Who Is Nivon?
We’re Here to Help
Nivon Wellness Center, LLC, was started by husband and wife, Nicole and Von-Shan Billingsley (Hence the name Ni-Von). The couple found recovery years ago and is excited to give back to the community by helping individuals and families find hope and joy as they have since finding a new way to live.
Dr. Nicole Billingsley, DBH, MSW, LICSW, LADC, CCTP
CEO/ Treatment Director/ Psychotherapist
Nicole Billingsley is CEO and treatment director. Nicole has experience working with adolescents and adults and has a range of clinical skills. She is a Doctor of Behavioral Health, is licensed by the State of Minnesota as an alcohol and drug counselor, and an independent clinical social worker. She is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. Nicole is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which is an evidence based therapeutic intervention to help clients recover from the effects of trauma and other issues. She is passionate about helping clients heal from the effects of trauma as well as mental health and substance use disorders.
Von-Shan Billingsley is owner, CFO, and community relations director. He has extensive experience with relationship building, sales, and has experience working as a professional chef as well as many other skills and talents. He is passionate about recovery and helping clients and families access resources to better their lives. He is excited to be entering the field of substance use disorder treatment and developing the program alongside his wife, Nicole. He brings a warm personality and personal experience with addiction and recovery with him. Von-Shan is eager to share about the services offered at Nivon Wellness Center.
Donna Randall, MD
Dr. Randall provides mental health and addiction medication management to our clients, including Suboxone.
Those who have known Dr. Randall as a physician and friend are truly fortunate. She is a powerhouse. Not just physically, which is true, but as a woman who radiates inner strength.
Dr. Randall's professional life began in classical music. After completing her undergrad and a Master's, she was teaching music on the college level when she was inspired to become a physician. With that strength of will that's evident in all she does, she completed the science courses she needed to get accepted into medical school.
Dr. Randall began her medical career in family medicine. When selecting a specialty, she chose to become an OBGYN for a number of reasons. First, the complexity of the specialty made it endlessly interesting. Second, she loved the arc of care that she could provide – from teen years, through pregnancy, delivery, and motherhood and on to the mature years in a woman's life. Dr. Randall has two decades worth of experience treating a variety of physical and mental health conditions across the lifespan.
Judi Tuzun, BS, LADC
Judi is the clinical supervisor of the chemical health team. She attended Minneapolis Community Technical College, earned her Associate Science Degree in Alcohol and Drug counseling, and is currently enrolled at Metropolitan State University pursuing her Bachelor's Degree as a Licensed Alcohol Drug Counselor. Before coming to Nivon Wellness Center, Judi spent 3 years specializing in admissions and intake, working mainly with the homeless population as well as those recently released from jail/prison. Judi believes that creating a safe and inviting space allows clients to explore their own healing process.
She is passionate about "housing first" an approach that allows people to become safe and stable while getting help with their substance use. She is open to working with a variety of clients seeking recovery services including those with open child protection cases, those experiencing exploitation and those who need added supports and resources. She truly believe in Nivon's motto "Where there is life, there is hope."
Shane Pugh, BA, LADC
Training and Development Manager
Lead Counselor, LGBTQIA+ High Intensity Outpatient
Shane Pugh is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor who has worked in the Twin Cities recovery community since around 2012. He has worked with various populations including men, women, LGBTQIA+, multicultural communities, those who are unhoused, and people with co-occurring mental health and substance use challenges. As an independent counselor and trainer, he works with individuals and groups seeking support, as well as in training and development of other counselors at organizations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.
Shane is a coauthor of Exploring Trauma+: A Brief Intervention for Men and Gender Diverse People, a curriculum published in the fall of 2021. In addition, he has extensive experience providing integrated substance use, gender-responsive, and trauma-responsive services for individuals, and has contributed to the development of other trauma-based curriculums for use in treatment and recovery.
Robin has done administrative support for medical professionals for the last 16 years. She also has previously worked at an adolescent treatment center. She has a special interest in mental health, substance use disorder, and treatment which she feels often go hand in hand. She is also a person in long-term recovery. Helping others better themselves with respect, encouragement, and without judgement is important to her. We all have to start or restart somewhere.
Rachel has a strong passion for helping people achieve their goals. She is involved in the recovery community, And is a mentor to many! She uses her great organization and communication skills here at Nivon to help service others to get where they need to be in their recovery!
Jake Van Allen, BA, LADC
Lead Counselor - Men's High Intensity Outpatient
Jake is the counselor serving both our Intensive-Outpatient and Aftercare programs at our Cottage Grove site. He graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Alcohol and Drug Counseling from Metropolitan State University and is licensed by the state of Minnesota as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Prior to coming over to Nivon Wellness Center, he spent 6 years working in the High-Intensity Residential MICD setting focusing much of his efforts on helping clients successfully transition from jails, prisons, and other institutions back into the community, and providing them with the necessary tools to lead healthy and productive lifestyles. Jake believes in taking a client-centered approach with the individuals he works with, focusing heavily on the therapeutic alliance he forms with his clients and utilizing this alliance as a way to promote personal-growth and have his clientele reach their full potential.
Stephen Montry, BA, LADC
Lead Counselor- Native American High Intensity Outpatient
Passionate and impact-driven; Stephen Montry is dedicated to teaching healing and forgiveness while providing exceptional care and developing treatment plans individualized to his patients’ needs. Stephen is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe and descendant of the White Earth tribe. He has a B.A. in Individualized Studies: Trauma-Based Multicultural Addiction Counseling. Stephen is also a DHS Native American Curriculum Trainer, training field professionals in counseling Native American clients with substance use issues.
Thadious Walker, AS, ADC-T
Lead Counselor - Men's high intensity outpatient
Thadious is a lead counselor of one of our men's high intensity outpatient with lodging programs.
He attended Minneapolis Community Technical College, earning an Associates of Science Degree in Alcohol and Drug counseling. He is currently enrolled at Metro State University pursuing his Bachelor's Degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling. He has worked in the recovery community in various roles for the past 3 years, most recently as a counselor in Medication Assisted Treatment. He is passionate about working with people with substance abuse disorders and criminal justice system adherence struggles. He believes in a client centered approach, understanding the many different barriers clients may face in their recovery effort. He is excited to join the Nivon Wellness team providing services that encompasses the wholeness of the people served.
Angelina Davis, AAS, ADC-T
Lead Counselor - Women's High Intensity Outpatient
Angelina is a lead counselor in our women's outpatient with lodging program. Angelina is excited to be able to offer gender specific counseling and treatment services to the women in the program. She believes everyone deserves respect and empathy at any part in their recovery journey. We are excited to have her on the team and help the clients achieve their recovery goals.
Brittney Van Risseghem, BS, LADC
Primary Counselor - Women's High Intensity Outpatient
Brittney is a primary counselor in our women’s high intensity outpatient program in St. Paul. She is a graduate from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Bachelor’s degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies and Community Health Education. Brittney is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) who empowers clients through a non-judgmental and empathic approach. She emphasizes the importance of creating a strong therapeutic relationship. Her goal is to provide evidence-based, person-centered care to underserved populations through equality. Brittney is looking forward to expanding her knowledge of health disparities that affect our communities and improving the quality of life for future generations.
Angel Benes, MA, LADC
Primary Counselor - Evening Intensive Outpatient
Angel is a primary counselor in our LGBTQIA+ outpatient with lodging program. Angel received her master’s degree in Counseling and Psychological Services from St. Mary’s University -Twin Cities. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a concentration on substance use disorders.
Angel is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and working toward becoming a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Since 2014, Angel has worked in a variety of MICD treatment settings and mental health clinics.
Angel works through a person-centered approach, which means she values the therapeutic relationship and takes a gentle approach as she walks through and helps process the challenges in the client’s life.
Precious Watson, BA, LADC
Primary Counselor - Native American Women's Intensity Outpatient
Precious Watson is a primary counselor of one of our men's high intensity outpatient with lodging programs. She graduated from Minnesota State University Mankato in 2013 with a degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies and Corrections. After graduating from College she finished her internship. Precious has a passion to help individuals get to the next level in their lives, while promoting them to show their highest potential.
Ms. Watson has 10 years of experience as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She has also worked in the Human Resources Industry. Precious is skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Crisis Intervention, Case Management, Public Speaking and Leadership. She is determined to serve underrepresented populations in the addictions field.
Mekenock Bellecourt, ADCT
Primary Counselor - Men's Native American High Intensity Outpatient
Mekenock Bellecourt is a primary counselor in our Native American outpatient with lodging program. He graduated Minneapolis College, majoring in addiction counseling with a minor in America Indian studies. He is an enrolled member of the Wampanoag tribe of Aquinniah, on Martha’s Vineyard island, he has volunteered his time serving homeless individuals needs as it pertains to substance use disorder. He has worked to divert youth from gangs , and believes in meeting the client where they are and helping them from their point of view. Mekenock grew up in Rice Lake area, on the White Indian Reservation. He now looks to help native populations and other people in despair.
Wren Hopkins, ADC-T
Primary Counselor - LGBTQIA+ High Intensity Outpatient
Wren is a primary counselor in our men's high intensity outpatient program. graduated from Metro State with a Bachelor's of Science in Alcohol and Drug Counseling. She has experience in a variety of care settings, including direct & peer support services for people with disabilities and mental health advocacy for people living with severe & persistent mental illness. Wren practices chemical health counseling from a Harm Reduction mindset, with experience working with people in diverse stages & paths of recovery and wellbeing. Utilizing a person-centered, social-justice oriented approach, they seek to empower clients' autonomy and whole-person recovery via motivational Interviewing and centering client's chemical health goals.
Wren is experienced in working with people with disabilities, the LGBTQIA+ community, people living with HIV, people living with schizophrenia/psychosis, people diagnosed with antisocial/aggressive disorders, people who are unhoused &/or precariously housed, and parents in recovery.
Tina is our Outreach Coordinator. She was born in Martinez, California and raised a Minnesota girl who grew up in Frogtown. Tina is Minnesota Vikings fan and is a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. She is excited to help spread the word about our new Native American Outpatient with Lodging program and is working towards her Peer Recovery Specialist Certification. Tina is an Indigenous women working a long term recovery program and has not had a reuse in 3 years. She is eager to share her experience, strength and hope.
Kelly Sweeney, MSW, LICSW
Kelly graduated from the University of Saint Thomas with her Master’s Degree in Social Work and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in the State of Minnesota. She has experience working with people of all backgrounds and uses a variety of clinical skills, including but not limited to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. Kelly uses a strength based approach in assisting people process through their thoughts, feelings, emotions and past experiences to ensure people achieve their best quality of life and obtain feelings of self-worth. Kelly is also widely versed in assisting with safety planning for people experiencing mental health crisis as she previously worked as a mobile crisis practitioner in Washington and Scott County.
Joan Bullemer, MA, LADC, LPCC
Joan is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) and has worked with individuals, families and couples. She is trained in Adlerian Psychotherapy and has extensive experience in working individuals with addictions, mood disorders, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, grief and loss, as well as, individuals with serious and persistent mental illnesses.
Joan’s approach combines therapy focused on change in the “here and now”, trauma-informed, along with explored patterns of behavior developed in early experiences. Joan helps clients address symptoms and problems that interfere with life and create distress. She also assists clients in gaining more insight into themselves.
Joan’s style is interactive, intuitive, personable, open and empathetic. Joan is a graduate of the Adler Graduate School with a Master’s Degree in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy, with an emphasis in co-occurring disorders. Prior to that she worked as a licensed social worker where she worked in areas of developmental disabilities, child protection, chemical dependency and mental illness. In addition, she is certified in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) for the treatment of trauma. Joan has had training in hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness. She is also a military veteran and has experience in working with Veterans and their families.
Heather Wilmes, MSW, LICSW
Heather graduated from University of Saint Thomas with a master's degree in clinical social work and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). She has years of experience working with adults that have co-occurring mental health and substance use concerns, and a passion for working with LGBTQIA2S and HIV positive clients. Heather believes that every client has the ability to change and reclaim their power. She is a strong advocate for gender and sexuality affirmation. She believes in the power of body positivity and learning to love yourself and the body that you live in. She has been described as out-going, creative, unique and adaptive to change. Her style of therapy is warm, friendly, affirming and empathetic. Heather’s experience working with diverse populations helps to guide her practice and to look at each client from a unique perspective. She has been trained in EMDR, ACT, DBT, CBT, mindfulness, meditation, somatic processing and holistic practices.