Our Team

Site Leadership

Steve Lefkowich, LADC

Treatment Director

Steve Lefkowich comes to Beauterre Recovery Institute after spending almost 12 years with Meridian Behavioral Health and close to 16 in the behavioral health field. Starting his career working as a counselor at Cedar Ridge, Steve brought his passion for substance use disorder treatment and the patient experience to life through tenured leadership roles at multiple treatment centers, including Twin Town, Oakridge, and New Beginnings. Steve is a thoughtful leader and one who combines his personal values with clinical prowess to truly make an effort to understand each patient, their experience, and how to best support them in their journey. It is this dedication to the patient experience that has made him such a successful and valued leader across the organization for so long and a continued fan favorite with the staffs he leads.

Steve makes his home in Saint Paul where he enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to live music events, and attending local comedy and car shows.

A message from our Treatment Director…

“I have a passion for helping patients…in fact, you might say I have a bleeding heart for those struggling with addiction and mental health.  I love working in this field because I love to problem solve.  But even more so, I relish the opportunity to teach fellow colleagues how to lead with compassion and empathy.”

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.

Dr. Amy Haycraft, DNP, CNP

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (on-call)

An accomplished writer, researcher, clinician, and teacher, Dr. Amy Haycraft was born and raised in rural Minnesota and has been an integral part of the team at Beauterre Recovery Institute since its’ inception. She is a Nurse Practitioner, Certified in Psychiatric Mental Health, Adult Health (primary care), and Pain Management. She is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing College of Allied Health and Nursing at Minnesota State University, Mankato and is also a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at a community based mental health clinic. She completed her Advanced Practice Training and Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at Arizona State University. She conducts research studies in the topic areas of substance use disorders and mental health disorders and has published articles on the topics of traumatic brain injury and subsequent substance use and opioid use disorder during pregnancy. Her most current research is looking at the correlation of depressive symptoms and cyber-bullying among University students. She is a member of the Minnesota State Board of Nursing Advanced Practice Nursing Advisory Committee, precepts psychiatric mental health students, and trains undergraduate and graduate students.

When outside the office, Amy savors the outdoors, taking in the beautiful landscape that Minnesota has to offer.  She also enjoys working out, gardening, and cooking.

Clinical Team

Amy Thorson, MSW, LADC, LGSW

Clinical Director

Amy 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. Recently, Amy was the Program Manager for a non-profit chemical  dependency and mental health treatment agency in Kansas City, Kansas. She then moved to Minnesota in April 2018 where she started working at Beauterre. Amy received her Bachelor’s 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 with the ultimate professional goal of obtaining her LICSW. Prior to her role as Clinical Director, Amy was the counselor for the professionals group and also taught one of our yoga classes.

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.

David Rabine-Young, MA, MHP, LICSW

Mental Health Professional

David Rabine-Young is a Mental Health Professional and Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, graduating Cum Laude from Mankato State University. David furthered his education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he completed his Master’s Degree in Social Work. His education and interests align, with specialties in alcohol and drug studies as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). David completed a short stint in Tomah, Wisconsin in a VA program where he wrote a report on PTSD and spent ten years developing a programming prototype for the State of Minnesota on leasing/purchasing farms and setting up programs to teach severe anti-social patients how to function in the community. David looks back on the experience with fondness, and he even wrote a manuscript on this program that he intends to publish as a book. David has also worked in the Veterans’ home in Hastings and facilitated outpatient mental health therapy at Cedar House in Faribault.

David has been happily married for 44 years and believes in an active lifestyle. David is passionately engaged in both designing and building, and he loves making and watching ideas come to fruition. He is grateful for celebrating over 31 years of recovery from drugs and alcohol and brings that vast knowledge of recovery to Beauterre Recovery Institute every day.

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.

Renee Rumler, MHPr – Licensee, LPCC

Mental Health Practitioner

A longtime advocate for integrated mental health treatment, Renee Rumler joined the team at Beauterre Recovery Institute in March of 2019. Previously Renee held a tenured role at Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge and before that, spent 12 years working as an Operations Manager in the baking industry. She comes aboard with a Bachelor’s Degree in Addictions and Recovery in Psychology in addition to a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling, both from Liberty University. She holds specialties in mental health co-occurring programming in addition to both individual and group counseling. Renee’s faith led her to this field where she holds an unwavering desire to bring hope to those searching for purpose and healing. She finds incredible purpose in serving those struggling with overcoming significant trauma and loves seeing lives transformed as they learn new coping skills and begin to heal.

Renee has a supportive husband of 18 years and two beautiful children, all of who serve as constant motivators for continued growth and development. Outside of work, Renee enjoys reading, creating beautiful things with her hands and spending time with family and friends.

Kathryn Mouw, MSW, LADC, LGSW

Mental Health Practitioner

Joining the Beauterre Recovery Institute family in 2018, Kate Mouw is a native Minnesotan who ventured to the upper north west to complete her graduate education and achieve a Master’s Degree from Boise State University in Idaho. Kate is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) and a Licensed Graduate Social Worker, on track to be licensed as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). Kate completed her undergraduate degree in Social Work at Bemidji State University. Having always been fueled by learning and education specifically related to behavioral health, Kate holds strong interests passions around Trauma and Suicide Awareness and Prevention.

Born and raised in Minnesota, Kate enjoys taking advantage of the beautiful Minnesota landscape. When not at work she finds herself on the banks of one of Minnesota’s many lakes either fishing or exploring on one of the walking trails.

Aaron Winter, LADC


Working in substance use disorder treatment since 2011, Aaron Winter is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) and avid recovery enthusiast. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Addiction Studies from the University of South Dakota and graduated at the top of his class. His academic focus was on addiction treatment but he is also passionate about addiction prevention and recovery advocacy. Aaron is also a person in long-term recovery with over a decade of sobriety. In his previous life Aaron was a semi-professional musician, touring the upper-Midwest, making albums, and music videos with his band. Aaron brings the same passion he has for music to the group rooms of Beauterre.

Born and raised in Minnesota, Aaron is happily married and is the father two young sons. In his free time he enjoys playing guitar, listening to vinyl records, gardening, mushroom hunting, cooking for his family, and most importantly, having fun and being goofy with his kids. In the summer he enjoys cycling around the lake in his hometown and on the extensive trail systems in southeastern, MN.

Brianna Kuster, LADC


Brianna entered the field of addiction treatment in 2014 working in Southeastern Minnesota in various substance use disorder treatment facilities before seeking out the healing and supportive environment of Beauterre Recovery Institute. Brianna received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a Graduate Certificate in Addictions Counseling from Winona State University. As an Addictions Counselor, Brianna brings her own take on healing the addict mind based on her personal past struggle with addiction, trauma and mental health. Brianna’s topics of focus include Shame and Vulnerability and she enjoys challenging her patients to begin the necessary soul-searching journey one must take in order to truly heal.  Brianna also promotes laughter while on this difficult journey and finds this to be a crucial part of the healing process.

Brianna is originally from Southeastern Minnesota but chose to spread her wings at the young age of 18 and ventured to Florida, North Carolina and California for a decade before finding her way back to her roots where the family life warms her heart and the winter wind hurts her face. (They seem to even each other out). Brianna is married to an amazing creature who wholeheartedly supports her both personally and professionally. They are raising two beautifully weird children to be kind, unique and loved individuals.

Celine Moos, LADC


Celine Moos is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) at Beauterre Recovery Institute. She graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a major in Alcohol and Drug Studies and a minor in Psychology. Celine completed her internship with Beauterre in the Spring of 2020. Celine worked briefly at an all women’s treatment facility in St. Paul as an LADC, until she accepted a primary counseling position at Beauterre. She has a passion for assisting clients in their journey to find long-term recovery and to help gain an understanding of their substance use disorder. Celine also has a long-term goal to gain her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Therapy to work specifically with clients who have substance use disorder, as well as an eating disorder.

Celine’s interests outside of work include: fashion, outdoor hiking/walking, yoga, her puppy, and lots of traveling.

James Bacon, LADC


Jim Bacon is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor with a Bachelor’s Degree in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. While at the college, he received a Student Achievement and Leadership award and was the charter president of the Soil Conversation Society of America – University of Minnesota chapter. After graduation, Jim worked for 20 years as a tech rep in the equipment business for companies that included Agco, Cargill, and Toro. Jim embarked on a career change and received his certificate in Chemical Dependency from Mesabi Community College in Virginia, Minnesota. Since then, he has held counseling positions that included Medication Assisted Treatment, Outpatient and Residential Treatment positions. Jim also conducted DUI offender clinics and education programs in the St. Louis and Lake counties.  He started at Beauterre Recovery Institute in 2017.

Jim and his wife Gwen moved to Owatonna in 2017 and enjoy southern Minnesota to the fullest. In his spare time, Jim enjoys biking, hunting and fishing. Unbeknownst to most, Jim is also a former Area Governor for Toastmasters International (Twin Cities) and was one of two individuals that represented the Twin Cities in a regional humorous speech contest. Jim enjoys playing guitar and singing, however has no plans to quit his day job!

Jim Kirchman, LADC


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.

Kacie Hunt, LADC


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.

McKenzie Paap, LADC


After spending her entire life a Minnesota Twin Cities resident, Mackenzie Paap comes to settle down in southern Minnesota to join the team at Beauterre Recovery Institute after completing her internship under the Beauterre umbrella in 2019. A cultured learner and educationally driven individual, McKenzie graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2019 with a degree in both Alcohol and Drug studies and French. It is that broad based educational experience that affords her the opportunity to connect with each patient she works with, with a very enlightened perspective.

McKenzie has a beautiful 4-year-old boxer mix puppy named Benny who she loves taking on walks and bringing long boarding. A true Minnesotan at heart, McKenzie loves spending time doing any and everything outdoors including lake activities, hiking, and fishing in the summer, and snowmobiling, ice fishing, and curling up with a nice book by the fire in the winter. McKenzie spent her whole life playing sports and now loves to collect vinyl’s, read, and listen to music – you can usually find her in the alternative music section!

Seth Dahle, LADC


Seth Dahle  is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) at Beauterre Recovery Institute who came to the team after graduating in 2018, from Minnesota State University, Mankato, with a major in Alcohol and Drug studies and a minor in Health Science. A man in recovery himself,  Seth is grateful to be a part of the Beauterre team, where he gets to work in such a passionate environment. Seth’s journey at Beauterre started when he was given the opportunity to work as a Recovery Specialist and then followed that by completing his internship there as well. Seth has always valued the holistic approach that Beauterre takes towards recovery and the way they treat their patients, and staff, as individuals and thus has completed his  training to become a SMART Recovery Facilitator and as such, facilitates the SMART Recovery groups at Beauterre. In addition to that, Seth also holds a  a passion for, and co-facilitates, the Family education program with counselor Mike Swenson.

Seth grew up in Moorhead, MN and spent the first part of his life working with children and adults with special needs. He was awarded caregiver of the year in 2012 by the Metro Area Mayors Committee for outstanding work in the field. He holds a strong passion for education and anticipates returning to school for mental health counseling in the Fall of 2019, while continuing as a counselor at Beauterre.

Taharah Hovey, BS, LADC


Taharah Hovey is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) at Beauterre Recovery Institute. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies and a minor in Psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Taharah started her internship at Beauterre in 2019 and joined the team as a primary counselor afterwards. Prior to this, she worked at an all-women’s residential program as a client manager. Taharah finds her purpose and identity through her job by instilling hope in patients and their recovery. She loves working at Beauterre and appreciates the holistic approach offered. Taharah is passionate about her career of helping others.

Taharah’s interests outside of work include: exercising, traveling, beauty and fashion, DIY projects, thrifting, and spending time with her family and friends.

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

Felicia Bloedow

Recovery Access Coordinator

Born and raised in Minnesota, Nicole joined the Beauterre Recovery Institute team in 2017. Looking for an inspiring career change filled with passion and hope, Nicole transitioned from general management in consumer goods/retail to the field of addiction treatment. She began her journey with Beauterre as a Recovery Access Coordinator in the hopes of utilizing her learned and honed customer service skills to help those in need. As she progressed in her role with Beauterre, Nicole was elevated into the role of Recovery Access Lead. Nicole has found meaning and passion in helping those who are seeking services and delivers upon the Beauterre promise of hope and healing every day.

Nicole’s interests outside of work include running, traveling. and spending quality time with her two small children.

Jenna Osipenko

Recovery Access Coordinator

Jenna joined the Beauterre Recovery Institute team in 2017, after graduating from University of North Dakota with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. During her time in Grand Forks, Jenna worked as an aide for women with cogitative and physical disabilities and discovered her love for helping and taking care of those around her. She then went on to work as a Recovery Specialist at a rehabilitation center and continued to work with juveniles involved in county drug court, providing them guidance and support through their recovery. Through her work with drug courts and with the rehabilitation center, Jenna has found purpose and joy from helping those in the process of recovery and understands that everyone’s journey is different and unique.

Jenna’s interests outside of work include cooking, exercising, and going on adventures to parks around Minnesota with her Australian Shepard/Corgi mix, Bear.

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.

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.

Sean Kreeger

Patient Services Coordinator

A native to Owatonna, Sean Kreeger brings 20+ years’ experience in hospitality, customer service, sales, and public relations.  Looking for a career change in 2016, Sean began his journey at Beauterre Recovery Institute as a Recovery Specialist.  Shortly thereafter, Sean was elevated into a new role as the Patient Services Coordinator. This role was the perfect blend of Sean’s critical thinking, customer service, and interpersonal communication skills.  In his role as the Patient Services Coordinator, Sean is the first warm greeting each new patient receives upon admission.  He compassionately works with each new patent to ensure that their transition into Beauterre Recovery Institute is inviting, comfortable, and easy.

Linda Taylor

Administrative Assistant

Often referred to as the heart and soul of Beauterre Recovery Institute, Linda Taylor joined the team in 2015 as one of our first employees. She has always loved seeing the changes and growth that happen within the patients receiving care at Beauterre. Prior to coming to Beauterre, Linda spent 30+ years in the human services field and was licensed by DHS as an Adult Foster Care provider for 25 years. She is an Owatonna original and after graduating from Minnesota State University – Mankato with Bachelor’s Degree, she moved all around southern Minnesota before settling back into her home town. Throughout her extensive human service career, Linda also owned and operated a Board and Lodge facility for 10 years that assisted individuals in finding their independence in the community.

Outside of Beauterre, you can find Linda traveling, enjoying a play, reading, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.