Chief Executive Officer
Darren Orloff founded Pillars Recovery in 2014 on three guiding principles: (1) to incorporate the model under which he got sober; (2) to take advantage of the advances in modern medicine and technology to create an even more effective program; and (3) to meet people where they are in their own personal journey. His ambitions stem from his own personal journey.
A California native, Darren moved to New Jersey at a young age. He grew up in the suburbs and excelled at athletics. Baseball soon became his passion and he dreamed of playing professional sports. This passion led Darren to head off to college for what he thought would be an amazing collegiate athletic and academic experience. However, like so many before and after him, Darren was not ready for college; and his dreams and aspirations were quickly taken over by drugs and alcohol. He spent the next decade moving up and down the east coast burning bridges and destroying relationships with anyone in his path before he made a decision to come to California to begin his road to recovery. It changed his life forever.
Today, Darren supports those who have found themselves on a similar path. Dismayed with the “cookie cutter” approach often used by treatment facilities, Darren and his partners set out to put together a top-quality clinical team. Together, they combine the most advanced therapeutic techniques to help clients on their road to recovery. The product of their experience, along with the three guiding principles, has since led Pillars Recovery to become one of the finest treatment centers in all of Southern California.
Chief Operating Officer
Peter Gates is the chief operating officer at Pillars Recovery. He is responsible for the general operations and oversight of the business.
Peter has more than 20 years of experience working in finance, real estate investment and recovery. Throughout his career, he has worked in various executive leadership and management roles. Stemmed from passion and his experience working within the recovery community, Peter joined the Pillars Recovery team. His leadership philosophy is based on team collaboration, authenticity, transparency and integrity.
Peter understands the trials and tribulations that come with working towards sobriety. He believes that with the right mentorship and accountability, individuals can achieve permanent sobriety and a balanced, purposeful life.
Native to Orange County, California, Peter attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.
Clinical Director, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Rebecca Gold received a bachelor’s degree in cognitive psychology from the University of California, Irvine. She completed a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. Rebecca also received a doctorate (Psy.D.) in applied clinical psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Rebecca’s experience includes working with individuals in treatment for drug and alcohol addictions, specializing in dual diagnosis treatment and recovery. Rebecca’s philosophy is one of pragmatism, based on treating each client as an individual with specific needs and empowering clients through education as well as introspection. She is a firm believer in tailoring treatment to fit each person’s unique needs and interests. Rebecca combines scientific basis with holistic complementary techniques in order to create a comprehensive and specialized treatment plan for each client.
Rebecca’s greatest goal is to help others develop into healthy and whole individuals, and to embrace life’s journey. In the therapeutic process, Rebecca empowers the client to discover his or her own resolve, while at the same time directing the client into a safe path of self-discovery. Rebecca helps others to actualize the value of their individual being and inspires them to experience their maximum potential.
Director of Operations, Licensed Vocational Nurse
Susan Kue is currently the director of operations at Pillars Recovery, where she manages the day-to-day operations. She is a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) and works as the head nurse at the treatment center, as well. Susan began working in the home health medical field and though enjoyed it, it was not her passion. Susan then took the challenge and accepted a job working in a dual diagnosis substance facility elsewhere. While working there, she found joy in working with addicts and mental health clients. Susan eventually left the facility and accepted an opportunity to work for Pillars Recovery upon its opening. Susan also helps with admissions and works closely with the medical team and clinical team to provide the best care possible for every client.
Chief Compliance Officer
Andrew Gaffney is native of Newport Beach, California. He attended California State University, Fullerton where he pursued a degree in finance and began working as a corporate accountant for four years. His personal journey to recovery began in 2012. His experience led to a career path in recovery, where he had the opportunity to work with one of the leading treatment facilities in Orange County, California. A few years later, Andrew joined the Pillars Recovery team. He brings experience in facility licensing and certification, where he has helped multiple treatment centers to meet the standards necessary to receive The Joint Commission accreditation. His strong work ethic and attention to detail are invaluable assets to Pillars Recovery.
In his free time, Andrew volunteers at the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County and spends his early mornings surfing along the local beach breaks.
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist
Sabina Kalsey has worked at various treatment facilities throughout Orange County, California. She earned both a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from California State University, Fullerton.
Sabina’s passion for helping individuals in treatment stems from witnessing first-hand the positive results and progress made through addressing core issues during treatment. Sabina uses a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, person-centered therapy and motivational interviewing to work on common issues presented by clients, including depression and anxiety. Sabina is also a trained eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) therapist, which specifically targets traumatic experiences that have occurred in the past, in hopes of decreasing their level of distress associated with the trauma.
Raymond Dinh joined Pillars Recovery’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), where he provides one-on-one case management. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University. During his studies, he volunteered with Alcohol & Other Drug Assistance Program, a counseling and information program developed for students. He is currently seeking a master’s degree in psychology at Alliant International University.
Raymond supports clients in their treatment with life-skills development, including building a resume, job searches and education. He also assists with community-based support groups (AA/NA, Smart Recovery) and developing a discharge and aftercare plan. His passion and hope is to help others achieve their goals of living a better, more fulfilling life. He believes in meeting clients where they are in their recovery journey and providing the best care.
Michelle earned her B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations with an emphasis in Entertainment from Chapman University. After spending nearly 4 years as an Account Executive in an Advertising Agency, Michelle made the decision to pursue her purpose in life for helping others recover from addiction. Michelle is working towards her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy and plans to continue her education and obtain her Psy.D.
Michelle believes an essential piece of recovery is commitment to personal growth. As IOP Case Manager, Michelle is responsible for case management, group and individual counseling, treatment, and discharge planning. Her day-to-day responsibilities also include crisis intervention, facilitating psychoeducational groups and client education.
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist
Maresa Martinez has three years of experience as an associate therapist, one year as a clinical case manager in California, and two years of experience as a mental health therapist in Mexico City. Maresa has a passion for continued personal and educational growth. In addition to a master’s degree, Maresa has obtained certifications in two evidenced-based practice models, Level 1 training in CBT-REBT model, and is currently working on becoming a trauma certified therapist.
Maresa has spent most of her years working with adolescents and adults with substance use, criminal records, mental health disorders, and court-mandated sessions. Maresa believes that the most important component in therapy is to build a strong relationship with the client. Maresa also believes that in order to achieve successful treatment, clients need to be understood and treated from a biopsychosocial perspective. Her passion lies in being able to help clients believe in themselves and their capacity to build a better future when no one, even themselves, believes in them.
Case Manager, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor
Kendra Parks is a native of Kentucky, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Murray State University and then a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Tennessee State University.
Kendra’s background experience has varied over the years from working with victims of sexual abuse to helping children and adolescents through a community mental health program. She has also helped children diagnosed with autism disorders using applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy.
For the past three years, Kendra has focused on substance abuse treatment as a case manager. She is currently working to complete California’s requirements for a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC) internship, with the goal to complete requirements for LPCC licensure by the end of 2018.
Associate Clinical Social Worker
Julia Ruffolo attended Chapman University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology with an emphasis on social work. From there, she attended the University of Southern California where she obtained a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree with a concentration in mental health.
Julia has worked in a few treatment facilities, where she has gained experience and knowledge about addiction and various mental health issues. She has led groups on relapse prevention, relationships and meditation. She also sees clients individually and helps them to achieve short term and long-term goals in recovery.
Julia is currently working on becoming a certified sex addiction therapist (CSAT) and will have this certification by the end of 2018.
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist
Whitney Dominguez has four years of experience as an associate therapist working with adolescents, couples, families and adults. The adolescents she worked with have autism and other disabilities. Such experiences have taught her patience and that even the smallest progress can be an amazing achievement. Her experience in helping adults is from working/interning at a drug and alcohol rehab facility and in private practice. She relies on her interpersonal and therapeutic skills to foster a supportive relationship in group and individual therapy settings to enhance clients’ self-esteem, coping skills and the building of healthier relationships. In addition, Whitney’s experience as a customer service manager demonstrates her responsibility, dedication and leadership skills. She attributes her professional experience along with her abilities to be empathic, open-minded and uphold appropriate boundaries to her successful therapeutic relationships.
Sarah Forry has been working in drug and alcohol treatment for four years and has been a case manager for the last two years. Sarah is a psychology major and has the goal to obtain a doctorate in the field. She plans to specialize in trauma and child psychology so that she may further her ability to assist those afflicted with a drug and alcohol dependency. Sarah hopes that her clients will achieve their full potential and the freedom from addiction that they deserve. She uses her compassion and understanding to assist and interact with each client, offering the care she would want of those in her own family. Sarah focuses on relapse prevention by specifically tailoring treatment plans to each clients’ unique needs so that they are prepared to move forward with successful, long-term sobriety.
Licensed Vocational Nurse
Vanessa Jimenez was born in Westminster, California. She is the middle child among three siblings. After graduating in 2004 from Katella High School in Anaheim, Vanessa perused a career in the medical field as a medical assistant, where she worked for eight years. She later enrolled as a student at Angeles Institute, earning a license in vocational nursing (LVN) and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in 2013. Professionally, Vanessa has served as an executive assistant at UC Irvine Medical Center and has worked as a school nurse for the Santa Ana Unified School District. Vanessa found her purpose and passion in recovery and treatment. Vanessa remains dedicated to advocating on behalf of those affected by addiction. Her role at Pillars Recovery allows her to enhance the care of patients and assist them during their transition back into a life absent of dependency.
Licensed Vocational Nurse
Cathy Ma joined Pillars Recovery in April 2016. Born and raised in Orange County, California, she began her career in a mental health clinic, which created a desire to further her education. She went forth to become a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), graduating from Concorde Career College, and has since received a registered alcohol drug technician (RADT-1) certification. She now assists in the day-to-day operations as the lead nurse for the women’s detox/residential house. Cathy enjoys providing counsel and connecting with the clients during their journey in recovery. She hopes to continue her career in helping people strive to better their lives through recovery.
Licensed Vocational Nurse
Zaney Estrada began working with Pillars Recovery in 2017. She has long since been inspired by the world of medicine. She started her career as a hospice caregiver, where she worked for two years. In 2013, Zaney lost her brother, who was 37 years old at the time, to a stroke. This untimely loss motivated her to pursue a career in nursing. She chose a career helping those impacted by substance abuse – an area that has personally touched her life. Nearly half of her family members struggle with the complex disease of addiction. Zaney has a strong sense of admiration for those in recovery, greatly respecting their courage, strength and determination.
Johnny Martinez is support staff at Pillars Recovery. He has registered alcohol drug technician (RADT-1) certification. Johnny has been involved in the recovery community for more than 10 years and has substantial knowledge of the 12-step program. His compassion to help others began when he realized the impact of addiction on our local community. Johnny then joined and began to volunteer at a nonprofit men’s detox facility in Costa Mesa, California to help others. There, he found joy in helping those struggling with addiction. In addition to Johnny’s full-time position at Pillars Recovery, he continues to help with Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous and is a general service representative for the 12-step community.
Johnny is a father to a two-year-old and strives to teach the young men in treatment that they can be a pillar to their families through sober actions. Johnny continues to make his dreams come true through service for others and helping within the community that he loves. He plans to continue his education to become a drug and alcohol counselor so he can guide others in their road to recovery.
Katie Pitchford was born and raised in the United Kingdom and moved to Southern California in 2001. After high school, Katie studied culinary arts at The Art Institute of California and is currently working towards a degree in behavioral science. Katie loves helping people during their journey in recovery. She is support staff at Pillars Recovery and brings a willingness to help those in need. Katie enjoys working the graveyard shift at both treatment homes and is happy to take all client requests for a delicious breakfast. In her spare time, she enjoys composing music, supporting the animal shelter and spending time with friends.
Leah Campanella joined Pillars Recovery as support staff in January 2018. Originally from Spokane, Washington, she experienced drug and alcohol addiction first-hand, which lead to her passion to help others. Leah has received registered alcohol drug technician (RADT-1) certification to gain further knowledge in the field of recovery. Using her personal experience with recovery as testimony, Leah offers support to others who struggle with addiction. She works as support staff at the women’s detox/residential home at Pillars Recovery.
Mark Stringfellow was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Northern Virginia. He grew up with a normal upbringing but ended up turning to drugs and alcohol towards the end of high school. His addiction progressed quickly, prompting the decision to seek help. Mark began a series of treatments in residential facilities across the country. His move to California, however, offered a fresh start. Here, Mark found a new way of living through the 12-step philosophy and Alcoholics Anonymous. Today, Mark works as support staff and a house manager for sober living at Pillars Recovery.
Alex Meadows joined Pillars Recovery in April 2016. Native of Seattle, Washington, he attended college at Mesa College in Arizona and later returned to Seattle to pursue a career in hedge fund administration. After finding himself in recovery due to his own struggles, Alex moved to Southern California, re-enrolling in school to pursue his passion to help others battling their own addiction. He is attending New Creations College and is 1,000 hours from becoming a certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC-I). As an active member of the men’s recovery community, Alex has an innate ability to connect with clients in pain that want to change their lives for the better. Alex is an invaluable asset to Pillars Recovery and works as the lead coordinator for the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).
William Moore moved from Alabama to Southern California in 2014 to begin his own journey in recovery. In 2017, he began working for Pillars Recovery as support staff at the men’s detox/residential house and as a member of the admissions team. William remains an active member in the Orange County recovery community and uses his personal experience in recovery to encourage and inspire clients. He recognizes the great gift of recovery and has a passion to help those struggling with addiction. William comes to work with the goal to bring happiness to others and a willingness to do whatever he can to help those who are struggling.
Summer Rodriguez joined Pillars Recovery as support staff in May 2016. She has personal experience in addiction recovery and utilizing the 12-step program. Summer has more than three years of experience with drug and alcohol-related work. She has received registered alcohol drug technician (RADT-1) certification and has plans to continue her education to become a case manager. With a passion to help others, Summer offers support to clients as they find their own strength and learn essential tools necessary to build a healthy and successful life.
Cody Brady began his journey with recovery in April 2016. Through his experience, he found a passion in helping others who struggle with addiction. Cody hopes that his testimony and the first-hand knowledge he learned will offer hope and insight to others. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Cody moved to California in April 2014. He now works at Pillars Recovery as part of the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), where he draws on his experience in recovery to help clients transition into a normal life.
Justin Sharma was born in Alexandria, Virginia. Growing up, Justin lived a normal life. He was a part of the basketball team and maintained good grades. At the age of 15, however, his life took a turn, leading him into an eight-year span of addiction. Recognizing the severity and dangers of his addiction, Justin decided to seek treatment shortly after his 23rdbirthday. The decision prompted a move to California to complete a 90-day residential treatment, followed by a nine month Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Currently in his 18th month of sobriety, Justin is thankful for the complete change in his life. He now is refocusing his life back to school and encouraging healthy lifestyle decisions.
As support staff at Pillars Recovery, Justin is able to come alongside others during their journey in recovery. He share, “the staff at my treatment center, along with the community, is what made recovery possible for me. Working in a place like Pillars Recovery is really gratifying and also very exciting. It is cool to see a place that solely focuses on helping people and giving them the best possible chance at recovery…and showing clients that recovery is fun and well worth it. The team and mission at Pillars Recovery is what I live for. Everyone wants the same thing, which is to show others recovery is the better option.”