Tim McMahon is the founder and Executive Director of Brightstone Transitions. Tim has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Georgia, and has been working in the field of therapeutic programming for over 20 years. He has helped design and implement residential, therapeutic, and academic programs across the country. Tim is married with two children. When not at work, Tim enjoys spending time outdoors with his two daughters.
While managing 10 intensive residential treatment programs located in 6 different states across the country, Tim began to realize that there was need for resources to help young adults who, despite therapeutic intervention, needed support to move forward. These young adults appeared stuck, and were often unable to make plans that allowed them to advance. These young adults needed guidance, but often did not respond to the traditional clinical interventions. It was out of Tim’s passion for helping these untraditional young adults that Brightstone Transitions was born.
Tim has a hands-on approach to running Brightstone. Tim believes that the key to reaching these young adults is through persona relationships. With that in mind, Tim designed Brightstone to be a very small and very individualized program.
Tim brings a wealth of experience and personal knowledge to Brightstone which he uses to help his clients and families build a foundation for success. He helps clients to define clear goals and develop plans to work toward those goals. Tim believes in an action oriented approach that moves clients beyond the classroom and into real life experience.
Director of Business Development and Admissions
Jason is the Director of Business Development and Admissions for Brightstone Transitions. Jason brings a wide variety of experiences and passions to the Brightstone team. He comes to Brightstone with years of management experience in both therapeutic and summer camp programs. Jason received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a concentration in Southern Urban Minority Politics from East Carolina University. Jason enjoys the outdoors, whitewater canoeing and attempting to fly fish.
Jason has a great deal of experience designing and implementing programming to help young people. Through the years Jason has had the opportunity to work with several camps and schools across the country. Jason accepted a job as the Director of Conferences and Retreats and Summer Programming for the Greater Seattle YMCA. Jason then moved to San Francisco to work with the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco. There he served as Assistant Camp Director of Programs and helped to connect Bay Area inner city youth with healthier lifestyles through the outdoors. After two years of work with the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco, Jason took an opportunity to run a program near his family in North Carolina. During that work, Jason developed a passion for helping young adults that led him to Brightstone Transitions.
Jason takes an active approach to working with clients and their families. Jason’s work does not stop at the admission process. He continues to be involved with clients and their families throughout their time at Brightstone. A major focus of his work with young adults is getting them to find and pursue their individual passions. Jason understands that this often leads to helping young adults find new ways to be successful.
Lydia Bishop, LCSW
Director of Operations and Admissions
Lydia Bishop is the Director of Operations and Admissions at Brightstone Transitions. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Kennesaw State University and soon after worked for Cherokee County as a probation officer. Lydia quickly recognized that many of the individuals she worked with in the judicial system needed resources and therapeutic support. Given this recognition, she returned to Kennesaw State University and received her Masters of Arts degree in Social Work.
Following her graduate program, Lydia began working with adolescents and young adults in various settings, including Drug and Alcohol Treatment Courts, Juvenile Detention, private practice, and an in-home therapeutic family support program. Her most recent role as the Director of Admissions for a therapeutic program has given her the opportunity to support families across the country in need of community-based, therapeutic mentoring, parent coaching and family therapy.
Lydia brings to Brightstone, her passion and commitment to supporting struggling families and is honored to be a part of the Brightstone team. In her free time, you can find Lydia enjoying time with her husband and two daughters, engaging in outdoor activities and biking!
While studying psychology in college, Curtis obtained a job at a private psychiatric hospital in the Oklahoma City area working on the adolescent units. Curtis moved from this level of care to a new residential treatment center that had opened with 17 beds. Curtis stayed with this organization for 14+ years and helped it grow from 17 beds to 72 beds with a fully free-standing psychiatric hospital unit. Within this time frame, Curtis helped develop programming for the organization, trained staff in crisis intervention strategies and ROPES course instruction and managed the mental health workers as well as the ROPES course.
Having grown up in the west Texas town of El Paso, in the desert southwest, Curtis always wanted to live in a mountain environment. In 1997, he got that opportunity by moving to far north Idaho to work as a Team Leader in a therapeutic boarding school. Curtis continued to gain experience over the next 15 years working at two different schools in the same area. After this he spent two years working as a Program Director for a wilderness therapy program in southern Idaho.
Curtis and his wife have three grown children who lived most their lives in Sandpoint, Idaho. All three kids are now out of the home, in college, or out in the world starting their independent lives. Curtis is happy to be grandparents as well. Curtis and his wife both love to run, camp and hike, and we enjoy college sports. You can often find them running out on lonely roads, trails or in regional racing events where we often meet up with our extended family who also love running.
Lauren Kraemer, LCSW
Director of Clinical Services
Lauren is the Director of Clinical Services at Brightstone Transitions. She has worked with adolescents and young adults for the last 10 years. Lauren’s past experience includes working as a mental health specialist in a hospital setting and facilitating group and individual counseling in an outpatient clinic. She was a director of a residential program for young adults and helped create a long term residential treatment program for young women.
Lauren has a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from the University of Montana and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Walla Walla University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Lauren lives in Gainesville, Georgia with her husband and their four year old daughter. As a family, they enjoy playing board games and spending time at the lake.
Maggie Shay, B.S. ED
Assistant Program Director
Maggie is the Assistant Program Director for Brightstone Transitions. She has had various experiences helping clients and their families. She received her A.S. Degree in Exercise Science from Gainesville College and State University. Maggie then went on to B.S. ED in Physical Education from the University of North Georgia. Maggie gained experience working at Jacob’s Ladder, a Neurodevelopmental School and Therapy Center before coming to Brightstone Transitions in 2015.
Maggie has a passion for helping people. While not at work Maggie can be found outdoors helping young people at Aerie Experiences with Camps designed for children, families and individuals with special needs. Maggie knows how to connect with young people and enjoys sharing her own passions with them.
Gyan Samara (Picture Coming Soon)
Assistant Program Director
Gyan Samara is the Assistant Program Director for Brightstone Transitions. He comes to us with over twenty years experience in social services with a focus on creating and directing alternative youth education programs, as well as student and residential life programs. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design and received his Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Gyan is currently completing his Masters of Education in International Education from Endicott College.
Originally from New Hampshire, Gyan has lived and traveled all over North America and Europe, studying in France, the Netherlands, Mexico and in the United States. In addition to his background in program and staff management, he brings a wealth of knowledge in designing varied programs to help young adults learn life skills, continued educational, vocational training, and cultural recreational activities. Gyan’s passion is building great teams to support these activities and allow young adults to gain skills they need to safely navigate the challenges if independent living.
In his free time, Gyan is an avid painter and spends his weekends plein air painting, and exploring the local communities and cultures. He loves to hike and spend time with his Great Dane, da Vinci.