Without a hard working, dedicated operations team, how would anything get done at Red Oak Recovery®? With qualified addiction program guides, facilities managers, life skills facilitators, and gardens and grounds keepers, they keep our facility up and running while maintaining its serene beauty.

Nathan Gazaway, CSAC-I

Operations Director

Nathan is originally from the Atlanta, GA area and arrived in Western North Carolina seeking relief from a debilitating drug addiction. It was in these mountains where Nathan found new purpose and the desire to separate from all that had defined his life previously. Nathan brings his hard-won recovery to his position at Red Oak Recovery® and knows he has been exactly where all Red Oak Recovery® clients have been: in the same hopelessness and futility of trying to get clean on their own and failing. Nathan is thankful to be one of the lucky few to have the opportunity to get clean in a treatment facility, and this experience led him to serve in the field of recovery in roles as direct care, management at both transitionary and primary treatment facilities, and adventure programing. Nathan truly believes in the healing power of the natural world and brings an intense desire to respect and protect the mountains of Western North Carolina. This desire compelled him to achieve the title of Leave No Trace Master Educator as well as Certified Substance Abuse Counselor Intern.

Nathan’s mother is also active in her own recovery community, supporting those with addicted children and offering her experience to those in the destructive wake of the addict. In his spare time, Nathan loves to hike and explore the Great Smoky Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest with his therapy dog Ellie May. He enjoys woodworking, playing sports, and working on motorcycles. He also spends much of his time working with and mentoring other young men in recovery that may be seeking help from the 12-step community.

John Brown

Operations Manager

John came to us from Southwestern Community College where he acquired his Associate’s degree in Outdoor Leadership. A curriculum focused on experiential education and risk management, his program coupled the hard skills required to lead trips in the outdoors with the soft skills of group dynamics and team building. At SCC, he also became a trainer for a code of ethics, known as “Leave No Trace,” designed to educate on how to enjoy the “out of doors” with minimal impact on the natural environment. Being native to Western North Carolina, he aims to do just that. John grew up in the mountains surrounding Cullowhee NC, playing anywhere outdoors or out on a basketball court. His passions led him to become a Crew Chief as a Land Surveyor and a travel basketball coach for high-school-aged young men.

After acquiring a degree geared towards the outdoor industry, he knew he wanted a career path that allowed him to positively influence people while also challenging them to step outside of their comfort zones. At Red Oak Recovery® , John serves our clients as the Operations Manager, and as our Challenge Course Manager. His roles are largely focused on maintaining safe and comfortable environments for clients to focus on their personal growth and to enable employees to provide peak therapeutic experiences. John’s personal, professional, and spiritual mission is to serve our clients and employees and help them better themselves as individuals and members of a community. When he is not at Red Oak Recovery® , John finds peace and fulfillment through time spent with his wife and family, celebrating his faith, and enjoying basketball and nature.

Robby Gaddy, CSAC-I

Program Manager

Robby grew up about 25 minutes away from our men’s campus and feels proud to call these Western North Carolina mountains home. Robby has worked in the field of human services for over five years in various roles from direct care to Program directing. He received his bachelors in Psychology with a minor in Environmental Studies and along the way of his professional career has achieved his CSAC-I.

When Robby is not at work you can find him exploring WNC, Fly fishing, practicing primitive skills, playing soccer, getting coffee, and spending time with his lovely wife, two dachshunds, two cats and two fish.

Julia Hughes

Compliance Officer

Julia grew up in Germany where she spent her youth snowboarding and biking before moving to the U.S. in 2011. After coming to America, she spent her early adulthood exploring and experiencing a different way of life. When she moved to Western North Carolina, Julia fell in love with Asheville’s captivating outdoors and beautiful weather. Being a life-long learner, she pursued a bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in neuroscience from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, graduating in 2017.
After joining the Red Oak Family in August 2017 and working at The Willows campus as a Clinical Technician, she joined the Compliance Team in the summer of 2018. She is grateful for the opportunity to support the company in her role as Compliance Officer. With her love and attention for details, she is looking forward to creating, providing, and maintaining a positive healing environment for young adults in recovery.
In her free time, Julia can be found hiking on the parkway with her two dogs, doing yoga or enjoying the beautiful weather.

Brett Farmer

Facilities Maintenance Technician

Brett is a longtime resident of Western North Carolina. After graduating high school in Northern Virginia, he returned to the mountains where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Western Carolina University.

He enjoys working with his hands and has many years of experience working in the facilities maintenance field. His time working for a nonprofit organization has taught him the importance of helping others.

He stays grounded by working in his daylily nursery and spending time with his wife Olga.