Gene Taylor, MS, LPCC
Executive Director

Gene is originally from Huron, South Dakota. He received his Bachelors of Science Degree from Huron College in 1978 with a Major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. Gene received his Master’s Degree in Human Resource and Development from South Dakota State University in 2003. Prior to his position at Hoffmann Center, Gene worked in residential care with adolescents in South Dakota starting as a night youth counselor and working up to Program Director. He not only has administrative experience, he has extensive experience working on the clinical side with children, adolescents and families. He has over 30 years of working in various administrative roles within the residential field. Gene is the Executive Director of the Leo A. Hoffmann Center organization and Hoffmann Outpatient Counseling Service Centers. He is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.

Leah Davis
Office Manager/AR Billing Specialist

Kelliann Kutschke, MSW, LGSW

I have a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Corrections and Law Enforcement and a Master’s in Social Work both obtained from Minnesota State University, Mankato. I have experience with youth and adolescents in the area of social skills (CTSS), past trauma, sexualized behaviors, and youth and adolescents who have been involved with the criminal justice system. I enjoy helping clients find their strengths and empowering them to make positive changes in their lives. I believe in providing a safe environment for my clients to thrive and develop the appropriate skills and tools to make these positive changes. I enjoy being outdoors, learning, and spending time with my family during my free time. I believe incorporating self-care and being intentional with it is important to everyone’s mental health.

Ben Heeringa
Recreation Coordinator

Ben Heeringa graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation in December of 2020 and began working at the Leo A. Hoffmann Center in April 2021. Before being employed by Leo A. Hoffmann Center, Ben spent time interning at an inpatient behavioral health unit where he used recreation to enhance the mental and physical health of clients. Currently, Ben coordinates and facilitates the recreation activities here at the Hoffmann Center.

"What I enjoy about my position is being able to impact the lives of our clients in a positive way through recreation. It is rewarding seeing the clients smile, laugh, and having fun while having a positive influence on their mental and physical health.”

Brad Walsh
Residential Program Coordinator

Brad attended Minnesota State, Mankato and graduated in 2011 with a degree in Recreation with an emphasis on Program Planning and Facility Management. Brad worked his first 6 years at the Hoffmann Center as the Recreation Coordinator and has spent the past 4 years as the Residential Program Coordinator. In his free time Brad enjoys athletics, the outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.

Dr. Shane Wernsing

Dr. Wernsing graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota with a degree in chemistry. He then went on to earn his Medical Degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr. Wernsing completed his internship and residency in the Twin Cities of Minnesota and his fellowship in Wisconsin.

Thomas E. Kelly, Psy.D., LP
Clinical Director

Dr. Kelly is a Licensed Psychologist with 35 years of experience treating children, adolescents, and young adults. Dr. Kelly has worked in a variety of mental health settings and with a variety of levels of care including residential treatment for children, inpatient treatment for children and adults, and outpatient treatment for children, adolescents, and adults. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology and worked in a variety of classroom settings for children with special needs. Dr. Kelly began his professional work in psychology as a Milieu Counselor for children and adolescents and has worked with this population in a variety of roles since 1986.

“The Hoffmann Center is a place to open youth’s eyes to how their behaviors have affected their families, friends, and themselves. We offer the youth an opportunity to set the stage for positive and healthy change, there by restoring balance back to their lives and opening the door to their future.”

Karla Elmore
Business Manager

I have worked in the accounting field for almost 30 years. I also have HR experience with my last 2 employers. I recently worked with VSI out of Mankato as their Project Accountant and Human Resources for the last 5.5 years. Before that I worked with Wild Rose Home Health Services for 8 years as their Business Service Coordinator. With that I spent a good part of my time with the clients we served and enjoyed the hands on and feeling like I was making a difference in the people's lives. That was the reason I left MICO after 13 years because I wanted to be a part of something more that is also the reason I applied at LAHC. I have a 23 year old son and enjoy outside activities in the summer. Such as walking camping and riding my motorcycle. In the winter I like to attend Maverick Hockey games.

Mindy Smith
HR/Payroll Specialist

Mindy began working at the Hoffmann Center in June 2022. Mindy has experience in both the healthcare industry and HR field, having previously worked in employee benefits for a long term care organization. In her free time, Mindy enjoys creating art, reading, and spending time with her family.

Amber Reed
Knights Unit Supervisor

Anoria Zuehlke, MA, LPCC
Clinical Supervisor

Anoria joined the Hoffmann Center in June of 2021. She is a South Dakota native who sought out her grandmother's journey and received her undergraduate degree from Minnesota State University- Mankato and then ventured on her own to obtain her master's degree from University of Colorado- Colorado Springs. Anoria is licensed as a LPCC and has worked with children, adults, and families for the past 15 years. She is also licensed to provide licensure supervision to individuals who are seeking their licensure as a clinical counselor. Anoria conducts her practice through the strengths based and trauma informed care models. She believes everyone has the ability to be their best selves and by meeting a person where they are at and understand/listen to their story, one can achieve safety, healthy, and meaningful connection. Another passion of Anoria's is finding balance in work/home/self-care. When she's not working, Anoria spends time with her husband, two kids, and three fur babies. They love camping, traveling, boating, fishing, snowshoeing, swimming, yoga, baseball/softball, basketball, and volleyball.

Ben Copeland
Falcons Unit Supervisor

Greg Rueff
Phoenixes Unit Supervisor

Marik Armstrong, MA, MSW, LGSW

Marik completed a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota. Prior to that, he studied Anthropology at the New School for Social Research, the University of California-Berkeley, and Long Beach City College. He began his work in social services with veterans experiencing street homelessness, adults in emergency shelters and permanent supportive housing, outpatient children's therapeutic services and supports (CTSS), and adults with county crisis intervention. Some of his clinical interests include: somatic features of embodied trauma and the nervous system; sensory and motor and aspects of mental health diagnosis, Autism Spectrum Disorders, psychosis, experiences of dissociation, and problematic sexual behaviors. Marik served in the United States Navy, as an Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class, working on Marine Corps rotary-wing aircraft in the amphibious fleet. He has worked as a carpenter, a truck driver, a cook and had many other odd jobs. His interests include etymology and historical origins of the written word. He plays a little bass guitar, and enjoys camping and reading. Marik is from Mercer County, North Dakota.

Tessa Friday
Accreditation Coordinator

Derek Griffin
Office Assistant

Hello, my name is Derek Griffin! I recently moved from Maple Grove, Minnesota to Saint Peter. I spent most of my life in the city, and am now adjusting to smaller town living, which I am loving! I attended and graduated from Osseo Senior High School, go Orioles! I'm a diehard fan of the Minnesota Vikings, I never miss a game! During my free time I enjoy sports, fishing, watching movies and gaming! I also enjoy card games and table top games as well. I look forward to growing my career here at Leo A. Hoffmann, and I really look forward to getting to know each and everyone of my coworkers!