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).
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.
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.
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.
Crystal Evans, LCDC
Crystal began working at Clear Springs Ranch back in 2013 first as a Recovery Advocate, then as a Clinical Technician and finally as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. Along the way, she also worked for a year at the Gateway Foundation. After graduating from Tarleton State University with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2012, Crystal decided to enter the Admissions field because she wants to help people make a positive difference in their lives.
Now, as Clear Springs Ranch’s Admissions Coordinator, Crystal makes excellent use of her psychology training, her personal trials as the result of violence committed by individuals who were addicted to drugs, and her extensive customer service experience gained while working in higher education prior to graduation. During her free time, Crystal likes to spend time with her kids and family.
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.
Marcos “Kito” Holtzman
Kito Holtzman has always enjoyed exploring and taking on new experiences. As a chronic relapser for many years, Kito enjoys nothing more than watching his patients mature, recover and rejoin society — just as he did. He has comprehensive counseling experience with adolescents, adults and families, which include a broad range of therapeutic interventions, such as mindfulness, EMDR, and cognitive behavioral therapy to name a few.
From his beginning in Caracas, Venezuela, to his repeated false-starts in obtaining a degree from the University of Hawaii, he has enjoyed success in getting his life back together, earning both a B.A. in History and a M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Texas, Brownsville. Kito is an LPC Supervisor and enjoys sharing the knowledge gained through the years to help new clinicians use their creativity to implement therapeutic interventions that empower their clients to make healthy changes.
Before working at Clear Springs Ranch, Kito owned and operated a very successful private practice in the Rio Grande Valley for many years. After making the transition from private practice to the inpatient treatment industry, he became the clinical director for a well known treatment center. He finds his work at Clear Springs to be extremely rewarding and fulfilling, and his enthusiasm is evident in everything he does. He loves spending time with his family, stand up paddle surfing and hanging at the beach. He is excited to explore new ways to incorporate water into his clients and his own recovery.
Business Development Officer
Stephan has a strong clinical understanding of the treatment industry. Prior to joining Clear Springs Ranch as Business Development Officer, he was a senior level admissions specialist for another behavioral health company. Stephan’s multifaceted business expertise includes work as an intake specialist, a volunteer recovery advocate and a sober house manager. Additionally, he has an excellent understanding of insurance, utilization review, financial collection, and sales. Stephan says that helping others has become an integral part of his own recovery and that he enjoys the personal and professional satisfaction this field offers.
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.”
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.
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.
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.