Calusa Recovery’s focus on active living is inspired by experience, including both the personal and professional experiences of our founders. They have personally traveled the hard road to recovery themselves and ushered many others to success. They are dedicated to helping clients find their path to a sustainable recovery.

Wilbur C. Smith IV

Chief Executive Officer

Wilbur is a fifth-generation Fort Myers native, born and raised here with his three brothers. He has a keen understanding and appreciation for all that the landscape of Southwest Florida has to offer. In his experience, fishing, boating, and exploring the islands provides a type of therapy that simply can’t be achieved otherwise.

While in early recovery, Wilbur began working in substance abuse treatment for some of the leading treatment centers in Southern California. With his natural leadership abilities and determination, he quickly worked his way up to Director of Operations. Working closely with the owners of these centers, he learned how important community and comradery are in achieving lasting recovery. It was this exposure to quality clinical treatment that inspired Wilbur to return to Fort Myers and found Calusa Recovery.

As CEO, his mission is simple, to bring the sense of community and support he experienced on the West Coast back to his hometown. In fact, he credits this community with helping him achieve the freedom from addiction he knows today. Recovery is not one-size-fits-all. Wilbur’s vision is bigger than just Calusa. He knows his niche lies in working with young men but hopes to help support other local businesses in building a holistic recovery community.

Stuart Karp

Chief Operating Officer

Stuart’s background in substance use treatment began with his own personal journey, which landed him in Orange County, California. It was in California that he successfully completed a treatment program geared towards young men in recovery and experienced first-hand the life altering impact of sobriety. After being exposed to this entirely new way of life, Stuart decided to pursue a career in the industry. He worked his way up, starting as a behavioral health tech. Eventually, he had the privilege of serving as a case manager at the very center that helped him achieve his personal freedom.

Stuart’s vision for Calusa stems from his passion for seeing clients grow and succeed while in early recovery. He specializes in helping bridge the gap between clients and their families, allowing them to redevelop lasting relationships. His relatability, compassion and dedication to each individual client’s success make Stuart an integral member of our founding team.

Born and raised in Tuscon, Arizona, Stuart relocated to Fort Myers in 2017 to help found Calusa Recovery. As our Chief Operating Officer, Stuart’s primary goal is to maintain the overall integrity and vision for this business while ensuring each client has an authentic, individualized experience. He believes that through simple action and willingness anyone can achieve recovery and change their lives.

Adriana Franceschini MA, NCC, LMHC

Clinical Director

Adriana holds that it is an honor and a privilege to work in a profession that she truly loves and feels passionate about. Each of her clients provide her with the opportunity to walk with them in their journey of positive change, healing and self-empowerment. As part of the Calusa team, Adriana provides a genuine, caring and comfortable counseling environment. She treats each client based on their individual needs.

Adriana decided to become a Mental Health Counselor after a family member needed help. This personal experience allows her to understand the needs of our clients and their families. Her goal is to empower individuals and families to overcome personal obstacles. As our Clinical Director, she uses various therapeutic approaches, clinically tested and evidenced-based interventions, and experiential techniques.

Adriana received her B.S. in Gerontology and an M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Florida Gulf Coast University. She is a duly qualified Spanish/English Interpreter and worked as a Clinical Director of a local agency.

Dr. Aaron Whol, MD

Dr. Aaron Wohl MD

Medical Director

Dr. Aaron Wohl grew up in the suburbs of Miami, Florida.  He graduated magna cum laude from Florida International University with a B.S. in Biology in 1998.  Then, he graduated from the University of Florida College of Medicine in 2001, ranking 12th in a class of 125.  He went on to attend Orlando Regional Medical Center’s emergency medicine residency program and served as chief resident his last year until graduating in 2004. He taught for a year as an assistant clinical professor in emergency medicine at Shands UF before settling down in Fort Myers. He has worked as a community emergency medicine provider for the last 13 years at Lee Heath. Recently he was appointed as Medical Director of the Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Program at Lee Health’s department of emergency medicine. He was chosen because of his passionate leadership in improving the treatment of opioid use disorder patients at the system and state level.

Dr. Wohl received the Lee County Medical Society’s Leadership and Professionalism Award in 2012. He has received the Florida College of Emergency Physician’s Martin Gottleib Leadership and Advocacy Award two years in a row in 2017 and 2018. Additionally, he was named as one of three finalists for Fort Myers News-Press “Person of the Year” for his work on opioids in 2018.

Outside of his medical career, Dr. Wohl is an FAA-certified Private Pilot and Multi-engine pilot with 1,600 flight hours. He enjoys power boating, motorcycling, competition sprint triathlons, and learning about and practicing wellness, meditation, and mindfulness.

Nicole Waterman

Group Facilitator

Nicole is originally from Clearwater, FL and has lived in the Lee County area for the past six years. She has over four years of experience working within the recovery community. Currently, Nicole helps facilitate groups at Calusa Recovery. She enjoys working closely with our clients and helping them on their journey to a new way of life.

Piper Smith

HR/Office Manager

Piper graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Sustainability and a passion for all things Florida. Born and raised in Fort Myers, Piper has always preferred to have her hands in the dirt, feet in the sand or her nose in a book.

As a member of our founding team, her experience working for small tech start-ups was fundamental in kick starting Calusa. Before working for Calusa, Piper served as a Jill of all trades in the tech industry, working everything from customer service to enterprise account management for one of the nation’s leading aerial imagery providers. Piper has a knack for all things tech and helps keep the office moving here at Calusa.

Meet Our Adventure Guides

Stephen and Stephanie Plein

Captain Steve

New Wave Eco Charters

A locally born native to Southwest Florida, Stephen fell in love with the water at an early age. From exploring the mangroves behind his childhood house to swimming in the Gulf waters, he developed a deep understanding and appreciation for his surrounding marine environment. This was the foundation for his dream, which is sharing the importance of recognizing and conserving local marine species and their ongoing protection. Plein does this through the operation of daily private charters. After completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Miami, Plein led private kayak excursions on the islands of Captiva and Maui, where he honed his craft as a guide.

Stefanie Plein M.S.

New Wave Eco Charters

Stefanie draws from an extensive education and research in the marine biology field. She earned a M.S. degree in Biology from Western Illinois University while studying the home range use patterns of resident bottlenose dolphins in the Adriatic Sea. She received her B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Animal Behavior from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Stefanie has studied manatee with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. She is also an active volunteer for Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s sea turtle program. Plein has also taught seven semesters of Marine Biology to undergraduates at Florida Gulf Coast University. Through her love of marine mammals, sea turtles, and mollusks, Stefanie shares a wide variety of knowledge with clients on Calusa Recovery’s private marine biologist-led excursions.

Kellen Hall

Professional Kiteboard Instructor

If it involves a board on water, Kellen is our guy. A pro-kiteboarder, Kellen mastered the art of water sports at a young age. Paddle boarding, wake boarding, surfing, you name it – he can do it, and better yet – he can teach it to others. Though based on Sanibel Island, he moves with the wind, traveling the world and sharing his passion for kiteboarding as an instructor. A native to Fort Myers, Kellen provides our guys with a great physical outlet while enjoying the outdoors.

Captain Tyler Carner

Indigenous Charters

Captain Tyler is a third-generation Fort Myers native with a lifetime of fishing experience in our local waters. As an active duty member of the Coast Guard, we trust Captain Tyler with our clients for all of our fishing excursions. There are few captains that rival his experience on the water and knowledge of our local fishing industry.