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Michael J. Haws - Executive Director

Michael grew up in Farmington, Utah, with four brothers and a sister, not far from where Red Barn Academy sits today. He was a Boy Scout and church missionary, from a close-knit family. After returning from his mission, Michael attended Utah State University on an athletic scholarship. He suffered a back injury that ended his collegiate sports career, but he still managed to graduate with a BA in marketing. Unfortunately, he also graduated with an addiction to pain killers.

After college Michael worked as a Pharmaceutical Rep, then a Biotech Rep but his addiction to opiates continued to worsen. He eventually left the medical field to become a commercial real estate broker. He was highly successful initially, but his addiction eventually became unmanageable. Michael overdosed several times, was repeatedly arrested and spent several stints in jail, psych hospitals and rehab facilities. He ultimately wound up divorced, bankrupt and out of control.

Then something happened that changed the course of Michael’s life, On June, 29th, 2012, his younger brother, Dustin Haws, died from a heroin overdose. Initially, Michael went even further off the deep end; another car crash, another DUI and waking up handcuffed to a hospital bed, on his way back to jail. But then, on July 26, 2012 at the very table that now serves as the Red Barn Academy conference room table, Michael had a conversation with his dad, Rich Haws, that saved his life. Soon thereafter, Michael, his dad, and the rest of the family, made the decision to create a program at the family’s “red barn” to support individuals like he and his brother.

Michael completed the Substance Use Disorder program at the University of Utah in the Social Work Department in 2014. He worked as a case manager for over three years at Davis Behavioral Health and the red barn became a hub for a variety of addiction services to help those in need. In 2017 the Haws family decided to fully commit to making the red barn a classic therapeutic community and “Red Barn Academy” accepted their first student in August of 2017.

Now Michael is the Executive Director of Red Barn Academy, a flourishing TC with 50+ students. He is also an Ironman and Spartan Warrior and is happily married to the girl of his dreams, Tawni Goldsberry Haws, and they have a beautiful baby boy, Maverick. As a true survivor of the abyss of addiction and the ravages it can wreak on families and society at large, Michael is proud to now be able to help others find a life of built on integrity, discipline, hard work and family.

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Kevin Riehl - Program Manager

Kevin had problems early on in his childhood, starting with behavioral issues. This led to his eventual drug and nicotine use at the age of 10. His drug use and problems continued until it escalated into a full-blown addiction by age 17.

By the age of 19, he had become a convicted felon, and was unable to hold a stable job by the age of 20. His alcoholism and repeated drug use ruled his life. He was in and out of jails for a variety of drug and criminal related charges. Additionally, he had been isolated from his family for years due to his poor decision-making. In 1997, when his life was at its lowest, he finally started reaching out to his family members for help. His great-aunt told him about Delancey Street, a therapeutic community with locations throughout the U.S. Kevin reach out, and in October of 1997, he was accepted as a student of the Delancey Street Foundation in New Mexico.

Kevin was student at Delancey Street for 4 years. This period was transformational, giving him an opportunity to be re-taught the basic ideals that his mother attempted to impart on him when he was a young boy. He was given an opportunity to learn basic woodworking and craftmanship skills in the furniture shop. He was able to use these life skills upon graduating to earn a living and provide for himself – something he had struggled with his entire adult life.

Kevin continued his involvement with Delancey Street for years. He helped in the furniture shop by teaching wood carving classes and tricks of the trade, as well as proper equipment maintenance and procedures. Over time, Kevin decided to find a different way to give back. He began by working with children in New Mexico who had struggled with drug and substance abuse. This led him on the path of helping young men at a treatment center in Taos, New Mexico. In 2014, Kevin took a position as Assistant Director of a Delancey Street Replication in Anchorage, Alaska, which transitioned into a position as a Substance Use Counselor for a tribal corporation in Anchorage.

In 2020, Kevin found his way to Utah, where he accepted a position as Program Manager at Red Barn Academy. Kevin plays a crucial role in helping men find their way to Red Barn Academy. He is active in the interviewing process, helps coordinate court appearances, and makes sure that these men receive their diplomas or GEDs. He uses his broad experience to help the men at Red Barn make the changes they need to become successful and productive members of society.

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Anthony Widner - Admissions Manager

Anthony was born in Los Angeles, California, but was raised in West Valley, Utah. He had a very supportive family growing up, including a younger brother and sister. He was a good student as a child and he was taught to be honest and have integrity. He learned to respect his peers and to treat everyone with kindness and compassion.

However, Anthony’s Achilles heel was his anger problem. He would get in fights at school and would even go looking for trouble, just to have an outlet for his anger. After Anthony graduated high school, he left home and never looked back. His drinking and drug use became a daily habit. He quickly found himself leading a life of addiction and crime. He spent the next 10 years in and out of jail. He eventually realized that he was going to spend the rest of his life in prison, or end up dead.

With the inevitable prospect of prison or death, Anthony came to the realization that he needed to change. While sitting in Davis County Jail, he heard about a place called Red Barn Academy. He knew it was his only option to become the man he wanted to be. After a long process of interviews and letter writing, Anthony was accepted into the academy in August of 2018.

Anthony’s journey was long and difficult. He had his ups and downs, and problem after problem. However, he knew the man that he was becoming through this process was worth all of the challenges the world could throw at him. Anthony completed the two-year commitment, but it was not enough for him. He wanted to give back, so he committed to a third year.

The commitment paid off. After his third year, Anthony was offered a staff position so he could continue to give back for what had been given to him. He now oversees the legal intake and admissions of new students entering the academy. Anthony helps teach other students how hard work, discipline, and change are possible. Today – because of Red Barn – he is an amazing father to his daughter, son, brother, and friend to all those around him.

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Shane Goodbar - Sticky Bird General Manager

Shane grew up on a small farm in Sanpete County, Utah. He had a step-brother the same age as him, a younger brother, and a baby sister. His parents separated when he was very young, which gave him the opportunity to succeed in life with the support of not one, but two supportive families. This would turn out to be harder than expected.

His early years in high school were exactly what they should have been. Full of excitement and laughter, he was a natural athlete and lettered in football and wrestling his freshman year. This was also the year he started drinking. His drinking led to drug use, and halfway through high school, his life spiraled out of control.

His addictions took over his life. He lost all of his friends and became isolated from his family. Sports also became a thing of the past. At the young age of 18, he found out that he was going to be a father. He decided then that his drug use days were over, but drinking continued to be a struggle.

Shane was happily married for a short time. He had two little girls and was able to stay away from drinking – but only for a short period of time. A little while later, things began to unravel. He found himself divorced and isolated from his family. Once again, he turned to drinking as the answer.

By the age of 24, Shane had been in and out of jail several times within a short amount of time. He remarried and had two more little girls, but even this could not stop him from drinking. Shane ended up in jail three more times and was looking at criminal charges that would send him to prison for a minimum of 15 years to life.

This was the ultimate rock bottom for him. In a desperate search for help, he reached out to Red Barn Academy. Something had to change, and Shane knew it was him that needed to change. Red Barn Academy was going to give him the opportunity of a lifetime.

Shane spent two years at the academy where he learned and grew from the ones that had come before him. Now he is giving back what he has learned to current and future students. He also held numerous leadership positions while attending Red Barn. Upon graduating, he was offered a position as part of the staff. He is currently the General Manager of Sticky Bird, an academy-operated restaurant in the heart of Farmington. He now lives with his amazing wife and two youngest daughters. Every day he is able to wake up and take his girls to school, go to work, and come home as the man he was always meant to be.

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Nicholas Andersen - Program Director

Nicholas was born and raised in Davis County. He had what some would say a typical childhood. He was an athlete, a good student, and had plenty of friends. He experimented with drugs and alcohol in high school, but still graduated and chose to go on a mission. He served his two-year mission in Singapore and came back happy, healthy, and ready to conquer the world.

Shortly after his mission, Nicholas once again fell down a slippery slope and began using drugs and alcohol. After a couple of years of this, and causing a lot of damage, his family wanted to help. With their help, he moved to Idaho with his sister and her family. Nicholas was able to put his life back together to some degree – or so he thought.

After several years, he went from good to bad to worse. Back in Utah, he found himself in jail multiple times – not only for drug charges, but criminal as well. Rehabs, therapy, and even drug court could not help Nicholas from this path of destruction. After his fourth probation violation and additional felony charges, he was looking at spending years in prison.

Nicholas knew that his could be better and he wanted to change. His lawyer had mentioned Red Barn Academy, and so he wrote a letter to Red Barn Academy and earned himself an interview with Michael Haws. In his interview, Michael left an impact on Nicholas by telling him how much he doesn’t love his family. If he did love his family, he wouldn’t be sitting on the other side of glass. The good news was Red Barn Academy was the right place for Nicholas, and he was accepted into the academy.

In 2019, his journey to reinvent his life began. He worked for the moving department and overcame his negative behaviors through hard work and service to others. He became a leader in the house and eventually became the moving manager. He was becoming a person that could be trusted, relied on, and who could serve as an inspiration to others. After completing his two-year commitment and with the guidance of his Red Barn family, he decided to stay for a third year to give back and set in stone the man that he was becoming. The principles taught at Red Barn became more than just a practice for him – it became a way of life.

During his third year, Nicholas was asked if he wanted to work for Red Barn. He started off as the Program Manager, and today he is the Program Director. Nicholas gets the opportunity to help every student – just like the students before helped him. He feels privileged to help point every student who arrives at Red Barn towards their own success story. Today, Nicholas is a father, a son, and a productive member of his community.

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Marcie Valdez - Director of Development and Community Relations

Marcie Valdez is the Director of Development and Community Relations. Marcie is an accomplished non-profit director with over 20 years of proven expertise in managing complex assistance programs in both non-profit and education professions.

Most recently, Marcie served for seven years as the Foundation Director for Davis Technical College. She also served for seven years as the Director of Catholic Community Services of Northern Utah and served for 10 years in various director level positions for the American Red Cross of Northern Utah. Marcie holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Weber State University and was a licensed Social Service Worker for many years.

Marcie’s passion for non-profit and community services extends past her employment. Marcie currently serves on many community and non-profit boards and committees including the Davis County Housing Authority Board, the Davis County Human Services Director Committee, the Davis County Intergenerational Poverty Committee, and she is the past President of the Layton Rotary Club. Previous board and committee service includes, the Weber County Homeless Trust Fund, the Weber Housing Authority, the Balance of State Prioritization Committee, the Northern Utah Food Coalition, and the Weber State University, Child, and Family Studies Board.

The mission of Red Barn Farms is very personal to Marcie, as she has experienced firsthand the losses a family endures when someone they love struggles with substance abuse and criminal issues. Marcie’s ex-husband and father to her daughter and stepson has been lost in the cycle of substance abuse, homelessness, and incarceration for the past 15 years. They remain hopeful that one day he will find his “Red Barn.”

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