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 Marketing Officer
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anushri Parikh, Therapist
Hi! I am Anushri. My journey of empathy and compassion for helping people began when I was thirteen. I used to catch people’s awkward feelings of helplessness, bewilderment and insecurity. I would keep my conversation in such a way that they can get validations for their emotions and feel heard. I realized this quality of mine through the beautiful period of embracing motherhood and working as a parent volunteer in my children’s school. This led me to pursue graduation in the MFT program from Brandman University which serves as a steppingstone towards following my dedication to this work. Through my life experiences I have built a passion for giving people an outlet through which to rest their burdens. My active counseling can help clients to relax and de-stress from the demands of their lives. Looking forward to seeing you at 449reocvery taking the ride of recovery to new milestones. Thank you.
Erika M. Rubio-Hoyt, Therapist
In 2018, I received a Master of Science in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University. Prior to enrolling in a graduate program and while studying, I had the opportunity to travel to Australia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the UK, which allowed the opportunity to meet individuals from all paths of life. I have been inspired by multiple events in my life to serve others with kindness and love. Audrey Hepburn is my favorite actress who I find inspirational for various reasons, especially because of her work the organization UNICEF. A quote by Ms. Hepburn that often runs through my mind is, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others”. I am glad to be part of the 449 Recovery team because helping others is how we help each other to create a beautiful story we call life.
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 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.
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.