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.
Nicole Billingsley, MSW, LGSW, LADC
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 licensed by the State of Minnesota as an alcohol and drug counselor and a graduate social worker. 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, CPRS
Owner/ Community Relations Director/ Peer Recovery Specialist
Von-Shan Billingsley is owner, community relations director, and Certified Peer Recovery Specialist. 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.
Brownell Hilger, MSW, LICSW
Mental Health Supervisor
Brownie believes that change is possible when providing the right balance of positive encouragement and gentle challenge. She is an intuitive and empathic listener. She offers insightful perspectives and the space and energy to help analyze these ideas and make plans.
She integrates 20+ years as a mental and chemical health professional in a variety of clinical settings. For the past 6+ years, Brownie has been a Clinical Supervisor for one of Minnesota's largest mental and chemical health clinics, where she has led a large, multi-disciplinary team of professionals. She also currently contracts with Fairview Health Services providing mental health services to the emergency room clients.
As a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), she brings expertise working with adolescents, adults, and families with grief, loss, depression, anxiety, addiction, impulse-control, trauma, personality challenges, transitions and adjustment, and relationship concerns.
Brownie really enjoys using her clinical leadership experience to develop and supervise mental health professionals working toward licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) or Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW).
Emily is the Executive Assistant to CEO Nicole Billingsley and fills many roles at Nivon Wellness Center. Emily is trained on meeting client and staff needs with empathy and kindness. She implements trauma-informed care to ensure all aspects of the Nivon experience are positive. Emily's mission is to lovingly serve staff and clients for a strong and healing community at Nivon Wellness Center. Emily believes every individual deserves the hope that recovery offers and is dedicated to assisting Nicole, Von, staff, and clients alike to achieve goals and find hope.
Receptionist/ Administrative Assistant
Jennifer Manzo is our receptionist/administrative assistant. She graduated from St.Olaf College with a Bachelors in Biology and Family Studies. She is the first person you will see upon entering Nivon Wellness Center in Cottage Grove. Jennifer's eagerness to help and warm demeanor ensure a welcoming environment. She has excellent communication and listening skills which allow her to successfully communicate with clients face to face and over the phone. Jennifer is passionate about helping others and providing the support needed for them to achieve their goals.
Kelley Murphy, BA, JD, LADC
Program Manager - Men's High Intensity Outpatient with Lodging
Kelley has been practicing as a clinical co-occurring disorder counselor for the past seven years. She has experience with adult, adolescent, group and family counseling, as well as animal assisted interventions. Kelley is licensed by the State as an alcohol and drug counselor and is an approved LADC supervisor. Kelley is trained in Somatic Experiencing trauma therapy and is an EAGALA certified equine-assisted therapy provider. Kelley believes every client has the capacity for change, and is committed to providing the tools and encouragement to facilitate learning and growth.
Judi Tuzun, AS, ADC-T
Women's High Intensity Outpatient with Lodging Primary Counselor
Judi is our morning group primary counselor. 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."
Amanda Thomas, AS, ADC-T
Amanda is our morning group primary counselor. She attended Minneapolis Community Technical College, earned her Associates of Science Degree in Alcohol and Drug counseling. Before coming to Nivon Wellness Center, Amanda spent 4 years in the substance use disorder counseling field working in detox, MAT, as well as with high risk offenders in the community and correctional settings. Amanda believes that everyone recovers differently and can find a path that works best for them with the right support. She also believes in Nivon's goal of providing integrated care to the clients they serve to produce the best outcomes.
Kari Solie, BA, LADC
Primary Counselor/Mental health intern
Kari believes that healing can reached by understanding one's own inner self with compassion. She understands that our behaviors have served a purpose at one point in our life. In a warm, compassionate environment one can disclose their experiences, thoughts and feelings to reveal what changes they would like to see in themselves. She is empathetic, non-judgmental and authentic. Kari is completing her internship for the Integrated Behavior Health program through the University of Minnesota. She is working towards the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor as a mental health intern at Nivon as well as the primary counselor for the aftercare program. Kari has had training in Prolonged Exposure therapy and educational knowledge in DBT and EMDR. She brings knowledge and experience from helping those suffering from severe and persistent mental health disorders. Kari has experience in co-occurring outpatient programs and mental health case management. She brings 7 years of experience as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor working with adults struggling with substance use disorders and mental health concerns. Kari has worked as an outpatient treatment manager and clinical supervisor supporting the care of clients embracing the harm-reduction model.
Ivan Nelson, BS, LADC, CPP
Ivan is our primary counselor for the evening outpatient program in Cottage Grove. He attained his Bachelors of Science at Metropolitan State University in 2016. He is a Certified Prevention Professional since 2018 with Minnesota Certification Board. Ivan is a trained Thinking For Change
cognitive skills group facilitator since 2014 with Federal Bureau of Prisons. He has worked in the non-profit sector for many years providing counseling and intensive case management services for single adults and families impacted by chronic homelessness, mental illness and substance use disorders. He is a proponent of Seeking Safety, an evidenced based, present-focused counseling model to help people attain safety from trauma, PTSD and Substance Use Disorders. He feels a deep appreciation for every opportunity to engage the clients he serves with dignity and respect, believing - perhaps the only gratification that can come from suffering is to learn from it and try to transform it into something that can help others. He is excited to join the Nivon Wellness family where he is confident excellent client care is exemplified!
Elizabeth Lerfald, BA, LADC
Elizabeth is our women's outpatient with lodging counselor in St. Paul. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from Bethel University as well as her certificate in addiction counseling from Adler Graduate School, where she is also completing her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She approaches substance use treatment from the view of harm reduction while assisting individuals towards abstinence. Elizabeth enjoys exploring different cultures, traditions, family systems and learning more about how they impact an individual’s core beliefs and is very passionate about social justice and helping survivors of human trafficking. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family, working out, painting and photography.
Natasha Gunderson, MPS, LADC, LPCC-Candidate
A graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Behavioral Health program, Licensed as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor, working towards Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor; she has more than five years of experience working with children and adults in the field of mental health and substance use disorder. She invites individuals to enter a warm and safe space in which to explore life’s challenges; utilizing principles of talk therapy and evidence-based treatment modalities including motivational interviewing, dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). It is important for her as both a therapist and a client that the therapeutic space is non-judgmental, authentic and genuine.
She is open to working with a variety of individuals on their journey in areas including women’s issues, chemical dependency, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, family systems such as couples and trauma. It is her goal to guide you while you seek your true and best selves. Her mission is to help you reach a higher quality of life by realizing your potential in your overall emotional, mental, and physical well-being. She hopes to help you through life's challenges, when you may feel stuck or disconnected from those around you. Through therapy her goal is to help guide you to live a fuller more authentic life.
Dani Thompson, MS, ADC-T
Dani’s understanding that all behaviors serve a purpose is what allows for her to provide a safe and non-judgmental space where people can feel comfortable to share their reality and experience their full range of emotion. Dani considers herself a person-centered therapist who values the principle of harm-reduction. She believes in the power of connection and support when working together to overcome the various obstacles and challenges that life will bring us. Dani has experience working with adults in an outpatient treatment setting and experience working with children and adolescents in both residential and in-home settings. Dani has practiced working with people who live with chemical dependency complications, grief & loss, anxiety, depression, PTSD, severe emotional and behavioral disruption, and autism-spectrum disorder. Dani offers her clients transparency, empathetic listening and thoughtful feedback while sharing the goal of developing congruence, creating change and increasing awareness of their unique thinking and feeling patterns.
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.
Allisen Isaacson, MSW, LGSW
Allisen graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Masters in Social Work. She enjoys working with adolescents, young adults, and adults from diverse background. Allisen has a wide range of personal and clinical expertise (CBT, Strength Based Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Humanistic Therapy and others) which allow her to be an effective therapist. She is an advocate for erasing shame and stigma that accompanies addiction and mental health.
Allisen believes that every client deserves a therapist who genuinely cares about their wellbeing. She strives to leave each client feeling heard, empowered and ready to manage the stresses that are encountered in life. Allisen understands that her clients are the experts of their lives, and meets them where they are on their life's journey that she feels honored to be a part of. On this journey work will be done to identify mental health obstacles and change them into opportunities for growth and healing.
Irwin Thompson, MSW, LICSW
Irwin Thompson is an African American Male Mental Health Therapist, LICSW. He provides culturally specific services to African American Individuals and Groups. Some of the topics he addresses when working with individuals and groups are loss of language, re-connecting to intellectual heritage, black pain, and de-stigmatizing mental illness.
Irwin is also a certified Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (TF-CBT), and is more than proficient in the following Treatment Modalities: CBT, SFBT, and Family Systems perspective. Irwin is a competent Mental Health Professional with and impeccable reputation in the community, with colleagues, and the Mental Health Profession.