Director of Operations
Jason joined our team in 2013 as the Director of Operations, bringing almost 20 years of operations and project management experience to Clear Springs Ranch. Jason began his career in the behavioral health industry in 2006 working for a national behavioral health company as the Director of Real Estate managing a department, which was responsible for supporting all their real estate needs including acquisitions, startups and expansions/relocations to plant operations support.
Previously, Jason worked at other large corporations overseeing P&L operations, new construction, building expansion, and major IT installation and deployment. Additionally, Jason has owned and operated a successful general contracting business focusing on custom residential and light commercial construction. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing, fishing and camping (basically anything outdoors).
Anand Mehendale, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Mehendale is board certified in both Neurology and Addiction Medicine. He has been a pioneer and a visionary in Texas regarding physician health issues including Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) for over 25 years. He is currently in a private practice of Neurology at Phoenix Medical Associates in Kerrville, Texas. Dr. Mehnedale is the Chief Medical Officer for Clear Springs Ranch and the Medical Director of OnTrac Relapse Prevention.
Throughout his impressive career, Dr. Mehendale has been appointed and elected to various leadership positions. Instrumental in the development of the Texas Physician Health Program, he is currently on the governing board of that program, which is administratively attached to the Texas Medical Board. Additionally, Dr. Mehendale was on the governing board of the Texas chapter of American Society of Addiction Medicine and served as the chapter’s past president. He is also a past member and chairman of the Texas Medical Association’s Physician Health and Rehabilitation Committee and has served as a consultant to the organization.
Dr. Mehnedale wrote a chapter on epilepsy for an international book titled “Hemisyndromes: Psychobiology, Neurology, Psychiatry,” and he has published many journal articles. For six consecutive years from 2010 to 2015, “Texas Monthly” selected him as one of their Super Doctors. “Leading Physicians of the World” chose him in 2013, and he is listed in “America’s Top Physicians” in 2014. He is currently the section editor for “SM Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience” and editor in chief of “Journal of Addiction and Prevention Medicine,” both of which are international peer reviewed open access journals.
Hallye Swoboda, LVN
Hallye was born and raised in Kerrville, Texas. She graduated from Schreiner University’s Vocational Nursing Program in 2006 and began her career in substance abuse treatment as a staff nurse at a local drug and alcohol treatment center for adults and adolescents.
Hallye joined The Ranch team as a staff nurse, at its inception in 2012. Since her beginnings at The Ranch at Clear Springs, Hallye has collaborated with physicians, clinicians, and administration to craft a seamless approach to the treatment of addiction and build a strong and effective nursing department. As Nursing Supervisor, she brings over 10 years of experience in Chemical Dependency to the team of nurses at The Ranch, providing exceptional care to those seeking a life of recovery.
Jet’s own struggle with addiction brought him up-close and personal with turmoil and near-tragedy. His passion for Recovery was ignited in the 12-Step fellowship of the Texas Hill Country, where he was introduced to a way of living leading to freedom, restoration and purpose. His recovery has led to several opportunities in the treatment industry and he brings a range of experience to support his role as Admissions Director. Jet is an LCDC-intern currently pursuing a degree in Psychology, and he balances his work life with woodworking and connecting with the outdoors.
Bruce Cooper, LCDC, AAC, ADCIII, CCS, CCJP, NCACII
Bruce has been a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor for the last 30 years. He is also a Certified Clinical Supervisor, a Certified Criminal Justice Professional, an Advanced Addictions Counselor, and a Nationally Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor Level 2. Bruce cross-trained to work with veterans, youth and families through several different programs, and he has worked both in inpatient and outpatient programs throughout his career.
Bruce has been in recovery for 32 years and says that he has enjoyed a wonderful recovered life. His true passion is to carry the message of recovery to others. His greatest desire is to help both the addict and the individual’s family begin to discover a solution to the many problems the disease creates.
Michelle Ramirez, M.Ed., LPC, LCDC
Michelle graduated from the University of Texas at Brownsville with a Master of Education in Counseling and Guidance and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her extensive experience as a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor includes incorporating 12-Step knowledge and programming with clinical services for people in recovery from substance use disorders and dual diagnosis mental illness. As an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) trained trauma therapist, Michelle has provided EMDR therapy to numerous clients struggling with trauma issues affecting their treatment. She especially enjoys facilitating process and psycho educational groups, individual sessions and family sessions.
Brenda joined Clear Springs Ranch before it opened after 26 years with Aetna Insurance Company and another year as a nurse-staffing manager for a medical professionals’ company, which necessitated her leadership in all aspects of human resources.
Brenda’s strong background in human relations and customer service combined with her keen skill with project management helps to keep Clear Springs Ranch’s programs running at full efficiency. Brenda’s professional talent and style serve to reinforce effective communication channels while highlighting the importance of mentoring.
Allison’s previous work experience as a Recovery Advocate Supervisor for a large behavioral health company helped to prepare her to become Clear Springs Ranch’s Client Services Coordinator. She is comfortable collaborating with team members to coordinate and carry out performance standards across all aspects of a client’s experience. Allison has training in building trust relationships with clients and dissolving crisis situations, and she really enjoys serving as a Sober Escort when needed. Additionally, she is interested in the integration of 12-Steps with co-occurring process addictions such as eating disorders.
Director of Information Technology / Risk Management
Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Information Systems from Bellevue University in Omaha, Nebraska. He joined Clear Springs Ranch at its inception as the Director of IT Services. He has a total experience of 15 years in the IT field and has worked in various positions of technical support and customer service for a wide range of industries. In his last position, as Executive support liaison at Texas Instruments in Dallas, which he held for 5 years, he was responsible for all technological requirements for the corporate leadership team there. This included meeting support , aircraft data connectivity, and remote technical support. In his free time, Chris likes to fish and read. His daughters keep him too busy for much else.
Food Services Director
As Food Services Director, Belinda is in charge of all operations concerning Clear Springs Ranch’s kitchen. This Tennessee native received her degree in Culinary Arts from Texas State Technical College in 2009. Prior to joining Clear Springs Ranch as Head Chef in 2012, Belinda helped to open a very popular local restaurant.
Her extensive food service experience includes management roles in a number of bustling restaurant settings, including an elementary school cafeteria. For six years, Belinda even owned and operated a housekeeping business for regular clients, which gave her the occasional opportunity to prepare meals for special events.
She and her kitchen staff at Clear Springs Ranch are known for an innovative blend of Texas, Nashville, and Mexican cuisine that includes daily specials, heart-healthy entrees, and truly spectacular desserts. In the words of one devotee, Belinda and her team create, “the best barbecued beef and beans you have ever tasted.”
Dave Dauber, LCDC
During the first 37 years of life, I was a Hair Designer for 21 years and was engaged in active addiction for 24 of my first 37 years. With a gentle nudge from Denton County Adult Probation, I went to my first Residential Treatment Program. Upon completion, I moved to Waco, TX, actively participated in a 12 step program and created a new life for myself with the help from a God of my understanding. I now work as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and own a Sober Living home with my wife of 7 years. I have celebrated 14 years of contented, continuous sobriety. Recovery has given me a life I never dreamed possible, full of peace, love, serenity and a spiritual connection that enables me to help others who suffer from the same spiritual malady that I embraced for too long. My purpose in life is to help all who struggle with addiction and their loved ones to start on a journey of recovery, with the hope of a spiritual awakening and a life of contented recovery.
Rebekah Poyner, M.A.
Rebekah graduated from Southwestern College in 2016 with her master’s degree in Art Therapy and Counseling. She is passionate about using art and other creative means to support self-exploration, expression, and healing on the journey to becoming a holistically healthier person.
In the last two years she has used art therapy with Israeli and Palestinian teenage girls working on conflict resolution, co-facilitated veteran support groups, and has worked with men and women in addiction recovery. She has recently returned from India where she worked with orphans who have HIV/AIDS and women with significant traumatic experiences.
Rebekah is excited to bring her love of people and creativity together as she witnesses men and women discover their potential at Clear Springs Ranch. Outside of art therapy, she also enjoys creating her own art, kayaking, and exploring.
Dan Newby, Co-Founder
The founders wanted to build a treatment center that would deliver a program to meet the criteria for the treatment of addiction that had evolved from their discussions. This new facility would provide clients with the care and programs that would help them understand the nature of their disease in an environment that would facilitate their recovery. This understanding of the factors that led them down the path to addiction would provide them with a more complete set of tools in order for them to achieve success and return to their families and communities.
The founders located a 200 acre ranch in Aquilla, Texas, acquired it, secured the funding from a group of investors and recruited an experienced staff from their contacts of 50 years. In August of 2013 “Clear Springs Ranch” became a reality.
Dan Newby was cofounder and a senior executive at CRC Health Corporation the largest treatment provider in the US for nearly 20 years.