Our Staff – USARA

Administrative Staff

Mary Jo McMillen

Executive Director

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Mary Jo has been in long-term recovery from alcohol and drug addiction since September 1985. She has been a Licensed Substance Use Disorder Counselor in Utah since 1988, working in multiple agencies and a continuum of treatment services.

In 2007, Mary Jo joined a grass roots effort to establish the Board of Directors for USARA, Utah’s first Addiction Recovery Community and Advocacy Organization. In 2010, Mary Jo became USARA’s Executive Director and in 2011 USARA opened Utah’s first peer run Recovery Community Center in Salt Lake County.

Mary Jo’s passion vision is to create a collaborative network of community partners to help grow USARA and the recovery community both in Utah and nationally. She values the tremendous contribution from volunteers that support USARA and assist others in finding their own personal recovery.

Lisa Walker

Recovery Support Services Director

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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.

Becca Brown

Education & Training Manager

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Becca Brown has been with USARA since early 2015, and serves as the Lead Peer Recovery Coach for the Addiction Recovery Management for Families Program. 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. What she most enjoys in life are adventures with her husband, children, and furry son, Yoshi. Her most treasured moments are spent supporting her children and watching them thrive! Becca is also a woman in long-term recovery, beginning her journey September 16, 2008. At the time, all she wanted was to stay sober and be the mother her children deserved. Through recovery support services, she built a firm foundation of discovery and growth. In the recovery community she gained a sense of belonging and purpose. As a result of these simple actions, Becca far exceeded any goal she set for herself when she began her recovery journey. Today, she is determined to give those struggling with addiction that same investment that was offered to her.

Evan Done

Community Outreach & Empowerment Coordinator

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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.

Salt Lake County Staff

Addiction Recovery Management for Families (ARM) Staff

Trevor Cook

Peer Recovery Coach

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Trevor’s addiction started at the age of 12 when he started taking diet pills, which lead him into an eating disorder. He was a “non-discriminating addict” by the time he was 15 with cocaine as his substance of choice until he was introduced to meth. His later years included alcohol, opiates, spice, and bath salts. 17 years of using, multiple treatment programs, and a volunteered 31 months in Drug Court made him into the person he is today. He was the 2016 Recovery Ambassador for Utah, and is a full time single father of 3. He has been a Dad for 12 years, and a father for 4, and he owes this to recovery. Being in long term recovery means he hasn’t had a drink or drug in his body since Jan 5th, 2013.

Rebecka Roberts

Peer Recovery Coach

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Rebecka Roberts is a person in long term recovery. What that means to her is that she has not taken any mind altering substances since April 15, 2013. After a 27 year battle with both drugs and alcohol, Rebecka turned her life around with help from Summit County Drug Court. Rebecka feels extremely grateful to work at USARA as a Peer Recovery Coach where she now can utilize her lived experience to better serve her peers. The greatest gift recovery has afforded her is the ability to be emotionally and physically available to her five children and grandchild, as well as the opportunity to explore her passion of sharing the message of hope recovery provides.

In August of 2017, Rebecka joined the USARA’s Addiction Recovery Management for Families team. Through her role at USARA, she is now serving as a SMART Recovery Facilitator for Wasatch Drug Court Group at the Wasatch County Jail. USARA has also made it possible for Rebecka to explore a multitude of recovery pathways to strengthen her recovery toolbox. Now that she has found a new home at USARA, Rebecka hopes to continue to expand her knowledge and skill-base, with the hope of giving anyone who seeks recovery the same chance at a new life that she was given.

Recovery Leadership Initiative (RLI) Staff

Bluesette Ossana

Peer Recovery Coach

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Bluesette Ossana joined USARA as a Peer Recovery Coach on the Recovery Leadership Initiative team. Bluesette personally understands the devastating effects of substance use disorder from her own struggles, as well as the loss of her daughter to heroin. Bluesette is extremely grateful to be in recovery since 2013, which has given her the tools to overcome her own addiction and set an example for her children and peers. She is passionate about all pathways to recovery and enjoys her life with energy and laughter. Bluesette has gratitude for her family, friends, freedom and the connections made in sharing her experiences with others. Bluesette enjoys swimming, reading novels, finding new jokes, going to movies, hanging with her kids and connecting with others in recovery. “The greatest gift one can give is to be of service.”

Alice Ferwerda

Peer Recovery Coach

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Alice is a woman in long-term recovery; her recovery journey began in March of 2014. She has been fortunate enough to overcome the challenges of an active substance use disorder, homelessness, and legal issues. She has learned to embrace her own pathway to recovery with the support of many individuals along the way.

While in a treatment facility in 2014, she discovered her passion for helping others and learned how to apply her personal experiences in the service of others. She is currently in school studying Social Work and is actively involved in her local recovery community in many different capacities. She says, “I have learned the value of showing up for myself and helping others learn to do the same is a source of constant inspiration.”

She enjoys spending time with her two children, volunteering in the community, patining, hiking, and embracing new experiences.

Addiction Recovery Coaching in Healthcare & Emergency Settings (ARCHES) Staff

Riley Drage

Peer Recovery Coach

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Riley is a person in long-term recovery who began his journey in recovery on November 11, 2015 in Seattle, Washington at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center. Prior to working at USARA, he was employed at the Volunteers of America Adult Detox facility as the jail diversion program lead. One of the most important things in Riley’s life is giving back to people with substance use disorders as so many others did for him as he started his recovery journey. His favorite hobbies include snowboarding, fishing, and golfing.

Amy Daeschel

Peer Recovery Coach

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Amy Daeschel is a woman in long term recovery. Amy joined the ARCHES team in November 2018. Amy was a part of the first Operation Rio Grande sweep; she was homeless and on the streets for two years battling a heroin and methamphetamine addiction. Amy understands the darkness of being on the streets and having literally nothing. She was a victim of domestic violence and lost her mother to suicide. She lost custody of her children through her addiction and continues to fight for reunification today. Amy credits the efforts of Operation Rio Grande, Drug Court and her treatment team for the life she has today. Since graduating treatment and Drug Court, she has been very active in the recovery community. She speaks with our state leaders, police departments, drug courts and the community, advocating for recovery support. Amy has an extreme passion for recovery and supporting those whom are fighting this disease. Amy has previously worked in the Jail Diversion Program for VOA Detox as well as The Haven residential treatment support staff.

Evan Fields

Peer Recovery Coach

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Evan is in long term recovery from drugs and alcohol. He is a proud graduate of family dependency drug court in 2014, a full time single dad of a 4 year old boy, and passionate about helping families. Evan loves hunting, fly fishing, riding his horses, and anything outdoors. He is a trained SMART recovery facilitator.

Jacob Foringer

Peer Recovery Coach

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January Riggin

Peer Recovery Coach

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January Riggin is originally from Colorado and began her recovery journey in Utah in October 2006. She says, “Miracles do happen; I battled addiction since my childhood and found myself in very dark places in the name of one more. I lost who I was and finding myself has been a climb. I found a community that helped build my shattered pieces into a woman that doesn’t give up.
I worked in treatment with women, completed the LSAC program in 2011, stay involved with community outreach, service and working on my daily maintenance to stay focused on who I am today and not who I was then. For the past 7 years one of my favorite jobs has been waitressing and now working on the team ARCHES with USARA.
I have a daughter, Kayla, 18, who is one of my favorite humans in my world. I lost my first daughter in 1998 from decisions while using, her name is Star. Both have huge impacts on who I am and why I stay connected and advocating for myself and the others in recovery. “

Jessie Hakala

Peer Recovery Coach

Jessie is a woman in long-term recovery. Her recovery journey began in August of 2017 when she was given the opportunity to participate in the Salt Lake Drug Court Program. Jessie was fortunate to enter treatment and graduate Drug Court. She then began to fight for a life she knew she was capable and worthy of.

She is now a Chapter Lead for Salt Lake City Young People in Recovery, works part-time as a Certified Peer Support Staff for a private treatment center and works full time as a Peer Support Coach for the ARCHES team at USARA.

Jessie loves spending time with her two sons in the outdoors. Her future goal is to continue her education and, one day, obtain her Master Social Work License specializing in Substance Use Disorder.

CRAFT Family Support

Darlene Schultz

Family Support Facilitator

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.

Jan Lovett

Family Support Facilitator

Carbon County Staff

Shirley Wayman

Peer Recovery Coach

(435) 630-7463

Shirley Wayman is in long-term recovery from Substance Use Disorder. She has been a Certified Peer Support Specialist with USARA since December 2017. Shirley also co-started the My Life in Recovery Meetings and co-leads them on Thursday’s at Four Corners Behavioral Health. Shirley is passionate about recovery and enjoys helping others with her experience, strength, and hope. She is passionate about recovery language and enjoys working with her recoverees to find their path of recovery.
Shirley is enthusiastic to break down stigma and to discuss that everyone’s pathway to recovery is as individual as they are.

Moab / Grand County Staff

Lanette Denton

Peer Recovery Coach

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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!”

St. George / Southwest Utah Staff

Marcie Gray

Peer Recovery Coach

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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

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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

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.

Ogden / Weber County Staff

Mark Morgan

Program Manager

Mark has been in long-term recovery from alcohol and drug addiction since June of 2001. He maintains licensure as an Advanced Substance Use Disorder Counselor in Utah.

Mark has been working in the field of addiction since February of 2004, bringing his extensive experience in working with individuals and families to promote recovery in our community. Mark has been instrumental in program management with starting treatment programs in Orem, Taylorsville, and Salt Lake City. He has a proven record for successful community outcomes in the areas of education, outreach, marketing, and client satisfaction. He served five years on the Board of UATOD-Utah Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence and was able to bring awareness in the community to the growing national problem of substance use disorders. In addition to maintaining an ASUDC in good standing, Mark was appointed to the DOPL board as a Substance Use Disorder Board Member in October 2018.

Practicing a solution-focused style, Mark has demonstrated a passion for helping individuals get into recovery and treatment. By seeing the best in each individual, he helps them find inner strength and self-identification solutions that guide them toward their goal of recovery.

A successful graduate of SLC Drug Court, Mark has maintained involvement with alumni in Drug Court leadership.

Mark is a proud University of Utah alumnus with a degree in Organizational Communication. He enjoys sports, reading and black and white movies.

Charli Salas

Peer Recovery Coach

Charli began her recovery journey in 2013 after 20 years of drug & alcohol use that started with prescribed opiates for pain management. That life involved jail, hospitals and the streets.

She has had ups & downs on her road to recovery. In March of 2016, after losing her sister, Caylee, and becoming estranged from her daughters, she set herself to become the mother, sister, auntie, daughter, and friend her loved ones deserved.

She became involved with Usara in 2016 as a peer and has continued forward to help people by relating her lived experience with opiate/drug/alcohol use, physical & sexual abuse, mental illness & suicide.

She is an artist who has built a life in recovery that she loves! Full of helping others, hiking, snowboarding, meditation, yoga, alternative healing, but most of all her beautiful daughters, friends and family.