David W. Green
Founder & CEO
David Green enjoys building things – businesses and places. Over the years he has been involved in a variety of enterprises, including real estate, automotive, sports and marketing. In addition to practicing law, he directed the development of the Cape Eleuthera Resort in The Bahamas and serves as Chairman and Founding Director of The Island School and Cape Eleuthera Marine Research Institute. He is currently the founder and CEO of Archipelago Equities, a real estate and small business venture firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
David is a lifelong Grand Rapidian. He lives in historic Heritage Hill, after stints in Washington, DC, Africa and The Bahamas. Before discovering Sanford House at Cherry Street by happenstance, David and his wife Rae, had been thinking of opening a women’s addiction treatment center in Grand Rapids. David was drawn to the Civil War-era, Greek Revival architecture of the house. It fit with his concept that an inspirational, “town and country” backdrop, provided the best environment for rebuilding the lives of those in recovery. And when he found the historic Hazeltine mansion on John Street, the idea for another treatment facility, this time for men, was born.
David’s business expertise was instrumental in the renovation and establishment of Sanford House Addiction Treatment Centers. He continues to be involved in all aspects of its operations, while looking for more new things to build. David loves cooking, architecture, gardening and exercise. He and his dog Santino are often out exploring the city…
David says, “I strive to create unique and comfortable spaces. With Sanford House Addiction Treatment Centers, our residents inspire us to be exceptional in everything we do.”
Rae Allyson Green, JD, LPC, CAADC
Founder & President
Rae Green’s extensive experience working in residential treatment centers inspired her to seek a new approach to addiction treatment. In collaboration with her husband David, Rae founded Sanford House Addiction Treatment Centers to serve as a beacon for recovery. And to inspire those suffering with substance use disorders, to achieve richer and more fulfilling lives in long-term recovery.
Rae studied history at Alma College, before attending Detroit College of Law for her Juris Doctor degree. But her passion was always helping those with the disease of addiction. She managed several nonprofit organizations prior to receiving her master’s degree – in counselor education and counseling psychology. Rae worked first in a sub-acute detox unit. She also spent five years at a residential treatment center. There, she was instrumental in collaborating with the clinical team to implement successful, treatment models. She has since been certified as an Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC).
Rae has dedicated her working career to chipping away at the shame of addiction. Her goal is to provide education and a comfortable setting in which to heal and rediscover a sense of worthiness. She lives happily with her family in Heritage Hill, just blocks from work. Rae’s interests include interior design and exploring Grand Rapids’ many cultural and culinary treasures. But, she is most passionate about creating special times for her family and friends…
Rae says, “I am inspired by the life stories. And propelled to continually strive for a standard of excellence within the treatment world. I am privileged to commit myself and my resources to this specialty.”
Omar Flores, LMSW, CAADC
Omar Flores “discovered” Grand Rapids as an undergraduate student at Aquinas College. He stayed to complete his Master of Social Work degree. And he has worked in mental health treatment in Grand Rapids for the past 11 years. Omar has spent most of that time working with adults who struggle with substance use disorders, trauma, chronic homelessness, incarceration and other mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.
From 2009 – 2016, Omar was also a professor at Aquinas College and Grand Valley State University. He served as guest lecturer at Western Michigan University in the SPADA program for substance use and leadership.
As Sanford House Clinical Director…
As Sanford House Clinical Director, Omar is tasked with developing dynamic, proven and personal treatment plans for Sanford House clients and staff members. He says, “The freedom to look at all options for substance abuse treatment and choose the approach that will most benefit every individual in the organization is unique to many treatment environments. I am excited to be a part of this dynamic team!”
Omar is a native Detroit-er (and thus a fan of all Detroit sports). He prides himself in his lifelong attention to cultural competence. He speaks fluent Spanish as well as English and enjoys learning about cultures all over the world (food and travel are the biggest draws in that exploration).
Giving back to his adopted community…Omar serves as President of the Board of Trustees of the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation, ranked in the top 25 largest charitable foundations in Michigan. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of HQ, Homeless Youth Drop-In Center in Grand Rapids.
“Everyone has to cope with the circumstances of their life. Some have been lucky to pick a coping mechanism that doesn’t have health or social consequences. Some have not been so lucky. At the end of the day, we all need and deserve to be loved. Compassionate substance abuse treatment is the best way I know, to professionally share that love with everyone who seeks it…” Omar Flores
John N. Campbell, M.D., P.C.
Dr. Campbell has established a successful private medical practice in the Grand Rapids community over the past 35 years. This practice has grown to three healthcare providers, offering primary care services, internal medicine, behavioral mental health, addiction medicine, dermatology, allergy, and women’s health services.
Dr. Campbell received his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin and completed his residency at Butterworth Hospital (now Spectrum Health) in Grand Rapids. Dr. Campbell is board certified in addiction medicine and has served as medical director to substance use disorder organizations in the Grand Rapids area. Dr. Campbell has been on the staff at Pine Rest, Forest View Hospital and many other behavioral health clinics. He currently also serves as Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan State Medical School. Dr. Campbell is a long distance runner, having recently completed his 13th Boston Marathon.
Dr. Campbell says, “I embrace the important role that physical activity plays in my patients’ recovery program, and appreciate the role this plays in the Sanford House program.”
Brenda L. Kargel, RN, MSN, Family Nurse Practitioner
Brenda Kargel has had a personal interest in addiction therapy for quite some time. Her background has been in mental health care and she says, “I think many people with addiction problems started using their drug of choice because they could not or did not get the help they needed. I am happy to be on the cutting edge at Sanford House. Looking at the whole person and treatment at the same time.”
Brenda has a rich history. She received her MSN and Family Nurse Practitioner’s certificate from Grand Valley State University. She has worked as an educator, in acute care, and in office practice in both the public and VA systems. At Sanford House she works with Dr. Campbell to provide “the best medical care possible”. This includes managing the physical effects of use and withdrawal, everyday chronic care and minor wellness issues (like sore muscles from new exercise). Brenda is a wife, mom and grandma who enjoys her family, cooking and gardening in her free time…
“My overall motto is: people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. The residents at Sanford House are people who happen to have the disease of addiction. And they get specialized care here.”
Rae Rabideau, MS
Rae Rabideau received a master’s degree in psychology from DePaul University, with a concentration in human development. While in graduate school, Rae conducted coping skills group sessions for individuals living in disadvantaged neighborhoods. After living in Chicago for seven years, Rae returned to her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan to be closer to family. She is currently working toward her CAADC certification through the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals (MCBAP).
Rae completes biopsychosocial assessments with new clients when they arrive at Sanford House. These assessments are the keystone to each client’s individualized treatment. In addition, she leads group therapy sessions, with many groups focused on coping skills and relapse prevention.
In her free time, Rae likes to be with her family. Her most treasured hobby, however, is fishing. Rae is a lover of animals and a proud mom to a son and two rescue dogs.
“Nothing is as rewarding as helping people heal. The disease of addiction ruins lives; every day I get the privilege of watching people take their lives back. I have abundant hope for the men and women who choose treatment at Sanford House.”
Claire Victoria Graves, LPC, CAADC, AcuDetox Specialist
Claire has worked in residential addiction treatment for the past four years. She also has extensive experience with group therapy, Art Therapy and she is our AcuDetox specialist. Claire was drawn to the Sanford House “holistic and progressive” programming. She was also encouraged by her long-time mentor to join the Sanford House team.
Claire says she “adores” working with individuals who are making positive change. She likes being in a position to instill hope – that recovery from mental health issues and substance use disorders are truly possible.
Claire received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Western Michigan University. She is also an auricular acupuncture specialist for our residential clients. In her free time, Claire plays competitive roller derby for the Grand Raggedy Roller Girls (truly proving her well-rounded versatility…).
Claire says, “When we provide a safe environment, an individual can find acceptance as their whole self, be validated in their struggles and find the tools to manage ‘life on life’s terms’. This journey takes amazing courage…”
Jonathan Hunt, MA, RBT
Jonathan’s experience in the Army with the 16th Psychological Operations Battalion, and his work as a Paramedic serve as excellent qualifications for his position as a Substance Abuse Counselor at Sanford House at John Street. In the past, he also served as Milieu Consultant for adolescents who were involved in the court system. You might say he’s seen it all.
Jonathan received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, and his Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He loves working with clients, hearing about their life stories and conducting group therapy. He likes to go home at the end of the day knowing he made a difference in someone’s life.
In his free time, Jonathan races super-bikes in weekend races all across the country during race season. He’s been doing this for 20 years.
Jonathan says, “Nothing is irreversible. Everything can be repaired, including the human soul…”
Natalie Sernick, LLMSW
Natalie has always known she wanted to work with adults seeking recovery from addiction. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Sociology from Michigan State University and her Master’s Degree from Grand Valley State University. She’s putting her education to good use, leading groups in both the men’s and women’s facilities at Sanford House.
Natalie also leads family groups, and facilitates our evening IOP Programs. She says she loves working with our partial hospitalization and IOP clients as they transition back into a more natural environment, experiencing the world without drugs or alcohol, finding hope.
In her infrequent free time, Natalie likes to nap, read, walk and run, and watch favorite TV shows with her partner. She is active in the NA community, planning a wedding and just bought a house, so she anticipates home improvement projects and lots of yard work in future…
Natalie says, “I believe in the power of change. To humble ourselves, recognize we are not going down the right path, and find the courage to change… Sanford House offers me the opportunity to grow – SH is always trying to better it’s programs. I love being a part of that!”
Alaina Smith, LPC, CAADC
Alaina works as a therapist at Cherry Street for Women. She says she loves getting to see the women “come out of the fog of addiction” and begin to start their journey of healing. Facilitating group therapy is a personal favorite. She enjoys watching the women learn and begin to open up to one another – encouraging each other in their recovery.
Alaina came to Sanford House with six years experience at a Mental Health Services Provider, in their Recovery Management Program. She worked with adults who had made several unsuccessful treatment attempts. Many of her clients had chronic addiction problems, as well as mental illnesses and physical conditions or concerns (such as homelessness).
Alaina holds a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Western Michigan University. In her free time she spends time with her husband, daughter and son. They enjoy being active, attending festivals and events, or simply taking a walk or playing in the park.
Alaina says, “It is rewarding to be a part of this pivotal moment of change in the lives of our clients, as they become empowered to find self-worth again. Sanford House provides a safe space for healing and growth and a strong foundation for transition back to their homes…”
Christine Walkons, MA, LPC, CAADC, CCS-M
Christine Walkons has been working in the addiction treatment field for over twenty-five years. She embraces a welcoming approach that eliminates barriers to treatment. As Clinical Director, Christine encourages partnerships between clients and staff, resulting in individualized, person-centered recovery management.
Prior to Sanford House, Christine served as the Executive Director for a residential treatment facility. She was also integral to the development of their outpatient and intensive outpatient programs. In addition, Christine represented the Board of Counseling on the Michigan Health Professional Recovery Committee (MHPRC) for six years and is a surveyor for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In that role she monitors the standards of Sanford House and of behavioral health organizations nationwide.
Christine says that her years working as a therapist have taught her that everyone has a story, and that all stories are sacred. She says, “Clients come in and share stories that they perceive are shameful, but fail to see their innate strengths. They must overcome barriers of hiding to reveal truths to themselves and others. They can find relief, joy and purpose as they begin new journeys of self disclosure. I sometimes say, ‘If you do not go within, you go without.'”
Christine has a home in Elberta, Michigan among the scenic dunes of Lake Michigan. She divides her time between Grand Rapids and her small northern village. At home she can be found walking on the beach or tending to her many fruit trees, vegetables and flower gardens.
“I am in awe of the courage of every person who comes through the doors of our treatment centers. I know that our clients must feel safe in order to heal, and the richness of the Sanford House environment and community promotes the highest level of trust and assurance for individuals to recover.”
Kathy Morrow’s passion for all things physical, shines through the minute you meet her. She looks like someone who runs marathons for breakfast, and in fact she has finished five marathons, including the Boston Marathon. Kathy holds a Bachelor Degree in Physical Education and a Master Degree in Educational Administration. Kathy has spent her entire career directing, teaching and coaching women and men of all ages and all fitness levels. (She is proud of her previous role, working inside the home as a full time mom as well). She has worked in athletic clubs as well as academia and now, serves as wellness coach for Sanford House.
As a wellness coach, Kathy is responsible for establishing a physical fitness plan for each resident at Sanford House. She also works together with the clients to help them meet their wellness goals both at Sanford House and as they transition home. Kathy thinks that challenging her clients is the point. During her two-hour wellness sessions, Kathy inspires our clients with her excitement for what she does. She has created the “House Workouts”: one-hour training sessions of planks, push-ups and crunches that can be done anywhere. When Sanford House clients leave treatment, they take their workouts with them.
Kathy lives in Grand Rapids. She volunteers as a coach for youth teams and is involved in her church. She spends her free time with family, boating, running and doing all manner of physical activities. One of her favorite workouts is going around East Grand Rapids’ Reeds Lake. She has included this walk in the Sanford House fitness routine. It’s an excursion for all levels with plenty of park benches for resting. But you won’t see Kathy resting…
Kathy says, “There is no pressure to perform in my group. This is each person’s workout, and each person’s recovery. I just want to impart the benefits of physical activity as a recovery tool. And have some fun in the process.”
Executive Director of Marketing, Editor-In-Chief
Marilyn Spiller has been a marketing professional for more than twenty years. She has helped organizations promote their products and services, from automated litigation support systems to contemporary art. For the past five years, she has directed her talents toward the addiction treatment field. Most recently as Marketing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Excursions Magazine for Sanford House.
Marilyn is a student of the world. (She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing). She is a writer, public speaker, recovery coach and recovery advocate. Five years sober herself, she writes an award-winning blog called Waking Up the Ghost.
In her free time, Marilyn loves to be out of doors near water …
“The role of marketing in the Behavioral Health field is really about building relationships. I try to bring together talented individuals and organizations with skills to augment our own. And in so doing, we provide an even better service to our clients…”
Director of Admissions
Lindsey brings insight and knowledge to her position at Sanford House. As our Director of Admissions, Lindsey is often the first point of contact for potential clients and their families. Lindsey’s warm and engaging personality and experiential empathy often turns a difficult phone call into a life changing one. Before coming to Sanford House, Lindsey served as a Withdrawal Specialist, Case Manager and Deputy Executive Director for a prominent treatment facility. She is an invaluable part of our team.
Lindsey received her degree in Business Administration from Central Michigan University, and minored in Law. Lindsey is a SMART Recovery Certified Facilitator and working towards her CADC certification through MCBAP. Lindsey enjoys spending time with friends, family, and her dog. Having lived in Colorado for 7 years, Lindsey appreciates “all things outdoors” and likes to hike, camp and golf on the weekends.
“Asking for help with addiction and considering treatment is a very brave step in the right direction. As the Director of Admissions, I understand that recovery is unique to each person and am here to meet their individual treatment needs. I am incredibly thankful to be part of the Sanford House team as my career in recovery has been the most fulfilling work of my life.”
Director of Operations
Alec brings creative and organizational talents to his role as Director of Operations for Sanford House. During the renovation of Sanford House at Cherry Street, he was tasked with bringing new life to the long neglected outside spaces. Thinking big, Alec ordered 220 arborvitae and boxwood trees from Washington State, and led a brigade of friends in planting the trees and transforming the grounds. The resulting natural, green fence lining the property, has become a landmark feature of Sanford House and all of Cherry Street.
Armed with a BA in Political Science and Public Policy from Michigan State University, Alec joined Sanford House full time in May of 2016. His degree immediately proved useful as he led the re-zoning campaign for Sanford House’s newest venture at John Street for Men. The renovation of the Heritage Hill, Hazeltine mansion has become a 20 bed men’s addiction treatment center. With unanimous approval from the zoning board, Alec is now channeling his duties toward all aspects of operations, purchasing and directing significant, ongoing projects. He will also provide structure and organization to the men’s and women’s facilities.
Alec is a proud fan of his hometown, Grand Rapids. He is oftentimes out exploring new features of the city or fulfilling a request to show an out of town guest everything Grand Rapids has to offer. As a nod to his passion for history and politics, Alec can be found traveling, in his quest to visit every presidential library in the United States.
Alec says, “I love being a part of Sanford House, because it is not just a place to work. We are a family. Everyone is dedicated to creating a warm environment where men and women can come to learn about their new life in recovery.”
Director of Finance & Administration
Lisa Nargi earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography with a minor in Business Management, from Western Michigan University. Afterwards, she moved to San Francisco, where she worked for a California based corporate event planning firm, managing large scale conferences for major Silicon Valley software companies. She spent the next 10 years as an “It Girl” at Gap Inc. and Levi Strauss in various positions ranging from buyer, to marketing and account management. Returning to her hometown of Grand Rapids, Lisa served as a retail consultant for various companies, including Meijer, Inc.
After a successful career in retail, Lisa took on another full time position – the raising of three children. When she decided to get back into the workforce, and interviewed for her position at Sanford House, she had to step over construction debris to meet David Green. As Lisa puts it, she “literally got in on the ground floor” to secure the job. Since then, Lisa has seen wonderful things happen at Sanford House and she’s become very good at multi-tasking. She is inspired by the Sanford House mission, its positive culture, and gratified to have been a part of the Sanford House team from the very beginning…
In her free time, Lisa likes to hang out with her husband Dean and her three children, Ava, Lila and Jackson. She is an avid skier, runner and world traveler.
Lisa says, “I came to Sanford House with very little knowledge of the recovery community. Working with Rae and David, and being part of their passion to build a place for women and men to find help, I have developed a deeper appreciation and understanding for addiction treatment. Sanford House offers a positive, happy environment and I look forward to coming to work each day.”
Leslie opened Sanford House at Cherry Street in 2014 and has rejoined the team as House Chef. Leslie has gained experience over the past two years working with Grand Valley’s Phi Sigma Sigma sorority chapter. Leslie also has experience working with several prominent restaurants in the area (including Nantucket Baking Company, Charley’s Crab, Reserve Wine and Food, and Winchester). She has worked as a personal chef in the home kitchens of several Grand Rapids’ families.
Leslie earned a degree in Advertising and Public Relations from Grand Valley State University. After six years in the marketing field, Leslie decided to pursue a second degree in Culinary Arts at Secchia Institute for Culinary Education. Leslie also holds a Personal and Private Chef Certification.
Leslie is passionate about working in collaboration with her clients, and is knowledgeable about tailoring meals to a variety of dietary restrictions and nutritional needs. Leslie describes her cooking style as “approachable meals with flair… I use modern techniques and fresh, local ingredients.”
Leslie says, “In early recovery, food can be a form of therapy… Meals, flavors, and even familiar smells evoke good memories. My goal at Sanford House is to create new and lasting impressions on our residents as they begin a healthy life in recovery.”
Marrissa has worked in the administrative field for the past 5 years, serving individuals seeking mental health and addiction treatment. A former recovery liaison, Marrissa has a passion for addiction medicine and personalized care. As a woman in recovery herself, she brought firsthand knowledge to her role as House Manager of Sanford House at Cherry Street.
In Marissa’s current role as Admissions Specialist, she is often the first contact clients “meet” when they call for information. She is also often the first person our clients see when they arrive at Sanford House. She makes a point of helping those new to treatment feel comfortable and safe. Her dedication, compassion, and organization allow her to assist Sanford House residents with empathy and respect.
In her spare time, Marrissa enjoys spending time with her family, painting, cooking, and working out at the gym.
“I am proud to be part of a facility that is as passionate about helping people as I am. Sanford House is beautiful and the staff is dedicated. My office door is always open to the men and women we serve. Recovery takes time. Early recovery is a process and I’m here for our clients every step of the way.”
House Manager - Sanford House at Cherry Street
Brooke loves being a House Manager at Cherry Street. She says she has met so many strong and resilient women in her position. And she loves playing a part in providing a secure, therapeutic space for the women in her charge to recover. Brooke is the “first line” at Cherry Street, meeting and interacting with Sanford House clients on a day to day basis. A family history of addiction brings a greater understanding of the work we do, and Brooke has a passion for working with substance use disorders.
Brooke began her career working in foster care and children’s residential settings. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Grand Valley State University. When she’s not engrossed at Cherry Street, Brooke enjoys spending quality time with daughter Milan and being active with her family.
Brooke says, “We have an incredible community here at Sanford House. My goal is to ensure everyone who passes through our doors has a safe place for healing.”
House Manager Sanford House at John Street
Roderic (Rod) Townes loves his job as the House Manager at Sanford House at John Street for Men. He enjoys interacting with clients, keeping the house in order and and keeping his clients safe. Rod started with Sanford House as a part-time Resident Support staffer after 3 1/2 years as a Resident Care Provider for a behavioral health facility. He rolled up his sleeves and did any task that needed to be completed – cleaning, transporting the clients to off-site support meetings, lending a hand and a sympathetic ear.
He was promoted to House Manager six months later. As a person in long term recovery, Rod finds it gratifying to share his experience, strength and hope with the men in his charge. Rod says he’s allowed to be himself in his position and that it never feels like a “job” or that he’s wearing a “mask”. In his free time, the self-styled “square” watches movies at home, goes to recovery meetings and gets together with friends to hit the local parks.
Rod says, “Sanford House has given me the best of both worlds. I have the opportunity to give hope and help as it was given to me. I’m rewarded with more than I could have hoped for…”