The Fire Mountain Staff
Aaron Huey, Co-Founder and President
Aaron has been working with children, teens and parents for over 18 years. After ten years directing camps and empowerment programs around the world, Aaron opened Fire Mountain because he wanted to work with kids and families on a deeper level. Over the first few years of running programs like Teen Rites of Passage The Warrior Phoenix Challenge, and numerous cries for help from parents, Aaron realized the need to turn his efforts towards teens struggling with drugs, alcohol and the behaviors and issues related to addiction. An addict in recovery since 2000, he felt a calling to put together an expert team and open Fire Mountain. His mission is to awaken confidence and leadership. “It‘s not about being better, it‘s about giving up the struggle to be different from who you are.”
Aaron’s formal educational background is in acting. He graduated from the top acting school in the US, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1990. His skills in comedy and drama make him an influential speaker and presenter, and a favorite among the kids. His confidence, compassion and humor set the tone for deep healing, and fun.
Aaron is also trained as an EMT, a Wilderness Survival Instructor and Martial Arts teacher, all of which he weaves into the Fire Mountain RTC curriculum.
Dr. Nancy Brown MD
Nancy is the Founder of Integrative Family Medicine in Boulder Colorado. She is a family doctor and received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She has been practicing medicine for over 25 years and currently specializes in Integrative Medicine and nutritional counseling to support optimal health.
Dr. Mary Braud, Psychiatrist
Dr. Mary Braud graduated from Louisiana State University Medical Center in 1989. She went on to complete the residency program in pediatrics at Oregon Health Sciences University. She joined the Greeley Medical Clinic and worked there as a pediatrician from 1992 until 1994, when she decided to pursue further training in psychiatry. She did the adult psychiatry portion of her studies at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, KS. She completed the two year fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado. She was the chief resident for the second year of that program.
Dr. Braud worked at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado for one year after completing her training. She then worked for Jefferson Center for Mental Health in Jefferson County, Colorado for 5 years before starting her private practice in 2005.
Dr. Braud has extensively studied alternative medicine. She has done programs with the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, the Autism Research Institute and the Institute for Functional Medicine. She completed the certification program offered by IFM in 2014. Thus, she is able to combine her knowledge of conventional psychiatric treatment with an approach that aims to address underlying causes of mental illness.
Shari Simmons, LCSW, Clinical Director
Shari received her Masters degree in Social Work from University of Denver in 1993 and became a licensed clinical Social Worker in 1995. She has had a 28 year career as an adolescent therapist and Clinical Director at several residential facilities in Colorado. As the Clinical Director at Mountain Crest Psychiatric Hospital in Fort Collins, Shari ran the adolescent facility for 10 years and started a teen homeless shelter.
Most recently, she has been a consultant for various treatment programs in the state where she trains staff on trauma informed care, develops strategic goals and provides tools to enhance programming. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at CCU and UNR. Her area of expertise is in mental health and trauma and she considers it a personal mission to train anyone who will listen on these topics so that people who suffer are met with compassion and understanding. She is currently writing a book on trauma for clinicians. When not working, she is hiking, biking, canoeing or traveling.
Beatrice Morreale, Family Therapist
Beatrice Morreale has a masters of social work (MSW) from Colorado State University. Bea’s clinical work is based on the humanistic approach, emphasizing the well being of the whole person with a special focus on promoting the well being of the family. She specializes in family therapy and has worked with adolescents and families struggling with life transitions, mental health issues, communication and trust issues, and identity issues.
Outside of work, she enjoys being in the outdoors and takes every chance she can get to go snowboarding, rafting, hiking, or climbing in the beautiful Colorado mountains.
Erica Zimmerman, LSW, Clinical Therapist
Erica received her masters in social work from the University of Denver where she concentrated in family systems and obtained a certificate in Animal Assisted Social Work. She is currently a licensed social worker and working toward a clinical social work license. Erica’s clinical work is based on the attachment theory – focusing on healthy relationships and creating a secure base.
Additionally, Erica has a passion for equine assisted activities and believes the bonds created with an animal can prepare us for human connections.Erica grew up riding horses in the hunter-jumper circuit and rode at the national level for Indiana University’s Equestrian Team. She is a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (TRI) and PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. Erica has experience working in therapeutic riding barns here in Colorado as well as in Israel. Erica is currently working toward her Advanced TRI certificate.
In her spare time, Erica enjoying horseback riding, hiking, camping, and skiing. She tries her best to take advantage of the wonderful Colorado scenery!
Justin Sanderson, Therapist
Justin, a native Texan, completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and English. He continued his education receiving his Master of Arts in Counseling at Webster University, in St. Louis. During his time in St. Louis, he acquired experience working in different areas such as suicide hotline, domestic abuse counseling, children’s bereavement and private practice.
While working at Annie’s Hope-The Bereavement Center for Kids as the School Support and Education Coordinator, Justin pursued a further education with the Association of Death Education and Counseling where he became Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement. In 2015 he was recognized as a National Certified Counselor, by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
During Justin’s free time he loves to go explore both the city atmosphere and the Rocky Mountains with his wife. Although he is not from Colorado he is a lifelong Denver Broncos fan.
Christie Adams, Director of Education and Academy Principal
Christie Adams grew up in the Midwest and came to Colorado over a decade ago. She has spent her entire time in Colorado in Estes Park co-owning and co-operating businesses and continuing her passion in the education industry. She has worked in the public and private education sector at the 6-12 grade level as well as post secondary. Christie brings years of experience in curriculum development, program development, advising, instructing, administrative and business practices. Her passion for self-sustainability in varying areas of the agriculture industry provide for a unique approach to education through eco therapy; including using animals and specifically equine (horses) as a therapeutic approach to education.
Christie is also an avid horsewomen that has spent most of her life in some area of the equine industry with experiences ranging from western pleasure, trail riding, training, barrel racing and rodeo. She is a member of Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) and is currently working on her Therapeutic Riding Instructor (TRI) Certification. Christie believes that working collaboratively with therapists and support staff that youth who are beleaguered by varying challenges can succeed educationally and have a self-fulfilled life.
Makenzie McRoberts, Instructional Services Coordinator
Makenzie is a recent graduate of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. She earned her bachelors degree in Psychology, with a special focus and interest specifically on animal assisted therapy. Although she was born and raised in California, the mountains have always held her heart, and she permanently resides in Colorado now.
Outside of work, Makenzie can usually be found hanging out with her two horses, or spending as much time in the National Park as possible, hiking, riding, or just enjoying the amazing Rocky Mountains.
Naoise Goeden, Instructor
Naoise Goeden has grown up and lived all over the map in Colorado, and Louisiana. Born in Denver Colorado Naoise has always had an interest in writing and English. Naoise graduated Fire Mountain in 2011, and came back to work at Fire Mountain in 2014. Naoise has always had a passion for working with youth, and decided to take on both teaching and working directly with the youth as a mental health worker. Naoise teaches a wide range of classes including Hero’s Journey, Music Appreciation, and Psychological Archetypes.
When Naoise is away from the desk he spends his time writing poetry, and prose. He also enjoys hosting events for other staff members and exploring the vast world of cinema.
Katia Nikitna, Art Instructor
Katia Nikitina was born in Moscow, Russia. Once she moved to the United States she began exploring her interest in art using chalk and oil pastels as well as acrylic paint. Katia discovered oil paints at Fort Lewis College, which she fell in love with.
Throughout her time in college she actively participated in Creative Collective, the Fort Lewis Art Club in Durango, Colorado. She served one year as secretary and her final year as president, in which she organized meetings, curated art shows, as well as planned and executed weekend trips.
She has recently graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in Art and Psychology. Katia began working at Fire Mountain in June of 2016 and is currently a mental health technician and art instructor.
Linda London-Hanak OTR, Yoga Instructor
Linda Hanak is the Yoga Instructor for Fire Mountain. Linda has a degree in occupational therapy and a Master’s Degree in Counseling. Linda is a long time resident of Estes Park who has experience working with children from all walks of life. She began the practice and study of Hatha Yoga at the Paramahansa Yogananda Center in Los Angeles and continued trying out all new styles and schools of Yoga as they appeared. Her experiences range from Summer Solstice Yoga Retreat in Espanola NM with Yogi Bhajan, Vinyasa Flow Style Yoga (based on Baron Batiste style vinyasa flow) and Hatha Yoga class at Fire Mountain RTC. Linda hope to teach Kundalini Yoga in near future and is currently is a Yoga Instructor at MedX in Estes Park.
Dwayn Rodriguez, Martial Arts, Music and Substitute Instructor
Dwayn is a creatively passionate teacher with an array of expertise that comes from a life surrounded by influences in the arts since the age of 7 years old. Having the current Yudansha ranking of Sandan (3rd degree black-belt) in traditional Shotokan karate, Dwayn also has an AA degree in Media Art and Animation along with 5 years of college. He is an experienced instructor, teaching music theory as well as Karate to children from ages 4 years old to adults. His uncle is also a respected Hanshi and 8th degree black-belt in Colorado well known through ISKA (International Shotokan Karate Association) and JKA (Japanese Karate Association).
Through the life of 37 years, Dwayn has acquired a style of Karate that has evolved from the influences of Shotokan Karate, Kenpo Karate and Hakkoryu Jujutsu, having passed it on to his sons. Teaching kids how to align the mind and body along with character building since he was a child himself, Dwayn has taught many to step out of their comfort zones while accomplishing goals never thought possible and letting loose the creativity within each of us.
Linn Green, Kitchen Cook
Linn is a retired landscape architect. After retiring, she chose to go to culinary school as a second career. She uses both skills here at Fire Mountain. When she isn’t cooking for the residents and staff, she is teaching gardening and culinary skills.
Susie Paglia, Kitchen Cook
I have lived in Estes Park for 27 years. I am married and have 3 grown children and 6 grand children.
I have been a swim coach and taught swimming for several years. The last 16 years my husband and I owned and operated a local restaurant. We sold the restaurant in 2015, which has given me the opportunity to be at Fire Mountain.
I love spending time with my family and friends. Summer is my favorite time of year, allowing me to grow flowers and be outside with our 3 dogs.
Jill Lampshire, Admissions Coordinator and Outreach
Jill obtained her Master’s degree at the University of Louisiana at Monroe in Psychology, specializing in Psychometrics. She started her career in the mental health field as an Intake Coordinator at a substance abuse facility in Louisiana. After obtaining her Master’s degree, she was employed as a psychometrist, administering and interpreting intellectual testing for a private practice. She has worked extensively with children, adolescents, and adults with mood, personality, and substance abuse disorders as well as those with learning and intellectual disorders and disabilities.
In Jill’s free time, she enjoys tennis, hiking, yoga and meditation.
Jason Maitland, Administration Assistant
Jason started working with teens from the inner-city areas of Los Angeles and Sacramento. A native of the Chicago area, Jason quickly realized that he wanted to achieve a higher purpose than the regular nine to five had to offer. After working in the Rocky Mountains for a few years, he decided to call them home. Jason’s focus is to support the staff of Fire Mountain in every way possible. The heart of our organization is its team, and he is dedicated to help building the best around.
Direct Care Staff
Kids and Teen Camp Instructors
Duberly joined the Fire Mountain team in 2008 with his daughter Izzy and didn’t just become a fan of the program, he wouldn’t leave! After years of training and working alongside of Aaron in the kids camps and the teen Rites of Passage events, Duberly and his wife Jennifer took over the running of Warrior Camp and Warrior Goddess summer camps. Bringing his heart and passion as well as a wicked intelligence to the program Duberly and his company LxH (League of Extraordinary Humans) have taken the Spear and are leading the charge!
Jeff Hamilton, Instructor
Jeff lives in a cabin on 5 acres amidst the Roosevelt National Forest. Being in the mountains gives him a chances to live simply in harmony with nature as well as a chance to cruise his motorcycle on some pretty great windy roads. With degrees in Psychology and Anthropology, Jeff is a Reiki Master and hypnotherapist. He has taught Martial Arts for 20 years and is in his 18th year teaching at a Boulder, CO alternative high school where he is a favorite mentor and guide for young adults. How does he view what he does? “I work with energy: energy inside oneself, energy between individuals, and energy in relationship to nature.” An avid reader of philosophy, mythology and history, Jeff infuses his teaching with lessons from our greatest story tellers and heroes. He has been with Fire Mountain since the beginning. Why? “Because I love what I do. It’s amazing to facilitate the awareness and growth in people that come through our programs.” As a warrior and sage, Jeff believes the most valuable things he has learned in his life have come through relationships, especially with his daughter.