Our
Leadership

We envision a future where all people in need can access high-quality and affordable behavioral health treatment and housing. First Step House’s dedicated and skilled staff and Board of Directors work to make this future a reality for those we serve.

THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE

Executive Team

Shawn McMillen
Executive Director

Shawn M. McMillen, MPA, ASUDC

Shawn began working within the field of substance abuse treatment services in 1987 at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI). While at UNI ...

Shawn began working within the field of substance abuse treatment services in 1987 at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI). While at UNI, he moved from serving as a counselor on the graveyard shift to the position of Primary Counselor on the Recovery Unit, and Program Manager for Experiential Therapy (Ropes Course). In 1998, Shawn served as the Statewide Intake Coordinator for a substance abuse treatment provider tasked to develop a centralized assessment unit. After joining First Step House in 2003, Shawn earned his Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Utah, and in 2005, Shawn became the Executive Director of First Step House.
Austin Davis
Associate Director

Austin Davis

After working in the for-profit sector for five years as the owner/operator of both a landscape firm and a tree removal company, Austin earned a degree in Business Accounting ...

After working in the for-profit sector for five years as the owner/operator of both a landscape firm and a tree removal company, Austin earned a degree in Business Accounting from the University of Utah in 2001. From there, Austin added to his business management experience by creating a construction development company that he operated for five years before joining First Step House in 2008. Since 2008, Austin has worked side by side with Executive Director, Shawn McMillen, to help First Step House move successfully into the 21st Century. Austin’s prior business management experience and his degree in business accounting provides him with the technical skills needed to solve the problems of the past while preparing for the opportunities of the future. At First Step House, Austin has served as a Driver for the Transportation Department, Project Assistant, Financial Director, and now as the Associate Director. As the Associate Director, Austin is responsible for all day-to-day operations at First Step House. Austin is a person in long-term recovery, a First Step House graduate, and an active member of the local recovery community.
Jared Ferguson
Clinical Director

Jared Ferguson, LCSW

Jared is a Utah native and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who completed his Bachelor and Master of Social Work Degrees from the University of Utah in 2007 and ...

Jared is a Utah native and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who completed his Bachelor and Master of Social Work Degrees from the University of Utah in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Along with his MSW, Jared completed an emphasis in substance abuse treatment. During his graduate education, Jared completed two internships at the Utah State Prison; an experience that forever changed his outlook on issues of justice and social equality. Jared has since focused on the areas of criminal justice, mental health, and evidence-based practices to address substance use disorders. When he's not working, you will likely find him pedaling around the Salt Lake Valley with his friends and family while he thinks about helping things "go right."
Heidi Spence Headshot
Director of Finance

Heidi Spence

Heidi earned her Bachelor’s degree at Westminster College in Salt Lake City and her Master’s at the University of Utah. She has a deep appreciation for Excel ...

Heidi earned her Bachelor’s degree at Westminster College in Salt Lake City and her Master’s at the University of Utah. She has a deep appreciation for Excel and mathematical accuracy. Prior to working at First Step House, Heidi spent time as a staff accountant for a publicly traded company where she managed the accounting for multiple entities, including some outside of the U.S. Her accounting related accomplishments will bore anyone. Her personal interests include the reduction of waste, gardening and poultry.
Jazz Hamilton
Human Resource Director

Jazz Hamilton

Jazz discovered a love for nonprofit work when he was 20 years old and working for the YMCA residential camps in Bellefontaine, Ohio. After graduating from ...

Jazz discovered a love for nonprofit work when he was 20 years old and working for the YMCA residential camps in Bellefontaine, Ohio. After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1996 (go Falcons!) with a BS in psychology, Jazz began working for the YMCA in Seattle (go Seahawks!). He started as a Lifeguard and worked to become the Senior Program Director of Membership & Marketing. After moving to Salt Lake City in 2008, Jazz became employed with the Salvation Army as the Business Manager where he developed an understanding of the needs of those struggling with addiction as well as the rewards of helping people achieve their recovery goals. He began his career at First Step House in October 2011 as the Human Resource Manager and since then he has used his skills and experiences to recruit, hire, and train qualified staff who are committed to the First Step House mission, possess an outward mindset, and are highly invested in the success of our patients. In 2016, Jazz joined the executive team in the role of Human Resource Director; he looks forward to continuing to contribute to First Step House while embracing the challenges, rewards, and triumphs along the way. Jazz works tirelessly with our team to seek out the solution to every problem and is not afraid to make mistakes!
Mary T. Calhoon, Development Director
Development Director

Mary T. Calhoon

Mary T. joined First Step House from the higher education sector, where she served most recently as Assistant Dean of Students and Director of New Student Initiatives...

Mary T. joined First Step House (FSH) from the higher education sector, where she served most recently as Assistant Dean of Students and Director of New Student Initiatives at the University of Nevada, Reno. She oversaw programs to support enrollment, retention, and graduation outcomes for all students, while providing trauma-informed support to students in crisis. Mary T. also founded the University’s Nevada Career Studio and worked closely with workforce development partners in the region. She brings to FSH more than 15 years of experience in collaborative leadership, communications, workforce and community engagement, program development, and event and project management. Mary T. holds a Master’s of Education from the University of Hawaii and a B.A. in English and Women’s and Gender Studies from Amherst College. Originally from Philadelphia, she lived in Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Nevada before moving to Utah with her family.
Kevin Hamlet
Operations Director

Kevin Hamlet

Originally from Watford, England, Kevin has finally landed back in Utah after stints in Idaho, Tennessee, and Florida. After graduating from the University of Phoenix ...

Originally from Watford, England, Kevin has finally landed back in Utah after stints in Idaho, Tennessee, and Florida. After graduating from the University of Phoenix with an undergraduate degree in Business Management in 2008, and his MBA in 2010, Kevin stayed busy managing movie theatres across the country. He also helped facilitate the operational needs of two mergers and was a multi-award-winning General Manager and Talent Board Member for the nation’s largest theatre chain. With a history of empowering his employees, Kevin is excited to share his knowledge in a positive and appreciative way. When not at work, Kevin enjoys hiking and fishing in Utah’s beautiful wilderness.
Amy Relf Headshot
Director of Quality Improvement

Amy Relf, CMHC

Amy hails from Southern Utah but has lived in the Salt Lake Valley for almost 20 years. She graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor's degree in ...

Amy hails from Southern Utah but has lived in the Salt Lake Valley for almost 20 years. She graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor's degree in psychology in 2007 and the University of Phoenix with a masters in clinical mental health counseling in 2013. Amy has spent her career working with vulnerable populations at the Division of Child and Family Services, Department of Corrections, and a community mental health agency. She has a passion for helping vulnerable populations and believes that all individuals deserve high quality mental health care. Amy spearheaded the Joint Commission accreditation process for First Step House and continues to focus on ensuring that we provide high quality services to our patients and stakeholders. Amy enjoys spending time outdoors, playing board games, and making memories with her family.

Board of Directors

KerryBResized
Prior Executive Director of The Housing Authority of Salt Lake County (now Housing Connect)

Kerry W. Bate, Board Chair

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.
Jacobresized
Audit Manager, Price Waterhouse Cooper, LLP

Jacob C. Smith, Vice-Chair

Annette Fleckenstein
Professor, and Associate Dean for Basic Science Integration and Faculty Development, University of Utah School of Dentistry

Annette Fleckenstein, Ph.D., Secretary

Kyle Jensen
Home Lending Leader (Utah & Idaho), KeyBank

Kyle Jensen, Treasurer

Charles
Addiction Counselor, Department of Veterans Affairs

Charles W. Talcott

Pam Gold Headshot
VP, Sales and Account Management, United Healthcare

Pamela Gold

BrandyFResized
President & CEO, Centro Civico Mexicano

Brandy Farmer

Take The First Step

Help is Waiting for You at First Step House

Contact an admissions specialist today to learn more about our treatment and housing programs. We provide comprehensive and client-centered services to help people build productive, meaningful, and healthy lives.