The 2018 "Mac" McLester Award Winners!

2018 Spirit of Recovery Award – Lynn Sherman
2018 Spirit of Recovery Award – Lynn Sherman

Lynn Sherman has a passion for recovery and for helping others. For over 20 years, he has dedicated countless hours as a volunteer in the Austin community. A licensed attorney by trade and in long-term recovery himself, Lynn generously gives his time and expertise serving on boards and in advisory roles with a variety of recovery and community organizations. With a special affinity for young adults and families struggling with addiction, he has worked extensively with the Center for Students in Recovery at UT and has been instrumental in the progress of the Youth Recovery Network and University High School. He currently chairs the Austin Recovery board of directors, where his vision, wisdom and servant leadership has been invaluable to the organization’s growth and stabilization. A native Texan and long-time resident in Austin, Lynn is the proud parent of not one, but two sets of identical twin daughters.

2018 Champion of Recovery Award – Raul Garcia
2018 Champion of Recovery Award – Raul Garcia

As an educator, mentor and community leader, Raul Garcia has inspired and touched the lives of students, clients, and colleagues for over 20 years. A licensed chemical dependency counselor with a masters in social work, Raul spent eleven years with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, managing outpatient services for incarcerated men and women. As a volunteer, he has been a key contributor in the development and growth of the Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) organization, serving as Chair for four years. A common thread in all of Raul’s work is his deep belief in community collaboration and holistic long-term care for people seeking recovery. In his teaching as an Adjunct Professor at ACC, his involvement with Austin’s new Sobriety Center, and his extensive work with the ROSC organization, Raul has consistently and compassionately advocated to build and improve recovery services for those suffering with addiction, their families and the community at large. A native Texas and Austin resident since 2002, Raul has a nine-year- old daughter and is looking forward to a new marriage in May.

2018 Champion of Recovery Award – Cole Shiflet
2018 Champion of Recovery Award – Cole Shiflet

A native Austinite, Cole Shiflet is no stranger to the devastation of addiction and has his own miraculous story of redemption from hard drugs, a criminal record and legal disasters. After numerous treatment facilities and relapses, his sobriety solidified at Mark Houston Recovery and subsequently launched his career in the Recovery industry. Having worked in a wide variety of client care and staff positions, Cole founded The Last Resort Recovery Center in Bastrop and in 2015, launched his dream program for men, Solstice Recovery, a small 12-bed non-profit in Wimberley. His passion and deep love for helping others struggling with addiction is extraordinary, admitting over 300 men in less than three years with 90% scholarships from partial to full. Whether it's the extra mile or any length, Cole gives despite the obstacles, 24/7, no matter where or why. His wife, Tara, and two children, are his anchors and greatest source of joy.

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award - Eric M. Denner
2018 Lifetime Achievement Award - Eric M. Denner

Eric M. Denner, MBA, MA, LMFT, LCDC

2/4/1949-1/12/2018


Eric was in private practice and the principle owner of Austin Counseling working as a licensed marriage and family therapist and chemical dependency counselor.  He moved to Austin in 2006 from San Francisco where he worked as a victim trauma recovery therapist at the San Francisco Trauma Center of the University of California, treating victims of interpersonal violence. Prior to receiving a master’s degree in social clinical psychology in 2001 from New College of California, Eric was a substance abuse counselor at San Francisco General Hospital and at the SF Veteran’s Administration from 1997-2001.  He received a Master’s degree in Business Administration from San Francisco State University in 1998, as well as a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA in 1970.

After moving to Austin, Eric became active in the professional recovery community and took on numerous leadership roles. He served as interim executive director of the Texas Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (TAMFT) from 2007-2008 and as treasurer of the Austin Chapter from 2011-13, as president of the Austin chapter of Texas Association of Addiction Professions (TAAP) 2011-13 where he taught CEU classes and assisted with the annual Austin Addiction Symposium.  Eric joined the state TAAP board served as the association’s treasurer and program director 2014-2017. Eric was also very involved in numerous 12 Step recovery groups, along with starting several men’s therapy groups and actively engaged in expanding recovery resources and services in the Austin community.  His friendly smile, passion for helping others, and dedication to recovery will be missed by many.