Mike Ferrell has over a decade of experience in behavioral healthcare/substance use disorder treatment. Prior to opening NorthStar Transitions in 2012, Mike worked in direct care and managerial positions within several prominent substance abuse treatment facilities. Mike was inspired to pursue a career in behavioral healthcare through his own experience overcoming substance abuse and dependency issues. Having entered recovery at the age of 21, Mike now has almost two decades of sobriety. Mike is passionate about operating a treatment center that provides the opportunity for others to learn the skills they need to achieve long-term recovery and improve the quality of their lives. Mike earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and resides in Boulder, CO with his wife, two young sons and dog. In his free time, Mike enjoys working out, traveling and spending time with his family.
KEENAN VAN DE BOOGAARD
Keenan began working in substance abuse treatment after gaining his own sobriety in 2011. Keenan’s experience began in the non-profit sector working in vocational training and account management at Stout Street Foundation, where he continues to stay connected as Chairman of the Board. He then segued into the private sector in case management and accounting for Quiet River Transitional Recovery Community, before he started at NorthStar in 2015.
Operating as NorthStar’s Director of Admissions over the last three years has empowered him to step into the Executive Director position, where he currently uses his compassionate leadership style to lead NorthStar’s team. He believes in NorthStar’s cutting edge clinical programming and pragmatic approach to recovery, and strives to grow and sustain one of Colorado’s leading treatment programs.
FATINA CANNON, LPC, LAC, MAC
Chief Clinical Officer
Fatina guides the Outpatient Clinical Team at NorthStar Transitions to deliver evidenced based and somatosensory experiential learning approaches to addiction treatment. She is passionate about empowering people struggling with substance use and addiction based processes to integrate healthy skills and create a life in recovery. Fatina is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Addiction Counselor, and holds a Master Addiction Counselor certification. Fatina received her Master of Arts from Naropa University in Somatic Counseling Psychology. Finding inspiration through hiking, new installations at the contemporary art museum, and yoga, Fatina is delighted to call Colorado home.
DR. CHARLES SHUMAN, MD
Dr. Charles Shuman, M.D. is a psychiatrist specializing in addiction and complex mental illness, and is board certified in general psychiatry and addiction. Dr. Shuman has worked in the past as medical director of the Denver Health Addiction Recovery Center and as a faculty member of the University of Colorado and Eastern Carolina University.
Dr. Shuman has published, instructed, and presented in areas of addiction psychiatry and general psychiatry. His philosophy is to treat clients with compassion, from a holistic perspective, to determine the best and most effective means of treating mental health and substance abuse concerns. The goal of is to return clients to a life of health, productivity, and personal enrichment. Additionally, Dr. Shuman is the President elect for the Colorado Society for Addiction Medicine.
ALIX MOORE, CACII
Director of Admissions
Alix is a Certified Addiction Counselor level II who has found purpose through working with individuals in recovery. As someone who has walked along side both family members and friends who struggle with addiction, Alix has a dedication for supporting those in recovery to make positive, sustainable and long term life changes.
Alix is a Boulder native who believes strongly in investing in both physical and mental health through fitness, nutrition, music, and building a strong and supportive community.
Director of Business Development
As a family member of someone in long-term recovery from substance abuse, and as someone in recovery of an eating disorder herself, Bre understands the personal and familial impacts of addiction. She has been passionately connecting people in the mental health and addiction community for over 5 years and is dedicated to continuing to educate people on the resources available that will aid them on their journey back to themselves.
Bre is a native to Colorado and has a background in psychology from CSU. She embraces strong self-care practices including fitness, yoga, hiking, meditation, journaling, self-discovery, and traveling the world.
CRAIG SALERNO, MA, LPC, LAC
Clinical Director, Outpatient Program
Craig is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) in the state of Colorado. Graduating from Naropa University with a Master of Arts in Contemplative Psychotherapy, Craig strives to merge evidence-based practices with the art and discipline of mindfulness. Craig has worked extensively in the field of addiction counseling and is passionate about building a strong therapeutic alliance to support clients and their families.
Craig draws from education and training in both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to assist clients in the development of insight, awareness, and skills necessary to move towards increased health and wellbeing. Craig believes in a holistic, creative, and dynamic approach to therapy.
SARA MALLAT, MA, LAC, LPC
Assistant Clinical Director, Residential Program
Sara is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC). She received her master’s degree in forensic psychology from University of Denver in 2016.
Sara’s approach to recovery is advocacy based for the client within system. Her main goal is to approach each client’s care with curiosity and compassion in order to walk along side the client to achieve their goals within recovery.
HILLARY SMYTH, PA-C
A New Hampshire native, Hillary Smyth, PA-C, MPAS, is a certified physician assistant in the state of Colorado and the state of Massachusetts. Hillary studied neuroscience and received her undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College in Maine. She then earned her Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in New Hampshire. Upon graduation, she found herself drawn to the field of addiction medicine and spent her first year as a provider managing opioid and alcohol dependence in an outpatient clinic in Massachusetts, specializing in Vivitrol treatment. As a physician assistant at NorthStar, Hillary is ready to guide more individuals towards sobriety through truly individualized care based on each client’s unique preferences and needs.
BRYAN HANDWORK, PA-C
Bryan got his undergraduate degree from CU Boulder in International Relations and Latin American Politics in 1992. After graduating, Bryan began working on an ambulance in Denver and found his passion for emergency medicine. Paramedic school followed, and after twenty years (and still passionate about medicine) PA school seemed like the best direction to grow his medical knowledge and expand his scope of practice.
Bryan attended Loma Linda University’s Physician Assistant program. At NorthStar Transitions, Bryan is grateful to be able to practice medicine in a setting where he can build a relationship with patients over more than just a brief encounter, and to support them through the process of recovery.
MICHAEL GAY, MA, LPCC
Residential Clinical Therapist
Michael began working in the Recovery and Wilderness Therapy world in 2006. As a wilderness therapy guide, life skills counselor, and therapist, he has substantial experience working with Rites of Passage, grief, substance over-use, disordered eating, family dynamics, trauma, conflict, depression, anxiety, identity exploration, conflict resolution, spiritual crisis, and other mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges. He works in depth with adults and their families using a relational approach. He is committed to authenticity, empowerment, trust, vulnerability, and connection. He is a student of Indigenous wisdom, yoga, meditation, and Nature. Michael continues his training at the Gestalt Institute of the Rockies.
NEEKA ZAREI, MA
Residential Clinical Therapist
Neeka is currently completing her Masters degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy at Naropa University in Boulder, CO. Neeka is passionate about her work and believes that each individual has the power to change their life by examining while remaining mindful of the underlying emotions behind their behavior.
Neeka is determined to to work alongside NorthStar’s clients and shine the light on their inherent map to find the path to their healing and recovery. Neeka believes that a supportive community and evidence based therapeutic practices can be the key that unlocks each person’s potential and shift of allegiance towards sobriety.
KIRSTEN HARTZ, MA, LPCC
Outpatient Clinical Therapist
Kirsten received a Master of Arts in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate and is pursuing a Licensed Addictions Counselor credential.
Kirsten has a strong orientation towards mindfulness-based and body-centered interventions, informed by her training in the Hakomi Method, and brings a somatic and trauma-informed mental health background to her work with addiction. She approaches the therapeutic relationship from a place of deep empathy, compassion, and a belief in every client’s intrinsic health. Using evidenced-based interventions, such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Kirsten takes a client-centered approach so that clients can identify and transform patterns and behaviors that no longer serve them.
WILLIAM COPPERSMITH, MA
Outpatient Clinical Therapist
William received a Master of Arts in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University and a Bachelor’s degree in Adventure Education from Prescott College. William’s work combines evidence based modalities, CBT, DBT and Motivational Interviewing as well as psychodynamic psychotherapy to help clients connect with their own innate and inherent strengths.He is currently pusueing a License
He is currently pursuing a Professional Counselor License and Certified Addiction Counselor Credential. William emphasises social engagement and interpersonal connections to support the recovery process. Additionally, his theoretical approach addresses developmental traumas that may be still creating obstacles to mental health and recovery. William guides clients to gain new insight and integrate new skills to support their recovery.
H. STEVEN LAWLEY, M.A., LPCc
Outpatient Clinical Therapist
Steven brings a broad range of clinical and life experience to Northstar Transitions that includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology & Philosophy from Elizabethtown College, a Master’s Degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University, and almost 10 years of experience with the American Psychological Association. Steven provides insightful clinical observations and models self-regulation skills with a steady, grounded nervous system. Steven combines a variety of evidence-based practices such as; Dialectical Behavior Therapy & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help clients reach their personal and clinical goals. Also utilizing Motivational Interviewing & Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, he aims to bring out the “fire” in every client while inspiring trust and confidence.
Residential Program Manager
Susan earned her B.S. in Family and Child Development from Texas State University. Over the last four years, Susan has had the opportunity to specialize in mental health, addiction, adventure therapy and wilderness education.
Susan joined NorthStar Transitions to continue her passion to help others with an emphasis on assisting individuals struggling with addiction. Susan enjoys providing the clients with daily lessons on how to maintain recovery and enhance positive behaviors in order to become the “best version of you”. Susan combines her knowledge on DBT, CBT, mindfulness, conflict resolution, crisis intervention and other therapeutic practices to provide the best possible experience for the clients. Susan understands that sobriety can be an upward battle and her goal is to support individuals as they create their path within recovery.
DAVID LOCK, CACII
Residential Operations Manager
David began working in the addiction counseling field in 2014 and has two years of experience working in a withdrawal management unit assisting clients through the withdrawal process and focusing on fostering motivation for change. He also has one year of experience in middle management within withdrawal management for the same organization before starting with NorthStar, with a total of 4 years experience in the addiction recovery field. His professional background lies primarily in working with people who are in the beginning stages of change.
Through his training in motivational interviewing, personal experience with recovery, emotional intelligence, meditation, and yoga; David aims to help individuals gain insight into their development and identify a strong desire to change.
SEAN DODGE, CACII
Lead Residential Counselor
Through his personal experience in recovery, Sean developed a passion for working with those in sobriety to help them establish their goals and focus their potential into a productive lifestyle.Sean employs an action based approach to his work with clients – operating on the belief that having fun and maintaining an active lifestyle are instrumental to success in recovery.
Sean has extensive experience in various industries. Prior to NorthStar he was working in the legal realm as an office manager, but left to follow his passion for helping others in recovery. He is in the process of furthering his education and becoming a certified addiction counselor.
Lead Residential Counselor
Brian began working in addiction treatment and recovery in 2014, after gaining his own sobriety in 2012. He has worked for Pacific Hills/Covenant Hills in San Clemente, CA and is working towards his CAC II certification after recently completing his CAC I.
Brian is one of the Leaders/Founders of the Restore Ministry, a Christ-centered, 12-step recovery ministry in Fort Collins. Brian has been a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist since 2015. Brian’s personal experience has fueled his desire to pass on the gift of sobriety to others, by helping them build a new life around a healthy, active community, with a strong spiritual foundation.
Outpatient Program Manager
Danielle supervises the clinical support team and oversees day to day operations at our Outpatient office. She finds purpose in supporting individuals in early recovery. Danielle believes that given the right support and tools, long term recovery can be achieved. Danielle graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She calls Boulder home with her husband, Sam, and they enjoy hiking and yoga.
CHARLOTTE MULLOY, MA Candidate
Charlotte graduated from Naropa University with a Masters of Arts in Somatic Psychotherapy, with a concentration in Body Psychotherapy. This mind-body style of therapy utilizes the body to access stored trauma and emotions to facilitate healing. Charlotte is currently a Registered Psychotherapist in the process of pursuing her Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Addictions Counselor credentials. Through her extensive professional background, Charlotte brings her passion for helping others to her role in admissions. Charlotte offers compassion, empathy and support to those seeking to recover their lives.
Hannah is a Boulder native who earned her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University. After college, she spent a year backpacking across the world visiting over twenty-eight different countries, learning about other peoples cultures and way of life through various work opportunities before moving to a small village in Thailand where she taught English for a year.
Hannah is currently attending Metropolitan State University of Denver in pursuit of her Master’s degree in Social Work to become a LCSW. As an Admissions Coordinator for NorthStar, Hannah is able to continue to pursue her passion for helping others by providing empathy, support, and empowering individuals to pursue help and improve their lives.
ASHLEY SAKKER, MS, LPCC
Clinical Intake Specialist
Ashley is pursuing her LPC, after graduating with a Master’s of Science in Counseling in 2007.She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications as well as a certified Recovery Coach with CCAR. When Ashley found recovery herself, it was very clear that she must help others do the same. Ashley strives to provide safety and hope for clients when they first come to treatment. Ashley brings a sense of humor, deep compassion, empathy and a belief that everyone deserves a chance to heal.
Amanda supervises the medication administration and UA analysis at NorthStar’s Outpatient office. Amanda graduated from Colorado State University with a BS in Psychology and a concentration in Addiction Counseling. Prior to working at NorthStar, Amanda was a counselor at a youth residential treatment center in Colorado. She has been working in the addiction field since 2016 and finds meaning in supporting individuals as they begin their recovery journey. She is currently pursuing a Certified Addiction Counselor Credential.
JAKE WADDELOW, CACI
Sober Living House Manager
Jake discovered a passion for working with those in recovery after battling through his own addiction and achieving long-term sobriety. He is pursuing his Certified Addictions Counselor level II certification and uses his personal experiences in addiction and recovery in his work with clients.
Jake takes an active approach to recovery through physical fitness, snowboarding, and hiking, and spends his free time with family and friends.