YOUR BEST CHANCE BEGINS HERE!

Tanner Balkcom, RN

Operations Director, Registered Nurse

While working as a travel nurse, Tanner Balkcom met his future wife and moved to this area. He earned his nursing degree in Virginia and has experience in many areas, including adjunct faculty at his local college teaching paramedicine and nursing, emergency room, operating room, intensive care and long term care. Prior to his nursing career, he worked running front-line calls as a paramedic, firefighter, and hazardous materials technician.

In his down time, Tanner loves spending time with his wife and daughter, working on diesel trucks, and building and flying drones.

Tanner enjoys using his twenty-plus years of experience in so many areas of the medical field to help others live their healthiest and highest quality of life. He appreciates the opportunity to serve alongside the other staff members at Foothills as they collaborate to provide the best possible care for their Clients.

Christopher Haug, BS

Campus Administrator

Christopher grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York in a small town neighboring the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River. He received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science while minoring in psychology from the University of New York at Cortland. Christopher later moved to Asheville and began working at a holistic residential program for adults experiencing mental health challenges. While there, he enjoyed the relationship-based approach and opportunity to help others learn and grow and appreciates this same spirit at Foothills at Red Oak.

His prior work experience ranges from creating exercise programs for athletes, running professional kitchens, developing occupational health, and safety programs, to most recently serving as an operations director for a non-profit mental health organization. Christopher’s attention to detail and capacity to see the big picture are two important traits he brings to the Campus Administrator role.

When Christopher is not working, he enjoys spending family time with his wife, Emily and their two young children, Rosalie and Zev. He loves working on home improvement projects, time in nature and finding the latest and greatest taco truck in town.

Jimmy Bechand, BA

Program Manager

Jimmy grew up in New York and moved to North Carolina in 2013 to continue his education. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina – Asheville, he began working at Red Oak Recovery®. While there, he found a passion for supporting other people and challenging them to improve their lives.

Over the last few years, Jimmy has been working with children in psychiatric residential facilities. He brings years of experience working in the field of mental health, particularly with substance use and PTSD with adult and adolescent populations. Jimmy’s work with adolescents is focused on trauma-informed care and resiliency, motivational interviewing, teaching new coping skills, providing behavioral support to improve individual outcomes, and, above all, being a responsive listener. His focus at Foothills is to provide support to the clients and staff, to share his personal and professional passions with the community every day, and to be an advocate for those he works with.

Rachel Harris

Barn Manager

Originally from Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Rachel moved to North Carolina in 2005. Rachel’s love of animals started at a young age, with her volunteering at animal clinics and worked with programs that used equine to assist with special needs children while in school. After graduating she moved into the veterinary field working on animals as a veterinarian technician. She has also been passionate about wildlife rehabilitation; she has cared for numerous animals in need of rehabilitation due to injuries and successfully released them after they have made full recoveries. Rachel brings years of experience with horses, she has studied the natural horsemanship way of training and has been riding, training, and caring for horses since before she graduated from school.

Rachel oversees the care, exercise, and safety of all the animals at Foothills. She strives to provide the best atmosphere for Foothills’ clients and animals to enhance the benefits and experiences gained through equine assisted psychotherapy. Currently she is furthering her education by working toward her Natural Lifemanship certifications.

When not at work Rachel enjoys the outdoors and spending quality time with her husband and three daughters.

Nick Aust

Kitchen Manager

Nick is a native to Asheville and is the proud single dad to his 14 year old son. He loves music and plays the bass guitar. He also loves sports and played baseball for Blue Ridge Community College. His passion for cooking is what brought him to Red Oak and he looks forward to being able to impact someone’s life through nutritional therapy.

Jacob Whittemore

Cook

Bio coming soon!

Julia Hughes

Compliance Officer

Julia grew up in Germany where she spent her youth snowboarding and biking before moving to the U.S. in 2011. After coming to America, she spent her early adulthood exploring and experiencing a different way of life. When she moved to Western North Carolina, Julia fell in love with Asheville’s captivating outdoors and beautiful weather. Being a life-long learner, she pursued a bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in neuroscience from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, graduating in 2017.

After joining the Red Oak Family in August 2017 and working at The Willows campus as a Clinical Technician, she joined the Compliance Team in the summer of 2018. She is grateful for the opportunity to support the company in her role as Compliance Officer. With her love and attention for details, she is looking forward to creating, providing, and maintaining a positive healing environment for young adults in recovery.

In her free time, Julia can be found hiking on the parkway with her two dogs, doing yoga or enjoying the beautiful weather.

Kirsten Winchester

Client Financial Services Manager

Kirsten has lived in Western North Carolina (WNC) for the majority of her life. She grew up in Bryson City, NC and then moved to Asheville to pursue a management degree from UNC-Asheville. After graduating in 2017, she worked at an optometrist office where she learned about patient care and medical billing. She was interested in Red Oak Recovery® because of the center’s ability to incorporate WNC’s beauty in their treatments. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, yoga, canoeing, and finding good coffee shops.

Christa Laws

Client Financial Services Coordinator

Christa is a Western North Carolina native. She has worked in healthcare for the last 15 years, starting as a Certified Nursing Assistant after high school, while attending AB Technical College in Asheville. Christa soon discovered her knack for detail and organization and pursued an administrative career. She has served a diverse population in roles over the years, where she has become well versed in billing and administrative functions.

Christa is thrilled to take on the role of Client Financial Services Coordinator as she has a deep-rooted aspiration to help families on their collective recovery journey. She feels privileged to help with any assistance she may be able to provide to make the process a smooth one.

Christa enjoys good coffee, spending time with her family and fur babies, kayaking, traveling, and exploring new places.

Justin Slack

 Human Resources Manager

Justin Slack was born and raised in Florida and moved to North Carolina in 2010, drawn by the beauty of the mountains. After graduating from Florida State University, Justin served in various management roles prior to discovering his true passion for Human Resources. As a certified HR professional, Justin enjoys learning all about the many ways Human Resources can have a major impact on both the lives of the employees and those they serve. His desire is to continually provide and ensure a positive atmosphere and experience for the employees at Red Oak Recovery, so they can continue to provide the absolute best care for our clients.

Outside of work, Justin enjoys a number of volunteer activities, teaching and sharing the joy of music with both children and adults. Justin also enjoys traveling whenever possible to discover the beauty and uniqueness that other cultures and places have to share.

Katie Gallant, BS

Human Resources Coordinator

Katie has been working in a mental health direct care role since graduating from Appalachian State University where she studied Psychology and Addictions. She has a passion for helping people learn and grow. Katie grew up in the foothills of North Carolina and has always been drawn to the mountains.

After moving to Asheville for its beautiful landscape, Katie was drawn to Red Oak Recovery® and joined the team in a direct care role at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®. She has had the pleasure of working alongside many departments and many amazing people. Katie has grown within the company and is committed to its purpose of helping clients honor themselves, unveil their self-worth, and pursue positive, lasting change. She now applies that same principle to staff as Human Resources Coordinator and is excited to be part of a growing and supportive work family.

When not at work, Katie spends as much time outside as possible. She loves swimming, hiking, and sitting by a fire with a good book.

Bob Cummings, CSAPC, WEMT

Recruitment, Training, and Prevention Manager

Bob has worked in the substance abuse treatment and substance abuse prevention field for over 30 years and is a Certified Substance Abuse Prevention Consultant and a Wilderness EMT. In addition to working in treatment programs, he has worked street ministry with the homeless population, was a Social Worker with child protective services, and was the owner and lead teacher of a ShaoLin Kung Fu school in Asheville, achieving the level of ShaoLin Master Instructor.

As the Recruitment and Training Manager, Bob is responsible for making sure that all Red Oak Recovery staff are the best, most competent, and the most well trained in their fields, and that they are trained in the Red Oak Recovery system of treatment. His responsibilities include recruiting potential staff, screening them to find the best suited for the Red Oak Recovery family, and providing the utmost in onboarding and ongoing training.

As Prevention Manager, Bob draws on his certification and past work experience as a substance abuse prevention specialist. Bob spends time with schools, organizations, colleges, churches, and other venues helping community trainings and outreach to help organizations, institutions, and people to understand substance abuse and mental health issues, and how to find the help they need for themselves or their loved ones.

Originally from San Diego, Bob grew up in East Tennessee and now lives in Waynesville, NC with his wife. They have three adult children between them and are enjoying the peace and quiet of an empty house. In his spare time, Bob still teaches and studies ShaoLin Kung Fu, is an ardent canoeist, backpacker, fly fisherman, and loves doing all those things with his wife in the mountains of Western Carolina.

Wyatt Schaefer

Program Manager

Wyatt has been working with young people struggling with addiction and mental health issues for the past eight years in the role of direct-care staff, hypnotherapist and instructor. Wyatt values a well-rounded holistic approach to mental well-being with a focus on calming the mind, opening the heart and connecting to nature. His role is to help create an environment where young people can learn the skills necessary to lead a healthy, productive and happy life. He is inspired by the ability and power of people to change and continually grow. He is happiest when gardening, hiking in nature, and practicing meditation.

Jeff Brown

Shift Supervisor

Jeff Brown is one of our Shift Supervisors. He has over 10 years of wilderness therapy experience.  He is a Wilderness First Responder, a Wilderness Lifeguard Instructor and an American Canoe Association Instructor. Jeff enjoys hiking, kayaking and playing his guitar.