Executive Management Team
Victoria Blacksmith, Chief Executive Officer
Victoria Blacksmith is first generation born in the US, her people originate from Guadalajara, Mexico. Victoria holds a Master’s degree in Psychology, a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is currently a Clinical Psych. Doctoral Candidate. Victoria is passionate about research and addressing existing and historic inequities experienced by minority populations. Victoria’s research is focused on decolonizing mental health, which is the restoration and acceptance of cultural practices and values that were once abandoned, removed, or outlawed because of colonialism.
Victoria is an Organizational Consultant whose clients are primarily minority-owned non-profit organizations. During her career, Victoria has served as the Executive Director for the Friendship House Association of American Indians, working with individuals experiencing substance use and co-occurring disorders. Victoria served as a Supervising Detention Officer for the Yolo County Department of Probation for a decade, working with incarcerated youth and youth involved in immigration proceedings. She earned Officer of the Year and Supervisor of the Year awards in 2013 & 2016. Victoria proudly serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Granite Wellness Centers and provides individual psychotherapy in private practice in Sacramento, CA.
Elaine Ebbert, Operations Director
Elaine joined Granite Wellness Centers in August 2005 and oversees the administrative functions of the agency, which includes human resources, contract management, licensing/safety compliance and facilities management for Granite Wellness Centers’ numerous locations. In February 2010, she graduated from a year-long Women’s Health Leadership program affiliated with the Center for Collaborative Planning based in Sacramento. She graduated from the NCCLI program in 2011. Prior to joining Granite Wellness, she resided in Auburn and managed a family business before making a career change to the insurance industry for 8 years, specializing in non-profit risk management.
Dainna McArthur, Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Dainna joined Granite Wellness Centers in March 2020 and is responsible for managing the organization’s financial sustainability. She graduated from Sacramento State University and has more than 20 years of experience in operation management and finance with multiple sites, companies, cost centers, and business lines including start-ups. With 15 of those years dedicated to the Human Services industry, she won the Sacramento Business Journal’s 2010 CFO of the Year award for the philanthropic category. Dainna is a results-focused leader with a demonstrated ability to streamline business operations that drive growth, increase efficiency and profit. She has strong qualifications in developing and implementing financial controls and processes in addition to productivity improvements and information technology. She has a proven track record in leadership and communication skills to establish rapport with all levels of staff and management. Dainna is a member of the Financials Executive International Sacramento Chapter and enjoys volunteering for Veterans organizations.
Eric Smith, CADC II, Compliance Director
Eric joined Granite Wellness Centers in February of 2008 as a counselor providing services in DUI, Adolescent, Outpatient, and Co-Occurring Disorders programs. Throughout his years of service with the organization, Eric has provided valuable services in local high schools and rehabilitative services in Juvenile Hall and through the Beyond Bars program at the county jail. Eric received multiple degrees in Health and Human Services through Yuba College and holds degrees as a Chemical Dependency Counselor and Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist. Prior to joining Granite Wellness in 2008, Eric worked in a number of programs through other Northern California rehabilitation services.
Dr. Neal Mehra, MD, MBA, Medical Director
Dr. Mehra completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry & Cell Biology at UC San Diego, graduating first in his class. He went on to receive his medical degree from UC Davis School of Medicine, where he also completed his residency in Neurology. He earned his MBA at UC Davis Graduate School of Management where he was awarded the Innovator Fellowship & Scholarship in Healthcare.
With expertise in the clinical, business, and technological aspects of healthcare, he served as a Senior Consultant at Ernst & Young, LLP (now EY), where he developed clinical quality improvement initiatives for national health insurance companies and major medical groups. Dr. Mehra has managed several medical groups and has served as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Strategy for large multi-state physician groups located in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Dr. Mehra has also served as Medical Director for three of the leading Addiction Medicine treatment organizations in the Sacramento area. Since January 2021, he has been honored and excited to serve as the Medical Director of Granite Wellness Centers.
He has an ongoing professional interest in increasing efficiency and quality in the delivery of healthcare, including through the integration of technology and telemedicine. Clinically he has a passion for and specializes in promoting wellness and treating addiction, through a patient-centered approach. Dr. Mehra feels the basis upon which all other principles are ultimately derived is the Doctor-Patient relationship: a partnership in the effort to improve your health, wellness and happiness. Vital to the success of our partnership is a relationship based on mutual respect, honesty, trust and open communication.
Dr. Mehra enjoys traveling with his wife, skiing/snowboarding, bicycling, reading, as well as all aspects of technology. One of his guiding principles is that “challenges make life interesting, overcoming them makes it meaningful.”
Dr. Alexa Colgrove Curtis, PhD, MPH, FNP-BC
Dr. Curtis has over 30 years of experience as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) caring for underserved populations in rural communities throughout California. She is a rural and adolescent health expert and a waivered Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) provider. She is published in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the Journal of Rural Health, Journal of Adolescent and Family Health, Journal of Addiction Medicine and Substance Abuse, among others. Dr. Curtis is the Director of Nurse Practitioner Programs at the University of San Francisco where she teaches data analysis, epidemiology and advanced assessment and health promotion.
Gabriel Ramirez, Physician Assistant
Gabriel Ramirez is a nationally certified physician assistant specializing in addiction medicine at Granite Wellness Centers. He obtained his BA in medical anthropology and completed his medical training at the University of Washington. He has worked with the underserved population for most of his career including primary and urgent care setting. He has also partnered with a local physician in Oxnard, California to treat patients in advance wound management and recently served in the U.S Army Reserves as Medical Officer. He is certified by the National Commission for Certification of Physician Assistants and is a past member of Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society. He has recently obtained his X waivered certification for substance abuse treatment.
Leadership Management Team
Tammie Angove, CADCII, CWTS, IS, Grass Valley Campus Residential Program Manager
Tammie was first introduced to our agency in 2001 seeking services for her own substance use issues resulting in court and CPS involvement. Tammie started her career with Granite Wellness Centers in 2010 founding and starting the Parent Leadership Empowerment Group (PLEAG). Tammie worked with and mentored parents in the community who were dealing with CPS involvement and provided support, hope and help parents maneuver through the court process. In 2011 Tammie obtained a support staff position at Hope House Residential Treatment facility for women and children where she continued to provide services to women struggling with SUD and family court cases with Child Protective Services. Within 6 months, Tammie started her counselor intern role and began case managing women all while she was still in the process of reunifying with her own children and continuing to facilitate the PLEAG group. In 2012, The Campus was opened, and Hope House merged with Serenity House, a men’s residential treatment facility. Tammie began working with men in addition to women and children and integrated services to help support families as a whole. Tammie enrolled in Briening Institute and successfully obtained her CADC-II 2014. Through Tammie’s own experience with SUD, CPS and working to mentor client’s, she has gained great knowledge of the court systems and has built professional relationships with Child Protective Services throughout the surrounding counties. In 2017, Tammie accepted the role as Program Manager of the Grass Valley Residential Treatment facility where she continues to work closely with families, clients, clinical staff, courts and county agencies to continue the fight against the impact of substance use disorder.
Travis Bailey, CADC II, Auburn Campus Residential Program Manager
Travis initially started his career with us as an on-call relief staff in 2002 at our Auburn Campus – Residential Program. Travis completed Breining institute 2010 for his counseling education and holds a CADC II as a counselor with CCAPP. Key to his role as Program Manager, Travis works closely with families, clients, and clinical staff, and has a natural ability to work with those who have mental health challenges or withdrawal management issues. Travis has the ability to remain steadfast in any crisis, is solution-oriented, and has been leading our residential team at our Auburn Campus since January.
Cynthia Bigbee, LCSW, Action Team Program Manager
Cynthia joined Granite Wellness Centers as the Integrated Mental Health Program Manager overseeing our Placer County Adolescent treatment program in October 2018. An integral part of the design and implementation of Placer County’s nationally recognized AB109 integrated treatment team and Placer County Veteran’s Treatment Court, Cynthia has over 20 years of experience in behavioral health program development and service delivery in both nonprofit and public sectors, serving individuals throughout the lifespan. In her prior role as Behavioral Health Manager for Placer County she was active on the local Opioid Coalition and the California Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment committee. As part of her commitment to respond to the Opioid Crisis, Cynthia worked with County and community partners to secure funds to pilot a Medication Assisted Treatment program in the local jail. Cynthia is a staunch advocate for underserved communities and conscientiously works to include their voice in service delivery.
Kevin M. Cassidy CADC II, ICADC, DUI Program Manager
Kevin currently is the site manager for the Roseville and Lincoln DUI and Out Client programs. Kevin joined Sierra Council in 2008 and left briefly in 2010 before returning to Granite Wellness early in 2011 to support the direction and vision of the agency. After working in the human services field for 12 years with individuals with mental health and developmental disabilities Kevin pursued certification in Alcohol and Drug counseling studies. Kevin enrolled in InterCoast College in 2007 and graduated Salutatorian in 2008. Kevin truly believes the work that is done at Granite Wellness Centers is Creating a World of Healthy Families, Building a World of Healthy Communities by saving lives one individual at a time.
Ginny Cutler, CPCC, LMFT, Integrated Mental Health Services Program Manager
Ginny joined Granite Wellness Centers in 2012 after relocating here from the San Francisco Bay Area, following a 25-year career in the Mental Health and Substance Use fields with Santa Clara County and other nonprofit agencies. She has extensive experience in mental health best practices and outcomes, individualized recovery-based services, person/ family-centered community-based services, and innovative program development. Her expertise includes program development and implementation for Co-occurring Disorders and Organizational Cultural Competence. In addition to being a licensed therapist, she is also a certified professional coach and a certified raw nutrition educator.
Christine Findley, CADC II, ICADC, Residential Program Director ~ Grass Valley
Chris began with Granite Wellness Centers in 2002 maintaining multiple roles within the organization. Chris has spearheaded a number of projects for Granite Wellness leading to her stepping up into the position of Hope House Program Manager in February of 2011 and currently the Program Manager for all Grass Valley residential and detox programs. Chris maintains and promotes integrated family programs that facilitate an atmosphere of positive growth and change for men, women, and children seeking treatment from the impact of substance abuse.
James Johnson, Lovett Recovery Center Residential Program Manager
Nathan Rude, CADC II, Outpatient Services Program Manager
Nathan began working at the Sierra Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SCOADD) in February 2004 joining Granite Wellness Centers in 2011 when the organizations merged. Nathan worked more than four years in the residential facility as House Manager and transitioned to DUI program in July of 2008. Nathan became site coordinator in November 2011 and began to oversee the Outpatient Program in September 2014. Nathan became a CADC II in September 2015. Nathan’s history prior to the recovery field involves 8 years as a restaurant manager, and 10 years serving in the military. Nathan holds a BS degree in Forestry from Oregon State University.
Nancy Taylor, LMFT, Adolescent Services Program Manager
Nancy Taylor joined Granite Wellness Centers in 2012 as a therapist for the Outpatient, Mothers-in Recovery, and Adolescent programs. She has 20 years of experience in the mental health field with a focus on working with teens and their families. Nancy managed the integrated mental health program for our Placer County sites, using a holistic approach to support clients in their journey to wellness. She led the initial phase of the Action Team project, a wraparound program to reduce recidivism for clients with a criminal history. Currently, Nancy manages the Adolescent program which includes co-occurring SUD/MH treatment, family services, school-based early intervention and prevention education, the Youth Opioid Resiliency California program and the Parent Project.
Kevin Vasquez, Chief Executive Officer – GWC Foundation
Kevin Vasquez joined the staff at Granite Wellness Centers in June 2019 as the Director of Development. He now serves as the CEO of the Granite Wellness Centers Foundation managing the private revenue-generating resources for the organization. Kevin has been connected to the non-profit world professionally and personally for almost 30 years. Believing in the mission and vision of service-related organizations has driven Kevin’s career. Prior to joining the Granite Wellness Team, he spent most of his development career focused on higher education and environmental education. He is excited to apply his experience to the health care industry and serving those communities he now calls home. Holding a BA in communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Kevin proudly represents the state of Colorado as a 5th generation native. Living in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains with his wife, two kids, three dogs, and two cats, he loves the outdoors and spends his free time skiing, backpacking, camping, fishing, mountain biking and trail running. Part of his commitment to personal well-being, Kevin has been a lifelong runner personally and professionally. He spent 7 years coaching high school cross country and track and field. Connecting with kids as a mentor has always been a priority for him as he coaches the competitive spirit of sport as well as life lessons and healthy choices.