Our Team 2018-11-02T13:35:49+00:00

Our Dedicated and Experienced Team

Executive Team

 
Tom Nemat, J.D.
Chief Executive Officer
 
 
Ehsan Gharadjedaghi, Psy.D.
Chief Clinical Officer
 
 
Joe Milligan
Chief Communications Officer
 

Tarek Greiss
Chief Operating Officer
 

Rafael Penunuri, M.D.
Medical Director
 

Clinical Team


Shahrzad Jalali, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist
 

Samira Vafadar, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist
 

Soren Shamsian, Ed.D.
Assistant Clinical Director
 

Erin Garibaldi, M.A.
Psychological Assistant
 

Bob Weathers, Ph.D.
Recovery Coach
 

Honey Dixit, Ed.D.
Marriage and Family Therapist
 

Chandler Burton, RADT1
Client Care Coordinator
 

Tessa Sarvis, RADT1
Client Care Coordinator
 

Amanda Wancura, RADT1
Client Care Coordinator
 

Camille Cox, RADT1
Client Care Coordinator
 

Ken Davis, RADT1
Client Care Coordinator
 

Maria Morris, RADT1
Client Care Coordinator
 

Noelle Swanger, LVN, RADT1
Nurse
 

April Marquez, LVN II
Nurse
 

Amber Gonzalez, AMFT
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist
 

Devona Rivera
Client Care Coordinator
 

Zachary Willis, CATC, AMFT
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist
 

Amanda Kim, AMFTi
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
 

George Daoud, Psy.D.
Psychological Assistant
 

Jeremy Williams
Case Manager
 

Soheila Norolouni, AMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist
 

Aimee Smith, RADT1
Case Manager
 

Alexandria Sullivan, RADT1
Life Skills Coach
 

Gena Doherty
Case Manager
 

Kanen Davis, RADT1
Support Staff
 

Kellie-Cuadras, MFTi
Therapist
 

Lexis Van Acker
EMDR Therapist
 

Stephanie Stathas
Therapist
 

Business Development Team


Pej Alaghamandan
Director of Business Development
 

Marcel Barton-Sabo
Director of Admissions
 

Sean Ryan
Senior Admissions Coordinator
 

Taylor Reichelt, RADT1
Admissions Coordinator
 

Andrea Wiens, CADC, RADT1
Outreach & Alumni Coordinator
 

Administrative Team


Jeff Hamilton
Director of Operations
 

Johnnie Aicher
Assistant Director of Operations
 

Brent Percy
Program Manager
 

Ashley Garner
Toxicology and EMR Liaison
 

Nancy Soto
Billing Specialist
 

Rosario Corona
Billing Assistant
 

Heather Bastio, RADT1
HR & Compliance Manager
 

Jay Alayon
Head Chef
 

Ana Galvan, RADT1
Support Staff
 

Ramil Antolin
Support Staff
 

Ruby Alexander-Lee
Support Staff
 

Nickole Galvez, RADT 1
Support Staff
 

Staff Group Picture

Tom Nemat

Chief Executive Officer

Beginnings Treatment Centers TOM NEMAT, JD. CEO

Tom Nemat is a co-founder and CEO of Beginnings Treatment Centers and the founder and principal attorney at the Law Firm of Tom Nemat. Tom brings his business and legal background to Beginnings along with an intense passion to eliminate the shame and stigma associated with addiction.

Prior to practicing law and pursuing his entrepreneurial dreams, Tom earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles with an emphasis in corporate law. Prior to law school, Tom graduated from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. At Berkeley, Tom was involved in several consulting and entrepreneurial activities in conjunction with his business courses, including Technology Entrepreneurship and Strategic Planning/Consulting.

Ehsan Gharadjedaghi, Psy.D.

Chief Clinical Officer

ehsan-gharajedaghi

Dr. Ehsan Gharadjedaghi is a California-licensed clinical psychologist with specialties in couples and sex therapy, substance use addiction, complex trauma, and youth concerns. He is also the founder of multiple successful organizations including Norooz Clinic, a non-profit community mental health clinic; Therapy Impasse Exploration & Resolution Institute, a specialty training and research institute to help therapists improve their clinical skills; AlumniSuccess, a private practice startup organization for emerging pre-licensed and newly licensed psychotherapists, Couples & Sex Therapists of Orange County, a local Orange County, CA, based training institute for couple and sex therapy; TherapyCable.com, an online educational streaming media hub with the purpose of reducing obstacles to therapy and healing.

Dr. Gharadjedaghi is also on the part-time faculty of multiple OC-based private universities including Argosy University, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and the University of Phoenix. Furthermore, Dr. Gharadjedaghi serves on the editorial board of Who Is Who, Inc. Health + Medicine magazine, and on the Board of Advisors at the MACP program at Argosy University, as well as a member of Orange County Mental Health Board.

 

 

Joe Milligan

Chief Communications Officer

Beginnings JOE MILLIGAN cmo

Joe Milligan has been an active member of the recovery community for more than 20 years. A successful professional in the Healthcare and Hospital industries, he brings a new level of expertise and sophistication to Beginnings Treatment Centers as we create a new paradigm in the art and science of addiction treatment.

Tarek Greiss

Chief Operating Officer

Beginnings TAREK GREISS, M.D. cmo

Tarek Greiss is the COO of Beginnings Treatment Centers. He received a BA in Economics from the University of Washington then his Medical Doctorate from The George Washington University. After completing his residency in Anesthesiology and fellowship in cardiothoracic anesthesiology he went on to work in private practice for several years.

Tarek Greiss entered the world of addiction recovery through the front door, as a client. He is a recovered impaired professional who navigated the very difficult road to durable recovery through an intense trial and error period. Through an initial rocky course of recovery, Tarek Greiss identified the many shortcomings in traditional treatment and has worked with Beginnings Treatment Centers to develop a state of the art Impaired Professionals Program, designed to assist addicted professionals in maintaining or regaining their professional stature and attaining durable recovery.

 

Rafael Penunuri, M.D.

Medical Director

dr-rafael-penunuri

Dr. Rafael Penunuri has over 20 years of extensive experience in detoxification and general family practice.

He has been a trusted doctor in the Southern California medical community since 1985, and is board certified with the American Board of Addiction Medicine and American Board of Family Practice since July 1985.

Dr. Penunuri is a graduate of UCLA School of Medicine.

Shahrzad Jalali, Psy.D.

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Shahrzad Jalali

Content coming soon...

Samira Vafadar

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Samira Vafadar

Dr. Samira Vafadar is a Licensed Psychologist in California with over 10 years of experience working as a multicultural and bilingual in Farsi therapist in a broad range of settings. Dr. Vafadar completed a B.S. Specialized Honors degree in Psychology at York University in Toronto, Canada. In Canada, Dr. Vafadar worked at clinical private practice with clients suffering from all sorts of mood disorders as well as providing assessments and therapy to injured adults suffering from PTSD.

Dr. Vafadar moved to California in 2004 where she completed a masters and a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology at Alliant International University, an APA-Accredited school. Since moving to California, Dr. Vafadar has worked with a wide variety of clinical populations, including: criminal offenders and sexual offenders, at risk youth and children, chronically ill as well as work-related injured patients. Currently Dr. Vafadar works with victims of addictions and substance abuse and has a private practice where she works with individuals, couples and families. Dr. Vafadar also supervises and mentors interns that are in the process of becoming a psychologist.

Soren Shamsian, Ed.D

Clinical Care Coordinator

soren-shamsian

Dr. Soren Shamsian is currently working at Beginnings Treatment Centers as the Clinical Care Coordinator. Dr. Shamsian is in the process of obtaining his license as a Psychologist. He has obtained his B.A., M.A. and doctorate in the field of counseling psychology. He has worked over 8 years in the field of substance abuse.
Dr. Shamsian has experience working with adolescents and adults whom are battling with substance abuse as well as over 5 years of experience working male survivors of sexual abuse. He has also run his own private practice for over 4 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and playing racket sports (i.e. Tennis, squash and table tennis).

Erin Garibaldi, M.A.

Psychological Assistant

erin-garibaldi

Erin Garibaldi, M.A. is a Psychological Assistant, practicing counseling since 2008. She has worked with survivors of sexual assault, cancer patients and their families, college students, HIV patients and their partners, and drug and alcohol abusers.

Erin received her Masters through Antioch University Santa Barbara and is currently working on her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara.

Bob Weathers, Ph.D.

Psychologist

bob-weathers

Dr. Bob Weathers holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and has over his professional career provided tens of thousands of hours of therapy and recovery coaching, particularly to those seeking recovery from addiction.

In addition to having served as founding clinical director of two nationally recognized residential drug and alcohol treatment centers, and now serving as consultant, trainer, and group facilitator to Beginnings Treatment Centers, he also has more than 35 years of experience in educating graduate-level clinicians. Formerly a professor of clinical psychology at Pepperdine University, he has also taught in graduate psychology programs at Loma Linda University, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Argosy University, and California State University, San Bernardino. For the past ten years, he has been Academic Effectiveness Coordinator for the School of Behavioral Sciences at California Southern University in Orange County, including helping lead the university toward full regional accreditation this past year.

Known to his clients and students as Dr. Bob, one area of career-long passion for him centers around holistic, or integrative, approaches to therapy and recovery coaching --- where the entire spectrum of human experience, from body to mind to soul and spirit, is drawn upon for its resources and nourishing contributions to healthful living. Related to this area of career interest and expertise, Dr. Bob has published numerous articles in a broad cross-section of professional books, journals, and edited volumes.

A sought-after speaker, as well as prolific writer, Dr. Bob’s current research areas of interest focus on reducing shame and stigma in addiction and recovery by means of instructing clients and their families about addiction and the brain. His lifelong commitment to education also motivates his constantly working toward creating and sharing success strategies for online learning and recovery-directed aftercare, including providing openly accessible, internet-based resources for training in mindful awareness practices.

Along with his vocational pursuits, Dr. Bob has maintained an active, lifelong involvement in music, including performing locally as a jazz drummer and world music percussionist. Related to this artistic passion, Dr. Bob regularly applies his having studied popular and ethnic drumming for over fifty years by performing and lecturing widely, to both professional and general public audiences, on the connection between musical creativity, personal spiritual development, and emotional well-being.

  Honey Dixit, Ed.D.

Marriage and Family Therapist 

Honey Dixit
Honey is a Marriage & Family Therapist at Beginnings and has extensive professional experience in working with a variety of populations who have had severe emotional and behavioral problems, particularly in the field of mental health, substance abuse, and dual diagnosis. The experience from working with at-risk populations of all age groups and different multicultural backgrounds brings additional insight in how the addiction process negatively impacts the overall emotional health of the family system. Honey is passionate about counseling individuals, who struggle with addiction-related issues. Her vision is to have a serene place for individuals and families to meet their needs and achieve their goals.
Honey has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University, where she has also recently completed her doctoral dissertation. Prior to receiving her Masters, she graduated from University of California, Irvine with Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Psychology and Educational Studies.

  Chandler Burton, RADT1

Client Care Coordinator

Chandler-Burton
Coming Soon!

 

  Tessa Sarvis, RADT1

Client Care Coordinator

Tessa Sarvis
 
Coming Soon!

 Amanda Wancura

Client Care Coordinator

Amanda Wancura
Coming Soon!

 Camille Cox, RADT1

Client Care Coordinator

Camille Cox
Coming Soon!

Ken Davis, RADT1     

Client Care Coordinator

Coming Soon!

Maria Morris, RADT1

Client Care Coordinator

  Noelle Swanger, LVN, RADT-1

Nurse

https://beginningstreatment.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Noelle-Swanger-LVN-RADT-1.jpg
Coming Soon!

April Marquez, LVN II

 Nurse

April Marquez

  Amber Gonzalez

 Counselor
 Amber Gonzalez
Coming Soon!

  Devona Riverra

 Case Manager

Devona Riverra
Coming Soon!

Zachary Willis, CAT-C, MFTi

Case Manager, Therapist

Zachary-Willis

Coming Soon...

Amanda Kim, MFTi

Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

Amanda-Kim

Coming Soon...

George Daoud

Psychological Assistant

George-Daoud

 

Coming Soon...

Jeremy Williams

Case Manager

Jeremy Williams

Jeremy Williams is a Case Manager at Beginnings Treatment Center. He brings 3 years of experience in the treatment field, as well as his own personal experience, strength and hope.

Jeremy is currently attending school at Saddleback College in Orange County to obtain his AA in human services. Jeremy leads the Faith-Based aspect at the center. Jeremy grew up in Orange County, spends time with his children and wife doing, sports, camping, surfing, music, and Church.

Soheila Norolouni

Marriage and Family Therapist

Soheila-Norolouni

 

Soheila Norolouni received her MS in Marriage Family Therapy at Argosy University in the year 2015 and completed her trainee hours at Norooz Clinic foundation and Elite Care treatment center as a psychotherapist providing individual and group therapy
to a vast population.

Soheila has over three years of experience providing mental health services to the community as a psychotherapist intern. She is continuing her internship at Norooz Clinic Foundation, a non-profit community mental health clinic serving various populations in need of affordable mental health services and Beginning Treatment Center to serve those who seek sobriety and behavioral change to stay in recovery.

Aimee Smith, RADT1

Case Manager

Coming Soon ...

Alexandria Sullivan, RADT1

Life Skills Coach

Alexandria-Sullivan-RADT-1-Life-Skills-Coach

Coming soon!

Gena Doherty

Case Manager

Gena-Doherty-Case-Manager

Coming soon!

Kanen Davis, RADT1

Support Staff

Kanen-Davis-RADT-1-Support-Staff

Coming soon!

Kellie Cuadras, MFTi

Therapist

Kellie-Cuadras-MFTi-Therapist

Coming soon!

Lexis Van Acker

EMDR Therapist

lexis-Van-Acker,-EMDR-therapist

Coming soon!

Stephanie Stathas

Therapist

Stephanie-Stathas-Therapist

Coming soon!

Pej Alaghamandan

Director of Business Development

Pej Alaghamandan

 

Pejman "Pej" Alaghamandan has worked in the field of addiction and mental health for nearly a decade. After finishing his Drug and Alcohol  Studies in the Human Services Department at Saddleback College he embarked on a journey of working at Newport Academy, an adolescent facility treating for substance abuse disorder in Orange Park Acres as a recovery coach. He later went on to work on the front lines of treatment specifically in running detox in Morningside Recovery, Rocksolid, and Surehaven. Down the line he held various positions such as case manager, program manager, peer coordinator, and as an admissions counselor. For a period of time Pej moved to Los Angeles to open some high-end highly structured sober livings in Westwood and Bel Air named Pioneers In Recovery. He took on the roll of Program Director there and with a high sobriety success rate.

Pej later became a private life coach in Los Angeles working with some elite individuals in helping strengthen them gain and strengthen their recovery. In the last few years Pej also works alongside Earl Hightower as an interventionist and Director of Marketing at Hightower Associates. Pej takes his own personal recovery extremely seriously and makes it a point to influence anybody and everybody he interacts with that may be seeking to live a sober life.

  Marcel Barton-Sabo

Admissions Director

Marcel Barton-Sabo

Coming Soon!

Sean Ryan

Senior Admissions Coordinator

Sean-Ryan

Coming Soon...

Taylor Reichelt, RADT1

Client Care Coordinator

Taylor Reichelt

Coming Soon!

Andrea Wiens, CADC RADT1

Andrea-Wiens,-CADC-RADT1

Coming soon!

Jeff Hamilton

Director of Operations

jeff-hamilton

Jeff Hamilton is the Director of Operations at Beginnings Treatment Centers.  He brings 26 years of experience in the treatment field with him to Beginnings.
Jeff started in 1990 with one of the largest treatment centers in Orange County, and was instrumental in developing their operations team. Being an Orange County native, Jeff spends his off time surfing and playing beach volleyball.

Johnnie Aicher

Assistant Director of Operations

Johnnie Aicher

Johnnie is the Assistant Director of Operations at Beginnings Treatment Centers. Johnnie grew up in Southern California and has undergone great struggles in his life since early childhood.  Johnnie’s untreated addiction robbed him of many years of his life.  Today with his sobriety he loves giving back to people and he finally feels that he doesn’t have to wear a mask anymore.  Johnnie knows that by leading a sober life he can put the tough guy stuff away and just finally be himself.  Sobriety keeps him from being complacent and he continues to strive for better things. Johnnie’s greatest gifts are his patience and tolerance.  He loves to work with troubled young people because he can relate to their struggles.  During Johnnies years of using he has seen a lot of death and lost a lot of friends to this disease.  He knows that for an addict continued using will only lead to jail, institution or death.

Johnnie’s goal when working with clients is to break the revolving door of recovery.  His goal is to not see clients constantly yo-yoing in and out of treatment and sober living.  One of his strengths is that he doesn’t judge others as there is not a lot that people have done that will shock him.  Johnnie believes that he went down such a bad path in life and was placed here in order for people to learn from his story.  His greatest hope is that his experiences will enable other people to learn and make different choices without having to experience everything he went through.  Johnnie is well aware that money cannot make you happy as he grew up with a privileged life.  Johnnie says his greatest blessings today are his sobriety, his freedom, and the people that he considers his family today. Johnnie is very proud to say that his mother has 31 years sober and is his best friend today.

Addiction tore Johnnie and his family apart for many years and now with sobriety he has been able to get his family back.  Everything Johnnie searched for as a child he has now and he would never have it if he and his mother weren’t both sober.  He made bad choices most of his life trying to be part of something or trying to be someone he wasn’t in order to fit in.  The path that Johnnie took ended up taking his freedom away from him.

Today Johnnie says he loves who he is.  He doesn’t act on impulse anymore.  Sobriety has enabled Johnnie to hear the word no and be ok with it.  He says he has learned in life that it no longer a me thing but a we thing. With recovery, he now feels able to get through any traumatic times and daily trials and tribulations. For so long Johnnie said he used to just sit on his problems and make bad choices but now he is able to think things through and live in the solution and not the problem. While everyone who meets Johnnie can see his intelligence and innate abilities it is obvious he could work in so many different fields.  His heart and passion is with helping those in early recovery just as so many reached out to help him in the past.  Johnnie knows the importance of family involvement in recovery and is diligent about staying in touch with families and helping to ease the transition into sober living and then back home again.  For Johnnie this isn’t a business - this is about saving lives.

Beginnings Treatment Centers in Orange County, California is Johnnie’s home and he goes above and beyond to make everyone feel loved and welcome.  Just like a good parent though, Johnnie knows the importance of saying no and setting limits. But he is able to do it in a loving way and teach our clients to learn to set limits for themselves, and to ask for help when needed.

Brent Percy

Program Manager

Brent Percy

Coming Soon!

Ashley Garner

Toxicology and EMR Liaison

ashley-garner

Ashley is the Toxicology and EMR Liaison for Beginnings Treatment Centers. She analyzes drug testing results and provides help with the electronic medical record website used to document notes for the clients.

Ashley has a hard work ethic, in order to help provide whatever is necessary to ensure the clients are well taken care of.

Nancy Soto

Billing Specialist

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Nancy Soto is bilingual, speaking fluently in both English and Spanish. She is the Billing and the Collection Manager of Beginnings Treatment Centers. Nancy is enthusiastic and motivated with extensive Medical and Substance Abuse Billing experience, and a strong background in collections.

Nancy maintains a high level of personal drive, a confident nature and an aggressive attitude in achieving results. She earned a Medical Billing and Terminology Certificate from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, and is a current Student of Medical Coding at Allied Business School.

Rosario Corona

Billing Assistant

Rosario Corona

Coming Soon...

Heather Bastio, RADT1

Operations Assistant

Heather Bastio
Coming Soon!

Jay Alayon

Head Chef

Jay Alayon

Coming Soon!

Ana Galvan, RADT1

Support Staff

Ana Galvan

Coming Soon...

Ramil Antolin

Support Staff

Ramil Antolin

 

Coming Soon...

Ruby Alexander-Lee

Support Staff

Ruby Alexander-Lee, Support Staff

Coming soon!

Nickole Galvez, RADT1

Support Staff

Nickole-Galvez-RADT-1-Support-staff

Coming soon!