. Currently she is the Director of Admissions and Business Development for Sandhill Center in New Mexico. Her first experience with residential treatment was working directly with adjudicated girls in 1985. After receiving her MSW from Boston University she eventually became a therapist in a program. Additionally she worked with an Educational Consulting firm in Marin County California, and has spent a great deal of time visiting over 100 therapeutic programs nationwide. Elizabeth has had the benefit of knowing and subsequently working with Sandhill from its inception in 2004. She is honored to have watched Sandhill Center work with Dr. Bruce Perry and the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, and develop into the clinically sophisticated and nurturing program it is today.

Outside of work, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family, and hanging with her two pups, Andy and Gretel. She loves staying active, yoga, and watching as many baseball games as possible (Go Rockies!).

The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely he will be to recover from trauma and thrive. Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.

― Bruce D. Perry

Graham Shannonhouse
Executive Director - Trails Carolina, Trails Momentum, Foundations Asheville

Graham Shannonhouse has more than 20 years of experience in the wilderness field. With an intimate working knowledge of the roots of wilderness therapy, Graham brought her wisdom and insights into the development of the country’s first wilderness experience to intentionally integrate family work into the student’s core treatment plan.  And with more than 16 years in the wilderness field, she has been an integral part of the conception, execution, and evolution of what we have come to know as wilderness therapy.

Graham began her career as a hands-on field instructor, quickly moving to field supervisor, followed by a tenure as program director. During this period she successfully designed, managed and served as a therapist for the country’s first therapeutic wilderness program specifically for teens ages 10 to 13. In 2002, Graham returned to the east to serve as executive director for a therapeutic wilderness program based in North Carolina, successfully growing it into one of the most respected companies in the industry.

When Graham is not working she enjoys wake boarding, mountain biking, and running with her two golden doodles on the many trails of Western North Carolina. She competes in marathons, rides in local bike races, and is an exceptionally talented chef. More than anything, Graham loves to travel and spend time with her family.

Growing up in North Carolina, I would spend my summers in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. My time in the wilderness helped me define myself as a person, and it is with gratitude and joy that I am able to offer struggling adolescents and their families the opportunity to do the same.

click here to go to Trails Carolina

Hayden Dupell
CFO - Finance - FHW

As CFO-Finance, Hayden supports the financial team in the development of capital deployment strategy, forecasts and budgets, financial modeling, and capital structuring. Hayden believes that FHW’s programs provide substantial and lasting change to children and their families, and is passionate about putting his financial knowledge to work to enable programs to focus on care and service.

Hayden joined FHW in 2019 after completing a Master’s in Business Administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Before joining the FHW team, Hayden spent 4 years at Ernst and Young where he earned his CPA. Prior to Ernst and Young, Hayden attended the University of Tulsa where he earned a Masters in Accounting and a B.S. in Business Administration in Accounting.

Hayden’s interests outside of work include exercising, learning to play the guitar and piano, and developing his culinary skills. He enjoys spending time outside with his wife in the beautiful scenery of Oregon, and they are looking forward to starting a family in the near future.

Jennifer Wilde
Executive Clinical Director - Elevations RTC, ViewPoint Center

Jennifer has 25 years of experience treating adolescents in a wide variety of settings.  Trained as a therapist, Jennifer is certified in DBT by the Linehan Institute, she also relies on the empirically based modalities of CBT, Family Systems and Motivational Interviewing.  After experiences in inpatient, residential, and wilderness settings, Jennifer believes the continuum of care is essential to long term success.  Acting as a part of the Executive team at both Elevations RTC and ViewPoint Center,  Jennifer ensures the highest quality of therapeutic intervention for our students.  Developing and managing a highly skilled team of Clinicians and program staff, Jennifer enjoys the energy and optimism of teenagers.

As a parent of two teenage boys, Jennifer knows enrolling a child in treatment is one of the hardest decisions a parent will make.  Respecting this decision, she is always driven to honor each student and families individualized treatment needs.  Always drawn to the outdoors, Jennifer enjoys spending time hiking with her family and two dogs in the mountains and deserts of Utah.

Master of Social Work,  University of Utah:  Bachelor of Science, Sociology and Psychology, Brigham Young University

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional,” -Ghandi
click here to go to ElevationsRTC
Jenny Kudna
SVP of Operations - FHW

Jenny joined the team in 2016 to help support the operational needs of FHW’s Program Partners. For Jenny, helping others is a calling, not a job. Her energy and passion help create a culture where FHW’s Program Partners feel supported and equipped with the resources they need to focus on helping children.

Jenny offers a wealth of experience as she has dedicated the last 25+ years of her career to caring for and serving others. Her career began in the elder care industry attending to seniors and their families. While there, she was promoted to a Senior Executive Operations role that allowed her to build compassionate and effective teams to make the senior living communities great places to live and work.

Aside from work, Jenny has volunteered at McKay High for the last five years teaching kids about the potential for higher education and how they can reach those goals. Jenny and her husband Rick have lived in Salem for the last 30 years; they have 3 sons and a dog named Remy.

Jon Worbets
Clinical Director - BlueFire Wilderness

Jon has always had his hand in both mental health & adventure-based therapy.  He has taken his interest in psychology and love of the outdoors and directed  a non-profit organization working with inner city youth, worked as the clinical program manager for a wilderness program, was the founder and clinical director of a wilderness therapy program for adjudicated youth, and the clinical director at a therapeutic boarding school.  He has pioneered the way parents and kids approach the therapeutic benefits of the wilderness and created industry changing practices in family therapy.

In his free time Jon loves to spend time with his family in the outdoors.  He enjoys teaching his children skiing, climbing, and how to paddle waters all over the northwestern United States. Jon is a staple in the outdoor community while not at BlueFire.

Jon has a BS in Psychology from Colorado State, MA in Clinical Psychology from Prescott College, Certified EMDR clinician, Specializing in trauma, ODD, Depression, and Anxiety.

The greatest gift we can give our kids is the confidence they can overcome difficult things, which can only be fostered through challenge and adversity.

Click Here to go to blueFire Wilderness and blueFire Pulsar

Josh White
Executive Director - Red Mountain Sedona

Josh White, Sensei, MA, LCMHC, CGP earned his Master’s Degree in Psychology from Naropa University, the nation’s premier mindfulness-based therapeutic training institution. Josh is a senior instructor and the second-ranking active practitioner of Ten-Chi Kenpo, an innovative martial art combining a range of disciplines such as Aikido, Qigong, and T’ai Chi.

Josh is one of less than 200 teachers worldwide authorized to teach in the Zen meditation tradition of Taizan Maezumi, and enjoys incorporating Zen teachings into his clinical work, helping clients learn to live in the moment and actively create the life they have always wanted.   He serves on the Board of Directors of the White Plum Zen Teachers Association.

Josh is known as a leader and innovator within the mental health and addiction treatment fields.  He has presented to the American Group Psychotherapy Association and the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, and served on the faculty at Naropa University and Oregon Health and Science University.   Prior to the founding of Red Mountain, Josh served as Program Director and Clinical Director at Copper Canyon Academy; Executive Director at Decision Point Center; and Clinical Director of the Young Adult Program at WinGate Wilderness Therapy.

Josh is a proud father and husband and an avid guitarist and former professional musician who opened for Run DMC, Vertical Horizon, and the Violent Femmes.   He enjoys spending time with his wife and son; hiking with his dogs in the Red Rocks of Sedona; building and playing guitars; and dominating his fantasy baseball league.

Mindfulness saved my life.  Learning how to watch my thoughts, feelings and impulses arise and fall saved me from a self-destructive path fueled by past trauma and poor choices.  Today I am living my dream teaching and mentoring young people who are just like I was, and helping them find a path of productivity and peace.

click here to go to Red Mountain Sedona

Judith Jacques
Executive Director - Elevations RTC, ViewPoint Center

Feeling frustrated by the systemic constraints to affect real change in the lives of adolescents in the public school system, she was on the verge of leaving education altogether. Fortunately, Judith was offered a role as a teacher in a residential treatment center and found a renewed interest in working with students in an environment where students and their needs are a priority.  Judith spent the next 2 years as a teacher, then 10 years as an academic director before moving into operations of a residential treatment center as a program director. She was one of the original founders of Elevations RTC and ViewPoint Center.

Judith loves to spend her time with her family, practicing yoga, and continuing to explore her passion for history.  She combines her passions of travel and history into trips to explore historical sites and examination of the past and how we learn from one another. Judith’s passions have helped shape her personal philosophy and approach in working within a residential treatment setting.

Education – BS in Education from Millersville University of Pennsylvania , MEd in Special Education from Westminister College.

Learning is a social and emotional activity.  If students are not socially and emotionally available little change can be expected in the classroom or at home.  We have to meet them where they are and start with helping them to be open to change.
click here to go to ElevationsRTC
Kathryn Huffman
Admissions Director - Asheville Academy for Girls

With more than fifteen years in the industry, Kathryn Huffman has extensive experience working with struggling adolescents and pre-adolescents in residential and wilderness settings. Kathryn’s background includes helping to develop, and providing admissions support, for the first wilderness program in the country specifically for 10 to 13-year-olds, and serving as a founding member and Admissions Director for a personal development boarding school for girls ages 10 to 14.

With her long history of serving this population, as well as having two young daughters of her own, Kathryn recognizes the necessity and value in providing families and their loved ones with a safe, nurturing and fun environment that recognizes and addresses the unique developmental needs of our specific age group.

She considers it a privilege and a treat to be part of a caring organization dedicated to helping young girls and their families improve relationships and achieve healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives. In her free time, Kathryn enjoys reading, movies, yoga, jumping rope and losing at Wii to her two daughters, Ellie (age 10) and Frances (age 9).

 The opportunity to serve our girls and their families, and to help guide these special young ladies towards recognizing, and achieving, all of which they are capable while they still in their formative years is a gift and a joy. I am grateful every day to be part of a caring organization dedicated to helping young girls and their families improve relationship, and achieve, happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Click Here to go to Asheville Academy

Kathy Rex
Executive Director - BlueFire Wilderness

Growing up in a large family, I spent most of my younger years in the outdoors and engaging in a variety of activities, from camping and hiking, team sports and annual family reunions at a mountain lake in northern Utah. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Recreation Therapy, and shortly thereafter became a nationally Certified Licensed Recreation Therapist. After five years working in the recreation department in an inpatient psychiatric hospital that served young children, adolescents and adults, I was introduced to adventure therapy programs. Playing on a competitive softball team that traveled to southern Idaho in 1994, I met the leadership team of one of the first adventure therapy programs.

Wilderness therapy was an ideal setting for me as I spent several years as a Field Supervisor, established the Field Director position, became Assistant Director and then was the Executive Director of a leading adventure therapy program for the next 12 years. I believe in the powerful change that happens in the outdoor setting and am also passionate about continuing to evolve this profession and how programs are provided. Blending the traditional high level care of a treatment team model found in residential treatment centers with a strong adventure component into the wilderness approach enhances the experience that our families have. Safety in this setting is a priority and, as such, hiring and training protocols are of the utmost importance.

I live in a community which values family and strong neighborhood connections. My husband and I have raised three older children and have our youngest still at home. I volunteer countless hours to support my community by coaching youth sports. Seeing young people gain confidence through physical success is an important part of my life. Spending time as a family is a top priority and we can often be found at a ball field, gymnasium, boating on the Snake River or enjoying the many winter activities in the surrounding mountains. I get excited to engage in new adventures and challenges on a regular basis. My family recently added a tandem kayak to their collection of outdoor gear.

I believe life is full of possibilities. I am excited to be apart of helping families realize their potential. This is my passion.

Click Here to go to blueFire Wilderness and blueFire Pulsar

Keoni Anderson
Executive Director, Founding Partner - Solstice West

Keoni has a Masters Degree in Psychology, and is an Advanced Substance Use Disorder Counselor for the state of Utah. He has worked with adolescents for over 17 years and is experienced with many different skills for helping teens with addiction problems. Keoni has presented at several professional conferences about the many different approaches available for addiction treatment.

Keoni has been married for 25 years, and has one daughter and one son. He is fluent in the Spanish language and enjoys movies, fishing, hunting, singing, writing songs, and playing guitar.

I like what we get a chance to do at our program.  There are a lot of forces out there trying to destroy families, and few things trying to help families.   Solstice is one of the things that helps to strengthen and save families in need.

click here to go to Solstice RTC

Kera Miller
Executive Director - Red Mountain Colorado

Kera Miller has worked in the field of mental health since 1998, and has been a clinician since 2005. She has worked with adolescents and young adults in residential, inpatient, day treatment, and outpatient/community-based settings, including14 years working with Vive Family Support Program as a direct care mentor, then Colorado Regional Director and eventually the National Clinical Director.

Kera also worked as a counselor for several years with a local Denver hospice, case manager for the Colorado Chapter of the National MS Society, and as an assistant coach for women’s basketball at a local Denver division II university.

Kera’s philosophy in working with young people is based in recognition of the basic goodness within every individual; believing that individuals do the best they can with what they know, what they have available to them, and what their circumstances are. Effective therapy includes building a relationship, involving the family unit, and seeking to understand the motivation for growth and change, as well as the thoughts and feelings that may impede that growth.

Kera is originally from Iowa, and is an avid and often vociferous Iowa Hawkeyes fan. She has lived in Colorado since 2001 and appreciates being so close to the mountains and all the beauty they offer. When not investing time with her clients, Kera enjoys hiking and snowshoeing and international travel.

Kyle Gillett
Executive Director - Equinox RTC

Kyle has been a partner of the FHW team since 2010 and is one of three original founders of Solstice RTC. He was instrumental in creating an expansion of Solstice RTC on the east coast and currently serves as the executive director of Solstice East.  In January 2017, Kyle will take on the role of Executive Director at Equinox RTC, a Solstice program for boys, which he will launch with a small group of co-founders.

With a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy, Kyle has a great deal of experience providing therapy to and operating programs for adolescents and their families. He has served in a myriad of leadership roles in programs for adolescent boys and girls including: primary therapist, clinical director, admissions director and program director.

Kyle’s leadership style can best be explained as relationship-based and principle-driven. He believes in the importance of teaching principles of leadership through instruction and example and allowing members of his team to apply those principles to their respective departments in their own way. Kyle is also known for being very playful and engaged with his team—hoping to make it fun to come to work every day.  His therapy dog, Shadow, a Miniature Australian Shepherd, can be found accompanying him to work every day.

Kyle’s favorite things include spending time with his beautiful wife and four wonderful little boys, playing all sorts of games, coaching CrossFit classes, hiking, camping, fishing, reading, watching movies and a variety of sports. In January 2017, Kyle and his wife welcomed their first daughter into the Gillett family!

click here to go to Equinox RTC

Laura Burt
Business Development Director - Elevations RTC

Laura started working in this industry in 1996. She has been a force of both compassion and understanding for the 1000+ families with whom she has worked.  She currently is the Admissions & Marketing Director for both Elevations and ViewPoint Center.  Laura has worked with adolescents in a number of different capacities starting years ago as an administrative assistant, coordinating and organizing records, working direct care on the milieu, she was also an academic assistant and school registrar for 9 years and has been part of the admissions team as the Admissions Director since the start of Elevations RTC.  Her experience as a small business owner has prepared her for this role as well.

Outside of Elevations Laura loves to travel, read, and adventure with her family.  She is married and has two amazing kids.   She and her husband are getting the hang of being empty nesters.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky

click here to go to ElevationsRTC

Linda Zimmerman, M.A., L.P.C.C.
Executive Director/ Founder - Sandhill Center

Linda Zimmerman  is the Executive Director and founder of Sandhill Center.  With over 30 years of experience in working with children and families, Ms. Zimmerman has been responsible for creating several therapeutic programs to address attachment issues and childhood trauma. Linda is regarded by some as a pioneer within the state of New Mexico not only for her current work in the clinical application of key principles of neurodevelopment, but also in the early 1990’s for introducing a treatment model focused on problematic childhood attachments and the formation of basic trust.

In 1996, Linda was named the City of Albuquerque’s “Woman on the Move” for her cutting edge work in the field of children’s mental health treatment. When Linda isn’t working with the Sandhill staff and residents, she can often be found co-mingling with the lovely Sandhill equines, or taking a long nature walk with her “muttley crew” of five sweet rescue dogs, ranging from a Chihuahua to a Bullmastiff.

Maureen White
Program Director - Red Mountain Sedona

Maureen has worked to help well over 1,000 clients discover themselves and recover their lives. She has occupied myriad roles in clients’ healing, from meditation instructor in month-long retreats; therapist in private practice; leader of experiential healing intensive workshops; handpicked counselor for Sedona based boutique self-help program featured on Oprah; to her current role of therapist, meditation teacher, CoFounder and Program Director of Red Mountain Sedona.

Maureen has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Naropa University. She is also a sanctioned Meditation Instructor in a sect of Tibetan Buddhism and has staffed multiple month long meditation retreats. Maureen has the very unique qualification to teach Maitri: 5 Energies which she also teaches at Red Mountain Sedona. Maureen completed 200 hours of Spanish Language training in Antigua, Guatemala and Is always striving to become proficient in other languages.

Maureen has traveled extensively in 5 of the 7 continents and is game for almost any adventure with her son and husband. She loves kayaking, SUP, hiking, skiing, golf and tennis. “

I don’t ever want anyone to be less of who they are. I seek to help people overcome the fears and wounds that prevent them from being completely themselves.

click here to go to Red Mountain Sedona

Mike Wellons
Chief of Business Development - FHW

Mike leads FHW’s external growth program and believes this role is the culmination of his life’s work and great joy. He is an accomplished senior executive with a successful track record in a variety of corporate development roles with institutional, investor-backed, and public owned companies in the behavioral healthcare industry. He has led acquisition team efforts for a variety of group businesses whose focus was in the youth mental health treatment and education sectors.

He holds a MBA Degree from Georgia College and a BBA Degree from the University of Georgia. He is a Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor through the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisers.

Outside of work, Mike’s passions are volunteerism and spending quality time at family gatherings. His interests include traveling with his wife of 46 years and contributing to religious and professional organizations, offering the perspective and set of experiences gained in working with these specialized treatment segments.

“A father is called to do many things — scare away monsters, fix a broken toy, be a coach or a counselor…But the most important thing a father is called to do is to love with all his heart as if the fate of the world depended on it…because it does…”

R. Jeffrey Simpson MS, LCSW
Founder - Uinta Academy

Jeff received his B.S. in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Nebraska. Jeff has a Masters degree in Child and Youth Care Administration from Nova University in Florida. He also holds a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapist. Jeff has directed programs at a number of residential treatment centers including Father Flanagan’s Boys Home in Nebraska, St. Labre Home for Indian Children in Montana, and the Youth Village in Utah.

Wherever he has worked, Jeff has been known as an innovator who can make things happen. Some of the programs he has developed and directed include treatment foster care, residential treatment, family preservation, casework management, and outpatient clinical therapy programs. Jeff has used his expertise to provide consultation and evaluation for a number of residential treatment centers in the U.S. and Canada as a site evaluator for the Teaching-Family Association (TFA).

Jeff served for many years on the Certification and Ethics Committee for TFA and has previously served on the board of directors for the National Association of Therapeutic School and Programs. He currently chairs the NATSAP government relations committee. Jeff and Becky started Uinta because it had always been their dream to run a program that was clinically intense and sophisticated, but also very warm and nurturing. Jeff directs all aspects of the daily operations at Uinta. As a therapist he also carries a small caseload of girls. Since he lost both of his parents as a teenager and understands the emotional implications of loss, Jeff facilitates the Bereavement group. Jeff and Becky are the parents of four children, three of whom have worked at Uinta.

Jeff loves horses, old Western movies and TV shows, motorcycles, and hanging out with his children and grandchildren. If you attend one of Uinta’s family weekends, you’re bound to see a clip from the Andy Griffith show, one of Jeff’s favorites.

click here to go to Uinta Academy

Randi Nelson
Admissions Director - ViewPoint Center

Randi has been in admissions for residential programs for 11 years. She has been with ViewPoint since they started in 2014. Randi worked as a special education teacher before finding her fit in admissions. She has worked/lived in the Salt Lake City area for the past 25 years and teaching/working with kids has always been a part of her passion. At ViewPoint she gets to combine her experience and interest in education with her passion to help families build success for their kids.

Randi is obsessed with fishing. She has fished all over the country and loves spending time with her family on local lakes and streams. She loves the outdoors and spending time with her husband and three kids and their families. Randi has 3 dogs and a coil pond.

click here to go to ViewPoint Center

Rebecca Gebb
Program Director - Asheville Academy for Girls

Rebecca Gebb has been working with Asheville Academy for Girls since January of 2013.  She currently serves as the Program Director and oversees residential programming.  Rebecca’s prior experience includes early childhood education, a pediatric outpatient hematology/oncology clinic, a children’s advocacy center, therapeutic summers camps, and other therapeutic boarding school settings.  Rebecca has a desire for lifelong learning and strives to meet students where they are at, while providing learning experiences that allow for success and autonomy to succeed in traditional settings. Rebecca is intrigued by the energy and curiosity of the youth she works with.

She is current graduate student at Lenoir-Rhyne University, studying Sustainable Studies.  With the changing of times, Rebecca is embracing the knowledge and skills she is learning with the goal to building a more sustainable future for all community members & business organizations; using systemic solution-based problem solving. Rebecca holds an undergraduate degree in Child Life from East Carolina University.

When Rebecca is not working you will likely find her outside gardening, hiking, foraging, exploring, or exercising with her three dogs and family members.  As a Western North Carolina native, Rebecca is thankful for the beauty and adventures that the Blue Ridge Mountains provide.

ATTITUDE is the difference between an ordeal or an adventure

– Bob Bitchin

Click Here to go to Asheville Academy

Reid Treadaway
Director of Admissions and Business Development - BlueFire Wilderness

I received my Bachelor of Science degree from Clemson University, thenin 1996 I started working as a front-line staff at Rocky Mountain Academy and the Ascent wilderness program.  Within 2 years I became an Admissions Counselor for the Ascent program.  In 2000, as the Director of Admissions, I helped start the admissions office for a startup wilderness program called SUWS of the Carolinas. In 2003 I moved back to Idaho to be the Director of Admissions for the Ascent wilderness program. Within a year I became the Regional Director of Admissions for all four CEDU/Brown School programs in North Idaho. In 2010 I was an Admissions Specialist with InnerChange, working with the Internet team for placements for New Haven, Sunrise and Fulshear Ranch Academy. In 2012 I became the Director of Admissions for Boulder Creek Academy. In 2014 I helped found Blue Fire Wilderness. We opened our doors and accepted our first client on September 20th, 2014.

I am married and have 3 boys ages 11,15 and 19. I enjoy skiing, gardening, hunting, fishing, camping, boating and just being out in nature. I love the community that I live in and the people that live in it.

The harder I work the luckier I get.

Click Here to go to blueFire Wilderness and blueFire Pulsar

Russ Pryor
Executive Director - Uinta Academy

Russ Pryor has worked in the mental health field since 1993. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Brigham Young University in 1994, a Master of Social Work from Tulane University in 1995, and a Master of Business Administration from Westminster College in 2000.

Russ has worked as a clinician and a manager at all the different levels of care and treatment. Some of Russ’ previous work experience included working as a therapist at Benchmark Regional Hospital, as an outpatient therapist, a therapist and director of admissions at an assessment center, as the clinical supervisor/crisis counselor for Intermountain Health Care, and as the clinical director for Highland Ridge Hospital. His therapeutic focus is an integrative approach to treatment using family systems theory and cognitive behavioral therapy. Russ’ specialties are treating mood disorders, social learning issues, personality disorders, grief and trauma, chemical dependency, and adoption/attachment issues. Moreover, Russ has advanced training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Motivational Interviewing, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Russ’ interests include running, traveling, movies, and the arts; however, his favorite hobby is running. Russ has run more than nine marathons and a plethora of half marathons. Russ married his best friend and has been married for more than 22 years. He has three beautiful and loving daughters. When Russ is not working, he loves to spend his time with his family.

click here to go to Uinta Academy

Scott Hess
Primary Therapist - WinGate Wilderness

Scott Hess began his career as a marriage and family therapist in 1996, working with juvenile sex offenders in locked facilities. That experience helped Scott discover and develop his profound gift for getting to the heart of core issues with even the most calloused, oppositional clients. Scott attributes his success with resistant clients to his highly relational approach. “I focus first on building relationships of trust and respect,” says Scott. “From there I’m in a position to invite, rather than compel, students to find themselves and heal their relationships.”

Prior to joining WinGate, Scott gained additional experience in both residential and wilderness programs as a counselor, clinical director, and executive director. Scott’s expertise with family systems enables him to craft solutions for the entire family system; systemic solutions help protect and sustain changes the young person makes in treatment.

Throughout his career, Scott has focused on his own personal and professional development. He is always seeking to refine his therapeutic skills and the quality of his interactions. This focus on continual personal development has earned him a solid reputation as an industry leader. More importantly, this focus has helped him personally as he and his wife raise their own four children

click here to go to Wingate Wilderness Therapy

Shalene Pierce
Primary Therapist - Trails Carolina

Shalene Pierce has worked in the wilderness industry for over fifteen years as a field instructor, clinical director, and a therapist at four different programs in various areas of the country.  Shalene is an expert at wilderness therapy and has a specialty in trauma work including utilizing EMDR and exposure therapy techniques.  The empowerment of the wilderness experience, multiple transition opportunities, and the variety of the programming at Trails provide constant opportunities for growth and change and this keeps Shalene grounded at Trails Carolina. Shalene has a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies from The University of Texas, Austin.

In her personal time, Shalene enjoys spending time with her family, including her two dogs, and staying physically active.  Shalene enjoys a regular yoga practice, being outside in her flower and vegetable garden, traveling, and having fun.

It is good to have an end to journey towards ; But it is the journey that matters, in the end.

click here to go to Trails Carolina

Shayne Gallager
Executive Director - WinGate Wilderness

With over twenty-six years as either a Field Staff, Trainer, Program Developer, Field Director, Program Director, and currently as WinGate’s Executive Director, Shayne is on a decidedly short list as one of the most experienced leaders in the history of the outdoor behavioral health industry.

Having been fundamentally involved in the the development and programmatic oversight of four wilderness therapy programs, and with his deep understanding of the innate therapeutic effects of a wilderness experience on the healing of young people, Shayne is a pioneer in the development of unique ways to capitalize on these experiences to enhance their therapeutic value.

As a popular speaker on the subject of all aspects of wilderness therapy, Shayne has for many years presented at regional, national, and international conferences and symposiums.

Shayne is the husband of a beautiful wife and the father of six awesome children.

“It has been my privilege to work with children and families over the years. I can’t imagine a more meaningful path to have taken.”

 

click here to go to Wingate Wilderness Therapy

Sheri Gallagher
Director of Operations - WinGate Wilderness

Sheri has a Masters degree in Recreation Administration from Brigham Young University. Throughout her college tenure, she was chosen to lead many and varied recreational programs and trips with a variety of age groups, and in a variety of venues. Sheri has taught courses from canoeing to rappelling, and from beach and desert survival, to winter camping skills.

While in college, Sheri worked several years for the National Indian Youth Leadership Program, for which she was the Outdoor Recreation Specialist, and served on it’s board of directors. These efforts were her introduction to a long career of working with at-risk youth.

As part of her masters degree program, Sheri helped design and implement the 1st long-term wilderness therapy program. She has worked at four other wilderness programs, in many cases helping them develop their curriculum and program features. Sheri is one of the most experienced persons in the wilderness therapy industry. Sheri is listed in Who’s Who, and 2000 notable women.

click here to go to Wingate Wilderness Therapy

Steve Stradley
CEO - FHW

In 2014 Steve joined FHW in pursuit of helping others. He worked closely with the Program Partners to offer them strategic advice and guide them through the day-to-day challenges that can distract them from what they do best—making a difference in the lives of sons, daughters and their families. In 2017, Steve was elevated to the position of CEO where he has continued to build a team that supports the growth of our Partner Programs, while holding true to the vision and culture of FHW’s Founding Dad.

Steve has devoted the last 18+ years to supporting those who make a difference in the lives of others. His career began as a senior executive in the assisted living and elder-care industry where he spent over 10 years helping to enhance quality, care, and service for tens of thousands of seniors around the country.

Steve earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from Oregon State University, with a concentration in finance.

As a self-proclaimed foodie, Steve is always perfecting his homemade pizza crust, made in his wood-fire pizza oven. He lives in Salem, Oregon with his wife, daughter and two labradoodles who are all subjected to his current hobby of learning to play the guitar.

“You can’t really understand the difference we make in a family’s life until you see that son or daughter embrace their mother or father for the first time after graduating from one of our programs—it’s truly amazing what our people do.”

Wayne Laird
CFO - Accounting - FHW

Wayne is a founder and the first employee of FHW. As CFO-Accounting he has enjoyed supporting the Partner Program’s accounting and financial needs. This support allows Partners to concentrate on providing the best service and care to students and their families.

Prior to joining FHW, Wayne worked 15 years in the Accounting and Finance field. He served as an audit Manager for a CPA firm overseeing audits services and as Finance Director for a Water Provider directing the reporting and financing needs for two rapidly growing communities.

After spending four years serving in the US Army, Wayne obtained a B.S. in Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from Portland State University.

Wayne enjoys traveling with his family and is a sports fan. For the past eight years, he has coached his kids in basketball and softball. Wayne also served on the board of a local charter school for nine years acting as Treasurer and Vice Chair.

It is fulfilling working with great people doing what they do best, providing help for young people and their families.

Kami Black
Founder, Executive Director, ROOTs Transition

Kami’s passion for supporting youth and their families came after she was able to engage in her own healing as an adolescent. She realized the importance of connection and relationships when addressing trauma and how true healing can not happen without it. Her desire to mentor others and give back became a part of who she is today and guides her career.

Kami has worked in various resident treatment settings in a variety of leadership roles over the past 20 years. She received her Masters in Social Work and is clinically trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Brainspotting, Somatic Experiencing, Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP) and NeuroAffect Relational Model (NARM).

Kami has dreamt of opening her own program for many years. She founded ROOTs Transition in 2020. With the combination of her passion, experience and an amazing team, she knows she can create a space of healing for all involved.

Lauren Angerosa
Admissions Director, ROOTs Transition

As a trip leader in college, Lauren first experienced the profound power nature and time spent outdoors can have on a person. Throughout her career, she has seen the incredible difference an intentional intervention can have on a student and their family. Lauren believes in the importance, both personally and professionally, of a strong community. By witnessing the impact the ever-changing world has on our youth, Lauren believes that giving young people the opportunity to experience their full potential creates lasting strength in their future.

Over the past 13 years Lauren has worked in therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness therapy programs and residential treatment centers. After completing her degree in Sociology and Adventure Recreation at Ohio University, Lauren moved to the mountains of Utah and has called them home ever since. Lauren continues to be humbled by the trust families give her while she walks beside them in helping to make treatment decisions for their child.

With a deep personal connection to the power of the outdoors, Lauren is excited to join the ROOTs team as they embark on creating an intentional community for both students, families and staff members. Lauren believes that at ROOTs, the combination of time in nature, community engagement, deep clinical work, a purposeful living environment, and true family work, will offer students and families a real path to health and healing.

Stacey Rosenberg
Program Director, ROOTs Transition

Stacey believes that personal and professional growth is essential to this work. In over 20 years of leading adolescents in outdoor therapeutic settings, Stacey has experienced the power of nature as a catalyst for change, both for herself and those around her. She has mentored countless guides by helping them discover their own true strengths and abilities. Stacey’s compassionate and intentional approach creates a safe space for others to develop and grow.

After graduating from Boston University in 2001 with a BS in education, Stacey moved out west and began her career as a Wilderness Field Instructor. During her time in the field, she developed her skills, knowledge, and passion for the outdoors. She found the experiential model to be the most effective in helping students begin to see themselves as more confident and capable individuals. This approach to healing led her to working and creating adventure therapy programs for adolescent females for many years. She recently shifted her focus and began expanding her skills as a program director in a residential treatment center. In this position, she was able to fulfill a true passion of investing time and energy into helping others develop.

As the Program Director at ROOTs, Stacey has developed a team of individuals who feel valued in this work. Her years of experience in the field and desire to build a supportive environment align well with the vision at ROOTs.

Patrick Hawkins
Founder, Executive Director, Triple Divide Lodge

Patrick Hawkins is a Licensed Addictions Counselor. Since 1995 he has been dedicated to working with adolescents and young adults. He began working in this type of model in 1996 and has become a nationally trusted name utilizing the outdoors as a part of substance abuse treatment. He has led over 50 expeditions, accumulated over 1,100 days in the backcountry treating clients, and helped hundreds of young men and their families work toward recovery. Patrick helped teens with substance use disorders during his time as the Clinical Director of a wilderness therapy program for young men with drug and alcohol addictions. An expert in the field of experiential therapy, Patrick has led hundreds of clients on wilderness expeditions and supported their sobriety.

Anthony Geraci
Founder, Admissions Director, Triple Divide Lodge

Anthony Geraci is an industry veteran in the behavioral health field with over 23 years of experience working with adolescents and young adults. His experience covers P&L responsibility, day to day operations, marketing, admissions, staff development and direct care. He developed, founded and operated four treatment programs. Through an acquisition of his companies, Anthony was responsible for day to day operations of 5 programs in three different states. After spending time working at a boarding school, Anthony developed a passion for helping young people redirect the fire in their bellies to become successful. He enjoys helping clients identify their strengths and formulating a plan for success based on their strengths. His favorite part of coming to work everyday is when clients begin to see growth and results from their hard work. In Anthony’s free time, he enjoys spending time with family, watching his kids play sports, working out, hiking, golfing, and being on the water.

Steve Stradley
CEO - FHW

In 2014 Steve joined FHW in pursuit of helping others. He worked closely with the Program Partners to offer them strategic advice and guide them through the day-to-day challenges that can distract them from what they do best—making a difference in the lives of sons, daughters and their families. In 2017, Steve was elevated to the position of CEO where he has continued to build a team that supports the growth of our Partner Programs, while holding true to the vision and culture of FHW’s Founding Dad.

Steve has devoted the last 18+ years to supporting those who make a difference in the lives of others. His career began as a senior executive in the assisted living and elder-care industry where he spent over 10 years helping to enhance quality, care, and service for tens of thousands of seniors around the country.

Steve earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from Oregon State University, with a concentration in finance.

As a self-proclaimed foodie, Steve is always perfecting his homemade pizza crust, made in his wood-fire pizza oven. He lives in Salem, Oregon with his wife, daughter and two labradoodles who are all subjected to his current hobby of learning to play the guitar.

“You can’t really understand the difference we make in a family’s life until you see that son or daughter embrace their mother or father for the first time after graduating from one of our programs—it’s truly amazing what our people do.”

Wayne Laird
CFO - Accounting - FHW

Wayne is a founder and the first employee of FHW. As CFO-Accounting he has enjoyed supporting the Partner Program’s accounting and financial needs. This support allows Partners to concentrate on providing the best service and care to students and their families.

Prior to joining FHW, Wayne worked 15 years in the Accounting and Finance field. He served as an audit Manager for a CPA firm overseeing audits services and as Finance Director for a Water Provider directing the reporting and financing needs for two rapidly growing communities.

After spending four years serving in the US Army, Wayne obtained a B.S. in Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from Portland State University.

Wayne enjoys traveling with his family and is a sports fan. For the past eight years, he has coached his kids in basketball and softball. Wayne also served on the board of a local charter school for nine years acting as Treasurer and Vice Chair.

It is fulfilling working with great people doing what they do best, providing help for young people and their families.

Hayden Dupell
CFO - Finance - FHW

As CFO-Finance, Hayden supports the financial team in the development of capital deployment strategy, forecasts and budgets, financial modeling, and capital structuring. Hayden believes that FHW’s programs provide substantial and lasting change to children and their families, and is passionate about putting his financial knowledge to work to enable programs to focus on care and service.

Hayden joined FHW in 2019 after completing a Master’s in Business Administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Before joining the FHW team, Hayden spent 4 years at Ernst and Young where he earned his CPA. Prior to Ernst and Young, Hayden attended the University of Tulsa where he earned a Masters in Accounting and a B.S. in Business Administration in Accounting.

Hayden’s interests outside of work include exercising, learning to play the guitar and piano, and developing his culinary skills. He enjoys spending time outside with his wife in the beautiful scenery of Oregon, and they are looking forward to starting a family in the near future.

Mike Wellons
Chief of Business Development - FHW

Mike leads FHW’s external growth program and believes this role is the culmination of his life’s work and great joy. He is an accomplished senior executive with a successful track record in a variety of corporate development roles with institutional, investor-backed, and public owned companies in the behavioral healthcare industry. He has led acquisition team efforts for a variety of group businesses whose focus was in the youth mental health treatment and education sectors.

He holds a MBA Degree from Georgia College and a BBA Degree from the University of Georgia. He is a Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor through the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisers.

Outside of work, Mike’s passions are volunteerism and spending quality time at family gatherings. His interests include traveling with his wife of 46 years and contributing to religious and professional organizations, offering the perspective and set of experiences gained in working with these specialized treatment segments.

“A father is called to do many things — scare away monsters, fix a broken toy, be a coach or a counselor…But the most important thing a father is called to do is to love with all his heart as if the fate of the world depended on it…because it does…”

Jenny Kudna
SVP of Operations - FHW

Jenny joined the team in 2016 to help support the operational needs of FHW’s Program Partners. For Jenny, helping others is a calling, not a job. Her energy and passion help create a culture where FHW’s Program Partners feel supported and equipped with the resources they need to focus on helping children.

Jenny offers a wealth of experience as she has dedicated the last 25+ years of her career to caring for and serving others. Her career began in the elder care industry attending to seniors and their families. While there, she was promoted to a Senior Executive Operations role that allowed her to build compassionate and effective teams to make the senior living communities great places to live and work.

Aside from work, Jenny has volunteered at McKay High for the last five years teaching kids about the potential for higher education and how they can reach those goals. Jenny and her husband Rick have lived in Salem for the last 30 years; they have 3 sons and a dog named Remy.

Becky Simpson
Founder - Uinta Academy

Becky studied music education at the University of Arizona with the goal to teach high school music. She has spent her entire professional career working with adolescents, but in a different capacity than she originally envisioned. Becky started working with children in Arizona as a youth care worker at Desert Willow Ranch. She was a Certified Family Teacher at Father Flanagan’s Boys Town in Nebraska and was the Director of Training and Evaluation at the St. Labre Home for Indian Children in Montana. She was responsible for staff training and evaluation at the Youth Village in Utah. There she developed and ran a parenting program that consisted of community parenting classes and support groups. She also trained teachers in the Granite School District on classroom management and trained foster parents for the Utah Department of Child and Family Services.

Her experience includes being a foster parent, consulting to treatment foster homes, providing in-home training to parents, and supervising a sexual offender program. Becky is a certified Teaching-Family Model Trainer, Evaluator, and Consultant. She is a Crisis Intervention Specialist certified by the Crisis Prevention Institute and a Level I Parelli student. Becky also served as a site evaluator for the Teaching-Family Association and a lecturer for the Governor’s Initiative on Families. At Uinta, Becky supervises the therapeutic milieu, conducts staff training, instructs Parelli natural horsemanship, manages human resources, and does a little interior decorating. Becky’s experience with applied behavioral analysis makes her a valuable member of the treatment team. She also runs the Culinary Club and Singing Club.

On a personal note, Becky still loves music; she plays the piano, writes music, sings and accompanies her church choir. She enjoys gardening, sewing, reading, and most of all, her grandchildren.

click here to go to Uinta Academy

Brandon S. Park, Ph.D.
Founder, Executive Director - New Focus Academy

I obtained my Bachelor degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) in Psychology graduating with honors. I continued on at UNLV for my Masters and Doctoral degrees. While doing this my mind was drawn to the significance of the brain and cognitive processes, leading to studying neuropsychology for my Doctoral degree.

During my internship and post-doctoral studies, I worked with a wide array of clients suffering from traumatic brain damage, severe mental illness, fetal alcohol exposure, congenital/developmental disorders, anoxia, and stroke. Through this process, I learned about the power of cognitive rehabilitation, a dynamic field of looking at how we can improve brain function and went on to create a cognitive training program for 1200 patients at a state hospital.

As a neuropsychologist, I am passionate about the importance of using assessment to make changes in the lives of the people I work with. I will use those skills to understand the barriers and limitations of the students under my care, as well as predict the heights of their potential.

Through many great opportunities, I developed positive interactive approaches using an understanding of the brain-behavior relationship leading to significant improvements in the students I work with. I also began to see how properly designed adolescent programs could help students begin to take accountability for themselves, appreciate the power of their own choices, and assist families to improve the systems and interactions they need to have a rewarding relationship with their child. I am excited to bring my knowledge, experience, and an incredible team to you as we strive for success with your child.

Education

Cat Jennings
Owner / Executive Director - Asheville Academy for Girls

Cat brings more than thirty years of experience making an impact in the lives of adolescents. Cat has developed multiple programs helping children, teens, and young adults in a variety of settings and with a diverse range of diagnoses. She has dedicated her career to behavioral health and is honored to be part of the passionate team at Asheville Academy for Girls.  She recognizes how delicate this age is and is proud of the role she and her team play in helping girls grow and prosper.

Cat received her degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Asheville. With her free time, Cat enjoys spending time with her wonderful family and close friends, sharing stories and making new ones. She loves being active and getting outdoors whenever she can.

Click Here to go to Asheville Academy

 

Graham Shannonhouse
Executive Director - Trails Carolina, Trails Momentum, Foundations Asheville

Graham Shannonhouse has more than 20 years of experience in the wilderness field. With an intimate working knowledge of the roots of wilderness therapy, Graham brought her wisdom and insights into the development of the country’s first wilderness experience to intentionally integrate family work into the student’s core treatment plan.  And with more than 16 years in the wilderness field, she has been an integral part of the conception, execution, and evolution of what we have come to know as wilderness therapy.

Graham began her career as a hands-on field instructor, quickly moving to field supervisor, followed by a tenure as program director. During this period she successfully designed, managed and served as a therapist for the country’s first therapeutic wilderness program specifically for teens ages 10 to 13. In 2002, Graham returned to the east to serve as executive director for a therapeutic wilderness program based in North Carolina, successfully growing it into one of the most respected companies in the industry.

When Graham is not working she enjoys wake boarding, mountain biking, and running with her two golden doodles on the many trails of Western North Carolina. She competes in marathons, rides in local bike races, and is an exceptionally talented chef. More than anything, Graham loves to travel and spend time with her family.

Growing up in North Carolina, I would spend my summers in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. My time in the wilderness helped me define myself as a person, and it is with gratitude and joy that I am able to offer struggling adolescents and their families the opportunity to do the same.

click here to go to Trails Carolina

Josh White
Executive Director - Red Mountain Sedona

Josh White, Sensei, MA, LCMHC, CGP earned his Master’s Degree in Psychology from Naropa University, the nation’s premier mindfulness-based therapeutic training institution. Josh is a senior instructor and the second-ranking active practitioner of Ten-Chi Kenpo, an innovative martial art combining a range of disciplines such as Aikido, Qigong, and T’ai Chi.

Josh is one of less than 200 teachers worldwide authorized to teach in the Zen meditation tradition of Taizan Maezumi, and enjoys incorporating Zen teachings into his clinical work, helping clients learn to live in the moment and actively create the life they have always wanted.   He serves on the Board of Directors of the White Plum Zen Teachers Association.

Josh is known as a leader and innovator within the mental health and addiction treatment fields.  He has presented to the American Group Psychotherapy Association and the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, and served on the faculty at Naropa University and Oregon Health and Science University.   Prior to the founding of Red Mountain, Josh served as Program Director and Clinical Director at Copper Canyon Academy; Executive Director at Decision Point Center; and Clinical Director of the Young Adult Program at WinGate Wilderness Therapy.

Josh is a proud father and husband and an avid guitarist and former professional musician who opened for Run DMC, Vertical Horizon, and the Violent Femmes.   He enjoys spending time with his wife and son; hiking with his dogs in the Red Rocks of Sedona; building and playing guitars; and dominating his fantasy baseball league.

Mindfulness saved my life.  Learning how to watch my thoughts, feelings and impulses arise and fall saved me from a self-destructive path fueled by past trauma and poor choices.  Today I am living my dream teaching and mentoring young people who are just like I was, and helping them find a path of productivity and peace.

click here to go to Red Mountain Sedona

Judith Jacques
Executive Director - Elevations RTC, ViewPoint Center

Feeling frustrated by the systemic constraints to affect real change in the lives of adolescents in the public school system, she was on the verge of leaving education altogether. Fortunately, Judith was offered a role as a teacher in a residential treatment center and found a renewed interest in working with students in an environment where students and their needs are a priority.  Judith spent the next 2 years as a teacher, then 10 years as an academic director before moving into operations of a residential treatment center as a program director. She was one of the original founders of Elevations RTC and ViewPoint Center.

Judith loves to spend her time with her family, practicing yoga, and continuing to explore her passion for history.  She combines her passions of travel and history into trips to explore historical sites and examination of the past and how we learn from one another. Judith’s passions have helped shape her personal philosophy and approach in working within a residential treatment setting.

Education – BS in Education from Millersville University of Pennsylvania , MEd in Special Education from Westminister College.

Learning is a social and emotional activity.  If students are not socially and emotionally available little change can be expected in the classroom or at home.  We have to meet them where they are and start with helping them to be open to change.
click here to go to ElevationsRTC
Kathy Rex
Executive Director - BlueFire Wilderness

Growing up in a large family, I spent most of my younger years in the outdoors and engaging in a variety of activities, from camping and hiking, team sports and annual family reunions at a mountain lake in northern Utah. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Recreation Therapy, and shortly thereafter became a nationally Certified Licensed Recreation Therapist. After five years working in the recreation department in an inpatient psychiatric hospital that served young children, adolescents and adults, I was introduced to adventure therapy programs. Playing on a competitive softball team that traveled to southern Idaho in 1994, I met the leadership team of one of the first adventure therapy programs.

Wilderness therapy was an ideal setting for me as I spent several years as a Field Supervisor, established the Field Director position, became Assistant Director and then was the Executive Director of a leading adventure therapy program for the next 12 years. I believe in the powerful change that happens in the outdoor setting and am also passionate about continuing to evolve this profession and how programs are provided. Blending the traditional high level care of a treatment team model found in residential treatment centers with a strong adventure component into the wilderness approach enhances the experience that our families have. Safety in this setting is a priority and, as such, hiring and training protocols are of the utmost importance.

I live in a community which values family and strong neighborhood connections. My husband and I have raised three older children and have our youngest still at home. I volunteer countless hours to support my community by coaching youth sports. Seeing young people gain confidence through physical success is an important part of my life. Spending time as a family is a top priority and we can often be found at a ball field, gymnasium, boating on the Snake River or enjoying the many winter activities in the surrounding mountains. I get excited to engage in new adventures and challenges on a regular basis. My family recently added a tandem kayak to their collection of outdoor gear.

I believe life is full of possibilities. I am excited to be apart of helping families realize their potential. This is my passion.

Click Here to go to blueFire Wilderness and blueFire Pulsar

Keoni Anderson
Executive Director, Founding Partner - Solstice West

Keoni has a Masters Degree in Psychology, and is an Advanced Substance Use Disorder Counselor for the state of Utah. He has worked with adolescents for over 17 years and is experienced with many different skills for helping teens with addiction problems. Keoni has presented at several professional conferences about the many different approaches available for addiction treatment.

Keoni has been married for 25 years, and has one daughter and one son. He is fluent in the Spanish language and enjoys movies, fishing, hunting, singing, writing songs, and playing guitar.

I like what we get a chance to do at our program.  There are a lot of forces out there trying to destroy families, and few things trying to help families.   Solstice is one of the things that helps to strengthen and save families in need.

click here to go to Solstice RTC

Kera Miller
Executive Director - Red Mountain Colorado

Kera Miller has worked in the field of mental health since 1998, and has been a clinician since 2005. She has worked with adolescents and young adults in residential, inpatient, day treatment, and outpatient/community-based settings, including14 years working with Vive Family Support Program as a direct care mentor, then Colorado Regional Director and eventually the National Clinical Director.

Kera also worked as a counselor for several years with a local Denver hospice, case manager for the Colorado Chapter of the National MS Society, and as an assistant coach for women’s basketball at a local Denver division II university.

Kera’s philosophy in working with young people is based in recognition of the basic goodness within every individual; believing that individuals do the best they can with what they know, what they have available to them, and what their circumstances are. Effective therapy includes building a relationship, involving the family unit, and seeking to understand the motivation for growth and change, as well as the thoughts and feelings that may impede that growth.

Kera is originally from Iowa, and is an avid and often vociferous Iowa Hawkeyes fan. She has lived in Colorado since 2001 and appreciates being so close to the mountains and all the beauty they offer. When not investing time with her clients, Kera enjoys hiking and snowshoeing and international travel.

Kyle Gillett
Executive Director - Equinox RTC

Kyle has been a partner of the FHW team since 2010 and is one of three original founders of Solstice RTC. He was instrumental in creating an expansion of Solstice RTC on the east coast and currently serves as the executive director of Solstice East.  In January 2017, Kyle will take on the role of Executive Director at Equinox RTC, a Solstice program for boys, which he will launch with a small group of co-founders.

With a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy, Kyle has a great deal of experience providing therapy to and operating programs for adolescents and their families. He has served in a myriad of leadership roles in programs for adolescent boys and girls including: primary therapist, clinical director, admissions director and program director.

Kyle’s leadership style can best be explained as relationship-based and principle-driven. He believes in the importance of teaching principles of leadership through instruction and example and allowing members of his team to apply those principles to their respective departments in their own way. Kyle is also known for being very playful and engaged with his team—hoping to make it fun to come to work every day.  His therapy dog, Shadow, a Miniature Australian Shepherd, can be found accompanying him to work every day.

Kyle’s favorite things include spending time with his beautiful wife and four wonderful little boys, playing all sorts of games, coaching CrossFit classes, hiking, camping, fishing, reading, watching movies and a variety of sports. In January 2017, Kyle and his wife welcomed their first daughter into the Gillett family!

click here to go to Equinox RTC

Linda Zimmerman, M.A., L.P.C.C.
Executive Director/ Founder - Sandhill Center

Linda Zimmerman  is the Executive Director and founder of Sandhill Center.  With over 30 years of experience in working with children and families, Ms. Zimmerman has been responsible for creating several therapeutic programs to address attachment issues and childhood trauma. Linda is regarded by some as a pioneer within the state of New Mexico not only for her current work in the clinical application of key principles of neurodevelopment, but also in the early 1990’s for introducing a treatment model focused on problematic childhood attachments and the formation of basic trust.

In 1996, Linda was named the City of Albuquerque’s “Woman on the Move” for her cutting edge work in the field of children’s mental health treatment. When Linda isn’t working with the Sandhill staff and residents, she can often be found co-mingling with the lovely Sandhill equines, or taking a long nature walk with her “muttley crew” of five sweet rescue dogs, ranging from a Chihuahua to a Bullmastiff.

R. Jeffrey Simpson MS, LCSW
Founder - Uinta Academy

Jeff received his B.S. in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Nebraska. Jeff has a Masters degree in Child and Youth Care Administration from Nova University in Florida. He also holds a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapist. Jeff has directed programs at a number of residential treatment centers including Father Flanagan’s Boys Home in Nebraska, St. Labre Home for Indian Children in Montana, and the Youth Village in Utah.

Wherever he has worked, Jeff has been known as an innovator who can make things happen. Some of the programs he has developed and directed include treatment foster care, residential treatment, family preservation, casework management, and outpatient clinical therapy programs. Jeff has used his expertise to provide consultation and evaluation for a number of residential treatment centers in the U.S. and Canada as a site evaluator for the Teaching-Family Association (TFA).

Jeff served for many years on the Certification and Ethics Committee for TFA and has previously served on the board of directors for the National Association of Therapeutic School and Programs. He currently chairs the NATSAP government relations committee. Jeff and Becky started Uinta because it had always been their dream to run a program that was clinically intense and sophisticated, but also very warm and nurturing. Jeff directs all aspects of the daily operations at Uinta. As a therapist he also carries a small caseload of girls. Since he lost both of his parents as a teenager and understands the emotional implications of loss, Jeff facilitates the Bereavement group. Jeff and Becky are the parents of four children, three of whom have worked at Uinta.

Jeff loves horses, old Western movies and TV shows, motorcycles, and hanging out with his children and grandchildren. If you attend one of Uinta’s family weekends, you’re bound to see a clip from the Andy Griffith show, one of Jeff’s favorites.

click here to go to Uinta Academy

Shayne Gallager
Executive Director - WinGate Wilderness

With over twenty-six years as either a Field Staff, Trainer, Program Developer, Field Director, Program Director, and currently as WinGate’s Executive Director, Shayne is on a decidedly short list as one of the most experienced leaders in the history of the outdoor behavioral health industry.

Having been fundamentally involved in the the development and programmatic oversight of four wilderness therapy programs, and with his deep understanding of the innate therapeutic effects of a wilderness experience on the healing of young people, Shayne is a pioneer in the development of unique ways to capitalize on these experiences to enhance their therapeutic value.

As a popular speaker on the subject of all aspects of wilderness therapy, Shayne has for many years presented at regional, national, and international conferences and symposiums.

Shayne is the husband of a beautiful wife and the father of six awesome children.

“It has been my privilege to work with children and families over the years. I can’t imagine a more meaningful path to have taken.”

 

click here to go to Wingate Wilderness Therapy

Russ Pryor
Executive Director - Uinta Academy

Russ Pryor has worked in the mental health field since 1993. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Brigham Young University in 1994, a Master of Social Work from Tulane University in 1995, and a Master of Business Administration from Westminster College in 2000.

Russ has worked as a clinician and a manager at all the different levels of care and treatment. Some of Russ’ previous work experience included working as a therapist at Benchmark Regional Hospital, as an outpatient therapist, a therapist and director of admissions at an assessment center, as the clinical supervisor/crisis counselor for Intermountain Health Care, and as the clinical director for Highland Ridge Hospital. His therapeutic focus is an integrative approach to treatment using family systems theory and cognitive behavioral therapy. Russ’ specialties are treating mood disorders, social learning issues, personality disorders, grief and trauma, chemical dependency, and adoption/attachment issues. Moreover, Russ has advanced training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Motivational Interviewing, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Russ’ interests include running, traveling, movies, and the arts; however, his favorite hobby is running. Russ has run more than nine marathons and a plethora of half marathons. Russ married his best friend and has been married for more than 22 years. He has three beautiful and loving daughters. When Russ is not working, he loves to spend his time with his family.

click here to go to Uinta Academy

R. Jeffrey Simpson MS, LCSW
Founder - Uinta Academy

Jeff received his B.S. in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Nebraska. Jeff has a Masters degree in Child and Youth Care Administration from Nova University in Florida. He also holds a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapist. Jeff has directed programs at a number of residential treatment centers including Father Flanagan’s Boys Home in Nebraska, St. Labre Home for Indian Children in Montana, and the Youth Village in Utah.

Wherever he has worked, Jeff has been known as an innovator who can make things happen. Some of the programs he has developed and directed include treatment foster care, residential treatment, family preservation, casework management, and outpatient clinical therapy programs. Jeff has used his expertise to provide consultation and evaluation for a number of residential treatment centers in the U.S. and Canada as a site evaluator for the Teaching-Family Association (TFA).

Jeff served for many years on the Certification and Ethics Committee for TFA and has previously served on the board of directors for the National Association of Therapeutic School and Programs. He currently chairs the NATSAP government relations committee. Jeff and Becky started Uinta because it had always been their dream to run a program that was clinically intense and sophisticated, but also very warm and nurturing. Jeff directs all aspects of the daily operations at Uinta. As a therapist he also carries a small caseload of girls. Since he lost both of his parents as a teenager and understands the emotional implications of loss, Jeff facilitates the Bereavement group. Jeff and Becky are the parents of four children, three of whom have worked at Uinta.

Jeff loves horses, old Western movies and TV shows, motorcycles, and hanging out with his children and grandchildren. If you attend one of Uinta’s family weekends, you’re bound to see a clip from the Andy Griffith show, one of Jeff’s favorites.

click here to go to Uinta Academy