The men and women of Wasatch Crest Recovery are dedicated professionals in the treatment of behavioral health disorders. Our warm, healing environment is built on the expertise and compassion of each staff member. We are extremely proud of our values-guided team, each one committed to the highest standards of integrity.
We would like to introduce you to a few of them.
Rich McDonald, MS, ACMHC
Chief Operating Officer / Executive Clinical Director
Rich McDonald is familiar with trailblazing as an ultra-runner, successfully competing in many marathons and 100-mile trail races. He’s also the lead visionary who has cleared the way for Wasatch Crest’s winning culture. He is committed to creating an environment where all can successfully cross their own finish lines.
Known for treating his staff with respect, accountability and acceptance, Rich extends these personal values to program participants and all audiences who interact with Wasatch Crest.
Like all great leaders, Rich remains teachable and leads by example adding value to the lives of others.
With more than 20 years’ experience in management and leadership roles, Rich has been active in the recovery community for nine years.
“Recovery is a miracle; why not have a front-row seat to watch it happen.”
Chad Christiansen, MD
Chad is a graduate of the Medical School of Wisconsin and has been a practicing physician for 12 years with a deep connection to addiction work and the WCR team. He completed a residency at the University of Utah, and is a certified buprenorphine prescriber for sub-acute detoxification. He has an abundant knowledge of addiction and co-occurring illnesses and practices medicine with compassion, empathy and great care.
“Dr. Chad” has served as Medical Director of Wasatch Crest Recovery for three years.
“As a physician, I have treated many diseases and have witnessed, personally and professionally, the often-devastating effects of addiction. I have also seen the amazing transformation of recovery in people’s lives.
“I feel very privileged to work with the remarkable team at Wasatch Crest Recovery. I have seen first-hand what a team of caring and dedicated professionals can do to help those who suffer from the disease of alcoholism.”
Suzie Denham, ACMHC
Love, respect, kindness, acceptance and accountability are a few of the traits Suzie embodies to help our team of clients, families, staff, and extended communities to remove the stigma of addiction. She holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and has guided many clients to healthy recovery and sobriety.
Suzie has been connected to the recovery community for more than 30 years.
“There’s a certain self-esteem that many addicts lack; Wasatch Crest enables them to find their value, discover self-worth and regain self-respect.”
Dan Peterson, PharmD
Director of Case Management
As a Doctor of Pharmacy, Dan has designed and implemented case management programs for all levels of care. He is a noted and respected leader in health care operations and management, with more than eight years of experience in the medical field.
Dan has been connected to the recovery community for more than three years.
“Alignment with a program and connection with other individuals in recovery are two essential elements for a lifetime of freedom from the enslavement of substance abuse.”
Jeanne Borget, RN, MSN
Director of Nursing and Compliance
As a registered nurse, with more than 30 years of practicing medicine, Jeanne has managed and influenced many successful outcomes for patients and their families. Recently her experiences have focused on informatics and telemetry in nursing. She has had tremendous experience in urgent care, cardiac ICU and hospice home healthcare. Additionally, she has 13 years of management experience in hospital administrative assignments, most notably with Intermountain Healthcare.
“I have seen that some of the best people in the world are suffering from addiction. When they get into rehab and recovery, their future looks even brighter than before.”
Chris Roybal, BA, MBA
Chris is highly regarded as an expert in the economic- and new-business development industry, with nearly 25 years of successes in the field. He previously served as President and COO of Northwest research, a logistics firm providing vendor services to Fed Ex.
He led the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, as President and CEO. Utah’s then-governor, Jon Huntsman, appointed him the state’s Senior Economic Advisor, wherein Chris co-authored the Governor’s Ten Point Economic Revitalization Plan. He also helped create Utah’s first economic incentive fund.
Chris is married with three children and is no stranger to volunteering for multiple charitable organizations.
He holds an MBA degree from UCLA and an undergraduate degree in Geophysics from the University of Utah.
“It’s an honor to align the superlative services of Wasatch Crest with the needs of businesses and communities to tackle the all-important epidemic of addiction, substance abuse and other traumas. My goal is to build the relationships to make Wasatch Crest among the finest rehabilitation centers in the nation.”
The grounds, gardens, lawns and wildlife at Wasatch Crest are well-tended under Jason’s masterful direction. He also supervises the maintenance of our physical facilities, vehicles and other equipment. His first concern is for the safety and security of our clients, their families and our entire team. Additionally, he attends to the comfort, care and hospitality for all who visit Wasatch Crest.
Jason has been connected to the recovery community for more than three years.
“Whatever I do I try to find something fun in it. I can always find something here [at Wasatch Crest] to make my day happy.”
Ed Kren, BA, MA, LCSW
Ed gives definition to the clinical, behavioral and therapeutic modalities used in Wasatch Crest’s unique approach to treatment. His Strategies for Recovery have proven effective for clients while in treatment. His post-treatment Recovery Support System gives clients an introduction to the guideposts for life-long recovery.
Ed has been connected to the recovery community for more than 40 years
“The journey from addiction to recovery and sobriety, is gradually accomplished according to one’s ability to understand the importance of Spirituality, Acceptance, Surrender, Humility, Honesty, Courage, Gratitude, Forgiveness, Accountability, Persistence, Patience, Self-help Skills and Professional Guidance.”
Grey Walter, BS, MS, LCSW
Grey has created and implemented Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) programs for those facing substance abuse, depression, anxiety, incarceration and other disorders. His focus has been on distress tolerance and mindfulness. He helped design the Adirondack Leadership Expedition—a wilderness program for at-risk youth.
Grey has been connected to the recovery community for more than ten years.
“My goal is to be a ‘tool’ for each client to take back their life and be free of addiction to connect with a compass and find a direction in life.”
Jackie Daniels-Brown, BS, TRS, CTRS
Director of Recreational Therapy
Jackie was born for high adventure and blessed with an inner serenity. Her two-fold approach to recreational recovery is based on programs that are Adventurous and Experiential.
Using varied activities, such as meditation, yoga, and sweat lodges, Jackie leads the experiential path for clients to get in touch with feelings, emotions and self-awareness. Her adventurous expeditions may include mountaintops, rivers, campfires, ropes course, zip-lines, hiking, with her personal motto: “We can do hard things.”
Jackie has been connected to the recovery community for ten years.
“Our recreational therapies empower clients to rediscover the passions that used to define their lives, giving them the motivation and skills to face trials and build meaningful lives.”
Cat Tezak, Case Manager
Cat uniquely understands the many sides of addiction—especially from the standpoint of family members and their loved ones who suffer. Cat embodies and exemplifies the key ingredients essential in recovery—empathy and love. As keeper of the information vital to family members, Cat’s expertise provides the support, encouragement and understanding families appreciate, when a loved one is in treatment.
Cat has been connected to the recovery community for 15 years.
“Family members can be as frightened as the substance user they’re concerned for. My goal is to give the assurance that can ease the minds of loved ones and restore the hope that is available through recovery.”
Nils Johansson, BS
Nils has a philosophy that it’s not as important where you do your job, but how you do your job. He approaches his case management responsibility with love from the heart and sees recovery as a gift for clients, families and staff. As an avocation, Nils volunteers playing the piano for Sunday services at an assisted living home.
Nils has been connected to the recovery community for more than four years.
“There’s meaning, purpose and satisfaction watching and helping others recover and heal; it’s a marvelous thing to witness and be a part of.”
Case Manager & Alumni Coordinator
Bret’s approach to recovery is guided by the 12-Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. He is an advocate of the two-part benefit that comes from sponsors working with sponsees to realize measurable results. Brett has helped many clients complete treatment and transition into meaningful, productive and successful lives.
He draws much of his strength from the discipline, teamwork, and dedication he learned as a decorated Marine. More importantly, Bret incorporates genuine caring, concern, camaraderie and love in his work.
Bret has been connected to the recovery community for 29 years.
“I want to build a real community of caring for clients, their families, our staff and alumni to support each other with genuine results. We need each other to share our successes and struggles, because in recovery, we don’t ever do it alone.”
He is at the House to lead groups, carry out programs and direct the functions of Wasatch Crest during weekends. He has had extensive experience in the recovery field, working with individuals and their families to heal and progress during treatment, aftercare and beyond.
He is currently studying biology, with a pre-med focus, at the Salt Lake Community College.
Barry has been connected to the recovery community for three years.
“Recovery, in my experience, is finding and embracing a new way of life. It’s not something that just happens, it’s something you work very hard for.”
Amberly Krop, RN
Amberly supervises multiple aspects of healthcare, medicine and prescription drug management at Wasatch Crest. Her precise skills were honed during 15 years of experiences as an ER nurse, notably in emergency detox. She has treated and cared for hospital patients diagnosed with anxiety, addiction and alcoholism and other co-occurring disorders for more than 20 years.
Amberly has been connected to the recovery community for more than 15 years.
“I love caring for and watching the miracles as individuals get healthy and change their lives away from addictions and addictive behaviors.”
Aaron’s passion lies in connecting with people to help them find fulfillment and quality in their lives, especially when much-needed change is in order. He is an expert in recovery intervention, and leads the team of professionals who assess, recommend and place clients in custom-designed rehab programs. His vast knowledge and resources help others to discover the power within themselves to undergo the recovery process.
Aaron has been connected to the recovery community for seven years.
“Success in life is found in the journey and the process. I have found that to enjoy life to its fullest, I must take in and enjoy the simple things in life -whether it’s just watching a sunset or snuggling with my eight-year-old.”
Adrian Alexander, BA
Adrian is Wasatch Crest’s champion and chief advocate for clients and their loved ones, before, during and after treatment. He’s adept at connecting the needs of others with the right treatment and programs to help clients and their families heal.
His job is to ensure that the right candidates are matched with appropriate services. Recognizing that the real work begins post-rehab, Adrian has had considerable success in transition and follow-up with clients after their completion of the programs at Wasatch Crest.
He holds a BA degree in Business Management from the University of Utah.
Adrian has been connected to the recovery community for more than 30 years.
“Nearly everyone, at some point in their life, needs a second chance. My goal is to suspend judgment and to treat others with respect, while meeting their specific needs. You never know who you might help.”
At 21 years old Stacey became a licensed emergency foster home. Her children were three years old and six months old at the time she opened her house to welcome foster children of all ages. With a 15-bed capacity house and a 15-passenger van, she cared for six to 10 children at any given time year-round for seven years. After fostering just over 200 children, Stacey closed her doors to focus on the needs of her biological children. At this point she pursued a career in fitness. She was a successful trainer, nutritionist, and professional athlete until the unrealistic lifestyle of perfection and unresolved trauma quickly threw her into the depths of addiction. At the height of her career, she chose to walk away from everything and check into rehab.
Recovery is now Stacey’s cornerstone. Where addiction once had a fatal grip, recovery has a stronghold. Stacey has built and continues to build a new life through mindfulness, connection and community. She has fused her personal experiences with her professional skills and talents to help others find the same freedom from addiction. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication in 2014 from the University of Northern Colorado, and then launched her career as an intern in a primary treatment center. This opportunity quickly transformed into her role as its admissions director. Compassion, dedication and loyalty are just a few of her core values. Stacey is now pursuing her Master of Business Ethics and Compliance from the New England College of Business and loves spending time with her two teenagers, traveling, hiking, and lifting weights.
“Recovery transforms mistakes from shame to purpose. That purpose will inspire others.”
Matt’s role as admissions coordinator is to serve as liaison between clients, their families and the Wasatch Crest clinical team. He is typically the first resource clients and their families meet to begin treatment and the journey to recovery.
Matt takes a no-nonsense approach to providing industry awareness and education. He’s compassionate when reaching out to comfort others and pragmatic in managing expectations.
He understands the issues of mental and behavioral health from his training and experience. He has worked extensively as a mentor to others through the detox, treatment and follow-up processes of recovery.
Matt has been connected to the recovery community for nearly five years.
“My passion is to help clients and their families know that rehab is doable and recovery is possible. I want others to know that recovery is attainable and my goal is to help them get there.”
John Barraclough, BA, MBA
Director of Communications
The website, blog, newsletter and other communications materials are in John’s competent hands to spread Wasatch Crest’s news, information, messages and milestones.
Previously John has held executive-level positions in public relations, training, sales and marketing in the film distribution, computer software, and entertainment industries in New York City, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.
He holds a Master’s of Communications Management degree from the University of Southern California and an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University.
John has been connected to the recovery community for 18 years.
“The most precious and exciting gift each of us has received is life itself, while the most abundant natural resource given to us is each other. Recovery gives us the opportunity to reclaim our own lives and reach out for help from others to do it. To inform, to love and to inspire are my goals as a communicator.”
Office and Human Resource Manager
Azia brings the Hawaiian “Spirit of Aloha” (love) from the island of Oahu to the mainland and specifically to Wasatch Crest’s team. Her non-traditional approach to case management allows Azia to interact with all clients on multiple levels—always operating from the foundation of love and acceptance. Her example of service is reflected in the clients who, in turn, seek to serve.
Azia has been connected to the recovery community for nearly a year.
Azia favors William Shakespeare’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona” when she quotes: “They do not love, who do not show their love”
James A. Huffman, Jr.
Director of Efficiency
James is charged with applying new technologies and industry standards to improve the efficiency and functionality of all processes at Wasatch Crest. He’s very adept at providing innovative solutions for any task that can be done differently and more effectively.
As a student of Physics, at the University of Colorado Boulder, he is able to apply similar, but more technical models, to the needs of staff, clients and others at Wasatch Crest. When not at Wasatch Crest, James hikes and skis the Utah and Colorado mountains, plays his guitar and enjoys family activities with his seven siblings.
James has been connected to the recovery community for six years.
“I understand the hurt and suffering that an entire family goes through during one member’s active addiction. I also have seen the healing families experience through recovery.”