Spirit of Recovery Award Honorees

Each year, the recipient of the Spirit of Recovery award has embodied and demonstrated a dedication to 12 step philosophy, leadership in the recovery field, the encouragement of others, and the promotion of sober lifestyles.


2022 - Deb Keltz

2021 - Dr. Michael Stone

2020 - Mike Schaub

2019 - Pat Kelly, C.A.D.C.

2018 - Dr. Steven Ey, M.D.

2017 - Reverend Leo Booth, M. Th.

2016 - Louise Stanger, ED.D., LCSW, CIP

2015 - Sister Ada Geraghty, M.A., M.Ed.

2014 - Nancy Waite-O'Brien, PH.D.

2013 - Ed Storti, B.A., C.A.D.C. II, B.R.I. II

2012 - Jerry Moe, MA

2011 - Jerry McDonald, ACTA

2010 - Ed Spatola
Founder and CEO, New Found Life

2022- Deb Keltz

Deb Keltz has been named the 2022 Joseph L. Galletta “Spirit of Recovery” Award winner. In 2010, while working at Hemet Valley Recovery Center, Deb created this award to honor Dr. Joseph Galletta and his legacy and dedication of taking care of others, but never considered she would one day be honored to receive this award as she has always felt that her purpose is in helping people, without recognition, but she feels truly honored to be nominated.

After working in schools, where she was able to shape and change students’ lives, Deb joined the team at Caron, opening the Caron Adolescent Center, as the Coordinator of Adolescent Admissions where she spent 11 years working her way up, eventually becoming the first female on the Executive Leadership team, holding the title of Executive Vice President, Marketing. In her time at Caron, Deb centralized three admissions departments into one location and was instrumental to bringing Caron to the forefront of women’s treatment, including her work and collaboration in developing a women’s conference bringing together Betty Ford, Hazelden, and Caron.

Over the course of her career, Deb has sought out opportunities to learn and grow from others as she believes that addiction is like a toolbox; you never know what tool you may need to help someone. With this in mind, she has worked for treatment centers across the country, including Hemet Valley Recovery Center, Champion Center, Caron Treatment Centers, Promises Treatment Centers, Alina Lodge & Haley House, and the Gatehouse.

Deb is grateful to have been mentored by many wonderful people throughout her career. When asked by one mentor how she hoped to be remembered, Deb responded, “as a pioneer for women.” She has made her life’s work to be a pioneer and champion for women while focusing on her passion of helping others. Throughout her career Deb has mentored over 30 women and impacted the lives of countless individuals, bringing forth a spirit of service in everything she does.

Deb has never been one to seek the spotlight and has quietly worked behind-the-scenes focused on finding ways to help the client, supporting other women in the field, and recognizing those whose dedication matches these same ideals. When she is not working, Deb enjoys spending time with her family, including her three children and one grandchild.

2021- Dr. Michael Stone

Dr. Michael Stone is the senior, active addiction medicine physician in Orange County practicing for the past 52 years.

He was the medical director of the first chemical dependency unit in a general hospital in Canada in 1969.  Upon coming to California in 1976 he became an assistant professor in family medicine at University of California, Irvine. 

During that time, he was helping detox and treat chemically dependent patients at the Care Unit hospital of Orange which, at the time, was one of the few psychiatric hospitals treating alcohol and drug dependent patients in the US.  Also, at that time, Dr. Joseph Pursch (Betty Ford’s doctor) had his private patients only at that psychiatric hospital and Dr. Stone helped actively manage them for him.

Around 1983 Dr. Stone realized that with his long-time experience in addiction medicine he could manage nearly all the patient care he was doing at the hospital, in a much more comfortable and significantly less expensive way, and so he opened Cornerstone of Southern California in 1984. Cornerstone rapidly expanded and has been nationally accredited by JCO and CA State licensed and certified for over 30 years.

2020 - Mike Schaub

Mike Schaub moved with his family to Glendora California from New Jersey in 1977. Very soon after that Mike started struggling with issues related to substance use, abuse, addiction and mental health challenges. Social, economic and other health related problems followed, and eventually Mike experienced homelessness as well. After more than a decade of a chaotic existence living with the burden of addiction a small group of family, professionals in the community and some complete strangers helped guide Mike towards his first steps to a journey in recovery. That small group has since evolved into a much larger family, fellowship and mentors who are caring, spiritual, inspirational and loving.

For 26 years Mike has worked with Social Model Recovery Systems a multi-faceted human services organization which operates 23 programs and services throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties focusing efforts in the areas of behavioral health, substance use treatment, prevention, education and services for individuals experiencing homelessness. Mike started with Social Model Recovery Systems as a relief counselor when the nonprofit agency had only two treatment programs, River Community and Touchstones, and roughly 40 employees. In later years Mike was the Director of Outreach and today Mike is gifted with the opportunity to serve as Senior Director of Community Relations. Mike's responsibilities include brand management, internal comprehensive training, marketing and outreach, chairperson of the California Community Opioid conference, insurance provider relations, Drug-Free Anaheim, community based housing, alumni services and most importantly helping individuals, family members and professionals to find the most appropriate services for their needs.

For more than a few decades Mike has shared his experiences, been an advocate for positive change and volunteered his time in the areas of after school programming for children with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Pomona Valley Youth and family Club, services for the LGBTQ community, cultural awareness and education and a variety of addiction recovery related causes. Mike's spirit of volunteerism has included a small team of volunteers who help integrate twelve step philosophies into treatment programs in such regions as the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and India. Most recently Mike has been spending time with a small nonprofit Mental Restorations on the Big Island of Hawaii that offers outdoor excursions for veterans, first responders and their family members who are struggling with mental health challenges.

Mike resides in Glendora California and absolutely loves to spend time with his family who include his wonderful girlfriend Analyn, his amazing and very loving 23-year-old son Jake, his parents Patti and Walt, older brother Rick, nephew Dillon and his wife Jessica, their son Rowan along with extended family throughout California, Georgia and New York.



Ed Spatola is a New Jersey native and has over 20 years of Recovery. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a MS degree in Communications. He has been married forty-seven years and has four children, six grandchildren, one great granddaughter and another blessed event on the way. He is active in the community and participates in many humanitarian efforts.

Ed is always promoting the principles of twelve step recovery. He truly believes in this life changing program and is constantly telling others “go help someone”. His forte is to evaluate and place people who need help in the facility that fits their needs. As he says, “It’s a beautiful thing!”

Ed has extensive business experience. After 30 years of service, Ed took early retirement from First Fidelity Bank (now Wachovia) where he was a senior vice president of Product Development, Branch Administration and sales.  Over the next three years, he established and cultivated a marketing and promotion business with ties to the National Football League. He later sold his interest in 1993 in order to start New Found Life, an endeavor that captivated his imagination and energy because it focused on saving the lives of individuals and helping families who suffer from the devastation of alcoholism and addiction. 
Ed and the clinical staff are supported by employees who have worked for many years at NFL and in the field of recovery. Ed has continued to serve the community and the interests of New Found Life residents and alumni. He has mentored and employed many of the NFL Alumni and is constantly working to help others.

After eighteen years of growth, New Found Life, its dedicated management team, coupled with a sound clinical staff and devoted employees have turned a simple idea of helping others into a quality company with an outstanding reputation. 

Ed is always promoting the principles of twelve step recovery. He truly believes in this life changing program and is constantly telling others “go help someone”. His forte is to evaluate and place people who need help in the facility that fits their needs. As he says, “It’s a beautiful thing!”


Jerry McDonald has been named the Joseph L. Galletta “Spirit of Recovery” Award winner of 2011. Jerry has recently retired after 18 years of service at The Betty Ford Center with over 32 years in the addiction field. He personally, has over 34 years of sobriety.

“On February 13th 1977, my illness was flat lined by AA and I haven’t had a drink since four o’clock that afternoon,” explains McDonald. “This award presentation is remarkable because I am someone who should be thanking and honoring AA.”

Jerry’s career began as the Program Director for the country’s first inpatient program for the treatment of eating disorders at San Pedro Peninsula Hospital in San Pedro, CA in 1978. Jerry then moved to South Bay Hospital in Redondo Beach, CA in 1980 to establish its chemical dependency and eating disorder program while working under Dr. William Rader. Not long after, Jerry became Executive Vice President for the Rader Institute, a national healthcare corporation for the treatment of eating disorders. In his time there, Jerry opened the organization’s first six centers in California. Throughout his more than three decades in the field, Jerry has held director-level and VP positions at several California-based chemical dependency centers, and in 1995 joined The Betty Ford Center, where he was the National Business Development Representative. He retired in March of this year. Prior to his work in the addiction field, Jerry was an accomplished volleyball player and has remained highly involved in the sport. He served as the Vice President of Operations and Chairman to the USA Women’s Olympic Volleyball Committee and later was Assistant Coach for the 1972 Olympic Women’s Team. Jerry earned a spot in the YMCA’s Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1988. 

Those who know Jerry professionally, describe him as someone who has fulfilled each and every position in his career with energy, compassion and skill – and personally, a generous and popular fellow, and a master story teller.  

“If you’ve heard his stories you may agree that it seems like an episode of Happy Days, complete with his own nostalgic cast of characters, which are just legendary,” said Michela Sands, Corporate Director of Business Development and Admissions at the BFC.

Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat named Jerry McDonald as its recipient of the 2011 Spirit of Recovery Award because he embodies the spirit of the award’s namesake, the late Dr. Joseph Galletta. Like Dr. Joe, Jerry is a noted, respected, trained professional in the field of addiction and has assisted and touched thousands of people over the years, helping them find the courage to recover.

As last year’s award recipient Ed Spatola, Founder and CEO of NFL puts it: “There is no way to count the contributions he has made, like the ripples in a pond, they keep spreading out. So do his efforts and words.  He is the finest example of the twelve step program that I have seen and I am proud to know him. He demonstrates the ‘Spirit of Recovery’ every day.”

2012 - JERRY MOE, MA

Jerry Moe, MA, has been named the 2012 Joseph L. Galletta “Spirit of Recovery” Award winner. Jerry received multiple nominations citing his professionalism and dedication in working with children of alcoholic families.

Jerry is currently Vice President, National Director of Children’s Programs at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California; Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas and Denver, Colorado.

"Jerry is an expert in working with children of alcoholic families. He founded 'The Children's Place' in 1978 and has been running the Childrens' Program for The Betty Ford Center for nearly 14 years," said Joe Capela, Interventionist.

An Advisory Board Member of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, Jerry is internationally known as an author, lecturer, and trainer on issues for young children from addicted families.

"Jerry's compassion for the kids he helps is a gift. He is an educator, an innovator and a pioneer for childrens' counselors everywhere," said Joan Clark, Betty Ford Center Website and Social Media Editor. "His skill has made a difference in thousands of lives. He is a very special person."

Jerry received the 2005 America Honors Recovery Award from the Johnson Institute, the 2000 Ackerman/Black Award from NACoA for his outstanding work on behalf of children of alcoholics, and in 1993, he was awarded the Marty Mann Award for outstanding communication in the alcoholism and addiction field.

"He is so dedicated to educating the children about the disease and making sure these kids know that they have a safe haven in life," explained Eloise Gene Black, Betty Ford Center Business Development Associate.

Jerry is featured in the documentary Lost Childhood: Growing Up in an Alcoholic Family, currently showing on PBS stations across the United States. His books include: Kids’ Power: Healing Games for Children of Alcoholics; Conducting Support Groups for Elementary Children; Discovery… Finding the Buried Treasure; Kids’ Power Too: Words to Grow By; The Children’s Place… At the Heart of Recovery; the Beamer Series for Kids, and Understanding Addiction and Recovery Through a Child’s Eyes.

Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat named Jerry Moe as its recipient of the 2012 Spirit of Recovery Award because he embodies the spirit of the award’s namesake, the late Dr. Joseph Galletta. Like Dr. Joe, Jerry is a noted, respected, trained professional in the field of addiction and has assisted and touched thousands of people over the years, helping them find the courage to recover.

2013 - ED STORTI, B.A., C.A.D.C. II, B.R.I. II

Ed Storti has been named the 2013 Joseph L. Galletta “Spirit of Recovery” Award winner. Ed's multiple nominations describe him as a benevolent man, providing no cost or low cost care to those in need.

Ed is an Author, Lecturer and Intervention Specialist, is an International and California Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor and Board Registered Interventionist. He has choreographed over 3,600 motivational interventions throughout the world.

"Ed exemplifies Dr. Galletta's spirit and dedication to the field of recovery. He is a man of outstanding character, a fount of wisdom, and very passionate about helping people. He knew and admired Dr. Galletta and emulated his devotion to helping others achieve sobriety," exclaims Ed Spatola, the first Galletta Award recipient. "We are blessed to know him and he is fully deserving of this very special award."

Ed’s educational lectures and presentations on Motivational Intervention, Professionalism in the Workplace, The Disease of Appetite and Professionalism for Intervention Specialists are requested by medical centers, chemical dependency facilities, universities and national conferences.

Ed is a member of the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors and the Association of Intervention Specialists. He is on the Board of Directors for the House of Hope Foundation, San Pedro, California. Ed and his wife are weekly volunteers for Meals on Wheels. He is the recipient of the 2009 Spirit Award from the Gooden Center, Pasadena, California and the 2011 Pillar of the Community Recognition Award from Sierra Tucson Treatment Center, Tucson, Arizona.

His authored books include Crisis Intervention: Acting Against Addiction (Crown Publishing Company, 1988) and Heart to Heart: The Honorable Approach to Motivational Intervention (Carlton Press, 1995, republished in 2001).

"I admire Ed, not only as a truly gifted Interventionist, but also as a dedicated husband and father of two," said Jerry McDonald, the 2011 Galletta Award recipient.

Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat named Ed Storti as its recipient of the 2013 Spirit of Recovery Award because he embodies the spirit of the award’s namesake, the late Dr. Joseph Galletta. Like Dr. Joe, Ed is a noted, respected, trained professional in the field of addiction and has assisted and touched thousands of people over the years, helping them find the courage to recover.


NANCY WAITE-O'BRIEN, PH.D., OF WIND HORSE CROSSING, INC., has been named the 2014 Joseph L. Galletta “Spirit of Recovery” Award winner.Nancy received multiple, heartfelt nominations for the esteemed, fifth annual award.

Formerly Vice President of Clinical Services at the Betty Ford Center, Nancy directed inpatient, residential, day treatment, outpatient, and family programs - as well as training programs for professionals and medical students countrywide. She currently owns and oversees Wind Horse Crossing, Inc., devoted to providing training and therapeutic experience to individuals and groups wanting to increase self-awareness through the practice of equine-assisted psychotherapy.

Dr. O'Brien is also a founding director of Shaky Acres; a half-way house in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, and former faculty member of Prescott College’s Master’s Degree program in Equine Assisted Therapy. Currently, along with operating Wind Horse Crossing, she has a private practice in Palm Desert, CA and is a consulting psychologist at the Betty Ford Center, a part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Waite-O'Brien began her association with the Betty Ford Center in 1989 and played a pivotal role in the design of the center's unique women's program. She is a frequent lecturer on issues related to women's recovery.

"Nancy's willingness to help, no matter the situation or capacity, reflects her professionalism and genuine interest in the field. She is a champion for women, showing great compassion and insight," explains Joan Connor Clark, editor, Betty Ford Center. "I have known Nancy since her internship at Betty Ford Center over 20 years ago, and she still radiates the same aura of comfort and willingness to help."

Waite-O'Brien has more than 20 years of experience in addiction treatment both in the United States and in the Caribbean. She has co-authored articles on adolescent treatment and women's treatment issues, taught at Chapman University and published research on shame and depression in early recovery.

"Nancy is one of the most honored and respected women in the field of addiction and recovery, " said Juliana Weed, Director of Operations, Desert Palms. "Nancy has an impeccable reputation. She personally and professionally appears from a place of integrity and honesty and upholds high ethics and standards."

Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat named Nancy Waite O'Brien, Ph. D., as its recipient of the 2014 Spirit of Recovery Award because she embodies the spirit of the award’s namesake, the late Dr. Joseph Galletta. Like Dr. Joe, Nancy is a noted, respected, trained professional in the field of addiction and has assisted and touched thousands of people over the years, helping them find the courage to recover.


Ada Geraghty, a member of the Sisters for Christian Community, came to the United States from Ireland in the early 1970’s and worked in the Catholic Educational School system in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans and San Antonio.

In the early 1990’s, through the influence of Dr. David Murphy, Medical Director of the Exodus Recovery Treatment Center in Marina del Rey, as the result of a need for a safe place for women in early recovery, she founded a Non-Profit Organization called Women in Recovery in the Venice/Marina del Rey area.  Through her leadership, Women in Recovery became, in the words of the late Mrs. Betty Ford, “the premier aftercare facility for women coming out of treatment.”

Since then, Ada has continued her involvement in the recovery community in various ways, and through various positions, such as:

  • Counselor, Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles.
  • Counselor, Pacific Coast Recovery Center, Mission Hospital, Laguna Beach.
  • Spiritual Care Guide, Northbound Treatment Center, Costa Mesa.
  • Board Member, Non-Profit Winners Foundation, which provides substance abuse services to employees and family members of the California horse racing community.

Sister Ada continues her passion for helping women in the early stages of their recovery journey by providing individual counseling; referrals to appropriate facilities, assisting with intervention referrals and aftercare family support.

Ada also manages the Women in Recovery Private Foundation, which helps women and their families who are in financial need, with scholarship assistance.  Contributors to the Foundation include Hollywood stars, Jamie Lee Curtis and Anthony Hopkins, who both were drawn to WIRPF because of Ada’s “tireless dedication,” and “unbridled passion.”


Louise Stanger, has over thirty-five years of experience as a college professor and a licensed clinician, working with families and individuals who experience substance abuse and mental health disorders.  She has served as faculty at San Diego State University School of Social Work and ADSU Interwork Institute; as well as, been the Director of Alcohol and Other Drug Services at the University of San Diego.  Louise was one of the first United States Higher Education Associates named to consult with other universities across the country on how to reduce the risk associated with alcohol and other drug problems.

Louise is also known for her expertise in the areas of sudden death, grief and loss, and she produced one of the first websites on widowhood in the nation.  This led to her work with the widows of 9/11 through the Columbia School of Social Work and to write in collaboration with journalists for the NY Fire Department’s LINKS magazine.

Through her work with the Louis Sydney D. Holland Foundation, having serviced as its President, Louise continues her commitment to helping at-risk youth and to funding substance abuse programs that serve women.  The Foundation has provided pro-bono intervention services and scholarships for treatment, assessment scholarships for Autism, Training grants for Teen Line Suicide Prevention, outdoor experiences and art and dance experiences for at-risk youth.

Louise is a sought after voice in her field and as such has authored numerous blogs and articles in many well-known publications.  She is passionate about the intervention work she does with families whose loved ones’ experience substance abuse, process disorder, chronic pain, and mental health disorders.  She is well known for an invitational team approach.  Whether she is working collaboratively with other treatment professionals, inviting loved ones to change, or teaching families how to take care of themselves, physically, emotionally and spiritually or consistent with their values, she remains a fierce advocate that change is possible.


Reverend Leo Booth, with his over 40 years experience as priest, Unity minister, lecturer, trainer, and author, has been named the 2017 Spirit of Recovery Award recipient.

Today Reverend Booth serves as a Unity minister and author. His works are internationally acclaimed and he shares his message as a lecturer, and trainer on all aspects of spirituality and recovery from depression, addictions, compulsive behaviors, and low self-esteem.

Rev. Leo speaks at many National and International conferences, plus churches of all denominations. In addition to specific in-services and lectures on religious addiction and abuse, Rev. Leo presents workshops, lectures, and training on a broad spectrum of issues to a variety of organizations and institutions.

Rev. Leo writes regularly in Counselor Magazine and is the author of 10 publications, which include Say Yes to Your Life, Say Yes to Your Spirit, Spirituality and Recovery, The Wisdom of Letting Go, The Angel and the Frog and others. Rev. Leo has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America and others.

2018 - DR. STEVEN EY, M.D.

Dr. Steven Ey graduated medical school from UCLA in 1992. He then completed a three-year Family Practice residency at Kaiser Hospital and a one-year fellowship in Addiction Medicine through Loma Linda University. Dr. Ey has been certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine since 1996. In 2003, he became a Distinguished Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. In 2009, Dr. Ey was named to the Inaugural Class of Diplomates by the American Board of Addiction Medicine.

Dr. Ey joined Hoag Hospital as the Chief of Service for Addiction Medicine in October 2006. Prior to that, he served as Medical Director at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California and at Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach, California.

Dr. Ey has been involved with the California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) since 1995 and is a former director on the CSAM Executive Council. He also served on the CSAM Education Committee and has chaired the planning committee for multiple Addiction Medicine Review Courses. He has lectured on Substance Use Disorders throughout the United States. Dr. Ey is married and lives with his wife and two children in Aliso Viejo, California.

2019 - PAT KELLY, C.A.D.C.

Pat Kelly is a Certified Addiction and Drug Counselor and a Board Registered Interventionist with the Credentialing Board for Interventionists (CIP).  She is also a member of the Association of Intervention Specialists.

Pat has been in California for over 30 years helping people turn their lives around.  She is originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and is the second oldest of nine children. She has 24 nieces and nephews and over 50 great nieces and nephews.  Pat members among a large, closely-knit Irish family, and hers, known as the "The Kelly House" serves as its West Coast family home. 

Pat will celebrate 51 years of marriage in June.  She has four children ages 49, 48, 47, and 44. She is also blessed with three grandchildren aged 16, 13 and 13, respectively.

She worked for Psychiatric Hospitals for 10 years and has served as Director of Intake and Assessment.  She put together an intake training protocol for answering phones for St Joseph’s nurses on their Chemical Dependency Unit 19 years ago, which is still in use today to train intake professionals in treatment facilities.

Pat has worked at various treatment facilities, served as an Employee Assistant Program (EAP) Consultant, continues to mentor interventionists, and currently consults for several facilities' Insurance Utilization Review practices. She also mentors new outreach professionals in the addiction field.

Pat is a member of Addiction Treatment Advocacy Coalition (ATAC) , working with treatment centers to insist insurance companies pay for treatment on time and fairly. She just spoke at California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) about the ethical practices of admission and proper placement.

Pat performs interventions on all ages and all addictions. She is a trained interventionist in the Johnson, Storti, and the three Invitational Models: the Arise, Family Systems, and Break Free Invitational Model with Brad Lamm.

She is currently a consultant with Glen Swanson from His House  and New Creation College. In February she will be 13 years colon cancer free.  She lives life to the fullest and tries to enjoy each day in a positive way.