Tim McMahon is the Founder and Executive Director of Brightstone Transitions. Tim 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, he 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 personal 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
Jason is the Director of Business Development for Brightstone Transitions. He brings a wide variety of experiences and passions to the Brightstone team. Jason comes to Brightstone with years of management experience in both therapeutic programming and summer camp programs.
Jason has a great deal of experience in designing and implementing programming to help young people. Jason started his career working with inner city youth in the Atlanta area in a wilderness based programming for over seven years. Helping to develop programing for boarding schools on the East Coast became his main focus before moving on to other programing areas. 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, 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 where he served as Assistant Camp Director of Programs and helped to connect Bay Area inner city youth with healthier lifestyles through the outdoors. After several 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, but his 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 helping them find and pursue their individual passions. Jason understands that this often leads to young adults finding new ways to be successful. 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.
Director of Admissions
Dawn comes to Brightstone Transitions with a wealth of knowledge and expertise. She has served as an Admissions Director for the past eleven years in therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment facilities and young adult transitional programs. She has also worked in marketing, operations and program development.
She has personally experienced the difficult decision of placing her youngest of three sons in a therapeutic boarding school in 2007. It was through this experience that she decided to make a career change which combined her passion for advocacy and allowed her to utilize the tools she gained personally through placing her son.
Dawn has a wide range of certifications that allow her to better understand families on many levels. She became a certified parent coach through Next Steps for Success, a certified Health Coach through Integrative Nutrition and a DISC Certified Behavior Analyst as well as combined studies in communication at Valdosta State University and Applied Behavioral Science at Ashford University. She has also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for over 12 years as well.
Dawn is a native of Georgia. She is a mother to three adult sons and a grandmother of two. In addition to the aforementioned 12 years of CASA work, she has served as a member of Women of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P 1st and is a Founding Board Member and camp Co-Director of SeaSide Summer Enrichment Camp, which served at-risk adolescents being raised by their grandparents or other guardians for the past 10 years. In 2009, she founded The Family Hope Line which supported parents through coaching or locating programs that sought help for their adolescent, teen or young adult.
As our Admission Director, Dawn strives to utilize her personal experience, her knowledge and her coaching expertise to offer empathetic guidance, professional insight and solutions for each family she assists as they sort through the options available to support their young adult.
Lydia Bishop, LCSW
Director of Operations
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!
John McMillon is the Program Director of Brightstone Transitions. John has been working in the field of counseling and therapeutic programming for over 25 years. John earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Georgia Southwestern College and a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Human Development from Troy State University. John is married to his college sweetheart and has two grown children. He enjoys spending time with his family whenever he can.
Throughout the majority of his career, John has held senior level management positions. John began his career working with adults with chronic mental health issues. For ten years, he worked with this population with the primary goal of developing independent living skills and reducing the need for psychiatric hospitalizations. John spent twelve years working with adolescents in residential settings including a children’s home and a therapeutic boarding school. During this time, he held positions ranging from Administrative Director to Director of Counseling for programs that served young adults from across the country as well as some international students. John has spent the last ten years developing and managing a hospital based Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and an inpatient crisis stabilization unit.
John has a passion for teaching. As an administrator, John has served as a mentor and educator not only for the clients and families who sought services, but also for the staff who worked with these clients and families. In addition to his work at the hospital, for the last four years John has been an adjunct professor at The University of North Georgia in Dahlonega. He enjoys teaching Introduction to Psychology to students with a wide range of academic majors. His mission with his college students is not only to help young Psychology majors develop core knowledge of their major, but also to help students of all majors understand the importance of Psychology and the need to realize that we each process the world in our own personal way.
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 served as a director of a residential program for young adults and helped create a long term residential treatment program for young women.
Lauren has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Montana and a Master’s 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.
Director of Staff Development
Jill Allen serves as the Director of Staff Development of Brightstone Transitions. Jill obtained a bachelor’s degree from Salve Regina University in Secondary Education. Jill is currently working to obtain her Master’s degree in Human Service Administration from Bellevue University. Jill began her career working in therapeutic boarding schools, where she found a passion for working with those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). After finding her passion, she then focused her efforts on becoming a Behavior Specialist where she helped middle and high school students improve their behavior in the school setting. While serving as Behavior Specialist Jill provided direct intervention, created school safety protocols, and served as the Nonviolent Crisis Prevention Intervention trainer. Jill has also provided in-home supports to clients and families as a Case Manager and Supervisor with Boys Town of South Florida. While at Boys Town, Jill advocated for services for clients within their communities and provided parent support and training.
Throughout Jill’s experience she has focused on how to help staff and parents see client behavior as communication of needs. Showing both families and staff that if that if they look towards what is being communicated that we can find how to both decrease the behavior and more importantly help the client is Jill’s passion. She feels that with strong relationship building, clients feel safe to seek the help they need and will be more likely to accept feedback.
Jill and her husband moved from Florida to Georgia in 2017 to be closer to family before welcoming their first daughter in June. In her free time, Jill enjoys spending time with her family, reading, baking, and travels back to New England to see family and friends.