Anniversary Blogs Service Treatment

Bill Hoban, MFT – Director of Clinical Services

Bill Hoban has served as the Director of Clinical Services for Visions Adolescent Treatment for the last 10 years—essentially since the beginning! He not only brings with him decades of expertise in the fields of addiction and mental health, he carries a sense of calm focus that lends an air of confidence and security to the clients and staff.

Every interaction I’ve ever had with Bill has put a smile on my face. He is authentic, he is kind, and he strikes me as one who truly leads by example. He is also funny in that wonderful dry kind of way that I truly adore.  The staff, as you will see, was not short on words about Bill. He even garnered a Walt Whitman reference from a team member (see Lianne’s quote below!). The accolades and respect for Mr. Hoban run deeply. We are ever so grateful for you, Bill!

“Bill Hoban joined us when we were not sure that we were going to make it through the year.  I believe that under his direction, Visions truly became the best program for adolescents in the country.  He is truly dedicated to helping the toughest of clients and the stubbornness of parents!  His tag line, “More shall be revealed” has been turned into mugs, bracelets and tshirts, but more importantly, a way of life for the families and clients at Visions.  We can’t imagine what the past 10 years would have been like without Bill’s sense of humor, loyalty and experience.” – Amanda and Chris Shumow

“‘Bill shall be revealed.’ Bill has a no-nonsense approach to therapy that makes sense to the kids he works with. They know exactly where they stand and he is somehow able to make parents and clients see their role in the conflict without taking sides. Bill may be intimidating at first to most people, but I have always found him to be approachable and supportive. He has taught me to be a caring professional with healthy boundaries. As a loving husband, father, and a Vietnam veteran, he earns my respect. I am fortunate to have him as a boss because he lets me know exactly where I stand.” – Daniel Dewey

“Initial impression of Bill:  a formidable man who is never afraid to make a tough decision.  However, he is also a man with a big heart, dedicated to helping teenagers become clean and sober while learning to avoid life’s pitfalls. The kids love him because of his ability to be straightforward and honest. I have known Bill for ten years and discovered early that it is very easy to tease him…I never miss an opportunity. Oh, and he never does art!” — Susan the Art Lady

“‘Oh Captain! My Captain!’ Bill Hoban is a force to reckon with. But don’t be afraid. This is a man who will melt over a newborn baby or a little puppy. Once you look past his gruff exterior, you find a man with purpose. Bill can see past a resident’s issues and get to the core of who they are. It has been great working with him these last 6 years. And even now, more is being revealed.” – Lianne Domingo

“Bill is awesome! Let me elaborate for those who need convincing.  A huge part of what I take for granted in my own skill set is derived from conversations and trainings with Bill over the last 10 years we have worked together. His contribution to Visions program development cannot be overstated. His ability to disseminate clinical objectives to a wide audience has always impressed me and our company value placed upon communication is greatly influenced by his experience and leadership.”  — Roger L’Heurault

“Bill is an amazing example of perseverance, kindness and loyalty.” – Mie Kaneda

In case you were wondering, yes, we most certainly sent Bill a list of silly questions to ponder. I love his short, concise answers, proving that he really does shoot from the hip!

1. What’s your favorite movie?

Thunder Road.

2. Regular or decaf?


3. Would rather travel by plane, train, or automobile?


4. Mac or PC?


5. Do you relish in turning the pages of a book or “turning pages” in a tablet?


6. Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, or Carl Rogers?

Carl Jung.

7. Toast or cereal?


8. What music gets you moving?


9. Subtitles or dubs?


10. Why do you choose to work for Visions?

Like kids, like families and need the money.

Anniversary Blogs Service Treatment

Celebrating Fiona A. Ray, MA, LMFT – Clinical Director

Fiona Ray has never ceased to be authentic, straightforward, and honest. She carries herself with confidence and exudes an aura of calm wisdom. She heads several sober living houses and oversees our treatment programs as Visions Clinical Director and she does all of this while appearing cool as a cat. Always moving and tracking information, Fiona has her finger on the pulse at all times. She knows when to be firm, and she knows when to soften. She is able to tend to the needs of the staff and the families in such a way that you know she is there for you.  Fiona is one of a kind.


Honestly, I think this is just who Fiona is: a sincerely dedicated, determined woman, desirous of creating an environment that is both healing and empowering for her clients and co-workers. She shoots straight from the hip, she doesn’t candy-coat things, and she essentially tells it how it is. These are qualities deeply respected by our population, and revered by those who work beside her. It’s refreshing to encounter someone like Fi, whose truth drives her authenticity. As a result, she has a client base that respects her deeply and a staff that is willing to stand with her on the front lines of this transformative process of recovery. We are grateful to have someone like Fiona as our Clinical Director.


The staff has some pretty amazing things to say as well. Check it out:


“Fiona, is one of the most determined, committed professionals I have had the honor to work with. There are very few individuals who are as intensely driven to do the best for each and everyone of their clients.” – John Lieberman


“I remain in total awe of Fi’s capacity to multitask – she flows so quickly from managing one area of our operations to the next, always treating everyone with the equal expectation to keep Visions humming at the highest level.  The only way she could command so much respect from so many is that we all know she has the biggest heart, and is working harder than anyone.” Jesse Engdahl


“Fiona is amazing.  I am grateful for being given the opportunity to work with her here at IOP.   She has a fun and, at times, bubbly personality and I feel safe and comfortable approaching her with any issues that I have (personal and professional). Bottom line: The longer I work with Fiona, the more I love and admire her.  She is one of the strongest women I know.” Natalie Holman


“If Fiona is around, you know the job will get done. So smart and great at what she does. I owe a lot to her: a friend, colleague and great person. I feel truly blessed to know her and work with her. A pillow doesn’t stand a chance around her!!”  Nono AKA Noelle Rodriguez


And without further adieu, let’s hear what Fiona had to say when we sent her very own silly set of questions:

1.  Cats or Dogs?


2.  Favorite shop in Los Angeles?


3.  Describe your dream car

1962 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport. 409 V8/4 Speed/4:11. Black on Black.

4.  What’s your Starbucks order?

Grande Quad Sugarfree Vanilla Soy Latte.

5.  Cupcakes or Smuffins?

Both, at the same time. Now.

6.  If you could have dinner with anyone who would it be with?

Steve Jobs.

7.  Favorite poem?

Desiderata – Max Ehrmann.

8.  Favorite song to belt out in traffic?

In the Evening – Led Zeppelin.

9.  How do you keep your locks so shiny?

Shu Uemura – Moisture Velvet – Shampoo & Conditioner with a dash of Moroccan Oil.

10.  Why do you choose to work for Visions?

I care. They care. We care. It works.

Anniversary Blogs Service Treatment

Heather Colligan, MA, LMFT, Latigo Program Director

For the last 9 years, Heather Colligan has championed the cause for healing and recovery for teens and families alike. Her commitment and dedication to the families that cross her path is truly remarkable. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from alumni how invaluable Heather was in their lives while they were in treatment. One of the things that has always impressed me about Heather is her ability to remain soft in her approach while maintaining firmness in her convictions–she demonstrates what I like to call “fierce compassion.”  Heather is held in high regard by both clients and staff alike; she is proof that bringing heartfulness to the table when working with teens and their families is both an art and a gift. We are extremely fortunate to have her on our team and as part of the Visions family.


The staff really had some inspiring things to say:


“Heather puts her heart and soul into her work.  She is one of the most caring and dedicated people I’ve ever known, and Visions is lucky to have her.” Patrick Schettler

“It is hard to imagine Visions without her…so I won’t. What a composed professional and cool operator while in the thick of it. I remember being blown away the first time I sat in with her during an intense session. Never had I seen someone with so much compassion and clarity of purpose in tandem. She has the ability to show true kindness, navigate road blocks to therapeutic growth while remaining detached yet invested. What a tenacious advocate these kids have had in her over these many years.” Roger L’Hereault

“Heather is wonderful. Watching her work with our kids is great because she knows how to draw them out and make them realize what they are capable of. Even on her craziest and busiest days, Heather manages to keep it together and keep the Latigo house going. Heather is the foundation and heartbeat of Latigo.” Lianne Domingo

“I have known Heather since she arrived at Visions.  Always positive and quite funny, she has this delightful ability to laugh at her own foibles. This amazing quality continually helps me as well as the clients to release us from the unrealistic expectation monsters we impose on ourselves; Quite a gift!

Anyone that is around Heather recognizes her love of the color purple. Any art she has done with me is full of  wonderful shades of lavender, lilac, purple and plum. Purple is also the color of good judgment. It is the color of people seeking spiritual fulfillment. It is said if you surround yourself with purple you will have peace of mind. And, she is aptly named, as Heather is a purple-flowered plant that grows abundantly on the Scottish moors.  It is beautiful and very tenacious  – definitely two of Heather’s qualities. Thank you, Heather, for your amazing gifts!  They have influenced us all.” — Susan “The Art Lady” O’Connor


And of course, Heather couldn’t escape our list of curious questions:


1. What inspired you to work with adolescents?

 I taught high school for years and I loved the teens, but many of them had other issues impacting their schooling, so I decided to get my next degree in counseling, so I could help in a different way.

 2. Cloth or disposable?

 Disposable of course!

 3. What’s your ideal vacation spot?

 Ski trip to Switzerland. Used to take school trips there as a kid. I loved it.

4. Funniest craving when you were carrying your son?

None, actually.

5. Guilty TV pleasure?


6. Optimist, Pessimist, or Realist?  


7. Anna Freud, Erik Erikson, or Jean Piaget?


8. Has becoming a parent changed your worldview?

Yes, I am even more aware that harmony is needed.

9. If you were a Muppet, who would you be?


10. Why do you choose to work for Visions?

I really enjoy seeing people change their lives and feel honored that families let me accompany them on their journey.

Anniversary Blogs Service Treatment

Jennifer Garrett: NeXt Manager

Jennifer Garrett, better known as Jen G. around these parts, is one of our amazing success stories. A Visions alumni, she decided to come back and join the ranks as a Visions’ program aide in 2010. She endured the night shift,  transitioned to the much sought after day shift and eventually became a Recovery Mentor.  Jen is a remarkably strong individual, and her dedication to the clients and her co-workers is palpable. As Amanda says, Jen is the “quiet storm” at Visions—she’s remarkably shy and keeps to herself,  but her dedication and strength speaks for itself.  With the recent opening of  NeXt—our Adolescent Extended Care program, Jen was the ideal candidate to be promoted to NeXt Manager. We are beyond grateful to have Jen here at Visions, and are fortunate to have someone of her caliber on our team.

Check out what the staff had to say!!

“I remember working with Jen when she first came to us as a resident.  Jen was on point, really wanted to do the deal, and very much wanted to have a better life for herself.  I was thrilled when she got time under her belt and came back to work with us at Visions.  Some of Jen’s best qualities include her ability to roll with the punches, her ability to lead others, her insight, and her strength.  Jen is an amazing example of a woman in sobriety and I am so proud to count her as a peer and friend.” – Lianne Domingo

“She’s a quiet force at Visions…always reliable.” Christina Howard

“She is committed, loyal and has an incredible work ethic. She maintains composure during crisis and she’s solution oriented.  She maintains gratitude and fortitude in her endeavors.” – Fiona Ray

“Jen is an alumni of Visions who came back to give back to the clients.  She is a role model for the clients, and a steady example of a woman in recovery.  After working as a program aide, she moved up to help open and run the extended care facility.  Always conscientious, Jen makes sure that the clients know they are cared for.  Thanks, Jen, for a great few years! We are proud to have you as part of the team.” – Amanda and Chris Shumow

Check out Jen’s illustrious answers to our curious questions:

1: What is your guilty television pleasure?

American Idol or Animal Cops: Houston — I have every episode recorded.

2: Favorite late-night LA hangout?

If I am ever hanging out anywhere late anymore I guess it would have to be Cacao coffee house on Santa Monica Blvd and Federal.

 3: Describe yourself in 3 words.

Strong, independent, big-hearted.

 4. Coffee or Tea?


5. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done yet?


6. What song do you sing when you’re alone in the car?

“Free Falling”- Tom Petty or “Watching You” by Brad Paisley.

7. What’s your favorite charity?


8. Favorite season?


9. Would you rather climb a tree or read a book?

 Climb a tree.

10. Why do you choose to work for Visions?

I choose to work for Visions because it is rewarding not only for myself but for many others as well. Although some days can be difficult and met with resistance, the days you get to see the light come on in others’ eyes as it did for myself is so worth it. I have fun at work and love what I do. Not to mention, I love everyone on the team and appreciate all the hard work everyone does to make Visions the best environment to work in.

Anniversary Blogs Service Treatment

Roger L’Hereault, BA, Program Aide Supervisor

Roger L’Hereault has been an integral part of the Visions Team for the last 10 years.  He has a deep dedication to creating a safe and healthy space for clients to begin their path to recovery and has been responsible for building the fundamental internal infrastructure for the staff to follow. Roger is not only incredibly professional, he does so with great integrity and aplomb.This also means he sometimes has to don the “bad guy” role, but alas, he does so without falling into the negative follies so often seen in a position like this.  The wonderful thing about Roger is: he can do the dirty work of maintaining boundaries and holding the rest of us responsible for doing the same, but still manage to smile, make a joke, and ultimately endear himself to the staff and clients alike. Pretty cool! It turns out that Roger is also quite a talented musician!

Don’t listen to me, though, read the amazing comments from the staff:

Roger is very detail-oriented, a fixer of problems and quite funny at times as well. — Heather Colligan

“I dread to think about what Visions would be like without Roger.  His calm, respectful, professional management style is the reason his staff holds him in extremely high regard.  His expertise in the field is a major contributing factor to our pristine record of resident safety.  Roger is the one we call in to deal with very difficult situations.  He gladly makes himself the “bad guy” when we have to enforce rules and structure.  Despite this, he never emerges shaken, angry, or resentful.  He is a sage source for the entire staff, from program aides to clinicians.” –- Troy Matthews

“I sometimes wonder if Roger is half-man, half-machine. Not only is he a natural leader, he has a superhuman amount of patience, and he is always looking for creative ways to make the Visions experience better. Did I mention he shreds on the saxophone?” — Patrick Schettler

“Roger… what can we say about the man who keeps us in line!  He is the creator of almost all of the policies and procedures that help Visions keep our kids and staff safe.  He is calm and steady during the most hectic of times.  Roger’s loyalty and dedication has always been appreciated, and we know that he always has the clients’ best interests at heart.  He has been with us almost from the beginning, and without him, we would likely not have been able to grow as gracefully as we have.  One of the things I love most about Roger is his sense of humor at unexpected times. Roger’s consistency makes him one of our key players at Visions.” –- Amanda and Chris Shumow

And without further adieu, let’s see how Roger answered our bevy of questions:

1: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Carpenter or rock star.

2: How many instruments do you play?

I play 5 instruments: Voice,Saxophone, Clarinet, Guitar, Bass.

3: Favorite genre of music?

British rock: The Who to PJ Harvey.

4: Are you a landlubber or sea dog?

Land guy for sure. Ancestors were farmers so I never had a chance.

5: Introvert or extrovert?

I naturally walk the line of both but more of an extrovert the older I get.

6: Favorite comic book hero?

I suppose Batman. He was a heavy hitter without having a superpower. The guy had guts.

7: What’s your secret power?

If I speak of my superpower it ceases to exist so I’ll refrain. Rest assured it is awesome in the true meaning of the word.

8: Favorite place to relax in Los Angeles?

My favorite cigar bar or really anywhere I’m playing music.

9: Describe yourself in 3 words.

Spontaneous, Pragmatic, Creative.

10: Why do you choose to work for Visions?

I choose to continue to work for Visions because its mission and objectives align with my own beliefs. Love, open-mindedness and family communication are some of those shared values.

Anniversary Blogs Service Treatment

JuliAnn Crommelin: Alumni Coordinator and Counselor

JuliAnn Crommelin truly understands the treatment process.  As a Visions alumni, she is a shining example of what is possible in recovery.  For the last 6 years, JuliAnn has dedicated her life to helping others. She is kind, compassionate, and able to meet the clients and their families on a deeply empathetic level. It’s a pleasure to witness her growth. JuliAnn began working for Visions as a program aide but she quickly became a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor, and eventually took on the role of Outreach Coordinator on the Marketing team. Quite honestly, JuliAnn is the perfect person to share with others the benefits and value of the Visions program! As you can see, there is no shortage of kind words from the staff, either:

“I was told that in order to represent something well you have to believe in it with your entire being.  JuliAnn is just that…an image of passion and enthusiasm that lives and breathes the essence of Visions.  It has been an honor working side by side with her, sharing the common mission of reaching out to support teens & families.  If you have not had the chance to meet JuliAnn, please take a moment to watch this: Visions Teen Interview with JuliAnn.  Kindly, Christina Howard”

“JuliAnn is the most positive person I’ve ever met. Seriously.” – Joseph Rogers

“Incredibly poised, insightful, and wise beyond her years! She is an amazing role model.” Heather Colligan

It’s been a pleasure watching JuliAnn’s progression expand from client to program aide to counselor and eventually to alumni coordinator and marketing. JuliAnn has continued to grow into an amazing part of the Visions team.  We often brag to tours about her because she is truly an example of someone who works hard and continues to put one foot in front of the other and gets results!  We can always count on her to be a consistent person for the clients at Visions to talk to.  She is just the right touch of tough love and compassion, always keeping the client’s best interests at heart.  We are grateful for her work ethic and loyalty.  She is truly a leader and we cannot wait to see what she can accomplish next! – Amanda and Chris Shumow

Of course, JuliAnn had to answer a few questions from us as well. As you can see, her passion for what she does is everywhere:

1. What is your greatest accomplishment thus far?

My greatest accomplishment thus far is being a person that my family is proud of.  My little sister tells me all the time how she looks up to me and how I am a guiding role in her life.   It continually baffles me because for so long I was a bad influence on her and probably not someone she would ever want to be like and now she calls and asks me for advice.  That is something I never expected to happen.

2. Your favorite movie?

My favorite movie is Elf with Will Ferrell. Or probably any other comedy he is in.

3. If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?

If I could do anything in the world I would want to open an animal sanctuary for abused or neglected animals that paired each animal with an abused or neglected kid, so the animal and kid can do the healing work together.

4. Would you rather sail the sea or climb to the top of Mount Everest?

I would rather sail the sea, even though I get sea sick.

 5. Cake or pie?

Anything chocolate….or red velvet.

6. What’s your favorite book and why?

The Hunger Games series and the Harry Potter series, they are both so captivating and have every element you could want in a book: romance, mystery, violence, etc.

7. Katniss or Hermione?

Katniss, I find her commitment to her anger amusing.

8. What would you say to your teenage self if you knew what you knew now?

I would tell my teenage self to breathe, chill out, get involved in yoga, horseback ride while you still can and write a gratitude list.  Your life is not as hard as you think it is.

9. What inspires you?

I am inspired by anyone that does good in the world.  There is a lot of hurt, sadness, homelessness and greed but there are also a lot of good-hearted people who are willing to help and make things better.

10. Why do you choose to work for Visions?

I initially chose to work for Visions because I wanted to help other teens who are as lost and confused as I was.  I continue to work at Visions because I know that by doing this I am helping save lives and families.  Every kid that is helped here can go out and touch that many more lives.  My hope is that we are all creating a ripple effect of love and healing that will continue to spread.

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Daniel Dewey – Teacher/Residential Director of Education

Daniel Dewey has been with us from the very beginning, nurturing Visions during the early days of its burgeoning development and creating a safe space for learning and academic achievement within our residential facilities. Daniel works to create academic stability for incoming clients, whose education has fallen to the wayside. Setting up educational plans and creating that type of stability works to not only create confidence in the parents, but in the students as well. There is an element of kindness that permeates everything Daniel does, whether it’s working with students, talking to the staff, or being a parent to his son. He’s an inspiration to all who cross his path. We’re lucky to have him with us. Happy 10 years, Daniel. Thank you for everything you do!

Our staff weren’t shy in their expressions of appreciation either:

“Calm, caring gentle presence.” – Heather Colligan

“Daniel is without a doubt one of the most unflappable people I’ve ever met.  His kindness is a constant that clearly is the cloth from which he is woven.  I’ve never met a former student of Daniel’s who hasn’t spoken of him with respect and great fondness.  Visions is fortunate to have such a caring and warm educator. I also hear he’s a wicked dancer.” – Joseph Rogers

“What can I say, other than that Daniel really is the heart of Visions.  He’s an institution around here.  He’s been here forever, but even after all this time there is never a day that he doesn’t give his all for the kids.  Daniel is one of these guys you can’t not like.  He is one of best people to work with, nay, best people to know. He is a model of genuine compassion and good works.   I have been incredibly blessed to have him as a mentor and a friend.    Just, please, don’t ask him to dance, for all of our sake.” – Troy Matthews

“Daniel has been with us before we even had clients…or the hope of clients! 🙂 Over the years, he has been one of the vertebrae of Visions.  His quiet strength and patience has helped us grow and change and change again into the program that we are today.  We are most thankful for his ability to teach kids that thought they were “unteachable.”  We can’t tell you how many times we have heard that Daniel was the first teacher that ever “got” them to learn and inspired them to not only finish high school, but to go to college.  When we call parents to check in, Daniel’s name is usually followed by glowing reports of professionalism, kindness and knowledge.  We have often come into the facility and gone directly to Daniel to figure out exactly where the clients are emotionally.   Although he is not a clinician, he always has his finger on the pulse of what is going on with them. We can’t imagine what the past 10 years at Visions would have been like without Daniel Dewey.”  – Amanda and Chris Shumow

Without further adieu, let’s see what Daniel had to say when we asked him a few curious questions:

1. Favorite genre of music?

Classic Rock if I had to narrow it down. I love most all genres of music except modern country and Dubstep.

2. Chalk or dry-erase?

I’m Old School in many ways, but I appreciate the convenience of dry-erase.

3. Favorite poet?


4. If you could invent something, what would it be?

A time machine so I could visit exotic times and places throughout history..

5. What inspires you to teach?

Sounds corny, but it’s the kids and the hope that they’ll change their lives and make this world a livable place when they get older.

6. Favorite thing about Los Angeles?

Central to the mountains and the beach and a great culinary selection.

7. Webster’s, Random House, or Oxford?


8. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A professional athlete; probably a quarterback or a pitcher.

9. How does your son inspire you?

He inspires me to give him a better life than I had and he keeps me out of trouble (most of the time).

10. Why do you choose to work for Visions?

It’s my addictive personality. Visions gives me the opportunity to work in a small group setting so I feel like I have some impact on the kids. The people here are cool too.

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Garth LeMaster, MA, LMFT – Outpatient Therapist

Garth Lemaster is precisely the type of person you want around in a crisis: he’s level-headed, straightforward, respectful, and honest. He shows up when he says he will and he always gives his heart and soul to his work. Garth is one of those therapists the kids seek out for their check-ins, and as a result, he spends the majority of his time at Visions session. It’s also not unusual to see Garth helping out with the day-to-day operations of Outpatient and the Day School, which shows how much of a team player he really is. Since 2007, Garth has been a wonderful source of goodwill for all of us at Visions; we are lucky to have him as part of our treatment team. I really can’t say enough kind things about Garth and neither could the staff:

“Garth is an amazing person!  His patient and calm demeanor is unparalleled.  It takes a lot to rattle Garth’s nerves…on occasion I try simply for entertainment (I know, it’s terrible) but I end up giving in before he does.  This way about him is reflected in his approach with the kids he works with as well.  His ability to listen is one among many and I’ve witnessed the lives that he has touched as a result.  Garth is one of those people who “so rocks” and has no idea!” —  Love Always, Natalie (IOP Staff Member and huge fan of Garth!)

“Garth is the quiet warrior of our team.  Families always know that Garth will be there with kind words, thoughtful insight and strength.  He meets his clients where they are, and he helps them find their inner strength in therapy.  We respect Garth and I, over the years, have found myself in Garth’s office when overwhelmed or in need of advice, always getting what I need as a co worker. Parents tell us that Garth is solely responsible for the change in both their lives and the lives of their teens. He would likely scoff at this and respond back that the family did the work, but Garth truly led the way.  Patrick says it best when he says that Garth is a ‘therapy ninja’!!  Thank you, Garth, for being an anchor at our outpatient location.” — Amanda Shumow

“If I had to pick someone from work to team up with on Survivor, I would pick Garth. The thing I love about Garth is his quality of character. He has an integrity that can be counted on. I’ve had the privilege to really watch him blossom as a therapist over the last 5 years, and I really appreciate the work that he does. He genuinely cares about the families and kids he works with. He is respectful and I greatly enjoy our occasional  political détente in the mornings—and while we don’t always agree, I love that he always listens and genuinely has care and concern for people.” — Joseph Rogers

“Garth is quiet strength for the kids.  Now, to get him to paint with us…!  –  Susan O’ Conner who’s best known as “The Art Lady.”

And without further adieu, let’s hear Garth’s answers to some of our curious questions:

1.  If you had wings where would you go?

The Hotel Caruso in Italy.

2.  Favorite restaurant in Los Angeles?

IN N OUT: Double-double combo, hold the “animal,” I’m just a regular guy. 

3.  Last movie you watched in the theater?

The Gray.

4.  Favorite song to play on your guitar?

“Over the Hills and Far Away.”

5.  Have you watched any episodes of The Real Housewives on Bravo?

I’m proud to say no.

6.  What was your High School Mascot?

A wildcat.

7.  What is the best present you ever received?


8.  Soup or Salad?


9.  Best word to describe your personality?


10.  Why do you choose to work for Visions?

I like helping kids, but I do so at Visions because the team is so good. It’s a really good place to work.

Adolescence Anniversary Blogs Recovery

John Lieberman: Director of Operations

From the beginning, John Lieberman has been an integral part of the fabric that makes up Visions. In 2002, he came to us as a consultant, recruiting, doing outreach, and helping develop the initial building blocks which make Visions what it is now. After two years, John came on full-time and he’s never left. It’s hard to describe exactly what John does, because in truth, he does so much–if you were to ask him, he would divert you elsewhere!  The fact is, he is the first supportive face a desperate parent sees when they reach out for help. John is the initial guiding light that allows a scared, hopeless family to walk through one of the hardest periods in their lives: deciding to send their child to treatment and everything that entails. John does this with respect, compassion, and kindness; he is the one that makes sure the hand of Visions is always there for families, regardless of what stage of treatment they’re in.

But, the staff’s accolades really say it all:

Joseph Rogers, our Educational Director at our Outpatient Day School said, “John is a consistent person I turn to whenever someone comes to me with a family member or friend in crises.  I can always count on his ability to calmly help me find a solid resource when people need it most.  I feel John would be the kind of person I would most want with me when absolutely everything fell apart.

Christina Howard, our Director of Business Development had this to say: “Three words that best describe John Lieberman: Loyal, Dedicated and Passionate.  John’s drive to provide exemplary care for each and every family at Visions continually pushes the growth and depth of our clinical services.  His love for socks also make him extremely fashionable.”

Chris and Amanda Shumow placed their trust in John ten years ago. Their gratitude is endless: “What can I say about a man who has literally saved thousands of lives.  John has been an amazing partner, example of recovery and most of all one of our best friends.  John’s dedication is unparalleled.  Day or night, he is available to the staff and families at Visions.  He cares about each and every person that touches his life and tries to get them the help they need with us or somewhere else.  With over 20 years in the business of mental health and substance abuse, John has the experience and knowledge to make a difference.  To ask John about his job, he would say that he does community outreach, marketing, intake, crisis management, human resources, is a group home administrator….and may even plunge the toilet when necessary ;).  John sets the example of what it means to be humble and gracious no matter what he takes on.  Visions would not have the reputation it has without John Lieberman.

Hear what John had to say when we threw some wacky questions his way!

1.  If Chewbacca from Star Wars was your Best Friend where would you meet him for     lunch this weekend?

I would meet Chewbacca at Animal restaurant.

2.  Cats or Dogs?


3.  “Early Bird Gets the Worm” or “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”?

The slow ones get eaten first.

4.  If you won the Miss America pageant what would you wish for?

World peace.

5.  What was the last song you were listening to?

Mumford and Sons “Little Lion Man”

6.  How do you like your steak?


7. Favorite memory with your granddaughter?










8. Coffee or Tea?


9. What was your best Halloween costume?

Dressed up like a pimp with the Shumows

10. What does Visions mean to you?

Visions is what dreams are made of! Almost from the day I got sober I wanted to be able to give back the love, fun and acceptance that was shown to me. The treatment center I went through made me feel safe. Visions is a safe place for families and their kids.

Anniversary Blogs Service Treatment

Joseph Rogers: Educational Director at Visions Day School

It was January, 2005 when Joseph Rogers joined the Visions crew. He started out as a tech but soon moved on to exercise his teaching and psychology degrees as the Educational Director at our Outpatient Day School. Since then, he has created an environment of trust and care within the classroom. Joseph has also created a wonderful space for nurturing spirituality, as he’s lead a weekly meditation group for the several years. In many ways, Joseph has become the gardener of spirituality and compassion amongst those that are under his tutelage. Many an alumni make efforts to come back for visits and to ask him for advice or direction when they encounter difficulties, and regardless of circumstance, he greets them with an open heart.

Joseph is currently pursuing his Masters in Divinity at the University of the West. He has long been pulled toward teaching the practice of meditation and becoming a chaplain will allow him to reach more people struggling with addiction and mental health from the spiritual perspective. It’s exciting to know that we’ll have a chaplain in our midst.

The Visions team genuinely adores Joseph. This really became apparent to me when I began to receive comments about him from some of his colleagues. What I received was amazing and heartfelt. We are truly lucky to have Joseph Rogers in our midst:

Fiona A. Ray, our Director of Outpatient and Aftercare Services had this to say, “Joseph’s approach to instilling academic esteem with his students is unparalleled and refreshing.  He brings creative innovation to the learning process and continues to develop new methods to address various learning styles.  It is an honor and a privilege to work in tandem with someone who inspires both his students and co-workers.

Daniel Dewey, our Teacher/Residential Director of Education, aptly quotes the Buddha when he thinks of Joseph, “His work is to discover his work and then with all of his heart give himself to it.”

John Lieberman, our Director of Operations, says, “I believe that Joseph is the perfect man to teach out kids. Joseph is a combination of edge, gentle, fun and calm. I would want Joseph to be my teacher.”

And Amanda Shumow, our fearless leader and one of our Founders really says it all: “Joseph truly exemplifies what it is Visions sets out to do as a company. He takes care of the students with compassion and efficiency and shows them they can be successes in this world with the right support. As an educator, Joseph finds the best way for a child to learn and then meets their needs as opposed to teaching with a “one size fits all” approach. Joseph is also a trained meditation instructor and helps to bring mindfulness to all of us. He is without a doubt, one of Visions’ best!”

Hear what Joseph had to say when we asked him a few, erm, pointed questions:

1.  What is the name of your favorite book?

“Tropic of Cancer” by Henry Miller

2.  What would you prefer to vacation next to … River, Ocean or Lake?

Definitely the ocean, fewer bugs that way. And I’ve never been to a tropical   island.

3.  Favorite food as a kid?

Escargot. True story.

4.  You can only bring 3 items with you to an island for 5 years…what are your 3 items?

A boat. A tent. My wife.

5.  Who’s a better Super Hero…Superman or Batman?

Spiderman: He’s the “everyman,” the superhero with problems. I don’t like            nationalism or revenge as motives.

6.  Have you ever been Skydiving?

Yes, I like to jump out of high places. My dad took me for my 21st birthday. He is    afraid of heights.

7.  Favorite dish your wife makes?

Apple cobbler on the 4th of July with fresh apples from our tree.

8.  If Kermit the Frog came to you for advice about what to buy Miss Piggy for her     Birthday what would you tell him?

I miss Jim Henson.

9.  Ice Cream or Pinkberry?

Life is short. Ice cream.

10.  Why do you choose to work for Visions?

The free trip to a tropical island for seven years of service. It helps that I love what I do, too.

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