Meet Our Team

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Brian Anderson


Founder and CEO

Brian retired from the United States Army after 14 years of service as both a journalist and a Green Beret. Brian served 33 months in combat zones and earned 3 bronze stars, one with Valor, for his actions deployed as a Green Beret. As a citizen-Soldier, Brian started to identify the gaps in services for many of our Veterans returning home and as a BSW student at Saint Leo University, he helped form the Pasco County Stand Down. In 2014, Brian attended the inaugural Post 9/11 Stanford Ignite, at Stanford University through the Graduate School of Business and subsequently developed a plan with partner Janel Norton to open up The Veterans Alternative in November 2014. Brian serves on several boards including the Veterans Transition Task Force, a think-tank for updating military to civilian Transition through legislation and collaboration.

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Pat Fried


Chief Operating Officer

Patty Fried is a nonprofit executive with over 30 years’ experience. Patty received her Juris Doctorate from Creighton University. After practicing law for a couple of years, she soon found her passion in helping others in nonprofit organizations.  Patty began her nonprofit career with Eckerd Youth Alternative (EYA). During her 21 years with EYA, Patty held a variety of positions from direct care with at-risk youth to senior leadership positions in the corporate headquarters. With the foundation of her education, experience in nonprofits, and years of training and development throughout her career, Patty launched her nonprofit consulting business in 2014.  As President of Fried Consulting Services, Patty has helped over a dozen nonprofit organizations grow, develop, and become sustainable. She has a passion for helping in general, and embraces the opportunity to serve the Veteran and Military populations, having many close friends and family members who have served to protect our country.

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Chris Sowell


Team House Manager

Chris retired from the United States Army with over 15 years of service as a Combat Veteran and Non-Commissioned Officer-in-Charge (NCOIC) of Intelligence Support and Operations with the Combined Special Forces Operations Command Central. He then went on to work for the FBI Terrorists Screening Center as an Intelligence Analyst, where he strategically mapped and lead geospatial analysis operations. After retiring as an Intelligence Analyst in 2015, Chris came on as the Team House Manager at Veterans Alternative. As Team House Manager, Chris manages all local operations of the Team House to ensure effectiveness, efficiency and safety in all program services and activities provided. Today, Chris is excited to bring his experiences to Veterans Alternative and help other Combat Veterans transition back into civilian life.

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Kelly Sisco


Lead Clinician, LCSW

As Lead Clinician at Veterans Alternative, Kelly is responsible for providing clinical oversight of programs and services. Kelly is a trained ART therapist with over 25 years of social work experience in outpatient, school and residential settings, with a focus on trauma treatment. She graduated from Florida State University in 1993 with a Masters in Social Work and has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1997.  She is also a Qualified Supervisor for Registered Clinical Social Worker Interns. Kelly is passionate about supporting Veterans and their family members to promote post traumatic growth.

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Ashleigh Goforth


Operations Coordinator

As the Operations Coordinator, Ashleigh is responsible for supporting all operational programs and providing direct assistance to the Chief Operating Officer in the daily operations of Veterans Alternative. Ashleigh received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of South Florida in 2017 and went on to receive her Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Social Change and Innovation from the University of Southern California in 2018. Growing up with a widely diverse military family, Ashleigh is passionate about ensuring Veterans receive services that fit their unique and individual needs. She is honored and excited to work as an advocate for Combat Veterans through her work here at Veterans Alternative.

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Jesse Diaz


Outreach Coordinator

As our Outreach Coordinator, Jesse focuses on connecting Veterans Alternative with the local community and other veteran service organizations to promote our Retreat Program. Jesse received his Bachelor’s in Social Work and Minor in Psychology from Saint Leo University in 2016. He continued on to receive his Master’s in Social Work Advanced Clinical Practice in 2017. With a total of 34 self-employed years in the Ceramic Tile industry and 44 years as a musician, Jesse has melded his long belief in positive psychology along with his passion for music to design a unique music group experience offered at Veterans Alternative. Jesse’s other passions are his family and martial arts, having earned his 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

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Batia Gold


Licensed Mental Health Counselor/ART Certified

Batia Gold is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor at Veterans Alternative. She is trained in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), an innovative technique that is evidence based and non-intrusive. Batia received her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Florida Gulf Coast University. She is also a Certified Addictions Counselor and holds both state and International certification. Batia comes to Veterans Alternative from the Military and Family Life Counselor (MFLC) program that helps active duty Military Families through non-medical counseling. She has worked closely with families at MacDill Airbase, Ramstein AFB, Germany, and Lakenhealth AFB United Kingdom. Batia has come to Veterans Alternative to pursue her passion for helping Veterans overcome their trauma by using the breakthrough modality of A.RT.

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Amy Anderson


Yoga and IRest Instructor

Amy Anderson is a Registered Nurse and has spent most of her nursing career in Hospice, Home Health and Health Education. She holds a degree in Commercial Art and Design, as well as her 200 Hour RYT Yoga Teacher Certification and Level 1 Integrative Restoration Certification. Amy met Brian through yoga when he was founding Veterans Alternative. She found his story fascinating, and as a nurse, she believed in the concept of providing alternatives to medication as a healthier option to treat Veteran issues. She began volunteering to get the center up and running and has continued to volunteer ever since. In December 2016, with Veterans Alternative becoming a quick success, Amy began assisting Brian full time, coordinating events and providing yoga and IRest classes to Veterans. Together they started The March Home, an internet show highlighting Veterans’ stories and organizations that provide services to Veterans. Amy and Brian were married in 2017.

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Betsy Bowman


Master Certified ART Clinician/Program Coordinator

Betsy is a Master Certified Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) clinician specializing in trauma-informed care. She works at Veterans Alternative in Holiday, FL as a therapist and the program coordinator helping veterans and their families overcome symptoms of trauma and posttraumatic stress using alternative therapies. Betsy is also an assistant trainer at ART International, Inc., and is working toward certification as a trainer.

After a life-threatening accident in 2011, and extensive two-year recovery, Betsy found her true passion to help others overcome trauma and post traumatic stress using alternative therapies. She operates from a holistic perspective to empower her clients in making meaningful changes in their lives through evidence-based practices such as ART, along with positive psychology, meditation, and visualization.

Betsy is a graduate of the University of South Florida with her Bachelors in Social Work (BSW) and advanced Masters in Social Work (MSW) degrees with a clinical concentration. She is registered in the State of FL as a Clinical Social Worker Intern and is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW, provisional) in the Sate of NY. Betsy has completed basic, advanced, and enhanced ART certification and is also certified in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Additionally, Betsy has 23 years of experience working with at-risk children and families in the Public School System Guidance Department.