Steve Manko – CEO, Founder
Steven Manko’s journey of recovery is the story of one man’s belief in the American Dream. The dream that one can come back from the destruction of chemical dependency and build a life that makes a difference. Steve has plenty of what it takes—courage, determination, and especially concern for others.
His life can best described as a voyage having reached the highest levels of success in both society and business circles to the downward spiral of self-destruction and into the depths of addiction. One morning he awakened to the reality that he had lost everything and in fact was powerless over his addiction. This was a very bitter pill for Steve to swallow.
After searching for reputable treatment centers, he selected South Florida and the Hanley-Hazelden Center, recognizing Hazelden as the great pioneer in the field. It was here that he received the help he needed and slowly began to reclaim his life and his dignity. After obtaining sobriety, Steve decided not to return home but to remain in Florida where his sober support system was. It didn’t take long for him to recognize what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. Steve began to reach out to others with his personal story as well as with his dream and model of recovery. Now, 27 years later, 33 rehabilitation facilities exist in this area as the result of his vision and passion.
His long term programs embrace people at every level of recovery and in every socioeconomic parallel with an unprecedented success rate. The synergistic effects of Steve’s efforts in South Florida impacted all levels of care from Medical Detox, Outpatient Treatment, Sober Living Communities and Graduate Housing and elevated this area to be recognized nationally as the largest recovery community in the world.
Recently Steve won a landmark case at the Federal Court level for discrimination against disabled persons; the millions of addicts and alcoholics, both in an out of recovery, that suffer from this life destructive disease. This nationwide epidemic has untold costs. The case took 5 years and millions of dollars plus the emotional toll and financial drain on Steve and his family. As a result of his commitment to stay the fight and with the support of ACLU and the Department of Justice, Federal law now protects the rights of recovering men and women against discrimination in and where they live. They can no longer be treated as outcasts but rather can live anywhere within the communities becoming contributing members to society. This legal victory is, perhaps, the greatest legacy of the man we call Steve Manko.
Alana Manko – BCBA, Executive Vice President
Alana Manko is the heart and soul of Treatment Alternatives Center and oversees the daily operations. She came to the United States from Russia and worked as a professional in the financial sector designing the planning and implementation of long term financial security for others.
Alana attributes her success in work and in life to her deep and genuine compassion for others. Operating from a true level of integrity, she tirelessly works with those who come to Treatment Alternatives Center in search for a better way to live. Today Treatment Alternatives Center is her passion, and she is proud to be actively involved in an industry that is directly responsible for contributing to the betterment of individuals and society as a whole.
Having accomplished much in her own life, Alana’s enthusiasm, leadership and zest for life, is a wonderful example to those who come to Treatment Alternatives Center, and especially our women clients, of how anyone can accomplish any goal they set for themselves in life, once they make a decision.
Dr. Victor Balta – Medical Director
It’s tough to decide which is more impressive: Dr. Victor Balta’s lengthy list of certifications and experience or the professional guidance he brings as our medical director. We vote both. Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Balta additionally holds certification as a psychoanalyst from New York City’s William Alanson White Institute. His psychiatric training was also in New York, at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, while his psycho-pharmacology training came from the Neuroscience Education Institute, of which he is also a member.
Balta’s more than 20 years of experience in addiction and co-occurring disorders is enhanced by his administrative experience at hospitals across New York and Florida. He’s obtained numerous grants in substance abuse from leading mental health organizations over a five-year period in New York, with grants totaling more than $10 million.
Tim Andrews, LCSW – Clinical Director
Experimental therapy is the passion of our clinical director Tim Andrews, and his passion has met with continuing success for many recovering addicts. He holds a master’s degree in social welfare and has more than a decade experience at some of the most highly rated dual-diagnosis facilities in the country.
Andrews has taught and lectured on the latest breakthroughs in the field of addiction, has experience co-leading process groups and is working toward certification as a sexual addiction therapist. He advanced from our primary therapist to his current position where he continues to enhance our programs with innovative ideas and solutions.
Dr. Ligotti – Detox Doctor
Dr. Ligotti grew up in Massachussetts. He attended Nova-Southeastern University and graduated at the top of his class with highest honors. His love for treating the “whole person” led him to complete a residency in family medicine. Dr. Ligotti practices a full spectrum of family medicine and urgent care with a special emphasis on addiction. He works extensively within the recovery community, providing general medical and psychiatric care to those in recovery. At Treatment Alternatives, Dr. Ligotti specializes in the safe and comfortable detoxification of our patients. His individual attention to the patient is second to none.
Alyea Delerme – Primary Therapist
Alyea graduated with her BA in Social psychology from Florida Atlantic University in 2006. She soon recognized that her love and passion for helping people change behaviors recognize triggers in their lives which may hold them back will take more than what she had already accomplished. Alyea then attended Nova Southeastern University’s graduate program for Mental Health Counseling and graduated with a MS in Mental Health Counseling in 2010. Alyea has worked with many different populations as a behavioral specialist, developmental specialist, life skills educator and therapist for the past 6 years.
Throughout her career, she has focused on counseling as well as life coaching with a focus on substance abuse, trauma, anxiety, low self esteem, anger management and personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder. Alyea is also currently trained in DBY (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) as well as EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing).
After going through and working on her own past issues of teenage rebellion, confusion with career and life as well as relationship conflict, her focus is now on life coaching specializing in the areas of: family, troubled youth, low self esteem, anxiety and career. Alyea has provided many family and individual sessions as well as life coaching in the areas of codependency, maintaining healthy boundaries, increasing ones self worth and self esteem, coping with anxiety, recognizing distorted thoughts as well as behaviors and being able to change them which will help one to move forward in healthy ways. Alyea’s coaching approach is known to be person centered and solution focused. She focuses on the present and ways to move forward. Alyea also has extensive training and knowledge in cognitive behavioral techniques and motivational interviewing techniques. Alyea is also known to address areas of concern and help one to work through it in order to live a healthy life.
Alyea is known to be empathetic and warm with clients, however, is also known to hold her clients accountable and set healthy boundaries in order to help them in their process. She works with clients to help them identify and remove barriers in their lives which hold them back in order to help them create a healthy balance in their lives.
Today, Alyea is currently holds a provisionary license in the state of Florida obtaining hours to be licensed.
Adam Saslov, LMHC – Primary Therapist
After eight years in one of the nation’s top dual-diagnosis treatment centers, Adam Saslov came to Treatment Alternative where he serves as our primary therapist. His specialties include anger management training, REBT and CBT training and he’s lectured on personality disorders, dual diagnosis and for Florida Atlantic University students seeking master degrees in mental health counseling.
Adam has extensive experience various types of therapy and has held directorial positions for outpatient and nursing home programs. His experience led him to establish several successful programs at local hospitals throughout Boca Raton before opening a private practice in 2000 so he could continue his mission of helping sober living become a reality for those who want it.
Faye Ann Karasick – Primary Therapist
Faye Ann came to us from Vancouver, British Colombia 8 years ago where she worked as an addictions counselor in non-profit organizations as well as private practices. She worked in the mental health field for several years until she found her niche in the chemical dependency field. Fay Ann created developed, marketed and facilitated programs in both mental health and addictions before choosing to return to the field of addictions.
Faye Ann is a certified gambling professional as well as a certified addictions therapist and is licensed as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor Level II (CADC). Faye Ann moved to Florida 7 years ago bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with us at Treatment Alternatives.
Matthew Macauley - Case Manager
Matt relocated to South Florida from the Philadelphia area in 2006. With over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field, Matt’s interactions with patients exude the passion he has for helping them find success in recovery. He has worked as a resident manager, sober coach, and group facilitator throughout his career. Matt skillfully assists the team to help stabilize the community living environment.
His clinical and administrative experiences provide direction and focus to our clients. He works directly with our clients to help establish better coping and life skills, to ease the transition into sober living. Matt’s energy, integrity and professionalism are a valuable asset to Treatment Alternatives.
Daniel Cornide - Christian Program Manager
Daniel is from Miami Florida where he received his BA in International Business. He is a graduate of Faith Farm Ministries as well as a Christian Minister. Daniel is a great asset to our team and sets a strong faith based sober living example to our clients.
Robert Yagoda, LMHC, CAP, ICADC
Robert Yagoda has more than seven years of experience in the fields of chemical dependency and co-occurring psychiatric disorders. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of North Florida and his Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. Robert is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), a Certified Addiction Professional (CAP), and an Internally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (ICADC) in the State of Florida. Robert began his career as an intern therapist at a dual diagnosis eating disorder facility.
He later went on to work as a clinical therapist at several co-occurring substance abuse treatment centers throughout the South Florida area and then as the clinical director to an IOP/OP substance abuse program in Cooper City, Florida. His experience working with a variety of psychiatric and addiction populations has afforded him with a unique opportunity to understand the various levels of care clients require in order to achieve progress and recovery. Robert believes that through developing a trusting and understanding rapport with his clients, and his clients’ families, he is better able to confront relevant issues and develop trust, serving to maximize the possibility for significant change.
Matthew Wilkof - IOP Manager
As manager of our Intensive Outpatient Programs, Matthew is able to share his experience, strength and hope with the clients who are new in the recovery process.
Being an active member of several 12 Step fellowships, Matthew has the ability to understand and guide our clients on a new path of sobriety. Accountability, responsibility, and most importantly being an active participant in the recovery community is Matthew’s goal is for each and every client during their stay at Foundations.
Matthew is currently a music leader at two local churches and enjoys being able to play music. He also enjoys time with his family and lending a helping hand to those who still suffer from addiction.
Kelli Meagher, NCICS - Insurance Manager
Kelli is a Nationally Certified Insurance Collections Specialist who has worked in the Healthcare Industry for 8 years. She is CPR and AED certified through the American Heart Association and holds certification in OSHA and HIPAA. Kelli works intensively in and over sees all components in our insurance department.
Kelli steps in working with families once they have spoken with someone in our admissions department. She truly cares for the health and well being of each and every client. Her enthusiasm and devotion to helping others adds an essential component to our treatment team. Kelli goes above and beyond to ensure each client has a full understanding of how their insurance can benefit them the most, in order for them to focus primarily on their recovery.
Sonny Martin – Boca House/Awakenings Manager
With four years of experience working in the field of recovery and personal experience as a program graduate, Sonny Martin continues to enjoy his own sobriety and helping others achieve their own.
His special mix of compassion and professionalism extend to his evening manger duties at Treatment Alternatives and, when needed, his additional duties during the detox phase.
Samantha VanSant - Office Manager
Samantha was born and raised in New Jersey, and relocated to South Florida in 2008. She has been a part of the Treatment Alternatives team since September 2008. Samantha’s top priority is to ensure our clients feel at home and receive anything they need while attending our program. She works closely with our clients on a daily basis.
Samantha also ensures all tech responsibilities and duties are running smoothly, and coordinate all schedules and activities associated with the women’s facilities. As a result of her love for helping and encouraging others, she is currently pursuing a degree in early childhood education and counseling.
Megan Wells - Director of Awakenings/Foundations/PHP
Formally from Connecticut, Megan came to Florida for a new life. Having the opportunity to live out her dream and passion of working with women she has joined our team. Directing and overseeing all women’s care, Megan is able to utilize her previous experience working with dual diagnosis clients and their families as well as practicing her education experience. A belief in the wellness model and recovery support, she stands by clients and walks with them through trials and tribulations. Megan has a main goal of keeping the community safe and also assisting clients in setting obtainable goals and reaching them to become productive members of society. Having gone through many life battles, she has been able to learn the coping skills necessary to live life on life’s terms while maintaining recovery. Megan looks forward every day to sharing her strength and knowledge not only with our clients but our staff.
Pete Tasevski – Detox Manager
A 2004 graduate of Boca House, Pete Tasevski transitioned into a life of recovery that includes being a welcome addition to our staff.
His affiliation with A.A. and N.A. helps him connect with clients. He helps as part of our detox staff, and as a certified behavioral technician in our recovery center. He also plays a role in our transportation department as one of the helpful faces of recovery clients see upon entering their new life of sobriety.
Carlo DiCarlantonio - Director of Admissions
Carlo has been a part of our team since 2000. He came to our program as a client and began working for Boca House in the maintenance department. He has since worked in nearly every facet of the company. He has held positions such as night manager, admissions coordinator, director of admissions, marketing, and is currently Director of Admissions.
Carlo’s goal in this role is to be able to help the clients who are in the same position he was in several years ago. He makes himself available to advise clients in all areas of need specializing in housing, financial planning, spirituality, and recovery.
Joshua Sprung – Admissions Coordinator
Joshua Sprung didn’t waste any time passing along the message once he graduated from our program. He began working with us as a behavioral health technician after his first year of sobriety and was recently promoted to admissions coordinator after nearly four years of recovery. His calling is helping others, while studying for his Bachelor’s degree in social work at Florida Atlantic University. He plans to continue on to obtain a Master’s.