Able To Change Recovery Staff
Saralyn Cohen, CATC, CSC, CCDS,
CEO, Founder, President
After many experiences with various treatment centers, Saralyn felt there was a fundamental need to create a substance abuse facility that would be sympathetic to both clients and their families. She began to understand how difficult it was to find a treatment center that shared this philosophy. With this in mind, Saralyn founded Able To Change Recovery, Inc. (ATCR) in 1999. She has served as the President and Chairperson of ATCR since its inception.
In August of 2002, she became Vice President & board member for the Orange County National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency. A National non-profit association devoted to “empower the recovery community through outreach and education programs.” During the same time period, she served as Chairman on the Ethics committee and Field Inspection Officer for the Sober Living Coalition of Orange County.
Saralyn loves running, weight training, deep-sea fishing, cooking, and spending time with her loving family.
Treatment Coordinator / Insurance Claims Specialist
Pat joined Able to Change Recovery as Treatment Coordinator in November, 2008. She is responsible for the coordination and scheduling of all processes related to client treatment from intake to successful completion.
Pat’s previous business experience includes accounting, budgeting, inventory management, purchasing, human resources training, contract management, facilities management, and production control in the diverse fields of computer manufacturing, education, and the power industry.
After 19 years with Unisys Corporation, Pat joined Edison International as Manager of Information Technologies Administration Group. Her most recent experience has been with University of California, Irvine (UCI) as Manager of Custom Designed Programs for Internationals. She has completed coursework toward he B.S. in Business Administration at University of La Verne and University of Phoenix.
Pat immensely enjoys her work at Able to Change Recovery and is particularly committed to helping clients to smoothly navigate the series of processes from their entry into treatment to successful completion. Pat resides in Trabuco Canyon and in her “off” time enjoys kayaking, hiking, camping, and reading.
Chief Financial Officer
Linda joined Able To Change Recovery in 2006 managing all the organization’s accounting, banking, budgeting, cash flow, bill pay, and the financial reporting for all regulatory agencies and professional credentialing affiliations.
Linda has been involved for the past ten years with The Drug Court Foundation, a non-profit organization in Orange County and has been an active member of the Al-Anon Family Groups for over twenty years.
Chief Networking Officer
Chris Mitchell has played an integral role in Able to Change Recovery since its inception over 16 years ago. He has greatly aided in helping Saralyn’s vision come to fruition in providing a safe and ethical treatment facility that is sympathetic to both clients and their families. Over the years Chris has helped weather the storms and stay the course, as Able to Change Recovery has flourished into one of the most well respected treatment centers in Orange County. Currently Chris is CCAPP certified and in school working towards becoming a certified CADAC counselor. As Program Director, Chris believes that this certification will better enable him to address clients needs in an ever-changing industry.
In his free time Chris spends the majority of his time raising his teenage twin boys Adam and Johnny. On most Saturday mornings you can find Chris either on the golf course or down at Wedge if the surf is right.
Ron Israel, MA, CADC II, NCAC I
Primary Chemical Dependency Counselor
Ron Israel is an addiction professional with over 28 years of service in the field of chemical dependency. He earned his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Human Services at Cal State University Fullerton, and he holds a Master of Arts Degree in Management Health Services. He holds certifications as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor Level II, National Certified Addiction Counselor, and and Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
After 8 years of service as Director of Addiction Services at Charter Behavioral Health Systems in Mission Viejo, he pursued private practice. In 2000, Ron began his affiliation with Able To Change Recovery when he held the program’s first group counseling session for a hand full of tough hard-core alcoholic-addicts in his small private practice office. That first group was the beginning of his dedication to help develop the Able To Change Recovery treatment program into what it is today.
As the founder of Hawk Counseling and Consulting, Ron continues his private practice in San Juan Capistrano, CA where he provides outpatient individual counseling, family counseling, intervention services, and addiction treatment consulting. Having served as Regional Director of the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC), he is dedicated to helping bring new addiction counselors into the field. He is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and a native Californian. Ron has four children, three grandchildren, and resides with his beautiful and tolerant wife Brenda and their Doberman Jazz, in Rancho Margarita CA.
Billy Grow,CATC II, CCS
Primary Chemical Dependency Counselor, Clinical Supervisor
Billy Grow began his Alcohol and Drug studies in late 1996 and graduated in 1999 when he obtained his first job at Charter Hospital in Mission Viejo CA. In 2000 he achieved his state certification,and since then has worked in several Psychiatric hospitals with Dual Diagnosis patients, several IOP programs, the criminal justice population, and Residential Treatment Programs. Billy has called Able To Change Recovery home since 2003, and has a passion for the study and understanding of all Addictive Disorders and the underlying issues that drive self-destructive behaviors. He also loves the science of the neurobiology of attachment; affect regulation, developmental trauma/trauma, shame and addiction and neurochemistry and impact of psychoactive substances. Billy is committed to the education not only of his clients, but also of college students, and is a regular speaker by invitation at CSUF educating many students in Abnormal Psych about Addictive Disorders. He is a member of the Saddleback College Community Advisory committee for the Human Services Dept. helping students who are seeking careers in the Behavioral Health field. Billy has provided supervision and internships for students for over 12 years. On the opposite side of all this Billy’s interest include technology, computers, the building of computers, he loves mixing boards and assorted toys of the type and has his own internet radio station. Classic rock is another of his interests and attending live shows is a high priority. He loves camping in the Eastern Sierra’s and trout fishing at Lake Mary. But of all things Billy has loved all his Pit Bulls the most. He currently lives with his 4-year-old girl named Tinker and spending time with her is of great importance.
Tim Jalowiec, CATC IV
Primary Chemical Dependency Counselor
Tim Jalowiec has worked in the field of drug and alcohol treatment since 2006, and has been in recovery himself since 2001. He is certified as a CATC-IV counselor, and holds a Master’s of Divinity degree from Talbot School of Theology and is an ordained Pastor. While much of Tim’s experience has been in church work, addiction has touched his life from a very early age, as he lost his mother at 10 years of age to cirrhosis of the liver due to her alcoholism. Prior to Able To Change Recovery, he was employed by two different treatment facilities, one of which was in a hospital setting for nearly 5 years. Tim’s areas of specialty include, Codependency, Boundaries, Grief and Loss, Personal Insight, Self-Disclosure, Self-Esteem, Communication Anger and Christian Recovery. Tim is also passionate about helping families understand and connect with their addicted loved ones.
Tim is happily married, has 4 grown children, a beautiful grand daughter and a 4-legged companion named Bear, his Dachshund. His favorite hobby is road cycling with his good friend. Tim loves writing, reading, his friendships, Bible Study, Green Tea, Celebrate Recovery and the Cleveland Browns.
Utilization Review Case Manager
Kirsten is the Utilization Review Case Manager at Able To Change Recovery. Prior to becoming a full time member of our team, Kirsten completed two semesters of internship requirements at Able to Change to earn her A.S. Degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies from Saddleback College. Kirsten is a registered member of CAADE and has a B.A. in Communications from CSU Long Beach. Kirsten’s passion for advocacy, work ethic and personal values contribute to our ability to provide a program that maintains excellence in integrity, dignity, and quality of care. Kirsten also spends time volunteering with CSP Inc. as a sexual assault victim advocate.
Chief Operating Officer
Andrew first came to Able to Change as a client, and to continue his sobriety and desire to help others he stayed on as a Resident Advisor. After this initial exposure to the recovery field, Andrew immediately became passionate about continuing his newfound direction in life.
Prior to joining the Able to Change family, Andrew spent many years in the IT sector most recently working for DELL. Andrew has his B.A. in Political Science from Connecticut College. In his free time Andrew still enjoys playing ice hockey in a men’s league in Aliso Viejo and continues to work a strong program of recovery.
Brian began his journey working in the recovery field in 2013 & is a current CCAPP (California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals) member. His current roles at Able To Change Recovery include maintaining it’s CARF accreditation, being point of contact for the California Department Of Health Care Services, attending conferences with clinical staff & helping ensure that Able To Change Recovery continues to provide the high level of client care it is known for.
He currently resides in Costa Mesa and is active in the 12 Step community. In his “free” time he is an avid waterman, traveler and reader. He can often be found in the ocean or spending vacation time in Loreto BCS, Mexico.
Jean joined Able to Change in May 2015 as a Resident Advisor Her efforts,talents, genuine love of people and hospitality were quickly recognized. She is now Supervisor of daily operations at all 5 of Able to Change properties. Keeping our houses to a high standard and warm atmosphere for clients to live and recover.Prior toAble to Change Jean graduated from Arizona State University with her degree in Elementary Education. After raising her two daughters in Southern California, Jean went back to work for high profile companies such as Marriott, Ritz Carlton and Bloomingdales as a event coordinator . When Jean isn’t on the job you can find her spending time with her husband of 40 years or juggling any of her 4 grandchildren.
Marie Ursini, CATC III
Marie Ursini is the newest addition to the Able to Change Recovery team having
completed her certification in 2014. Marie brings a unique blend of experience, training and education to the program. Marie is certified as a CATC III counselor and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois. Marie is also certified as an EAGALA certified Mental Health Professional in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.
Prior to coming to Able to Change, Marie spent 30 years in Chicago in the restaurant business at all levels of management. Throughout her career in the restaurant industry, Marie also entered into recovery and first got sober in Chicago in 1983.
Marie is single and resides in San Clemente with her lineolated parakeet “Lulu”. She also has an amazing grown daughter, Tess, who lives in Chicago. Marie is still a fan of the Chicago Bears, Cubs and Bulls and loves to listen to jazz and blues in her free time.
Pete Gallette has been a fixture at Able to Change Recovery since he joined the Able to Change family in 2012. Pete is the Operations Manager and has the responsibility of keeping all of Able to Change’s properties and vehicles looking like they are brand new. This is no easy task as aside from supervising all the physical labor that goes into such an endeavor he is also responsible for keeping track of an inordinate amount of paperwork required for both our State License and CARF Accreditation. Pete is no stranger to hard work, as he was in the Martin Bros. Carpenter’s Union for over a decade prior to joining Able to Change.
Pete is the Father of a 24 year-old daughter and two sons ages 14 and 15. When he is not helping them learn to drive or going to their sporting events he will be out in Ocotillo Wells riding moto. During the summertime you can find him hitting the surf or out on the golf course. He is also an avid builder and enjoys fixing things.