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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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.


Patrick 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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Chris 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 Director of Recovery Services,  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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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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Michael Smeltzer
Recovery Services Coordinator

Bio coming soon…








Parker “Chip” Chapin
Med Ops Coordinator

Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Parker grew up in a wonderful family with 2 loving parents. His journey with alcoholism and addiction started when he was 15 when he started drinking and taking opiates. When he was 16, he was sent to a prestigious military academy in South Texas and graduated in 2012.  He started playing music shortly after graduating and found his niche. “As a musician, drinking and drugging is all around, I believed I could only play music under the influence and I accepted it as a part of my life.”

Parker was in and out of jail, treatment centers, and psych facilities until he found himself on the verge of death in 2014. On November 16th, 2014 he found his way back to a treatment center on South Padre Island. “I had no other option, I knew I was going to die if I continued to live the way I was living.” After treatment he was afforded the opportunity to move to sober living in the Texas Hill Country. He lived in Kerrville, Texas for a year and ended up helping manage his sober house. “My experience with sober living was the most pivotal aspect of my recovery. I learned what God’s grace truly is, I found that sobriety and happiness could be synonymous, and I discovered that I could enjoy making music sober.

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Ellen Pace, LMFT-A 
Equine Specialist and Family Program

Ellen is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist and specializes in Equine-Assisted Therapy.  Ellen coordinates the Family Program and the Equine-Assisted Therapy program at The Last Resort Recovery Center.  She is trained in Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP), Gestalt Equine Psychotherapy (GEP) and is a P.A.T.H. Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL).  Ellen also uses her training in EMDR therapy, implementing a proven method of treating severe trauma with our clients

Ellen has worked in the Equine-Assisted Therapy field for the last six years at Spirit Reins and Silver Lining Therapy in Liberty Hill, TX; ROCK (Ride On Center for Kids)-Georgetown, TX, and the counseling field at STARRY Counseling-Round Rock, TX.  She has also worked internationally, creating an equine-assisted therapy program and using EMDR PRECI protocol to assist orphans in Zambia, Africa and serves on the board of HOPE (Horses Offering People Enrichment) in Beijing, China. Ellen has brought tremendous experience to The Last Resort by combining her knowledge of trauma-focused therapy with the naturalistic lessons that ensue from working with horses. This creates a unique, one-of-a kind experience by identifying underlying issues that may block our client’s progress in reaching their long-term recovery goals.



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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Kim Rabago
Director of Finance

A long time Texas resident, Kim received her Master’s in Professional Accountancy from The University of Texas. She is also a licensed CPA in the State of Texas and began her career in public accounting as an auditor for Ernst & Young. Her experience also includes financial management for a start-up toxicology lab.

Kim’s passion for horses and rescuing dogs brought her to the Smithville area, where she lives with her husband, three dogs, two horses, and a donkey. Her newest dog, Harper, joins her at TLR everyday and is well-loved by our residents.

“I feel honored to work for a company with such an important mission; The Last Resort changes lives everyday.”



Austin Berry
Director of Business Development

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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Adjunct Professional Staff



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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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!