Caring, Compassionate, and Confidential
You are in good hands at Summit Behavioral Health.
We’re proud to have such a wide range of addiction counselors and specialists on our team. Together, our team brings years of experience in treating addiction and helping clients fight to reach addiction recovery. It’s our goal to offer a new chance, for everyone we treat, to redeem life and recover successfully.
Corporate Leadership Team:
Michael Karl MH, LCADC
Chief Strategy Officer
Michael holds a Master’s Degree in Human Services and is a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor in the State of NJ. He has worked in various management capacities in the addiction treatment field since his transition from banking in 1999. Various titles Michael has had include Operations Director, Marketing Director, and Clinical Director within various modalities and organizations. Michael’s well-rounded experience and commitment to addiction treatment make him well suited for the Chief Operating Officer position at Summit.
“My job is centered on keeping the client first, creating and maintaining the systems that deliver optimal client care, and hiring therapists and clinicians who are client centered. If I do that, Summit can truly make a difference in the community and the region.” Michael’s mentors have included Charles Stucky and Riley Regan. “The men in this field who mentored me and role modeled excellence and professionalism marked by intuitive empathy will influence my decision making concerning client care and program development for perpetuity.” Michael understands that Summit needs to continually scan the environment for changes in funding, innovations in best practices, and balancing both to maintain program integrity and excellence. “The environment is continually changing as are innovations in treatment. Summit is committed to remain at the cutting edge by not remaining stagnant in any area of development.”
Maria Ulmer MA, LMFT, CAADC
Chief Operating Officer
Maria is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in Addiction Counseling with over 15 years of experience in the addiction and mental health treatment fields. She has worked in a wide variety of addiction treatment settings as both a clinician and an administrator.
As a clinician, Maria focuses on a variety of behavioral health needs including addiction and other compulsive behaviors, mental health disorders, trauma/PTSD, co-occurring disorders, and addiction in the family. In her role as Chief Clinical Officer, Maria oversees the development and implementation of client-centered treatment programs focusing on restoring individual’s dignity and respect. She has trained with renowned trauma treatment experts Tian Dayton and Judy Crane, which has guided Maria in cultivating a trauma-informed environment for clients, families, as well as employees.
Maria earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Temple University and her Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology: Marriage and Family Therapy and Addiction Counseling at LaSalle University. She has also served as an adjunct professor of psychology at Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania.
Director of Corporate Communications
Rebecca brings her knowledge of the addiction treatment field to her role as Director of Corporate Communications and helps the organization become a nationally recognized brand in providing quality behavioral health services. She creates and coordinates communication plans to support our strategic initiatives and strives to ensure that all employees have the information necessary to serve our clients effectively. These strategies include publications, partnerships with other organizations, Web marketing, social media, media outreach and conferences.
As a Towson University graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science in communications, Rebecca has over 17 years experience in various roles in Marketing, Public relations and operations. Rebecca spent several years at Calloway Labs, where she was recognized as specialized substance abuse field operations manager. Rebecca also worked as a Treatment Consultant for American Addiction Centers where she marketed their national programs across the region.
Rebecca’s belief in the mission of Summit Behavioral Health exudes through her efforts of collaboration and development of relationships with clients, employees and professionals in the community.
Director of Business Development
After spending 15 years as the owner of The Platinum Fitness and Training Company, Ed’s own journey though recovery has brought him to Summit Behavioral Health. His passion for helping others along their path to personal health and wellness, made for an easy transition into the field of addiction.
With this experience Ed applies a strong expertise in data-driven, long-term strategic planning to the Business Development Teams goal. Ed is distinguished by his passion for business, focus on collaborative team building and his commitment to meeting market demands. With his contagious enthusiasm Ed instill in his team extraordinary energy and dedication in an environment where creativity and innovation are encouraged.
As an advocate of the company’s vision to provide a path for wellness and recovery for our clients Ed finds his work rewarding and fulfilling.
Susan Stelmach MSHR, SPHR
Director of Human Resources
Susan is a Senior Human Resources Professional with 20 years of strategic and tactical experience. She holds a Master of Science degree in Human Resources from the Rutgers Graduate School of Management & Labor Relations.
Among her HR roles, and for over 10 years, Susan was the Director of Human Resources for Catapult Learning (formerly Sylvan Learning Systems), an industry leader in educational, nursing, and counseling services for at-risk youth. Susan is a hands-on professional who has spent most of her HR career in entrepreneurial, mid-sized companies. She has managed teams of up to 12 employees in professional services companies and has supported educators, nurses, and clinicians throughout the United States and Canada.
Susan is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, The Association for Talent Development, and the Greater Princeton Human Resources Association. She is thrilled to be a part of the Summit Behavioral Health Holistic Team!
Paul Lavella Jr. MA, LPC, LCADC, ACS
Director of Alumni Services
I’ve always considered myself lucky that I’m able to do the type of work that I do, and in the best of ways, I’ve considered my career to be a series of happy accidents. I come from a family with significant mental health issues and as a teen, had many friends who struggled with addictions – some of which are no longer with us.
When it came to figuring out what I wanted to do when I grew up, I knew I wanted to be of service and work with teens who were struggling, the way my friends had struggled. I had envisioned myself providing school-based counseling services. However, when I interned for an outpatient treatment facility and fell in love with the work we did, I couldn’t resist!
After completing a Master’s Degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University 12 years ago, I pursued a path toward enriching the lives of adolescents, young adults, and families healing from substance use disorders and other self-destructive behaviors. Now Licensed as a Professional Counselor and Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor, I continue to collaborate with teens, young adults, families, and professionals to educate, enrich lives, and advocate for ongoing, sustainable recovery.
Embarking on this journey of wellness and recovery is perhaps the bravest and most inspiring thing a person can do. Summit Behavioral Health is here for you, every step of the way. I’m humbled to be part of this team and honored to walk this path with you.
Bethany Kassar MSW, LCSW
Executive Director of Outpatient Services
Bethany is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her Masters’ in social work from the University of Southern California. She has over 15 years of experience with treating both addiction and mental health.
She came from the Los Angeles area with a wide variety of experiences including working within the EAP system of the largest public works company in Southern California providing both mental health and addiction assessments. She also worked with adolescent youth at a maximum secured facility and helped to develop and create a chemical dependency program for an agency servicing the entertainment industry. After moving to the Philadelphia area Bethany has continued to work for various outpatient settings providing addiction, mental health and triage.
Bethany’s passion is to include the whole family/support system within the treatment environment. Her approach, like many of her colleagues, is both holistic and family systems in nature, focusing on the family as an emotional unit in order to begin to facilitate the healing process.
Jennifer Russo MA, LPC, LCADC
Clinical Director – Union
Jennifer Russo-Clinical Director-Summit Behavioral Health, Union, NJ. Jennifer earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Centenary College. During her internship in graduate school Jennifer was introduced to the addictions field after working primarily in the mental health field for four years. During this time, she was introduced to her passion in counseling and concentration in the field of addiction.
Jennifer is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor in the state of New Jersey. Jennifer recognizes the importance in not only treating her clients, but also their support system and those who have been impacted by the disease. Jennifer’s professional experience includes working with adults and adolescents as well as having a certification in anger management, Jennifer’s treatment approach reaches the client as well as the family members throughout their road to recovery. Her enthusiastic energy and passion for the field have her continuing on with advocating awareness on treating addiction.
Tricia Kostin MSW, LCSW, LCADC
Clinical Director – Florham Park
Tricia is a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She obtained her Master’s Degree from Rutgers University School of Social Work and having over 10 years of experience in various positions and treatment settings.
Starting in an outpatient ambulatory detox/maintenance program, Tricia was able to see the need for education and support for both the consumers as well as their families. Tricia transitioned from a medically assisted modality of treatment to delving into intensive outpatient services. She initially found her niche in working with young adults and their families. Currently, Tricia focuses much of her energy on program development and team building.
As Clinical Director of Florham Park, Tricia and her team work closely to provide the best treatment outcomes for consumers and their families. Utilizing both group and individual therapy, Tricia ensures everyone is involved, informed, educated and supported throughout their journey.
Clinical Director – Serenity New England
Susan is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. She holds an MSW from Adelphi University and has over 35 years of experience in the field of mental health and addiction treatment. Most recently she was the Director of Ambulatory Services at NFI MA. In this role Susan managed nine programs including Driver Alcohol Education, Structured Outpatient Addiction, Medication Management and Outpatient Counseling services. Prior to that she managed programs that included children and family mental health, school based clinical services, Juvenile Justice, victim advocacy and elderly long term care.
Susan is very active in the local community and enjoys networking and maintaining relationships. She is dedicated to her role as a helping professional assuring the provision of the highest quality of care for consumers as well as developing future professionals.
Elizabeth Ward MS, LPC, LCADC
Clinical Director – Princeton Junction
Elizabeth is both a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor in the state of New Jersey. She obtained her graduate degree from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, where she had training and experience in a variety of settings treating both mental health and addiction.
She came to Summit after spending 5 years as a clinician and administrator in an Opioid Treatment Program, where much of her focus was on improving clinical service standards, incorporating co-occurring treatment best practices, and educating the community on Medicated Assisted Treatment.
Elizabeth’s experiences have led to a passion and enthusiasm for client-centered services, creative and holistic therapies and advocacy, which she has brought to her role at Princeton Junction.
William Stanley MD
William D Stanley, born and raised in Baltimore, MD attended UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical school. Later he did his internship and residency at Albert Einstein Med Center in Philadelphia. Initially he practiced primary care for many years but due to the influence of many, in particular, Dr. Lou Baxter, his eyes gravitated to the world of substance abuse.
Dr. Stanley became certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine in 2000. Initially focused on outpatient treatment of opioid dependence with Suboxone and more recently Vivitrol. He was invited to join the family of Summit Behavioral Health in 2013 part-time and started full-time as the Medical Director of their Detox in December 2014.
Patricia Allen MSN, PMHNP-BC
Executive Director of Nursing Services
Patricia received her post-master’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Drexel University and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. Patricia practices at Summit Behavioral Health in the PHP, IOP and outpatient services, as well as her contributions in an acute behavioral hospital setting.
Pat is tenured nursing faculty at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania where she teaches mental health nursing and leadership. She developed an elective mental health rotation for seniors interested in psychiatric nursing that led Pat to presenting a poster on this endeavor at the annual American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) in 2010 and 2012. She has developed case management programs for those with co-occurring disorders and presented her findings at the APNA and American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) conferences.
Kimberly Lenox RN, BSN
Executive Director of Serenity at Summit New Jersey
Kimberly joined the Summit Behavioral Health team bringing thirty years of experience as a Registered Professional Nurse. Kimberly uses her wealth of knowledge and experience to oversee the facility’s nursing services and staff. In this role Kim promotes a safe and therapeutic environment for our clients to ensure Summit’s exceptional quality of care. Prior to Summit, Kimberly provided her expertise as Executive Director of High Focus Centers, she also spent a number of years in other clinical positions at various sites. Her strong focus and extensive background in both clinical practice and management has given Serenity at Summit a sense of growth across the continuum of care.
Community Outreach Team:
Regional Outreach Director
Mary O’Neil is a marketing, public relations and communications professional with over 20 years of experience. Prior to joining Summit Behavioral Health, O’Neil was a member of the senior leadership team at Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill where she served as the director of marketing and public relations. She was later promoted to the northeast regional marketing director for Steward Health Care, the hospital’s parent company. In addition to a successful career in marketing & communications, O’Neil has held adjunct faculty positions at Northern Essex Community College and, most recently, at the Summerfuel Pre-College Program at Harvard where she teaches public speaking and debate.
O’Neil is actively involved in her community and currently serves as the president of the board of directors for the Haverhill YMCA and as a member of the YMCAs of the North Shore corporate board of directors. In 2011, O’Neil was selected as a YWCA’s Woman of the Year and received the 2013 Book of Golden Deeds Award from the Exchange Club of Haverhill. O’Neil holds a master’s degree in visual and media arts from Emerson College in Boston.
Regional Outreach Director
Tiffany Leyne has been a professional in the healthcare industry for over 7 years working for a national toxicology lab supporting Pain Management and Substance Abuse facilities in New England and across the country. Over the course of seven years she has worked in many facets of the business such as Customer Service Representative, Field Service Manager, National Substance Abuse Manager and Corporate Trainer. In the role of National Substance Abuse Manager she traveled around the country to work with various types of Substance Abuse programs.
This opportunity gave her exposure to many different types of treatment options for all levels of care. After a short hiatus from the field Tiffany realized her intense drive and desire to make a difference was her true passion, and that is what brought her to Serenity at Summit New England. Tiffany serves as The Regional Outreach Director for Boston, Greater Boston, Middlesex County, Southeastern Massachusetts and RI.
Regional Outreach Director
Jayme Poalise comes to Summit Behavioral Health with six years prior experience in the toxicology industry, focusing on servicing both Substance Abuse and Pain Management facilities throughout the Tri-State area. She brings extensive knowledge to our marketing team with her diverse background in Operations, Sales and Management. In her latest role, prior to coming to Summit, Jayme was promoted to an Operations Project Manager, working side by side with the Director of Operations. Her responsibilities included managing and training the Field Operations managers across the country, as well as diligently working on new product rollout for the upcoming year.
Throughout her career, Jayme’s renewed fervor and unwavering dedication has guided her towards the substance abuse sector, ultimately leading her to Summit. Her unique ability to build relationships, her passion for helping others and her dedication to superior customer service, has both inspired and provided her success. The foundation has been laid for this new, exciting, opportunity with Summit.
Regional Outreach Director
Stephanie Kresch is a Marketing and Health Communications professional with 15+ years of experience helping health and wellness organizations drive revenue, generate awareness, and promote causes. Prior to joining Summit Behavioral Health in October 2016, she spent close to 7 years at SAGE Eldercare in Summit, where she served as the Director of Community Relations. Other past roles include stints at Sanofi Genzyme and the Visiting Nurses Association of Brooklyn.
Kresch is very active in her community, frequently volunteering her time for a variety of causes. An active fitness enthusiast, she has completed a marathon, several half marathons, and starts each day with a 5:00AM cross fit class. She holds a Masters Degree in Health Communications from Emerson University, and an Undergraduate Degree from The University of Michigan.
Regional Outreach Director
Randy Trauger brings an extensive clinical background that enhances his marketing skills. He has worked in the addiction treatment field for nearly 20 years and truly has a heart for helping this community. His prior experience includes being an outpatient and inpatient therapist, director of admissions, intensive outpatient partial program coordinator which lead to his role as the community liaison for the Penn Foundation Recovery Center in Sellersville, PA until 2015. Randy is a Certified Addictions Counselor, holds a Bachelor’s Degree from DeSales University and achieved the 2013 emerging leader award.
These credentials show his expertise, but what he gives to the community shows his passion. Randy serves as a board member of the North Penn YMCA and also shares his experience with other local grassroots organizations. He’s been involved on committees for legislation and fundraising which benefit the community and those seeking treatment. His focus is always offering help for any person caught in addiction and support and advice for their affected family. Randy firmly believes in the services that Summit Behavioral Health provides, however his desire is to connect the right person with the right treatment no matter where that leads.
Regional Outreach Director
Carolyn Reynolds is a seasoned health care marketing professional with unbridled enthusiasm for establishing relationships with community partners. She believes that strong relationships generate awareness for the behavioral health and wellness treatment options needed by those struggling with mental health and addiction and their loved ones. As Regional Outreach Director for Summit Behavioral Health Carolyn works with community partners, family members and individuals to connect those struggling with addiction to treatment.
Drawing upon her extensive healthcare industry experience, Carolyn brings to Summit Behavioral Health compassion, expertise and advocacy. Her mission is to breakdown the stigma of addiction and mental health.
Reynolds holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Western Illinois University and a Master’s Degree from Rutgers University. She is active in her community as a volunteer coach for Girls on The Run, teaches yoga, and is a long-time member of her local running group.