White House and Beach House locations for The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center.

The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center Team

The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center employs experts in the field of recovery. Our broad range of addiction specialists are skilled and experienced in treating a variety of client issues, including drug addiction, alcohol addiction, process addictions, trauma, and related mental health disorders. Our treatment professionals operate in coordinated and integrated case-tailored teams to treat you, our valued client. To that end, we assemble the correct team of professionals and recovery field disciplines for your individual circumstances. And we structure our programs around our Integrated Care Alliance, a powerful bond of support that includes our medical/clinical staff, your referring professional, your family in the form you choose, and – most importantly – you.

The staff at The Pointe Malibu also includes recovery experts who are adept in treating depression and anxiety. In conjunction, we treat the frequently associated dependence on drugs and alcohol as depression and anxiety coping mechanisms. Our recovery facility includes staff experienced with, and sensitive to, the unique challenges facing the LGBTQ+ affirmative community.
Quite simply, The Pointe Malibu offers the highest class of treatment professionals, clinical staff, and medical care in the recovery industry. This elite team focuses on individually personalized treatment solutions that address your unique needs.

We invite you to meet the key members of our staff now:

Executive and Medical Team

Michael Gillis, MSW
Executive Director

Michael Gillis, MSW a graduate of Boston University School of Social Work, has worked in the private sector of behavioral health treatment for 30 years. Through his extensive experience in a multitude of roles within a treatment center, Michael creates, manages, and staffs all aspects that are expected of a world-class treatment provider. Michael believes in the human capital of clients, families staff, and the magic that can happen when clients and families are paired with the appropriate treatment center. Co-occurring substance use and mental health issues need to be treated concurrently in order to support the individual and family into long-term recovery. Michael weaves the best of evidence, abstinence, and holistic-based therapies into a comprehensive and dynamic treatment experience.

Chris Harmon Chief Operating Officer at The Pointe Malibu
Chris Harmon
Chief Operating Officer

Chris made his start with The Pointe Malibu during our first year of business in 2008, working as a volunteer after relocating to Malibu from Northern California.

Having extensive experience contributing to his family’s business in the assisted-living healthcare field and inspired by his natural ability to connect with those suffering from addiction and guiding them into recovery, Chris made the decision to make a career change and permanently join the team at The Pointe Malibu in 2009.

Chris furthered his studies at Loyola Marymount, completing the coursework in Substance Use Disorders in 2012.

As Chief Operating Officer, Chris has been able to assist in helping build and oversee all areas of operations and management at each of our locations.

Chris contributes as a member of our Executive and Ownership Committee and as our longest-standing employee is a connection to almost all of our Alumni!

Mark E Jaffe M.D. Psychiatrist The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center
Mark E. Jaffe, MD
Psychiatrist

Dr. Mark Jaffe is board certified in general and forensic psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He graduated from UCLA cum laude before attending the University of Southern California School of Medicine. Dr. Jaffe completed his internship and residency in psychiatry at the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center and completed two years of fellowship training at the USC Institute of Psychiatry and Law, where he is currently a clinical associate professor of psychiatry.

Dr. Jaffe currently consults for the Los Angeles County Superior and Municipal Courts and is a member of the expert witness panel. He has performed numerous evaluations for various agencies, courts, and attorneys on cases that involve the use of drugs and alcohol during the commission of crimes or during employment.

Damon Raskin M.D. Internal Medicine and Additionologist at The Point Malibu Recovery Center.
Damon Raskin, MD
Internal Medicine and Addictionologist

Dr. Raskin is a leading board-certified internist and Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine in Pacific Palisades, California. Having completed his undergraduate degree at the prestigious Stanford University with Honors in Human Biology, Dr. Raskin went on to receive his medical degree with George Washington University School of Medicine where he graduated with Distinction. Treating clients in his private practice since 1996, Dr. Raskin has earned a reputation for exceptional client care and effective individualized treatment.

Today, through cutting-edge and compassionate techniques, Dr. Raskin helps his clients maintain and regain their health. Dr. Raskin contributes regularly to local and national television broadcasts. Most recently he has appeared as a medical expert on Good Morning America and Nightline.

Morgan Blackledge Program Director The Pointe Malibu
Morgan Blackledge, MA, LMFT
Clinical Director

Morgan A. C. Blackledge is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who completed his Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology at the University of The West in Rosemead, California. There he focused his training and research in the areas of mindfulness-based psychotherapy and multicultural counseling. Morgan is currently a doctoral candidate at California Southern University where he is further pursuing his interest in the neurobiology of addiction and recovery. Morgan has extensive experience and training in eastern meditation traditions and integrates the best of these contemplative practices with secular, scientifically informed psychotherapy. In addition to his vast experience in the outpatient and residential levels of treatment, Morgan has experience as an adjunct professor of psychology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and incorporates a strong psycho-educational component into his work with individuals, couples, families, and groups.

Mel Pohl, MD
Senior Medical Consultant Pain Recovery Program

Mel Pohl, MD, DFASAM is the Senior Medical Consultant of the Pain Recovery Program at The Pointe Malibu. Dr. Mel was a major force in developing Las Vegas Recovery Center’s Chronic Pain Recovery Program. He is a Family Practitioner, certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM), and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

He is the author of A Day without Pain, revised edition (Central Recovery Press, 2011) and The Pain Antidote – Stop Suffering from Chronic Pain, Avoid Addiction to Painkillers, and Reclaim Your Life (DaCapo, 2015). Dr. Mel filmed a show for PBS on chronic pain which aired around the country in 2016.

Les Aria Ph.D.
Pain Recovery Specialist

Les Aria, Ph.D., a pain psychologist who has been practicing for the past 17 years with Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in Northern California and he served as the Lead Pain Psychologist for Kaiser Northern California to help redesign the chronic pain workshop curriculum to incorporate modern pain science, mindfulness and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT). Les specializes in treating psychophysiological disorders/persistent pain and medically unexplained problems. He is also part of the Opioid Safety Program (OSP) at Kaiser to help patients, who struggle with opioid dependency and chronic pain, to compassionately taper off their opioids. His passion for mind-body interventions promotes a unique style to help patients relate differently to their suffering, and thereby shift them into pain recovery and wellness.

Judy Ho, Ph.D.

Judy Ho, Ph. D., ABPP, ABPdN is a triple board-certified and licensed Clinical and Forensic Neuropsychologist, a tenured Associate Professor at Pepperdine University, and published author, most recently penning “Stop Self-Sabotage,” published by HarperCollins in August 2019; a book detailing a scientifically-driven six-step program which has been translated into 7 additional languages around the world. Dr. Judy maintains a private practice in Manhattan Beach, CA where she specializes in comprehensive neuropsychological assessments and expert witness work. She regularly appears as an expert psychologist on television, podcasts, radio, and contributes to other media including print and electronic periodicals. She is a co-host on the syndicated daytime television talk show “The Doctors,” co-host of CBS’s Face the Truth, and host of The SuperCharged Life podcast produced by Stage 29 Podcast Productions.

Dr. Judy Ho is an avid researcher and is a two-time recipient of the National Institute of Mental Health Services Research Award. She hosts an active research program to improve mental health care for high-need populations and is the chair of the Institutional Review Board at Pepperdine University. Her treatment approaches integrate the scientific principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She often speaks at national and local events including research, clinical, and corporate conferences and workshops for organizations and schools.

Dr. Judy received her bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Business Administration from UC Berkeley and her masters and doctorate from SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. She completed a National Institute of Mental Health sponsored fellowship at UCLA’s Semel Institute.

Clinical Team

Elnaz Mayeh M.A. LMFT Primary Therapist at The Point Malibu Recovery Center.
Elnaz Mayeh, MA, LMFT
Board-Certified Sex Therapist
Primary Therapist

Elnaz Mayeh who is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCLA and then earned a master’s degree from Pepperdine University with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. Elnaz’s areas of interest and expertise include addiction, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, working with the LGBTQ+ community, and family and marital counseling. Elnaz primarily applies Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused Therapy, mindfulness, and supportive therapy depending on the unique needs of each client.

Christina Grotlisch Surf Therapist at The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center.
Christiana Grotlisch, MSW, ASW
Primary Therapist

Christiana is currently a primary therapist at the Pointe Malibu Recovery Centers after initially working at our Intensive Outpatient Program. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Antioch University with a dual major in Addiction Studies and Psychology and a minor in Urban Communities and Environments. Christiana is a master’s candidate at the University of Southern California School of Social Work studying Adult Mental Health and Wellness.

Christiana was formerly a youth pastor and the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Brentwood Presbyterian Church and was in charge of programming. She led weekly groups and frequently incorporated surf groups into her work with the teenagers. Though she loved the job, Christiana felt that she was called to work in the field of addiction treatment after working alongside students and families who were struggling with chemical dependency and entered the addiction treatment field in 2015.

Christiana utilizes evidence-based practices to inform her work with clients, and frequently incorporates solution-focused therapy, motivational interviewing, strength-based practices, and psychoeducation in individual therapy sessions, case management, and groups she facilitates. She even incorporates these approaches into surf/ocean therapy groups.

Lorraine Sears Primary Therapist at The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center
Lorraine Sears, MS, AMFT
Primary Therapist

Lorraine is a licensed eligible Marriage and Family Therapist who completed her Master of Science in Educational Psychology at California State University, Northridge with an emphasis on Marriage Family Therapy. Lorraine utilizes a wide range of therapeutic modalities all with family systems in mind. She specializes in the treatment of trauma and how it manifests in substance use/abuse, mental health issues, and maladaptive behaviors. She believes in fostering an atmosphere of authentic openness, compassion, with a non-judgmental interpersonal and integrated approach to therapy needed to embark on the personal exploration that seeks to address the roots of long-standing psychological struggles; resolve past traumas; enhance healthier relationships with self and others; considering the whole field of human suffering and transformation.

Lorraine has fulfilled a wide range of clinical roles from working in non-profit and private sectors with at-risk youth; with domestic and intimate partner violence survivors; with sexual abuse, assault, and trafficking survivors; and has worked more than 15 years in the drug and alcohol substance treatment arena in the capacity of Group Facilitator, Case Manager, Counselor, Therapist; and Assistant Clinical Director.

Jennell Maze LCSW Primary Therapist at The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center.
Jennell Maze, LCSW
Primary Therapist

Jennell Maze is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and received her MSW at the University of Southern California. Her professional career has granted her the opportunity to be involved in promoting mental health as it relates to individuals, families, and communities. She has provided more than 10 years of comprehensive outpatient services to children and their families. She is trained and certified in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and crisis-oriented services.

Currently, Jennell is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work in the Department of Children, Youth, and Families teaching courses in human behavior and the social environment. Jennell feels that the opportunity to join families in acceptance and change is an honor.

Patrick Kenney Primary Therapist at The Point Malibu Recovery Center.
Patrick Kenney, MA, CADC-II, CATC-III, P.C.C.T.
Professional Counselor

Patrick holds a BA in Psychology from Cal State University, Channel Islands, and an MA degree in Clinical Counseling from Concordia University in Irvine. Patrick is currently credentialed as an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor as well as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC-II, CATC-III). Patrick’s approach focuses on identifying and uprooting the narrative, or story, that underlies dysfunctional thinking and behavior. Because these painful stories have a traumatic origin, he uses interventions aimed at helping clients to finish processing these deep wounds, allowing them to find their best possible story as a result. Patrick is trained as an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist, which is a powerful tool in the treatment of trauma.

Because of his own history with depression and substance abuse, he is well-acquainted with the mindsets that accompany them, as well as what is necessary to fully vanquish them. Patrick takes great pleasure in helping people find the inspiration to “reinvent” themselves so that things like depression, anxiety, regret, and addiction no longer belong in their story and are replaced instead by gratitude, peace of mind, and abiding joy.

Marlene Henson, LMFT
Family Therapist

Marlene Henson, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Pomona, and then earned her Master of Science degree from Loma Linda University with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Marlene’s clinical training, area of interest, and expertise are in Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders with a focus on working with couples and families. Marlene utilizes Family Systems Theory to educate families on the complex interactions of the family and the effects of addiction on the family unit.

Marlene has 10 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families with reunification, completing mental health stipulations of Children and Family Services cases, and educating families on family systems. Through her work, she has found a passion for helping couples and families strengthen their unions that have been negatively affected by substance use, mental health issues, and patterns of abnormality that weaken the family unit.

Art Marguiles JD Case Manager at The Point Malibu Recovery Center.
Arthur J. Margulies, JD, CADC-I
Lead Case Manager

Art is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and SMART Recovery Facilitator. He began his education at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, where he earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in Sociology and Economics. Art earned his Juris Doctor degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York City. He graduated from law school cum laude and was employed as a commercial litigator at the New York office of a large international law firm. After moving to Malibu, Art earned a Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling, which was awarded with distinction by the University of California in Los Angeles. Art leads 12 Step and SMART Recovery groups at The Pointe Malibu and works closely with clients to develop holistic continuing care plans that help ensure long-term freedom from addiction.

Holistic Program

Holistic Program Coordinator
Ashleigh Abramovici
Holistic Program Coordinator

Ashleigh manages the dynamic holistic program The Pointe Malibu offers, and passionately brings together a team of world-class specialists and instructors. The diversity of holistic offerings creates a safe space to facilitate healing, growth, and recovery. This includes meditation, yoga, movement, energy healing, sound healing, equine therapy, art therapy, and beyond. Ashleigh is a 500 hour Certified Yoga Instructor, has Sound Healing training certification, 20 years of meditation and yoga practice, and is currently in pursuit of an MA degree in psychology. She is dedicated to guiding clients to integrate holistic practices into their treatment experience. This includes creating space for meditation, creative expression, self-care, retreat, and movement. She works with individuals seeking to cultivate and nourish these practices in their lives, using practical methods and steps to integrate spirituality in day-to-day living.

Dr. Jess Lakin
Sound Facilitator and Meditation Instructor

Dr. Jess Lakin is a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Reiki Master, and experienced soundbath facilitator. Jess offers healing sound meditations using gongs and Tibetan/Crystal bowls. Her sessions support deep relaxation, stress release, physical healing and emotional balance. She begins her classes through meditative breath and awareness practices, before playing her instruments in a manner which promotes a feeling of safety and calm. The experience, which feels as if being showered with sound vibration, supports the release of tension in the body and may quieten the chatter of the mind. Many describe the experience to take them beyond their thoughts, promoting a sense of nourishing spaciousness, clarity and balance.

Jess is a UK-qualified Clinical Psychologist (DClinPsy-UK), where she began her career working across child and adult mental health services for 15 years before moving to California. She now supports her clients through sharing holistic approaches, so that they are able to successfully integrate them into their lives. She is fully committed to supporting those on their journey to recovery and honored to bring her sound meditations into the rehabilitation community.

Ariadne Vickers
Yoga Instructor

Ariadne has been working in the yoga and wellness industry in Los Angeles for 5 years. On top of teaching yoga, she is also FRC certified (functional range on conditioning). Her classes combine the flow of yoga with mobility and techniques to help rehabilitate joints and increase your mobility while leaving you feeling revived and connected to yourself. She came to yoga through a difficult time in her own life and it gave her a lot of peace and perspective. Her hope is to share that with others.

Lindsey Valdez
Yoga Instructor

Lindsey Valdez is a renowned yoga and meditation instructor who has taught at some of the most elite studios from New York City to Los Angeles since 2012. Lindsey is well versed in sound healing therapies as well as breathwork modalities, and Reiki as well. She has an intuitive way of combining all of these modalities seamlessly and dynamically into each of her sessions to offer deep rejuvenation and healing to all of her students. She currently resides in Santa Monica, CA where she teaches weekly group and private client sessions to students of all levels, as well as workshops and international wellness retreats year-round. Lindsey’s classes seek to target the inner strength, grace, and harmonious spirit within all of her students!

Christiana Grotlisch, MSW, ASW
Surf Therapist

Christiana facilitates our weekly group and individual surf therapy sessions to aid clients in their recovery from chemical dependency and mental health symptom reduction. She has created a DBT Surf Therapy program with a curriculum that focuses on supporting clients with therapeutic skills integration while teaching clients to surf.

Malene Kai Bell MA, M.Msc.
Reiki and Meditation Instructor

Malene Kai Bell M.A., M.Msc. is a writer, healer, teacher, and Founder of S.A.G.E. Wellness.

A sexual trauma survivor, Malene spent the better part of her 20s & 30s seeking self-healing. After minuscule ‘gains’ in talk therapy, her answers came full throttle, in 2007, when she was synchronistically guided to the Shambhala Center and introduced to Mindfulness, Meditation, and thereafter, Energy Work. She experienced a series of major, life transformations, and since then, has set out to share these powerful practices with others.

Her mantra is ‘to transform the world, transform yourself’. And, she believes there is nothing we can do that would break God’s Heart. This is the beauty of unconditional love. She teaches that though we tend to judge ourselves harshly, this is symptomatic of the Mind, not the Heart or Soul. That no matter where we find ourselves, Spirit walks with us and works through us in the form of Light and Love.

A Kundalini and Usui Reiki Master, Malene is also trained in Quantum-Touch, Access Bars, Brain Gym, Touch for Health, Muscle Checking, and the Virtues.

A published writer, Malene earned an M. Msc. in Holistic Coaching from the University of Metaphysics and holds and M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. She invokes the Word, creative writing, and imagination in her workshops and healing work. She’s a big fan of play and laughter; therefore, her sessions can be categorized as free-flowing and a bit unorthodox.

Kim Harrington

Kim is a Yoga Alliance certified Yoga instructor who delivers very nurturing Yoga and Yoga Nidra classes. These gentle classes have a meditative tone to them, combining an equal awareness of the breath, the physical body, and relaxation.

Kim was introduced to yoga at a young age, by her mother who was and still is a devoted yogi. Yoga and meditation guided her throughout her time in business school and during her international corporate career. After the birth of her children, she engaged passionately and critically with a variety of schools of yoga, to deepen her knowledge and teaching credentials.

Kim feels truly blessed to work in rehabilitation. She has found it to be a very sacred, safe, and supportive environment where she can deliver the healing benefits of this beautiful practice to those on their journey of recovery.

Bat El
Massage Therapist

Bat El is a certified massage therapist who’s trained in a variety of modalities. Qualified Massage therapist in Oncology massage, Burn & scar massage, and compassionate healing touch. All approved by the National Certification Board Of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork(NCBTMB). She values people who bring integrity, professionalism, and compassion to all aspects of care. Bat El is compassionate about healing and believes in respect, dignity, and quality care at all times.

She wants her clients to feel better! It sounds simple, and for some, it may be. Massage therapy may be needed to relieve the stress and tension that day-to-day life brings. Strain and pressure can bring havoc on a body’s muscles and structure. Bat El’s goals are to help each client form an individualized and balanced treatment plan, based on particular needs.

Equine-Assisted Therapist

As an Equine-Assisted Therapist, I facilitate therapeutic group and private sessions for clients navigating a myriad of life challenges including PTS, anxiety, depression, and addiction. I act as a bridge between the individual client, or group, and my therapy horses; incorporating several healing modalities into my practice such as somatic experiencing, constellation family systems, yoga, and meditation. The horse becomes a guide and mirror for what is happening within the psyche of each participant, and this experience creates opportunities for trauma release, nervous system regulation, and an embodied sense of self.

My practice is located at Shakti Ranch in Malibu, CA. Set on two acres next to a running creek amidst oak and eucalyptus trees; the ranch provides a calm, safe space for both private and corporate clients.

Nursing Team

Melissa Apodaca Residential Nurse at The Pointe Malibu
Melissa Apodaca, RN, BSN
Director of Nursing

Melissa Apodaca has been working as a Registered Nurse in premiere treatment centers in Malibu since 2002 and she specializes in psychiatric nursing. She has worked in a variety of mental health, addiction, and medical treatment settings. With over 20 years of nursing experience, she comes with great compassion and empathy and considers it to be an honor to connect and work with clients as they embark on their personal recovery journey.

Stephanie Moriarty LVN Residential Nurse at The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center

Stephanie Moriarty, LVN
Residential Nurse

Jan Paniza, LVN
Residential Nurse

Stephen Danielson Ohiri LVN-Residential Nurse at The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center

Stephen Danielson-Ohiri, LVN
Residential Nurse

Melissa Esposo, LVN
Residential Nurse

Nikki Smith, LVN
Residential Nurse

Intensive Outpatient Program

Jacqueline Levin IOP Program Coordinator at The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center.
Jackie Levin
IOP Manager / Manager of Quality Assurance

Jackie has been working in addiction and domestic violence treatment regularly since 2005. Having started as a Residential Technician, Jackie has been able to move into and hold positions in various departments of an addiction treatment program. Having worked as a Case Manager, Compliance Specialist, and CalWORKS Project Manager, she brings her expansive scope of skills and experience to the Pointe Malibu team. She coordinates all of the operational aspects of The Pointe Malibu Outpatient Center.

Jackie is currently seeking her Masters in Psychology at California Southern University with the aspirations of becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

Sophie Offer, MSW, ASW
Primary Therapist

Sophie earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California with a specialization in Adult Mental Health and Wellness. Prior to that, she earned her undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern California as well.

She utilizes approaches from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution Focused Therapy. She has experience in the field of mental health and substance abuse at all levels, both non-profit and for-profit agencies. Sophie’s passion for this work is motivated by her own life experience, guiding her approach and style with clients with compassion and kindness. Sophie’s approach is skill-based, providing clients with therapeutic tools to use in daily life, reducing suffering and increasing life satisfaction. Sophie’s overall goal is to empower clients to create and maintain a life worth living, through building self-esteem, identifying values, and setting goals.

Admissions Team

Michele Jackson Powers
Director of Admissions

Since 2007, Michele has served the Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation community in several capacities, having held nearly every position in the field. Within her role as Director of Admissions, Michele utilizes both her personal and professional experience by providing guidance to aid clients, families and referral sources find clinical solutions to clinical problems.

Allison Trudgeon for The Pointe Malibu
Allyson Trudgeon
Admissions Specialist

Allyson holds a Bachelors’s degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Shortly after graduation, Allyson began working as a Mental Health Technician at a Dual Diagnosis facility and quickly transitioned into the Admissions department. Allyson has been working in Admissions for over ten years. Having worked at some of the most prominent treatment centers in the nation, she is well equipped in helping potential clients, family members and referents determine the best route of treatment for themselves or loved ones. In addition to working in Admissions, Allyson has also worked as a live-in recovery coach for women with eating disorders and has also been a sober companion for those with addiction. It is her utmost goal that those seeking help feel heard, cared for and that they also begin to believe that there is hope regardless of the suffering one might currently find themselves in.

Clinical Outreach Team

Christian O’Donnell
National Director of Referral Relations

Christian began his career in the addiction treatment field over 20 years ago. His experience in substance abuse treatment, broad-based behavioral healthcare and crisis intervention have helped guide many individuals through the healing process of recovery. He has a unique skill set working with patients, families, and professionals from many different demographics. Christian has earned a national reputation for being of service to those who are in need of support and guidance in a time of crisis. His home is in Northern California where he leads an active lifestyle and is a very proud father of three beautiful children.

Michelle Migliore
Clinical Outreach Specialist

Michelle graduated with a BA in Science and double major in Policy Studies at UCLA in 2000. Although she was recruited through UCLA athletics, she focused on her studies and social works. It was through her Policy studies that she fell in love with social work and realized that working with people was her passion. From tutoring inner city Latino kids in a second language, to volunteering at MS clinics, to walking the streets of ground zero, she knew that being hands-on was her calling. These days, Michelle remains very active as being involved in health and wellness is what keeps her anchored.

Katy Parker, PsyD.
Clinical Outreach Specialist

Dr. Katy Parker holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Psychology and a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialty in substance abuse combined with underlying psychological disorders.

Dr. Parker discovered a passion for co-occurring disorders in a way that most of us find ourselves, through experience. Her personal life has been touched by mental illness and addiction, from every angle. From being the much younger sibling of someone both addicted and mentally ill, to being the wife and eventually a mother of someone struggling with mental health, her personal challenges were the stepping stones for her professional passion. Psychology provided a way to survive, understand, and offered a path toward hope and help. Having cast a wide clinical loop from having treated the underprivileged and underserved community in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco suffering from addiction and severe mental illness, to being the Executive Director of both an intensive outpatient and residential programs, her work and life has been touched by all the various components of treatment. In her current role as a Clinical Outreach Specialist for The Pointe Malibu, she says, “I feel utterly grateful for being in a position to offer help, hope and the possibility of a new future to those in crisis and a resource to my fellow clinicians, individuals, and families in need.”

Morgan Stiles Residential Advisor
Morgan Stiles, BA
Alumni Coordinator

Morgan Stiles holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from California State University, Channel Islands and is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Arizona State University. With four years of working in treatment, Morgan utilizes her personal experiences in recovery to provide clients with a nuanced level of understanding and compassion that promotes an efficacious treatment experience. As the Alumni Coordinator, she ensures that our clients, past and present, have a strong community to lean on as they progress through their journey of sobriety.

Operations Team

Scott Blockland Resident Advisor Supervisor
Scott Blockland
Director of Operations
Stephen Canfield
Residential Manager
Bridget Baca
Concierge Coordinator
Malia Reynolds, Residential Advisor for The Pointe Malibu
Malia Reynolds
Resident Advisor
Adam Fitzpatrick Resident Advisor
Adam Fitzpatrick
Resident Advisor
Nick Hernandez Residential Advisor
Nick Hernandez
Resident Advisor
lan Lucky Botelho Residential Advisor
Alan Lucky Botelho
Resident Advisor
Taylor Knapp
Resident Advisor
Justin DeGarbo Residential Advisor
Justin DeGarbo
Resident Advisor
Brenda Sanchez Residential Advisor
Brenda Sanchez
Resident Advisor
Tony Rosales, CADC
Resident Advisor
Jon Sacks Residential Advisor
Jon Sacks
Resident Advisor
Erick Conder Residential Advisor
Erick Conder
Resident Advisor
Isabel Lasker
Resident Advisor

Administration Team

Kayleen Hittesdorf
Senior Human Resources Director

As the Senior Human Resources Director, Kayleen Hittesdorf brings over 30 years of human resources experience to The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center. Over the course of her career she has held executive management positions at some of the largest behavioral health and substance use disorder companies. She brings a passionate dedication for human resources strategy, leadership development, and business efficiencies for creating and maintaining a strong behind the scenes environment for the employees.

Renai Cariker Billing Coordinator at The Point Malibu Recovery Center
Renai Cariker Clark
Billing Coordinator

Renai has worked in the health and wellness industry since 2009, and has been at The Pointe Malibu since 2017, where she now functions as the Billing and Program Coordinator. Renai works closely with the clinical team and assists with administrative needs to ensure a positive and productive programming experience for each client. Always looking to bolster her educational prowess, Renai has received education in Insurance Utilization Administration and Clinical Documentation Compliance since joining The Pointe. A Malibu native, Renai is proud to serve her community while working in the wellness and recovery field.

Culinary & Nutrition Staff

David Wiss, MS, RDN

David Wiss, M.S., RDN is the founder of Nutrition in Recovery, a group practice in Los Angeles specializing in: substance use disorders, eating disorders, body image, mental health, as well as general wellness. Mr. Wiss has contributed fifteen articles to peer-reviewed journals and book chapters on his various topics of expertise, including nutrition for substance use disorder, food addiction, and eating disorders. David has spoken at dozens of academic conferences on these topics and is currently a PhD candidate in Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. His dissertation describes links between early life adversity and mental health in adulthood. Mr. Wiss is passionate about helping people achieve long-term recovery.

Mangi Paniza
Executive Chef

Chef Mangi is passionate about making a difference in people’s lives through nutrition and good food. He believes in the love and respect for food and loves seeing the difference healthy food can make in transforming people’s lives.

He received his culinary degree from The Art Institute of California, in Santa Monica where he was the recipient of the highest achievement award for the Fall 2005 commencement exercise. For the past 16 years, he has worked as an executive chef for an exclusive golf club, owned and operated a restaurant, and as an executive chef at Malibu residential treatment facilities.

Dante Paniza
Executive Sous Chef

Dante began working in the field of Drug and Alcohol Treatment in 2010 as a Residential Chef. Looking to further hone his skills, Dante graduated from the Academy of Culinary Education and soon after, became an Executive Sous Chef. In his role as The Point Malibu’s Executive Sous Chef, Dante combines his love for cooking with his sense of compassion, to provide his clients with the best treatment experience possible.

Indigo Ranch Team

James Macdonald House Manager
James MacDonald
House Manager
Jystina Ruiz Resident Advisor
Jystina Ruiz
Lead Resident Advisor
Vanessa Riedell Resident Advisor
Vanessa Riedell
Resident Advisor