Maryana Newton, MA, ATR-P, LCAS-A, CTP
Program Director & Milieu Art Therapist
Maryana serves the Foothills at Red Oak Recovery team as both the program director and also as the milieu and art therapist; she has a deep passion for human creativity and curiosity. Maryana completed a dual Bachelor of Arts in art therapy and psychology from Mars Hill University in the foothills of Appalachia, before pursuing a dual masters in art therapy and clinical counseling, with a focus on interpersonal neurobiology from Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Having started in the mental health field over ten years ago, starting in caregiving, Maryana has worked with and holds a passion for neurogenesis as it relates to traumatic brain injury, memory, and brain development. She has spent the last several years working in a residential capacity with adults, providing case management, art therapy, and administrative development throughout her time.
Maryana’s first passion is art therapy, which as a whole focuses on the creative processes of healing and integration of the self, but can often look very different than one may expect. Maryana strongly believes humans are creative in nature, and “art” is simply a byproduct of the human experience. As humans, we are made to make meaning – art, creativity, and expression can facilitate ways to do this when words fall short. In addition to art therapy, Maryana bases much of her clinical work around Jungian and Adlerian psychology with emphasis on the experience of individuation, fragmentation, and integration utilizing person-centered and existential therapies. Through this, Maryana is passionate about helping individuals create an empowered and fulfilling life.
When not at work, Maryana enjoys creating art of her own, hiking with her dog, Leo, various flow-arts, and playing in her garden!
Erik Gulliver, EMT, WEMT
Erik grew up in Texas before moving to Arkansas and spent over a decade there. Even though he was raised in the South, he grew up enjoying many winter sports (including ice hockey) as well as soccer. Erik received his Wilderness EMT certification through National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Lander, WY. He also received training in swift water rescue and high angle rescue.
Erik believes that treatment is a place for growth within oneself, a place to heal, and to connect with others on an honest, meaningful level. He enjoys everything that nature and the outdoors has to offer. Erik joined the Red Oak Recovery® team several years ago, starting as a Recovery Guide and then a Lead Guide before stepping into the Operations Manager role at Foothills. In his current role, he oversees operational needs, ranging from client comforts to renovations to the entire campus.
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 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 was raised in Polk County, North Carolina and has worked in several kitchens in the area where he honed his cooking skills. At Foothills, Jacob is on the culinary arts teams at a cook, providing substantive and nutritional meals to the clients. Jacob loves what he does and believes that the conversations had while gathered around food serve as a phenomenal way to connect with others and make them feel more comfortable.
Although his cooking skills are what make him a good fit for the job, his compassionate nature is what make him an ideal fit for this line of work. “Cooking is my art,” says Jacob. “What I can bring to the table helps to paint the faces of the people around me with happiness.”
Quality Assurance Officer
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 Red Oak Recovery® programs.
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 Quality Assurance Officer 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.
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.
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, SHRM-CP
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, SHRM-CP
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.
Heather grew up in a small county in the Western New York region where there is a greater cow population than human population. She attended a community college and received a medical/office technology certificate. Heather then worked as a retail pharmacy technician for 12 years. Heather has spent the last seven years as an office administrator for a non-profit organization run by farm owners. In addition to being the office administrator, she also worked one on one with a few of the farmers scouting their forages, soybeans, and corn crops. Heather has recently moved to Shelby NC, where she accepted the Administrative Specialist position at Foothills. Heather has dealt with addiction both on a personal and professional level her entire life. She looks forward to sharing her life’s journey in hopes it will help make a difference in young lives.
When not at work Heather enjoys being with her family and husband. Heather has two adult children of her own, a stepson, a son-in-law and granddaughter, she also has two dogs and a giant Fleming bunny. She loves animals, the outdoors, and gardening.
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 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.