Jim Braastad (Training Program Manager)
Jim Braastad is the Training Program Manager/Coordinator for SMART Recovery. He has been with SMART Recovery since 2009. He came to SMART Recovery because AA was not a good fit for him. Jim has served in many volunteer roles including Message Board Volunteer on SMART Recovery Online (SROL), Message Board liaison for SROL and has been a part of the online training team since 2009. Jim is now the Online Training Program Manager/Coordinator. Jim believes in SMART Recovery’s focus on empowering people to "Discover the Power of Choice". He hopes that as you move forward with your plans to help people help themselves, that you find time spent volunteering with SMART Recovery to be richly rewarding.
Matt Frank (Onsite Training Support)
Matthew Frank has been facilitating SMART meetings since 2014, in New York City and online. His favorite tools are motivational interviewing and the ABC, where he especially enjoys the contrast between accurate and helpful beliefs. His favorite questions for meetings include "who has ideas for the situation we just heard about?", "what would you like to do differently in the next week?", and "what are the easiest things to do that would be helpful?" Matt has a PhD and multiple financial credentials; outside of SMART, he works for a consulting firm and teaches risk management.
Gloria Garrison (Training Support)
Gloria Garrison found SMART Recovery through her son who introduced her to SMART because of his 2 DUI experiences. She has seen both sides of recovery. She is in recovery herself and now is a parent of a son with alcohol issues. Gloria entered her 70th year in 2015 and has more purpose now than ever before. After nine years of caregiving for her parents she decided not to wait until her life was perfectly adjusted to take facilitator training. She believes her life has taken on new meaning since completing the training in 2015 and wants to give back and pay it forward.
Melina Gilbert (Volunteer Outreach Coordinator)
Melina Gilbert is the Volunteer Outreach Coordinator for SMART Recovery. Melina has worked at SMART since 2016 as a part time employee. In 2019 she accepted the full-time position of Volunteer Outreach Coordinator. Part of her role is to make sure all our SMART volunteers have the resources they need to start and maintain meetings. Being part of the training team has taught her so much about SMART and their dedication to our volunteers. The skills and tools that she learned while taking the facilitator training have been helpful not only in supporting her children with addictive behaviors, but also her communication and problem solving in general. Melina is so happy to be part of such an amazing family of volunteers, staff, and board members.
Rae Grady (Onsite Training Support)
Rae Grady is an experienced trainer in the fields of addiction, mental health and youth recovery. A former Coordinator of Prevention Services and Community Educator, she has provided training programs for over 15,000 persons. Rae is a past NAMI Board member and USO volunteer. She joined the SMART Recovery National Office team as a Local Onsite Trainer in 2019. "I am so excited to be part of this great organization and help train others in the principals and tools of SMART Recovery. They are life-changing skills that can help all of us!"
Lorie Hammerstrom (Onsite Lead Trainer)
Lorie "Hammer" Hammerstrom has been a volunteer for SMART Recovery since 2005. She is a past member of the Board of Directors, one of the original members of our "Get SMART FAST" training team, and a long-time advocate and volunteer for SMART Recovery Online. Lorie's served as a 4th and 5th grade teacher for over 30 years, having receiving many awards along the way for her teaching skills and her after school Space Camp program. (She's been selected twice to participate in NASA’s Adult Space Camp Academy and received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching) Lorie is a favorite with her students and in our onsite training program!
Sarah E. Lauzen (Training Support)
Sarah E. Lauzen found SMART Recovery while frantically looking for an alternative to AA/Quad A in January 2013. Sarah believes that everyone’s addiction is somewhat unique and that each person should be empowered to find what works for them in their recovery. For Sarah that was SMART Recovery. She believes that many people, like her, use substances and behaviors in an attempt to take control of their lives, and the unintended consequence of that is addiction. She is looking forward to getting to know you and to learn alongside you in your training experience.
Gayeanne Lester (Onsite and Online Training Support)
Gayeanne "Sam" Lester has volunteered for SMART Recovery since 2005 as an Online Facilitator, Facilitator Liaison and a team member of the Online Facilitator’s Get SMART Fast training course. Since 2016 she has been conducting Onsite Facilitator Training at facilities for the two-day training course. Sam shares, “Throughout the years, I have always enjoyed being a part of the SMART Recovery community, not only for others but for my own wellbeing. When I am not ‘doing SMART Recovery’, I enjoy my time with our two adult boys and their families while working as a professional photographer.”
Katie Mackey (E-Learning Coordinator)
Katie Mackey is the E-Learning Coordinator at SMART Recovery. She began at SMART Recovery in 2018. She has fantastic technological skills along with a passion for helping others. Katie is a vital part of the National Office team and also works with SMART Recovery International where her work has been praised. Katie has seen how addiction can impact individuals and their families personally. Katie believes strongly that the training program offers the skills and information for a facilitator to be effective in meetings, but also for an individual to make everyday choices whether they are in recovery or not.
Kevin Minnick (Onsite and Online Training Support)
Kevin Minnick has been an addictions professional for 30 years in all phases of the field. His involvement with SMART Recovery began in the late 90’s and continued to where he is now, serving as the Chair of the Regional Coordinators Committee. He has served as a volunteer for United Way and other local non-profits in the Indianapolis area over the last 12 years. He is currently a Court Treatment Specialist for the State of Indiana and Hancock County Government.