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 over 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.


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.

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

Counselor

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.

Drew Fellenz, LADC

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

Bio coming soon

James Bacon, LADC

Counselor

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

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

Bio coming soon

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.

Karla Selness, LADC

Bio coming soon

McKenzie Paap, LADC

Counselor

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!


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.

James Longhenry

Recovery Access Coordinator

Bio coming soon

Lauren Williams

Recovery Access Coordinator

Bio coming soon


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.

Marcy Busho

Administrative Assistant

Bio coming soon