Leadership

Vito Tassone, Co-Founder/ CEO

Vito graduated from ITT Technical College in 1993 with BA and AA in Electronics Engineering. He worked as an A+ PC repair instructor and was voted BEST instructor 1999. Since graduating, he has worked in Technical Sales. He has been considered a top performer at every company he has worked for. He has been working in customer service for over 25 years.

“I would say that my strongest characteristic is my compassion with potential clients that call. I LOVE what I do, and have dedicated my life to trying to help the people that call us, to follow thru and get help.” He believes sobriety is a commitment to oneself. “Once you can commit to yourself, then you commit yourself to the people in your life.” Vito has been very committed to the people in his own life. He has 2 kids, one dog and a “beautiful, compassionate, considerate, and understanding wife.


Catherine Tassone, Chief Financial Officer

Catherine received her Bachelor’s Degree from McGill University in Education. As an instructor of cosmetology and business owner she has always exceeded expectations and sold her business at the height of its success. She worked for Airgas safety an executive account manager and has been honored as the top national sales person several times. While always excelling in her professional endeavors, she has also owned and managed several properties around the world for the past 50 years. Her high level of integrity and honesty has always made her a property owner that tenants appreciate. Having a loved one in recovery, and going through the trials and tribulations that are associated with it, she has a passion to help residents receive a high level of care, in a living environment that promotes happiness, love and safety.


Andrew Maloof, Chief Branding Officer / Director of Business Development

Andrew Maloof’s life experiences led him to the recovery industry in 2014 where he began his career providing direct client care as a drug and alcohol counselor. He is a proud graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management.

Andrew’s career path has taken him through multiple departments to enhance and further expand his knowledge in the behavioral health industry. He found his true calling as Director of Business Development, working directly with the teams who assist clients in their greatest time of need. Andrew has a true passion for recovery and is grateful to be a member of the 449 Recovery team.

 

Directors

Barek Sharif, Clinical Director

Barek Sharif is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and joined the 449 Recovery family as the acting Clinical Director. He has been working in the field of dual diagnosis for 9 years helping individuals, couples, and families heal from their mental health, relational, and substance use disorders. Barek is also a board approved supervisor, and utilizes the Developmental Narrative Model for the supervision process. Aside from his roles as Clinical Director and supervisor, he maintains a small private practice in Orange County.

Barek obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Vanguard University in 2005 as well as his Master of Science in Clinical Psychology in 2013. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Alliant International University pursuing his Psy.D in Couples and Family Therapy – completing his dissertation on the topic of social media and substance abuse. He has also taught several workshops ranging in topics from: working with families, attachment injuries, role of spirituality in sobriety, and the role of trauma in relationship development. Barek has also taught courses in Law and Ethics and MFT Theories at Alliant International University.

The belief that relationships are at the core of our search for purpose and meaning is the foundation of Barek’s approach as a clinician. The importance of developing and maintaining authentic relational interactions with others is what drives his passion to provide support to individuals who seek it. This is displayed through his knowledge and use of Collaborative Language Systems and Attachment Theory. In 2018 he completed his EMDR training which reflects his trauma informed interventions to assist individuals in achieving post-traumatic growth. One of Barek’s favorite quotes that encapsulates his clinical and leadership style comes from the humanistic theorist Carl Rogers: “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

Outside of his professional life, Barek enjoys spending time with his loving wife and 2 children. He also enjoys camping/hiking, reading sci-fi and fantasy novels, watching movies, listening to 90’s grunge/alternative rock, and playing video games.


George Graham, Program Director

George is a CCAPP licensed Clinical Supervisor and Alcohol & Drug Counselor II who currently works as the Program Director with 449. George has extensive work in the field of addiction since 2007 after discovering his true calling; to be a role-model for others struggling with substance use disorder.

Prior to joining the 449 team George was instrumental with assisting in building a primer 87 bed residential treatment facility where he functioned as the Program Manager and Clinical Supervisor; always rising to the needs of the client’s, families and the facility. George’s dedication to his profession is second to none.

As someone who has also experienced an addiction to drugs and alcohol, George understands the personal battle of addiction and has great passion working with clients who have substance abuse issues. Maintaining focus on those who suffer from Dual-Diagnosis as well as substance abuse issues George has found recovery is not just dealing with the use of mood-altering chemicals, it is the underlying issues that need also be dealt with. George works closely with clients, family members, employers, probation departments and the court system in order to allow each client the greatest opportunity at long term sobriety.


Sedona Lazaro, Director of Admissions

Sedona has been working in the treatment industry for the past 4 years. Sedona started her career as a Support Staff, providing direct client care and gaining her foothold in the treatment field. Sedona has held numerous positions including Lead Tech, Facility Supervisor and Marketing Representative, all which led her to her current role as Director of Admissions. Her passion for helping addicts comes from her own personal recovery and relationships with family who struggle with addiction. Her fierce devotion to reaching people who need help and strong faith in God allow her to touch the lives of so many to help them find their path to healing and recovery.


Cynthia Tassone, Compliance Officer

Cynthia has been a key member of the 449 Team since its inception. As a founding partner and person who has been personally touched by addiction, she has passion for her work which, continues to fuel her desire to help every client have the best experience possible at 449 Recovery.

It is this passion that drives and motivates her as our Compliance Officer. Working closely with CARF International since 449 was accredited in 2015, she works tirelessly to ensure that 449 provides the best possible client centered care that CARF requires. Through her efforts, 449 has changed and implemented countless policies and procedures that directly impact every client that arrives and stays at 449 Recovery, while holding the entire organization to rigorous standards in order to comply and exceed every regulation required.

 

Staff

Morgan Foreman, Primary Therapist

Morgan received her Bachelors of Arts in psychology from Vanguard University in 2015. She went on to receive her Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology Marriage and Family Therapy Specialization from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Irvine in 2019. Morgan began working with clients dealing with substance use issues during her practicum and found her passion for the field. Morgan completed her practicum at Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center working with men and women dealing with substance abuse, and using individual and group interventions. Morgan utilizes a variety of therapeutic interventions including EMDR Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Anger Management Skills, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In Morgan’s free time she enjoys going to the gym, reading, and spending time with family and friends.


Tracey Kane, Therapist

Tracey received her Bachelors of Arts in psychology from California State University, Fullerton in 2016. She went on to receive her Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology Marriage and Family Therapy Specialization from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Irvine and is currently completing her practicum. Tracey began her work as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor in 2013 with 449 Recovery and has a passion for supporting healing with those struggling with alcoholism and addiction. She is registered with ACCBC as a CATC-III. Tracey is also a registered yoga teacher, utilizing yoga to build body awareness, mindfulness, and stress reduction. In her practice as a therapist, Tracey works from a humanistic perspective, utilizing CBT techniques and Gestalt interventions. In her free time, Tracey enjoys spending time outdoors. She has a passion for hiking, rock climbing, and spending time in the wilderness.


Robert Mullins, Primary Counselor

Robert Mullins, CADC-1, is a primary counselor at 449 Recovery. Robert brings to the table his own journey of recovery with over thirty years of sobriety. Robert holds a strong passion for the field of addiction. He is passionate about helping people and providing them with the tools necessary for recovery. In his spare time Robert might be found chasing a little white ball around the fairways of a southern California golf course.

 

 


Jacquelyn Gurrieri, Primary Counselor and Alumni Coordinator

Jacquelyn has a BA in communication Journalism from the University of Hartford as well as her Drug and Alcohol Counseling certification from Saddleback College. Jacquelyn has been working in the field of addiction for 4 years starting as a support staff and working her way up to case management and addiction counseling. Jacquelyn specializes in eating disorder education, experiential counseling, life skills and crisis management. Jacquelyn has always been passionate about helping those in need and has become more engaged through her own recovery journey.

In her spare time, Jacquelyn enjoys dancing, musical theater, starting rock bands, creating improv comedy shows, attending Disneyland, playing and watching sports and learning about the simple things in life from her cat, Rajah. Jacquelyn is very enthusiastic to be a part of the 449 family and hopes to continuing working in the addiction field for many years to come.


Jamie Davis, Primary Counselor

Jamie is working on his AA and Alcohol Counseling certification from The CCAPP Academy. Jamie has been working in the field for 1 ½ years, starting as a house manager, and also worked as a crisis interventionist for approximately a year. Jamie is currently in case management and addiction counseling. Jamie specializes in experiential counseling, crisis management, and life skills. Jamie knew he would be working in recovery when he first got sober and wanted to help men and women on their road to recovery while following his own path of recovery.

Jamie is proud to be a part of the close knit 449 Family and hopes to continue his path in the field of addiction for many years to come.


Aaron Spaur, Primary Counselor

Aaron is working on his AA and Alcohol Counseling certificate from Saddleback College. Aaron has been working in the field for 3 years, starting as a detox Tech. and worked his way up to case management and addiction counseling. Aaron specializes in experiential counseling, crisis management, and life skills. Aaron has a fire for helping like minded people, while following his own journey of recovery.

In his spare time Aaron enjoys, concert, going to theme parks, vacationing with his sons, and watching movies. Aaron enjoys his pets, Thor his dog and Lil Hissy his ball python. Aaron is proud to be a part of the close knit 449 Family and hopes to continue his path in the field of addiction for many years to come.


Jefferson Jordan, Primary Therapist

Jefferson has five years of experience in the recovery field. He worked his way up from as a treatment tech to shift lead and client advocate in a detox facility. He also has two years’ experience working in a dual diagnosis environment. He has over eight years of sobriety and is passionate about helping those in their own journey of recovery. He is also passionate about the arts and runs a creative writing group at 449 Recovery. Each client has a unique story to tell and their story matters. He firmly believes every clients’ story of recovery is not over, and they have many great chapters left to write.

Raised in Texas, Jefferson earned his Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of North Texas in 2005 and minored in creative writing. He is in unabashed pop culture aficionado and enjoys movies, comics, gaming and religiously attends Comic Con every year. He has even been spotted in costume! Additionally, in his free time he performs standup comedy and writes humorous short stories.


Luke Cuccia, Alumni & Community Outreach Coordinator

Luke is a dedicated member of our business development and marketing team. As a member of the recovery community, he works diligently to help those in need by selflessly giving his time and efforts. Luke has devoted his career to helping addicts both in and out of recovery. He is currently leading our alumni outreach program to ensure that 449 Recovery provides the highest level of care during and after treatment. Luke is an integral part of the 449 family, both as a staff member and alumnus. He is an amazing example of what 449 is, and of what can be accomplished when the desire for recovery is your primary focus.


Joe Hunn, Lead Technician

Joe was born and raised in Orange County. His Native American Heritage is deeply rooted in his ethical standards. With 25 years of sobriety, Joe feels blessed for the opportunity to serve and give back. Joe is passionate about helping restore hope, strength and dignity to those in need.