Our Team


Site Leadership


Amy Thorson, MSW, LICSW, LADC

Treatment Director

Amy Thorson comes to Beauterre Recovery Institute after holding counselor and case manager roles in multiple states including Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Minnesota. She has worked in the addictions field since 2008 and her background experience includes working with federal and bureau of prison contracts, working in medical detox facilities, working in an all woman’s Residential Treatment program and interning at the department of corrections.   Amy was the Program Manager for a non-profit chemical  dependency and mental health treatment agency in Kansas City, Kansas prior to moving back to Minnesota.   In April 2018 she started working at Beauterre. Amy received her Bachelors of Arts in 2007, majoring in psychology and then received her LADC in 2013. In addition to being a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, Amy holds her master’s in social work and obtained her LICSW in 2022.  Prior to her role as Treatment Director, Amy was the Clinical Director at Beauterre and then counselor for the professionals group.

Amy is married with two daughters and when not at work she enjoys the outdoors. You can often find her enjoying a round of golf, hiking, running, or teaching yoga

A message from our Treatment Director…

“I believe people can and do recover.  I love working along side my colleagues day in and day out to serve individuals who are struggling with mental illness and addiction.  I have a passion to provide support to patients, family members and friends, to ultimately better our community.  Recovery is something everyone deserves.”


Medical Team


Sheila Specker, MD

Medical Director, Addiction Medicine Physician, Psychiatrist

Dr. Specker is an Addiction Psychiatrist, Board Certified in Addiction Medicine, Psychiatry, and Addiction Psychiatry. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota and has been faculty there for over 20 years. She completed Family Medicine Residency at the University of Wisconsin followed by Addiction Medicine Fellowship and Psychiatry Residency at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Specker is Medical Director of the University of Minnesota Medical Center’s Combined Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment Program. Additionally, she is Program Director for the Minnesota Fellowship in Addiction Medicine, which trains physicians in Addiction Medicine. She conducts research studies in addiction and has published in this area. Dr. Specker provides consultation to the State of Minnesota Health Professionals Monitoring Program, teaches medical students, residents, and fellows and has a clinical practice with an area of expertise in health care professionals with addiction.


Clinical Team


McKenzie Cargin, LADC

Clinical Director

McKenzie Cargin has been working under the Meridian umbrella since 2019, and in February of 2020, she made Beauterre Recovery Institute her home. Prior to becoming the clinical director, she specialized in teaching Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and was a primary counselor at Beauterre. McKenzie received her BS in Alcohol and Drug studies and French in 2019 from Minnesota State University – Mankato.

McKenzie is a proud member and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and ensures that patients feel safe and free to explore themselves in their recovery. In her spare time, you can find her walking her dog, hanging out with her cats, practicing yoga, and spending any time in the Minnesota sun.

Grady Arth, MA, MHP, LPCC

Mental Health Professional

A resident licensed Mental Health Therapist (MHP, LPCC), Grady Arth brings an abundance of knowledge and experience to the team at Beauterre Recovery Institute. Grady’s strong suit is in individual therapy and also holds specialties in DBT therapy and self-exploration therapy groups. She is a member of, and vocal advocate for, LGBTQ+ communities and is passionate about supporting humans as they grow and change, taking pride in empowering her patients. She has been an instrumental addition to the team and has helped grow and expand Beauterre’s clinical philosophy of care. Grady holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University and a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

An avid consumer of paperback novels, Grady became a therapist from a love of stories and story-telling. In her free time, she hosts multiple book clubs, is on many waiting lists at the library, and practices her book reviews on her cats.

Toby Dennert, MHP, LADC, LPCC

Mental Health Professional

Bio coming soon

Kari Jacott, MHPr-Licensee, LPCC

Mental Health Professional

Kari Jacott currently serves as a Mental Health Practitioner at Beauterre Recovery Institute, working with patients seeking addiction recovery and mental health support. Kari has also served as an outpatient therapist at Fernbrook Family, working with couples and families primarily. Kari also initiated a program with Owatonna High School and the MN Model, beginning an after school program for students needing intervention for substance use. Kari is trained in EMDR, and has honed skills in treating persons seeking healing and help for trauma, grief and loss, and autism spectrum disorder, as well as marriage and relationship counseling.

Kari is an Ordained Pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church, and most recently served as an interim pastor at New City Covenant in Edina. Kari has served several churches in the twin cities beginning in 1997, in the areas of children’s, youth and family ministry, and Associate Pastor prior to moving to Owatonna with her husband and children in 2019.

Kari earned her Master’s degree in Counseling from Bethel University, as well as a Certificate in Addictions Studies as well. Kari attended North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, and has a certificate through the Covenant External Orientation Program through North Park.

Kari has a Leadership Certificate from Tentmaker’s Youth Ministry, and is a Prepare Enrich Counselor/Trainer.  Kari has also used her gifts to coach Cross Country running and Track and field with middle schoolers in the Anoka Hennepin school district prior to moving to Owatonna as well. Kari currently serves on the COMS board for the Northwest Conference of the Covenant Church, supporting pastors seeking licensing and credentialing, and is a Committee member for Steele County Young Life.

Kari loves to run, have outdoor adventures, golf, garden and spend time with her husband, 4 children and puppy

Billie Boyes, LADC

Counselor

Born and raised in Faribault, Minnesota, Billie Rae Boyes is a primary addictions counselor at Beauterre Recovery Institute. After obtaining a bachelors in psychology at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, Billie decided to return to Faribault to be closer to family. Following her own struggle with substance use disorder and finding sobriety, Billie opted to return to school at Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies, where she earned a master of arts in addiction counseling. As a teenager, Billie got her start working in her father’s hometown pharmacy, as a pharmacy technician, learning the ins and outs of personalized care and business ownership. Billie comes to us with prior experience as a counselor from Mayo Clinic Health Systems and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Billie continues to live in Faribault with her yorkie, Elli. In her free time, Billie enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and spending time with family.

Drew Fellenz, LADC

Counselor

Drew Fellenz is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) and is passionate about recovery and mental health. Drew received his degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies from Minnesota State University – Mankato where he minored in Psychology and American Indigenous Studies. Prior to MSU-Mankato, Drew played collegiate football at South West Minnesota State University for three years before transferring. His favorite conversations include Mindfulness and how to move forward as a family member in recovery. Drew’s interest and passion for recovery is paramount as he finds himself relating to addiction through family members and friends in recovery.

In his personal life, Drew is a father of two girls, husband, son, brother, and friend to many. He is also an avid sports fan and a complete Cheese Head (Green Bay Packers fan). He enjoys spending time outdoors, staying active, chasing after his dogs, and talking about addiction and mental health in social settings.

Emily Nelson, LADC

Counselor

Emily Nelson is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Emily began her journey in recovery on April 14, 2015 when she made the choice to step into sobriety. In November of 2017, Emily joined the Beauterre team working as a recovery specialist which motivated her to go back to school to become a drug and alcohol counselor. Emily started her internship in January 2021 at Beauterre and eventually completed her hours of supervision, graduating in June of 2021. Emily accepted a full time position as a Counselor at that time and has been working as such ever since with an attitude of gratitude.

Outside of work, Emily enjoys spending time with her kids, family, and friends. She also has her hands full with a puppy named Weezer. Emily loves to travel and is a free spirit at heart, but also loves to stay home and do house projects and lawn work.

Jim Kirchman, LADC

Counselor

Jim Kirchman is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor who comes to Beauterre Recovery Institute with an extensive history of experience in the addiction field. A mainstay in the recovery community, Jim has over 24 years of recovery from drugs and alcohol and through his own personal experiences holds a strong desire to help others. Jim’s areas of expertise span mindfulness, motivation enhancement, relapse prevention, 12-steps and evidence-based practices. On a daily basis, Jim practices mindfulness mediation and applies recovery principles to both his work and personal life. It is this even keeled balance that has made Jim incredibly successful at connecting with patients during their experience at Beauterre.

Jim loves his family life and has been married for 20 years. Outside of the office, he enjoys family time, watching sports, golfing, traveling, hiking, nature and watching movies.

Josh Jensen, LADC

Counselor

Josh Jensen graduated from Purdue University Global, Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology specifically focused in Addictions. His own recovery journey has brought him to the mental health field, and he is beyond passionate in helping others struggling with the disease of addiction. Josh is enrolled in graduate school at Walden University working towards his MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in trauma and crisis management, where he will be graduating in May of 2023. Josh believes in treating the individual, not by just removing the substance from their life, but finding out the root cause to their use. This is how he is able to help each patient create sustainable change and achieve a happier, healthier life. The quote that is most meaningful to Josh is; “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again” (Neville Chamberlain).

Josh is a husband and father of a son and daughter. In Josh’s eyes, there is nothing better than having family time and taking his yellow lab for a walk around the lake…that is how he fills his cup. Josh was born and raised in southern Minnesota and he enjoys doing any activities outdoors such as grilling, kayaking, fishing, and any sports.

Kacie Hunt, LADC

Counselor

Kacie Hunt is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato.  Kacie joined the team at Beauterre Recovery Institute in January of 2018 and her experience includes working as a technician at an all women’s residential treatment program and working as an advocate for a non-profit organization for homeless women and children. Kacie originally came to Beauterre as a student intern and completed her hours of supervision in the summer of 2018. She received her full LADC license in August of 2018 and has been working as a counselor at Beauterre Recovery Institute since then.

Kacie enjoys spending time outdoors, biking, and bringing her dog for walks. Her interests include traveling with family and friends, living an active lifestyle, and participating in strength training activities. She is also a certified dog groomer and loves taking care of dogs in her free time.

Angela Sailor, BA, LADC

Counselor

Angie Sailor is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) and very passionate about helping others who struggle with substance use disorder and mental health. She graduated from Buena Vista University, in 2016, with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Human Services/Psychology. She furthered her education at Winona State University to complete her Addictions Counseling Graduate Certificate. She has worked as a recovery specialist, clinical assistant, and Rule 25 assessor since 2013, culminating in receiving her LADC in 2018. Angie worked at Beauterre when the facility first opened as a recovery specialist where she fell in love with the program. Angie is also the author of the book “Hope Dealer (A Way Out)”. Through years of experience, her journey has been nothing short of interesting and she firmly believes helping others is her purpose.

Angie is married to her best friend. She has three adult children, two adult stepchildren, and five grandchildren. She loves music, bonfires, foosball, pickle ball, and being outside. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with family and close friends.

Karla Selness, LADC

Counselor

Karla Selness is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LADC) and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Addiction Studies from Metropolitan State University. She is passionate about walking with those struggling with addiction and mental health to help them build a life that they don’t want to relapse from. She runs the professionals track at Beauterre which focuses on the unique pressures that those in high performing careers face as well as working with monitoring boards – offering support to meet regulatory and licensing requirements. She teaches SMART recovery and works in tandem with Grady Arth to run the family education programming at Beauterre, sharing a passion for education that helps family members understand their addicted loved ones better, thus helping to create solid footing for the next step in the recovery process.

Karla has two children, loves spending time hiking, kayaking, bonfires, reading, and spending time with her two dogs and one cat. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her family and close friends.

Shae Sichmeller, LADC

Counselor

Bio coming soon

Tina Zimmerman, LADC

Counselor

Bio coming soon


Nursing Team


Tina Horkan, RN

Nurse Manager

After many years in more traditional nursing roles, Tina Horkan has joined the talented staff here at Beauterre Recovery Institute bringing with her a wealth of excitement, expertise, and knowledge. Along with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), she has completed a PhD in Christian Counseling with a subsequent focus in trauma as an underlying contributor to Substance Use Disorders (SUD) and Mental Illness (MI).  Tina also holds a Level 2 EMDR certification and has been active in our local community for years, helping to establish the Hospitality House – a homeless shelter for men and working with inmates at the Steele County Detention Center.  This program, which she developed, combines trauma awareness along with spiritual and holistic approaches to healing and personal growth.  A welcomed addition to the team, Tina appreciates the compassion within each staff member to make a difference every time a patient admits into the program and empathy for many patients that continue to struggle.

Outside of work, Tina prefers to be walking in the woods, biking, spending time with family, or always curiously researching and studying the fields of SUD/MI/Trauma/Neurobiology/Spirituality/Orthomolecular Options.

Mary Jo Kraus, LPN

Lead LPN

Finding her way to Owatonna, MN in 1991, Mary Jo started working in a local nursing home as a CNA. In 1996, she went back to school at Riverland Technical College in Faribault, MN to get her LPN license. In 2000 Mary Jo decided to shift gears, from nursing to family, and her first son was born. Blending two of her biggest passions a short five years later, Mary Jo opened an in-home daycare, which she continued to run and operate until 2014. After nine successful years running that business, Mary Jo decided to shift gears again, and returned to working in nursing at a local assisted living facility.  While she enjoyed working with the geriatric population, she ultimately was still on the lookout to find her true calling.  She learned about the opening of Beauterre Recovery Institute, was intrigued with the services being offered, and wanted to be a part of it. She joined the team in 2015 as an LPN and later was elevated into the role of Lead LPN. Mary Jo hasn’t looked back and truly loves being a part of each patient’s support system and  journey at BRI.

Mary Jo has been married for 23 years and has two beautiful sons and a beautiful granddaughter. When she is not at work at BRI, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.


Resource Coordination Team


Megan Hedberg-Polzin

Resource Coordinator

Bio coming soon

Staci Utoft

Resource Coordinator

Bio coming soon


Admissions Team


Ashley Dohm

Recovery Access Coordinator

Born and raised in Minnesota, Ashley Dohm is a recovery access coordinator on the Beauterre Recovery Institute admissions team. In addition to her work in admissions, Ashley is currently working on her LADC bachelor’s degree at Century College. Having worked in the recovery field since 2018, Ashley joined the admissions department in 2022.

When not at the office, you can find Ashley and her two cats, Sony and Prissy, curled up by the fire watching the snow with a warm cup of hot cocoa!

Lauren Williams

Recovery Access Coordinator

Born and raised in Minnesota, Lauren Williams works as a recovery access coordinator on the Beauterre Recovery Institute admissions team where she helps potential patients and families navigate the journey of coming to treatment. Lauren joined the Beauterre Recovery Institute family in 2021 and has been a mainstay on the team ever since.

Lauren is very active in the recovery community and has a passion for helping people on their recovery journey.  When not in the office, you can find her soaking up the MN outdoors!

 


Marketing Team


Stephen Cantwell

Vice President, Marketing & Business Development

Hailing from just outside of Boston Massachusetts, Stephen Cantwell comes to Beauterre Recovery Institute with over eight years of marketing, business development, sales and branding experience.  Stephen holds a Bachelors Degree in Business & Economics from Lehigh University and specializes in marketing strategy, strategic and gap analysis as well as brand formulation and brand management.  Part of the original Beauterre Recovery Institute business plan drafting team, Stephen honed his skill sets through a tenured role at Apple Inc where he facilitated the formulation of many strategic business partnerships.

Stephen has made a home here in MN and loves spending time outside participating in recreational activities.  When he is not at work you can most likely find him on one of the many local Minnesota golf courses.

James Longhenry

Marketing & Business Development Representative

Bio coming soon


Administrative Team


Karissa Hunt

Program Coordinator

A lifelong denizen of Southern Minnesota, Karissa Hunt is the Program Coordinator at Beauterre Recovery Institute where her primary role is daily management of the nearly twenty Recovery Specialists on staff. Karissa got her start in addiction treatment when she was looking to use the customer service skills that she learned working in the salon industry to help people heal. Beauterre Recovery Institute’s unique treatment model and beautiful setting spoke to her, making it the perfect place to get started in the treatment field. Over three years later, Karissa found herself herself not only leading the Recovery Specialist team, but also working directly with patients to ensure that they have an enjoyable and productive stay. Patient service comes naturally to Karissa, and she is able to use her position to ensure that patients have a smooth experience and take advantage of BRI’s full suite of programs and services.

Karissa still has an ownership stake in a local salon, and she spends most of her free time with her two 5-year-old sons. She’d tell you that they’re a handful . . . in the best way, of course.

Shannon Provencher

Patient Services Coordinator

Bio coming soon

Marcy Busho

Administrative Assistant

Marcy Busho is the Administrative Assistant at Beauterre Recovery Institute. Born and raised right here in Owatonna, she is very familiar with the area and recovery community. She brings over 15 years of administrative experience to the table with an expertise in customer service and communication. With Marcy’s background, the day’s tasks like answering an abundance of calls, greeting visitors, directing vendors, meeting staff requests, and most importantly fulfilling the needs of our patients, are handled with the utmost professionalism and allow the day to run smoothly.

When Marcy is not managing the busyness of the front desk she enjoys spending time with her family and close friends, listening to rap and hip/hop music, cuddling with her toy poodle Georgy, and finally her favorite thing is giving almost all of her attention to her 12 year old son Aiden.