Staff

Dana Simons, MSW, LSW

Executive Director

Dana spent over 20 years in the software industry before becoming a co-founder of Next Step in 2011. She is from California and is a recent graduate of Indiana State University with a Masters in Social Work, with an emphasis in Mental Health and Addiction. Dana manages the operations and administration of the Next Step programs and also teaches many of the classes and facilitates many group meetings. She also provides individual mental health counseling.

Emily Gaston, CRS/CHW

Intake Coordinator and Administrative Assistant

Emily is a graduate of the Next Step program and is responsible for evaluating all applications and overseeing the intake process, as well as supporting the rest of the staff with all of their administrative needs. 

Christy Crowder, LPN, CAPRC II

Mentor Coordinator

Christy is a graduate of the Next Step program and is our mentor coordinator for the Mentoring Young Mothers grant through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. In that capacity, she meets with young mothers in jail and matches them with mentors she has recruited throughout the community. She also provides nursing assessments and health and wellness coaching for our clients.

Jann Speidel, MSW, LSW

Clinical Service Manager

Jann provides individual and group mental health counseling services to both Next Step residents as well as outpatient clients. Jann brings her clinical skills and her many years of working in the addiction profession to Next Step.

Amber Hedden, BLSW

Case Manager

Amber has been working in the recovery field for several years. She is a dedicated case manager who helps Next Step clients with housing, finance, medical, transportation and legal issues that are common in early recovery. 

Ron Simons

Assistant Director and Bookkeeper

Ron is a co-founder of Next Step and brings his many years of experience in the manufacturing and technology industries to his role as the assistant director. Ron oversees the facilities management of all the Next Step properties and is responsible for all bookkeeping and purchasing activities. With several years in recovery, Ron is also able to provide his experience strength and hope to those who are embarking on a life of recovery.

Jason Wallace

Facilities Manager

Jason has been mentoring others in recovery for many years. Jason is responsible for the repairs and maintenance at all Next Step properties. He brings his handyman skills and his passion for recovery to this important role to assure that all of our clients have a safe and comfortable environment while they are at Next Step. 

Jennifer Tickle

Peer Mentor

Jennifer brings her lived experience in recovery to her role as a peer mentor for those in the residential program as well as those in our outpatient programs. Jennifer has an addiction counseling certificate and six years of experience in sponsoring and coaching others through the twelve steps. 

Tyler Spivey

Peer Mentor

Tyler is a graduate of the Next Step residential program and brings his commitment to recovery to his role as a peer mentor. Tyler works with the men in our residential program, to assist them in being successful in their recovery journey. 

Beth Littlejohn

Meeting Grounds Manager

Beth is a graduate of the Next Step residential program and brings her commitment to providing job skill training to our residents by managing our coffee shop, the Meeting Grounds.