Meet Our Staff

Shelly Tichelaar

Executive Director

Shelly oversees the daily operations at Ranch Creek Recovery and is the intake director for new patients in need of drug or alcohol rehab.  She has 35 years of experience in working with addicts and has helped build a team of professionals that truly care about helping people get into the right treatment program.  Shelly is one of the first points of contact with our clients and helps them from start to finish throughout their recovery in the program ensuring that their stay with us is comfortable and therapeutic.

Katie O’Brien

Office Manager

Katie has worked at Ranch Creek Recovery since it’s opening in 2011. She has a background in customer service and hospitality. Along with Shelly, Katie is one of the first points of contact for our clients assisting them in the first critical steps of exploring the recovery process. She is here to assist in all questions pertaining to our program, providing a smooth and stress free admission process. Besides handling administration duties, Katie also oversees our office and marketing team. In her spare time Katie enjoys staying active with her husband, baby girl and her two lovable Great Danes.

Tracy Leonard, MA, ICADC, SAP

Program Director

For over 10 years, Tracy Leonard has worked in the Substance Abuse field in Southern California.  She has worked in multiple modalities including Residential (Holistic and 12 Step programs), Partial Hospitalization Program, Intensive and Outpatient Program, and DUI Education.  She has been the lead developer of two outpatient programs in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties where she has obtained management and coordinator skills.

In her early years of the recovery field, she worked in the youth and Native American demographics and part of the Suicide Prevention Hotline.  Her treatment philosophy is based around Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectic Behavioral Therapy focusing specifically on core issues in recovery.

Tracy Leonard currently holds multiple credentials in the mental health field.  She is currently ICADC as an internationally certified substance abuse counselor, SAP with the Department of Transportation, and a Certified Interventionist.  She is affiliated with NAADAC and CCAPP.

Tracy Leonard has succeeded in higher education including two Associates Degrees (Behavioral Science and Alcohol and Drug Studies), Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, and Masters Degree in Human Behavior.  She is currently enrolled at California Southern University for her PH.D. in Psychology.

Dr. Vickie Knick, PsyD


Dr. Vickie Knick received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology/Argosy University-Orange County in 2011. It was during this time that Dr. Knick completed her Doctoral research on resilience in the families of men and women serving the United States Military. She went on to complete her pre-doctoral & post-doctoral years working within an Inpatient Rehabilitation facility where she treated women struggling with substance abuse. It was during this time that Dr. Knick discovered that her passion was to work with those experiencing co-occurring difficulties. In addition to her pre and post-doctoral years, Dr. Knick has worked within community mental health treating juveniles in the probation system, private practice performing psychodiagnostic assessment to children, and providing therapy services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Dr. Knick believes in each individual’s ability to achieve a sense of health and enlightenment. She is married with two beautiful children, and is happy to call Southern California home.

Kimberly Gaines, MA, LMFT

Marriage and Family Therapist

Kimberly likes to help people be their best! She encourages people to build on their strengths and challenges them to make necessary changes to improve their relationships with others. Kimberly is nurturing and engaging, but willing to speak the truth in love to bring about positive change. Kimberly helps clients identify patterns of behavior and ways of communicating that are hindering their personal growth and causing harm, and teaches them effective coping and communication skills to makes things better. Kimberly motivates clients find ways to take better care of themselves so they can reach their full potential and enjoy intimacy with others. She urges people to take responsibility for their attitudes and actions and encourages them to be accountable to others. Most of all, Kimberly enjoys coming alongside individuals and families who are ready to make changes to improve the quality of their lives.

Kimberly has been counseling for over twenty years. She became licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in 1999 after earning her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University. She specializes in working with couples and families using an interactive Family Systems, Solution-Focused, Cognitive Behavioral approach. She has experience in a variety of mental health settings (medical hospital, social services, group homes, schools, and a day treatment program), but the majority of her experience comes from seeing clients in private practice.



Jay is very passionate about the work he does with others, helping them find their own path to recovery, wellness and living a purposeful life. In 1996 Jay got sober and one of his goals was to help others not to have to go through what he had went through to get sober. Jay has been in the field for over 15 years now and has come up through the ranks with the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Counselors.