Meet Our Team

Expertise in Recovery from Substance Use and Dual Disorders
Executive Director

Liz Harden, LMHC, CAP, CCJAP, Executive Director

Since 1989, Liz Harden has dedicated all aspects of her career to addictions treatment – including in-depth work with recovering healthcare professionals and award-winning specialty programs for women and people with co-occurring psychiatric illnesses.  As the first female and clinically licensed Chief Operating Officer of DACCO (2007 – 2014), Liz’s leadership helped propel the $18M Tampa agency into modern healthcare integration, converting the agency from a “community-based drug treatment center,” into an integral component of Tampa’s healthcare network for indigent and the working poor. Liz’s passion and energy is born from her own family history of alcoholism and recovery. Having walked in the shoes of despair and hopelessness, watching loved ones suffering from the disease, unwilling to seek treatment, Liz became a trusted guide for those in similar circumstances, assisting loved-ones with court-involved involuntary treatment.

 

Addiction Psychiatrist

Dr. Robben has dual board-certifications in addiction psychiatry and general psychiatry and completed his addiction fellowship at the University of South Florida. Dr. Robben is the Director of the Addiction Psychiatry Residency Program at USF. He has been published in peer reviewed journals and earned the following awards: Faculty Clinical Teaching Award, Outstanding Resident Teacher, Outstanding Student in Consultation/Liaison Psychiatry, Award for Clinical Excellence in Neuropsychiatry Clerkship, Outstanding Radiology Instructor/Preceptor, U.S. Air Force. Dr. Robben was voted by his peers as the Top Addiction Doctor in Tampa Bay two years running (2016-2017).

 

Professionals' Programs Director

As BoardPrep’s Director of Professionals’ Programs, John Lesko “Johnny” is involved in treatment decisions throughout the entire care process. Mr. Lesko is a clinician first, but also a seasoned and powerful advocate. His unique training and experience have prepared him for this exciting position, representing BoardPrep’s expanding commitment of resources for Physicians, Health Professionals Programs, Lawyer Assistance Programs, Nurses and Pilots.

Mr. Lesko coordinates the clinical care, as well as legal and licensing concerns, for licensed medical and legal professionals receiving treatment for addiction and co-occurring disorders.   Johnny is dually credentialed as a Certified Addiction Professional and a Certified Criminal Justice Addiction Professional, and has worked full-time in mental health and substance treatment since 2008.  He also served as Programs Coordinator for the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Florida Chapter, and was active drafting proposed resolutions for submission to the Florida legislature. Johnny practiced litigation in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1994 to 2007, specializing in the pursuit of workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability, and personal injury claims.

Mr. Lesko earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, 1994, and a B.A. in economics from UCLA, 1989. He is dually certified by the Florida Certification Board as a CAP and CCJAP.

Program Manager

Travis Pantiel is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern (LMHC July 2017) & Master Level Certified Addiction Professional who has been in the field of mental health and addiction treatment for over 5 years. His goal is to empower clients so they are able to overcome their obstacles on the path to recovery by utilizing an open, genuine, and nonjudgmental therapeutic relationship. Travis uses various therapeutic styles that fit to the client’s needs, including: motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral, solution focused, and existential therapy. Travis holds a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University.

Psychiatrist

In addition to her practice at BoardPrep, Dr. Fernandez is the Medical Director of Psychiatric Services at HCA Memorial Hospital of Tampa, providing enhanced linkage with hospital services when needed. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at the University Of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. Well known for her innovative work in treating mood disorders with ECT, Dr. Fernandez is also now an approved provider of the Florida Department of Health for the evaluation and treatment of Florida licensed health practitioners.

Dr. Fernandez holds clinic onsite several times per week, as needed for BoardPrep patients.

Services include:

  • Detox
  • Vivitrol
  • Sleep management
  • Anxiety management
  • Mood disorders
Clinical Director

John Harden, LCSW, ICADC, MPH, Clinical Director of BoardPrep Recovery Center

  • Addiction Treatment Expert
  • Alcoholism and Addiction Recovery Advocate
  • Founding Executive Director of the UF Health Florida Recovery Center
  • Former UF College of Medicine faculty in Psychiatry, founding member and Senior Resident Fellow of the University of Florida Drug Policy Institute at the McKnight Brain Institute

Transformed by personal recovery in 1983, John began helping other young people in treatment at the age of 19. He has dedicated his life and career to helping others recover.

Director of Business Development

With 15+ years of leadership and management experience in non-profits and digital marketing, Debra utilizes her passion and expertise to make recovery more accessible. Her networking efforts in the community improve understanding of substance uses and mental health disorders, lowering stigma and creating more opportunities for recovery.

As the former owner of Mascus America and Executive Director American Heart Association Tampa Bay, Debra is a career professional, proven innovator and entrepreneur. Debra has always been passionate about helping people but she has a special passion about helping people with substance use disorders and dual disorders find recovery.

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Vagg has over 25 years of objective testing experience, specific to individuals with substance use and dual disorders. Dr. Vagg completed his Honors and Masters degrees at the University of Melbourne, Australia, a Doctor in Philosophy from the University of Michigan and post-doctoral training at the University of South Florida. Additionally, Dr. Vagg worked as a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, at Long Island University and at the Center for Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology at the University of South Florida. He has edited two books and published over thirty articles in scientific journals and magazines as well as presenting papers on his work in the United States, Europe and Australia. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Personality Assessment, the International Association of Applied Psychology and a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic examiners.

Clinical Coordinator

Cory Albano, MA, MHI, Clinical Coordinator

Cory earned her Masters Degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health from the University of South Florida. She also holds a Bachelors Degree in Clinical Counseling and Applied Psychology from the University of South Florida. Cory has specialized in substance use disorders and dual disorders for her entire professional career. As Clinical Coordinator at BoardPrep Recovery Center, Cory works directly with individual clients and their families to help them achieve their best results from treatment. Cory’s possesses a rare combination of passion for recovery, creativity and clinical acumen, making her stand out as a special talent in the professional treatment field.

Senior Counselor

Archie became a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor through the renowned Parkside Medical Services counselor training program in the 1980’s. After a successful career at Parkside, Mr. Hayes fulfilled various leadership roles in the field including clinical supervisor and client advocate manager. His skill and experience in working with difficult dual-diagnosis is unparalleled. Archie is also well respected for his knowledge of 12-step recovery, as well as his infectious sense of humor and ability to “carry the message.”

Nurse and Therapist
Financial Coordinator
Hospitality and Facilities Coordinator

Louise has an extensive professional background in organization and human resources. As the coordinator of facilities and hospitality, she makes sure that BoardPrep Recovery experience is warm, dignified and engaging throughout. Louise utilizes her skills in planning, organizing and motivating to bring out the best in the environment, creating an optimal experience for clients, families and staff.

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Raymond Hewitt, LMFT, Family Therapist

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Damaris Feliberty, Case Manager

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Gabe Scofield, Recovery Support Specialist

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Dewain Thomas, Recovery Support Specialist

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Gordon Nelson, MA, Therapist

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Lisa Sherwood, Medical Assistant

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John Sherwood, Facilities

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