Meet Our Team

Through extensive diagnostic evaluations and holistic treatment, Omega Recovery is dedicated to enhancing wellness by offering clarity, direction, and results.

Dr. Nicholas Kardaras | PH. D. | LCSW-R

Co-Founder | Chief Clinical Officer

Dr. Kardaras is an Ivy-League educated psychologist, an internationally renowned speaker, and one of the country’s foremost addiction experts. A former Clinical Professor at Stony Brook Medicine where he specialized in teaching the neurophysiology and treatment of addiction, he has also taught neuropsychology at the doctoral-level and has worked closely in developing clinical protocols with Dr. Howard Shaffer, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of their Division of Addiction.

He has appeared on ABC’s 20/20, Good Morning America, the CBS Evening News, FOX & Friends, NPR, Good Day New York and has written about addiction for TIME Magazine, Scientific American, Psychology Today, Salon, The NY Daily News, and FOX News, and has been featured in Esquire, New York Magazine, VICE, and Vanity Fair. Considered a leading expert on young people and digital addiction, he is the author of “Glow Kids” (St. Martin’s Press, 2016), the seminal book on the clinical, neurological and sociological aspects of Technology Addiction (Smart Phones, Video Games, Social Media, etc.) and has clinically worked with over 1,000 teens and young people during the last 15 years. 

He has been active in advocating that screen addiction be recognized as a clinical disorder akin to substance addiction and has developed the most comprehensive treatment protocols to treat this emerging global problem.

Dr. Kardaras is also the author of “How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life” (Conari, 2011) and devotes his life to helping others find their path to recovery, healing and a life of meaning and purpose.

Dr. Kardaras is also the creator of Seahab, an intensive experiential form of nature immersion therapy. Based on the very successful evidence-based principles of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH), Seahab has proven to be very effective as an intensive intervention to help addicts shift out of self-destructive and toxic lifestyle patterns.

Dr. Kardaras has also, admittedly, lived a colorful life: he’s a former AAU National Karate champion, a recovering NYC nightclub owner and a coma survivor. Having once owned high-profile NY nightclubs where he had mingled with the likes of JFK, Jr., Uma Thurman and Tom Cruise, Dr. Kardaras emerged from that glamorous-yet-self-destructive world and discovered a healing path to his own recovery from addiction. 

He lives with his wife and twin sons between Austin, TX and Sag Harbor NY and is a frequent presenter and lecturer on the subjects of mental health, philosophy, and both substance and screen addictions.

Michael Smeltzer

Executive Director

Michael Smeltzer was born and raised in Austin, Texas. As a teenager, Michael was introduced to drugs and alcohol, and began drinking and using regularly. He noticed early on that his reaction to substances was abnormal. He was constantly thinking of the next high. Like so many addicts, he began to isolate, his relationships were strained, he resorted to crime, and his self-esteem plummeted. While studying business at Texas State University, his addiction reached the point of unmanageability.

For years, Michael was in and out jails and institutions. He tried programs, treatments, counselors, and medications, but to no avail. He was forced to drop out of school, he could not keep a job, and his family and friends began to lose hope. He felt hopeless and helpless until he was finally able to give himself completely to a simple program of action. Today, Michael has regained the trust of his family, is a productive member of society, and has taken an interest in spiritual philosophy.

At Omega, Michael uses his experience to encourage and inspire the next generation of recovering addicts and alcoholics. He considers it an honor and a privilege to pass along the essential tools, strategies, and attitudes that shaped his own journey in recovery.

Sarah White

Clinical Director, Licensed Master Social Worker

Sarah spent two years working in acute psychiatric hospitals and has extensive experience in assessing and treating severe mental illness. She has led a team of therapists as the Clinical director in an acute psychiatric hospital and worked to coordinate services, care, and interventions in accordance with state regulations and best practices.

Sarah White is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She graduated from the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social work with a specialization in clinical social work with academic honors as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She was a Globe Youth Fellow and specialized in work with young adults, adolescents, and children. While participating in the Globe Youth Fellowship she was trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Brief Targeted Interventions. She began her career working with mothers suffering from addiction who were involved with child protective services at the Council on Recovery in Houston.

As the Clinical Director at Omega, she is using her extensive knowledge of addiction and mental health to lead our clinicians in offering exceptional evidence-based services. She coordinates with the entire Omega and Bridgeway team to provide clients with a unique experience, unlike other programs. Sarah is a lifelong learner who is motivated to continue to update the programs at Omega to reflect the most up to date evidence-based treatments while keeping sight of the client experience.

Madison Hamm

Clinical Coordinator, LMSW

Madison enjoys using an integrative and collaborative approach with each client in order to approach their treatment with creativity and individuality. Madison uses a strengths-based perspective in order to incorporate Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy along with other modalities including Motivational Interviewing to provide tailored treatment to each client.

Madison is a Licensed Master of Social Work with a focus on mental health and accessibility to health care. Her background in children’s mental health and family work inspired her to continue her career in adult mental health. After working with children and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder, she wanted to expand her knowledge of family dynamics and mental health into adult mental health care and addiction.

Chandlar Coskrey

Therapist, LMSW

Gabrielle Konyak

Therapist, LMSW

Wesley Kerce

Operations Director

Wesley loves helping those who come to Omega with finding the joy in life and watching them carry on while implementing healthier strategies into their daily lives.

Wesley was born and raised in Jackson Mississippi. He grew up alongside his two loving older sisters making him the youngest. In his adolescence, Wesley was profoundly dedicated and hard working. In the years leading up to high school he became an Eagle Scout and was committed to his love of playing sports. Although determined, he experienced several highs and lows throughout his high school and college careers. Wesley soon realized he had the same drive for partying as he did playing sports, which was a recipe for disaster.

Wesley began using daily and barely scraping by in college. Although he received his degree in Psychology, it was not the easiest journey. He received two DUI’s, flipped his vehicle into a ditch, and was arrested more than once. He was unreliable, couldn’t keep relationships, and lost himself as he rapidly reached the depths of his addiction. With the help of his family and an interventionist Wesley realized he could no longer continue living the way he was and decided to seek treatment in Austin, Texas.

After completing treatment, Wesley felt his quality of life had improved, but something was missing. It wasn’t until Wesley discovered his passion for helping others by sharing his experience, strength, and hope that he felt complete. Helping others see the light at the end of the tunnel throughout the journey of recovery has given Wesley purpose and helps keep him sober. Wesley truly feels that through helping others we can ultimately help ourselves and that is the true beauty behind recovery.

Shea Gilchrist

Office Manager/ Human Resources/ Compliance Office

Shea grew up in rural East Texas with her three sisters, brother, mother, and father. She was a straight A student, played team volleyball and basketball at school, and then went on to study English Literature at University of Texas at Tyler, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 2007. A year later, Shea moved to Japan and taught English as a Second language for a year and a half, and then backpacked parts of Asia for almost a year, returning to the states in 2011.

Shea always had a fondness for alcohol, and it also got her into a lot of trouble. Though things weren’t bad yet, alcohol definitely wasn’t adding any ease to her life. She jumped jobs and tried relocating, thinking those were the problems that was causing the dissatisfaction she was feeling.

Eventually, her alcohol use got the better of her, having mishaps causing hospital visits, a car wreck, two DWI’s, and in time, the loss of her job.

She attended her second treatment program, sober date 4/10/2018, completed successfully, and moved to Austin into a sober living home associated with Omega Recovery. Some months later, she was asked to manage the sober house and she also found a position as an Administrative Assistant at a furniture manufacturing company. Wanting to be a part of something bigger and aid in helping others, she joined the Omega team as Office Manager in 2019. Today, she wears many hats at Omega as Office Manager, Human Resources, and Compliance Officer.

Gabriella Jeffords

Admissions Director

Gabi has worked in the recovery field since 2012. She was previously the Assistant Director of sober living at Hickory Wind Ranch and has a strong background in addiction and eating disorders. Gabi has a bachelor’s in English from Colorado College and graduate-level coursework in counseling at St. Edward’s University. Originally from New York but a Texan transplant for almost 20 years, she brings her heart, intelligence and passion to ensure individualized care for every Omega Recovery client.

Jina Arandela

Insurance Specialist

After overcoming years of suffering from addiction, I found a spiritual path to healing that introduced me to a life full of heart and meaning through helping others. I decided to go back to school for insurance billing and coding, graduating with the highest distinction, and have found work I’m truly passionate about. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to bring my experience and knowledge of the insurance industry to Omega Recovery, helping clients to utilize their insurance benefits as much as possible in support of their healing process.

Mavrick Cruze

Admissions Specialist

Jordan Rico

Case Manager

Makenzie Sartain

Admissions Specialist

Alex Smith

Lead Recovery Specialist

Gene Kuntz II | LAc | LMT

Licensed Acupuncturist |Wellness Coach

Gene Kuntz has been in the wellness industry for 12 years. He is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, licensed massage therapist, and meditation, tai chi and qi gong instructor.

Gene pursued his Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with a focus in Medical Qi gong. Early in his TCM practice, Gene worked along side practitioners at Seton McCarthy’s Community Center to develop “living well with pain” and “living well with stress.” It was there that he began to see the astounding benefits that meditation practices and acupuncture can have on one’s well-being. Through group participation in Qi gong and NADA protocol, also known as auricular acupuncture, patients who were completely desperate and hopeless due to their chronic pain were astonished and empowered when they found themselves pain free using these practices.

Gene now uses acupuncture and his experience in meditation to assist Omega clients to achieve their health and recovery goals.

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