Douglas M. Leech
Founder and CEO
Doug is the founder of Ascension Recovery Services as well as West Virginia Sober Living, Inc. Doug received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pennsylvania State University and worked for Ernst & Young prior to founding Ascension. Doug is also on a number of board of directors of non-profit corporations, including Rotary and West Virginia Public Theatre where he serves in a leadership capacity. At Ascension, Doug contracts with families and treatment centers to provide recovery and consulting services related to addiction. Doug has assisted with the development of a number of drug and alcohol treatment services, including inpatient treatment centers, sober living homes and outpatient programs.
Jon Dower, PR
Director of Operations
Jon is a state certified recovery coach and peer mentor specialist in West Virginia. He attended West Virginia University and earned his degree in political science and a minor in communications. Jon has performed many successful interventions in West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. Jon also works with the families of those in recovery. Jon coordinates with substance abuse treatment centers across the country and places hundreds of individuals in the most appropriate facility yearly. Jon has also been the manager of operations of a non-profit sober living company with 32 beds in West Virginia.
Business Development Manager
Lauren leads Ascension’s marketing and community outreach efforts, supports program development and treatment center consulting services and manages Ascension’s finance and accounting department. Lauren attended Pennsylvania State University for her undergraduate studies and majored in bio-behavioral health before transferring to West Virginia University for multidisciplinary studies in History, communication and sociology. She also has extensive experience with community-enriching and fundraising organizations such as Mon Health’s Ball of the Year, Relay for Life, Circle K International and THON. Lauren’s prior experiences include finance, fundraising and business development for both for-profit and non-profit organizations, domestically and internationally.
Travis Watson is a licensed professional counselor with a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Slippery Rock University. Prior to joining the Ascension team, Travis was the clinical manager of a 150-bed inpatient addiction treatment center. At the treatment center, he led the clinical program, hired and trained staff, led the patient retention committee, oversaw quality control and ensured compliance Joint Commission standards. Travis has assisted with the development of a number of drug and alcohol treatment services, including inpatient treatment centers, sober living homes and outpatient programs.
Joe Mytro, PR
Recovery Integration Specialist
Joe is a state certified recovery coach and peer mentor specialist in West Virginia. He graduated from Mountain State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Prior to joining Ascension Recovery Services, Joe worked at a 28-day inpatient treatment facility in West Virginia and has run multiple sober living homes in the state. He is also a person in long term recovery.
Recovery Integration Specialist
Dustin’s responsibilities with Ascension include peer recovery coaching and community outreach. He graduated from Musselman High School before pursuing studies at Shepherd University. He successfully completed a long term, peer-driven recovery program where he served as a peer leader and polished skills in peer accountability, conflict resolution and time management. Dustin currently works at both Ascension and a local inpatient treatment facility. Dustin has dedicated his life to long term recovery and actively participates with West Virginia University’s Collegiate Recovery Program. Dustin is also in the U.S. Army Special Forces Airborne Unit.
Anne Christopher graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is a licensed CPA. Anne is a career accountant with a foundation in public accounting and extensive experience in private-industry, owner-managed businesses.In addition to her responsibilities as Controller at Ascension, Anne uses her expertise to develop sound financial models for our program development clients.She is also dedicated to her community outside of work—having served for more than a decade as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for CASA for Kids of Monongalia and Preston Counties and currently volunteering as a Cuddler at WVU Medicine Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Anne is a West Virginia native and proud mother of an awesome daughter.
Peer Recovery Coach
Dan is a Morgantown native and father. His experience as a person in long-term recovery is invaluable in his role as a peer recovery coach and a manager of a 19-bed sober living home in Morgantown, West Virginia. He has successfully completed state sanctioned peer recovery coach training. His extensive management background is well utilized in day-to-day operations and program development.
Peer Recovery Coach
Morgan is a state certified peer recovery coach in West Virginia and a person in long-term recovery. She is a native of Morgantown, West Virginia, where she graduated from University High School before pursuing studies at West Virginia University. Prior to working with Ascension, Morgantown Sober Living and WV Peers, Morgan worked on management teams in the beauty industry for several years specializing in sales and advertising. She has also served as a House Manager in an all-women’s facility in both Dallas, Texas and Morgantown.
Peer Recovery Coach
Stephanie is a state-certified recovery coach and peer mentor specialist in West Virginia. She currently is a house manager in an 11-bed sober living home in Morgantown, West Virginia. Roles with Ascension include peer recovery coaching and community outreach. She graduated from McKinleyville High School in Northern California. She successfully completed a long term, peer-driven recovery program where she served as a peer leader and polished skills in peer accountability, conflict resolution and time management. Stephanie currently works at both Ascension and Morgantown Sober Living. Stephanie has dedicated her life to long term recovery and is an active member in the recovery community.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Maureen Marko is a Provisionally Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of West Virginia with a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Ascension team, Maureen worked as a therapist in community mental health. Before that, she was part of a clinical team for an all girls therapeutic boarding school in the southern part of the state. Maureen’s experience in family therapy and education in family dynamics has been a great asset to working with our clients and families going through the recovery process together. Maureen is a native of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, and enjoys spending time with family and friends and exploring personal interests such as running 5K races and traveling to new destinations.
LCSW | Program Development
Bill is a Licensed Clinical Social (LCSW) with over 36 years’ experience in Behavior Health Services. Bill received his BA Degree at Rollins College in Winter Park Florida and his MSW from Fordham University in New York. Bill’s professional and personal life is purpose driven with a clear intention and commitment to partner with people, agencies and communities to help transform lives.
Bill is recognized in this community as a leader and contributor to evidence-based treatment services, with a clear focus on mindfulness, resilience and motivational building strategies. Prior to joining Ascension, Bill served as the Director of Clinical Services at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Naples, Florida. Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation recruited Bill to relocate from Minnesota to Florida to develop their Naples residential treatment center.
Bill developed their RTC, PHP and IOP and stayed on for 2 1/2 years to successfully implement a national draw to this new facility, while ensuring the clinical program was providing the highest quality EBPs. Prior to that, Bill managed substance abuse and mental health services for Dakota County Social Services in St Paul, Minnesota. Bill was also the Chief Clinical Officer and then Chief Executive Officer at Valley View House, a 300-bed specialty hospital in New York, providing treatment services to adults and adolescents for addiction and accompanying co-occurring disorders. Additionally, in the 90’s Bill opened IOP’s and PHP’s in New York and New Jersey, providing needing care to many. Bill has always had a keen interest in quality improvement and improving clinical outcomes. Because of this interest and recognized experience Bill was also Quality Improvement Director for Magellan Behavioral Health in Montana, where he developed collaborative relationships with high volume providers and helped introduced strategies to more effectively communicate with various HMO and PPO payers.
MA, LPC, CTT | Program Development
Jason is a Certified Trauma Therapist through the ITR Training Institute. In his clinical work, he has specialized in treating people diagnosed with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Jason began developing programs in 2012 and has since developed several successful recovery programs. In addition to his clinical training and program development experience, Jason is trained in recovery coaching and has developed a highly successful peer recovery training. Last year, Jason personally trained 50 peer recovery coaches in North Central West Virginia. He has been published three times in a national magazine on topics related to spirituality, homelessness and addiction. Jason graduated with a master's degree in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. Jason strongly believes anyone can recover and that well-developed programs help people find recovery.
Olivia, from Bridgeport, WV, graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. She has worked as an accountant in a range of private companies in West Virginia. Most recently, Olivia worked in the Finance Department of the City of Morgantown where she focused on business licensing. Olivia is also an active member of the Rotary Club of Cheat Lake.
LCSW, Program Development
A native of East Bank, West Virginia, Steve Burton holds a Masters of Social Work degree from West Virginia University and is a Licensed Certified Social Worker. Over a career spanning nearly 20 years, Steve has held positions in children services, welfare to work, prevention, and addiction treatment administration. As the former Chief Executive Officer of First Choice Health Systems and First Choice Services, Steve helped develop and implement Help4WV and PA Get Help Now, West Virginia and Pennsylvania’s first ever addiction and behavioral health call line. Steve is also a former adjunct faculty for the West Virginia University School of Social Work, and former President for the National Association of Social Workers-West Virginia chapter.