Derek came to Olalla Recovery Centers, Gig Harbor Counseling as the Director of Outpatient Services in the summer of 2017. Derek has an extensive background in working in the addiction and law enforcement fields. He has a degree in Psychology/Counseling from Johnson State College. Derek is a former law enforcement officer, that found himself transitioning to individual and community based social work and social justice movements. He is a federally qualified substance abuse professional and a member of the Pierce County Opioid Task Force. In April 2020, Derek assumed the role of Director of Clinical Services for the entire organization. Derek enjoys spending time with his family and enjoys a variety of outdoor activities – including hiking, biking, swimming, camping and shooting sports.
Julie will complete a Master’s degree in Depth Psychology-Counseling from Pacifica Graduate Institute in March 2021. She is attending to her Substance Use Disorder Professional training certification while working as our Family Program Facilitator. Julie is a registered clinical hypnotherapist and level 2 KRI certified yoga teacher. Her experience includes trauma informed SUD protocol at multiple treatment levels, working with women in transition to housing, and peer respite advocacy in mental health. Julie brings a transpersonal perspective to substance use disorder treatment through certification in psychodrama and meditation. Julie’s personal experiences, education, and evidence-based research inform compassionate, individuation-oriented recovery focused upon emotional regulation through EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and breathwork. Julie is honored to attend to colleagues and guests at Olalla through a wholistic lens in facilitating progressive, systems-oriented excellence in substance use recovery.
In April 2017, we welcomed Buddy to the Olalla Clinical Team. Buddy began his career in Human Services/Substance Dependency in 2010 as a volunteer lay counselor and realized his passion for helping others. He pursued his education in substance use disorders and acquired an internship with an area outpatient program in 2011. Shortly after starting his internship, Buddy created and implemented a vocational services component that was used in teaching the under-served population how to obtain gainful employment and/or education in a post-recession economy. Buddy worked as a vocational navigator and Substance Use Disorder Professional (SUDP) Trainee for the organization until January 2017. He then decided to make the move to Olalla Recovery Centers, where he currently works as one of our counselors here at Olalla Guest Lodge. Buddy is passionate about helping patients change the way they think about addictive behaviors. He chose this field because he has dedicated his life to helping the hopeless find direction and purpose in their lives. Buddy is a member of the International Association of Workforce Professionals and currently sits on the Olympic College Human Services Advisory Committee. When he isn’t hard at work, Buddy enjoys philosophy, art, technology, writing, music and psychology. Buddy is a true advocate for our patients and lends a helping hand to anyone who might need one.
Jennifer has been with ORC since September 2015. She completed her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology in September 2016. Jennifer has also worked in the corrections field providing services for offenders with mental health & addiction issues, and also services related to crisis management. She has over 5+ years of experience working with youth behavioral issues. Jennifer grew up under the tables of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous and firmly believes that life-long change is possible.
Jossie started with Olalla Recovery Centers back in April 2019 as a student and became a regular employee in October 2019 and is currently our assessment counselor at the residential program. She graduated from Olympic College with her degree in Human Services.in 2019. Jossie has a lot of family in recovery and knows first hand the challenges of trying to understand the disease of addiction and wanting to help those suffering. With this understanding, she knew she wanted to help change lives by working in the field. Jossie is also a volunteer with New Beginnings Closet. She is married with two wonderful children and is also a caregiver to her mother. Jossie loves spending time with her family and friends and loves anything involving the outdoors. Jossie is a positive spirit and truly works to serve the patients she interacts with on a daily basis.
Cathy has selected the field of substance dependency as she knows firsthand what drugs and alcohol have done in her own life and firmly believes she can help others. She is affiliated with NAADAC and Blue Star Mothers. Cathy enjoys working with children at her church in the AWANA program. She also enjoys camping and hiking with her family and watching football. Those who work with and around Cathy all say what a pleasure she is to work with and her knowledge of addiction and the effects on families is extensive. Cathy was recently promoted to Treatment Supervisor at our residential location. Cathy is currently completing multiple courses in Clinical Supervision and Leadership. Cathy has been with Olalla Recovery Centers since 2012.
Katharine joined Olalla Recovery Centers in our support services department while gaining experience as a counselor. Ms. Lovato has her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Katharine has been working in the substance use disorder field since 2017. In early 2019, Katharine has transitioned from our support services to a counselor role and is providing services at our outpatient treatment program. While completing her education, Katharine noticed an overwhelming need for substance use disorder counselors. This, along with the effects that addiction has had on her family and friends prompted her to join the field of addiction treatment.
Shaundra joined Olalla Recovery Centers in August 2016. Prior to joining us, Shaundra worked in the accounting field for over 25 years. Her mentors encouraged her to pursue counseling, so she started her collegiate journey and discovered a love for learning and for helping others see their potential. She chose this field to help strengthen families, as Shaundra lost her own parents to the disease of addiction, as well as watching her own siblings struggle with recovery. Shaundra is the oldest of 12 siblings, so she definitely has experience and wisdom to share. Her goal is to be a good example and to show others it is never too late to follow and accomplish your dreams. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, movies, and spending time with her family.
Jessica joined Gig Harbor Counseling as an assistant counselor in December 2016. She has completed some additional course work and trainings related to youth and adolescents, including Amazing Adolescent Brain; Seeking Safety; Trauma and Grief; Sexual Assault; and YWCA Victim Services Training. Jessica is eager to learn and has compassion for working with both adults and youth in addiction treatment services. She is in recovery herself and is an active member of Alcoholic Anonymous.
Heather joined the Olalla Guest Lodge clinical team back in June 2016. She attended graduate school with a focus on existential psychology at Seattle University. Her first experiences in the field were in mental health services working with the severely and chronically mentally ill in a secure psychiatric facility. Her training in providing unconditional acceptance and positive regard helped inform all of her interactions with patients. It became clear rather quickly that, because of the overlap and interaction between substance use disorders and mental health, she would need to gain more knowledge in substance use disorders in order to provide for well-rounded treatment services. She returned to school and received her Substance Use Disorder Professional (SUDP) certification in 2011. Since then, Heather has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings, but it wasn’t until she came to work at Olalla where she felt she had found the right niche for her background and counseling style. Heather believes Olalla has a healing energy and overall philosophy of kindness, openness and understanding that fits with her personal worldview. Heather states she loves working here at Olalla and is proud to be a member of the clinical team. Heather is a very outgoing and compassionate counselor – her patients praise her attentiveness and caring nature as two of her strongest qualities. In her spare time, Heather loves to travel and is a huge music fan. She states she is as quirky and geeky as they come, but can also be found reading in her off time.
Peper joined Olalla Recovery Centers in 2015. She and her family moved to the West Coast during her last year of graduate school. Peper came to Olalla via her graduate school as an intern, but soon grew a passion to help those struggling with addiction, and soon became an employee and is now our women’s counselor. As a survivor of domestic violence, Peper brings knowledge and understanding of the family of an addict, compassion and patience. Peper chose this field when she realized what her father taught her was the way she wanted to live her own life – care for others simply because they have a heart and were put on this earth with a purpose; they only need help finding that purpose. Peper is a majority member of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls. In her spare time, she enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family.
Kelly has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Washington State University and her certificate for Substance Use Disorder counseling from Olympic College. She started working in the substance use disorder field at Olalla Recovery Centers in the clinical support staff in 2015, and returned to do a counseling internship in 2017. In 2018, she completed her supervised hours and received her CDP license from the state of Washington. Kelly was very motivated to enter this field due to her personal experiences with addiction and being in long-term recovery. Kelly has learned that the work allows her to utilize not only her personal experience, as well as the education she has received and the continuing mentorship and guidance she receives every day.
Lois began her internship in substance use disorder services with two agencies in Kitsap County. She joined Olalla Recovery Centers in 2006. Lois has been involved with various recovery based activities in addition to working with her patients here at Olalla. Lois has a gentle spirit and deep understanding of the issues our male patients endure while beginning a life of recovery. She is highly artistic and offers patients another avenue of expressing themselves via an artistic medium. Lois is also our Native American spiritual circle and smudging coordinator. She works with our Native American consultants in offering a native spiritual component to recovery and treatment. Lois is also a Level III Reiki Master / Teacher and is currently our onsite Reiki specialist. Lois is also a former professional ballet dancer. It is her grace and jovial sense of humor the patients enjoy while here in treatment.
Management Team / Board of Directors
Christine has been with Olalla Recovery Centers since 2000. Prior to her work in substance use disorders, Christine worked in the law enforcement and legal field for over ten years. She has a degree in psychology, business administration and human resource management. Christine oversees the organization as directed by the Board of Directors. Christine is an active participant in the Gig Harbor, Key Peninsula Suicide Prevention Coalition, the Gig Harbor, Key Peninsula Youth Violence Prevention Coalition, and the Washington State Association for Addiction Professionals.