Staff


Administrative Team

Andrew T. Wainwright

Andrew founded AiR in 2002 and over the last decade he has built it into the leader of the modern intervention and crisis consulting industry. Andrew is a gifted interventionist trained by Dr. James Fearing, the direct successor of Dr. Vernon Johnson, creator of the Johnson Model of Intervention. With AiR Andrew has broadened the pioneering intervention approach of Dr. Johnson and Dr. Fearing to meet the expanding needs of families and patients across the behavioral health spectrum. The AiR Model of Intervention is now the standard of intervention practice today.

Andrew and Dr. Savage, AiR’s Clinical Director, shared a vision that the Johnson Model of Intervention could be expanded to address a wider variety of behavioral health needs. To that end they created the AiR Model of Behavioral Health Crisis Management, the internationally accepted standard for all forms of behavioral health intervention in the world today. Andrew and Tom have spent the last decade training new clinicians in the AiR Model and redefining the role of intervention in the continuum of behavioral healthcare, education and advocacy.

AiR, with Andrew as its guide, is constantly evolving, creating new services and solutions where none were previously available out of a genuine desire to be the most effective resource for anyone, anywhere who is faced with the burdens associated with chemical dependency, mental illness and eating disorders. Andrew has the knowledge, the experience and the team to make that desire a reality.

In addition to over fifteen years of hands-on experience helping families struggling with addiction and mental illness, Andrew sought help for his own alcoholism and drug addiction at the Hazelden Foundation in Minnesota in 1995. Andrew is intimately acquainted with the systems of addiction and recovery. He has lived through them himself and he has helped thousands of other families recover. His work in this field has given him a wealth of experience, compassion and personal insight.

Andrew is the author of It’s not Okay to be a Cannibal-How to Stop Addiction from Eating Your Family Alive, published by the Hazelden Foundation. This resource is widely regarded as the single best book on confronting addiction available to families today. He has trained many of the best known interventionists in the world. Today his volume of experience and insight has made him a frequent guest on CNN’s American Morning.

Dave Kelly

Dave Kelly and his staff are the first point of contact at AiR’s national call center. He is one of the most respected clinicians in the United States and has worked in all areas of the behavioral-health field for 20+ years. Dave has an exhaustive knowledge of the behavioral-health resources available across the United States and around the world. He is a master at matching the needs of a family to the most appropriate care services. Dave was trained by Dr. James Fearing in the Johnson Model of Intervention and by Andrew Wainwright and Dr. Tom Savage in the AiR Model of Intervention.

Today he oversees Family Services for AiR and manages the most effective team of behavioral-health crisis facilitators in the world.

Dave received his training as a counselor at the Hazelden Foundation in 1985. Dave then went on to work as a counselor at Hazelden New York, Hazelden Chicago and Hazelden Saint Paul. While at Hazelden he collaborated with the top behavioral health clinicians and behavioral health program developers in the country. Dave designed and implemented the Assessment and Case Management program for Families of Means and Prominence at Hazelden.

Dave has three decades of experience in behavioral health counseling that he makes available each time he picks up the phone to help a new family in crisis. His expertise and knowledge are indispensable in the crucial moments when a family first reaches out to AiR for help.

Jaclyn Wainwright

Jaclyn Wainwright is Director of Recovery Management Programs. She works closely with Clinical Director Dr. Tom Savage to oversee the caseloads for all of AiR’s continuing care programming. Jaclyn’s creative and entrepreneurial spirit is key in implementing the AiR vision of ongoing, care, counseling and advocacy in a practical manner. In her role as Program Director Jaclyn conducts intake interviews for the Recovery Assistance Program (RAP), conducts family conferences and ensures that the highest possible professional services are delivered by AiR.

Jaclyn is the chief strategist for allocating AiR’s resources for its Recovery Management Services. Jaclyn, along with clinicians Renee Most and Jill Davidson, is deeply committed to providing excellent support and advocacy to program participants. Her experience and education in business management bring clarity, organization and accountability to the lives of AiR clients and their families. Jaclyn strives to provide strong customer service, positive outcomes and a supportive program to help families and individuals adhere to an effective plan of recovery.

Katie Thiboutot

Katie Thiboutot joined the AiR team as their Outreach Coordinator in June 2012, networking in the community and educating professionals about AiR’s services. Katie’s dedication to providing clients with the best possible resources resulted in AiR’s Qualified Resource List (a national list of vetted referral sources), which is used by AiR’s staff today to provide the best recommendations to families exploring treatment, sober living, and therapy.

In May 2013, Katie expanded her role from marketing and networking, stepping into a management role overseeing billing, customer service, human resources, and vendors. Her vast range of experience provides support to both clients and staff to ensure that every day operations run smoothly and clients are getting the care they need. Katie holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Rhode Island and is active in the recovery community of St. Paul.

Meghan Knutson

Meghan works in the call center as a Senior Family advocate. Her role is to provide resources, guidance, and hope to help move families and their loved ones out of crisis.

Meghan came to AiR from the insurance field, where she was working with all types of medical and behavioral health issues. Whether the family’s loved one is in struggling with addiction, alcoholism, mental health, an active eating disorder or another process addiction, Meghan will provide the family with much needed direction. Her objective is to focus on solutions and educate families on all the options available to get their loved one help.

Meghan is a native of Minnesota, currently living in St. Paul. In her free time she lends her support to various chemical dependency volunteer organizations in the Twin Cities. It is her goal to help save family and friends the loss and hurt of losing a loved one to the disease of alcoholism and addiction

Garrett Simensen

Garrett joined AiR in 2013 as a family advocate and is the first point of contact for families in crisis. His role is to provide education, accountability, and guidance to help families move towards a solution.

Garrett started his career in the behavioral health industry at the Hazelden Foundation. His time there consisted of close, one on one work with addicts, alcoholics and individuals struggling with behavioral and mental health issues. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on entrepreneurship from Colorado State University. His business experience has proven successful in helping families organize, set goals and work under tight time constraints.

Drawing from both his personal experience and professional background Garrett strives to help families and their loved ones find the help they deserve.

Ploua Khang Le

Ploua joined AiR in 2014 as the RMS teams Clinical Assistant. Her role providing support to the clinical team handling clinical case management services for families and individuals. Ploua graduated in fall of 2012 with a bachelor degree in Business Administration Concentrated in Healthcare Management from Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs, CO.
Ploua has a background in mortgage where she achieved skills working with diverse groups of individuals and leaderships, providing administrative work. She has worked with families and individuals providing services of consulting skin and nail health while delivering hospitality and meeting client needs. She strives to help others feel empowered for the positive decisions they make and continue to be a resource for lending a hand.

Clinical Team

Dr. Tom Savage

Dr. Savage began his career at the Hazelden foundation in Minnesota in 1986 as a counselor and ultimately rose to clinical supervisor. He played a crucial role in building the Mental Health program at Hazelden throughout the 1990s. When Dr. Savage joined Andrew Wainwright at AiR in 2002 they collaborated to update the pioneering intervention approach of Dr.’s Johnson and Fearing.

Dr. Savage and Andrew Wainright shared a vision that the Johnson Model of Intervention could be expanded to address a wider variety of behavioral health needs. To that end they created the AiR Model of Intervention, the internationally accepted standard for all forms of behavioral health intervention in the world today. Andrew and Tom have spent the last decade training new interventionists and clinicians in the AiR model and redefining the role of intervention in the continuum of behavioral healthcare, education and advocacy.

Dr. Savage is the nation’s leading expert on behavioral health intervention. He is an eminently qualified and creative clinician with the highest level of education and licensing working in the behavioral health field today:

  • BS degree in Biology at the University of Wisconsin
  • Doctorate in Counseling Psychology University of St. Thomas
  • Four Years experience in the field of education
  • 14 years at the Hazelden Foundation in Minnesota
  • 12 Years experience in business management
  • 10 years experience at  AiR

Dr Savage is dedicated to building important and lasting relationships with families. He has come to the aid of thousands of families in crisis with a powerful combination of knowledge, insight and empathy. He believes in giving his utmost attention and care to any inquiry that comes his way. He will take the time to listen and formulate a plan that is specific to the needs of every behavioral-health situation.

Dr. Savage firmly believes that recovery from behavioral illness is a process-driven solution available to everyone. His expertise has made him a frequent speaker and consultant at behavioral health treatment centers around the world. He is a passionate and tireless advocate on behalf of individuals and families suffering from behavioral-health issues and is driven by a desire to educate society as a whole about the needs and care of the recovery population.

Dr. Leslie Koralek

Dr. Leslie Koralek is an internationally known clinician and interventionist. Following the start of his own recovery over 37 years ago, he obtained his PhD in Clinical Psychology and has dedicated his life to helping families in crisis. He has worked in many of the top treatment programs in the United States and was one of the co -founders of the Springbrook Institute, now Hazelden Springbrook. He has facilitated family meetings and interventions across the United States and the world for the last 20 years and worked with thousands of families. Families are attracted to the warmth and enthusiasm he brings to them. He has a personal and ongoing relationship with many of the best addiction and mental health treatment programs in the United States.

James Stolz ,LICSW

James Stolz has spent the better part of the past 20 years working with addicts and alcoholics to achieve long-term recovery. He works to accomplish this by direct work with clients and through his teaching and leadership activities in the addiction field. James is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social worker and holds a Master’s Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition to his role as the Clinical Director at AiR, James maintains a thriving private practice in the Twin Cities which he has built over the past 5 years. In addition to his private practice, he is an adjunct faculty member at the School of Social Work for St. Thomas and St. Catherine’s University where he was one of the founding faculty members for the Inter-professional Center for Counseling and Legal services.

James has been privileged to work in many aspects of the mental and chemical health communities, including community mental health, HIV/AIDS prevention, medical and psychiatric hospitals and treatment centers. He served as the Executive Director for the PRIDE Institute and has spoken extensively on chemical dependency and mental health treatment for disenfranchised communities.

Natalie Sinkler

Natalie Sinkler comes to AiR with a background in clinical social work. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota and her master’s degree in clinical social work from University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Natalie has experience working with families in different settings; in schools with special education students and their families, at an adoption agency with families planning adoption, and at an advocacy law firm with people applying for disability benefits. As a Clinical Case Manager for AiR, Natalie supports families with compassion and patience while helping them through their own recovery. She strives to educate and advocate for her families in the Recovery Assistance Programs. Natalie also works part time as a crisis counselor, helping youth in crisis access services and resources to stay safe.

Mark Guyott

Mark Guyott is a nationally respected behavioral health clinician with 10 years of experience consulting, mentoring, and advocating for families and patients. He has a Master’s Degree in Alcohol and Drug counseling from The Hazelden Foundation and was trained in the AiR Model of Intervention by Andrew Wainwright and Dr. Tom Savage.

Before joining AiR Mark was involved with Augsburg College’s Step-Up program in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Augsburg’s unique design for addressing the need for continuing care for young people returning to, or entering college in the midst of a program of recovery has informed Mark’s approach to helping families access recovery.

Mark’s experience has instilled a belief in him that this approach to mentoring young people should be available nationwide. With that goal in mind, he travels the country visiting university administrators, advocating for the implementation of AiR’s College Program which, is designed to guide a recovering student through their college career.

Mark is part of AiR’s proactive approach aimed at predicting and intercepting the progressive nature of addiction before it reaches a crisis level. Mark’s own relationship with recovery has made him impatient with the lost opportunities that stem from lack of education in society as a whole and seeks to reach out to patients and families long before consequences have piled up to unmanageable levels

Renee Most

Renee is a nationally recognized and respected clinician and has been in the field of addiction behavioral health work the past 15 years. Originally from Arkansas, Renee has been part of the AiR Regional/Minnesota team for the 5 years. She has a Master’s Degree in Addiction Studies from the Hazelden Graduate School in Center City, Minnesota. She is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor in the state of Minnesota. Renee has worked with AiR for the past 4 years in various clinical roles including case management, recovery coaching, assessment and intervention.
Prior to joining AiR, Renee worked for Hazelden for 6 years in both inpatient and outpatient settings with both adults and adolescents. Her clinical responsilbities there involved case management and acting as a primary therapist. She also worked with the South Washington School District in their chemical dependency program educating families and staff on issues related to addiction and behavioral health.
Renee has had professional training with Eating Disorder Programs across the country. She trained in the Johnson method of intervention with Andrew Wainwright and believes in both empowering family systems and in supporting the addicted or affected individual to get well. She brings a vast knowledge of the continuum of care at all levels.
Renee recognizes the different dynamics and strategies involved in facilitating structured family meetings with eating disorders and other compulsive behaviors. She has extensive training in assessment and diagnosis of addiction issues for all populations. She has worked closely with the legal community to provide assessments and case management to professionals and their families. She has worked closely with the most prestigious treatment centers for these issues in the country.
Renee brings a strong yet compassionate voice to families and those affected by behavioral issues to the table. She is dedicated to helping the entire family system. As an interventionist, primary therapist and case manager she has worked helped bring thousands of families and individuals into recovery.

Gordy Brown

Gordy Brown has 20 years of experience as an interventionist. He was trained by Andrew Wainwright and Dr. Tom Savage in the AiR model of intervention and has been a counselor in primary extended care for the Hazelden Foundation. He has strong local ties to the Twin Cities and a encyclopedic knowledge of the regional resources.

Gordy excels at creating a sense of order, competency and simplicity out of the chaos of active addiction.He always reacts with a sense of urgency and makes himself continuously available to families. He believes, as all of the staff at AiR does, that recovery is just beginning when a family accesses AiR’s help in an intervention and is committed to support, education and advocacy for the long term recovery of patients and families.

Meredith Sonetz

Meredith Sonetz has been with AiR since 2002 and is based in Naperville, Illinois. She is an AIS board certified interventionist, trained in the AiR Model of Intervention by Dr. Tom Savage and Andrew Wainwright. She has worked with hundreds of families across the country. Meredith has a broad base of experience providing behavioral-health counseling and consultation to individuals, families and businesses. She has worked for the Cathedral Shelter of Chicago, which provides outpatient addiction counseling to over 300 men and women each year, as well as for the Behavioral Health Services of Central DuPage Hospital. At AiR, she has facilitated interventions and provided clinical case management for the Recovery Assistance Program(RAP).

Meredith is a generous and compassionate clinician committed to ongoing family consultation and counseling. Her lengthy experience with a variety of recovery populations has made her a frequent clinical consultant for many of the leading treatment centers in the country. As AiR’s Chicago Area Manager, Meredith is a living directory of behavioral-health recovery services and resources in the greater Chicago metro area.

Meredith shares AiR’s commitment to providing the highest quality support, direction and guidance to individuals and families suffering with behavioral-health issues,especially related to eating disorders and addiction. Meredith is an enthusiastic advocate for the entire family who works tirelessly to formulate a vision for a sustained and permanent recovery that considers all of the complexities surrounding behavioral-health challenges.

Monique Pleasant

Monique Pleasant is a clinical consultant based in Concord, North Carolina. She brings a wide range of skills and experience to the AiR team and has worked in behavioral health for the past six years. Monique holds a master’s degree in Rehabilitative Counseling from the USC- Columbia and has worked in family services her whole career. Monique has provided case management, counseling, mediation, and assessment to youth and children, adults and families of all socioeconomic backgrounds and needs. Monique has been training under Dr. Tom Savage of AiR for the past 3 years as a clinical interventionist working directly with families and their loved ones.

James Sargent

James is a licensed chemical dependency counselor located in Houston, Texas and has been working in the field of recovery for the past 15 years. James spent nine years working as an addictions counselor at the Menninger clinic providing care to those in the Professionals in Crisis Program. Prior to that, he worked at the Right Step with adults and adolescents facilitating group and assessments. He has also provided support to the Teen and Family Services in Houston, working specifically with fathers who have children in recovery. Currently, James has a private practice, works at an outpatient program in Houston, and conducts trauma resolution- grief relief workshops. James also provides clinical support to the Houston Education group eating disorder clinic.

James facilitates interventions and acts as a mentor and coach to those in recovery. He brings a strong knowledge about both addiction and behavioral health issues to the families that he works with.

Greg Reynolds

Greg is a clinical consultant/ coach with over 20 years of experience in the addiction field. He holds a Master’s in Social Welfare from SUNY Stony Brook and Master’s in Addictions Counseling from the Hazelden Foundation. Greg is a licensed social worker and an addictions counselor with extensive experience working with all populations. He has worked in a variety of clinical settings including inpatient, outpatient, and residential treatment. Greg specializes in complex cases involving multiple addictions and co-occurring disorders. He has gained his clinical experience working for leading non-profit agencies including Hazelden. His expertise is helping the addicted individual build self-understanding and self-acceptance to take control of her/his life. He utilizes strategies that work best for each individual, often a combination of techniques and approaches. Greg currently has a private practice in East Hampton, New York; prior to that, he worked in a clinical role for the Hazelden Foundation. Greg is passionate about helping those recovering from addiction and is recognized as a leader in the field of recovery in Northeast.

Kiana Joyner

Kiana Joyner is a clinical social worker. She received her Bachelor’s degree in social work, and her Master’s degree in clinical social work, both from the University of St. Thomas/ St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. Prior to starting at AiR, Kiana has experience working with the following issues: domestic violence, sexual assault, trauma, mood disorders, and in the field of juvenile corrections.

Kiana has the unique ability to build rapport with individuals and families in a manner that creates a safe and honest atmosphere; this in turn, aids in continued recovery and sobriety. Her passion to see families functioning at their highest potential is a driving force in her work. She welcomes a challenge and strongly believes that lasting recovery is possible with the proper support.

Marie Ridgeway

Marie Ridgeway is a master’s level clinician with over 10 years of experience in the field of social work. She graduated with her BA in Philosophy from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Marie completed her Master of Social Work at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Before joining the team at AiR, Marie gained experience in the behavioral health field working in many different capacities including; domestic violence, child welfare, mental health, and domestic adoption. Marie has an honest and direct approach with individuals and families. Her genuine compassion and informed guidance provides direction and hope to everyone involved in the complicated process of recovery. Marie is a passionate advocate for long-term recovery and overall well-being through her work at AiR and beyond.

Tina Olson

Tina Olson is a highly educated and accredited clinician with training in Chemical Dependency. She has an MBA from St. Thomas in Minneapolis, and more recently a Master of Arts in Addiction Counseling from Hazelden Graduate School. Tina has worked in a number of MICD treatment facilities as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She most recently worked at Mayo Clinic’s Intensive Outpatient Chemical dependency program in Rochester, MN. She is passionate about being a support and resource for the families affected by addiction.

Kelsey Hiatt

Kelsey Hiatt is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker with a background in mental health, eating disorders and substance abuse. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin and her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota with an emphasis in Health and Mental Health.

Kelsey has extensive knowledge about mental health and has worked in a variety of settings, including: residential treatment, non-profit, and long-term care. She also has prior case management experience and has worked with individuals with serious and persistent mental illness, eating disorders, and substance abuse. Prior to coming to AiR, Kelsey was the Therapeutic Recreation Director at a long-term care facility and facilitated a variety of mental health groups, including the Recovery Support Group.
Kelsey is passionate about empowering individuals and facilitating change.

Daniel Eby

Daniel Eby joined AiR with a background in Addictions Counseling and is passionate about recovery. Daniel received his education through the University of Alabama, and the University of Minnesota’s Addiction Studies Program. Daniel has worked in a number of treatment programs in roles ranging from Group Counselor to Clinical Case Manager. Dan is a native of Detroit, was raised in Mississippi and finally made Minnesota his home in 2006. He is able to relate to recovery in different parts of the country, making him compassionate to client’s needs. Dan especially enjoys working with young adults and those effected by cross addiction. His strong commitment and consideration to his clients makes him a valuable asset to the AiR team.