Who We Are
Your story deserves a better ending…
Tens of millions of people suffer from substance use disorders and active mental illness. The healthcare system and societal stigmas present hurdles that make recovery difficult for families to comprehend what is required for the family system to get healthier. No family should tackle this alone. Our goal is to guide and coach you through this process. No family does it perfectly; it’s a roller coaster for families, but we are here to walk you through it. Family recovery is a journey, with many twists and turns, and we will help illuminate the path. Just don’t leave before the miracle happens.
Trust the Process.
Meet the Team.
Ward Blanchard, LCAS, CSI, MA
Nearly ten years ago, Ward Blanchard found his life’s passion – working in the field of mental health and addiction. Ward’s professional career began in business as he represented the third generation to work at Kellogg Supply Company, a building supply and lumber chain founded by his grandfather. Specializing in addiction, Ward obtained his advanced addiction counseling education and credentials through California Association of Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADC-II) which required a minimum of 8,000 hours of supervised counseling experience. Ward is a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS) and has worked in all facets of addiction treatment: interventions, admissions, business development, therapy, continuing-care, and operations.
Cristina Blanchard, LCAS-II, MA, ARISE® Trained
Cristina was born and raised in Pasadena, CA and began working in the field of mental health/addiction while in graduate school at Pepperdine University in 2003. Cristina is a Registered Addiction Specialist, has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and is registered with the North Carolina Substance Abuse Profession Practice Board. Cristina began her career working with severe mental illness in an inpatient psychiatric setting, and then progressed to working with children, teens and families in various inpatient and outpatient settings. Cristina has advanced training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and has been trained to work with children as young as 5 years old who have experienced neglect and abuse. Cristina is ARISE trained and an ARISE “interns” toward certification.
Allison C Christie, Controller, MBA, MA, Certified ARISE® Interventionist I (CAI-I)
Allison Christie-Croft is from Chicago, IL. She joined Blanchard Addiction Resources in April as the Office Manager. Allison graduated from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies Fisher Business School with a Master’s Degree in International Business Administration. After living overseas for twenty years, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. She worked in the extractive industries doing corporate social responsibility for the last twelve years and recently decided to follow her passion and enter the field of Mental Health and Addiction. Allison has a keen interest in supporting families dealing with the disease of addiction, and has obtained her ARISE® Intervention Certification to become a Certified ARISE® Interventionist I (CAI-I).
Molly Ashcroft, ARISE® Trained
Molly Ashcroft joined Blanchard and Associates in 2017. Her passion for this work stems from a desire to offer hope for families and clients who are struggling with addiction. She excels at developing relationships with clients, families, and other addiction professionals, with the goal of finding the right placement for everyone and ensuring the best care for each. Molly’s journey of recovery began in 2008 after many family interventions and treatment experiences. She attributes her success to helping professionals, 12 step support and the amazing people she has met along the way. It’s hard to overstate her impact in the local recovery community, where she is an extraordinary force for good; helping young women, speaking in the local communities and helping to raise awareness about addiction and the impact it has on not only the client but also the families. Prior to joining Blanchard and Associates she worked for a non-profit sober living in Amherst, Massachusetts providing care for both young men and women battling addiction and she is currently the Director of Business Development for Westport House in Westport, CT. She is working on her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, and has recently completed the Drug & Alcohol Recovery Counselor (DARC) program leading to licensure as a Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC). Molly is ARISE trained and an ARISE “intern” toward certification.
Jake Capps, CSAC
Jake has been a certified counselor for over 13 years. He has been involved in the recovery process since 1999 in Colorado. After personal experience at multiple treatment programs he decided to get certified through field experience. Following counselor training in Phoenix, AZ Jake moved to St. Louis, MO to work for an adolescent and young adult IOP program. In St. Louis Jake also helped facilitate recovery group meetings and education lectures at many public high schools, also assisting with alcohol and drug education for “Freshman 101” at St. Louis University. Jake then worked for an adolescent inpatient facility in Phoenix for a short time, then returned to St. Louis where he worked with families to help them get the right treatment as well as facilitating an IOP. Jake continued his work in Colorado, volunteering for a treatment program and support group, and has continued outpatient counseling and Life Coaching in North Carolina. Through Jake’s varied experiences with the many different parts of the recovery and treatment process, he has adopted the foundation of an enthusiastic approach to recovery that is focused on working towards something as opposed to running away, and is rooted in the belief that people are more likely to stay sober long term based on positive progress and things to look forward to, rather than only fear of negative consequences. Jake continues to enjoy seeing hope turn into belief when someone is no longer just surviving, but loving their life.
Heather Jennissen, RN, BSN Director of Clinical Outreach
Heather Jennissen holds a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing from Mankato State University. She has over 20 years of experience working in both clinical and business development aspects of mental health and substance use disorders. Heather’s passion is helping individuals and families access treatment services. She is on the board of the North Carolina Foundation of Alcohol and Drug Studies and The International Nurses Society on Addictions.
Kasie Pons, Marketing and Communications Specialist
Kasie joins the team with over 10 years of corporate marketing experience and communications strategies for a multitude of industries. Kasie graduated Suma Cum Laude from North Carolina State University with a B.A. in Communications. She has helped to create the brand, voice and overall messaging for some of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the Southeast. Over the last 3 years, Kasie has worked closely within the addiction and treatment field, combining her corporate approach with her passion to lend a voice and positive image to the faces of recovery.
Gibbs, Therapy Dog
Gibbs the Therapy dog, born in raised in Southern California, moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2014 to continue to cultivate her passion of delivering cuteness, comfort, and adorability to anyone and everyone she encounters. Gibbs was drawn into the field of substance abuse and behavioral health after her own personal recovery from a process addiction with chewing shoes and furniture. She understands how such an addiction truly is a family disease---impacting the whole family. Gibbs is intelligent, focused, enjoys attention and being pet behind the ears. Gibbs received formal education through The Dog Knowledge Obedience School of Charlotte, NC. She graduated with spectacular mediocracy in obedience, but excelled in the subjects of advanced charm, good looks, and tennis-ball catching. She loves riding horses, a good hot dog, listening to Dave Matthews Band, is a documentary film enthusiast, and is avid about sharing global warming articles on her Facebook.