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TAAP Board of Directors

Past President  
 Paula Heller Garland has been an addiction professional more than twenty years. She has a Master’s degree in Addiction Counseling, Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Leadership and Associate degrees in Mental Health and Youth Counseling. She is licensed as a Chemical Dependency Counselor in the State of Texas. Paula is a well-known national public speaker, author, and advocate for education and treatment of Substance Use Disorder. As president of TAAP, Paula’s main focus is on advocacy, growing membership that includes more students and interns, and enriching chapter development. Paula is a lecturer at The University of North Texas in the Department of Disability and Addiction Rehabilitation where she values the opportunity to mentor our future counselors. At UNT Paula serves as faculty sponsor of Eagle Peer Recovery, a student association driven by providing students in recovery a normative collegiate experience.


Suzanne Lofton is the President of the Fort Worth Chapter of the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals, and President Elect for the State TAAP Board. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Faith Based Recovery for Spiritual Care Network and has a Private Counseling and Coaching Practice in Fort Worth. She has been involved in the recovery community for over 23 years and has worked the last 17 years in the field of Addiction. Suzanne has served as a Counselor, Lead Counselor and Admissions Counselor and most recently as the Regional Director of Treatment Services for Volunteers of America, a faith-based non-profit organization committed to working with those overcoming addiction. In addition, Suzanne has worked with Recovery Resource Council as Clinical Director and Access to Recovery (ATR) Director.
President Elect 
Scott Kelley
Eric Denner is a licensed marriage & family therapist and licensed chemical dependency counselor in private practice in Austin, Texas. He moved to Austin in 2006 from San Francisco, where he worked as a trauma therapist at the University of California, San Francisco’s Trauma Recovery Center, treating victims of interpersonal violence. Prior to obtaining a master’s degree in social clinical psychology in 2001, Eric was a substance abuse counselor at San Francisco General Hospital and at the San Francisco Veteran’s Administration from 1997-2001. Eric has been a chemical dependency counselor since 1994 and in recovery from addiction and codependency since 1989. He received a master’s degree in business administration from San Francisco State University in 1988, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA in 1970. After moving to Austin Eric served as interim executive director of the Texas Association of Marriage & Family Therapists (TAMFT) from 2007-2008, as treasurer of the Austin chapter of TAMFT from 2008-2012, and as president of the Austin Chapter of TAAP from 2011-2013. Eric joined the TAAP board in August, 2014, and currently serves as the association’s treasurer.


Jamie Schmitt, BSW, LCDC, PRSS-TOT has been counseling in the recovery field since 2003. With a passion to provide Recovery Oriented Systems of Care for all individuals seeking behavioral health treatment, she founded Heart of Texas Recovers in 2011. Jamie began her professional career in the field of Medication Assisted Therapy.  Currently, she serves as the Director of Outpatient Treatment Services with Bluebonnet Trails Community Services.  Jamie was appointed by The Department of State Health Service’s Assistant Commissioner to serve on The Council for Advising and Planning (CAP) for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental and Substance Use Disorders in 2014.  In 2012 she was elected President of the Waco Chapter of Texas Association of Addiction Professionals and continues to serve in that capacity.   She is currently the Secretary on the Executive Board of the State Chapter of the Texas Association Addiction Professionals and is also the Chair of the Legislative Committee.

 Ex-Officio, TCBAP Chairman  D. Frank Davis

Parliamentarian / Bylaw
Mitchell Moore, BAT, SAP, LCDC, ADC III, ACPS just joined the TAAP Board. He says, "I have been designing, developing, and delivering training and accompanying materials to a wide range of audiences through assorted mediums and venues for over 30 years. I identify evidenced based research and emerging trends in safe and healthy schools and communities, and incorporate the information in creating current, valid, and relevant educational materials for educators, parents, youth, and community partners.....
Conference Chairperson 
Keith Liiles, BA, LCDC, ADC III, ICADC a proud graduate of Baylor University and honors graduate of University of Houston Addiction Studies Program, Keith has over 20 years in experience in the field of addiction treatment, holding senior clinical leadership positions with The Right Step and Extended Aftercare. In September, 2014, he opened a private practice, The Pinnacle Counseling Group, and, he also created a new position in the Harris County STAR Drug Court System where he works part time as the Addiction Treatment Specialist on the four court dockets serving as the treatment and recovery expert. Keith is known nationally in the field for his contributions to professional development, legislative advocacy, student mentorship and more.  Recognized by TAAP and NAADAC as the Addiction Professional of the Year, he was also inducted into both the Houston and Texas Counselor’s Hall of Fame. For TAAP, he serves as one of the Co-Chairpersons of the annual State Conference, as the Awards & Credentials Chair, and as a Board of Director, as well as the Vice Chair of the peer assistance program, TapNet.  Recently, he spearheaded the formation of the Young Addiction Professionals, a committee of TAAP that promotes opportunities for students and young adults in the addiction field. He also serves on the Baylor University Board of Trustees for the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, is a certified leader in the ManKind Project, Vice Chair of the John Pena Memorial Scholarship Board of Directors, Vice Steward of the South Central Area of MKP International, Advisor for Boys to Men Texas, serves on the Board of Directors for the Houston Chapter TAAP, Co-Founder and Advisor for the Houston Run for Recovery, member of the Texas Association of Drug Court Professionals, and was just appointed to the Advisory Board of the University of North Texas Department of Disability & Addiction Rehabilitation. 

Conference Chairperson 

Ellen Horst, LCDC, AAC, IAAC  has been involved in the field of addiction treatment and counseling for over 20 years, during which time she has played an active role in its growth and development.  She was called to this work from a personal passion for recovery and an inherent desire to help others find their own journey to sobriety from mind altering chemicals.  Her extensive education of and experience with the treatment of the disease of addiction makes Ellen an excellent choice to support clients and their families in the healing process.
  Eluterio (Jr.) Blanco has been a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor since 2005. He is currently working for the Region 11 OSAR at Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas and has been since 2007. He is a PhD candidate in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Texas-Pan American and has published on the attitudes of Mexican Americans toward cannabis use. He holds professional memberships with the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals (TAAP), and the Society of Addiction Psychology from the American Psychological Association (APA). He has recently been elected as Charter President of the Valley Association of Addiction Professionals (VAAP). He was also elected to serve on the Board of TAAP in April 2014 and began serving during the annual TAAP Conference in August 16, 2014. Current areas of interests include professional and community stigma toward persons with Substance Use Disorders.

Beth Foster, MS, LPC, LCDC  Owner of a private practice, Beth Foster Counselor in Fort Worth, TX since 2011 working with individuals, couples and families on issues of addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety and other mental health needs.  A Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) for the past 17 years, a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) certified since 2007 and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) since 2012; she has worked in many positions across a wide variety of treatment programs.  Beth served on the board of directors for the Fort Worth chapter of TAAP as treasurer from 2011 to 2014 and as the Parliamentarian to present.  She was awarded the Fort Worth TAAP Professional of the Year in 2012 and has been involved in various areas of advocacy for those affected by substance use disorders for many years.  She is currently serving on the State TAAP Board since 2014 and is the committee chair for Diversity Development.

  Kaye Smith grew up in Irving, Texas in the sixties and is happy to say she now has 19 years of personal recovery. She is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and a Substance Abuse Professional. After graduating from the Hazelden Addiction Training School she began her counseling career at the American Indian Center in Euless, Texas. In 2008 Kaye made the transition from counseling to business development. Kaye has been working for La Hacienda Treatment Center since October 2012. Kaye’s passion is to be of service in any way she can for those in the mental health and addiction field and those seeking help for themselves or someone they know. She served on the board of directors for the North Dallas chapter of EAPA for 6 years. Kaye has been involved in TAAP at some level since she began her career as an addiction professional in 1998. She has served on the Dallas chapter board for the past 6 years and is currently the president of that chapter. Kaye also serves on the state TAAP board since August, 2014. She loves being involved in advocacy for the addiction field both at state and federal levels. She is well known as a mentor, friend and colleague to many professionals, interns and students throughout the state of Texas. On a personal note, Kaye has a deep devotion to her faith, her family and her friends. She lives on a ranch in Terrell, Texas and says she is living the dream, thanks to the grace of God. Kaye’s favorite saying is “It’s not about just weathering the storm. It’s about leaning to dance in the rain.” 
  Stacie Allphin has a MS in Addiction Studies and Director of Adolescent Programs for Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center in Houston, Texas. She has earned certifications in Addiction Interventions, Anger Management, Group Empowerment Drumming, DWI Repeat Offender Instructor, Hepatitis C Trainer/instructor, and Minors in Possession Instructor. Stacie has presented at the American Society of Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama in 2000 and 2008; the National Association of Social Workers in 2005; the Texas Association for Marriage and Family Therapist in 2006; the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals Spectrum Conference in 2011 and 2012; and the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals State conference in 2015. In 2008 Stacie presented a series of methamphetamine prevention workshops in conjunction with Marathon Oil Company in Wyoming, presenting to over 6000 adolescents, educators, and parents. Stacie has been a guest speaker on LA Talk Radio’s Family Solutions program, Fox News, AM 740 KTRH news radio, and ABC news. Stacie has served on the Houston Chapter of the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals Board of Directors, and chaired the annual conference several times. In 2010 she was the recipient of the Houston Chapter counselor of the year award, and in 2011 she received the Texas State Counselor of the year award. She has participated in advocacy for mental health and substance use on a state and national level in an effort to decrease stigma related to these disorders, and gain support for health coverage. Additionally, Stacie has served on the board for the Texas Addiction Professionals Peer Assistance Network and the Boys to Men Houston Chapter.
  Beverly Gardner Nelson has over 40 years of experience in the Behavioral Health Care and Social Work  field working specifically on the issues of family and child development, abusive family systems, alcohol and drug abuse and dependence, HIV and AIDS, and  the co-occurring disorder of substance abuse and mental health.  Ms. Nelson has also provided PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) counseling for veterans, victims of abuse, and the survivors of Hurricane Katrina and other catastrophic natural disasters. Ms. Nelson is an experienced Clinical Supervisor and trainer for social work students and graduates, caseworkers and LCDC Counselor Interns. Ms. Nelson has a history of advocating for positive social change for those who are not able to advocate for themselves by developing and working with community-based initiatives. Ms. Nelson earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Houston, Houston, Texas.   She also holds a state license as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) and Licensed Social Worker- Advanced Practitioner (LMSW-AP).  She is a certified Mediator and Certified Criminal Justice Professional (CCJP). Currently, she is working independently as a consulting social worker, counselor, and case manager.
   Cherylene Tucker, MA, MAC, LCDC, ADC lll has been an addiction professional for more than twenty years. She has a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling from Amberton University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from St. John’s University. She is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor in the State of Texas.  Cherylene began her professional career in 1987 working with mothers who struggled with drug addiction in New York City. In 1993 she joined clinical staff at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York where she served as an addiction counselor. She moved to Texas in 2004, she joined the staff at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Parole Division in Fort Worth, Texas. In 2005 she joined the counseling staff at Tarrant County Community Supervision & Corrections Department (adult probation) where she served as staff counselor and was later promoted to Lead Counselor and currently serves as the Program Supervisor for the Day Treatment Program. She is responsible for the outpatient and aftercare substance abuse treatment programs, the cognitive treatment and cognitive aftercare programs and the offender education programs offered at CSCD. In 2008 to 2012 she has served as a volunteer substance abuse facilitator for the TORI (Texas Offender Reentry Initiative) Program.
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Texas Association of Addiction Professionals 401 Ranch Road 620 South, Suite 310 Austin, TX 78734 
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