Nathan Cermelj, BBA
Nathan was born and raised in Arizona. After a fairly worry-free childhood, Nathan found himself trying drugs and alcohol in his mid-teens. After graduating high school, Nathan’s drug and alcohol use spiraled out of control landing him in jail, drug treatment programs and eventually ended up being homeless. Years of continued drug abuse would continue to push him down further until there was literally nothing left.
In 2005, Nathan had come to the end of himself and finally hit rock bottom. He moved to Prescott, Arizona where he started his journey to recovery. He started to immerse himself in the 12 step fellowship, hoping to repair the damage of his past and grow into the person he wanted to be.
Since September 15, 2005, Nathan has been in recovery and life has continued to get better every step of his way. In recovery, Nathan met his now wife Jasmine, earned both his Associates degree and Bachelor’s degree, bought a home and most recently welcomed his son, Remington, into the world.
Nathan has been in the recovery treatment field for the last 4 years. He has worked as a group therapist, client advocate specialist, admissions director and program manager. Nathan’s personal success in recovery gives him the ability to empathize with those entering the Liberty Bay Recovery Center program. His understanding of the disease and where it can take you gives him the ability to help those trying to break the cycle of substance abuse and show them that there is a different way to live and it can be attained by anyone who works for it.
Briana was born and raised in New Hampshire. She spent some time traveling cross-country and lived in the Bay area of California for a few months, before becoming a Maine resident in early 2017. Briana spent 9+ years working in the restaurant industry and went to college for Restaurant Management. A few years later, she decided the restaurant life wasn’t for her and desired a job that would make a bigger impact. In September of 2017, Briana took on the job as Administrative Lead at Liberty Bay. She is very grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing team who is truly dedicated to helping others.
Kate was born in South Carolina and moved back and forth between Massachusetts and New Hampshire in her teen years before attending college in Vermont. After college she returned to NH and became a LNA in a behavioral unit. She moved to Portland, Maine in 2016 working for a durable medical equipment company but shortly realized she missed the face to face interaction of helping people. She’s extremely grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful individuals every day since joining the Liberty Bay team.
Leslie was born and raised in Massachusetts. Throughout her adolescent years she always felt she had to be better, and do better than her peers. This type of behavior, both positively and negatively followed her into her early 20’s. She attended Mitchell College in New London, CT where she was very successful in a decorated soccer career. Unfortunately, this is when Leslie found herself experimenting with drugs to try to fit in. Prescription pain pills and Heroin took over her life in 2010. She was unable to finish college and thus started her countless trips to detox, rehabs, IOP’s, suboxone maintenance clinics, vivitrol shots, broken relationships, depression, and thoughts of suicide. In 2014 Leslie was broken and tired. She was given an opportunity to move to Portland, ME where she dove into the steps and broke away from her selfish behaviors. Leslie has been able to maintain her sobriety since January 28th, 2014. She continues to work a program in the 12 Steps of AA, keeping her sobriety as her first priority. She is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Liberty Bay team, where she gets to work with individuals on a daily basis who come in just as broken and desperate as she once was, and leave Liberty Bay with a new-found outlook on life.
Adam was born and raised in the beautiful state of Maine. After struggling for years and multiple failed attempts at sobriety Adam decided to surrender to a program and follow suggestions. A fresh start was exactly what was needed and now Adam is back in Maine and being of service to those in his community who are struggling. Adam is one of the Admissions Coordinators here at Liberty Bay and enjoys being able to help those still struggling discover that recovery is possible.
Kate was adopted and raised in Southern Maine. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she always had a need to prove herself to her family and peers. She was successful, attended a well-known boarding school in Massachusetts and continued her education at a private university in Rhode Island.
She excelled in school, won numerous awards and recognition, but the feeling of not being good enough plagued her. This feeling, along with a traumatic experience in college, caused her to seek comfort in alcohol. With the help of a family member in recovery, Kate was led to a rehabilitation center in Portland and eventually a sober house. She continues to actively work the 12 Steps of AA and enjoys working with women in recovery. Kate is incredibly grateful to be working at Liberty Bay to assist helping those in early recovery discover a new way of life.
Scott Davis, M.D.
Dr. Davis is an Internist and American Board of Addiction Medicine Specialist. He is also recognized as an Addiction Medicine Fellow by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. For over 20 years, Dr. Davis has treated patients with substance abuse and addiction in all phases of treatment. He completed his medical school training at Boston University in 1991 and then went onto completing internal medicine residency in 1994. Dr. Davis practiced Internal Medicine for 12 years prior to working at Liberty Bay Recovery.
Jasmine Cermelj, RN
Owner/Director of Administrative Operations
Jasmine was born and raised right here in the beautiful state of Maine. A champion state swimmer, a good student and a hard working young woman, Jasmine decided to pick up her first drink in her late teens. After going off to college to pursue her educational pursuits, she had to drop out as her drinking and eating disorders were putting her into emotional distress and daily physical torture.
At the young age of 20, Jasmine began her own journey to recovery by entering a 90-Day program for men and women just like herself. Jasmine dug her heels into the program and started to reap the rewards as she got a job, went back to school and started to make a life for herself. January 4, 2005 was Jasmine’s last drink and since then she has become a registered nurse, bought a home, got married in her home state and most recently had her first child, Remington Bennett Cermelj.
Jasmine started her road to recovery as a restaurant server in a small cafe and in her early years of recovery, worked her way up to Utilization Review Department Manager where she managed dozens of peers and advocated for clients entering into treatment programs across the country. Having her own personal daily recovery program, Jasmine has a great advantage to help young women entering our program discover that they are worthy of a great life too. Jasmine is dedicated to ethical client care and is thrilled to be a part of the recovery process of men and women entering Liberty Bay.
RN, Director of Nursing
Pat was born and raised in New Jersey and moved to Maine in her teens. She married and had 6 children and 10 grandchildren. She went back to school after dropping out in the 9th grade and received her GED and later went into the Nursing program at UMA for her associate degree in 1994. In 2008, through a nursing agency she worked at another detox facility and was promoted to a nurse manager for several years and eventually went into corrections. In 2016, she graduated with her BSN. She is glad to be able to help people more in recovery and is happy to be here.
Mike was born and raised locally in Biddeford, Maine. Mike struggled in his younger years to fit in and experienced a rough childhood growing up with separated parents who suffered from alcoholism. He later found himself “hanging with the wrong crowd” and began experimenting with alcohol, marijuana and pills at the age of 15. Mike struggled to balance two personalities: one in which he hid his drug use from family and close friends, but later came out on top. He didn’t want to follow in his parents’ footsteps. Mike dropped out of High School his senior year to seek full time employment in an effort to help support his family. He completed High School in Adult Education and received his Diploma two years later. He later went on to follow in his younger brother’s footsteps and enlisted in the Army as a Combat Medic. During his enlistment he completed a nursing program before returning home to Maine. He developed a passion for healthcare and his local communities. Mike spent a few years working as a nurse in corrections. Mike is currently a volunteer firefighter, works per-diem as a Paramedic and is a full time LPN here at Liberty Bay.
Deborah was born and raised in South Portland, Maine. She started working as a CNA after high school for 10 years before becoming a nurse in 2010. She is happily married with 2 daughters, Emma and Lillian. She enjoys working at Liberty Bay and being part of the team with a caring group of nurses and staff who are here to make sure the clients are served with dignity and respect throughout their treatment.
Julie was raised right here in Maine and after attending college in Boston she returned to the state to work and raise her son. She has over 25 years of customer-facing experience and has worked as an Interior Designer, Project Manager, Customer Service Specialist and Technical Support Specialist in veterinary medicine. After having her son 16 years ago she became a Licensed Massage therapist and then a nurse. She has over 5 years of experience in detox nursing and has seen hundreds of patients through the process. She has a passion for this specialty and works hard to remove the stigma surrounding the disease of addiction. She is committed to helping people heal and move forward in life.
Mulki was born in Somali and raised in Auburn, Maine. She graduated from Edward Little High School and became a resident technician in 2016. She loves being able to help people while being open to learning new things every day about recovery.
Charlotte was born in England and moved to the United States when she was 5 years old to Iowa. She spent most of her childhood there and then moved to Minnesota when she was in her teens. A few months ago, she moved to Maine and started working at Liberty Bay as a CRMA. She decided to go to the recovery field because she wants to make a difference in people’s lives and create a positive impact.
Beatrice was born and raised in Congo Brazzaville. Before becoming a Maine resident in 2011 I worked for Bureau Veritas Congo as an Executive Assistant, a leading provider of testing and inspection services for all markets within the oil gas and chemicals industry.
I attended College in Congo and earned a degree in Accounting and Management. I’m fortunate Since 2015, I have been working in rehab, long term facilities, group homes and decided to work in a field that I enjoy and where I feel I’m doing something significant and valuable. I have been fortunate enough to work alongside in the healthcare field with nursing facilities and rehab centers. I long to know that I’m making a difference, bring pleasures to the lives of the people I serve with love and compassion. I’m grateful to be a part of this great organization as a life changing staff.
Erin was born and raised in Maine and has lived most of her life in the greater Portland area. She earned her Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of New England in 2000, and she is licensed as an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and a CCS (Certified Clinical Supervisor). She has worked as a case manager, a therapist, an admissions director and as a clinical supervisor in her career. She has had the honor of witnessing many people in both her personal and professional life struggle with mental health and substance abuse issues and overcome incredible adversity. She believes that recovery and wellness are within reach for everyone, and that it is important to address a person’s whole life in order to help them make meaningful, sustainable change.
Clinical Director and LADC
Lynn has worked as an addiction counselor and case manager for 22 years in Maine, and in Alaska. As the Clinical Team Leader at Milestone Foundation, Inc. in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, she has developed and implemented a 16-bed long-term residential Therapeutic Community for adult males characterized as late to final stage alcoholics/addict. In 2001 she was the recipient of the State of Alaska Counselor of the Year Award for her founding management of in-house substance abuse programs for men and women in a jail and medium security prison in Kenai and a maximum security prison in Seward. Bolstered by her years of experience, and a strong team of treatment professionals willing to take the leap with her, Lynn’s decision to take advantage of an opportunity to create a therapeutic community in the Cumberland County Jail demonstrated her abiding passion for bringing about real, practical results in people’s lives. Lynn is committed to providing men and women who are searching for recovery the tools needed to do so in a compassionate, balanced approach.
Clinical Therapist and LADC
Ron is credentialed as an LADC (Licensed Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counselor). Ron has an extensive 20 year history as a counselor treating individuals with addiction/behavioral related issues. Ron is passionate about the work he does with individuals and has acquired not only counseling experience as a professional but has also established a personal philosophy for “being of service” to the clients he serves. Ron has worked extensively in residential treatment, outpatient as well as in the prison system and Department of Corrections with a number of addiction related modalities. His personal passion lies in interpersonal and high intensity group work in the Therapeutic Community. Ron is also a licensed cosmetologist and is employed part-time barbering at a county jail. He has been a sound technician for over 35 years and continues to be active in this area.
Clinical Therapist, CADC
Jeremy was born and raised in Upstate New York. Both an energetic and a solitary person, Jeremy worked hard at keeping his mind busy. When he started college he realized escaping through technology, drugs, and alcohol was easier than facing uncomfortable stress and emotions. When he was referred to a counselor, Jeremy discovered there was a harder, but healthier way to cope with life’s challenges. It was through this work that he learned the value of therapy and discovered a passion for helping others in the same way.
Jeremy started his career working with adults at an inpatient crisis program in Burlington, Vermont. He later graduated from the University of Vermont in 2016 with a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. During that time, he worked as an Addictions Counselor in Montpelier, VT, serving in schools, as well as the state corrections system. Since moving to Maine, he has worked in Public Health, addressing the systems that contribute to substance use in the community. He believes that bearing witness to recovery is an enormous privilege; one that should be honored. Jeremy is dedicated to sharing this passion with every client he meets.
Mark is a graduate of Springfield College, School of Human Services where he received a bachelor’s degree in Addiction Studies, and a master’s degree in Organizational Management and leadership. Mark has 25 years of experience working in social services where he has worked for many local nonprofits on issues such as: homelessness and housing, employment counseling, working with the blind and visually impaired, developmental disabilities, HIV counseling and public health initiatives, as well as an alcohol and drug counselor with Mercy Hospital Recovery Center.
Mark join the Liberty Bay team in September of 2018. He was drawn to Liberty Bay by the love and caring he sees our clients receiving and the change that occurs in treatment. He considers it a privilege to be part of the solution when people decide to get clean and sober.
Mark is an active member of the recovering community. He and his partner live in South Portland, ME He is the father of three children, two sons and a daughter. But most importantly, he loves being sober and living one day at a time, “without sobriety, nothing else would really matter very much”.
After 15 years of being away from her home state Lara finally decided that it was time to come home to Maine. During her time away from Maine Lara traveled the world and earned her BA in International Studies at UCSD. After graduation Lara was hired by Church World Services to work alongside the United Nations and USCIS where she spent three years in Africa as a Humanitarian Aid Worker specializing in refugee crisis and assisting victims of torture, trauma and persecution. Lara is driven by her passion for working with at risk and underserved populations worldwide. After 3 years in Africa Lara moved to Los Angeles where she studied yoga and completed her 500-hour teacher training certification. Lara continued her work with refugees interning at IRC and working with a local Somali organization while running her own yoga studio in Santa Monica, California. Shortly after volunteering as a yoga teacher on skid row Lara got a job working as a full time Case Manager at Lamp Community helping the chronically homeless find and sustain housing. Throughout her work in Africa and the US Lara worked with populations of people struggling with addictions and suffering from trauma. Lara has combined her experience as a humanitarian with her work as a yoga and meditation teacher and offers classes that cater to each individual’s battle with addiction, depression, anxiety and trauma. Currently in school at UMASS medical Lara is studying to teach Jon Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction as a tool to help people in recovery. Working at Liberty Bay is truly a dream for Lara as she has the opportunity to offer recovery oriented yoga and meditation in both group and one on one classes catered to the specific needs of each individual.
Director of Recovery Support Staff
Theresa was born and raised in Portland, Maine she started using marijuana and alcohol in high school, which quickly escalated to opiates. After a number of serious consequences, which included losing custody of her two boys, Theresa found herself homeless with nothing left.
As her life spiraled out of control, friends and loved ones convinced her to enter an out of state 12-step program. Grudgingly she entered that program. Ultimately, she was able to admit to herself what so many already knew: her life had been out of control and she need to change. With a lot of hard work that included a few set-backs, she learned the power of working the steps, following suggestions of those who came before her and putting her faith in a power greater than herself.
Now, she readily admits she’s an addict and an alcoholic. She has a supportive community of sober people. And she is thrilled to have her life, and her children back. As part of the Support Staff at Liberty Bay, she feels blessed and happy to give back, to be able to share her experiences and offer hope to anyone who wants a new way of life.
Diamond had a lot of traumatic experiences growing up and when substances became available to mask those experiences, she took the opportunity. Diamond found alcohol at age nine. Not long after she discovered alcohol, she was breaking every boundary she had set for herself. After years of drinking and using, at 21 years old Diamond was arrested. She knows in her heart that had it not been for that day she would not be here today. While in jail Diamond pleaded with her lawyer to keep her there until they could place her in a rehab. After 18 long months, they were able to find a rehab. Diamond has been clean since September 2, 2011, and her life today is beautiful. She has a lovely family that is continuing to grow. She is in college and pursuing a rewarding career as a labor and delivery nurse.
Sam was born and raised in a small suburban town in Massachusetts. He has been a member of our Recovery Support Staff team for over a year and has a broad understanding of the disease of addiction and the modality of treatment we use here at Liberty Bay. He is proud to carry the message of hope to newcomers through his words and actions at Liberty Bay and throughout the Portland Recovery community.
Dave is originally from Laconia New Hampshire and recovering drug addict himself. Through bad choices and a horrible life style he spent most of his young life being high and making excuses for his lifestyle, he blamed depression and everyone other than myself. After 11 years of struggles and substance abuse by the grace of God and faith, he decided to join a recovery home. The program was nine months and he stayed for a year and graduated. Dave has felt that so many great opportunities and doors have been open to him, especially the opportunity of being a member the Liberty Bay family. He has been clean and sober for a year and eight months. “My heart is set in this kind of work environment; my passion is to see others overcome addiction. Addiction took years away from me, but it made me the man I am today, now I can relate to those who are suffering and hurting and be a positive role model.”
Kelby grew up right here in Portland. She had parents who were sober her whole life through Alcoholics Anonymous, and her drinking and drug use career was short lived by getting sober at just 18 years old after countless times of trying to stay clean of all substances. She is now 20 and loves to show that it doesn’t matter how young you are, you can live a better life in sobriety. “I have only been working at Liberty Bay for about 2 months now, but this is the best job I have ever had. I have never been excited to go to work and it makes all the difference!”
John was born and raised in Maine and attended local schools. He graduated from Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has been in the food industry for over 40 years. He has worked in restaurants, hotels, inns, manufacturing, corporate and healthcare. He has been in health care for over 17 years in which he enjoys the most in playing a crucial role in one’s recovery in proper nutrition and well-balanced meals.