As our Director of Strategic Development, Hunter’s primary goal is to create innovative ways to assist individuals and their families to access appropriate methods of treatment. With a decade of experience, he has held roles such as National Director of Business Development, VP of Marketing, and Director of Community Outreach. Hunter’s creativity and experience are pivotal in optimizing our admission processes, data management, alumni coordination, and community outreach programming.
He prides himself in being involved in numerous community coalitions, advocacy projects, and supporting at-risk teens. Hunter has emersed his heart and soul into ending the stigma behind mental health and substance abuse and supports creative ways to help the still sick and suffering addict and
their families daily.
Sue’s behavioral healthcare career began at First Step in 2012. Her experience is diverse as she has worked in many different facets ranging from Outreach to building start-up programs & more. She enjoys working closely with the community & state officials. After working for other providers in the course of her career, Sue chose to come back to First Step as she trusts in the vision and is passionate about 1st Step’s therapeutic model of care. Sue believes in holistic care & healing the whole person. She also believes in making sure that each person she connects with is placed in the appropriate facility so they have a chance at success. In her spare time, Sue likes to spend time with family & friends. She is a big fan of traveling and learning about different cultures.
Heather Schmauk has been working in the field of addictions and co-occurring disorders since 2013. As a person affected by loved one’s addiction, Heather likes to spread awareness showing how a person’s addiction can affect the people around them. On the weekends, you can find Heather spending time outside with her family, children, and dog.
Brittany has been working in the field of addiction and mental health since 2012. Brittany holds a master’s degree in social work and has experience with chemical dependency and oc-occurring mental health diagnoses. She is experienced with various therapeutic techniques, including CBT, DBT, motivational interviewing, and experiential therapy that she individualizes for her clientele. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery. Brittany’s role as the Assistant Clinical Director has allowed her to integrate the philosophies of 1st Step into her daily practice and continue to grow both professionally and personally. She enjoys practicing yoga and spending time with two of 1st Step’s furry mascots, her dogs Maya and Cairo.
Naz Andekian joined 1st Step in 2014 as Director of Program Development. After working 4 years as director of admissions in steps to recovery, Naz brought his expertise and knowledge to First Step Behavioral Health. Naz was a client in 2010 and says he knew this place had the ability to save and change many lives.
“I am grateful to have been given this opportunity to work for the very place that saved my life, and now work with humility as part of a team that helps others to save their own on a daily basis.” Naz is convinced that he works for the best treatment center in the nation, and is proud to be part of such a caring team of individuals who always put the needs of our clients first.
Gus Crocco is the owner and founder of 1st Step Behavioral Health. He has over 25 years of direct clinical experience in the substance abuse and mental health fields. Gus has worked with diverse populations including prisoners in department of corrections, adolescents, and those met through school social work and his work at various psychiatric facilities. He also worked as an adjunct professor teaching group therapy to college students. He has extensive training in Jungian Psychology, Rational Emotive, behavioral modification and Gestalt therapies. He is versed in experiential therapy, drama therapy and performs family sculpting and role reintegration with recovering families. A number of Gus’s specializations include obsessive-compulsive disorders, eating disorders, acute and general anxiety disorders, bipolar and clinical depressions.