Our Mission at ASCENT is to provide sustained recovery management in a faith based environment that encourages a generation of young men to develop the integrity, self-discipline, work ethic and attitude to become productive members of society.
Our Vision at ASCENT is to help change the lives of young men so they will have the skills and the heart to meet the needs of their children, wives, community, and society. This can be done by giving them the tools and the support required to develop honesty, integrity, respect—for self and others—interpersonal and vocational skills needed to create in them a work ethic and a desire to continually strive to improve their lives, and those around them.
We at ASCENT believe that recovery from addiction is much more than just abstinence from drugs and alcohol. We believe that the client who successfully completes our Intensive Residential Program (IRP) and Extended Residential Program (ERP) will have developed the skills necessary to utilize the three core values to live happy and productive lives:
Treatment Phase - 21 days Intensive Outpatient Treatment at a local treatment provider
Work Phase - Full Time Employment
The ASCENT Board is a well conceived cross section of the business, faith, recovery, and treatment communities in Joplin. Each member brings a unique perspective to the mix. All of the members are extremely successful in their chosen fields as well as experienced in a variety of community development and public charity projects over the years. We have 3 business owners, a senior pastor, the CEO of the local mental health/substance abuse treatment provider, an attorney, and sales representative. ASCENT is also proud to be partnered with St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
Kenny Neal, President/Owner, Midland Erector Company and affiliates: Kenny holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Mississippi State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from University of Minnesota. He is very involved with Community and Public Service Agencies. Kenny has served on the Board of Directors of Boy Scouts, United Way, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, and Twin Hills Country Club. In addition, Kenny has held the position of Joplin Area United Way Vice-President and President.
Rev. Aaron Brown, Senior Pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church: Rev. Brown is from Warrensburg, Mo. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Hendrix College and a Master’s Degree from the Duke University Divinity School. He is also an ordained elder in the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Jane Richart, Owner of Upstairs Boutique: Jane holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, and has 20 years experience as a Special Education teacher. In addition, she has over 25 years experience in addiction recovery and co-dependency. She has been a member of Alanon Family Groups, Naranon, and CODA. In addition to attending various classes and workshops on addiction, she has also led classes in co-dependency and children of alcoholics. This year marks the 25th anniversary of “Joplin Heart to Heart,” a 12 step women’s retreat co-founded by Jane.
Don Sheets, owner of Joplin Tour and Travel: Don has been a member of the Joplin community for over 35 years and has been very involved in business and community organizations during that time. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Parent/Teacher Organization, Airport Board, Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and Traffic Commission. Don is also a volunteer with SCORE, allowing him to mentor new business owners and expanding businesses. Don is a member of St Paul’s United Methodist Church where he serves on First Impressions and the Finance Committee.
Paula Baker, Chief Executive Officer of Ozark Center: Paula holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Education and a Master’s of Science in Clinical Psychology from Pittsburg State University. Paula has been employed by Ozark Center for over 25 years. Paula is currently the Vice-President of the Missouri Coalition of Community Mental Health Centers, Chairperson for Southwest Missouri Psychiatric Provider’s Group, Board Member of Southwest Missouri Community Alliance, and a member of the National Council of Community Mental Health Centers. Paula is also involved in her local community as a Board Member of the Ronald McDonald House and is active with Rotary and Joplin Chamber of Commerce.
Joe Crosthwait, Attorney: Joe has been practicing law in Southwest Missouri since 1993. He is a member of Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church and leads the Spiritual Life Group there. Joe is on the Grant-writing Committee for ASCENT.
Cathy Garver, Sales Representative for Adminal Express: Cathy has an educational background in criminology and psychology. Cathy served as chairperson for both Watered Gardens’ Fundraising committee and First United Methodist Church’s 40 Days of Community project. She has also done fundraising for Children’s Center of SW Missouri, Children’s Miracle Network and Susan G. Komen.
Kim Landers, Redwood Development: Kim has a marketing/sales degree from Southwest Missouri University. She is a member at Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church and is very active in her children’s activities. She has been involved with Redwood Development which is the business her father started.
Teresa Brown, Ronald McDonald House: Teresa holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Southwest Missouri State. She worked as the Community Relations Representative for the family McDonalds franchise for many years. In 1998 her family opened the local Ronald McDonald House and Teresa has served on it's Board of Directors since its inception. Teresa is also an active member of the ASCENT fundraising event committee.
Teddy holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Social Work and holds a Teaching Certificate in Secondary Education. Teddy has completed the education requirements needed to apply for substance abuse certification in Missouri. She did substance abuse counseling for offenders part time for 4 years. Teddy also holds certifications as a SATOP instructor, Professional Behavior Analyst, Professional Values Analyst, and Delta Society Pet Partner Team. Teddy has over 21 years of sustained substance abuse recovery. Teddy serves on the Workforce Investment Board as the Rural Sourcing Chairperson. She is the Missouri Re-entry Committee Co-Chairperson, and she serves on two boards with the Missouri Probation and Parole office: the Citizen’s Advisory Board, and the Restorative Justice Board.
Mike has over 25 year’s sales and operations management experience with several companies. Mike has a successful history of developing growing companies by increasing revenue, production, and profitability. Mike has successfully completed the Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences (MARR) program, the program that ASCENT is modeled after. Mike has over 8 years sustained substance abuse recovery, and is involved with the Alumni Association of MARR, and helped establish a Spiritual Life group at MARR. He also served on the Board of Directors for Log Cabin Club Inc., a 501(c) 3 Not for Profit clubhouse providing meeting space and functions for various 12 Step recovery groups, and was the fundraising chairperson.
Mark McDonald, MS, CSAC II, CCGC, is a certified substance abuse counselor (CSAC II) and has been providing substance abuse counseling for over twenty years in Missouri and Ohio and has over 25 years sustained substance abuse recovery. Mark is the Southwest representative for the Missouri Substance Abuse Professional Credentialing Board (MSAPCB). He is also a certified compulsive gambling counselor (CCGC). He holds a Master of Science degree in Chemical Dependency Therapy from Hamilton university. Mark has provided critical clinical advice and supervision on a volunteer basis and has agreed to become full time staff when funding becomes available.
Doug Brush, BS, CAC II, is the former CEO, and current Director of the Men's Recovery Program at Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences (MARR), the program ASCENT is modeled after. Doug was an original founding member of MARR more than 35 years ago and has dedicated his life to substance abuse treatment and recovery. Doug has given ASCENT full access and permission to utilize the MARR model, an extremely successful model for the past 35 years. He continues to provide ASCENT the benefit of his experience in a volunteer advisory capacity.