Our Staff

Meet Some of the Staff that Make our Recovery Happen:

founders-bill-ann-schneider-223x300Ann and Bill Schneider
Co-Founders | Experienced Texas Addiction Treatment

Bill and Ann have been respected innovators in the alcohol and drug treatment field for over 20 years. Touched by family members and close friends who struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, they recognized that traditional treatment centers were often failing to address underlying emotional and childhood trauma issues that all too often led to relapse among clients.

In response to this unmet need, they founded The Life Healing Center of Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1994. Under their guidance, and with a strong commitment to providing quality care, it combined the latest in successful mental health therapies with traditional 12-Step spiritual support. Life Healing Center soon emerged as the leading residential trauma treatment facility in the country attracting hundreds of referrals from Hazelden, Betty Ford, Caron Foundation, Sierra Tucson and The Meadows as well as receiving referrals from all fifty states and fifteen foreign countries.

Bill and Ann sold their addiction treatment facility in 2004. Then, with help from their long time friends, the late Coach Darrell Royal and his wife Edith, they devoted much of the next several years to aiding a struggling Austin non-profit alcohol and drug treatment center. The Center was in danger of closing its doors with the resulting loss of free services that the poor and working families of Central Texas had relied upon since 1967. The Schneiders assisted in re-organizing the board of directors, rallied community support, and helped guide the agency to become one of the most successful community treatment facilities in Texas.

Now Bill and Ann are excited to re-enter the addiction recovery field. They bring their talents for innovation and program quality to an emerging new recovery model that can lead men to the full and fulfilling life in recovery they’ve been searching to find.


Peter Piraino, LMSW, LCDC
Executive Director

Born and raised in Long Island, NY, Peter received his master’s degree in social work from Stony Brook University. He is a licensed chemical dependency counselor in Texas as well as New York. Peter brings with him a vast amount of clinical and leadership experience in the drug and alcohol treatment field. From teaching class at Stony Brook University, to providing individual and group therapy for adolescent and adult treatment centers, to being the Clinical and Executive Director of a nationally renowned treatment center, Peter is the perfect fit for helping men recovery at The Last Resort Recovery Center.

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drweissLeonard Weiss, MD
Addiction Psychiatrist

Dr. Weiss provides specific services for the treatment of chemical dependency and addiction which includes: assessment, recommendations for detoxification and rehabilitation programs, and  provides ongoing support for medication management and psychotherapy.

In treating addictive disorders and dual diagnosis patients, it is necessary to ferret out the underlying reasons for the obsessional thinking behind the compulsive actions which may lead to negative consequences. He is doubly certified in the treatment of Addictive Disorders by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN).

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David Tejeda, , LPC, EMDR
Clinical Coordinator

David is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC), and certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). David received his Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Counseling from The University of Texas at Brownsville. David will be conducting individualized psychotherapy and clinical groups counseling for TLR residents.

Because of his own experience with recovery David is able to be fully present in his loving marriage and a job he loves. He continues to play music and exercise his creative side in a variety of ways. He has a deep meditation practice and is able to feel “tranquil and mindful amidst life’s changes.”

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Marshall D. Neal, MA, LCDC-I

Marshall was born in Bastrop, Texas, but has lived all over The Lone Star State and the Southwest United States.  He served 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and was a police officer for 5 years.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Florida Tech, a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and currently working on his doctorate of Psychology from the University of the Rockies.

Marshall has struggled with substance use and addiction for the entirety of his adult life, and currently maintains his sobriety by immersing himself in the 12-step community. Working for the local mental health care authority in Austin/Travis County for several years, Marshall provided psycho-social rehabilitation services to individuals diagnosed with both substance abuse disorders and other mental health disorders. He began his journey with The Last Resort as a Recovery Specialist until a clinical position opened in January 2017.  He enjoys daily meditations and spending time with his family to replenish his passion for working with individuals from every walk of life who are struggling with addiction.

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patrickl-260x300Patrick Lowe, LCDC
Primary Counselor

Patrick was born in Detroit, Michigan but came to Texas as fast as he could, settling into the piney woods of Bastrop, Texas at a young age. He graduated from Bastrop High School where he played football, baseball, and track and field. When the guys choose up sides on the TLR basketball court, Patrick usually gets chosen first!

Patrick served a tour in the United States Army before going on earn a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Phoenix and is presently working on his Master’s in Psychology. In recovery since 2007, he’s most proud of his daughter who’ll soon be starting at the University of Texas at Austin. He enjoys both writing and music but working with young people fresh in recovery is still is greatest passion.

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chrisChris Shanks, LCDC-I
Primary Counselor

Chris was born & raised in Houston, Texas and had a twenty year career as a digital photo retoucher in Dallas. His twenty eight year struggle with addiction began around age 13. Throughout his addiction Chris tried quitting numerous times in multiple programs, rehabs and detoxes. He was addicted to almost every drug there is at one time or another. At the end of it all Chris found himself coming off heroin & meth in solitary confinement facing a long prison sentence.

Chris says he finally became teachable and connected to the spiritual principals of Buddhism and Zen meditation while in prison. He found a practice that connected him to a power greater than himself.

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Corbin Bigheart 
Director of Recovery Services

Corbin was born and raised in Enid, OK and a proud graduate of the University of Oklahoma (Boomer!). Struggling with alcoholism and addiction starting at age 17, Corbin started trying to get sober at 22. In and out of rehabs, hospitals, and jails, Corbin tried everything other than the 12 steps to find recovery with no success. “I couldn’t stay sober for longer than 24 hours outside of an institution. I had reached a point where I truly believed there was no hope for me.”

In April of 2015, after 5 years of looking for a solution, he finally found one that worked in God and the 12 Steps. Corbin then was able to find his life’s purpose through helping other men find sobriety. “Passing strength and hope on to the addict or alcoholic who still suffers is the greatest joy of my life.” As the Recovery Specialist Supervisor,  Corbin has created and implemented the 12 step curriculum and programming at The Last Resort. He provides day to day leadership and guidance to our Recovery Specialists, as well as program direction and implementation as it pertains to Recovery Services.

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Joby Riggs
Recovery Services Coordinator

Joby is not only an employee of The Last Resort, but an alumni as well. From playing baseball at a premier level, surrounding himself with friends and family, and most importantly staying out of trouble Joby was able to live the “ideal childhood” in Southeast Texas.  Unfortunately peer pressure eventually introduced Joby to drugs and alcohol and his adolescence took a sharp turn. His dreams vanished and his only goal became, “Where’s the next party?” After years of drug use Joby found himself emotionally and spiritually broken, he was at his rock bottom.

Joby was finally able to ask for help and his parents took him to the 51-acre ranch, here, at The Last Resort. For the first time ever Joby allowed God into his life and was able to remove his obsession from drugs and alcohol.

“I work at a beautiful treatment center where men actually recover. It’s a beautiful way of life being able to give back. I can’t wait and help the next man seek freedom and find a new way of living.”

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Will Brown
Continuum of Care Coordinator

Will had a pretty average childhood. He grew up with two loving and compassionate parents that would do anything for him; He was active in the Cub Scouts and played sports. Until, like so many other young peoples’ stories, Will began experimenting with drugs and alcohol. It got bad enough that Will ended up in his first treatment program at age 16.

At age 17, Will found opiates. He tried one pill and was hooked. For 5 years, Will was in and out of jail, rehab, and hospitals until he was finally desperate enough to try something different. Through the 12 steps, Will was able to develop a relationship with a Higher Power strong enough to keep him sober.

“My quality of life today is far more enjoyable than I could have ever imagined, and I want other young men to be able to experience the same freedom I do.”

As continuum of care coordinator I work with all parties involved to develop an aftercare plan for each individual before the leave our direct care. After leaving our care I continue to follow up with Alumni, and organize events for all of them to get together and enjoy the fellowship that they have created out of their new found freedom.

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Erik Jokinen
Director of Admissions

The Last Resort is pleased to announce our newest team member Erik Jokinen. Erik will be joining us as the Director of Admissions. Erik is an alumnus of The Last Resort with over 3 years of continuous sobriety.

Prior to joining the TLR team, Erik worked for a nationally renowned facility in Louisiana. Being a native of Louisiana himself, he is a die-hard LSU Tigers fan. Erik spends much of his time carrying the message of hope to others so they may find the same freedom he was given.

“I am grateful to be a part of The Last Resort Recovery Center. To help men recover and to help families begin to heal is an honor and a privilege.”

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Billy Fava
Business Development Specialist

Please welcome Billy Fava as our newest Business Development Specialist. Billy will be representing The Last Resort Recovery Center in the Bayou State of Louisiana. Billy is from Lafayette, Louisiana with over 35 years of sobriety and decades of intervention experience. We are excited to bring Billy’s experience and passion for recovery to our marketing team. Billy will be building relationships with recovery providers all across South Louisiana and helping families place their loved ones in treatment.


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Nate Olien
Business Development Specialist

After a very typical childhood, Nate found himself at the end of his rope around the young age of 22. After failing out of school and moving back into his parents house, drinking soon became his best coping mechanism. By the age of 24 Nate found himself on the verge of losing it all and began what would become a gamut of treatment centers. Five rehab stints in 12 months, 4 sober houses, and 5 relapses later he was told by a doctor he had done irreparable damage to his body from his alcoholism. Thankfully Nate and his family were directed to The Last Resort Recovery Center where he was finally able to find a solution to his alcoholism.

“As an Alumni of TLR, I am humbled to say that The Last Resort is where I was presented with the solution, at a time I was beaten into submission, In a way that made sense to me. I am so grateful not only for TLR’s 12-step intensive program; which is incredible, but also for the unique collaboration between my clinician and recovery specialist. This was the key to unpacking all those years of shame and guilt and most importantly FREEDOM through the work. I am truly honored to be able to help people find that same freedom however I can.”

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Jason Charles
Kitchen Manager

Jason is a native Texan who grew up all over the United States and Europe thanks to his military family. A lifelong musician, Jason struggled with addiction while in the music scene and eventually, following his 3rd DUI, decided it was time to make change.. Jason spent roughly 2 ½ years bouncing in and out of treatment before finally sobering up in 12-Step meetings in Montana in 2009.

Jason is Passionate about recovery and using the kitchen as a vehicle for helping young men to learn to take pride in hard work and service. In his free time Jason enjoys watching horror movies and being the front man for a local band.

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Adjunct Professional Staff

IMG_3979-270x270Paula Basden, R.N
Equine Therapy Specialist

Paula brings a unique talent and passion for helping young men recover through a rather unusual path – horses! Paula has loved working with horses nearly all of her life and the men at the Last Resort quickly come to share her some of her passion. Paula is EAGALA certified and employs the PATH model to help men work through feelings of fear and anger, resentment and sadness, loneliness and reoccurring childhood wounds tying it to the men’s 12-Step journeys. Paula says, “These feelings can serve as triggers for addictive behavior and it’s been one of the real joys of my career to work with the team at the Last Resort in bringing the healing power of this work to the men we help. I’m proud to be a part of the team.” Equine therapy is another of the many evidence-based practice The Last Resort employs to help men recover. Thanks to Paula’s skills and gentle touch, the guys always look forward to saddle up when she takes them down to the corral.

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Bob Beare, Ph.D
Senior Clinical Consultant
Experience and Men’s Depth Work Program

Bob brings with him to TLR over 20 years of clinical leadership in the addiction treatment field. He is a specialist in process addictions, healing through creativity, men’s depth work, and family of origin issues. He is the founder of The Brave Heart Experience at The Last Resort, a dynamic transformational rite of passage for men in recovery. Bob holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and a Ph.D in Organizational Psychology. He was a certified leader with The Mankind Project International/New Warrior Training for 13 years and an instructor at the C. G. Jung Educational Center in Houston for 15 years. He also held leadership positions at Drug Abuse Programs of America (DAPA) in Houston, and Austin Travis County Integral Care (ATCIC).

He is the author of The Creative Fire, 10 Weeks to Creative and Emotional Fitness. His published dissertation was on Leadership and Vulnerability. Bob brings a personal passion for old school, high accountability recovery in combination with ongoing emotional depth work. “I love watching these guys transform from hopeless to passionate leaders with a mission of recovery and service”

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Brenda Gauthier

Brenda Gauthier
Breathwork Facilitator

Brenda incorporates processes and tools from Somatic Experiencing, Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy, Mindfulness, Guided Imagery/Visualizations, CBT, NLP, Toltec Wisdom and various other modalities that she has experienced and studied along the way. Everything is tailored to your needs at your pace so it is truly an individualized approach.

Gentle, direct and compassionate, she will walk alongside you on your journey.  Informed by interpersonal neurobiology, transpersonal psychology, body-based practices and cognitive processes, she offers a diverse toolbox of strategies and techniques for every client to pick and choose from – but most importantly,  she will bring presence, reflection and authenticity.

Austin Berry
Marketing Consultant

Austin has been with The Last Resort from the very beginning. He has risen in the ranks from a tech staff, to admissions, to marketing, and most recently, Director of Business Development. Born in Arlington, TX and graduating Memorial High School in Houston, he went on to the University of Alabama while secretly continuing to cheer for the Longhorns! Austin is an avid golfer, music lover, and duck hunter. He has a strong passion for sharing the message of recovery, drawing from his own personal experience since entering recovery in 2010.

Austin says, “I love seeing the miracle of recovery before and after. It draws me closer to the guys and closer to God – one day at a time.”

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1620 Farm to Market 535
Smithville, TX 78957
call our 24/7 admission hotline

I tried to quit a hundred times. Sometimes I’d make it for a month, sometimes two, but I always wound up back with my drug. What I found [at Last Resort] was the answer to what I’d been searching for in recovery but couldn’t seem to find. They put it all together and they put me together too!