Joni Ogle, LCSW, CSAT
CEO of Transcend Recovery Community

Joni has over 25 years of clinical experience, management, and leadership in working with adults and young adults suffering with addiction and trauma.

She is licensed clinical social worker and a certified sex addiction therapist with additional training in Recreational Therapy, Pia Mellody’s Post Induction Therapy, and Dr. Brene Brown’s The Daring Way Shame Resilience curriculum.

Guy Bender, LPC, EMDR Certified
Clinical Director

Guy brings a unique blend of clinical sophistication, creative program design, and practical business development experience to his role as Clinical Director at Heights Treatment. Guy has over 10 years of experience working with addiction, substance use disorders, co-occurring mental health issues and trauma. He is passionate about understanding neuroscience, the brain body connection and how it plays an intricate part in mental and emotional wellness. He has advanced training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Neurofeedback and utilizes these ancillary services at Heights treatment and in his own private practice to help enhance and accelerate the healing process.

Merilee Minshew
Client Care Manager

Merilee is an LPC with a Masters of Art in Art Therapy. Merilee serves as Client Care Manager at The Heights Treatment. Her welcoming spirit and warm nature help clients feel safe and cared for during their intake.

When facilitating groups, she uses an assortment of knowledge and skills gained from life experience as well as experience in art psychotherapy, trauma focused cognitive-behavioral therapy, somatic experiencing, and mindfulness.

Dani Peltier, LMSW, LCDC, CDWF
Primary Therapist

Dani is a Licensed Master Social Worker and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor with 7 years of experience specializing in addictions. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, and her Master’s degree at the University of Houston. Dani’s experience consists of working with adolescents and adults in both residential and outpatient settings. While in graduate school, she interned with The Daring Way™ where she was trained in shame resilience theory based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown, and later became a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator. Developing a better understanding of how shame, vulnerability, empathy, and authenticity impact people’s daily lives and interactions with others has helped her to grow both professionally and personally. She enjoys incorporating these concepts into her practice because she believes it addresses some of the core issues that lead to addiction and other mental health disorders.

Shannon Tantillo, LCSW-S, LCDC
Primary Therapist

Shannon Tantillo is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Supervisory Certification and is Licensed in Chemical Dependency Counseling. Shannon serves as a primary therapist, facilitating group and individual therapy at Heights Treatment. She has worked over 29 years in the behavioral health field in all levels of care spanning through research, detox, residential, PICU, PHP, IOP and OP with adults, couples, families as well as with children and adolescents. She has owned and operated young adult alternative peer groups and has a high aptitude in cultural sensitivity with specialty populations in the GLBTQ, HIV and alternative lifestyles.

Kelley Morgan
Client Care Specialist

Kelley is an LPC-Intern, supervised by Julia Ayraud LPC-S, and holds a Masters of Art in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Kelley’s passion and research spotlights how the intersection of race, gender, and sexual orientation shape our identity, self perception, and how we relate to the world. Incorporating her understanding and sensitivity to these topics is foundational for treating mental health challenges related to addiction, substance abuse, and trauma. She has used her warmth and authenticity to quickly connect in both an inpatient setting and a private practice tackling challenges like depression, anxiety, grief, and couples work. Because substance abuse has affected the lives of many people she loves, Kelley sees her work at The Heights as a privilege and an opportunity to support others who have been impacted as well.

Ely Pugh
Director of Human Resources

Born and raised in Mexico, Ely Velázquez Pugh found herself in the lone star state in the late 90’s after her mother re-married. With a broad range of interests and intellectual curiosity, she earned a dual-degree in Human Resources and Organizational Management from Ashford University. Throughout her studies, she gained experience in various areas in Human Resources, Office Management, Marketing and Program Accreditations in industries in the Energy sector, Healthcare, and Oil and Gas.

With her love for HR, she found a home in Transend and provides support to the organization as the Director of Human Resources. Ely has a natural ability to connect with those around her and remains steady and assured even in the most stressful of situations. Sometimes she enjoys her job way too much… a passionate HR gal, that is for sure!

Kari Pledger
Admissions Specialist

Kari, an Alabama native and Houston transplant, serves as an Admissions Specialist for The Heights Treatment. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Auburn University in 2013, but decided to pursue her true passion in helping people struggling with addiction and mental health issues find their path to recovery. She uses her personal experiences in recovery to connect with individuals and families seeking support in the treatment process.

Jennifer Dubois
Human Resources Specialist

Jennifer Dubois is a Houston native and serves as a Human Resources Specialist for The Heights Treatment. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas in Applied Anthropology and has found her career in working in HR. After wearing many HR hats and having experienced enough snow and ice, she and her husband relocated from Massachusetts back to Houston in 2018 where she continues her career in HR.

Ron Saenz
Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor

Ron Saenz is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor specializing in exploring the mind-body connection through mindfulness meditation and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. He earned a BA in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin, and an MS in Counseling from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. Ron is a former public school teacher and spent his early counseling career working in multiple inpatient facilities. Using an existential and mindfulness-based approach, Ron encourages clients to explore their spiritual foundations and seek personal fulfillment through value-based living. He believes that by connecting to our deepest spiritual selves we can more easily heal and transform our mental health and addiction issues.