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Meet Our Leadership Team

Ricci Benson, Director of Youth and Family Services

Ricci Benson, Director of Youth and Family Services

Ricci Benson, Director of Youth and Family Services, Ricci graduated from Wayne State College in Wayne, NE with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in Corrections. She has been with Behavioral Health Specialists, Inc. since 2011. Ricci has been working with youth and families since 2008. She offers group or individual parenting classes and is certified in Love and Logic Parenting. She has a strong passion for working with youth and their families to promote positive changes in young lives. She is also a trainer in Question, Persuade, Refer Suicide Prevention techniques, Trauma Informed Care and TIPS-MAPP. Ricci provides a unique perspective to changing lives through teamwork and collaboration for all involved. She has also been a foster parent and is able to use her experience to help other foster parents.

Brian Samek, Director of Seekers of Serenity Place

Brian Samek, Director of Seekers of Serenity Place

Brian Samek, Director of Seekers of Serenity Place, Brian graduated from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. He has been with Behavioral Health Specialists, Inc. since 2015. Brian has been an advocate for individuals in the health care field since 2002. Brian enjoys being able to help the individuals we serve better their lives and live a life free of drugs and alcohol.

Jenna Kennedy, PLADC, CAMF Director of Community Support Services

Jenna Kennedy, PLADC, CAMF Director of Community Support Services

Jenna Kennedy, PLADC, CAMF Director of Community Support Services, Graduated from University of Nebraska Omaha. Jenna is a Provisionally Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor in Nebraska. She has been with Behavioral Health Specialists, Inc. since July 2014. She provides addictions treatment in an office setting and in the community to adults and families, which includes conducting evaluations and assessments, providing individual, group and family counseling, education in effective communications and social skills, intervention services, treatment planning and case management. She has experience using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. Jenna currently administratively manages Community Services, which includes the Community Support Program, and Youth and Adult Crisis Response Teams. She is a Trauma 101 and Recovery Facilitator and Certified Anger Management Facilitator.

Cindy Oltmer, LIMHP, LIMHP, LMHP, LADC, Sunrise Place (SRP) Program Director

Cindy Oltmer, LIMHP, LIMHP, LMHP, LADC, Sunrise Place (SRP) Program Director

Cindy Oltmer, LIMHP, LIMHP, LMHP, LADC, Sunrise Place (SRP) Program Director, obtained her Master’s Degree in Agency Based Counseling from Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. She has been with Behavioral Health Specialists, Inc. since 1992. Cindy has experience working at Behavioral Health Specialists, Inc. working in foster care, intensive family preservation, intensive outpatient, outpatient and residential treatment services. She has been an Independently Licensed Mental Health Practitioner since 2019, a fully Licensed Mental Health Practitioner since 2000, and a Licensed Alcohol Drug Counselor since 2002. Cindy specializes in mental health and substance abuse issues to include dual diagnosis, comprehensive substance abuse evaluations, individual and family counseling services. Cindy is a trained presenter of Trauma Informed Care. Additionally, she has obtained advanced training in Motivational Interviewing and EMDR therapy.

Dr. Connie Petersen, Clinical Director and Director of Outpatient Services

Dr. Connie Petersen, Clinical Director and Director of Outpatient Services

Dr. Connie Petersen, Clinical Director and Director of Outpatient Services, obtained her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas and is a fully Licensed Psychologist. She joined the Behavioral Health Specialists, Inc. team in August of 2007. She enjoys working with individuals struggling with addiction issues as well as individuals dually diagnosed with addiction and chronic mental health issues. Dr. Petersen is fond of utilizing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy strategies in the work she does with individuals and groups. She has skills in leading both a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Group and Courage to Change/Dual Diagnosis Group. Dr. Petersen is also a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Certified Anger Management Facilitator.

Jay Fleecs, Executive Director

Jay Fleecs, Executive Director

Jay Fleecs, Executive Director obtained his MBA from Wayne State and Senior Professional Human Resource certification. Jay has been with Behavioral Health Specialists, Inc. since February 2019. Jay has provided twenty-two years of strategic leadership in diverse industries by developing a positive culture through relationship building and teamwork. His “Servant Leadership” style enables employees to grow to their full potential and provide a framework for agency development. Jay’s main areas of focus are strategic planning, identifying, and utilizing strengths amongst the team to enhance team cohesiveness and relationship building.

Sarah Peitz, Human Resources

Sarah Peitz, Human Resources

Sarah has been with Behavioral Health Specialists, Inc. since June 2019. Having worked mostly in the area of Operations, she is familiar with developing company culture, recruitment, as well as managing people & processes. She is particularly experienced in the areas of strategic planning and mediating disputes for a win-win solution. Sarah values compliance & integrity. She is passionate about the team atmosphere and focus on client care & safety at BHS. Sarah’s vision in her HR role includes maintaining the balance of representing the agency’s interest, while simultaneously doing what is best for the employees.