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Our Team

Tommy Hathorn


Team at Boardwalk

Tommy wants to guide those struggling with addiction toward the life he believes they were meant to live. He does this by creating first-rate treatment programs for individuals that others have deemed hopeless. The quality of the recovery program is paramount; Tommy will not settle for second best. The programs he envisions always have the long-term success of the client as the first priority. He achieves the success of the program by continually raising the bar of excellence. With years of experience as an Executive Director, Tommy has broadened his scope of work to include involvement in program licensing, credentialing and fundraising. There is no end goal for Tommy, his passion and desire to provide quality treatment options is a lifetime commitment.

Anna Lyons, LMFT, LPCC

Clinical Director

Anna has a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, specializing in Professional Clinical Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy from National University. She has experience working with individuals in recovery and as a crisis intervention counselor with survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence and their perpetrators. She also worked with individuals transitioning from the prison system to sober living homes. Anna has been a clinician at Boardwalk since October 2019 and is dedicated to helping individuals reach their full potential while living a healthy and sober life. Her passion, commitment  and respected leadership has led her to the role of Clinical Director at Boardwalk. As the Clinical Director, her goal is to foster community and growth among men in early recovery and beyond. She values connection, authenticity, and loyalty and encourages others to utilize their values to live a meaningful life.

JJ Wood

Director of Operations

JJ is a San Diego native and has been a member of the San Diego recovery community since 2014. JJ has been working in operations since 2015 and is in his element creating a safe place for guys to get sober and participating closely in each individuals journey. JJ has helped countless men and has an unparalleled passion for his job, his recovery and his faith.

Chantal Lessard

Business Development

Team at Boardwalk Recovery Center

Chantal has an unmatched compassion for people in early recovery. Being surrounded by a supportive community when she struggled taught Chantal what it takes to get through what is often a very uncomfortable experience. She loves being a part of someone’s decision to get sober and remains deeply invested in their journey through treatment and beyond. Chantal has served in a variety of positions until discovering what she is truly gifted at; Business Development. She is still extremely active in her own recovery and passionately carries the message of hope.

Ryan Roberts

Community Outreach Coordinator

Ryan is not only a long time member of the Pacific Beach recovery community but also a Boardwalk alumni himself. Ryan struggled with addiction for over 10 years and experienced many failed attempts to get sober. After attending Boardwalk Recovery in 2019 and completely surrendering his power, he has been able to finally maintain lasting sobriety. Because of his own struggles, Ryan’s passion lies in helping other men experience what he feels so fortunate in experiencing himself. He believes in recovery, community and his Boardwalk family! He will likely be your first point of contact if you make the call and he will be excited to help you become a part of our community.

Jack Gallagher, LCSW


Jack believes that healing is a collaborative process that requires empathy and caring without judgment. He assists clients in identifying their treatment goals. Rather than adopting one methodology for all individuals and issues, Jack integrates various modalities to create an individualized approach for each client and situation.

Jack’s journey of helping others began when he enrolled at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. As an intern and a counselor, he worked in residential treatment centers specializing in treating substance use disorders. After moving to California in 2013, he continued his education. He earned a degree as a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and a Master of Social Work at California State University in Long Beach. Jack is currently a credentialed Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW), Certified Domestic Violence Counselor Advocate, and Substance Use Disorder Counselor (UMass; Boston, MA).

Jack’s internship experience included working for the LGBTQ Center in Long Beach and Telecare in La Casa at a psychiatric hold facility for severe mental illness. As a therapist, he is warm, open, encouraging, and direct. He considers himself an active therapist, combining life experience, education, creativity, and humor with a grounded and realistic approach to counseling. Jack has been an engaged and compassionate ally for the LGBTQ+ community throughout his life. Jack is committed to helping individuals overcome substance addiction, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and overwhelming life stressors.

Brian Hodgson, AMFT


Brian is an associate marriage and family therapist (AMFT) with expertise in assessing and treating substance addiction, marital and family conflict, mood, thought, behavior, and personality disorders. He has extensive experience working with culturally diverse adult populations utilizing evidence-based practices within a multi-disciplinary team of mental health service providers. Brian has worked at all levels of care for the treatment of severe substance addictions and mental health problems that include residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient care. His treatment approach is highly compassionate, culturally sensitive, and strengths-based. He utilizes evidenced-based treatments that include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), EMDR for Trauma Recovery, and Family Systems. Brian promotes personal transformations in recovery for living a values-based, enriched, and meaningful life.

Eileen Castro, AMFT


Eileen is an associate marriage and family therapist (AMFT) with a Master’s in Clinical Counseling from Point Loma Nazarene University. Her diverse background includes working with at-risk youth, individuals facing addiction and mental health challenges, and those in acute psychiatric settings. She completed her clinical practicum at API -an adult acute psychiatric inpatient facility – where she was then hired as the Lead Addictive Disorders Counselor and supported clients navigating detox and developing tools for recovery and relapse prevention. Eileen employs an experiential humanistic framework to guide clients through addiction, mental health, and daily stressors. She emphasizes creating a safe space and challenging clients to connect with all aspects of themselves. Eileen is trained as a SMART Recovery Facilitator and EMDR Trained. Other various modalities include but are not limited to Internal Family Systems, Mindfulness-Based Self-Compassion, Attachment Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). She believes in each person’s potential for individual and collective growth, emphasizing accountability, acceptance, and tolerance of the unknown for a meaningful value-led life.

Vera Khalitova, AMFT


Vera is an AMFT who’s been an active part of the recovery community since 2017. In her work with clients she draws from personal experience healing from addiction and mental illness, as well as evidence based practices including EMDR, mindfulness, family systems, and attachment based therapies to facilitate healing and transformation. She has experience as a case manager and substance abuse counselor working with criminal justice involved populations, and is able to meet people where they’re at in the process of change and unique life circumstances and backgrounds. She wholeheartedly believes that recovery is about becoming the person you were meant to be, and feels honored to be a catalyst in this process for individuals in treatment. In her free time, Vera enjoys spending time with her pets, long distance running, yoga, reading, and the beach. She personally aims to embody everything that recovery has to offer and hopes to offer inspiration, guidance, and support to anyone seeking a new way of life.

Aaron Burns


Aaron believes strongly in the holistic transformation of mind, body, and soul, emphasizing finding a true passion for life. Since 2015, Aaron has provided counseling services for substance use disorders. Aaron graduated from the Alcohol and Other Drug Services program at San Diego City College and has a background in cognitive-behavioral therapy, family dynamics, and 12 Step counseling.

Aaron struggled with addiction for over 20 years. Since getting sober in 2015, he has dedicated his life to helping others find freedom from the bondage of addiction. Aaron’s strengths come from his ability to identify with the hardships of addiction and show clients that life is possible if they are willing to do the work to achieve it. To further help those suffering from addiction, Aaron co-owns and oversees daily operations at California Coastal Sober Living. He is a consistent figure of guidance and support for his residents. Aaron is attentive, conscientious, and committed to building a foundation on which others can build a life of sobriety. Restoration of self, family, and discovering purpose in life are instrumental in Aaron’s path of transformation, and he strives daily to help others light their own path.

Marissa Atkins


Marissa offers a wide range of experience working in many different therapeutic settings within the recovery field. Marissa received her bachelors in Psychology with a minor in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh and has worked in the substance abuse treatment field for over 8 years with both civilians and veterans. Marissa worked as an art teacher for 2 years and loves incorporating any form of art or creativity into her work as a counselor. Marissa works primarily with a strengths-based and solution-focused perspective to help address negative self-talk, listlessness, and to build resiliency. She specializes in using an evidence-based approach, motivational interviewing, and both eastern and western philosophical theory to help clients improve their sense of self, establish purpose, and work towards maintaining sobriety. Marissa values the therapeutic relationship and strives to create a warm and comfortable environment for discussing the ups and downs of life. Marissa has experienced a wide variety of people and cultures; as a result, she encompasses a view of the human experience that accounts for both our evolved psychological mechanisms as well as our abstract and sometimes ambiguous spirituality. Marissa helps clients incorporate balance, resiliency, and self-identity into their recovery and their lifestyle to improve their overall quality of life.

Claire Mathena


Claire is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CCAPP). She received her Bachelor’s of Science: Health and Wellness from Rasmussen College and is currently completing the AODS program at SD City College. Claire is a Certified Personal Trainer (NFPT), as well.

With her background in fitness, Claire believes strongly in holistic transformation of mind, body, and soul. Claire struggled with addiction and identity for over 10 years and has been sober since 2019. She is part of the LGBTQ+ community and her strengths come from being able to identify with the battle of addiction and show clients that life is possible with acceptance and putting in hard work to achieve it.
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