Meet Our Team
Drew Horowitz, MA, LADC, LPCC
CEO and Addiction Specialist
Drew Horowitz brings a vast range of expertise working with and overseeing our clinical team. He gained a wealth of knowledge through his own recovery, extensive training, and a master’s level education from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Graduate School of Addiction Studies. Drew did his undergraduate degree at Hofstra University in NY, where he focused on psychology and human development. Most recently, Drew became an Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with the capability to diagnose and provide mental health treatment.
Within his decade plus of experience in the field, he has worked with a multitude of populations providing consultation, intervention, coaching, and counseling. Drew is most well known for his mastery in conducting clinical interventions. Over the past several years Drew has gained significant experience traveling the country and even internationally to assist individuals with accessing treatment. The intervention process, according to Drew, must be done with compassion, empathy and a strong understanding of the pain individuals are experiencing while active in addiction. Drew has assisted over 500 families with the intervention process. Primarily, focusing on young adult males and adolescents. Drew’s intervention and coaching style was shaped by a background and training in motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and client-centered care.
Justin Scharr, LADC CDCC
Justin is a Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor, a BBHT Approved LADC Supervisor, and a Certified Co-Occurring Disorder Clinician. He has worked in the SUD treatment industry for 10 years as both a clinician and an administrator. Before joining Elite Recovery, he helped create, and served as the Program Director for Roots Recovery, an intensive outpatient program for adults, adolescents and families operated by Minnesota CarePartner. Prior to that, he spent time as a primary counselor, clinical supervisor, and/or treatment director for various adult and adolescent treatment programs across the metro area including Kindred Adolescent Recovery, Huss Center for Recovery, River Ridge and Omegon Residential.
Justin is passionate about building and growing dynamic recovery programs rooted in evidence-based, trauma-informed and person-centered care. His experience and expertise includes 245G treatment program operation and business development, telemedicine implementation, clinical supervision, and administration. He currently resides in South Minneapolis with his two rescue dogs, Boomer and Harley.
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. In her free time, you can find her in the woods either hiking or cross-country skiing.
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.
Ava Drake, MA, LADC
Alcohol & Drug Counselor
Ava graduated high honors with her bachelor’s degree in alcohol and drug counseling from Metro State University in 2019 and has been working as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor in SUD treatment facilities ever since. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Social Work at Augsburg University. Ava has a passion for her work and tirelessly seeks social justice, equity, and fair, compassionate treatment for all.
Ava is from, and still lives in, Minneapolis with her 8-year-old son Kingston and his Guinea Pig, Mr. Piggy Smalls. When she gets free time she enjoys going for walks, spending time with her family, and dinner dates with her girlfriend.
Jalisa Glynn, LADC, CDCC
Alcohol & Drug Counselor
Jalisa graduated with her diploma in Addiction Counseling from Minneapolis College in May of 2020. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from North Central University. Jalisa is currently enrolled at Saint Mary’s University to earn a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Psychological Services. Jalisa is eager to continue her education to better serve her clients.
Jalisa is passionate about serving each individual and facilitating a safe space where clients can grow and support one another. She believes in the power of community. Jalisa has a variety of experience working with people including: various child care positions, Personal Care Assistant with individuals with special needs, and Independent Living Skills Specialist working in mental health. Jalisa is of Native American decent and thrives to assist people that may seek to engage in their personal culture and heritage. Jalisa is passionate about meeting clients where they are in their personal journey and further assist them as they seek their own life fulfillment.
Kelsey Gregg, MA, LADC
Bio coming soon!
Choice Pickins Newstrom, ADC-T
Choice has a variety of experience working in the substance use treatment field. He has worked as a counselor with both women and men at Reflections in Stillwater and at Gateway Detox in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. Choice also worked closely with men at The Recovery Academy and Drew Horowitz and Associates as an Addiction Specialist, Sober Coach and Mentor. He considers himself on a life-long learning quest, recently completing his Associates of Science degree in Addiction Counseling at Century College. Choice continues to grow his knowledge these days at Metropolitan State University. He enjoys music, nature and spending time with loved ones as well as being a volunteer at KFAI radio in Minneapolis.
Megan Boster, BS, LADC
Bio coming soon!
Program Support Specialist
Michelle joined our team bringing over 10 years of experience working in the chemical dependency field. She was previously with Meridian Behavioral Health as their lead intake coordinator. Michelle worked primarily in the women’s residential program where she worked directly with referents, patients, families, funders, etc. to assist in accessing the care they need as quickly as possible. During her time in the field she has built a network of resources and relationships that are ongoing. Michelle has passion and a deep understanding of chemical dependency and mental health. Aside from the years of experience and all she has gathered, what drives Michelle is her heart and dedication to see others succeed.
In her free time, Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband, 3 daughters and variety of pets. She is an animal lover. They enjoy traveling, attending the Indy 500, camping and plans on taking up golf this summer…FORE!
Peer Support Specialist
Philip Carroll is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist who has been working in the recovery field since 2016. He has worked at two inpatient facilities as a chemical dependency technician and most recently he was the Family Liaison, Case Manager, and Medication Manager at The Recovery Academy in Saint Paul. With the guidance of a 12 Step Fellowship and enthusiasm for service work, Phil has enjoyed continuous recovery since 2012.
Not only is Phil passionate about his own recovery, he also is excited about sharing his experience with newcomers to the world of recovery. He helps them see how much fun can be had without substances. Being a self-proclaimed nerd, Phil likes to spend his free time tabletop gaming with his friends in recovery. He currently resides in the Greater East Side of St. Paul with his girlfriend and their Siamese cat named Smudge and their Shiba-Inu named Rowan.
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