Meet the team here at Grace Recovery.
Founder & Executive Director
Leah was raised in an Irish subset of South Chicago, Illinois. Leah and her sisters were raised in an environment where drug and alcohol abuse was the norm. The impact the environment had on Leah and her sisters was profound. Drinking and drug use were also prevalent in Leah’s neighborhood, and while she tried to steer her life in a better direction, Leah began drinking at the age of 12.
Leah began to watch her sister Becca, and “brother” Matt, fall into hard core drugs. Due to the severity of Becca and Matt’s addictions, Leah was able to fly under the radar with her party lifestyle. Becca and Matt were both shuffled through several state-funded treatment programs, and it was through this sequence of experiences, God sparked a desire in Leah to dedicate her life to helping support families battle and break free from all addiction.
In 2013, Matt lost his battle with addiction and was laid to rest. In 2015, Becca found her way to sobriety and moved to Austin, TX for aftercare. As Becca and Leah rebuilt their sisterhood Leah began to learn how individuals obtained sobriety. As her understanding of substance abuse increased, her passion to support and help families began to grow. In 2017, Leah founded Grace Recovery ATX and immersed herself in assisting women and their families in the process of reclaiming their lives from the disease of addiction.
After experiencing a series of adverse events as an adult and mother of four, Leah found herself in treatment for her own addiction. Going through the process of achieving sobriety enabled her to recognize the need for God, a Higher Power working in and through her, and that the God of her understanding will gift her with ways to make meaningful connections with others and share unconditional love.
Leah is the Founder of Grace Recovery ATX, Austin’s premier transitional living for women, and Co-founder of Emerge Recovery TX. She is a visionary for women’s treatment. She is able to strategically place individuals in programs based on their individual needs in order to maximize their treatment experience. Leah is an LCDC and brings clinical experience to the Business Development arena.
Director of Operations
Laurel joined Grace Recovery as a co-owner in 2020 in their mission to support women in achieving long-term sobriety. Laurel was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and attended the United States Air Force Academy and St. Edward’s University.
After injuries and surgeries that ended her college soccer career, Laurel spiraled into her addiction, which led to years of drinking and drug use. In 2012, she entered treatment in Austin, Texas. Laurel has 7+ years of working in the recovery industry and has dedicated her career to helping individuals to regain peace and find purpose in their lives.
Laurel is an experienced operations manager who specializes in project management, administration, and customer service initiatives aligned with performance objectives. She is known for her analytical approach in streamlining and optimizing efficiencies within an organization. She provides a resourceful approach while collaborating with cross-functional teams to develop client-centric solutions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and will complete her Master’s of Business Administration in 2021.
Director of Coaching & Intake Coordinator
Ally is a born and raised Austinite and found herself in the midst of addiction at a young age, entering her first treatment center at the age of 17. Feeling like she never got the “handbook” to life, she struggled to endure and cope with early life events. Subsequently, her teenage years
and nearly all of her twenties were spent in the frightening spiral of drug addiction and alcoholism, which provided her comfort to deal with unresolved obstacles that had accumulated over time.
Ally got sober in October of 2019 through an inpatient treatment center. This coupled with dedication and commitment to work the 12 steps, Ally began gaining traction in her sobriety.
She found joy in working with others and sharing the message of her personal experience with other women that were attempting to regain their lives over the disease of addiction.
Ally received an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from St. Edwards in 2016 with a concentration in Marketing, and 4+ years of experience in the entertainment industry in Austin, TX. Her strengths in the workplace include client relationship management, creative problem solving, and diligent organization and communication.
Today, Ally lives a sober, happy, joyous life, free from the constraints that she knew before. She has many interests including spending time with her Great Dane named Lilly, music, collage, jewelry fabrication, fashion and design, and taking care of her physical, emotional and mental health through physical movement.
House Manager Grace 1
Amy was born and raised north of Austin, Texas in Round Rock. She has an older sister and younger brother. She grew up with an alcoholic father who made family life difficult, a loving mother and grandparents. After a drawn out divorce her mother remarried her best friend’s dad, and they became sisters. This gave me an additional 2 sisters and another brother. We were like the Brady Bunch. ANd to this day her best friend and sister is her biggest cheerleader and 100% supportive of her sobriety. But prior to that, growing up- Amy loved the outdoors and sports, went to volleyball camps, playing in softball leagues and succeeded in volleyball as All State setter.
She spent weekends with cousins and grandparents, summers at the lakehouse of her dear friend, and had lots of friends. On the outside she looked like a seemingly happy child. She was hiding a secret. She had sustained trauma as a child that she thought she had a handle on. A secret that would manifest into alcoholism and substance abuse throughout her life. Throughout her career she was able to maintain a steady pace of promotions, moving her to the amazing cities of Houston, Seattle, and Denver.
After a failed marriage and a 20 year career where she was let go for failing to show up and be good at her work managing a team, she went into isolation and heavier drinking. She noticed it at the age of 41 when she moved from Seattle to Denver and thought it would be a fresh start. For a small amount of time, she prospered. Then she met a group of women that loved Happy Hour, Happy lunches, Happy everything and anything to drink. Her alcoholism became clear after she lost her job, stayed home for a year, went back to work and couldn’t show up as she wanted to due to being hung over or sick all the time. Her pride and ego were shot and she became increasingly depressed and wallowed in self pity and doubt. She got her first DUI in 2015 in Colorado while driving to the mountains for the weekend.
Her family talked her into moving back home to Texas. So she did. When she arrived home she made plans to nip the heavy drinking and go to a 30 day dual diagnosis treatment center in Temecula, California. After 30 days, she felt good. She had a slip but stayed dry for 2 years. She also came home to be closer to her dear and beloved grandmother in her last years. She moved her close, within a mile of her and saw her every day, playing dominos, taking her shopping, out to eat and she was very close to her until her passing. She got to see Amy get her two year chip. While not coping with the death of her grandmother and sinking into a deep sadness she couldn’t shake, she drank again. This time it wasn’t pretty. She was hiding it from everyone, until she wasn’t. On Sept 1st, she lost her beloved cat after 18 years and entered a detox center in Austin. She completed her stay and went home.
On September 29, 2020 she decided to drive while intoxicated again and take herself back to detox. She got her 2nd DUI that evening. She was more than three times the legal limit. Her body had whittled away from not eating, and she was very sick from alcohol poisoning her body and taking it’s toll. It no longer metabolised alcohol. She knew this was it and that God had another plan for her. Saving Amy from Amy. It was finally time to surrender and live a life she deserved and wanted. She made it to detox and then went to Nova Treatment Center for 90 days of TRUE dual diagnosis. She received clinical care along with a 12 step recovery program. It saved her life. She no longer blames everyone else for the trauma she sustained as a child and found a spiritual connection with her Higher Power. She left recovery and went straight to sober living for 5 1/2 months before coming to Grace and taking the roll of House Manager
Today, Amy is sober one year on October 1st, 2021 and loves her life of sobriety. Mostly though, she loves working with other women with addiction and helping them achieve the goals that she once could not accomplish due to her disease of alcoholism. Giving back, being of service, and staying connected to God has been the life she had been looking for and was wasting away with drugs and alcohol. Today her life is happy, joyous and free. She sponsors women in recovery through a 12 step program and adores her family and close friends from childhood that have stood beside her through all the pain and the joy. She lives her life ONE DAY AT A TIME with the help of AA and her Higher Power.
Grace 2 House Manager & Recovery Coach
Kris was born and raised in Iowa. In her late 20s she moved to Colorado where she lived for 34 years and raised her three children. She moved to Austin in the summer of 2020. She is grateful for a new beginning and fresh start in recovery, and believes that her Higher Power led her to Grace, where she is a house manager and recovery coach.
She is honored to work for an agency owned by women, for the purpose of helping women. Kris embraces AA and the 12 steps, and knows they are both life-saving and life-changing. Living with a house full of young women keeps her young at heart, and has renewed her passion for sobriety. Kris is happy to be living in the same city as her son, daughter-in-law, and grandson. She enjoys spending free time exploring and getting to know Austin.
Grace 2 Assistant House Manager
I was born in West Texas and moved to New Braunfels when I was in the 5th grade. I began having anxiety attacks around the age of 10 and wasn’t able to go to school. That is when I first started seeing a psychiatrist and therapist. My anxiety helped me be able to excel scholastically, but at the age of 14 I found alcohol. Alcohol was my way to relieve myself from all the stress I put on my self. I was able to party on the weekends and focus on the weekdays. Up until 17, I was able to maintain that lifestyle. I began to start having extreme depressive episodes and stopped caring about myself. I graduated high school in the top 10 students of my class out of 600 people. I went to A&M for one semester and had to leave due to my depression. I transferred to Texas State for my sophomore year of college which is where my drinking increased to every day. I wasn’t able to balance school and drinking.
I eventually had to withdrawal from college after failing multiple semesters. I thought I would take a semester off to get healthy, but it just lead me further into my addiction. I decided to go to my first treatment center in November of 2020 at the age of 21 because I saw that I could no longer function but couldn’t stop myself from drinking. I had never met anyone who was in recovery or had gone to rehab. I had no clue what to expect, but knew I wanted better for myself and I couldn’t do it alone anymore. I did one month of rehab, then two months of inpatient php, and after that I moved into grace and did outpatient IOP.
I have been sober ever since with the help of the 12 steps, my sponsor, and my Higher Power. I have been able to completely transform myself since getting sober. I have learned how to become much more than just a functioning human, but a person with goals and aspirations. I have been able to keep a job and become an asset for the company, implement a healthy lifestyle, figure out what my true passions are, go back to college, and actually be able to sit alone with myself and be okay. I am grateful for what sobriety has brought me and am excited for the future. I am currently getting my undergrad in health care administration and plan on getting my masters as well. I hope to be able to work in the recovery field or with mental health.
Client Coordinator & House Manager Grace 3
Born and raised in South Texas to a well-adjusted family, she was raised with Christian values in a loving home. She had a normal and happy life; growing up with her younger brother and sister on a ranch, making good grades, and actively participating in sports. At the age of 14, seeking to become more open, she started drinking socially and beginning her path to unmanageability. Wild behavior and consequences for rebellious actions clouded her family life, slowly draining the motivation to strive for more.
Meer weeks after graduating from high school, she moved away from home, determined to do it on her own at the age of 18. It wasn’t until her grandfather died a year later that she began using alcohol and cocaine to escape from the pain of reality. Lies and deceit allowed her to hide her descent into addiction, slowly pushing her family and life further and further away.
When she dropped out of cosmetology school to free up time for her chemical dependency, her parents saw the first red flag. “What do you want?” They asked. “I just want my life back,” was her only reply.
At the age of 21, she entered rehab for the first time. The foundation she built in treatment gave her three years of clean time and a renewed connection to her higher power. Two and a half years into her sobriety, she met a man and got engaged.
Unbeknownst to her, the desire for love and her own family was not enough to build a relationship upon or to keep her sober. Again tragedy struck, taking the life of one of her closest friends. The pain and devastation consumed her, blocked her from her higher power. At her friends funeral, once again seeking escape, she relapsed back into her addiction. Thinking a geographical change could numb what the drugs couldn’t, she moved to Chicago. However, the change of scenery couldn’t protect her from a failed marriage or the loss of her mother to cancer.
After her mother’s death and a series of trials and tribulations, Lo found herself back in treatment. Through willingness, open mindedness, and honesty she has found continuous sobriety since then, and is dedicated to living a life of Spiritual Principle.
Grace 4 House Manager
Kat was born and raised in Austin, Texas. Growing up, she excelled in both sports and academics, but struggled with undiagnosed bipolar II, and depression. A competitor by nature, Kat felt as though she was always “behind,” and constantly compared herself to others in both high school and in college. Coupling the aforementioned with severe social anxiety, excessive alcohol use/abuse (and in her later years, drugs) was her way to cope.
She got sober at the age of 33, after completing her third treatment facility, and today she no longer carries shame surrounding her past. Kat takes great pride in her recovery journey, and is grateful to work for an agency that supports and encourages lifelong recovery for other women. In her free time, she enjoys spoiling her goldendoodle Hadley, running Town Lake, and getting to know her family on a more intimate level.
Ally was raised in Dallas, Texas. Ally’s parents got divorced when she was six years old. Ally grew up in two homes with one older brother and three step siblings. Ally’s home life was very loving and her parents were very supportive. Alcohol was the norm in her family and she was exposed at a young age. She went to a very competitive high school which put a lot of pressure on her to act a certain way in order to maintain a certain social status. She drank heavily in high school. She went to her first treatment center when she was seventeen. She was not ready to get sober yet, went back to her same environment, and continued to abuse drugs and alcohol. She went to Texas Tech to pursue a college degree, where she had to drop out two years later due to her substance abuse getting significantly worse. Ally had developed depression and anxiety and checked herself into a treatment center at twenty years old in California in 2019.
She has been sober ever since. She was introduced to the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, spent six months in sober living, and developed new meaningful relationships with other women. She learned how to love herself again and gained respect for herself. She went back to Texas Tech to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Communications, which she obtained in 2021. She was a member of the Center for Collegiate Recovery at Texas Tech. She moved to Austin in 2021 and is now pursuing her Master’s in Counseling at St Edward’s University. She has a passion for helping others in recovery and feels very blessed to be able to work at a Women’s facility to be able to give back what was given to her.