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Meet the Saprea Retreat teams


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Intake Clinical Team
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Sarah Burton, C.M.H.C.

Intake Clinical Manager
Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Utah State University and her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix. She has over 15 years of experience in the mental health field primarily working with women and adolescents. Sarah’s post-graduate training includes Motivational Interviewing, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma-Focused Substance Abuse Treatment, and Psychodrama.

Sarah has worked with women in a residential substance abuse treatment setting. This experience gave her the passion to assist women with acknowledging and honoring the healing power they have within themselves. She feels grateful and honored to be a part of Saprea’s mission.
Photo of Shanna Gwilliam a Clinical Therapist at Saprea Retreat

Shanna Gwilliam, L.C.S.W.

Intake Clinical Therapist
Shanna graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Utah State University and a Master of Social Work degree from University of Kentucky. She has over 22 years of experience in the field with the development of a trauma specialty over the last decade. Shanna’s post-graduate training include EMDR and Brainspotting. She has had the pleasure of working in a variety of settings, but especially enjoyed her work at a weight loss retreat and being in private practice. Missing a team, a shared mission, and being part of the retreat experience, Shanna joined Saprea. She’s witnessed participants accelerated healing and growth at retreats and finds it to be incredibly rewarding. Outside of work, Shanna enjoys photography, traveling, hiking and spending time with her husband and their dogs.
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Katie Wilson

Intake Coordinator
Katie has four years of experience in the field of substance abuse and trauma. She has worked in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers where she taught groups on relapse prevention, family healing, and self-care. She has a passion for working with others and using her past experiences to assist in the healing process. Katie is a mother of three and enjoys time with her family, camping, hiking, and exploring new places.
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Maddie Nelson

Intake Coordinator
Maddie has four years of experience working with teenagers and young adults in treatment centers that specialize in sexual abuse and trauma. She was a counselor and coach in different programs throughout Utah during which she was studying at Brigham Young University working on her undergraduate degree. She graduated in 2020 with her bachelor's in Sociology and has a passion for helping others in any way she can. She strongly believes that mindset and goal-setting can drive tremendous change in people. She cares about influencing and uplifting others despite challenges we face in our daily lives. She enjoys traveling and searching for the most unique places to visit, is constantly looking for new adventures and hobbies, and strives to always live life to the fullest.
Clinical Team
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Betsy Kanarowski, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.

Chief Program Officer
Betsy is committed to helping individuals, families, and communities effectively understand and navigate the many aspects of sexual trauma healing, and she is a strong advocate for education regarding sexual abuse of individuals with disabilities. Betsy is an experienced therapist, trainer, and educator with over 20 years of experience as a mental health professional. Being part of women’s unique healing journeys is especially close to her heart. Betsy is honored to have worked with survivors of domestic violence, women struggling with addiction, and in women’s services in medical settings.

Betsy received her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Utah, her master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver, and her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Wyoming. She is a licensed clinical social worker (L.C.S.W.) and certified sex therapist. She loves the outdoors, travel, reading, and spending time with her family and ridiculously spoiled dog.
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Annette Curtis, L.C.S.W.

Senior Retreat Manager
Annette earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University and her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. Before working at Saprea, she worked with children, adolescents, and families for over 23 years, primarily with youth in the foster care system due to abuse and neglect. She has worked extensively with clients who have experienced sexual abuse and trauma as well as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and has used this technique in helping survivors work through past trauma.

She has trained and presented locally and nationally on the subjects of healthy sexuality, warning signs of abuse, and how to respond to sexual abuse. She has enjoyed her time working at Saprea and is dedicated to helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse heal from their past. Annette has been honored to be a part of the healing journey for many survivors. She is amazed at the strength and resiliency she has witnessed with the women at the Saprea Retreat. When she is not at work, she can be found spending time with her husband and three children. She enjoys having fun, laughing, and going to Disneyland with her family.
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Saria Karhunen, L.C.S.W.

Senior Retreat Manager
Saria has over 20 years of experience as a mental health professional dedicated to helping those who struggle with trauma, addiction, and developmental disabilities. She received her master’s degree from Brigham Young University in Social Work and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with minors in Family Sciences and Art History, graduating magna cum laude. She is a licensed clinical social worker (L.C.S.W.) and completed post-graduate training in Motivational Interviewing and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

Prior to her work with Saprea, Saria was a Program Manager at Foothill Treatment Center, a residential treatment program serving women and men struggling with substance use disorders. She was born and raised in Finland and moved to the United States when she was nineteen. Her passions include travel, opera, food, cats, reading, yoga, hiking, and camping.
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Jarretta Mahalko, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

Clinical Therapist
Jarretta earned her bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science at Utah Valley University and master’s degree in Social Work at Brigham Young University. Jarretta’s clinical experience includes working at the Utah County Department of Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment in the Day Treatment Program. Jarretta also worked at the Utah State Prison in the women’s in-patient mental health program. She has completed training in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and has completed post-graduate certification at the University of Michigan in Sex Therapy.

She had the privilege of growing up in the military and has lived in some interesting and unique places. This fostered her ability to respect and love different cultures, traditions, and peoples. As a child she used to love to watch people and their behavior with curiosity. She was also the one who always brought home every stray animal to love. As an adult, she has transferred that passion and compassion to facilitating growth and empowering women. She loves her family, the beach, and her dog, Harley. She is passionate about her work with Saprea and is excited to do all she can to help trauma survivors heal.
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Alexis Hamilton, L.C.S.W.

Clinical Manager
Alexis graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Southern Indiana and a Master of Social Work degree from Southern Illinois University. Alexis has over 10 years of experience in the field serving both children and adults, most recently with an emphasis on clinical work with survivors of trauma. She has also served as a Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Volunteer. Alexis has a passion for empowering individuals by working together to develop the tools and skills needed to live a happy and healthy life. She feels honored to have the opportunity to be a small part of a survivor’s healing journey. Alexis is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT), and Psychological First Aid. Outside of work Alexis enjoys reading, traveling to new places, and spending time with her loved ones.
Photo of Kristen Grant, a clinical therapist at Saprea

Kristen Grant, L.C.S.W.

Clinical Therapist

Kristen earned her bachelor's degree in psychology and her master's degree in social work from Brigham Young University. Her clinical experiences include working in a residential program for young adults with autism as well as working at community mental health clinics. Most recently before joining our team, she worked with children, adolescents and adults with a focus on healing from trauma and working towards a secure attachment. Kristen is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused CBT, Sand tray, and Play therapy.

  

Kristen has enjoyed her opportunity to work with a variety of people throughout their healing journey. Through these experiences, she has gained a passion for helping others find their voice and heal. Kristen approaches therapy with a client centered approach to help clients unlock their internal strength and feel empowered. Outside of work Kristen enjoys traveling, being outside, reading, and playing with her dog.

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Marissa Herrera, L.P.C.

Clinical Therapist

Marissa graduated with a bachelor’s degree from University of North Georgia and received a master’s degree in Clinical Counseling at Brenau University. She is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and has worked in various settings. Marissa’s clinical experience includes working in an inpatient setting, community non-profit agency, school systems, and private practice. Marissa has a passion to help individuals who are ready to get back to themselves as she believes everyone has the capacity to find their truth, challenge negative belief systems, and learn more about their capabilities.

Marissa enjoys time with her husband, fur children, family, and friends. She also enjoys reading, traveling to new places, being outside, and finding a good laugh. She is excited and appreciative for the opportunity to help those in their healing journey through the retreat.

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Sierra Balfour, C.S.W-I

Clinical Therapist
Sierra Balfour graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Liberty University and is a graduate level-intern from Utah Valley University. During her education she worked in a residential treatment center for female adolescents addressing complex trauma, neglect, and substance abuse. She also worked with a private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients using experiential therapy, with horses as part of her client sessions. Sierra came to Saprea with over 10 years of experience in human service roles as an advocate for people with diagnosed disabilities, case manager, certified nursing assistant, and self-defense instructor. Sierra is known for her big heart, work ethic, compassion, and creativity. She enjoys incorporating art activities, music, writing/journaling into therapy. Outside of work Sierra loves traveling, scuba diving, and spending time with family.

Case Management Team

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Lisa Sumner, RN

Case Manager
Lisa is married to her junior high school sweetheart and is a mother of five children. She enjoys life and loves snow skiing, camping, hiking, fishing, cooking, learning, art, quilting, and traveling.

Lisa earned her RN degree from Weber State University, in Ogden, Utah. She has over 32 years of nursing experience. She has worked for seven years in Behavioral Health Nursing, specializing in Eating Disorder Residential Treatment and Substance Abuse Nursing. Prior to this, she worked in Laser and Aesthetics, Neurology, Critical Care, and Transitional Care Nursing. Lisa loves working with women and adolescents and has worked to heal women with trauma of child sexual abuse through treatment. She feels gratitude and respect for these strong, motivated women and is grateful to be working in an area that impacts so many people for good.
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Dena Maguire Young R.N., M.S., C.C.M.

Case Manager

Leading others to follow healthy and healing practices has been Dena’s life mission so that they can lead a purposeful and happy life. Her career has mainly centered around wellness and curative practices. As a Registered Nurse, she has over 25 years of experience. Most of her nursing focus has been in ICU/CCU as well as recovery room, rehabilitation and case management for worker’s compensation injuries including catastrophic cases. She spent over 10 years as Director of Corporate Fitness at which time she performed personal training and taught stress management, smoking cessation, weight loss, cholesterol management and other self-care classes aimed at helping others to take personal responsibility for their health. She is a firm believer in healing therapies including adjunctive Animal Assisted and Wilderness Therapy. She is a volunteer for the Forest Service and GA Appalachian Trail Club as a Trail Ambassador. She additionally leads kayak and hiking trips and feels that people find healing being with nature.

Dena graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and in Exercise Physiology/Physical Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Community Health Administration and Wellness Promotion from Southern Illinois University, University of Illinois and California College of Health Science respectively. She has several professional training and certifications including Registered Nurse from the State of Georgia, Director/Health Fitness Instructor from the American College of Sports Medicine, Advanced Care Life Support from the American Heart Association, Certified Case Manager from Commission for Case Management and Wilderness First Aid from National Outdoor Leadership School.

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Julie Cattani

Case Manager
For 21 years, Julie proudly held the full-time title of COO for the Cattani Clan. From PTA president to room mother, volunteer to chauffer, she enjoyed each moment with her children. Her previous experience includes working with cancer patients at a rehabilitation clinic and Director of Operations for a company that produced halftime shows for college bowl games. Julie is grateful to be engaged in a work that promotes hope and healing in the lives of beautiful, deserving women. She finds it a privilege to learn from the examples of many brave survivors. In her spare time, she loves nothing more than spending time with family and running on trails in the beautiful Utah mountains.
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Crissy Seabolt

Case Manager
Crissy is a single mother of a 7 year old daughter. We live in Dahlonega, GA with our 2 dogs. My daughter does karate, gymnastics and cheer. I enjoy Netflix, cooking, camping and horse shows. I have worn many hats career wise from taxi driver to waffle house cook and have experience in the medical field clinically and on the clerical side as well. I am very excited to become a part of Saprea and believe whole heartedly in their mission.
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Jennifer Gatz

Case Manager

Jennifer graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and received a master’s degree in Social Work at Northcentral University. Jennifer’s experience includes working with the Department of Family and Children’s Services and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. Jennifer believes there is no greater pleasure nor a better reward than being a part of someone’s healing journey.

Jennifer enjoys doing arts and crafts activities with her family. She also enjoys reading. Her favorite author is Lucinda Berry who is also a child psychologist. She is grateful for the opportunity to help those in their journey at Saprea and provide the resources to continue their healing after they leave retreat.

Hannah Taylor

Hannah Taylor

Night Case Manager
Hannah has four years of experience working in classrooms with children with disabilities, and recreationally with children living in lower income areas. Just before joining the Retreat Team, she worked with youth in a residential treatment facility. Hannah's passion is serving the community, and she is excited to help improve women's lives through teaching art journaling and vision boarding classes at the Saprea Retreat. Some of her favorite activities include dirt biking, playing racquetball, camping, and skiing.
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Junie Pierre-Loius

Night Case Manager
Junie Pierre-Louis was born and raised in South Florida . She received her Bachelors in Health Administration at The University of Central Florida and currently pursing her Master degree in Clinical Mental Health . Besides spending time with her family and friends she enjoys traveling and seeing the world . She believes the world has so much to offer! Junie is very excited to be apart of your healing journey and can't wait to meet you!
Photo of Nara Pyne, a case manager at the Saprea Retreat

Nara Pyne

Night Case Manager
Nara earned her bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in sociology from Liberty University. She is currently perusing her master’s in clinical mental health counseling from Liberty University. Nara currently serves in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. Serving and helping others has always been a big part of her life. When Nara is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family and going out to eat. Nara says she feels honored to be a part of an organization that’s main goal is helping people heal.
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Kimberlee Sorensen

Trust & Safety Specialist
Kimberlee attended Utah Valley University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management. She is a certified EMT and continues to grow her knowledge in the medical field. She has a passion for working with trauma survivors and helping them on their healing journey. She has experience facilitating support groups, and her desire to help continues to grow. She is a part of the Army National Guard and has enjoyed serving others. In her spare time, she enjoys playing sports, riding dirt bikes, boating at Lake Powell, cliff jumping, and spending time with her cute niece.

Online Course & Healing Webinar

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Mark Hartvigsen

Online Course Manager
Mark Hartvigsen has worked at Saprea since the beginning of 2017. Prior to his work at the organization, he taught at the college level in a variety of fields. He is passionate about the power of education to help survivors on their healing journey, and he is grateful for the opportunity to interact with the amazing women who attend the Saprea Retreat. Mark is also a music aficionado and has played the piano for almost his whole life. He is currently having fun struggling to learn to play the cello. Additionally, he enjoys hiking and skiing in the beautiful mountains of Utah.
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Jessica Bradley

Clinical Therapist

Jessica is passionate about meeting clients where they are on their healing journey; she believes in the power and potential of the individual to heal and find peace. As a therapist for over ten years, she has worked with people of various cultures, ages, and trauma backgrounds, including survivors of child sexual abuse. Prior to joining the online course team, Jessica worked for nearly four years as a clinician at the Saprea Retreat. 

Jessica earned her M.S. in clinical mental health from the University of Phoenix and her B.S. in psychology with a minor in Spanish from Brigham Young University. She is a licensed clinical mental health counselor trained in trauma-sensitive yoga (TS yoga) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She has lived in Uruguay and Mexico and spent many years as an educator prior to becoming a therapist. 

In addition to her work as a therapist, Jessica loves spending time with family and friends, exploring the outdoors, learning languages, traveling, laughing, and having new adventures. 

Logistics Team

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Lacey Larson

Logistics Manager
Prior to her work at Saprea, Lacey worked at a residential treatment center for women with drug and alcohol dependence, domestic violence, and sexual trauma. Lacey has held many positions that focus on her main passion: helping others. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Services. Lacey has volunteered with United Way and Primary Children’s Medical Center, assisted with first responder training, and loves volunteering in her children’s school classrooms. In her free time, Lacey loves to have adventures with her two cute kids. She also loves jogging, hiking, camping, and traveling.
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Marsha Dickerson

Logistics Manager
Marsha was born and raised in the small town of Dahlonega, Georgia. After graduating high school, Marsha joined the Army where she served multiple tours in states and overseas. After transitioning from the military, she started her career assisting homeless veterans—particularly women—find gainful employment. Marsha has held many positions where the focus has been helping others. She is very passionate about her work and feels honored to help women learn how to heal through education and empowerment. Marsha is currently pursuing her master’s in Social Work and she loves to volunteer whenever possible. In her free time, Marsha enjoys caring for and going on adventures with her two daughters, as well as hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and playing piano.

Culinary Team

Colby Hall the executive chef at Saprea Retreat in Utah

Colby Hall

Executive Chef
Chef Colby studied culinary arts at Utah Valley University and has worked in the culinary industry for over 12 years. With experience in all aspects of food service from working at fine dining restaurants to catering events he has always loved the power that food has on people and humanity. Colby loves to cook modern but accessible food that you feel like you could incorporate at home.

Colby believes food can become a deep part of someone's life to help connect with others and their cultures. His goal at the retreat is to provide food that will be healthy, nourishing and fun. He wants to introduce new food while serving some familiar favorites as well. Colby lives in Sandy, Utah, with his wife, Shannon, and their Shiba Inu puppy, Amaya. His hobbies include soccer, gaming, and crying when the Utah Jazz lose.
Chef Greg the executive chef at Saprea Retreat in Georgia

Greg Cornelius

Executive Chef

Chef Greg has been in the restaurant industry for over 25 years as an executive chef at fine dining restaurants, private clubs, and multi-unit operations. Chef Greg has placed an emphasis on locally sourced whole foods and using quality healthy ingredients. His culinary style is wide ranging and diverse and he likes to employ cultural influences, both international and regional. Chef Greg believes food is medicine, and his objective at the retreat is to provide creative, healthy, healing, and comforting foods. He also plans to build a database of recipes and cooking demonstrations to share with our retreat guests and friends. His hobbies include hiking, paddle boarding, beekeeping, gardening, and spending time with his wife and two sons.

Alexis Torres

Alexis Torres

Culinary Lead Cook
Alexis comes from a large family, and cooking became second nature to her. She eventually enrolled in culinary school to refine her skills, attending Spokane Community College in Washington State. She has five years of experience working in restaurants and involved in catering for weddings, graduations, and funerals.

Her favorite hobbies include skiing, kayaking, and obviously cooking with, and for, her family.

With a heart to help people, Alexis has spent time volunteering in local food banks and at Second Harvest. In her own journey she found that food can be nourishment for the soul and hopes this can be an enjoyable part of your healing journey too. She's excited to be introducing new foods into your diet in hopes that you can take these dishes home with you.

Bon Appetit!
Photo of Madison Threet a cook at the Saprea Retreat

Madison Threet

Culinary Cook
Madison was born and raised in Utah. She attended Utah Valley University and received her degree in culinary arts. She has been working in the industry for 5 years. Madison loves to cook with comforting, fresh, and healthy ingredients. She has learned the healing powers of food and loves the joy food can bring. She wants to share that with others.

Madison worked in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center where she developed a love for working with those who are on a healing journey. She feels thankful for the opportunities she had to work with such people, and the opportunities she will continue to have in the future. Madison loves listening to music and going to concerts. She also loves the outdoors. She enjoys hiking, fishing, and camping with family and friends.
Photo of Alex Melvin a cook at the Saprea Retreat in Georgia

Alex Melvin

Culinary Cook

Alex is originally from Nebraska but he moved to Georgia 5 years ago. He spent some time in Germany while he was in the military and is married with three beautiful kids. He is 32 years old and has been cooking for 18 years; other than when he was a mechanic for the army. He gained his experience in culinary arts from working under many different chefs from various restaurants and backgrounds.

He was the head chef of The Social House in Marietta Square, GA and was also the executive chef of Melindas Southern Coastal Cuisine in Rome, GA.