The Team

JD_Meints[1]

JD Meints
–  CEO & Founder

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Fascinated with business, leadership and what motivates people from an early age JD knew he was born to create organizations and movements that would make a significant impact on the world.   Growing up in a family of Entrepreneurs JD learned early what it took to be in the top 95% of self made business owners.  Sometimes called forceful and expansive with his beliefs others at times interpret JD as being too direct, domineering or intensive.  Feeling at times unable to get his mind to “turn-off” or by being “misunderstood” it comes as no surprise that it was just a matter of time until alcohol soon become a problem creating a wall that would take decades to surmount, but he did.

Being of a goal-oriented mindset JD brings an acclaimed track record of success that includes a BS in Finance at San Diego State University.  His inherent love for the ever-evolving world of business and technology has brought him to such positions as, Founder & CEO of a leading automotive aftermarket ecommerce platform, Founder & CEO of a North American residential property management software technology company, Executive VP of Business Development with a worldwide software consultancy and committee membership at the Insurance Accounting and Systems Association, Inc.  Today however, with a love for sobriety and its life-changing gifts, JD works closely with Kage in creating and fostering an enhanced approach to residential treatment that aims to dramatically improve historically low success rates seen at so many typical rehab centers.  It is JD’s vision of positively impacting 1,000,000 lives affected by alcoholism & addiction that gives him the passion to drive change in the world by proving your greatest weakness, in his case Alcoholism can be your greatest strength.  JD is currently working on a book with business partner Kage Njaka entitled “The Alcoholic Entrepreneur” that will tell the story of their lives with the goal of inspiring those who suffer from addiction by proving they too can change themselves and improve the world everyday.

Today JD lives in Bell Canyon, CA with his Wife Samrah, daughters Alexis and Mackenzie.  JD has dedicated himself to living a well-balanced life between family, health, fitness, community involvement and building Nulife.  Even with his busy life JD has found time to start movements such as The Hope & Recovery Foundation (www.harpgives.org) a charity aimed at helping those in entertainment struggling from addiction seek proper long term treatment and The Color Blind® concept, founded on the premise that we are all “One.”

Kage_Njaka[1]

Kage Njaka
Founder & Executive Director

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Kage is all about the belief that sobriety must be filled with passion, a passion that merges with the individual and which fuels the ongoing love for living. In his own words, “If we can’t find joy, satisfaction and at least some success within the scope of recovery, then what’s the point in abandoning the ways of addiction?” He opened his first recovery facility in 2006, which quickly gained regional attention due to its unique structure and affordability. Over the years, he has fostered strong business and personal relations with various treatment facilities throughout areas like Malibu, Los Angeles and Ventura County. Today, NuLife Treatment Center represents the evolution of his passion for recovery. Having teamed up with partner JD Meints, together they plan on harnessing a myriad of highly effective treatment tools as they embark on a mission to change the world, one addict and one family at a time.

Kage’s corporate finance degree from West Virginia University set the stage for embarking on a journey entailing prominent positions in the banking and finance industry, as well as in pharmaceutical sales with Merck. Soon after moving from the East Coast to California in the early 90’s, his entrepreneurial spirit manifested through property acquisition and development. Having learned the intricate balance between working hard and working smart, while always keeping his own personal recovery above and beyond all else, he was able to broaden his scope into the realms of television and music production. Over the years, he has held lead interests in a number of entertainment and music productions, some of which have gained national acclaim.

Natasha_Olson[1]

Natasha Olson
Program Director/Clinical Therapist

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With a BA in Psychology and an MS in Counseling Psychology with MFT Emphasis, Natasha brings forth a very strong formal background in behavioral health as it applies to addiction as well as corresponding mental health issues. Likewise, her experience in working with adults, families, couples and even adolescents means she is able to address each client’s clinical needs on multiple levels. Among her many inherent gifts is an ability to approach each individual from a place of compassion, professionalism, fluidity and objectivity. Additional strengths include working with those struggling with grief & loss, trauma, anger, aggression, anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADD and more.

As a Southern California native, Natasha was raised in a military family and experienced the many hardships inherent to children who experience the pain of constantly having to move locations. Today, she is able to harness the gifts of past struggles and apply them in the work she loves. When she’s not at work it’s a safe bet you’ll find her snowboarding, playing softball, singing or just living life as she expresses her artistic self in a variety of ways.  Natasha is highly integral to the NuLife Team as a clinician as well as a positive energy committed to changing lives and rebuilding families.

Alexa_Baghdassarian[1]

Alexa Baghdassarian
– LMFT

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Born and raised in Southern California, Alexa is of Armenian descent and is fluent in the Armenian language. Alexa has a BA in Psychology from UCSB and a Masters in Clinical Psychology with a Marriage and Family Therapy Emphasis from CSUN. In addition to chemical dependency and other addictions, Alexa has numerous years of clinical experience working with matters relating to abuse, domestic violence, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and trauma. Her experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and families allows her to fully engage in working with individuals of all demographics. Alexa is an accredited member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT).

Alexa has an excellent ability to help client’s identify goals and set priorities, utilizes her interpersonal and therapeutic skills to promote supportive relationships, is motivated to identify and solve issues in initial stages, and strong-minded to serve others and guide them through fluid issues.

Robert Kokas

Robert Kokas
– Admissions Director

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Robert grew up in Pasadena, Ca. He is the younger of two siblings born to Hungarian immigrants that moved to the United States in the 1970s in their pursuit of the American dream. Robert grew up in a conservative household with very ambitious and parents. Through years of private-schooling and watching his father run a very successful business, he believed he too was surely bound to continue his education in a prestigious university followed by a successful career, little did he know his plans would abruptly be diverted when his seemingly innocent experimentation with prescription pain-killers would lead him down a destructive path of lies, desperation and hardcore opiate addiction.

After being given the choice to get sober or go to prison, he chose sobriety. Unbeknownst to Robert, this ultimatum would save he and his family’s relationship and change the course of his life. Robert started working in treatment as a technician, working directly with clients, understanding their struggles, and advocating for them, he developed an insightful outlook as to what a client’s needs were based on their experiences as well as his own. He now works in admissions, engaging with client’s and their loved ones on a daily basis, providing them with the direction, resources, guidance and compassion they need to seek the treatment and help they so desperately need.

Natalie Baghdassarian

Natalie Baghdassarian
– Human Resources Director/Office Manager

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Having received a BA in Communication Studies, Natalie tends to our unique and interactive company culture. Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Natalie is of Armenian descent, and she is interested in studying and learning about different cultures and communication techniques. Her focus and interest lies in how the culture of a company can affect the company’s processes and successes, as well as its employees’ output, happiness and productivity. NuLife’s ability to affect and change peoples’ lives is what drew her to our company.
Natalie uses an empathetic and involved approach, to make sure all staff feels heard and has the opportunity to learn and grow. Natalie plans to further her education with a MBA, in order to gain a set of skills and techniques she can add to her current knowledge of business and administration. Her passions include humanitarian work, traveling, nature, music, yoga and hiking.

Joshua Kahaian

Joshua Kahaian
– Case Manager/Counselor

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Born and raised in Fresno, Josh made his way to Southern California in his attempts to lead a different life. Today, Josh uses his knowledge and experience to help clients start preparing for their futures. He truly believes with this preparation and guidance, client’s have higher success rates in long-term sobriety.

Josh likes to spend his free time hiking, fishing, and playing guitar. He is currently furthering his education, and enjoying all the simple pleasures a life of sobriety brings. His goal is to help people transition from residential treatment into the real world and smoothly as possible, with a solid plan of action.

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Aaron Goldstein
– Music Producer/Engineer

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As a former client, Aaron found no better way to give back what he had found in his own recovery than by doing what he loves most. Aaron has been in the music business for over a decade as a producer, song-writer ,and musician.

With NuLife having a music program as well as a studio, it has been a perfect fit for him to join the staff and help clients who are interested in recording music- a true method of healing. Beyond helping clients through music, Aaron offers support for the individual by relating his own experience as an artist in sobriety.