The Summit Malibu Team

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  • William Oswald
    William Oswald
    Chief Executive Officer and Founder
  • Steven Booth
    Steven Booth
    Chief Financial Officer and Founder
  • Lisa Benya, D.O.
    Lisa Benya, D.O.
    Independently Affiliated Physician
  • Kristin Robert
    Kristin Robert
    Executive Director
  • Max Chesnoff
    Max Chesnoff
    Administrative Director
  • Dan Woolever
    Dan Woolever
    Admissions Director
  • Steven Buchan
    Steven Buchan
    Outreach Director
  • Jason Batanides
    Jason Batanides
    LMFT, Primary Therapist
  • JoJo Neely
    JoJo Neely
    Lead Clinician Assistant
  • Don Peake
    Don Peake
    Lead Clinician Assistant
  • Scott Naslund
    Scott Naslund
    Lead Clinician Assistant
  • Ben Hess
    Ben Hess
    Clinician Assistant
  • Jeff Moreno
    Jeff Moreno
    Clinician Assistant
  • Suzy Davis Mantee
    Suzy Davis Mantee
    Clinician Assistant
  • Kyle Knechtly
    Kyle Knechtly
    Clinician Assistant
  • Rosalia Sandoval
    Rosalia Sandoval
    Director of Residential Facilities
  • Tom Drennon
    Tom Drennon
    Facility Tech
  • Richard Kantor
    Richard Kantor
    Boxing Coach
  • Tom Hart
    Tom Hart
    Honorary Team Member– Posthumously
William Oswald
Chief Executive Officer and Founder

Over the past 30 years William Oswald has established himself as a pioneer in the alcohol and addiction recovery field. At the Adult Substance Abuse Program of Southern California (ASAP) he was one of the first to expand the scope of addiction treatment into mainstream medical facilities. In 1988 he founded Avalon Treatment Centers at Van Nuys Hospital, the first center to provide a broad range of social and therapeutic treatments that significantly reduced relapse rates. In the 1990s he established Lumax Mental Health, a company specializing in day treatment programs for dual diagnosis patients at area hospitals, and went on to direct business development for New Seasons Behavior Health Center, one of the first centers to utilize neurocognitive treatment for addiction. Mr. Oswald was also instrumental in creating Cocaine Anonymous, a 12-Step fellowship that has helped thousands.

Steven Booth
Chief Financial Officer and Founder

Steven earned his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Economics. Before helping to co-found Summit Malibu Steven worked in both private and public accounting. Like many others, Steven has seen first hand the destruction that addiction can inflict on family and friends. He has also witnessed the extraordinary changes that can be made when addicts receive the necessary treatment.

Lisa Benya, D.O.
Independently Affiliated Physician

Dr. Benya is a 1995 graduate of the Ohio University College Of Osteopathic Medicine. She is an nternal medicine doctor that has serviced the Malibu community for over 10 years. Her caring and compassionate approach combines both eastern and western medicine and has earned her a great reputation and a lot of respect in the community. In addition to her regular medical practice, she also offers top of the line spa treatments at her CURE Spas, located in Malibu, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. Also, she has recently began a Concierge based medicine practice, offering personalized medical care 24/7.

Kristin Robert
Executive Director

Kristin has been a part of Summit Malibu since January of 2014. In that little time Kristin has propelled herself into several leadership roles due in large part to her decisiveness and ability to understand and effectively communicate client needs to all staff and medical personnel. Kristin trained under Dr. Mohammad for 4 years through various facilities before coming to Summit. Her treatment experience combined with her desire to serve those in need have given her a perspective that is valued among the staff here at Summit. Kristin oversees several departments at Summit Malibu including but not limited to Medication Protocol, Staffing, Appointment Scheduling as well as being the primary liaison between Management, Physicians, Clinical Team and staff. Kristin leads a staff of over 25 individuals each day with honesty and integrity.

Max Chesnoff
Administrative Director

Through previous work experience in mental health and dual-diagnosis treatment facilities, Max comes equipped with an extensive background in Human Resources, Operations, and Administration. He offers a tremendous amount of support and knowledge in helping Summit run smoothly and effectively. After assisting with our Joint Commission accreditation process in 2017, he was invited to join the team full-time in 2018.  Although Max does play a crucial role in ensuring policies and procedures are in compliance with DHCS, JCAHO, & IMS regulations, he is primarily responsible for managing employee relations, payroll, benefits, hiring, and updating internal personnel databases.  His roles also include but are not limited to maintaining inventory and supply, implementing marketing techniques and strategies, as well as facility maintenance and repairs.  Max is an advocate for workplace equality, ethical treatment practices, and client rights.  He is an extremely passionate, hardworking individual dedicated to helping Summit provide a positive, comfortable environment for all clients and staff.

Dan Woolever
Admissions Director

Dan comes to Summit Malibu with over 5 years of experience in the Healthcare industry. As a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Dan has a unique ability to connect with families and clients through his own experience in recovery. With empathy and patience, Dan is dedicated to help others recover and build a fulfilling life.

As a passionate LA Dodgers and Rams fan, Dan also travels California playing competitive softball in his free time.

Steven Buchan
Outreach Director

Steven has been sober since 2013 and is very active in his AA community in the San Fernando Valley. He’s strives daily to work a strong program, sponsoring men in AA & teaching them how to stay sober. In under a year & a half, Steven has propelled himself through the ranks of Summit with hard work, from a tech, to a lead tech, to now being the medication room supervisor. His passion for helping alcoholics and addicts as well as leadership skills has made him a vital member of the Summit team. Steven was in and out of treatment for over a decade himself and was unable to stay sober until he surrounded himself with a strong community. This gives him a unique perspective and knowledge of relapse prevention and the struggles associated with the treatment and recovery process. Outside of Summit and AA, Steven’s other passion is surfing. You can catch him on the weekends making his rounds up and down the coast of California competing against some of the best longboarders in the world.

Jason Batanides
LMFT, Primary Therapist

Jason Batanides is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He received a BA from Pepperdine University and a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Phillips Graduate University. Jason has significant experience working in the field of addiction and recovery in residential treatment settings for the past four years. Jason provides therapeutic services for clients using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Schema Therapy, Relapse Prevention, and Mindfulness. Jason works with the client to create a treatment plan that will work best for them. Jason creates a therapeutic alliance with the client of warmth, empathy and genuine regard to better assist the client on their journey to recovery.

JoJo Neely
Lead Clinician Assistant

Jojo is originally from Kentucky. He came to California to find a new way of life. He found a community and realized quickly how important human connection and supportive leadership is  to success.  Jojo enjoys working with clients in all aspects, be it personal conversations in the evenings, to early morning intakes and community events.  He is a team player who has worked in both the outpatient sober living environment and has now found his niche in the residential inpatient world. Jojo is forever grateful to the chance he was given and only hopes to help clients find the same opportunities. He loves shoes and sports, and is always smiling.

Don Peake
Lead Clinician Assistant

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Don moved to the Los Angeles area in the early 70’s with his wife Pam. Following 40+ year in the concert touring industry (representing both Artists and Promoters alike) he & Pam recently semi-retired in the city of Moorpark. Don brings with him a wealth of professional and personal life experiences. For the past 6 years Don has enjoyed working in the treatment field both in the Thousand Oaks area and now Malibu.

Don draws from his own personal experience in recovery sharing with clients offering compassion and encouragement during their time in treatment and beyond. He very much enjoys giving back to a program which has given so much to him.

When not at Summit Malibu you’ll find Don at family functions near Moorpark including his grandkids sporting & school event and if not there, crawling under some car fixing something or other (smile)

Scott Naslund
Lead Clinician Assistant

Scott is a graduate of UCLA and has been working at Summit Malibu since its inception. His experience in recovery has been both challenging and rewarding. The challenge has lied in helping people through the throes of addiction by being supportive. The reward from witnessing people heal through Summit’s therapeutic process and rekindle their fire for life. His passion for learning has helped him realize the importance of helping people and the value of sobriety.

Ben Hess
Clinician Assistant

Ben is an LA native, growing up on the hard streets of Chatsworth. He is currently working and is almost finished with his Bachelors degree in Psychology at CSUN. He finds joy in helping out others which he carries out with his work at Summit in hopes of furthering his career in the field.

Jeff Moreno
Clinician Assistant

Jeffrey is coming up on three years of sobriety in July. He has replaced his old addictions with new ones: exercise and healthy eating. However, he still indulges in his favorite past time, which is a delicious in n out burger. He enjoys helping others who suffer from addiction to find a new freedom away from drugs and alcohol.

Suzy Davis Mantee
Clinician Assistant

Suzy is a California native dedicated to living a healthy and productive lifestyle. She has spent years gaining extensive experience assisting others with overwhelming life challenges, giving her the compassion and strength to assist clients during the early stages of recovery. Suzy brings a positive, compassionate, and harmonious energy to all that she encounters.

Kyle Knechtly
Clinician Assistant

Two years ago, Kyle’s journey led him to Malibu where his dream became reality – warm, sandy beaches, surf and most importantly a community of caring and compassionate people. It is in Malibu that he found spiritual peace and rediscovered the joy in the simple things in life – without alcohol and drugs.  He loves sharing his new found peace with others and helping others by listening, providing encouragement and knowledge of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Kyle is excited to continue his journey at Summit Malibu and is passionate about helping others envision a new healthy life, free of drugs.  In his spare time, Kyle loves surfing and playing guitar.

Rosalia Sandoval
Director of Residential Facilities

Rosalia has been a member of Summit’s all star team from day 1. She is committed to world class service on every level of the program.  From facility cleanliness to client care.  She enjoys interacting with clients and staff and is present every day to welcome clients with a fresh breakfast and warm smile.  Her immense gratitude for her own family and life shows through her energy and dedication to the Summit Team. She inspires the team to do their best work and has left an impression on every client that comes through Summit.

Tom Drennon
Facility Tech

For the past 31 years Tom has been helping individuals seeking recovery from addiction. He’s retired now from a 40 year career creating iconic images for the entertainment industry. As an Art Director, Illustrator and Graphic, Designer, he has had the privilege to work with such artists as Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Neil Diamond, Kansas, George Duke and REO Speedwagon to name a few. Tom’s movie poster projects include Pretty Woman and Home Alone. He feels his greatest accomplishment Is an on going series of books for The Betty Ford Center with his friend Jerry Moe, the National Director of Children’s Programs. Tom and Missy are retired and living in Malibu, where he now works exclusively for Summit Malibu as their biofeedback and Music Vibration Therapist. Tom also creates art and music programs for his clients.

Richard Kantor
Boxing Coach

Richard is a life Coach and Personal Trainer who works with people with and without addictions helping them to transform their lives. He uses boxing training as a vehicle to get back in touch with our innate power that has been lost to addiction. He also uses techniques known to combine mind, body and spirit. The stand he holds for his clients include radical self expression, freedom to find and be fully themselves, love and courage. Knowing addiction and recovery first hand, experiencing at times the seemingly impossible physical and emotional climb- it’s seeing the light come back in his clients eyes that makes what he does so very rewarding.

Tom Hart
Honorary Team Member– Posthumously

Tom was born in Hermosa Beach, attended High School in Redondo Beach, and studied at UCLA. Tom worked in the Treatment field from 1983 until his death in 2016. Tom’s greatest strengths were his genuine interest in his peers, his innate ability to uplift those in need, and his contagious laugh.

Tom left a mark on all that interacted with him. He had the ability to make everyone feel important, loved, and heard. There isn’t a staff member at Summit without a funny story involving Tom. He was a rock for both the clients and the staff.

His values and the way he loved are living inspirations to the entire staff. He may be gone physically, but the lessons he taught us all still influence the energy and spirit of Summit’s community.