Casa Colina, led by a multi-disciplinary treatment team of substance abuse and health professionals, embraces a holistic approach to addiction treatment. Our passionate team of addiction treatment professionals have over 100 years of combined experience in the fields of addiction and behavioral health. We strive to maintain an exceptional and creative work home—one that allows our team to effectively and powerfully carry the message of recovery and to deliver education and guidance while fostering a healing environment for our guests and their families. Many of our team members are also active participants in their own recovery from the disease of alcohol and drug addiction.
John Campbell, LCSW, LCDC, BSP
Caring and compassionate, John joined the Casa Colina team as the Clinical Director in 2018. John previously served as Clinical Director at Powerhouse Services in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he was employed for close to a decade. He also has previous experience as a Social Work Case Manager at St. Clare Psychiatric Hospital. John completed his Bachelor of Arts degree from Southeastern Louisiana University followed by his Masters of Science degree in Social Work at Louisiana State University. Having spent so much time in Louisiana, John can’t help but to root for the LSU Tigers…and the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Mavericks. His commitment to giving young men the same opportunities in recovery that he was given is just one of the reasons why he makes a wonderful person and a skilled clinician. He is especially passionate about extended care. He looks up to his father most of all for providing him an example of what it means to be a successful, loving, family man. John loves to work out, watch sports, and play golf. His favorite quote “go big or go home” serves him well as long as he goes home to his two dogs, Rambo and Stella.
Kay Fontenot, LCSW-S, LCDC
Kay Fontenot is a dedicated and energetic Licensed Clinical Social Worker who lives in a small town just outside of Dallas, Texas. Hailing from Louisiana, she had an avid interest in helping others at an early age. Growing up, Kay was selected as a peer mentor in middle school and later as a summer camp counselor in East Texas during her college years. These positions of mentorship taught her how to both encourage and empower others. It’s safe to say that what initially started as an interest has now become a main purpose in Kay’s life.
Presently, Kay works as Director of Admissions while also serving as a clinical social work supervisor. She has had direct experience in this particular area as well as motivational interviewing for over a decade now. Her goal is to continue to help as many people as she can.
When she has a few moments to herself, Kay likes singing in the car, taking road trips, reading great books, going to antique malls and cooking. However, family comes first to Kay. Spending time with her husband, their two children and their 95-pound dog is at the top of Kay’s favorite things to do.
Stephanie Knudsen, MS, LMFT, LCDC-I
Director of Family Services
Bio coming soon!
Ivy Whitfield, LCDC
A Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, Ivy first became interested in the field of addiction during her stay in residential treatment. With a strong desire to help others and a natural curiosity, she completed her Associates Degree in Arts in Applied Science and is current completing her Bachelors Degree at University of North Texas.
Ivy’s straightforward nature and honest dialogue are just a few of the qualities that she brings to Casa Colina. Her autonomy and experience working in both residential and outpatient treatment settings provides her with a keen understanding of the importance of a full continuum of care.
Her motto, “one day a time,” helps her stay grounded and focused on the experiences and people who matter most, her sobriety, her family, her friends, and her three fur babies.
Dave Dauber, LCDC
Having served as a primary counselor since 2010, Dave joined Casa Colina in 2019 as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. Before finding long term sobriety, Dave had an active addiction which started in adolescence and continued for over 20 years of his life. His decision to enter residential treatment was instrumental in shaping his decision to start a new life.
Upon completion, he moved to Waco and started actively participating in a 12 step program. He also began to connect with the God of his understanding. He recently celebrated 15 years of contented, continuous sobriety and 8 years of marriage with his lovely and supportive wife. His desire to help those who struggle with addiction comes with his gratitude towards recovery, “Recovery has given me a life I never dreamed possible; A life filled with peace, love, serenity and a spiritual connection that enables me to help others who suffer from the same spiritual malady that I embraced for far too long.”
Dave considers his primary purpose in life to help all who struggle with addiction and their loved ones to start on a journey of recovery, with the hope of a spiritual awakening and a life of contented recovery.
Rebekah Poynor LPC-I, ATR-P, LCDC-I
Rebekah is an Art Therapist who graduated her M.A. in Counseling and Art Therapy from Southwestern College in 2016. Her B.A is from Ouachita Baptist University in Fine Arts with an emphasis in ceramics.
Rebekah is passionate about healing trauma, increasing self-awareness, and teaching healthy coping strategies through a creative process. Rebekah has experience working with men and women in residential addiction treatment, as well as co facilitating the Family Program. Rebekah has worked with Creativity for Peace, a trauma informed camp for adolescent girls from Israel and Palestine, individual and group counseling with children, teens, and adults, working with women and children living in trauma in India.
Recently, Rebekah has been the director of a program for women who have survived sex trafficking in Texas. Rebekah makes her own creative process a priority, so that she can continue this work long term. She also enjoys kayaking, all kinds of dogs, and loves a good road trip.
Mary Bellofatto, MA, LMHC, NCC, CEDS, TEP
Adjunct Psychotherapist and Trauma Specialist
Bio coming soon!
Rachael Cash, MDiv.
Bio coming soon!
Mitch Curry, LCDCi
Counselor Intern/Recovery Advocate
Mitch first joined our team in 2018 as a counselor intern. His desire to give and to be of service to others shows up in his tolerant nature and his humble heart. It’s no surprise to us that his future goal is to become a full time counselor.
Even at an early age, Mitch wanted to become a firefighter and remembers being curious and willing to run into danger to help others. Mitch has the keen ability to listen, to absorb and to offer help to others when needed. His ability to meet others where they are instead of trying to solve all of their problems are just a few skills that make him an active listener and an integral part of our team.
When he’s not at Casa Colina, he enjoys meeting friends for coffee, spending time with his cat, playing guitar and playing video games. He can also pour a mean bowl of cereal…after call, it’s all about the milk to cereal ratio.
Kelly Clark, M.A., LPC-I
Kelly Clark received her Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Dallas Baptist University. She has always had a passion for horses and enjoys working with them. Her horse experience includes Buck Brannaman Natural Horsemanship Clinics, studying with LM Performance Ranch in Oklahoma, and personal horse experience. Kelly works as an LPC-Intern under the supervision of Brenda Elledge,LPC-S. Kelly offers Equine Assisted Counseling, and Traditional Counseling sessions. Kelly personally owns 3 horses, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. When she is not working, schooling, or horsing around, she enjoys activities with her church, family, and friends.
P.A.T.H. Certified Equine Specialist
Barbara Thompson (aka Babs) has lived in the Midlothian area for 37 years. Barbara lives with her daughter, 2 Quarter Horses, 2 “mini horses” of the barking variety (Great Danes) and 3 cats. She has 10 years experience in working with all aspects of therapeutic riding and a wide range of ages and disabilities. Barbara has spent 19 years studying natural horsemanship, has passed Level 3 skills tests in the Parelli Natural Horsemanship program and is working to complete Level 4 requirements. Through the everyday application of natural horsemanship, horses continue to take Barbara to new levels of understanding and communication. Barbara became a PATH certified Equine Specialist to share her passion for horses with humans seeking help with a variety of mental health and learning issues. Barbara works in concert with the counseling team to facilitate a magical healing and learning experience for each client based on their individual needs.
Dr. Gwen Shipe
Originally from Fort Worth, Dr. Shipe serves as Medical Director at Casa Colina. She has been in private practice in the Dallas area for over seventeen years. She attended and received an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and later attended medical school at the University of Louisville. She graduated from Residency in Psychiatry in 2007 from University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS. She then completed her fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2009 from UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas. Her interests include anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia; Asperger’s disorder; Attention-deficit and disruptive behavior disorders; Mood disorders including bipolar and depressive disorders; Addiction disorders including alcohol and opioid-related disorders. Dr. Shipe is affiliated with the American Psychiatric Association [APA], the Dallas Association of Women Psychiatrists [DAWP], Genelex YouScript Pharmacogenetic Personalized Prescribing System, and the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians (TSPP) She also has additional certifications as a Qualified Practitioner, Cogmed Working Memory Training Program, [Cogmed], and Mental Health Specialist.
Ashley Guin, LVN
Director of Nursing
As our staff nurse, Ashley is motivated and inspired to care for the men who chose to make Casa Colina their temporary home and refuge. Ashley has extensive experience in the field of addiction and in corrections.
Watching friends and relatives struggle with alcoholism and addiction influenced her decision to enter into the field of addiction and especially to join the team at Casa Colina. She has a strong motivation to succeed and to be the best leader she can be.
Her husband, her children and her faith in God all inspire her to provide the best care and support to others. “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough” is her life motto. When she is not caring for others, she enjoys coaching softball and spending quality time with her family.
Malak Saddy, R.D.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Director of Operations
A native Texan and an avid outdoorsman, Sean is passionate about leading by example. His own personal experiences and his commitment to integrity and accountability allow him to share knowledge and hope to others who are struggling.
As the Operations Manager, he desires to teach others what can be accomplished with thorough and honest work. He relays, “Having the promises come true for me has granted me a peace I never knew before; Serenity. I can now bear witness for the still struggling Alcoholic and Addict. My past experiences, once never discussed, are now my greatest attributes to show the newcomer it is possible to recover and to live free and happy.”
With a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Methodist University, Sean focused on history and psychology. He later went on to complete his Juris Doctorate Degree at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California. His passion for knowledge was most influenced by his grandfather, whose thirst for knowledge and love of the arts was unmatched. He also happens to be Sean’s role model for life.
Sean’s favorite quote derives from page 46 of the Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, “We find that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him.” In his free time, Sean supports Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, and the Costal Conservation Association all while looking for a rescue dog of his own.
Scott’s love of helping others and his desire to share his new life of freedom in sobriety are just a few of the reasons why he decided to join Casa Colina as a Recovery Advocate. Both Scott’s passion for recovery and his ability to adapt to his environment encourages others who are still struggling with change.
His favorite quote by Heraclitus, “the only thing that is constant is change,” reminds him to move forward continuously and to stay open-minded while he continues to grow. His willing attitude and work ethic is infectious to others.
When he is not spending time at Casa Colina, Scott enjoys expressing himself through music and spending time with family and friends. His own father’s example of servant leadership while Scott was growing up has inspired him to look forward to also becoming a father one day…all in good time.
Pila, our executive chef at Casa Colina, completed culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Dallas, Texas. Her work experience began in the restaurant and hotel industry which later led her to Australia. She describes her time there as one of the most defining moments of her life. “Traveling to the other side of the world by myself and knowing not a single soul…it was one of the best moments in my life,” she remembers. After she returned state-side, her love of children and her desire to give back to her community inspired her to work with a local non-profit organization prior to joining Casa Colina. While there, she learned to work independently and to manage all aspects of the kitchen.
Her positive attitude, her consideration for others, and her passion for great food makes her an essential part of the Casa Colina team. Her love of sweets and her pastry experience is another plus. If you follow your nose to the kitchen, you will likely find her baking something delicious while also considering how she can help others find their passion. After all, her favorite quote by Joshua Marine is “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
Berenice strongly believes that life is about taking changes, learning new things and putting those opportunities into practice. With a background in event planning, Berenice brings her organizational skills, her creative problem solving skills and her humble and compassionate nature to Casa Colina.
Prior to joining Casa Colina, she attended Wade College and completed her Associates of Arts Degree in Merchandising. She draws inspiration from her family, especially her amazing mother.
Having fond memories of dinners with her family inspires Berenice to create a comfortable dining experience for the men of Casa Colina. Her greatest desire is to make her family proud of her. Her second greatest desire is to own a Corgi of her own.
Dedicated to physical, emotional and spiritual health, Drew is instrumental in teaching other men how to achieve overall health and wellness in their lives. Growing up in Dallas, Drew completed high school and obtained his Bachelors Degree from Texas A&M University.
Drew credits his love of physical fitness to different mentors he has had who have motivated him both inside the gym and outside of it. Drew’s confidence and commitment inspire staff and clients to live an abundant life. In his free time, Drew enjoys listening to praise music, spending time with friends, and working out at the gym.
Drew also enjoys leading Bible studies for young men through his church and carrying out mission work in Haiti.
After working for over twenty two years in the field of operations, Stanley decided to join Casa Colina to carry the message and to help mentor other men who are struggling with alcoholism and addiction. His near death experience with alcohol poisoning followed by his time in treatment have contributed to his desire to reach others through telling his own story and sharing his personal experiences.
With his management experience in retail and his military experience as a First Lieutenant in the Army, Stanley also brings exceptional leadership skills to the men of Casa Colina. His favorite life advice is to “wait on the Lord and to be of good courage.”
When he is not spending time with his wife and family, he enjoys volunteering with Meals on Wheels and believes taking meals to people in need is one of the most incredible experiences one can have.
Funny and service oriented, Chris Boddie is one of a kind. Chris joined our team in 2020 with a desire to to give back that which other people have given him in his own recovery. Family is important to Chris and it is clear to us that his love for people comes from his late grandmother. He clearly strives to show the same kind of love and compassion to others that she showered upon him.
Chris also thrives when he is part of a team and being part of organizations from the ground up. One of his favorite jobs before deciding to join the Casa Colina team was working as field crew at The Ballpark at Arlington. When he’s not spending his time with us, Chris is usually checking up on his favorite sports teams, hiking, walking his dog Lucy or playing disc golf.
A few of his long term plans are to travel and experience the world, continue to volunteer more and to surprise his parents with a once in a lifetime vacation.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Caleb Parette, LCDCi
Director of Community Relations
Bio coming soon!
Director of National Community Relations
Eddie was raised in a Polish-Irish middle class town of Sayreville, New Jersey, where he took his first drink at 14 years old and began a long love affair with alcohol and bars. In 2000, Eddie moved to Scottsdale, Arizona and over 8 years built a 50 million dollar mortgage business and a cocaine addiction. In 2005, Eddie entered treatment at The Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California. He gratefully found freedom on April 13, 2006 and began a journey, building a strong foundation of recovery. In 2008 after starting his dream business, he lost everything in the economic downturn. While a difficult time, a calling led him to serve others during their most critical times and created a non profit ministry called Cross Stitched, now Club 4:13. 2018 brought Eddie and his beautiful, courageous wife of 15 years Michelle to Texas, to serve 3 years at Clearfork Academy an Adolescent Boys Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
Eddie has served as a Neighborhood Group Leader for his church, a Regional Alumni Volunteer for The Betty Ford Center, Level Three Master Graduate of Rapport Leadership and supported The Courageous Healers Foundation epic bicycle adventure called Ride Across America. Eddie’s purpose is to share his resources, experience, strength and hope while making great pizza having great conversations and bringing joy with an authentic enthusiasm for life which includes hiking trips and taming Buffalo on Catalina, just ask.
Digital Marketing Coordinator/Recovery Advocate
A passionate sports fan, Alec joined the team at Casa Colina in 2018 as a Recovery Advocate. His motivation to help others developed from finding peace and serenity through his own recovery program. Before joining Casa Colina, Alec completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and worked for a minor league baseball team and also in a collegiate setting in the sports information/media relations department. Some of the other causes Alec is passionate about are suicide prevention, improving education in inner city schools, and changing the stigma of mental health. When Alec is not working at Casa Colina, he enjoys watching or playing sports, volunteering, hanging out with nieces and nephews, playing with his dog Eva, and getting blizzards at Dairy Queen with friends.
Alumni Coordinator/Recovery Advocate
Funny, loving, and outgoing, Jesse White joined Casa Colina in 2018 as a Recovery Advocate. His own experiences in treatment and also in recovery have strongly influenced his decision to help other men learn how to get better and to stay sober. With his ability to relate to others, Jesse brings charisma and a passion for recovery to the team at Casa Colina.
Jesse also feels strongly about working with troubled youth, carrying the message and serving as a worship leader in his church. When he is not working, he is happiest while enjoying the fellowship of AA, going to the lake, playing the guitar, spending time in prayer and meditation, and spending time with his family.
Some of his future goals include traveling to Paris with his wife and purchasing a home of his own; However he believes his real purpose in life is to be of maximum service to God and to those around him and to be a good father and husband to his family.
Alumni Coordinator/Recovery Advocate
A loving father, a good friend, and an all-around caring man, Donnie joined Casa Colina as a Recovery Advocate in 2018. Growing up, his desire was to become a surgeon and to make a difference in peoples’ lives. This motivation to help others influenced his decision to join the team at Casa Colina. When he is not at work, Donnie’s spends his time watching cartoons with his children, spending time in fellowship with his AA home group, watching football, and planning trips to the beach. He hopes to begin working towards his goal of completing college while at Casa Colina. Knowing Donnie as we do and his motto to “Never ever give up,” we are sure that he will accomplish whatever he sets out to do…including guiding others towards living a life in sobriety.
Murry Sandlin, M.Ed., LCDC
Director of Admissions
Bio coming soon!
Admissions Coordinator/Recovery Advocate
Eric joined the team at Casa Colina as a Recovery Advocate in 2018 with the desire to be of maximum service to others who are struggling with addiction and/or alcoholism and to experience the life transformation that comes with sobriety. He was first introduced to the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous in 2005 and considers it a blessing to experience hope reborn in peoples lives. What he loves most about Casa Colina is the family-like work environment. Besides his own personal experience with recovery, Eric also brings his servant heart and his desire to humbly help others. When he is away from work, he most enjoys traveling, exercising, fishing, being outdoors and spending time with his family on the lake. His quote to live by is “keep it simple and take it one day at a time.”
14 year old Quarter Horse Mare
Claire loves humans and initiates contact. She will often park herself in the center of a group processing session. She loves to play with different objects & she will steal any food item brought into the arena.
14 year old Paint Gelding.
Cochise is always calm, cool and cooperative. He would rather have wither scratches than move his feet, but prefers napping or grazing to all other activity.
13 year old Paint gelding
Cash was abused & rescued from a slaughter house. He’s very playful. He insists on honesty from human partners and is quick to share his opinion on any matter.
13 year old Clydesdale Cross mare.
Lola is sweet but timid. Coming from an abusive environment, she’s learning to trust humans. She wants to please & will do what’s asked of her when she’s asked politely.
15 year old Quarter Horse mare.
Zee came to us with Lola, they were pasture mates for several years. She is the herd’s alpha mare. She is learning to trust humans again but is quick to join up with a human partner when she is treated with respect.