Our Staff – USARA

Leadership

Mary Jo McMillen

Executive Director

(385) 210-0320 x102


Biography
Mary Jo McMillen a licensed Substance Use Disorder Counselor who has worked with people in treatment and recovery since 1987. She has been in long-term recovery since 1985 and is passionate about empowering others to celebrate their own recovery.

Mary Jo is well recognized for her leadership and advocacy work with state and local governments, treatment agencies, healthcare entities, and community partners, promoting public awareness about substance use disorders and recovery through listening to people with lived experience.

In 2007 Mary Jo joined a group of colleagues and people in recovery to establish USARA as a non-profit advocacy organization. In 2010 she became the Executive Director and USARA became a statewide peer-run Recovery Community Organization (RCO). In 2011, with the support of community partners and the Board of Directors, she opened Utah’s first Recovery Community Center in Salt Lake County.

Mary Jo is most proud of USARA’s dedicated team of Peer Recovery Coaches, Family Recovery Coaches, volunteers, and administrative staff that have developed and implemented non-clinical Recovery Support Services and best practices for peer coaching and family support. USARA’s entire staff collaboratively works with local community leaders, government entities, treatment providers, healthcare clinics, hospitals, public health, courts, jails and probation services, homeless shelters, and others to help individuals and family members connect with resources they need to support recovery from addiction. There is a saying she learned in early recovery that holds true for her and others today, “What we can’t do alone, we can do together.”

“My recovery has blessed me with an amazing life. I have a loving family, a rock-solid marriage of 30+years, two beautiful grown daughters, dogs past and present, countless dear friendships, an amazing recovery community, and the best job ever!”

Becca Brown

Education & Training Director

(385) 210-0320 x108


Biography
Becca is a woman in long-term recovery, beginning her Recovery journey in September 2008. Becca credits her successes in life to her Recovery journey and to the connection she was offered through Recovery Support Services. Now, she is determined to give those struggling with addiction that same investment that was offered to her.

Prior to joining USARA, Becca dedicated over 15 years in the Social Services sector, cultivating a specialty in Career & Life Coaching for individuals with significant disadvantages. In Early 2015 Becca joined USARA’s team and now serves as the Education & Training Director, working toward the vision of statewide Recovery Services that are accessible to all who desire.

In her free time, Becca loves to read and write. However, her greatest pride & joy in life is her family. She treasures the gift of watching her children thrive and loves going on adventures with her husband, children, and fur-son, Yoshi.

Lisa Walker

Operations Director

(385) 210-0320 x105


Biography
Lisa Walker holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Utah which she completed in 2014. She brings her experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to provide supervision and support to USARA’s Recovery Leadership Initiative and Addiction Recovery Management teams. Lisa has been in long-term recovery since December of 2005 and has passionately worked in various behavioral health settings over the last decade. She uniquely understands the barriers to becoming fully self-supportive after her personal battle of active addiction. She credits supportive services within the community to her long-term success. Lisa enthusiastically brings leadership and advocacy qualities to USARA that she has garnered through life experience and higher education. Lisa’s mission in life is to show others that recovery is possible by continuing to show support, advocate for and empower individuals seeking recovery. Lisa is most proud of her husband and two children who have thrived right alongside her and been her biggest cheerleaders.

Marcie Gray

Program Manager

(435) 319-8800 x204


Biography
Marcie Gray, a woman in long term recovery, is blessed with a clear passion for recovery and desire to help others get what she’s got. Beginning on May 4th, 2002 (May the 4th be with you) Marcie began her personal journey to wellness with spirituality as her anchor and cornerstone. Her number one job is being a mom, followed by by being a devoted wife, and an advocate for recovery. She enjoys boating on Lake Powell, where she gets her spiritual mojo replenished, and uses her passion and skills for understanding to be an empathetic ear for those starting to engage recovery.

Evan Done

Development Director

(385) 210-0320 x110


Biography
Evan Done began as a volunteer at USARA in 2015 and has extensive experience in the non-profit sector. Originally a systems administrator and programmer by trade, he has used his wide array of information technology skills to assist non-profit, social service, and public policy organizations to further their mission and heighten their impact.

Evan is a person in long-term recovery from both a substance use and mood disorder and has been on USARA’s staff since April 2017. With over ten years of experience in social justice advocacy, he is dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable world.

Administrative Support

Teresa Kim

Administrative Coordinator

(385) 210-0320 x103


Biography
Teresa is a recent graduate from the University of Utah with a degree in Psychology and Human Development. Her interest in the non-profit sector with the goal of helping people in our communities and being a family member of a person in long term recovery led her to USARA. She is eager to be part of an organization dedicated to helping those with substance use disorders and their loved ones, and looks forward to expanding her knowledge on the function of non-profits and how to be an ally for those in recovery.

In her free time, Teresa enjoys spending time in the outdoors with family, friends, and of course, dogs.

Salt Lake County Staff

Tiffany Naccarato

Training and Mentorship Coordinator

(385) 210-0320 x106


Biography
Tiffany is a woman in Long-Term Recovery. Her recovery journey got started in May 2017 and was initially supported by her engagement in Felony Drug Court and as a USARA program participant. She ultimately began volunteering with USARA in December 2017 by helping at events, contributing to the Salt Lake Peer Advisory Council, and assisting with Recovery Days. She loves giving back to the community at large and spending time with her 3 children. She says that traveling keeps her life and recovery fresh and exciting.

Andy Deines

Peer Recovery Coach

(385) 210-0320 x107


Biography
Andy was born and raised in SLC and has been here most of his life. He has been in recovery since March of 2014 and has a passion for helping others reach their full potential. He is currently a student at SLCC and working on getting a Master’s degree in Social Work. Andy hopes to become a therapist working with those suffering from substance use disorder and mental illness in the future. He loves being outside in the mountains and going hiking whenever he can get the chance. He also loves to travel and being able to learn as much as he can in life. He recently became a new father and has enjoyed all the new experiences that have come with it as well!

Kayla Jensen

Peer Recovery Coach

(385) 210-0320 x123


Biography

Deano Alires

Peer Recovery Coach

(385) 210-0320 x109


Biography

Christy Smart

Peer Recovery Coach

(385) 210-0320 x127


Biography
Christina Smart is a person in long term recovery. Her journey started in March of 2018 shortly after she had suffered from losing her first child to a miscarriage, suffering from extreme health complications caused by that loss. Feeling hopeless and lost isn’t how she wanted to continue feeling so she put herself through treatment at The Phoenix Recovery Center in Sandy, Utah which she attended for 6 months. She successfully completed AP&P over 2 years early and inspires others daily by telling her story. Christina is proud of her lived experience as it led her to be able to live the life that she loves today. Her passion is helping others who struggle with similar things she has struggled with, making a positive difference in the world and inspiring her community to help each other.

In Christina’s free time she likes to spend time with her family, her fur baby Athena, exploring nature as well as painting. She lives a life full of happiness today and loves being involved in her recovery community.

ARCHES

Jareth Williams

ARCHES Team Lead

(385) 210-0320 x122


Biography
Jareth is a person in long-term recovery. His journey in recovery began on January 1st, 2018 at The Haven in Salt Lake City, Utah. Prior to working at USARA, he was employed at the Volunteers of America Adult Detox Center as the facility coordinator as well as support staff at The Haven residential treatment center.

Jareth wants to be able to give back the same support to the recovery community that he received when he first began his journey.

Jareth has two beautiful daughters that are his world. Some of his hobbies include: D&D, Magic the Gathering, video games, reading fantasy books, and going on walks.

Vanessa Genova

Peer Recovery Coach

(385) 210-0320 x130


Biography
Vanessa is a person in long-term recovery. Her recovery journey started in September 2018. She has struggled with addiction for over 10 years, but has learned a lot throughout her battle with addiction. She wants to pay it forward and give back to the community. Her passion is to make a positive impact and be an example that change is very possible.

Mitchel Staheli

Peer Recovery Coach

(385) 210-0320 x117


Biography
Mitchel Staheli is a person in long term recovery. Mitchel’s recovery journey started back in 2009 and has included the opportunity to participate and graduate from Washington County Drug Court, The Horizon House, and 12 step meetings. He has been drug and alcohol-free since November 2016. Mitchel started volunteering with USARA in Southern Utah before moving to Salt Lake City and getting the opportunity to join the ARCHES team as a Peer Support Coach.

Mitchel believes that in recovery you should build a life worth living. He has learned how to be a father in recovery and someone people are able to rely on. This attitude has also given him the ability to graduate from Dixie State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Minor in Accounting and go on to pursue a Masters Degree in Business Administration at Western Governors University. He decided to find a route to help people realize that there is life after addiction and found USARA.

In his free time Mitchel enjoys riding dirt bikes and his street bike, snowboarding, repelling, going on trips, and always trying something new. He loves hanging out with his family and watching the kids grow up and grow into their own personalities.

Sami Lindsay

Peer Recovery Coach

(385) 210-0320 x113


Biography
Sami is a person in long term recovery. She lives her life to the fullest with an opportunistic mindset. She believes in leaving this world better than when she came into it and being the change in the world. She’s a mom of two beautiful boys that give her motivation daily. Having dealt with the life of addiction for over a decade, she is now able to live out her passion of helping others. She strives everyday to lead by example and to be the best version of herself that she can be. She cares for people, plants, animals, and the earth. She loves to do service work that involves cleaning the planet. She enjoys being in nature, such as hiking, camping, and going to the lake. She loves yoga and exercise. She takes pride in being a Pinterest Mom and doing all types of arts and crafts with her kids.

Karissa MacDonald

Peer Recovery Coach

(385) 210-0320 x126


Biography
Karissa is a person in long-term recovery. Her sobriety date is November 25, 2017. She is active in recovery and helps others to achieve sobriety. She has fought a long battle with addiction for over 13 years and hopes to continue to help others as it is her passion. Karissa has two kids that are her world, and never have to see her struggle or know what its like to have a parent in active addiction again.

CRAFT Family Support

Darlene Schultz

Family Support Coordinator

(385) 210-0320 x116


Biography
Darlene holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Utah and taught first grade for 35 years, yet her extensive knowledge of addiction and recovery came from lived experience of family members that struggled with substance misuse. She began her journey with USARA as a participant in the CRAFT family support group in 2010. Since then, she has been trained by the originator and author of the CRAFT model and now facilitates a weekly CRAFT group at USARA to educate families on motivational strategies for interacting with their loved ones who struggle with a substance use disorder. As a trainer herself, she holds workshops for those interested in facilitation of the CRAFT model for family support and is striving to develop CRAFT family groups in counties throughout Utah. Darlene works hard to help families find support, resources and recovery.

Darlene is a wife, mother, and a proud Grandma to two very special kids. She lost her son, Adam, to an overdose in 2012, yet continues to change the hearts and minds of people with negative perception toward substance use disorders. She has proven herself to USARA through her deep sense of purpose and commitment to the CRAFT Family Support Group.

John Garbett

Family Support Facilitator


Biography
After almost losing a loved one to a drug overdose in 2013 John was fortunate to find a CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) support group sponsored by USARA. After several years of attending CRAFT meetings, he became certified as a CRAFT clinician, one of only two in Utah. During this time, he also started facilitating 12 Step AA group meetings. Today, as a result of these experience he no longer feels overwhelmed and is beginning to understand his loved one’s substance abuse and mental health disorders. His relationship with his family is much healthier. Everyone is now able to speak more directly and honestly about how they feel. They are all continuing to make progress. This would not be possible without the help of all those John has met in halfway houses, community centers, churches, and recovery agencies while facilitating 100s of face-to-face and phone in meetings. Family members of those struggling with behavioral health disorders have been his mentors and become his heroes. In 2019 John completed the Advanced Substance Use Disorder Treatment Training Certificate (ASUDC) program and is licensed by the State of Utah. He helped create the groundbreaking “12 Steps to Change” addiction recovery video series and other behavioral health-related media for the LDS Church. He also worked for DreamWorks SKG, Warner Bros, Universal, Amblin Entertainment and Disney. Projects included “The Disney Sunday Movie”, “Father of the Bride”, “The Frighteners”, “The Matrix” and the Academy Award-winning “Shrek”. He produced the independent feature films, “The Other Side of Heaven” and “The Legend of Johnny Lingo”. John currently resides at the base of the Wasatch mountains in Salt Lake City Utah.

Leslie Conklin

Family Support Trainer/Facilitator

(385) 210-0320 x129


Biography
Leslie started as a participant in the CRAFT Family Support program in 2017. After such a successful experience with this program, she became trained as a Family Support Coach and began facilitating CRAFT. Her passion for educating continues each week by providing knowledge and tools in her family support group helping family members make positive life changes to help their loved ones that are struggling with addiction and learning how to best support them in their recovery. It wasn’t long before her experience as a retired teacher was noticed and she was hired by USARA as a trainer to walk others through the process of becoming a Family Support Coach. She not only trains in Utah but nationally as well.

Joyce Eckman

Family Support Facilitator


Biography
Joyce was drawn to the high-end cabinet industry 42 years ago. She has been with Craftsman Kitchens for the last 24 years as the General Manager. In 2001, Joyce decided to attend night school at the University of Phoenix to work toward a degree that would help people. Her main goal was to help “at-risk” youth struggling with school, mental illness, and many other life conditions. She graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services, yet decided to continue working for Craftsman Kitchens.

In 2011 Joyce began the biggest challenge of her life in the depths of the addiction world. Being the mother of a child struggling with a substance use disorder is nothing that any school could ever teach or prepare you for. Like so many families who suffer in that darkness and horror, Joyce searched for some sort of relief from the insanity, pain, and hopelessness. Nothing brought any real comfort or felt right to her until she finally found USARA at the premier showing of ‘The Anonymous People’ in 2013. When she learned about the CRAFT Family Support group, she went to the next meeting available. Through attending those group meetings, she learned there were things she could do to encourage her son by changing their communication from “confrontation” into “conversation”. It was finally okay to love him right where he was! Less than a year later, her son began his recovery and she continued to attend and facilitate weekly CRAFT Family Support Meetings.

In 2019, Joyce received the Utah Honors Recovery Ambassador Award in recognition of her contribution for helping families learn the very skills and tools she continues to use every day. She facilitates 2 weekly CRAFT Family Support groups along with individual and family phone coaching. She shares hope with every mother, father, spouse, child, sibling, and friend who loves someone suffering from substance use disorder.

Jan Lovett

Family Support Facilitator


Biography

Jennifer Slack

Family Support Facilitator


Biography

Peer Expungement Navigators

Julie Sanders

Peer Expungement Navigator

(385) 210-0320 x115


Biography
In March 2017, Julie began her long-term recovery with USARA as a program participant. She received her Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2011 from Virginia Commonwealth University. Through her recovery journey, Julie has reconnected with her passion to help people in need, and now shares her story with others as an example of continued recovery success.

Julie has an inspiring 17 year old daughter, Hannah, and an angel-baby, Jaxon. She and Hannah know how to make an adventure out of any situation. Her life motto is, “Everything is better with a little country music.” (preferably Tim McGraw).

Ogden/Weber County Staff

Margie Nelson

Peer Recovery Coach


Biography
Margie is a woman in long term recovery. Her recovery journey began September 1st, 2003. She remains active in 12 step mutual aid recovery. Early on she embraced a strong belief in an all pathways approach to recovery. She has served on several service committees and for the last couple of years has had the honor to serve on the Ogden Alano Club’s board of directors. Margie has a strong self-care plan that centers on wellness and continued service to the recovery community. In her free time she enjoys hobbies such as crocheting beanies to donate to shelters and other organizations as well as gifts for friends and family. She also enjoys creating art and reading mystery novels. She is passionate about giving back what was so freely given to her when she entered the recovery community.

Traci Shupe

Peer Recovery Coach

(385) 263-1600 x305


Biography
Traci Shupe is a woman in long term recovery. She has a passion to help others walk the road of recovery and help them heal in all areas that the disease of addiction has destroyed. She is certified in Y12SR yoga which focuses on releasing issues in our tissues. She is active in AA, NA and MA meetings. She rides a motorcycle in a Sober Motorcycle Club. She has 9 amazing children and 25 grandchildren whom she adores. She’s married to her soulmate who is also in long term recovery. She loves the moon and going for long hikes.

Price/Carbon County Staff

Mersades Morgan

Peer Recovery Coach

(877) 590-5965 x352


Biography
Mersades is a woman in long-term recovery, her recovery journey started in May 2016. She acknowledges the life she leads today wouldn’t be possible without her sobriety and recovery from her past addictions.

Mersades prides herself on her passion for helping others out of the hopelessness and depths of addiction. Prior to joining USARA, Mersades has experience working in an inpatient treatment facility where she was Head of Employee Experience and Lead Recovery Advocate working one-on-one with individuals. Mersades also facilitates a weekly Dharma Recovery group at USARA. Her goal is to advocate and empower those that have been affected by addiction. Mersades has a beautiful family of four that she cherishes and credits much of her success to their love and support.

Moab/Grand County Staff

Lanette Denton

Peer Recovery Coach

(435) 612-2300 x251


Biography
Lanette is a woman in long term recovery since 2014. Her journey has brought her to a place where she is able to share her lived experience as a Peer Recovery Coach for USARA in the Southeastern Utah area.

Recovery is the most important thing in her life, it enables her to maintain her family and the things that are important to her. Lanette’s gratitude seems like a never ending stream and when she wakes up each day to the blessing of having her children with her, a safe home for them, and heading out to a job she loves that allows room for not only helping others; but a space where she can learn as an individual, a woman, and a mother.

She says, “I feel like I have everything that I have ever wanted. I will be celebrating another year in long term recovery in July of this year. I want to shout out to the world that recovery is possible and to never give up!”

Heidi Fuger

Peer Recovery Coach

(435) 612-2300 x252


Biography
Heidi Fuger is a person in long-term recovery. She started as a USARA participant in 2017. Her journey took a non-traditional route and shortly after being unsuccessfully terminated from the Grand County family drug court program, Heidi discovered multiple pathways to recovery and reconnected to USARA in June of 2018.
She not only found herself, but also purpose through volunteering to run recovery meetings, helping with recovery day and family fun nights, and being involved in USARA and other recovery community events, both in and out of town.
She is an active member in 12 step meetings, has 2 beautiful daughters and strives to be a positive role model for all those she comes in contact with. She has a passion for helping others find what she found through USARA and that is empowerment, support, and encouragement. And hope is what we create! We DO recover!!

St. George/Southwest Utah Staff

Marcie Gray

Program Manager

(435) 319-8800 x204


Biography
Marcie Gray, a woman in long term recovery, is blessed with a clear passion for recovery and desire to help others get what she’s got. Beginning on May 4th, 2002 (May the 4th be with you) Marcie began her personal journey to wellness with spirituality as her anchor and cornerstone. Her number one job is being a mom, followed by by being a devoted wife, and an advocate for recovery. She enjoys boating on Lake Powell, where she gets her spiritual mojo replenished, and uses her passion and skills for understanding to be an empathetic ear for those starting to engage recovery.

Ben Martinez

Peer Recovery Coach

(435) 319-8800 x202


Biography
Benjamin “Ben” Martinez is a person in long-term recovery and has been since Christmas day 2014. Ben has been a Recovery Coach with his Certified Peer Support Specialist certification since 2016, and came on board to USARA in July of 2018. Starting his Substance Use Disorder and his subsequent recovery relatively young in life, Ben hopes to inspire other young people (and people of all ages) to find the joys, excitement, and full life that recovery offers. Ben is passionate about recovery and uses his story to help others see the potential in themselves to overcome their own barriers in life.

A Saint George native, Ben enjoys all the wonder that Southern Utah has to offer. He enjoys hiking, climbing, and camping in the natural beauty that surrounds Saint George. He is also passionate about live music and comedy, and can be found at a live show from Vegas to SLC on any given weekend. Ben’s biggest joy in life would be his dog, if his landlord would let him have one.

Crystal Randall

Peer Recovery Coach

(435) 319-8800 x205


Biography
Crystal began her recovery journey in February 2016. She is a proud graduate of Family and Adult Recovery Courts. She has overcome her legal issues as well as the different placements of her 7 children. She has a passion for women coming into recovery, especially mothers who are facing the barriers of getting their children back and for them to know that it is possible and that they don’t have to do it alone. She has been a peer mentor for the Southwest Behavioral Health Center and Recovery Courts for over 2 years before coming to USARA as a Peer Recovery Coach in July 2019. She enjoys spending time with her children and getting to rewrite her family’s future.
DONATE
X