About Us

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

JENNIFER DASILVA

Jennifer DaSilva brings her passion for helping women recover from addiction and emotional trauma to Simply Grace. She personally works with many women who have a desire to recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. Jennifer has been in recovery since 2013 and she has over 25 years in business sales and operations.

Prior to her joining Simply Grace she has worked at all levels in corporate and nonprofit organizations. She brings her experience in training and coaching, mentoring, sales, marketing, small business funding as well as working with small businesses to improve online reputation management and accelerated expansion. She’s won several awards for her exemplary performance and dedication.

SIMPLY GRACE BOARD

MURRAY COVENS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS - PRESIDENT

DAVID ELLIOT

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

DE'AN OLSON ROPER
PHD, LCSW

BOARD OF DIRECTORS - SECRETARY

ERIC BUTTON

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

G. LYSA AUSMUS
MED, MA, LPC

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

DR. MICKI WASHBURN

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

JUDGE JENNIFER BENNETT

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

EDWINA WRIGHT

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MARY RELIHAN

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

OUR STAFF

HEATHER NOLAN

CLINCIAL DIRECTOR

PAIGE FURIN

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

TINA SHUEY

ADMISSIONS COORDINATOR

MURRAY COVENS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS – PRESIDENT

Murray Covens had a long background in financial and accounting corporate management before starting a fundraising company for nonprofit organizations 14 years ago.  He has been involved in the nonprofit community for more than 30 years as a board member, volunteer, and consultant.  Murray has served on the board of directors for many Dallas-area nonprofit organizations, and is a former partner with Social Venture Partners Dallas.  He holds a Master of Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Houston, and was formerly a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant.

DAVID ELLIOT

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

A south Texas native, David is an entrepreneur who primarily engages in real estate, agriculture, and oil and gas investments; however, he also has a strong passion for addiction recovery. David started in the recovery business in 1993, and in 1999 he founded Burning Tree Ranch. Burning Tree continues to effectively serve clients suffering from habitual relapses. David remains an active part of the recovery community by supporting several addiction-based organizations, and by launching Burning Tree Foundation, his own non-profit organization.

DE'AN OLSON ROPER
PHD, LCSW

BOARD OF DIRECTORS – SECRETARY 

De’An Olson Roper, PhD, LCSW is a Practice Professor of Social Work at UTA and is in private practice.  She is an innovative leader, manager and mental health clinician with years of experience in program development and implementation in complex behavior change environments.  Her areas of expertise include program development, LGBTQ cultural competence, and clinical supervision. Her research interests are in sexual and gender minority health disparities, health risk behaviors, substance abuse, mental health and criminal justice.  She has served various volunteer organizations over the years and was a recipient of The Extra Mile Award in 1998.

ERIC BUTTON

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Eric is currently the National Outreach & Family Liaison with Burning Tree programs assisting Families, Loved Ones, & Professionals on the path of FREEDOM. He was previously a family support/referral specialist at Vista Taos Renewal Center. He is also currently a membership committee member at the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers NAATP. Eric has been in recovery since July 21, 2005, and enjoys flying airplanes in his spare time. 

Lysa Ausmus, MEd, MA, LPC

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Lysa Ausmus, MEd, MA, LPC, is a creative and resourceful administrator, educator, and mental health professional with more than 30 years of experience working with addiction and personality disorders. She began her career in corporate and commercial television and film production but soon returned to school to follow her first passion, which was counseling. As Director of Mental Health Counseling at Oak Lawn Community Services, Lysa operated an outpatient substance abuse program during the height of the AIDS epidemic and became a leader in fundraising for the HIV community.  She subsequently began her private practice while teaching and serving as Director of the digital filmmaking and photography programs at the Art Institute of Dallas.  Since retiring from education, she has returned to mental health services, this time in the hospital environment, where she operates an outpatient substance abuse program for adults and adolescents.  She remains active in the film industry in Texas, mentoring young filmmakers and judging film competitions.

DR. MICKI WASHBURN

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dr. Micki Washburn is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work. Prior to her appointment at UTA, Dr. Washburn worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Houston Center for Drug and Social Policy Research, and was the Coordinator of the Virtual Reality Clinical Research Lab. Dr. Washburn frequently integrates aspects of technology into her scholarship and has expertise in VR development and telehealth. Her current research focuses on the development of interventions for Latinx women with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders who are at risk of child welfare involvement. Dr. Washburn’s other work focuses on the implementation of large-scale system improvements to better serve LGBTQ+ youth and families with child welfare system involvement. In addition, she has extensive program evaluation experience related to mental health, substance abuse, and child welfare system improvement projects.

For over 15 years, Dr. Washburn has worked with people experiencing co-occurring mental health, substance abuse, and physical health concerns. She holds practice licenses in both Social Work and Professional Counseling. She is also a State of Texas board-approved LPC Supervisor. Dr. Washburn is trained in multiple evidence-based intervention approaches including motivational interviewing (MI), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Mindfulness Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE). Her extensive practice experience brings real-world knowledge to the classroom to further develop the knowledge base and skills of the next generation of social work professionals.

Judge Jennifer Bennett

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Judge Jennifer Bennett was elected to be the presiding judge of the 265th Judicial District Court in November 2014.  Her court hears felony criminal cases. Before taking the bench Judge Bennett served as an assistant district attorney, first with Harris and then with Dallas Counties for fifteen years. She was a supervising prosecutor working to train other attorneys, she presented cases to grand juries, and she was the lead prosecutor in over 150 jury trials

In addition to presiding over her felony court docket, Judge Bennett runs the Dual Diagnosis Aftercare Court.  She receives probationers from all of the Dallas felony courts who have gone through the 6-month in-patient treatment at the John Creuzot Treatment Facility on the dual diagnosis side. Probationers with severe mental illness diagnoses, as well as drug addiction, report to Judge Bennett and her team for aftercare.  In 2018, Mental Health America of Greater Dallas honored Judge Bennett with their Special Recognition Award for the work she does with the mentally ill.

EDWINA WRIGHT

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Edwina Wright has 30 years of experience in program management, IT security, and large-scale software system transformations.  She started her career in telecom managing switch center implementations and then spent many years as a consultant transitioning patient records to electronic systems. Edwina is currently a program manager supporting large-scale infrastructure systems for a global equipment manufacturer.  In addition to her corporate career, Edwina has served on the board of Candy Marcum Institute for Women’s Studies and Resolana, an organization supporting the needs of incarcerated women.  She has also been a volunteer with various organizations over the years. Edwina excels in managing complex change, driving disparate personalities to common objectives, and finding the most efficient path to success.

MARY RELIHAN

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Mary has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry. Her most recent role was Senior Vice President and Head of Fund Operations at Fidelity Investments. Fidelity Investments is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, and other financial products and services to institutions, financial intermediaries, and individuals.

During her time at Fidelity, Mary held numerous roles managing large operational teams in multiple locations. Her focus has been on creating top-performing teams with a focus on diversity and inclusion, resolving complex issues, and creating collaborative relationships. Prior to working at Fidelity, she was an executive director at JPMorgan. Additional roles held at JPMorgan included manager of a reconciliation team, as well as Vice President of Operational Risk Management.

Throughout her career, Mary engaged in various volunteer opportunities mentoring women to reach their full potential. She retired in 2022 and continues her interest to support the success of women.

Ms. Relihan earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Lawrence University.

HEATHER NOLAN

CLINICAL DIRECTOR

LMSW, LCDC, CCP, EMDR-trained.

I love people and am blessed to get to work in a job where I see the miracles of healing.  As a young girl, I was introduced to the 12-steps and it has lead me to a set of guiding principles that has given me opportunities to do many things and enjoy a life worth living.

I received my bachelors degree from Centenary College of Louisiana where I studied religious education and took as many art and sociology classes I could.  I pursued my Masters degree in social work at University of Texas at Arlington.  I am a certified challenge course practitioner, licensed master social worker, licensed chemical dependency counselor, and EMDR trained. 

I am honored to know the women of Simply Grace and to get to remember the journey we are all on one day at a time.

PAIGE FURIN

PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Paige Furin is a seventh generation native Texan who studied psychology and development family studies at the University of North Texas. Paige has always had a passion for helping others but never knew how to put that into practice until she became a part of the recovery community. Paige first came to Simply Grace in November of 2018, the start of her journey to recovery. As a resident of the Colmar House for 16 months she became the house manager and developed the life skills necessary to completely turn her life around. Paige credits her amazing transformation to a strong relationship with God, and with the help and structure of Simply Grace. She is forever grateful for the growth and opportunities she continues to receive as a direct result of this program and community. With the tools she has gained, Paige hopes to share her unique experience, strength and hope with other women in recovery. She is excited about this new journey in her life and she will be an amazing asset to the organization.

TINA SHUEY

ADMISSIONS COORDINATOR

Tina Shuey is a native Texas, born and raised in the DFW area. She is the proud mother of two children who currently attend Oklahoma State University and Arkansas University. Tina has a background in marketing and advertising, but recently switched gears to pursue a career in social work. Tina has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Stephen F. Austin and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is currently a candidate for a MSW degree from UTA and is on track to graduate in December of this year

Tina is active in the alcoholic recovery community, where she helps other women to gain the knowledge and tools they need to also live a full life in recovery. She also has 3 dogs and a grandcat.