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Los Angeles, CA 90020
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Christina Simos is a leader, connector, and a disruptor to the status quo. As a student at Arizona State University in the 90’s, Christina founded Students Against Discrimination (S.A.D.). This group held the largest social justice rally on ASU’s campus and was responsible for creating social justice policies and changes that still stand today. She graduated with a BA in Journalism and was recognized by her alma mater and various organizations including the Lambda League for her work.
In June of 2005, Christina entered the Friendly House as a resident. There she was mentored by Friendly House’s former Executive Director Peggy Albrecht and quickly immersed herself in the recovery world. “Peggy mentored me, loved me and helped me be the woman I am today. I never left this house because it saved my life.” Over the last 17 years Christina has been the alumni coordinator, alumni president, secretary of their women’s AA meeting, helped produce various Grateful Hearts fundraisers and has remained a fixture in the recovery community. She currently is a Board of Directors member of the West Hollywood Recovery Center, LGBTQ+ Association of Mental Health Professionals, the National Association of Treatment Providers Board of Directors and is on the NAATP DEIB committee. Christina is also known for her singing and her love of dodgeball.
In 2013 Christina started working in treatment as a detox technician. Over the last decade she has held a variety of jobs, learning every aspect of the treatment industry from HR/compliance, management, admissions, marketing/business development to operations. As Director of Operations, one of her proudest achievements was helping a well-functioning recovery environment become a first-class treatment center through the creation of policies, acquiring licensures and ASAM certification, and ensuring that the staff was as inclusive and diverse as the population served.
In April of 2021, Christina returned home to the Friendly House to take on the role as Admissions and Business Development Manager. In January of 2022, she became the 4th Executive Director of the Friendly house and is one of the few women of culture to hold an Executive level position in this industry.
Dr. Patrick lockwood grew up in a small southern missouri town, enculturated with classical southern and midwestern values like honesty, integrity, and the “neighborly” way of relating to people. He completed his b.A. In psychology at the university of missouri, then moved to l.A. To earn his doctorate of psychology at tcspp.
Dr. Lockwood has worked for non-profits, treatment centers, and has been a part of a number of startups over the past ten years. His background in community interventions began before he even graduated from the university of missouri where he successfully co-authored a grant creating a virtual intervention to help parents on campus become more connected and develop a supportive community while working at parentlink, a division of the university’s college of education.
Dr. Lockwood has trained with experts in the field of addiction treatment and has worked at every level of the treatment industry. He is currently an adjunct professor at california lutheran university, teaching future clinicians about clinical skills, addiction, and research analysis. He also has a podcast on youtube about topics related to mental health, wellness, psychology, and neuroscience called “the psychology checkup.” finally, dr. Lockwood is the author of “the fear problem,” a book integrating the neuroscience and evolutionary psychology of our fear process to explain why we get triggered by politics and other “hot topics.”
Stacy Cohen, MD is a double board certified general and addiction psychiatrist, licensed in Nevada, New York and California. She completed her residency training at the University of Chicago and Rush University, where she was the chief of reproductive psychiatry, and her addiction fellowship at UCLA Medical Center.
Prior to founding The Moment, Dr. Cohen was the Medical Director of several large addiction treatment programs in the Los Angeles area, which included all levels of care including detox, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient treatment. She has been involved in community education regarding mental health treatment and has published medical literature on a variety of mental health topics. She currently holds a teaching faculty appointment at UCLA.
Dr. Cohen founded The Moment after feeling frustrated with the fragmentation of mental health care in the outpatient setting. She believes the best treatment comes from a collaborative approach. Thus, she created a community of top-notch mental health professionals working together in a shared space.
By approaching mental health issues from biological, psychological, social, and spiritual perspectives, Dr. Cohen creates the truly integrative approach necessary to build lasting recovery from complex conditions. She offers private sessions for medication management and/or psychotherapy as well as consultation and referral services to help determine the most appropriate recovery programs for you and your loved ones
Liz Folie, LMFT, has a B.A. in International Relations from The University of Southern California and a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from USC’s Rossier School of Education. She did her post-graduate study at the renowned Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills, working in both the adolescent and adult tracks. Liz has since worked in outpatient substance use and mental health treatment as a Group Facilitator, Individual Therapist, and Program Director. In 2020, Liz co-founded Academics Anonymous Supportive Housing, which assists students at The University of Southern California access recovery services. Liz has also served as a guest lecturer at USC on collegiate substance abuse and on leading group therapy sessions in a treatment setting. In her private practice, Liz currently sees adolescents, adults, and couples and specializes in substance abuse, Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder, and sexual identity discovery. Liz has interned with the well-known therapist and author Dr. Dan Siegel, helping him update the third edition of his foundational book on Interpersonal Neurobiology, The Developing Mind.
As a sober woman committed to helping other women, I am proud to be a member of the Board of Directors at Friendly House. Having personally experienced the devastation of addiction, I am dedicated to ensuring that other women have access to the support and resources they need by using my voice and influence to make a difference in the lives of those seeking recovery. Being part of this special community is my way of giving back and making sure that no one has to face the challenges of addiction alone.
15 years in the financial services industry with Fidelity Investments. Research and analysis and helping clients achieve their financial goals. Director of Business Development for Digital Media startup FanRocket. Winning clients for online marketing tv like series/product placement. Board member and fundraiser for Boston Youth Moves, a pre-professional dance training program that produced dancers for Alvin Ailey Company and others.
I am a passionate advocate for women’s health and wellness. With a background in social work, I carry a deep understanding of the unique challenges facing women struggling with addiction. I am committed to providing the support and resources necessary for lasting recovery for the women of Friendly House.
Martin first met friendly house in 2022 through Rika Broccoli. Influenced by Rika’s philanthropic passion towards women’s recovery, Martin was inspired to follow suit. Martin’s own family has battled addiction, some recovered, while others are still active and hopes to her sales, HR and business development acumen contributes to Friendly House’s mission and growth for another 70 years.
My mission is to preserve Friendly model and expand its reach to make recovery accessible to women of all shapes, ages, and ability. I was very close to the late Executive Director, Peggy Albrecht, the major reason for my affiliation from 2011 to present. This position has chosen me, equipping my soul with a sense of duty to honor the founders and continue the mission. Women in need should have a safe place to go so that they may find a sense of purpose. Friendly House is a special model where women can get their lives back and become a proud member of society.
I have eleven years as a professional specializing in addiction treatment including more than seven years with Friendly House in various capacities including Operations Manager. I’ve been on both sides –– as a resident who achieved sobriety twelve years ago –– and as on-site leader who understands what it takes for our residents, regardless of their financial resources, to achieve their primary objective to get sober. I have seen and directly experienced the compassionate top-tier treatment that Friendly House has to offer to every individual who becomes part of our family. The long-term viability of Friendly House is an imperative to me. It is a distinct honor to be on the Board of Directors of such an exemplary organization.
Kaley is the Director of Operations at Friendly House managing the day to day functionality of the facility. A British native, and alumnus of Friendly House, she has a profound love and respect for the program and its mission. In 2014, Kaley began working in the field of recovery specializing in helping women suffering from alcohol and drug addiction. She has been a part of the Friendly House family as a resident, Grateful Heart, residential/detox technician, operations manager and now as Director of Operations.
Emily is a certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC II). She has been working at the Friendly House since May 2021. She is passionate about working with those that identify as female and non-binary. Emily had her own struggle with addiction and began working in treatment in 2013 at Beit T’Shuvah where she helped develop their Extended Care Program. She spent two years working for The People Concern with the unhoused population. Her service work connected clients to social services programs, and provided education on harm reduction and medication assisted treatment (MAT). Emily is committed to social justice and activism. Punk rock and cats are also her passions.
Allegra is an Associate Clinical Social Worker. She earned her master’s in social work at Smith College in 2019, and her first master’s degree in women and gender studies from San Francisco State University in 2008. Allegra worked as a high school literacy specialist in the Bay Area for six years prior to becoming a clinical social worker/psychotherapist. She is a Los Angeles native, and has dedicated her professional life to community and family services. She is psychodynamically trained, trauma informed and emphasizes the intersection of culture, gender, and sexuality in her clinical practice.
Nina Firooz (she/her) has been working in the recovery field for the last decade, and co-specializes in working with LGBTQ+ and BIPOC adults. She holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology LGBT Specialization from Antioch University Los Angeles, and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in both California and Florida. Nina began working with Friendly House in 2022. She supervises the MFT Associates and Drug & Alcohol Counselors, and provides in-service training for clinical, administrative, and support staff. She was previously the Clinical Director of La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center.
Rachel is the Admissions Manager at Friendly House and is responsible for overseeing all areas related to Admissions. She has been working in the field of mental health, trauma, and substance use since 2014. She has managed a detox facility and held a leadership role as a Recovery Technician for residential treatment facilities. She has gained a wealth of knowledge related to the needs of people who are recovering from substance abuse, and struggles with mental health. As our Admissions Manager she uses this knowledge to connect with women and provide a safe space to begin their healing. Her dedication has been fueled by starting her own journey in sobriety at 19. Having this personal experience, Rachel is able to understand the courage it takes to reach out for help.
As an alumnus of Friendly House, Julie knows first-hand how critical quality treatment is in the process of recovery. In 2011, with the help of the Friendly House staff, the 12-step program of AA, the love of her partner, and the friends she made in the house, Julie was able to build a solid foundation in her own journey of sobriety. As an educator with 25 years of classroom experience, Julie has learned to face challenges and obstacles with grace and dignity. When she left the teaching profession, she was determined to find her next passion. Julie knew she wanted to work in the non-profit sector, and it had always been her dream to someday work at the place that had set her free. In 2018, the opportunity became available. Julie currently works as the Director of Operations.
Justine Gomez is the Administrative Coordinator at Friendly House. She is responsible for overseeing and managing all administrative duties. Justine began working in the field of recovery as a residential and detox technician in 2017. She has specialized in working with women who struggle with substance use disorder. As a woman of culture, who is in recovery herself, she brings her personal experience as well as prior professional experiences to the Friendly House family. She uses this experience to provide excellent care for each woman who steps through the doors, and to help Friendly House achieve its mission statement.
Sheryl is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor with the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals, CCAPP. She began working as a Substance Use Abuse Counselor at Pasadena Recovery Center in 2012 after overcoming her own struggle with addiction and quickly realized that she wanted to dedicate her life to helping others find the same happiness she found through recovery. This motivated Sheryl to enter graduate school where she earned her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialty in Addiction from Antioch University in 2020. Sheryl began working at Friendly House as a Substance Use Abuse Counselor in 2018 and has since taken on the role of Program Director. She is passionate about helping woman and their families overcome the disease of addiction and puts her heart and soul into accomplishing this goal.
I had heard of the miraculous stories of sustained sobriety from a multitude of Peggy Albrecht Friendly House alumni for over 22 years. However, I began my personal association with Peggy Albrecht Friendly House about 9 years ago after losing both of my brothers to the disease of alcoholism and addiction. I began attending the weekly Thursday dinner and women’s meeting. I found a renewed sense of purpose and hope the more involved I became with women who were desperately seeking sobriety, as well as, a new way of living.
My goal is to use my existing professional and personal relationships to increase individual, corporate and community support to assist Peggy Albrecht Friendly House in their efforts to help as many women as possible find treatment and conquer the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction.
I’ve worked in the recovery field since 2007 and have also been the recipient of treatment services. I know how important it is to have access to good care by committed providers. Service is the foundation of my personal recovery. If not for those women who came before me I would not be the woman I am today. The Friendly House mission is so important and dear to my heart. I’m grateful for this opportunity so serve and give back what was freely given to me.
I have been clean and sober for 32 years from heroin and cocaine addiction. My dedication to recovery and my commitment to making sure that women are afforded a safe, non-judgmental space within which to transform their lives has led to me directly serving on the Board of Directors for Peggy Albrecht Friendly House; for it is only from this seat that I feel I have the opportunity to truly make a difference.
As a sober woman with over 21 years of sobriety I feel it is my responsibility to give back to the community.
Peggy Albrecht Friendly House is a perfect fit for me. Being the oldest woman’s rehabilitation facility in the world, I would love to see us grow and stand out among the big institutions out there.
As a sober person myself, I know how important it is to support our community and to give others the help I was given. Working with Peggy Albrecht Friendly House allows me to be of service for not just a cause but directly with women that I believe in.
I have been on the Board since 2000 and was Board President for 3 years. I got involved with the Peggy Albrecht Friendly House because some of my friends were involved with the house. Also, I learned more about Peggy Albrecht Friendly House when I was helping my sister seek recovery.
I have been involved with Peggy Albrecht Friendly House, in different capacities, for the past several years. Peggy Albrecht Friendly House’s historic mission, to help woman recover from the deadly disease of alcoholism and addiction, is extremely close to my heart. I am honored to be a part of this life changing and life-saving organization.
I am associated with Peggy Albrecht Friendly House because I am committed to the rehabilitation and growth of women who are attempting to rebuild their lives despite the devastation that addiction can cause. This organization is the best in the business. I believe in the mission of the house and will do all I can to help bring it to fruition.
I came to learn about the Peggy Albrecht Friendly House through fellow board member Maryann Murphy. Peggy Albrecht Friendly House’s mission, to help woman recover from the tragic disease of alcoholism and addiction is something I have come to learn more about over the past year even though I have had friends who have devastatingly suffered from this disease. I am honored and grateful to be a part of this incredible organization and hope to carry on the life saving mission
From personal experience to professional, I have been in the addiction treatment business for many years. I know first-hand we would not be where we are as an industry without the hard work of those who strive to serve.I have admired Friendly House and its mission to help women for a long time, and I want this organization to grow and thrive at this critical time, to continue to raise the standards in our industry. For me, there is no higher honor to serve on the board for such an outstanding organization.
Marcia Harrow has offered Friendly House over 25 years of continued service as a volunteer and Board Member. We are proud to say that Marcia has now attained the status of Emeritus Board Member. We thank Marcia for her continued involvement, friendship and support of Friendly House.
Bio to come.