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.

Treatment Director, Amy Thorson, MSW, LICSW, LADC

Site Leadership

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

Medical Team

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.

Corey Thompson is a dedicated Physician Assistant at Beauterre since 2021, holds a master’s degree in health science in Physician Assistant Studies from South College in Knoxville, TN, with a focus on psychiatry and family medicine. He earned his BA in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter in 2018. Beyond his professional commitments, Corey enjoys golfing, avidly supporting his favorite sports teams (Go Vikes!), and cherishing moments with friends and family. Recently engaged, Corey and his fiancé have welcomed a new puppy named Lou into their lives.

Clinical Team

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.

Toby is a dedicated mental health professional who joined Beauterre in May 2022, bringing a diverse background in mental health spanning outpatient, residential, and home-based settings. With expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy, polyvagal theory, and attachment theory, Toby supports his patients on their journey to wellness. Transitioning from a career in restaurant management, he pursued a master’s degree in integrated behavioral health from the University of Minnesota, driven by his own transformative experiences in support groups. Toby cherishes the opportunity to connect with each patient, listening to their stories, and guiding them towards their unique goals.

Billie is a seasoned mental health professional at Beauterre Recovery Institute who brings extensive experience from roles as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor at Mayo Clinic/Fountain Centers and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. With a BA in Psychology from Florida International University and an MA in Addiction Counseling from Hazelden Betty Ford graduate program, Billie’s journey into the mental health and substance use disorder field was inspired by her own battles with addiction. Proudly hailing from Faribault, MN, Billie enjoys her free time walking her Yorkie, Elli, gardening, cooking, and diving into captivating reads.

Josh Jensen is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Purdue University Global with a BS in Psychology focused on Addictions who pursued his MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in trauma and crisis management from Walden University, propelled by his own recovery journey. Committed to holistic healing, Josh believes in uncovering the root causes of addiction to facilitate sustainable change in his patients. He finds inspiration in Neville Chamberlain’s quote, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again”. Outside work, Josh treasures family time with his wife and children, accompanied by walks around the lake with his yellow lab. A native of southern Minnesota, he enjoys supporting local sports teams and engaging in outdoor activities like grilling, kayaking, and fishing.

Mandi Goodwin, originally from Northwest Indiana, arrived at Beauterre to complete her Masters in Mental Health Counseling after juggling multiple jobs in the human services field while studying online at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Skilled in DBT Therapy and person-centered therapy, Mandi excels in helping individuals uncover their best selves by connecting the dots in their lives. A staunch advocate for mental health awareness, Mandi is driven by her passion to positively impact as many lives as possible. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her dog Chaka, indulging in thriller and fantasy books, attending wrestling shows across the country, and immersing herself in different cultures during her travels.

Taylor Stone is a compassionate residential treatment counselor at Beauterre Recovery Institute in Owatonna, Minnesota. With over a decade of experience, Taylor graduated with a Psychology degree from Concordia University – Chicago in 2013 and earned her graduate degree in Addictions Counseling: Advanced Practice from the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School in 2015. Specializing in addiction counseling, Taylor is proficient in working with diverse populations and various levels of care. Currently licensed as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor in Minnesota, Taylor is actively pursuing licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC), demonstrating her commitment to providing comprehensive care to individuals on their journey to recovery.

Jill is a dedicated professional with over 14 years of personal recovery experience, actively involved in mentoring, attending meetings, and engaging in recovery activities. Graduating from South Central College with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, she furthered her education at Minnesota State University Mankato, specializing in Alcohol and Drug Studies with a minor in Corrections. With past roles at Community Addiction Recovery Enterprises and Phoenix Adolescent Treatment Program, Jill brings a wealth of experience to her work. Outside of her career, Jill enjoys camping, dirt biking with family, motorcycle rides, grilling, cheering for the Minnesota Twins, and attending concerts.

Jessica Moore’s journey into the field of addiction counseling was sparked by her encounters with family members and individuals struggling with addiction during various job experiences. Initially starting as a support staff member in 2017 while pursuing a BS in Corrections, Jessica discovered her true passion for counseling at an all-women’s residential facility. Redirecting her path, she obtained a BS in Alcohol and Drug Studies, and since 2020, Jessica has provided support, motivation, and education to patients as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor at Beauterre. Outside of her work at Beauterre, Jessica indulges in hobbies such as glass forging, pottery, and outdoor activities like rollerblading and kayaking, often accompanied by her dog

Emily Nelson is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor whose journey began with her decision to embrace sobriety on April 14, 2015. Joining the Beauterre team as a Recovery Specialist in November 2017, Emily’s passion for helping others propelled her back to school, eventually leading to her graduation and transition to a full-time Counselor role in June 2021. Currently pursuing a Master’s degree in counseling at Bethel University, Emily’s dedication to her clients is matched only by her love for adventure and the comfort of family and friends in Owatonna. Her story embodies resilience, growth, and a steadfast commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.

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.

Katelyn, a graduate of Minnesota State University – Mankato with a Bachelor’s Degree, Magna cum Laude, in Alcohol and Drug Studies and a minor in psychology, brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her role. She honed her skills during her internship at Christian Family Solutions, where she facilitated the Helping Men Recover Group at the Blue Earth County Jail. In 2023, Katelyn became a Certified Community Trainer through the Steve Rummler HOPE Network, focusing on identifying and reversing opioid overdoses using Naloxone. Beyond her professional pursuits, Katelyn finds solace in nature, indulging in activities like fishing, hiking, and water sports. She also enjoys visiting national parks, traveling with friends and family, and embarking on rides on motorcycles and side by sides.

Bio coming soon

Bio coming soon

Nursing Team

Marissa is a seasoned Registered Nurse at Beauterre. She brings over 15 years of diverse nursing experience, specializing in Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Wound Care, and Labor and Delivery. With a deep-rooted passion for supporting individuals facing mental illness and addiction, Marissa strives to guide patients through their toughest days, empowering them to be the best versions of themselves. Outside of work, Marissa enjoys spending time with her fiancé and four children, embracing their teenage adventures. An outdoor enthusiast, she finds joy in baking, hiking, dancing, and weekends spent in her fish house camping or ice fishing when the weather permits.


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 is a devoted wife and mother of four who finds joy in sports, particularly football, hockey, and volleyball. Alongside her family, she enjoys the tranquility of riding and driving Clydesdale horses as a cherished hobby. Megan’s dedication extends professionally to Beauterre, where she has played a pivotal role since its inception. Her life embodies the harmonious balance between family, passion for sports, and commitment to excellence.

Staci’s journey from Owatonna to Minnesota State Mankato in 1992 paved the way for her diverse career path, including roles in banking, housing coordination, and child advocacy at the Center for Family Unity, where she spent 15 years fighting against child abuse. With a background in education, including teaching preschool with Head Start, Staci transitioned to Beauterre Recovery Institute in May 2015 as a RS before becoming the Resource Coordinator in September of the same year. She finds fulfillment in assisting individuals on their recovery journeys post-discharge. Staci cherishes time with her three boys, daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters, and enjoys attending concerts as well as cheering on the MN Vikings and MN Wild.

Admissions Team

Katie Benson, a proud native of Minnesota, serves as an Intake Coordinator at Beauterre Recovery Institute, extending compassion and guidance to individuals and families seeking healing since March 2023. Outside her role, she finds solace in nature, often exploring the outdoors with her family or walking her two dogs. Alternatively, you might find her curled up with a good book, enveloped in the comfort of a cozy blanket. Katie’s life reflects the transformative power of empathy and connection, embodying hope and resilience in her commitment to facilitating the journey to wellness.

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!

Meredith Stone embodies the heart of the Midwest, hailing from Iowa and finding her home in Minnesota where she not only pursued her college education but also found love. Joining the admissions team at Beauterre Recovery Institute in 2023, Meredith dedicates her days to guiding others towards healing while pursuing her master’s degree in the evenings to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. Outside of work and studies, she finds joy in watching movies and playing games with friends, cherishing the moments of laughter and connection that enrich her life.

Marketing Team

James Longhenry started with the Beauterre admissions team. He brings over four years of professional sales experience and a strong background in customer service-focused environments. Driven by his passion for helping others and fueled by his own long-term recovery journey, James finds joy in bringing smiles to people’s faces. Currently a full-time student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business, James spends his spare time with his wife and dog Luna, traveling, planning for their future family, and cheering for the Green Bay Packers. He also prioritizes fitness, dedicating himself to regular gym sessions.

Administrative Team

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 epitomizes resilience and compassion in the journey of recovery. Originating from rural Minnesota, Shannon found solace at Beauterre in 2016 and later moved to Owatonna in 2019. Drawn to Beauterre’s mission, she became a Recovery Specialist in July 2019, driven by her passion for helping others. Transitioning to Patient Services Coordinator in 2022, Shannon embraces newcomers with warmth and assurance, understanding the courage it takes to seek help. Currently pursuing a degree in alcohol and drug studies at Mankato State University, Shannon aspires to become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, aiming to continue her impactful work at Beauterre, merging her personal journey of recovery with her commitment to guiding others towards wellness and fulfillment.

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.