Sue Bright, Executive Director
Sue Bright is our Executive Director, and comes to us with almost three decades of experience in the addiction treatment field. Prior to joining NDFW in 2018, she served as Vice President of Patient Services and Quality of Livengrin Foundation in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Sue specializes in intake and admissions, and clinical services. She has tremendous experience developing relationships with private insurers, working collaboratively with staff to ensure growth and to develop Quality measures that track the success of services over time.
Tania Bhattacharyya, Foundation Executive Director
Tania is the Executive Director of New Directions for Women, Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit providing sustaining support in the form of partial scholarships, capital support for building projects, and the growth of our endowment to provide sustaining support for the next generation of patients and families transforming their lives from addiction to recovery.
Tania has a decade of experience developing public relations campaigns in the behavioral healthcare space, managing fundraising activities including grant writing and special events, and developing social enterprises. Understanding the importance of collaboration, she has forged relationships with other nonprofits and behavioral healthcare organizations to provide creative solutions to the co-occurring issues of addiction, domestic violence, and homelessness in women. Tania has championed the importance of alumnae services in treatment over a lifetime, and launching testimonial projects so community members can hear the message of hope.
She has served in leadership volunteer positions within other organizations in the recovery sector including Treatment Professionals in Alumni Services (TPAS) and has done volunteer committee work for the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP). Tania holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California – Irvine.
Sandra Reiff, Controller
Sandra began working for New Directions For Women in March of 2018. She is excited to be working for an organization that helps women and their children become a stronger family unit and an opportunity to live a fulfilling and healthy life. Right out of college Sandra worked for the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department for ten years as a Cost Accountant and was responsible for their \$350 Million dollar budget. After the Sheriff’s department she enjoyed working for nonprofit organizations. Sandra was the Controller for Servite High School for almost 10 years and is happy to be the Controller for New Directions for Women. Sandra has over 10 years of experience working for nonprofits and enjoys working for organization that helps others. Sandra has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from California State University, Fullerton.
Virginia Mendiola Executive Administrative Officer
Virginia Mendiola joined NDFW in September 2004. She earned an AA in Office Technology from Santa Ana College. Virginia has been an Executive Assistant for more than 30 years for attorneys, Vice Presidents and now the Executive Director/CEO of NDFW. She strives to “make her supervisor look good” and is a trusted and valued member of the New Directions for Women family.
Laura Niedringhaus, Relationship Manager
Laura is a native Californian and grew up in Newport Beach. Prior to relocating back to her home town and joining the team at New Directions for Women, she worked as a certified Paralegal for fifteen years before changing career paths to Addiction Treatment. For over seven years, Laura served as Director of Business Development and in a myriad of roles at one of the first treatment facilities in the United States. Laura is passionate about providing education, awareness and prevention into the local schools and recovery community, while supporting those in need of recovery from substance abuse to find a safe place to heal and grow.
Today, Laura serves as Relationship Manager and feels blessed to be part of the treatment facility that gave her a second chance to create a new life for herself. She works with both Sue Bright and Tania Bhattacharyya developing relationships with families, alumnae, community members and local organizations, while collaborating with professionals, treatment providers and government officials to understand how substance use and mental health work together.
Laura holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Phoenix and is currently enrolled in Master of Science in Psychology with a Concentration in Industrial Organizational Psychology through the University of Phoenix.
Katy Alexander, Intake Manager
Katy brings with her over 14 years of experience in the substance use disorder treatment industry, building relationships with other treatment professionals, facilities, interventions, Employee Assistance Professionals (EAP) and alumni. She is passionate about helping those that struggle with substance use find their path to healing through recovery and guiding families by informing and providing resources so they too can find healing through recovery. Katy believes that each person deserves an opportunity to get better, no matter their situation. Katy has a unique skill set of compassion and understanding when working with others, and her goal is to make sure that each individual person is afforded the respect, care and most appropriate recommendation for care based on their individual needs. She believes there is great value in our ability to work together as a team for the succession of the person in need.
In her free time, Katy loves to spend time with her family, travel adventures and reading. She believes in living each day with gratitude and hope.
Victoria Herbert, NCAC, CAS Finance Counselor
With over a decade of experience in the field of addiction treatment, Victoria Herbert brings a passion to New Directions for Women that demonstrate client centered care and service. As the Finance Counselor, Victoria provides financial customer service for every family that reaches out to New Directions for Women. Having experience from other treatment organizations that treat a broader scope of patients, Ms. Herbert has appreciated the opportunity to focus on the underserved population of women and women with dependent children suffering from alcohol or drug dependencies. Ms. Herbert is a Nationally Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (NCAC)
Gina H. Tabrizy, Chief Clinical Officer
Gina H. Tabrizy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over twenty years of experience, knowledge, and expertise in the areas of Addiction, Trauma, and Codependency. She is the Co-Founder of Harmony Heals, in Laguna Hills, CA. In her desire to deliver the best possible care she gained several specialties: E.M.D.R., Certified Hypnotherapist, Director of Psychodrama, Inner Child Work, and P.I.T. ( Pia Mellody Training).She acts as a part time Professor at Cal State Long Beach, teaching Introduction to and Advanced Techniques in Psychodrama.
Rafael Penunuri, M.D.
Dr. Penunuri serves as our Consulting Medical Physician. He is a Board Certified Family Physician and Addiction Medicine Specialist who has been practicing in the Newport Beach area for over 30 years. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara as a pharmacology major and from UCLA as a Doctor of Medicine. He completed his Family Practice Residency at San Pedro Peninsula Hospital Family Practice Residency Program and then moved to Newport Beach to go into private practice. Currently he is affiliated with Hoag Hospital and Mission Hospital Laguna Beach. He has served in multiple hospital committees and as chairman of the Hoag Family Practice Department. Over the past three decades, he has provided detox and medical treatment to thousands of patients through inpatient hospital and residential treatment centers as well as outpatient treatment in his office. He utilizes very strict protocols that have been found to be very effective and safe. Keeping the client comfortable and safe are key priorities. Aside from medicine, Dr. Penunuri has been married for 30 years and has 4 grown children. He is an avid soccer player, a private pilot and snowboarder. He has not broken any bones as of yet.
Theodore G. Williams, MD, Consulting Psychiatric Physician
Dr. Williams has been in private psychiatric practice in Orange County, California for 20 years. He had a previous career as a U.S. Navy psychiatrist sub specializing in the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse. After his navy retirement, he served as Medical Director for several private psychiatric hospitals prior to joining the staff of St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA where he recently retired as Medical Director of Addiction Treatment Services and Eating Disorders. He specializes in the treatment of patients with dual diagnoses of a psychiatric disorder coupled with a drug and/or alcohol dependency. He has served as Medical Director of New Directions for Women for several years and is a strong supporter of all Twelve-Step programs.
Shannon Eustace, Clinical Support ManagerShannon has five years of experience working in the addiction treatment field, and over nine years of sobriety herself. She works with the women every day conducting process groups, relapse prevention groups, support during legal matters, and with discharge planning. Shannon has a passion for reuniting mothers with their children. She works with women who are currently involved with CPS or with other family members to regain custody of their child. She provides support for all of our women during their legal requirements, driving them to the appointments and being their support during litigations. Shannon works with the women to prepare for discharge and lifelong recovery by creating individual plans of action for each
Brittany Demers, Alumnae Coordinator
Brittany is an Alumna of New Directions for Women. She graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Psychology. She brings together the alumnae community through events and fellowship. Brittany works with the women while they are in treatment to build an individual connection through the aftercare planning process. Brittany will work with the women to make sure they have meetings ready to attend and support for once they return home, no matter where that might be. She continues to check in with alumnae post discharge from 30 days to two years after each woman has completed her treatment program. She brings to New Directions her insight on sobriety, and her passion for helping women work a lifelong program.
Jeanie Knight, Daycare Coordinator
Jeanie Knight is a Human Services Professional with almost thirty years of experience working with children and their families. She has spent the last ten years as Director of School Age Care and Enrichment where she developed a successful year round Before/After and Summer School program for children K-8th grades.
Jeanie’s roots, however, are deeply planted in Early Childhood Education and Intervention. She also holds her certificate as a Licensed Child Care Director. Her vast knowledge and experience with children of all ages have brought her to New Directions for Women with the hope of offering resources and encouragement to the mothers and children so they have all they need to reach their full potential.
She is committed to providing our children “activities with a purpose” with development benefits. Learning by doing, creates more neural networks in the brain and throughout the body, making the entire body a tool for learning. These activities allows our littlest ones the ability to get the innocence of childhood back, and learn how to just be a kid.
Nellie and Kanae, Energy Meditation Facilitators
Nellie and Kanae are with the World Divine Organization, an international non-profit organization whose facilitators perform energy balancing of spirit, mind and body based on spiritual teachings that originated in Japan. Nellie and Kanae are both trained in the practice of the Divine Art of Spiritual Purification and volunteer their time here at NDFW to conduct energy meditation and healing groups.
Sparrow Goudey, Drum Circle Facilitator
Sparrow Goudey (Tsalagi/Cherokee/Wyandot) is the founder of Waya Nv-No-Hi (Wolf Road) Healing the Circle Workshops and is an international trainer for White Bison and the Wellbriety Training Institute. She has developed her workshops for both Native and non-Native communities that assist adults and adolescents, affected by drugs, alcohol, eating disorders and mental illness, by incorporating curriculum, traditional arts and spirituality as tools for change, growth and recovery.
Jody Danese, Ph.D, D.C., Lac
Dr. Jody is a renowned holistic and alternative medicine practitioner. She takes wellness to a whole new level, combining the practice of ancient acupuncture with chiropractic medicine applied together at every session. Her knowledge in Kundalini, a more effective healing form of Yoga, Neuro-Emotional Clearing, takes every client to a higher level of mental awareness. Dr. Jody is skilled at persuading the brain to heed one’s body to effectively be in touch with their skin. Her work in Chemical Dependency at Hoag Hospital and Mission Hospital, as well as many private facilities, spans over 20 years. She received Deepak Chopra Center and Sharp Institute Ayurvedic Medicine training, has been a licensed Acupuncturist since 2001, and received a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Los Angeles College of Chiropractic in 1987.
Lori is a fully certified Pilates Instructor with 20 years of experience. Lori started doing Pilates while in college to prepare for her career as a professional dancer on Broadway and TV. Pilates is an amazing body conditioning system because it works for everyone from athletes to the inexperienced, injured, expecting and more. Lori has shared her passion serving on the fitness staff at UCSB, doing a live stream on Chazz Live, published a deck of Pilates Cards and has opened her private studios wherever she lived, Connecticut, Santa Barbara and currently in Orange County. The women at New Directions hold a special place in her heart and she appreciates being a part of their healthy, confident journeys in recovery.