Meet Our Staff
Years of experience providing quality service and support
The main distinguishing factor separating one treatment program from another is the quality and experience of the staff. At the Genesis Program, we are proud of the people doing the life-changing work of “rehab.” All of our counseling staff are certified addiction counselors and most are also recovering people themselves. It is this combination of education, training, and life experience that allows them deliver the compassionate care that Genesis is known for.
We have developed our own in-house counselor training system to insure that all our staff are guided by the same spiritual and ethical principles that makes their own recovery possible. All our counselors are familiar with the most current treatment modalities:
- Evidence-based practices
- Motivational interviewing
- Patient-centered care
- Individualized treatment planning
- Trauma-informed care
- Cultural diversity
- Co-occurring capable
- Unconditional positive regard for those we serve
Jeff Fuchs, BA, AAS – Genesis Administrative Director
Jeff has worked in the field of Chemical Dependency Treatment since 1987. He has been with Genesis since 1997 and previously worked in the residential sector for 10 years. His first responsibility at Genesis was to stabilize and grow our facility in Thousand Oaks. He now oversees all operations and corporate finances, ensuring all support activities are carried out efficiently and effectively, and allowing Genesis to function smoothly.
April-Lyn Caouette, BA – Office Manager
April-Lyn has worked with Genesis since 2015 and is responsible for keeping various the odds and ends of the office running behind the scenes. If you ever call us, her friendly voice is usually the first one you’ll hear.
Ronald Pollack, MD – Genesis Medical Director
Dr. Pollack is Board Certified with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology since 1984. He has worked with a number of programs in Southern California specializing in substance use disorders. In addition to his work at Genesis, he is the Ventura County Jail Psychiatrist and is formerly the Medical Director of Prototypes, a women’s residential treatment program.
Joan Storz, APRN – Nurse Practitioner
Athena Naranjo, LAADC, CADC II, ICADC – Genesis Clinical Director
As our Clinical Director, Athena’s primary responsibility is to reinforce and implement the mission, vision, and values of Genesis Programs to its stakeholders, community, profession, and persons served. She takes great pride in clinical supervision, training, and delivery of patient care. Athena has been with Genesis Programs since 2008, and prior to that worked as a prevention specialist at Project Safer. In addition to her exceptional clinical skills, Athena brings energy, vision, and focus to our program and we are confident that many of our alumni are better for her presence with us.
John Ismay, CADC II – Level 3 Counselor/UR Specialist
John has been with Genesis since 2011. Anyone who comes in contact with him will speak to his calming presence and his innate ability to sift through the chaos of a storm in order to focus on its origins. John is also the co-facilitator of our Ventura Family Group.
Veronica Novak, CATC III – Level 3 Counselor/UR Specialist
Veronica has been with the Genesis team since 2013. She brings a passion for community service as demonstrated by her extensive history of volunteer work as well as her involvement in the establishment of a Celebrate Recovery Program at her local church. Veronica’s creative personality and unique insight is evidenced by her ongoing desire to develop different strategies to help our patients work more specifically toward their individual treatment.
Cornelius Van, CADC II – Level 3 Counselor/UR Specialist
Cornelius came to Genesis in 2013. Cornelius brings passion, energy, insight, and positivity to our team. His commitment to new people in recovery is why we asked him to lead our morning Thousand Oaks aftercare group. He is also community minded, and runs a men’s sober living home in Simi Valley.
Nancy West, CADC II – Level 3 Counselor
Nancy has been with Genesis since 2012. Nancy brings a community-minded spirit to Genesis as evidenced by the volunteer work she did for the Coalition for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in the 1990s. Nancy’s passion is working with family members. You will find her in our Ventura Family Group, and she is also the catalyst behind our Wednesday night Family and Friends support group.
Terri Jacobs, CADC II, NCAC II, ICADC, SAP – Level 2 Counselor
Terri joined the Genesis team in 2001 and has been working in the addiction field since 1996. After managing our Ventura facility for 5 years she stepped herself down to a part time position to devote her time to counseling. Blending her own calm and compassionate presence with her extensive experience, she is not only an asset to our patients but to the rest of our staff as well. Terri’s passion is counseling and working with families, so despite her many talents, you can most count on seeing her in our Thousand Oaks Family Group.
Julie Kennedy, CADC I – Level 2 Counselor
Francine Olivares, CADC I – Level 2 Counselor
Alison Prestridge, CADC I – Level 2 Counselor
Chris Wright, CADC II, Crisis Interventionist – Level 2 Counselor
Rick Niemi, CATC II – Alumni Association Director
Rick has been with Genesis since 2003, and has most recently taken on the responsibility of forming the Genesis Alumni Association. Rick brings a broad perspective of some of the co-occurring issues that go along with our population but we also appreciate his natural ability to simplistically connect our 12-step philosophy to real life experiences.