Clinicians, Board of Directors, Leadership


Amber Long, LCSW-C

Amber is an LCSW-C who earned her master's in social work from University of Maryland, Baltimore. She uses an eclectic approach to therapy, with an emphasis on self-compassion and mindfulness. She has experience working with adults with a variety of concerns, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and difficulty coping with life changes. In her free time, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, and nature.

Bronte Vaughn, LCPC

Bronte is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) working with adults and adolescents (ages 16+). Specialties include ADD/ADHD, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and grief/loss. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Morgan State University and Master of Arts Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Bowie State University. She enjoys reading novels and spending time with family.

Candace Jones, LMSW

Candace is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) who specializes in grief, trauma, crisis stabilization, and vocational supports. She has a passion for all people, especially vulnerable/marginalized populations, and those living with mental health and/or substance use disorders. She works with underserved populations as a part of ALI's Behavioral Health Urgent Care Clinic. Candace completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Bowie State University and her Master of Arts in Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She is currently pursuing education in Christian Counseling as this is another passion of hers as well. She is a natural advocate and enjoys listening and learning from others just as much as she enjoys leadership.

Cindy Garmoe, LMSW

Francisca Okwukogo, CRNP-PMH

Krista Rogers, LCPC

Krista Rogers is a Licensed Master Social Worker with over three and a half years of experience. She practices from a cognitive behavioral, solution focused perspective. She strongly believes that clients can make effective change in their lives by being consistent and committed to personal growth. She believes that effective change can happen when clients have hope and understand that they are more than capable of progressing on their own unique and specific journeys through life.  She encourages and supports clients to reach their goals in ways that are uniquely meaningful to them. When partnering with clients, it is her hope to increase self-awareness and improve self-worth through acceptance and empathy so that clients can have a healthy sense of self to create purposeful relationships with the people that are closest to them.

Leon Washington, LCPC

Maureen Steele, LCSW-C

Maureen is a LCSW-C with twenty years of experience working in the field of Behavioral/Mental Health. She received an MSW from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. She is currently the Clinic Director at Arundel Lodge as well as a therapist. Maureen started her professional career working in residential communities that support people with disabilities, mental health and substance use disorders. Those early experiences informed her desire to become a social worker and to continue to work in spaces that prioritized creating community, where everyone would feel not only accepted but also encouraged and supported. In her practice, she emphasizes self-compassion and acceptance. She works with people who are dealing with a variety of life challenges including, grief and loss, trauma, substance use, depression, anxiety, and emotion regulation as well as other mental health disorders. She is also a Maryland BSWE approved clinical supervisor. In addition to therapy, Maureen also provides clinical supervision to the wonderful team at Arundel Lodge.

Melanie J. Coates, LGPC

Melanie is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and her therapeutic process is comfortable and warm. Her space, an OASIS: Open And Safe InSide. Mindfulness and Prayer are unique to her practice, and clients who work with her appreciate my calm demeanor and down-to-earth spirit. She also provides faith-based counseling. Melanie believes therapeutic models like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) help clients find peace, hope, direction, and joy. She is passionate about healing in the areas of anxiety, depression, domestic abuse, marital/relationship issues, PTSD, self-esteem/self-worth, sexual abuse, trauma, and workplace issues. Melanie received her B.S. from Freed-Hardeman University, her M.A. from Fayetteville State University, and is in pursuit of her Ed.D in Community Care and Counseling with a focus on Traumatology from Liberty University. She is an author, poet, and blogger who loves Dr. Pepper and eating stove-popped popcorn while relaxing in her rocking chair.

Michelle Lyon, LCPC

Michelle is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). She enjoys working with children, adolescents, and their families in the Marcus Youth and Family Center at ALI. She is trained in Child-Centered Play Therapy, Directed Play Therapy, CBT, TF-CBT, DBT, ACT, and other modalities. Michelle thrives on helping kids and their families to enjoy lives that are not limited by anxiety, depression, the effects of trauma, behavior problems, and problems in family relationships and social interaction. When she is not in the office, Michelle enjoys hiking, baking and cooking, traveling, playing games, and hanging out with her family.

Racqueal Brown, LCSW-C

Rakeeda Commodore, LCSW-C

Rakeeda is a Child Therapist that specializes in Early Childhood and Attachment work. She also loves to work with school-aged children, adolescents, and their parents. She provides groups for young girls, teens, and families. When she is not in the office, she enjoys spending time with her family, roller skating, or spending time at the beach.

Robert Allen-Emerson, CRNP-PMH

Rob is a psychiatric nurse practitioner who has worked at Arundel Lodge for over 10 years. He received his Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia in 1997 and completed coursework at the University of Maryland to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner in 2010. He enjoys playing guitar badly and watching his daughter play soccer.

Samantha Jefferson, LCSW-C

Samantha is a LCSW-C whom obtained her master’s degree from the University of Maryland, School of School Work. She is also a board approved supervisor and is actively providing supervision. Samantha is currently the Clinic Director at First Step Recovery, working with individuals who experience mental health and substance use concerns. She has enjoyed working with children, adolescents and adults for over ten years now. While providing a welcoming and warm environment, Samantha works with individuals who have ADHD, adjustment disorders, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, substance use, and other chronic mental health disorders. She strives to provide an environment for individuals to feel safe and comfortable; making it possible for the person to accomplish goals, work on life skills or access additional supports. In her free time, Samantha enjoys cheerleading, taking walks with her dog and spending time with her family.

Veronica Castillo, LGPC

Veronica is a Bilingual Licensed Therapist who specializes in grief, trauma, substance use, depression, anxiety, PTSD, self-esteem/self-worth, sexual abuse and emotion regulation as well as other mental health disorders. She enjoys working with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families at ALI. She is trained in Child-Centered Play Therapy, Directed Play Therapy, CBT, TF-CBT, and other modalities. Veronica thrives on helping clients to enjoy lives that are not limited by anxiety, depression, the effects of trauma, behavior problems, and problems in family relationships and social interaction. When she is not in the office, Veronica enjoys teaching Yoga, cooking, traveling, trying new foods, and hanging out with her family.

Board of Directors

Beverly Marcus
Chair, Compliance Committee

Michael Marvin
Vice President & Treasurer Chair, Finance Committee

James Banwell
Member, Finance Committee​

Steve Baron
Member, Compliance Committee

Waleska Casiano-Matos, Esq.
Member, JDEI Committee

Charlestine Fairley, PhD
Member, JDEI Committee

Pamela Gentry
Member, Development Committee

Ray Hobson
Member, Finance Committee

Karen Stacy
Member, Governance Committee, Compliance Committee

Tom Staskowski
Chair, JDEI Committee
Chair, Development Committee

Kevin Hazucha
Executive Director, Ex Officio Member


Kevin Hazucha, LCSW-R

Chief Executive Officer
Kevin Hazucha graduated from Pace University Lubin School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. After a few years in the business field, he went back to school and graduated from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service with a master’s degree in social work and became licensed as a Clinical Social Worker. Kevin has dedicated his entire post-graduate career to not for profit behavioral health. He has worked in many several capacities in “safety net” behavioral health centers. Throughout his career he has developed and implemented critical best practice services to enhance treatment and recovery for those in his communities. The vast majority Most of his career has been in New York with a brief period out West, followed by a return to the East Coast and Arundel Lodge. Mr. Hazucha is mission driven and strives to ensure that the highest quality services are provided. His wife Bernice likewise has dedicated her career to behavioral health treatment services with an emphasis on suicide prevention. Kevin is an avid cyclist and is enjoying Maryland’s cyclist friendly roads. Kevin and Bernice have four children and two grandchildren in the New York metropolitan area. They are incredibly happy to be enjoying life in Maryland with their two dogs.

Jim Buckey, CPA

Chief Financial Officer
Jim is a graduate of Loyola University – Maryland with a BA in Accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant. After 10 busy tax seasons in Public Accounting, Jim decided he wanted his winters back and took a position as a Controller/CFO for a large Mental Health provider in Baltimore County. Since then Jim has worked as a Chief Financial Officer for a private school and a child welfare agency. He has also served in the US Army Reserves where he retired as a Medical Logistics Officer for a Combat Support Hospital. He brings to Arundel Lodge more than 28 years of experience in the nonprofit world. Both Jim and his wife are lifelong residents of Anne Arundel County where they have raised their four talented children.

Laura Murphy

Director of Human Resources

Mary Henry

Director of Development and Marketing
Mary Henry is a graduate of Notre Dame of Maryland University and has a BA degree in Human Services. Her background includes more than 15 years of nonprofit fundraising. Mary is passionate about fundraising because it supports the important mission of a nonprofit organization and the people it serves. She is a native Annapolitan who now lives in Severna Park with her husband, kids and two dogs. “Our health is one of our greatest gifts. We must nurture both our physical and mental health to be whole. I am honored to work for a group that provides resources and help to assist people in becoming whole again.”

Jennifer Messix, MSN, PMHNP-BC

Behavioral Health Urgent Care Director
Jenn Messix is a nurse, servant leader, advocate, and the Clinical Director at Arundel Lodge’s Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center in Annapolis, MD. She holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing (PMHNP) from Walden University and an ANCC certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Jenn began her nursing career as an ER Nurse before transitioning to working as a psychiatric staff nurse, nurse supervisor, nurse educator of acute and residential psychiatric services for children and adolescents, and nurse manager of adult co-occurring inpatient units. Jenn has also served as a hospital representative for involuntary admission court hearings and worked as a clinical director of behavioral health with oversight of adolescent & adult inpatient, adolescent & adult partial hospitalization, and emergency psychiatric service lines. Jenn’s current role is to support her team of administrative assistants, peer support specialists, nurses, therapists, and psychiatric nurse practitioners in serving individuals from local communities with their mental health and substance use disorder needs. Jenn’s passions are building rapport, stigma reduction, emphasizing mental wellness, patient advocacy, and providing patient-centered care.

Kathy Farrell

Director of Rehabilitation Program
Kathy Farrell is a graduate of University of Maryland Baltimore County where she received her BA degree and double majored in Psychology and Social Work. Kathy is also a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner. Before coming to Arundel Lodge, Kathy interned at Springfield Hospital Center for Social Work and worked for an adolescent group home for children diagnosed with autism. Kathy started at Arundel Lodge over 20 years ago as a member of the Direct Care Staff, and is now Director of Rehabilitation Program. “I love what I do. I enjoy being in this field and working with people who want to take control of their recovery and overall wellness,” she says. “Arundel Lodge is also family oriented and has been a great company to work for. The staff and persons served are supportive of one another and my hope is that Arundel Lodge can continue to provide quality programs that will encourage persons served to live the best life possible.”

Ryan Davis

Facilities Director

Dr. Simone Blanchard

Chief Clinical Officer
Dr. Simone Blanchard is the Chief Clinical Officer at Arundel Lodge. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and holds her LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor) in Maryland and Washington, DC. She is also a Trauma Specialist whose training includes working with children who have been impacted by childhood sexual abuse. She also provides consulting services for businesses, helping them with growth and expansion opportunities. Dr. Blanchard, a recognized authority in trauma counseling, is a highly sought-after speaker for both lay and professional audiences. Her talks to the general community cover a wide range of topics, including parenting skills, relationship healing and building, childhood development, and natural healing modalities. For professional audiences, she delves into mental health diagnoses, interventions, treatment, and prognoses; relationship healing and building; suicide prevention; mind-body connection; and global trauma. Dr. Blanchard holds a Ph.D. in International Psychology with a particular concentration in global trauma. She has extensive experience researching clinical service delivery, particularly “Youth and Depression” and “Help Seeking Habits in Youth.” Dr. Blanchard has studied spirituality, human development, and restitution with master practitioners. She has coordinated outreach efforts in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Washington, DC, to elevate and educate the community on important topics affecting our youth.

Lisa Hughes, MS, LCPC

Director of Information Technology (IT)
Lisa Hughes is the Director of Information Technology (IT).  She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.  She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Maryland.  She received her undergraduate Bachelors of Art degree in Psychology from Towson State University. Before coming to Arundel Lodge, Lisa interned at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital as a Volunteer Intern. Lisa started at Arundel Lodge over 20 years ago as a member of the Direct Care Staff, and held a number of positions; including the previous Director of Residential Program.  “I always had a passion for helping people.  What we do here is help others do the things that we take for granted.  Sometimes we have our ideas of what normal should look like, but our persons served surpass that and flourish in their own way.  I love that.”