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Our Staff

nathan_newNathan Cermelj, BBA

Owner/Program Director

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.

jasmine_newJasmine 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.

lynnLynn Avigo

Clinical Supervisor

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.

scott_newScott Davis, M.D.

Medical Director

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 completing an Addiction Medicine Fellowship at Loma Linda University in Southern California. He then continued as Inpatient Medical Director for over six years at the world renowned Betty Ford Center in California. Dr. Davis successfully started one of the first inpatient Suboxone detoxification programs at the Betty Ford Center. When he relocated to Maine in 2010 he served as the Addiction Medicine Director for Penobscot Community Healthcare in Bangor, Maine. He has extensive experience in opioid detoxification and medication assisted treatment with both methadone and Suboxone. Over the years, Dr. Davis has continued to provide treatment to patients with co-occurring chronic medical and psychiatric disorders. Dr. Davis resides in South Portland and travels to Virginia to visit family whenever possible.

ron-smith_newRon Smith

Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor (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.

chloe-arreola_newChloe Swerdlow

Admissions Coordinator/Marketing, CRMA

Originally from Seattle, Chloe relocated to New England to attend a women’s substance abuse retreat after years of battling drug addiction. Several years of chronic relapse followed, and only after hitting a series of devastating consequences was she able to surrender to the process of recovery, and weave the 12-steps into all areas of her life. Progressively, the quality of her life improved, and today the gifts of sobriety are abounding.

Acceptance around changing careers from the restaurant industry, that fueled her addiction for years allowed her to discover a new passion. She began working for The Milestone Foundation, both in the men’s wet shelter and the H.O.M.E Team, where she provided outreach and resources for Portland’s homeless population. In January 2016 she decided to make the move to Liberty Bay, where residents are actively and desperately trying to get sober.

Her compassion for others and passion for sobriety helps her to connect, engage and assist clients in taking the first step to achieving a life in sobriety through the admissions and referral process.

brittany_newBrittany Cole

Administrative Assistant

Brittany grew up in Bethel, Maine and relocated to Portland three years ago. She has various experience in professional office administration and is excited to be a part of the Liberty Bay team. Brittany holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, and plans to continue her education in business. After observing many people close to her struggle with addiction, she recognizes the growing demand for rehabilitation in Maine, and has a passion to help others successfully meet their goals of sobriety. In her free time, Brittany enjoys playing disc golf, being on the water, and spending time with family back home.

tommy_newTommy MacElhaney

Primary Therapist, CADC

Tommy was born and raised in Massachusetts. He began using drugs and alcohol in high school. In college, he began using Oxycontin and Cocaine heavily. Shortly after graduating from St. Michael’s with a BA in Sociology, he was enrolled in his first Suboxone program and residential treatment center.

From 2006-2012 Tommy ended up in various treatments including; psych and drug institutions, suboxone and vivitrol clinics, 12-step programs, and 12-step retreats. He eventually got sober in 2012 and brings his own experiences in treatment and in recovery to Liberty Bay.

He began working in the mental health field in 2013 and has worked in several residential programs in the community. He used his experience to achieve a Certification in Alcohol and Drug Counseling. Through his own 12-step work and AA fellowship, he has discovered his passion for connecting with others and offering them the solution they desperately need to their addiction problems.

nic_newNic Pfenning

Primary Therapist, CADC

Nic was born and raised in Massachusetts, and moved to Portland, Maine over six years ago. When Nic was 16 years old, he started to experiment with different substances like prescription pills and cocaine. Shortly after, Nic was significantly addicted to Oxycontin and cocaine. The next few years of Nic’s life consisted of constant substance abuse, interventions, attempts at different types of treatment, and a lot of pain. On July 28th, 2010 Nic was separated from drugs and alcohol for the last time and has been sober now for over 6 years. Engaging in 12 step fellowship and community has lead Nic to a life of purpose and freedom. Throughout sobriety, Nic has gained five years of experience working in the substance abuse field from starting out as an in-house peer leader, to becoming the director of a well-known program in the Portland area. Nic also has experience in the mental health field working at an agency for adults with several mental illnesses in the Portland area. After working in the field long enough, Nic decided he wanted to gain an educational background in substance abuse and become a counselor. Last year Nic graduated from a local school in south Portland called Inter-coast, and shortly after obtained his CADC. The problem of addiction/alcoholism is only growing in our communities and Nic’s goal is to play a significant role in the intervention and prevention of that problem.

lori-perkins-account-manager
Lori Perkins

Account Manager

bridget-semler-treatment-care-coordinator
Bridget Semler

Treatment Care Coordinator

cameron-gibson-crma
Cameron Gibson

CRMA

Cameron was born and raised in Puyallup, Washington, He had a normal upbringing with loving and caring parents. During his senior year in high school he began experiment with drugs. He eventually started using pharmaceuticals, heroin and methamphetamine as his addiction progressed. In 2014 Cameron entered his first drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.

Over the years Cameron was in and out of treatment centers in Washington state. He tried countless times to get sober but continued to fall short. His last stint of drug abuse he had called various treatment centers desperate for help. He was eventually turned to Liberty Bay Recovery Centers. Nathan Cermelj helped him with expenses and covered his insurance costs as well as flew him out to Portland Maine to begin a new way of life. Cameron attended Liberty Bay for 90 days of treatment followed by 90 days of aftercare treatment and has been clean and serene since July 13 2015. He has since become an employee of Liberty Bay Recovery Centers as a grateful House Manager and CRMA and couldn’t be more amazed by the life he is able to live today.

bryan-rosa-crma
Bryan Rosa

CRMA