Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team

Kara Frahm

Marketing and Outreach Director

Kara obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1991 from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  She spent over 20 years after college in account management roles, mainly in the information technology field.  After entering a life of recovery, herself, Kara began using her experience to serve others still suffering from addiction.  For the past six years, she has worked in residential and outpatient addiction facilities coordinating resources and collaborating with individuals to embark on a healthy journey in sobriety.  She also works as a sober coach and companion to walk beside women who are beginning a life in recovery.  Kara has 20-year old twins who are off to college and a dog named Savannah.  In her free time, you can find her in the woods either hiking or cross-country skiing.

Shannon Swarthout, LADC


Shannon obtained her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Dependency from Metropolitan State University in 2013. She has worked with men and women in both residential settings and outpatient settings. Over the past four years, she has been focused on utilization review. Shannon has been applying her license in a capacity that has made her proficient in obtaining insurance authorizations for people struggling with chemical dependency. She enjoys working directly with clients and assisting them in their endeavors to enhance their lives! In her free time, Shannon enjoys sewing, spending time with friends and family, volunteering and hanging out with her two dogs, Bruno and Max.

David Smith, M.Ed., LADC


David L. Smith M Ed., LADC has been a professional in the field of chemical dependence for over fifteen years. He has held many different positions from assessor to clinical director. However, his true calling is working with men in so they can create a life that they can be happy and proud of without drugs and alcohol. David is trained specifically in Dialectic Behavioral Therapy and Sexual Health issue that arise from getting sober. He is also a board-approved supervisor for licensed alcohol and drug counselors with The Board of Behavioral Health of Minnesota. He has also been part of the conference circuit in the past few years presenting at the Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorder, Contemporary Relationships Conference, Austin Texas, and Minnesota Association of Resources for Recovery and Chemical Health (MARRCH) and many other conferences.

Kendra Buesgens, LADC

Clinical Assessor

Kendra obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Chemical Dependency from St. Cloud State University in 2014, where she then became an LADC and began working Full-Time in the behavioral health field. She has experience with men, women, and adolescents, from all different backgrounds in MICD settings. Kendra has worked in residential treatment, medication assisted treatment, utilization review, and human resources as a recruiter for those with an LADC and MHP title. She enjoys assessing and providing support to those seeking services to improve their lives! After work, you can find Kendra walking her dog, June, or at the cabin relaxing on the lake.

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Elite Recovery is a safe place to find your individual journey while surrounded by people who understand. We believe in recovery and we believe in healing. We believe in you!