James Flowers, PhD, LPC-S
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Flowers is one of the most respected names in the area of pain management, addiction treatment and chronic pain assessment. For over 20 years, Dr. Flowers has occupied an expert leadership position in the pain recovery and addiction treatment field. He has used his experience and knowledge to develop a substantial number of addiction and pain recovery programs within some of the most recognized treatment centers in the country. He has dedicated his career to his passion, designing multidisciplinary addiction treatment programs and clinical protocols to help individuals suffering from addiction and chronic pain.
Dr. Flowers has a passion for recovery and creating positive change in lives impacted by pain and co-occurring addictive disorders.
In his spare time, Dr. Flowers is a lifelong distance runner with more than 28 marathons to his credit, and has competed in several ultra-marathons, including 70 and 100 mile trail and mountain races. He is also a pilot.
Founder and Chief Operating Officer
Michael is an experienced healthcare executive, having served as Chief Operating Officer for several healthcare organizations throughout his 20-year career. He has championed the startup and successful development of more than 50 pain recovery and addiction treatment programs.
He has taken on roles of increasing responsibility and has led sales teams, implemented de novo service lines, and provided leadership for both information technology and human resources.
Michael has successfully overseen licensing, JCAHO certification, the hiring and credentialing of professional staff, market plan development, and treatment plan implementation.
Michael is grateful and honored to be a part of the Driftwood team, and is excited to further contribute to the Recovery Community that has given so much to him.
“Without the Recovery Community,” Michael says, “I would not be the person I am today. My passion in life is to continue to give back and help as many people as I can find their way back from addiction.”
Vicki Faust, CPA, MBA, MPA
Founder and Chief Financial Officer
Vicki has been an expert financial consultant for multiple successful business ventures with long-standing relationships throughout Central Texas. As partner and founder of Taxtrailer—a full-service CPA firm—she successfully employed and managed a team of accountants that served over 400 business clients and 600 individuals, preparing over 1,100 tax returns annually. In 2014, she sold the practice to her business partner to pursue development opportunities.
Vicki developed a new business model for the state-of-the-art Kimber Modern hotel in the hip SoCo district of South Austin, using an Internet reservation system and keyless entry to streamline the booking and check-in process.
Vicki arrived at Driftwood with admiration and gratitude to the industry due to watching a family member overcome addiction and chronic pain. After witnessing her loved one’s success, Vicki experienced an overwhelming desire to give back to the community that changed her family’s life. Vicki has been instrumental in creating, implementing and managing Driftwood’s financial systems.
Vicki enjoys modern architecture, yoga, spending time with family and friends, and her dog Mr. Pepper.
Founder and Director of Operations
Peter arrived at Driftwood through his own personal experience with recovery and a profound interest in supporting individuals and families struggling with addiction. Prior to coming to Driftwood, Peter worked at one of the country’s top dual diagnosis treatment centers specializing in adolescent care. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in business, and worked in real estate before realizing his true passion was in the behavioral health field.
In his free time, Peter enjoys spending time with family and friends, fly fishing, being outdoors, and playing with his Labrador named June.
Brad Kennedy, MRC, CRC
Driftwood is proud to announce Brad Kennedy as our Executive Director. Brad has been working in the mental health field for the past 17 years, developing and delivering innovative programming in a variety of settings.
Brad grew up in the Adirondack mountains in New York, where he developed a passion for all things outdoors. After relocating to Texas, Brad went on to earn an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Brad began his career at St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation Center back home in the Adirondack mountains. He was exposed to the addiction process and learned about experiential therapies and adventure-based counseling. He received the opportunity to move to Topeka, Kansas, to join the Menninger Clinic, where he delivered a variety of individual and group therapies while developing programs to help individuals reach optimal wellness. Brad has instructed students in psychiatric rehabilitation at the University of North Texas as an adjunct instructor. He is a founding Board Member of the Association for Community Integration Programs (A4CIP), an organization that assembles experts in the field to share perspectives on how to help individuals with mental illness and addiction live healthy lives. Brad is a frequent presenter to local and national audiences on topics of mental health, dual diagnosis issues, work/school, and psychiatric rehabilitation interventions. Brad continues to be driven to develop innovative programming at Driftwood focusing on evidence-based techniques that help individuals turn clinical insight into actions that define a life worth loving.
Director of Admissions
Paul comes to Driftwood with an abundance of gratitude, as his lifelong dream has been to help others suffering from addiction as he once did. Most recently, he served as an admissions counselor for one of the country’s premier dual diagnosis addiction treatment centers for young adults. Paul wants to emphasize that he will do whatever he can to help anyone struggling with addiction, mental disorders and chronic pain.
Paul has had a great deal of experience with sobriety since he was a teenager, and his family is very integrated within the recovery community. Paul graduated from University of Southern California in 2011 with a real estate development degree and is originally from Tucson, Arizona.
Admissions & Marketing Coordinator
A long-time resident of Austin, Madison was drawn to working in the treatment industry after experiencing his own recovery from addiction. He began his career as a behavioral healthcare technician for one of the country’s premier integrated and holistic addiction treatment facilities, soon realizing that his calling and purpose was to work with the families and loved ones affected by addiction.
Madison’s love of service and the outdoors led to him achieve the rank of Eagle Scout and he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Radio, Television, Film. Before beginning his own journey to recovery, Madison worked in creative advertising as an editor for film and television in Los Angeles. In his free time, he enjoys wilderness backpacking, CrossFit, and service to the recovery community in Austin.
Cecilia grew up in Northeast Georgia along the Great Smoky Mountain foothills. She attended Lanier Tech for certification in Early Childhood Development and taught kindergarten for eight years. Cecilia then moved to Texas where she assisted with the development and management of a family-run lodging facility in Wimberley as well as a family horse farm for nearly two decades. For five years, Cecilia managed the building, branding, and operations of one of the Texas hill country’s premier lodging and event properties, Oohla Bean Inn & Retreat. When the property transitioned from Oohla Bean to Driftwood Recovery, Cecilia made the decision to stay on as the Facilities Manager. Having dealt with addiction in her family, Cecilia demonstrates a passion for supporting our residents that is second to none.
Director of Compliance
Megan is an experienced healthcare professional originally from San Rafael, California. After moving to Orange County, California to get sober in 2003 at the age of 17, she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from Chapman University in Communication Studies as well as a certificate in Drug and Alcohol Counseling Studies from Intercoast College. Megan’s desire to work in the treatment industry began with her own personal journey for recovery.
She began working in treatment in 2005 with two years sober, starting off as a behavioral healthcare technician for an adolescent program. Later she worked as the court services liaison for an 86-bed adult facility where she was responsible for the correspondence between the attorney’s, judges, and probation officers of the clients with court commitments. She continued to take roles of increasing responsibility working in operations, admissions, and compliance roles.
Throughout her 12-year career, Megan has successfully lead the startup of multiple addiction treatment programs, spearheaded facility licensing including state, Joint Commission and CARF accreditation, overseen the hiring and training of professional staff, and maintained ongoing compliance by developing and implementing policies and procedures to satisfy state and accreditation body rules and regulations.
Joining the Driftwood team was a “no-brainer” Megan says. “I haven’t always worked in treatment over the past 12-years, but I always seem to come back to it. So, when I visited Driftwood for a tour, not only was the campus more beautiful than any facility I had ever visited, the staff here are some of the most genuine and dedicated group of people I have ever met. You can tell their hearts are really in it. I wanted to be a part of something special, and Driftwood checks all the boxes.”
Rey Ximenes, MD
A long-term resident of the Austin medical community, Dr. Ximenes has been a staff physician at Balcones Pain Consultants since 2015 and specializes in multi-disciplinary pain management. For over 20 years, his private practice in Westlake, The Stress and Pain Management Center, offered a full menu of traditional pain management and alternative therapies including acupuncture, homeopathic therapies, myofascial release, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and nutritional counseling. A graduate of UT Medical School at Houston, Dr. Ximenes is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine (ABAM), Anesthesiology, Interventional Pain Management, Acupuncture and Naturopathy. As Medical Director at Driftwood, Dr. Ximenes oversees the medical services for client care with an initial assessment as well as on-going weekly visits. Dr. Ximenes’ expertise in the integration of eastern and western modalities is of great value to Driftwood clients for the restoration of health and wellness from chronic pain and substance use disorders.
Melanie Somerville, PhD, LPC-S
Dr. Somerville specializes in facilitating the integration of physical, mental and spiritual being to give individuals a greater range of behavior from which to choose. Working with the emotional component of chronic pain can lead to insight and subsequent behavioral changes. Compassionate, yet firm and gentle guidance, encourages clients to step into new actions, making for achievements individuals never thought were possible. Specific interventions include, but are not limited to, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Chronic Pain, Self-Compassion, appropriate exercise, accupuncture, and massage therapy.
Vanessa S. Kennedy, PhD
Chief of Psychology
Dr. Vanessa Salazar Kennedy is Driftwood’s Director of Psychology. She specializes in psychological testing and diagnostic formulations, helping individuals and their families make sense of the psychological underpinnings of addiction and other behaviors. She provides assessments using a therapeutic feedback approach, incorporating treatment recommendations tailored to the individual. Dr. Kennedy also provides individual and group psychotherapy, with specialized training in mentalization based therapy (MBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS). Dr. Kennedy was most recently the Program Manager of the Adolescent Treatment Program at the Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas, which provides intensive inpatient treatment to children and teenagers with complex mental health and addiction issues. She was previously a Senior Psychologist on the Compass Program for Young Adults at the Menninger Clinic, where she worked for eight years with individuals struggling from a range of difficulties, including addiction and chronic pain. She was also an Assistant Professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. Vanessa has provided individual therapy in the Menninger Outpatient Clinic and the Pathfinder Community Integration Program.
Dr. Kennedy received her undergraduate degree from Rice University and completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She is excited to work with individuals looking to recover from their struggles and live healthier lives.
Shelly Guillory, FNP-C
Director of Nursing
Shelly is a family nurse practitioner at Driftwood Recovery. She graduated with her undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Utah and received her graduate nursing degree from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Shelly specializes in substance use disorders and primary care and has seven years of experience in detox/residential treatment centers. Shelly’s number one priority is helping clients achieve their full health potential and working alongside clients to help them achieve their goals. Shelly’s passion lies in supporting clients through the transformative process of recovery from both substance use disorders as well as chronic pain. She loves to see the trajectory of improvement and partner with clients in their recovery journey.
Passionate about moving back to the south, Shelly packed up and moved to Austin last year. She loves everything this beautiful city has to offer. She enjoys working with clients in the scenic hill country of Driftwood. In her free time, Shelly dedicates herself to the care of her two foster kids, whom she adores.
Connie started a journey into Martial Arts training in 1993 when her two sons were barely toddlers. Initially just trying to get back into shape after having children, she not only felt her physical strength and vitality improve, but also the wonderful mental empowerment gained from training the mind, body and spirit together. That experience with Martial Arts set her off on a career of helping others experience the same amazing transformation. She earned her second-degree black belt at age 40 after she had already become a Personal Trainer with specialties in functional movement and pain relief. She has been trained in Pilates at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, TRX suspension in Los Angeles, and many other functional modalities. Connie’s goal in training her clients is to promote physical wellness and to have fun in the process. Connie is a Certified Health Coach, a Certified Yoga Instructor and is studying to become a Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist. Her off-days are spent gardening, mountain biking, kayaking, hiking and enjoying music.
Board-Certified Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
David is a board-certified Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, licensed and trained to treat behavioral health concerns across the lifespan. In practice, David’s primary area of interest is in working with families struggling with addiction, and supporting those in recovery through smart medication management and ongoing therapy.
A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, David is a published author, speaker, educator, and presenter at many professional conferences as well as at his alma mater. David is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and the American Society of Addiction Medicine, holds an adjunct faculty position at the UT School of Nursing, and serves on the SIMS Foundation Clinical Advisory Panel. In addition to founding Dripping Springs Healthcare (DSHC), David has taken the role of Chief Operating Officer at CARMAhealth, where he and his colleagues are dedicated to providing superior and comprehensive healthcare to the recovery community.
David brings a hefty work ethic to his practice. His research background is matched by his experience, having worked the gamut of psychiatric care positions from direct care tech in psychiatric hospitals to founding a busy outpatient psychiatry practice to managing psychiatric medication for some of the most well-regarded residential treatment facilities in the nation.
David knows the power of recovery because he is living it. His experience and belief in the recovery model inform his empathic yet pragmatic approach to behavioral healthcare.
Traumatic Brain Injury Consultant
Dr. Louise Stanger Ed.D, LCSW. CDWF, CIP
Courageous Family & Friends Program
Speaker, educator, clinician, interventionist, and family specialist Dr. Louise uses an invitational strength-based approach with complicated mental health, substance abuse, chronic pain and process addiction clients. Her strength-based approaches assist people in working through limitations, activating defining moments, and embracing life’s uncertainties.
Dr. Louise publishes in the Huffington Post, Journal of Alcohol Studies, The Sober World, Recovery Campus, Counselor Magazine, DB Resources, Addiction Blog and other media. The San Diego Business Journal listed her as one of the “Top 10 Women Who Mean Business” and she is considered by Quit Alcohol to be one of the Top 10 Interventionists in the country. Dr. Louise speaks all over the country, trains staff, and is passionate about helping families grow, change and evolve.
Dr. Louise is the past recipient of over 4 million dollars in US Government grants designed to reduce high risk problematic behaviors and to test the efficacy of parent based interventions. She is the recipient of the 2014 Foundations Fan Favorite Speaker Award and the 2016 Joseph L. Galletta Spirit of Recovery Award. Dr. Louise’s book Falling Up: A Memoir of Renewal is available on Amazon and Learn to Thrive: An Intervention Handbook is available on her website at www.allaboutinterventions.com.
Dr. Louise Stanger has been awarded the 2017 Recovery Journalist of the Year Award by DB Recovery Resources – Recovery Plus.
Brian began his work over 30 years ago volunteering at Pilgrim State Hospital and Mercy New Hope on Long Island. Always involved in spirituality and family recovery, he finds now to be more and more drawn to contemplative and restorative practices. Labyrinth work, anxiety reduction, prayer and silent meditation are central to his work at Driftwood. As a spiritual advisor, he works towards the exciting and inspiring goal of finding out where each person is on their journey to recovery and what they need. The restoration or creation of an effective spiritual practice can restore energy and hope in recovery. Music, art, prayer, silent and walking meditation are offered to those who are open to it. Multigenerational family work and ACA work are also a part of Brian’s contributions.
Stevie Stanford, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, EMDR, CSAT-C, CDWF
As a leading trauma expert in the Austin community, Dr. Stanford joins the Driftwood Recovery team to facilitate the trauma program. Dr. Stanford states, “After specializing in addictions for over a decade, I have come to realize that where there is addiction, there is often underlying unresolved trauma.” She believes it is essential to comprehensive addiction treatment to help clients safely and courageously reprocess through past trauma.
Dr. Stanford is a Licensed Psychologist in the States of Texas and Arizona. She has several specializations; she is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) and Certified EMDR Psychotherapist. She is also trained in the work of Brene Brown and is a Certified Daring Way Facilitator (CDWF). Dr. Stanford is also a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist-Candidate and trained Gottman Couples Therapist.
In addition to her primary specialty of trauma, Dr. Stanford specializes in addictions, attachment/relationship issues and couples therapy. Dr. Stanford is an LGBTQ affirming therapist and specializes in shame resilience.
Dr. Stanford is a published author and has presented across the country on topics such as; Healthy Sexuality after Healing from Sexual Trauma, Attachment Disorders in Adopted Teens, Eating Disorders in Males, EMDR and Mindfulness, Working with Transgender Clients in Residential Treatment, and Trauma Treatment for Clients with Addictions. Dr. Stanford shares that she feels lucky to be doing what she loves and to be able to witness the courage that she sees in her clients every day.