Founder, President, Executive Director

Karen Kahn is the Founder, President, and Executive Director of Crescent Moon Center. Karen is an attorney, equestrian, artist, writer, and mother who lives in the Bay Area with her husband, her dog, and her horses. She is a certified member of the Board of Equine Interaction Professionals. She is also certified in Art4Healing by Brandman University. Karen has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California in Art History and a Juris Doctorate from the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law. Throughout her career, Karen has represented plaintiffs with serious injuries from environmental and chemical exposures.

Karen was born and raised in New York City. Her parents were artists and art collectors - her father carried his passion for art into his work as a dentist, thus laying the groundwork for Karen's interest in blending art with the healing of the body and mind. As an introspective person growing up in a family which was not particularly child-oriented, Karen developed a vision of life through her involvement with horses and creative arts. She has always been an advocate for justice, giving a voice to the underserved, unrepresented and injured members of the community. 

Crescent Moon Center grew out of Karen's personal involvement with a family member who has struggled with addiction. Karen gained perspective into the recovery process and realized how important it is that people in recovery have access to affordable programs which promote sustained recovery. Karen is also a strong proponent of the belief that horses and creative arts can have a transformative effect on one’s life.


Board Member

Peter was born and raised in Berkeley, California. He grew up during the time when drug and alcohol use was reaching epidemic proportions and personally witnessed how substance abuse affected his friends and the community around him. Peter worked for years with a physician in the Haight-Ashbury Medical Clinic and handled many cases in which drug addiction was an issue. 


Peter has been a leading litigation attorney in the Bay Area for 39 years. He has represented plaintiffs with catastrophic injuries and has developed an expertise in the representation of children who have been physically and emotionally abused in the private and public school systems. Many of the children he represents are autistic or have other special needs. 

​Peter holds a Preeminent AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell since 1990 and has been ranked as Tier 1 Best Lawyers in America for years. He is a member of San Francisco ABOTA and past President of Alameda Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association. Peter co-founded the personal injury firm formerly known as Hinton Alfert Sumner & Kaufmann more than twenty-five years ago. He is now the President of The Law Offices of Peter Alfert, PC.

​Peter has a particular interest in African art. In his spare time, he likes to travel with his wife and play with his grandchildren. 


Board Member

Michael Genovese, M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer of Acadia Healthcare.  Acadia operates a network of 585 behavioral health facilities with approximately 17,900 beds in 40 States, the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico.


Dr. Genovese is also the Medical Director of the Officer Safety and Wellness Committee of the FBI National Academy Associates.  He has served as the Chief Medical Advisor to Acadia Healthcare’s Recovery Division, as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona and Chief Medical Officer of Sierra Tucson, one of the earliest leading residential treatment centers for substance abuse. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, a member of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.


Dr. Genovese co-founded the multidisciplinary medical practice Long Island Mind and Body in New York while practicing as an attending physician at NYU/Winthrop University Hospital. He was a fellow at the NYU/North Shore University Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program, and he completed his residency training at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.


Before beginning his medical studies, Dr. Genovese earned a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is a member of the New York Bar and the American Bar Association and is an advocate for attorneys and first responders seeking treatment for addiction and co-occurring disorders.


Dr. Genovese writes, speaks, teaches and consults widely in the disciplines of pharmacology, neuromodulation and pharmacogenomics.  He has championed healthcare communication and serves as a Member of the Academy of Judges for the Sharecare Awards in Association with the Emmys.


Board Member

Georges Schneider has spent most of her life around horses. She grew up with a mother who had significant mental health issues, and her work and relationship with horses was her refuge. Through horses, she was able to connect with her own authenticity, aiding in her journey towards success.  She began teaching riding professionally at the age of 16 and was drawn towards work with disabled and troubled youth and adults.


While getting her B.S. in Biology at U.C. Irvine and her MBA at U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Georges continued to work with horses and troubled youth. Georges personally observed, and was amazed by, the power of horses to heal her students from the difficulties and challenges they faced. During her MBA Program, George was recognized for her volunteer work and became a “Haas Community Fellow.”


After graduating from the Haas School of Business in 2007, Georges developed and incorporated her own unique and innovative business called Equestrian Entries (, an online horse show entry platform. She undertook this work while employed within the high-tech industry - starting at Oracle, continuing into a position at Apple, and then most recently, with her current employer, Google. Georges moved to Reno, Nevada in 2012, where she began to volunteer as a mentor for tech start-ups through Summit Venture Mentoring Service. She also guest lectured at the University of Nevada, Reno Business School and judged business competitions, such as the Governor’s Cup and Sontag Entrepreneurship. Georges currently lives in Northern California and works as a Program Manager at Google in the Silicon Valley.


Georges strongly believes that individuals, including people with challenges such as substance use disorders, can benefit from the equine-human relationship and find authenticity, peace and prosperity.


Board Member

Michelle graduated from Dominican University in Marin County, California with a Master’s in Counseling Psychology and with the intention of working directly with families impacted by Substance Use Disorder. Michelle has held the position of Family Therapist in a variety of residential and outpatient treatment settings, facilitating family programs and advocating for the needs of family members and family--system care within and beyond the treatment experience.

Michelle’s passion for wellness stems from her personal experience and wish to pay forward the skills that help people grow beyond the destruction of addiction and to create more stable and satisfying ways of living. Michelle believes in the intrinsic resources of a family and draws on its strengths to motivate lasting change. Her family curriculum design is noted to be eclectic in style, yet rooted in attachment, trauma and family systems theories.

Currently, Michelle dedicates her time and energy to nurture a private practice in Marin County and connections with her family, friends and her two dogs.



Director of Operations and Fundraising

Leslie White joined Crescent Moon in January 2019. Leslie has nearly two decades of administrative, office management and legal experience and has worked in both the private and public sector. She has helped successfully start up and manage several private law firms over the years. Leslie has a diverse skill set covering many aspects of business management. She has experience with reading and understanding laws, codes, and regulations. She also has an understanding of the structure, function and operations of local government agencies. Leslie is in the process of obtaining her certification in Nonprofit Management. Prior to her current Executive Director role, Leslie served as Board Member, Secretary and Treasurer for Crescent Moon Center.

Leslie brings to the job a passion for loving and serving people. Having grown up with a severely disabled close relative, she especially has a heart for serving people with special disabilities and other challenges. Leslie has volunteered with special needs children and young adults for the past seven years. Coming from a family that has experienced the devastation of drug and alcohol dependency, Leslie has an understanding of the challenges that dependency can present. She has also shared the joy of celebrating once someone has overcome their dependency. Leslie has a personal commitment to ensuring that every person be given an opportunity to work towards recovery. She has a strong belief in Crescent Moon Center’s core purpose and believes it will provide tremendous benefit to participants in its programs.

Leslie lives in East Contra Costa County with her husband and her three children. She has a college-age daughter and two elementary-age sons. In their recreation time, she and her family will often be found enjoying outdoor activities including camping, hiking, and boating.

There also are a number of consultants and advisors that have played and continue to play important roles in the development, growth and operation of Crescent Moon Center. 




Joseph DeNucci has been a valuable resource in the development and the implementation of Crescent Moon Center's programs since its inception. He continues to consult as we move forward and grow.

Joseph DeNucci has been actively involved in the healthcare and the wellness industry for over 25 years.  He is the President of DeNucci & Associates, a consulting company providing expertise in comprehensive strategic planning and business development, specifically for clients with interests in merging conventional health and medicine with Alternative Medicine, Integrative Medicine, Healthy Lifestyle and Wellness. DeNucci has developed and owned a number of healthcare related businesses, and has consulted and developed projects for clients that include Duke University, Baptist/St. Vincent Health System, Medtronic, and Menla Mountain Retreat and Tibet House-Manhattan on behalf of the Dali Lama, Sierra Tucson Treatment Hospital and Miraval-Life in Balance Resort and Spa, Insight Intensive at Gold Lake, and many others.  

DeNucci is co-founder and managing partner of NextHealth, LLC, a Chicago based private investment firm lending expertise and capital to startup companies in the healthy living and healthy lifestyle space. Additionally, DeNucci is a manager and investment advisor to William O’Donnell Jr., founder of ODE, LLC in Chicago; and DeNucci also manages the Family Office for O’Donnell.


For a complete professional file of Joseph DeNucci click here


Bill O’Donnell has been actively involved in the healthcare and wellness industry for over thirty years. He is a nationally recognized entrepreneur and business innovator, known in his field for starting companies with progressive behavioral health and lifestyle programs.

In 1983, Bill founded and became the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NextHealth, LLC, a company which has been a leading provider of alternative health care services, focused on illness prevention and self-care. Bill is best known in the addiction field for opening “Sierra Tucson,” a behavioral healthcare center and leading residential rehabilitation facility for the treatment of substance abuse and related mental health disorders. Sierra Tuscon’s innovative treatment program included an Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy Program, developed and run by Barbara Rector, the pioneer of Equine Based Human Development (EBHD) work and co-founder of the Therapeutic Riding Organization of Tuscon, Inc. (TROT). In 1994, thanks to a generous gift from Bill O’Donnell, TROT was able to launch its Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) and Psychotherapy (EFP) programs.

In 1996, using the knowledge and programmatic skills Bill acquired working with addictions, Bill focused on bringing this transformative work to people interested in more fully connecting with their lives in healthy, meaningful ways, and opened Miraval, Life in Balance. Miraval, a luxury health and wellness spa, offered a range of healing and alternative health programs which encouraged mindfulness, personal growth and self-realization. Miraval was voted the best resort spa year after year, and in 2001, ranked 29 in a field of 100 best places to vacation anywhere in the world. In 2007, Bill sold Miraval to Steve Case, the founder of AOL, who used it as his beginning platform transaction to build out Revolution Health.

After many years in the desert, Bill returned to his home in Chicago where he is the Founder and Managing Director of ODE, LLC, a private investment firm focused on investing in healthcare, hotels and various multichannel startups. In 2015, Bill along with his longtime partner and friend, Joseph DeNucci, relaunched NextHealth, LLC. The Company provides consulting expertise in comprehensive strategic planning and business development, specifically to clients with interests in healthy living and sustainable lifestyle products.


Frequently identified as “OMI”, grandmother of wellness work with horses, Barbara has been credited with the development of psychotherapy practice with the help of horses (Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy EFP). Since early 1990, she has used EFP in the clinical setting of a residential psychiatric hospital. Barbara has also contributed to the widespread teaching practice of experiential education with the help of horses (Equine Facilitated Learning EFL). Adventures In Awareness™ (AIA), her equine facilitated experiential learning process trainings, her seminars and Internship Program are attended by a diverse international community of clinical practitioners, educational facilitators and horse professionals.


Barbara’s current work as the Equine Director of Hacienda at the River in Tucson, AZ ( includes a spiritual program for campus residents in assisted living, memory care, short term rehabilitation, skilled nursing and hospice. This program, “IN THE PRESENCE OF HORSES™,” is a research-based curriculum designed especially for the completion phase of an individual’s life span. It includes practice teaching by Hacienda residents who act as coaches to the special services students from the Tuscon Jewish Community Center.


AIA’s partnership collaboration with the University of Arizona’s Aging Research, Integrated Nursing Program, and Helen McKnight Brain Institute is sponsored by Watermark Properties. Barbara is continuing to research the physiological exchange of information between horses and humans. In May 2018, Phase Four of this research, with the core investigating team of Alden, Baldwin and Rector, began to measure the process utilized at the Hacienda’s Pony Paddock. This research is funded by a grant from the Ruth McCormick Charitable Remainder Trust.


Barbara provides an invaluable educational experience to equine educators and therapists both internationally and domestically.


John Fox, Poetry Therapist, is a poet, educator, and author. His books include, Finding What You Didn’t Lose: Expressing Your Truth and Creativity through Poem-Making (1995) and Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making (1997). The Only Gift to Bring is a chapbook of his poems published in 2015. His work is featured in the 2008 PBS documentary Healing Words: Poetry & Medicine. He is the author of numerous other essays on a wide range of applications for poetry-as-healer.

John taught concurrently for fifteen years as associate adjunct professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in Expressive Therapy; for seventeen years at Sofia University (formerly The Institute for Transpersonal Psychology) in Palo Alto, CA; for ten years at the Sophia Center for Culture and Spirituality at Holy Names University in Oakland, CA; and for twenty years at John F. Kennedy University—first teaching in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology in Orinda, CA and then the Department of Arts & Consciousness in Berkeley, CA. He leads public workshops on the creative process and using poetic medicine for empowerment and community building. The Institute for Poetic Medicine, a nonprofit founded by John in 2005 has a training program that extends the practice of poetic medicine. IPM supports and funds Poetry Partner Programs that serve a wide-range of people at the margins including immigrant and refugee youth, prisoners, people overcoming addiction, women who have experienced domestic abuse and sexual assault, among many others.

Since the age of thirteen the path of poetry-as-healer has called to John. Its message is continually being renewed; its capacity for inclusion is at the heart of that message: each voice matters.


Laurie Marshall, M.A. is a cutting-edge educator and creative activist who uses collaborative art to envision healing of heartbreak. Known as The Singing Tree Lady, Laurie is the founder of Unity Through Creativity Foundation and the Singing Tree Project. This is a collaborative healing process inspired by Nature that envisions healing community heartbreak to spark innovative actions. 88 murals have been created by 20,000 people from 52 countries. She has worked with underserved and at-risk/at-potential for over 35 years. Marshall's many books include “Beating the Odds Now”, “Singing Trees: A Growing Forest” and “The Flood of Kindness - Inspired by Hurricane Katrina”, written by an 8 year old boy, produced and illustrated by Laurie. Many murals have been funded by Tobacco Free entities to help youth and adults envision freedom
from addiction. The Singing Tree Project partners also include NASA, FEMA, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, Bioneers, the Institute of Noetic Sciences and Project Drawdown, the World’s Leading Resource for Climate Solutions. Marshall is trained as a Conversational Intelligence Coach, a Peace Ambassador, a
Waldorf educator, and a graphic facilitator.

SARAH LE JEUNE, CVA, Cert, Vet. Chiro, DVM

Dr. le Jeune is a member of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of lameness and various performance-related musculoskeletal injuries using an integrative approach to treatment including acupuncture and chiropractic. She is the chief of the Equine Integrative Sports Medicine Service at UC Davis. Dr. Sarah le Jeune is also a board-certified equine surgeon and has been a member of the UC Davis Equine Surgery faculty since 2003.


Dr. le Jeune is a certified veterinary acupuncturist with extensive acupuncture training from the Colorado State University and the Chi Institute in Florida. She also obtained certification in veterinary chiropractic at the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association and is certified in Veterinary Thermographic Imaging.


Patrick graduated from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. Sober and in recovery since 2002, he has served in a variety of roles in the recovery community. He has worked as a recovery companion and coach, and interventionist. He regularly provides support to addicts in crisis, exploring options to help them in short-term and long-term recovery. 


Patrick enjoys sharing his own story and helping all those who are otherwise lost in the disease of addiction and mental illness. As a cancer survivor and recovering alcoholic / addict, he draws from his own experience in an effort to create a common bond with clients and their families. Patrick enjoys traveling, reading, sports and lives an active lifestyle with his dog Maizey.

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