Meet Our Team

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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

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 the Medical Director of Prototypes, a women’s residential treatment program.


Marty Lythgoe, CADC II, NCAC II, ICADC, SAP ~ Genesis Program Director
We like to refer to Marty as the “Face of Genesis” and some of you reading this would easily know why. He is a lifelong resident of Southern California and has been working in the Addiction Treatment field since 1985. Marty is an Internationally Certified Addictions Counselor and DOT assessor. He was the co-founder of Genesis in 1993, and was the main contributor to the establishment of our program. Though still involved in the day to day function of our program, he currently commits a large portion of his time to community outreach.


Jeff Fuchs, BA, AAS, – Genesis Administrative Director
Jeff has worked in the field of Chemical Dependency Treatment since 1987. He has been a part of the Genesis team since 1997 after working as CD Counselor in a residential program for 10 years. His first responsibility was to stabilize and grow our ‘new’ facility in Thousand Oaks. Over the past 10 years he has gradually moved into an administrative role with Genesis and now oversees all operations and corporate finances.


Athena Naranjo, LAADC, CADC II – Genesis Treatment Program Coordinator, Counselor
As our Program Coordinator, Athena’s primary responsibilities include clinical supervision, training, and making sure that our two facilities function harmoniously with each other. Athena found her home at the Genesis Programs as an intern in 2008, having worked previously as a prevention specialist and interning at a mandated treatment program. In addition to her exceptional clinical skills, Athena brings energy, vision, and focus to our program and we are confidant that many of our alumni are better for her presence with us.


Terri Jacobs, CADC II, NCAC II, ICADC, SAP – 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.


Rick Niemi, CATC II – Counselor
Rick has been with Genesis since 2003 and we consider him to be our ‘Steady Eddie”. Having a full time position as a counselor with Ventura County, his time with us is limited to several evenings per week. 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. Among other things, Rick has for years been the mainstay of our Thousand Oaks evening aftercare group.


John Ismay, CATCI – Counselor
John came to Genesis as an intern in 2011 and completed his certification process while developing his skillset with us. 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 has quickly developed into a leader with us and can be found mostly in our Ventura facility. His passion outside of his work appears to be his daughters, so it’s not surprising that he seems to have found himself as an effective co-facilitator of our Ventura Family Group.


Nancy West, CATC II, Counselor
Nancy has been with Genesis since 2012. She came to us to complete her intern hours from her addiction studies program and thankfully for us she never left. 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 back in the 90’s. An effective overall counselor, 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 new Wednesday night Family and Friends support group.


Veronica Novak, CATC III – Counselor
Veronica has joined the Genesis team in January 2013 as an intern, and eventually completed her addiction studies program and practicum hours to obtain her certification while with us. 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, CATC II- Counselor
Cornelius came to Genesis in 2013 to acquire the necessary practicum hours to obtain his certification while he completed his addictions studies program. He brought with him so much passion and energy that we asked him to stay. His insight into cultural diversities is invaluable to our team, his enthusiasm is infectious, and his commitment to new people in recovery is why we recently asked him to take over our morning Thousand Oaks aftercare group. Also community minded, Cornelius just opened a new men’s sober living in Simi Valley.