The foundation of our services is provided by the Direct Support Specialists: Behavior support, Family support, and Peer support Specialists, under the direction of Care Coordinators, Program Coordinators and Healthcare Providers
Our staff seek formal and informal educational opportunities to develop skill sets that enhance the relationships we build with individuals. We establish a professional environment marked by collaboration, respect, and unity. We are in the processes of continued self-evaluation and self-improvement. We cherish the privilege that we have been given to assist those in the search of better lives.
Louise Ratcliffe, LMHC, CMHS
Behavioral Health Clinician, Senior Staff
Louise Ratcliffe has had the privilege and pleasure of working with many children, adolescents, and families during her thirty-year tenure at Excelsior Youth Center. During her employment at Excelsior, she has held a number of positions including Treatment Coordinator, Mental Health Therapist, and Program Coordinator. Prior to her work in the field of mental health, her professional experience included working as a Community Center Director, running summer day camps, and working for Spokane Public Schools in a Community Schools program. Louise is a founding member of the Cowgirls and Women Warriors program - a nonprofit organization started in Spokane, with the mission of providing no-cost retreats for women veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. She is currently a board member of the Spokane Entertainer’s Guild, is an active member of the Green Bluff Grange, and expresses her love of animals through her membership in HEART – Humane Emergency Animal Rescue Team. Louise has a passion for growing fruits and vegetables and is a Farmer-owner of LINC - a Local Inland Northwest Cooperative.
Amber Teichroeb, LMHCA, CDP, CMHS
Assistant Director, Clinical Training - Co-occurring Disorders
Amber moved to Spokane, Washington to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Studies. She continued her education with a Master of Social Work in 2013. She has worked a variety of clinical positions since 2010, including outpatient and residential treatment programs with an emphasis on working with children, adolescents, and co-occurring disorders. Amber is passionate about research and training of staff to further help implement quality services. Additionally, she has received specialized training in cognitive behavioral therapies to treat a variety of disorders, such as depression, anxiety, trauma and behavioral disorders. Most recently, Amber was nominated and the award-winning recipient to accept Outstanding Individual Service Award from Washington State Department of Social and Health Services at the Washington State Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment Conference in 2017. Via a person-centered treatment approach, she seeks to assure all the youth served in the community are accessing both mental health and substance use disorder services as needed. Her progressive views on concepts of recovery allow her to meet youth and families where they are at and give them a voice and choice in how they want to create change. Her life motto is "every passing minute is another chance to turn it around" which helps her be open, compassionate and accepting. Beyond her professional career, she is a mother of two boys, a vegetarian and a musician.
Drew Comito, AAC
Director, Integrated Care Coordination
Drew Comito graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelors of Science in Family Studies and a Minor in Psychology. While at the University he competed for the wrestling team and served as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee along with serving on the ex officio board with the Dean. He has worked with at-risk youth and their families over the last 6 years including challenge course facilitation, community outreach, and crisis stabilization
Jerry Schwab, LMHC, CMHS
VP Behavioral Health
Jerry has extensive education credentials, he holds a B.A. Psychology. an M.A. Counseling Psychology and a Ph. D. Leadership. He has been a school counselor, foster care caseworker, an assistant director of a homeless shelter. He has worked as an Outpatient Mental Health Counseling Director, Residential Treatment Staff, and a Child Mental Health Specialist. he uses a variety of techniques when helping people drawing from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy, Rogerian Therapy, Humanistic Psychology, and Spirituality. He believes in forming a trusting relationship and achieving a genuine compassionate connection is essential to the healing process.
Director, Facility Services
Eric is our Director of Plant Operations. He was born and raised in the Spokane area and is married to his wife Beth he met at an Excelsior Christmas party. They have been married 20 years and have 3 children. Eric started at Excelsior through a program with ESD 101, he worked here for 6-9 months with several other people just doing general labor, cleanup, and grounds. At the end of the program, he was offered a position in the maintenance dept. and started his career. Over the years he was promoted up the ranks in maintenance to now lead the dept.
Bryan Stanfill, LMHC, NCC, CMHS, CSOTP
Director, Managed Care and Insurance Relations
Bryan is a Spokane native who never intended on working in the social services. What started out as a way to pay bills and a hesitance to commit to a supervisor who left the agency in 1998, clearly has now become a career. Having tenure at a place like Excelsior allows a perspective on the human experience and the inherent resilience--especially of those on the margins--of our fellow community members. "I am called to be at the place where my 'deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.' Right now, that place is Excelsior and I'm proud to be part of the team." As a possibly unexpected psychotherapist--an introvert who does not consider himself a "people person"-- Bryan has enjoyed learning the stories of the youth, families, and staff of Excelsior. He spent several years in direct service, most recently supervising clinical team members. His latest adventure is in Administrative Services, which allows him to bring his training and experience to the operations side the agency. Outside of Excelsior, Bryan maintains a part-time private practice and has served as an adjunct instructor at Whitworth University (Go Bucs!). The geekery of reading, movies, and trivia are distractions that help him unwind and recharge. He is made happy by the sunshine, his nieces and nephews, and sweet chord progressions in pretty much any genre of music.
Amy Fager, AAC
Vice President, Central Response
In 1999 she graduated from EWU and married her best friend Sean. She has shared that the most positive decisions she's made in her life include her family and her career. When Amy began employment with Excelsior in 2000 her expectation was to gain some experience so she could "get a real job" elsewhere. Instead, she learned so much about the valuable work Excelsior does for the community that she was determined to find her niche here. She identifies that couldn't have planned for a more supportive husband and the team at Excelsior. Amy and her husband find their greatest joy when watching their two daughters play sports. And they are all competitive, which makes for some pretty loud and active game nights. Her vacations are often spent camping on a lake or on the coast of Oregon with her family. Hiking, fishing and loving every day!
Marilyn Pitini, LMHC, CMHS, EMMHS
Vice President, Mission and Initiatives
Marilyn graduated from WSU with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She worked in Seattle and Alaska before returning to Spokane. She began working at Good Sheppard Home in 1982 as a group living counselor and has had the opportunity to develop her skills and pursue a career here. She received her Master’s Degree from Whitworth College and has been a Program Coordinator and Supervisor at Excelsior in various capacities including Residential Care, Therapeutic Foster Care, Family Preservation, Day Treatment/Hospital Diversion, Respite and Co-Occurring Outpatient Services. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Child Mental Health Specialist. Marilyn is also certified by Washington Department of Health as an Ethnic Minority Mental Health Specialist. She has a passion for working with youth and sees the potential in teens to build the capacity for positive relationships and skills that will help them reach their dreams in life. Where others might see Stubbornness and Defiance, Marilyn sees Determination; Perseverance and helps youth develop their Virtues including Creativity, Flexibility, Care, Patience, and Trust. Marilyn enjoys camping, golf, time with family and friends. She also loves to travel and has several times visited family in Italy and the villages where her Grandparents grew up. Family is very important to Marilyn, her son and daughter-in-law have given her 6 incredible grandchildren.
Sara Schumacher, LMHC, CMHS
Vice President, Operations
Sara was born and raised here in Spokane and after high school attended Central Washington University, earning a BA in Law and Justice. She started working here at Excelsior in 2001, after completing an internship with the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, beginning as relief staff and working her way up to Support Staff Supervisor. She went to Alaska for 2 years in 2006 to work for Children Services as a Treatment Program Supervisor, before returning to Excelsior in 2008 to pursue a Master’s in counseling psychology. She left again in 2010 to attend Argosy University to finish graduate school, working as a mental health clinician at Ryther. In 2013 she returned to Excelsior because of her passion and dedication to working FOR and with the staff, children, and family we serve at Excelsior. Her career took her to many different locations, it led her down paths that were challenging and rewarding, but the experiences and opportunities always led me back here at EYC. Aside from work, her favorite things in life are spending time with her spouse and children, listening to music ( especially The Beatles, Alter Bridge, Led Zep, Pink Floyd), watching Star Wars with her kids, and being active playing sports.
Vice President, Human Resources
Josh was born in Nebraska and moved to the Northwest in 7th grade. He attended Clarkston High School and then Eastern Washington University. While at EWU he was a member of the football team. He graduated with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies. He has been with Excelsior since 2002. During that time, he has had several roles, from a new support staff to Supervisor, to Case Manager and ultimately to his current position. His goal is to continue to bring on dedicated people and provide a rewarding experience and opportunities to grow professionally.
Vice President, Finance
Kim was born and raised in Clarkston, WA and graduated in 1984. She moved to Spokane in 1987 to attend college. She graduated from Eastern Washington University in 1993 with a BA in Business Administration and Accounting. Kimberly has worked for Excelsior since 1994, she has served as Bookkeeper and Financial Director. She lives with her 2 daughters, ages 17.
Chief Development Officer
Kitara's passion is social justice and she currently serves on the Washington State Supreme Court's Minority and Justice Commission and diverse community councils and committees supporting that cause. She was recognized in 2010 as one of the Top 20 business professionals under 40 in the Inland Northwest by the Catalyst Magazine and was awarded the Golden Tennis Shoe Award by Senator Patty Murray. Kitara enjoys karaoke, kung-fu movies, and comedy. She is most proud of being a mother and a U.S. Army veteran. Her motto is "Your past doesn't define who you are, it adds definition to who you are." Kitara Johnson was accepted into the WA-Statewide Capacity Collaborative (WASCC) Leadership Design Team! The Statewide Capacity Collaborative (SCC) is working to co-create a grant process to better understand how best to invest in and strengthen the human capital of the nonprofit sector. The SCC serves as a hub for a core group of grantmakers in Washington to align, collaborate and strategize on how to best strengthen and support the capacity of nonprofits and the statewide nonprofit ecosystem.
Chief Clinical Officer
Ryan earned his M.S in Applied Psychology and Mental Health Counseling at Eastern Washington University and a B.A. in Speech Communication from Whitworth University. He brings over ten years of experience providing and administering programs for youth and families with complex needs. He started in Excelsior working as a Peer Support Specialist and was promoted to Vice-President of Programs where he saw the implementation of new behavioral health services implemented. Currently he is the Chief Strategy Officer, promoting Excelsior, and learning about national programs that will lead us into the next 20 years as a leading fully integrated health clinic. Ryan sees working with youth with histories of significant adverse life experiences as a challenge and a great opportunity to help kids achieve their goals and life aspirations. Their capacity to overcome adversity provides energy and inspiration. Ryan and his wife live in South Spokane with their two young children
Chief Operating Officer
Scott completed his AAS degree with a chemical dependency certificate at Spokane Falls Community College in 2003. He started his internship at Excelsior where he was hired on to be a primary counselor for the Intensive Inpatient unit that just opened. After completing his hours and national exam he became a CDP while earning his bachelor’s degree from Whitworth College in Liberal Studies with a minor in Social Services. He soon became the Director of CD Services for Excelsior and a member of their administration in 2006. He went to complete his Master’s degree at Eastern Washington University earning a Master’s in Social Work. He was promoted to a Compliance Director position that positioned him to task all contractual and regulatory environments. In 2016, he was then promoted to the Chief Operating Officer position. His position oversees the various facets of running an integrated healthcare and educational organization, including regulatory reviews with multiple state and county agencies that all have federal regulations. He writes and implements policy and procedures to meet federal and state regulations, facilitates grant development and maintenance, writes RFP’s and LOI’s for expansion of programs and contracts. He has worked extensively with developing hospital diversion programs and maintaining them in production. In 2016, Scott became a Board member to IEEC (Inland Empire Educational Consortium) and is currently serving as secretary for that Board.
Chief Executive Officer/President
Andrew earned his M.S. in Applied Psychology-Mental Health Counseling from Eastern Washington University in 2008 and also holds B.A. in Outdoor Recreation and Leisure Service Management, with a minor in music. His interests in music composition, teaching guitar, and therapeutic recreation fostered a passion for blending therapeutic intent with experiential education opportunities, particularly for marginalized populations. Early work in human services led Andrew to launch his professional behavioral health career when he was hired as a therapist at Excelsior. He went on to earn his Mental Health Counselor License and National Counselor Certification. He additionally is a Registered Recreation Therapist and Child Mental Health Specialist. Leadership positions at Excelsior before becoming CEO included service as the agency’s Compliance Director and Residential Director. Andrew and his wife live in north Spokane with their two children and two Bernese Mountain dogs.