MEET OUR TEAM
Our Sober Living Team Lives Recovery Every DayMeet the sober living team behind the dream. Real Recovery began with a mission to raise the bar in structured sober living. Our founders built the program they wish existed when they were searching for their own recovery. Everyone at Real Recovery today shares this same vision.
George Mattfeld was born in Voorheesville, NY and is the youngest of six children. His passion for the outdoors led George to attend North Country Community College, in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, where he majored in Wilderness Recreation and Outdoor Leadership. After college, George’s drug addiction took complete control and almost cost him his life on several occasions. Knowing something had to change drastically, he moved to South Florida and devoted his life to staying sober and helping other alcoholics and drug addicts. This devotion to helping others and his love of the outdoors eventually landed him in Asheville working with the sober living team at Real Recovery. George has been with Real Recovery for over six years and in that time has worked as a house manager, parent liaison and site coordinator. He is an avid fly fisherman and enjoys mountain biking in his time off.
Ashley Garner, LCSW, LCAS-A
Ashley is originally from Asheboro, NC where she graduated with a degree in Photojournalism in 2008, working as a staff photographer in NC until 2010. Ashley enjoyed advocating for others through photography and felt honored to document every day challenges and successes through photography, but was left with a desire to become more involved with working with others.
Recognizing the desire work directly with others, she moved to Asheville, NC in 2010 to further her education in the field of social work. In 2014, she graduated with her BSW from Mars Hill University and in 2015, she graduated from East Tennessee State University with her MSW. Ashley brings a variety of experience from her training and work experience, including policy and program development regarding substance abuse and mental health treatment while at SAMHSA in Rockville, MD. She also received training at an inpatient psychiatric setting, providing group therapy, individual therapy, and case management for ages 4+.
Ashley has worked in an outpatient setting since 2015 in rural WNC and in Asheville, NC providing direct care across the lifespan. She approaches therapy with a focus on relationships, how to build healthy connections with others, and working with clients to find a meaningful direction in life. Ashley also incorporates her own personal recovery experiences into working with others, when appropriate. She utilizes a variety of approaches when working with others, primarily incorporating Acceptance and Commitment therapy. Ashley has many roles at Real Recovery, which include meeting with all new clients for intakes, community referrals, individual therapy, coordinating discharges, tracking data outcomes for Real Recovery, and working directly with insurance carriers. When she is not in the office, she spends her time at flea markets, photographing WNC, eating cheap Mexican food, and raising a toddler.
Outreach & Admissions Coordinator
Cameron Cann moved to Asheville in Spring of 2016 in search of a fresh start in his recovery. A native of Virginia, Cameron grew up with a love for the Appalachian Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay. During his last semester of college, Cameron’s addiction led him to seek help in a Wilderness Therapy program in Utah. Finding relief in the wilderness and thinking his problems were solved, he went back to school with a plan of staying sober. After graduating with a degree in Finance from Wofford College, Cameron moved to Colorado in hopes of finding continued recovery. His substance abuse issues began to spiral out of control again as he found a job at a financial firm in Denver. On the verge of losing his job because of opiate use, he sought out a doctor and began MAT treatment. Without the help of a structured environment, it was increasingly difficult to take his medication as prescribed and make any true progress through the 12 steps. He hit a point of desperation after two more years of trying to do things his own way, and was referred to Real Recovery by a friend. Real Recovery showed him a life worth living and reframed his perspective on sobriety. Cameron found that the therapeutic structured environment offered him the support to thrive.
He has a passion for helping others through outdoor recreation and is engaged in the AA community. Cameron usually spends his spare time out in Pisgah National Forest riding his bike or trail running, and enjoys seeing live music around town.
Deborah VanWieren LPC, LCAS
A Hendersonville native, Deborah VanWieren began her career in 1987 with inpatient adolescent work and over the years has developed a fascination with substance use disorders and the impact the disorder has on individuals, families, and society. She has experience working with both mental health and substance use disorders and enjoys working with families, individuals, children and adults in their home, in inpatient settings, and as an outpatient therapist. She is also a guest lecturer in addictions treatment at colleges and universities.
Deborah completed her undergraduate work in psychology at The University of North Carolina at Asheville and earned a Master’s degree at Montreat College in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Deborah's clinical focus is trauma work and attachment, and how these elements contribute to the development of substance use disorders. She enjoys assessment work and helping clients believe that a better life is possible with hard work and perseverance. She sees herself as a conduit and witness for change; clients make the decision to tell their story and find meaning.
Deborah is enjoying life as a newlywed. She and her husband enjoy traveling, fishing at the Outer Banks, and exploring the mountains.
Andy Macon, MSSW, LCSW, LCASA
Andy is originally from Knoxville, TN and, for much of his adult life, worked in corporate healthcare in operations, management, and compliance. During his time in corporate healthcare, Andy attended University of Tennessee and graduated with his bachelor’s degree that prepared him for law school with the plan to continue his healthcare career in medical law. During this transitional time in his life, he cites three events that led him to a career shift and to psychotherapy, which were the birth of his son, the overdose and death of a close family member, and his own personal journey as a client in psychotherapy.
Andy attended University of Tennessee College of Social Work and graduated with his Master’s of Science in Social Work in 2014 from a program that academically emphasized neuroscience, which is where his love for the brain developed. Andy began practicing in TN working with indigent children and families and adults with substance use disorders. In 2017, Andy moved with his son to Asheville, NC to get married. Andy began work in Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient at a local community mental health center.
In his psychotherapeutic work, Andy emphasizes and attempts to create awareness of neurochemical changes in the brain connected with intense experiences and substance use. When working with clients, Andy attempts to highlight the worthiness of their decisions that led them to treatment establishing a judgment free space in which to heal. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing, Stages of Change, and Developmental Trauma are approaches and modalities that Andy uses in psychotherapy that allow the clients to focus on identity and purpose.
James Bashaw, CSAC
Partial Hospitalization Program Clinician
James was born on a farm outside of a small town in southeastern Wisconsin. During high school and college he began to struggle with drugs and alcohol. Eventually this lead to admittance to several substance abuse programs. While getting sober, a few staff members had a profound affect on him in their eagerness to help struggling addicts.
After moving to Asheville, James began working at a wilderness treatment program in the area where he got his start in substance abuse. While there he started work on his Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC) credential. James started as a House Manager with Real Recovery, but moved to Program Assistant in 2017. He now has his CSAC credential and is looking to go back to school and pursue a master’s level clinical education.
Lee Ann Meadows,
Lee Ann was born and raised in Grassy Fork, TN and she is a mother to three beautiful children. Lee Ann has worked in healthcare for 15+ years and joins Real Recovery as our medical assistant, providing support to our psychiatric and medical providers. Lee Ann assists with scheduling clients for all medical and psychiatric appointments in-house and external referrals as needed. She provides education to clients regarding medication and physical health well-being. Lee Ann also works directly with insurance carriers to obtain coverage of medications, including Vivitrol and Sublocade.
Sober Living Coordinator / Parent Liaison
Wesley Culpepper was born and raised in Columbus, GA. He grew up with a loving family and had dreams of playing golf in college. His dreams and aspirations took a backseat when he began using drugs and alcohol at the age of fifteen. By the time he graduated from high school he was drinking and using drugs daily. At the age of nineteen he was in his first treatment center. He spent the majority of his twenties in treatment or in active addiction. After almost losing his life on several occasions he found himself at Real Recovery where he quickly learned that it was possible to live a life without drugs and alcohol.
While at Real his outlook on life changed and when the opportunity to give back to the program that saved his life was given to him he didn’t think twice. He now spends his time helping others work through the same problems he has experienced throughout his life.
Jason was born and raised on Long Island, NY. Upon entering high school he started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Through the years it progressed, and before he knew it he was 30 years old and in his 4th treatment center. During treatment they suggested he take another step towards his recovery and attend Real Recovery for aftercare. He was hesitant at first, but was reminded that going home and trying to have sustained recovery without accountability and structure had failed him several times before.
He ended up leaving everything he had in New York and coming down to Asheville to rediscover what had been missing from his life for so long – friends, laughter, and fun. His life improved as a result of hard work, learning to ask for help from others, and working steps with a sponsor. Upon completion of the program, he had a strong desire to give back in the same way that Real’s staff helped him as a client. Jason has expertise in culinary arts and stand-up comedy that he likes to share with the Real Recovery community.
Men's House Manager
Spencer has been working in the field of addiction for over 2 years. He was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia and had his own struggles with addiction growing up. He moved to Asheville in 2014 to start his journey in recovery and has found a passion in helping others.
He is an avid rock climber and loves to share the experience with others, along with his experience on the 12 steps of recovery which he has completed 3 times over. Today Spencer sponsors other men, treats those he meets with compassion and empathy and is always willing to meet someone where they are at.
Men's House Manager
Drew Fabso was born and raised in Stratford, Connecticut. The middle child to an older brother and younger sister, Drew lived a fairly normal childhood. He grew up playing all types of sports and continued playing throughout high school and even college. Drew went to Central Connecticut State University after maintaining above average grades throughout high school.
Always a casual drinker, college was really where his addiction and drinking really became an issue. It started with just experimenting with marijuana and pharmaceuticals. After little time he was fully addicted to opiates, cocaine, benzodiazepines, and alcohol. His addiction eventually led to him dropping out of college and moving back home, which is when his life really spun out of control. After trying everything from drug counseling to inpatient rehab, Drew realized he needed much more. Through all the detoxes, IOP’s, and halfway houses back in Connecticut, he was never able to stay sober for more than a month at a time. After hitting an emotional rock bottom and realizing he never wanted to cause this much harm to his family, friends, loved ones, and most importantly himself ever again, Drew made the life changing decision to move to Asheville. It was there Drew found some lasting sobriety and happiness.
Today Drew is active in the AA community, going to meetings and working with a sponsor, and enjoys any chance he can get to help fellow addicts. At Real Recovery, you can find Drew doing anything from helping guys get jobs to taking them to local golf courses for 18 holes.
Mike Monterastelli, CADC-I
Men's House Manager
Michael was born and raised in a Chicago suburb. Despite having a caring family and a good childhood, his struggles with mental health started at an early age. During his Freshman year in high school, drugs and alcohol were introduced into his life and seemed like the solution to his internal pain. This illusion drove his addiction which progressed over the years. In a state of despair he reached out for help and entered a wilderness therapy recovery center.
After treatment, Michael attended a sober living facility where he began learning a new way of life, clean and sober. On the journey of discovering personal fulfillment, he began working at the same wilderness therapy program he attended as a client. He continued in that field for 3 1/2 years, until transitioning to Real Recovery in October of 2019. Michael currently holds a CADC-I (Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor Intern) and is nearing completion of his full CADC. Having found purpose, meaning and joy in his own life, he seeks to be a guide for others to discover why the hard work in recovery is well worth it.
In his free time, Michael enjoys spending time with family and friends, making music, going to concerts, traveling, and attending 12 step meetings.
Women’s House Manager
Rebecca was born and raised in South Florida. She grew up with both a father and a mother who struggled with addiction. From a very young age she knew her purpose was to help people who struggle with this disease. Rebecca has had her own struggles with addiction as well, she started using opiates, ecstasy, and marijuana at the young age of 13.
Not long after starting to experiment with drugs, she found herself completely dependent which caused her life to spiral out of control for the next 7 years. After multiple detoxes and rehabs she came to Asheville in 2018 for a fresh start. Since being here she has found a life worth living, she avidly works the 12 steps of NA with a sponsor, and is very active in the recovery community here in Asheville. She has rekindled her passion for helping others and knows the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel.
Lindsey grew up in Raleigh, NC. She didn’t know what it meant to love and be loved, and she learned that through the process of recovery. It is one of the many gifts of recovery that she gets to give back what was given to her through a 12 step program. She is so grateful for the opportunity to work with people and hopefully show them the way towards healing and trust the way others have for her. Being in recovery from substance abuse has helped her find passion for the field and is in school working towards a degree in Social Work. She hopes to help other women realize what it means to listen to their hearts and find their own paths to freedom.
Men's Program Assistant
Having worked in education to help students prosper academically, Douglas McDaniel wanted to bring the same spirit to males in the world of recovery. With two decades of personal growth in the areas of sobriety and mental illness management, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to those beginning their own journey towards inner peace and contentment.
Utilizing not only the 12 Step program and one on one therapy, Douglas also runs, hikes, and road bikes in order to find a greater sense of happiness, spiritual connection, and emotional balance.
Men's Program Assistant
Christopher struggled with addiction for ten years before getting sober two years ago. He was a Real Recovery client for seven months and fully enjoyed his stay. The values that Real Recovery instilled in Christopher are still relevant and beneficial to his life today. He learned the importance of an active lifestyle and participated in activities that brought joy back into his life. Christopher was fortunate to have had experienced professionals guide him during his stay. He now strives to instill those same core values into the lives of the men he interacts with on a daily basis at Real Recovery. Christopher encourages them to experience fun and sobriety at the same time, creating a life worth living for anyone who has struggled with addiction in the past.
Allison grew up in Athens, Georgia and graduated from Georgia Southern University with a bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management. She then moved to Colorado, and worked in the restaurant industry for 15 years. During her time there, she saw first hand how substance use and abuse was prevalent. She then moved to be closer to her family in Asheville. After working a few years as a sales representative for a beverage distributor, she felt she had a calling to help others in a more personal manner. She attended AB Tech and earned a certificate in substance abuse studies. Allison plans to obtain a Master's degree in mental and clinical health counseling while working with Real Recovery. In her spare time, Allison enjoys spending time with her family at her cabin in North Georgia, going to live music concerts, and exploring the Appalachian Mountains.