Michael Frye, MS, Executive Director Of Admissions & Outreach
Michael Frye holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from California Coast University. Throughout his twenty-five-year career in the field of mental health and addiction, Michael has had the opportunity to have in-depth experience working in clinical environments and to have served in many diverse positions including direct clinical practice, administration, and director of admissions and outreach. Michael has extensive experience in business development and clinical outreach with an emphasis on strategic planning and development. Over his many years in the field, Michael has developed and maintained many long-standing relationships with clinicians and mental health professionals regionally and nationally. He has held executive leadership positions with prominent industry leaders including CRC Health Group, Acadia, and Universal Health. With his extensive expertise in the field, Michael provides proven success with multiple relationships around the country and has a strong passion and commitment to the field of healthcare.
Kelsie Barnes, Associate Director of Admissions
Kelsie Barnes, is a dedicated and passionate member of the AKUA family. Coming from a family of addiction professionals, Kelsie was naturally drawn to helping others find a new way of life, Kelsie’s love for aiding in the recovery process led her to become a nationally certified interventionist. Her knowledge of intervention techniques made her the perfect candidate to help those in the very early stages of the recovery process. For the last five years, Kelsie has been an incredible asset to the admissions team, working hard every day to ensure admissions run smoothly and her team is readily available to assist clients seeking recovery.
Kristen Thompson, Alumni Coordinator
Kristen brings 5 years of clinical background to AKUA working as a counselor in the field of substance abuse. Kristen earned her degree as a certified drug and alcohol counselor from Intercoastal college. Kristen has developed a strong passion for dealing with self-body image complexes and the importance in boundaries and relationships as they correlate into addiction. Kristen grew up in a first responders lifestyle which has strengthened her dedication and passion for helping those in need from a young age. Kristen is very proud and dedicated to represent the alumni at AKUA Mind and Body.
Becca Millard, Senior Outreach Specialist, Orange County, CA
Becca Millard’s dedication to the family of AKUA Mind & Body is evident in her passion, leadership and work ethic. Becca earned her Bachelor’s in Science at Vanguard University, where she played indoor volleyball and served her team as a captain. She remains committed to creating opportunities for her team to synergistically contribute to growing AKUA Mind & Body and to further assist and inform the community.
Carl Lemos, First Responders Outreach Specialist, Sacramento, CA
Carl’s dedication and commitment to the First Responder’s program at AKUA stems from his 11 years of personal dedication to the fire department. Carl personally struggled with addiction due to an injury sustained while working as a firefighter in 2008. Carl struggled through 4 years of surgeries and complications which led to his addiction struggles. Carl personally completed a First responders treatment track and has now dedicated his life to helping first responders with the same struggles. Carl is very proud to represent the First Responders Program at AKUA Mind and Body Sacramento.
Amy Jennifer Prout, Outreach Specialist, Los Angeles, CA
Amy’s passion for helping others began as a volunteer firefighter for 3 different departments. She decided to direct that passion of helping others by obtaining a position in the pharmaceutical industry where she spent 15 years educating physicians on how the medications she represented could help their patients. For the last three years, Amy has been working for an agency that helps find senior housing options for families when their loved one could no longer remain home alone. In her personal time, Amy enjoys anything out doors and loves spending time with her twin sons. Amy is extremely excited to be apart of the AKUA family.
Ronda L. Maravilla, Outreach Specialist, Inland Empire, CA
Ronda L. Maravilla is a skilled recovery center professional who has relatable and relevant personal experience. She comes to AKUA with years of experience as an admissions coordinator and case manager in the behavioral health industry. Maravilla intuitively recognizes the immediate and crucial treatment needs of individuals in fragile situations and prides herself on helping and conversing with people of various backgrounds and life situations. Along with her personal experience in treatment, she brings 17 years of experience in telecommunications industry, through which she has gained a valuable skillset that helps her to be successful in communicating with individuals in the treatment and recovery community. Maravilla has always enjoyed helping other people, but it wasn’t until she went through treatment herself that she realized her true calling. She is excited to continue her work in helping people overcome mental illness and addiction and work towards becoming their best possible selves in recovery.
Amber Warner, Outreach Specialist, Sacramento, CA
Amber Warner has always gravitated towards positions that focus on building relationships with people and ensuring their needs are met. For 10 years she worked in a management role within the senior living industry working closely with seniors and families. Three years ago Amber made the transition into the field of substance abuse and mental health treatment again assisting a population of people whom she felt very passionate about helping. Amber is happily married to a 20 year Navy Veteran and has two wonderful sons. She is honored to be representing AKUA Mind & Body as an Outreach Specialist in the Sacramento area.
Brogan Rossi, Outreach Specialist, Denver, CO
Brogan has a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Management from University of Denver. With a mom who has devoted 35 years to working in mental health Brogan has grown up dedicated to and passionate about the field. Brogan has worked within psychiatry in a private practice and at the Veterans Hospital helping to decrease the stigma of mental illness and increase access to an underserved community. Brogan spent the last 3 years as part of the Neuroscience Research Team at the Children’s Hospital to better understand the brain and it’s relationship to Eating Disorders. Brogan resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband and labradoodle. Brogan also enjoy’s teaching yoga in her spare time. Brogan is excited to be part of the Akua team and eager to help connect those in need in Colorado to the incredible resources Akua has to offer.
Taylor Vinzant, Outreach Specialist, San Diego, CA
Taylor has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Communication from San Diego State University. During her education she focused her studies toward learning about mental illness and implementing health campaigns. Throughout her education, she worked at a Senior Retirement Community where she learned to develop and grow relationships with the elderly residents, staff, and management. Taylor also spent time volunteering at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego. It was there that she worked closely with the Autism Discovery Institute and found her passion for the healthcare industry. In her free time, Taylor loves camping, hiking, and rollerblading. She is happy to be a part of the Akua team, and excited to share the great resources Akua has to offer in her hometown of San Diego.
Amanda Szuck, Outreach Specialist, Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Fernando Valley, CA
Amanda holds a Bachelors in Public Health from Hawaii Pacific University and a Master’s in Public Health from A.T. Still University. Prior to finishing her Bachelor’s Degree, she was a Pre-Med major. That all changed to Public Health when in 2012, she decided to participate in a Pre-Med/Public Health medical volunteer trip that took place in Tanzania, located in East Africa. On this trip her team participated in hiking through local villages inhabited by the Maasai tribe where we performed tropical disease triage. Through this trip Amanda saw the importance of public health, health education, surveillance, data tracking, as well as prevention and treatment. Amanda decided then that she wanted to work on the prevention and education side of health and medicine vs treatment. Since that trip, Amanda has participated in 3 other international medical internships, and has traveled to 17 countries, so far. Amanda is originally from the Pacific Northwest and loves to travel, and outdoor activities. Amanda is also passionate about the environment, animal conservation, and especially passionate about health education and mental health advocacy. Amanda’s previous work includes working in Hawaii and Minneapolis on Tobacco Prevention, including health policy, health programming, and health education. Amanda also spent time working in Oregon in a residential treatment facility for youth and worked in San Diego as a Case Manager for Welfare clients. Her life’s mission is to be the change she wishes to see in this world, and to help her fellow humans tap into all the resources available to them so that they can live the quality of life they are looking for.