Management

Stephen Mercurio, President Stephen’s unwavering commitment to excellence is the hallmark of his position as the President at Akua. He has considerable years of experience in the profession of Drug and Alcohol Treatment which ranges from hands-on work with clients as a Case Manager and Director of Academic Development to Administrative positions directing programs and facilities. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and is an Internationally Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor. Stephen believes that the best way to honor his commitment to quality of care for every Akua client is to support his team of Directors, Clinicians and Technicians, so they may dedicate themselves to the work of transforming lives.
Lauren Cabaldon, M.A., LMFT, Clinical Director Lauren Cabaldon is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist trained in Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego, and her Master’s degree in Counseling and Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Cabaldon works from the strong conviction that transformative and life-changing treatment starts with a healthy, self-aware and balanced clinical team. She utilizes an integrative psychodynamic approach when working with clients and believes that an individual’s personal encounter with the unconscious is essential for the healing process. Cabaldon is passionate about helping clients get in touch with their spiritual selves and believes strongly in the power of community and connectedness to promote the growth of the individual mind, body and spirit.
Michael FryeMichael Frye, MS, Executive Director of Admissions and Outreach Michael Frye holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from California Coast University. Throughout his twenty-five-year career in the field of mental health and addiction, Michael has had the opportunity to have in depth experience working in clinical environments and to have served in many diverse positions including: direct clinical practice, administration, and director of admissions and outreach. Michael has extensive experience in business development and clinical outreach with an emphasis on strategic planning and development. Over his many years in the field, Michael has developed and maintained many long-standing relationships with clinicians and mental health professionals regionally and nationally. He has held executive leadership positions with prominent industry leaders including CRC Health Group, Acadia, and Universal Health. With his extensive expertise in the field, Michael provides proven success with multiple relationships around the country and has a strong passion and commitment to the field of healthcare.
Amanda HabermannAmanda Habermann, MS, Associate Director of Marketing Amanda Habermann received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University Channel Islands and her Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from California Lutheran University. During her graduate studies, she completed a year-long course specialization in psychiatric rehabilitation and gained valuable experience in working with individuals with severe mental illness in the local community. She wrote her master’s thesis on “The effect of parental codependency on elementary school children’s social and emotional development” and her research has been accepted for poster presentations at the Western Psychological Association. She comes to Akua with years of experience in the marketing, media and communications fields within the behavioral health treatment industry and brings to the team her passion for helping improve the lives of those who have or are affected by mental illness.
Alfred Nigel StarkAlfred Nigel Stark, General Manager Operations, Admin, and HR Alfred Nigel Stark comes to Akua Mind & Body with over 16+ years of experience in an International Call Center, with 12 years in the healthcare industry and four years in the production industry. He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration. Stark has led daily service and delivery, continuously developed and improved services in accordance with targets and objectives, including service plans, driven operational excellence set as a standard by clients and Standard Operating procedures, and played a key role in the creation and oversight of projects designed to enhance productivity, customer service, and client appreciation and recognition. Stark has aligned solutions with business requirements by understanding business, leadership and team challenges, facilitated organizational development and change management programs to bring higher competency levels to organizations, and designed and rolled-out management and leadership development programs for leads and Middle and Senior Management. In his experience, he has also implemented succession planning for critical roles across the organization, mapped client’s improvement areas and implemented measures to maximize satisfaction levels, ensuring continuous interaction with customers to ensure concerns are addressed promptly. He played a pivotal role in ensuring employee development. As an Operations and HR Business Partner, an end-to-end process ownership, he believes every day is a new day and that everyday of our lives should be meaningful productive and fruitful with a sense of accomplishment satisfaction.
Connie AntenorcruzConnie Antenorcruz, Human Resources / Accreditation Connie Antenorcruz is a compassionate professional with more than fifteen years’ experience in leading operations, planning, developing and evaluating personnel and labor relations strategies including policies, programs and procedures to address the organization’s human resource and accreditation requirements. She considers herself a life-long learner, which has prepared her for the challenging position of Human Resources/Accreditation for Akua Mind and Body. Connie has keen and innovative insights in the areas of talent management, organizational development, and building and motivating teams. Connie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and a Master of Science in Business Administration.


Board & Advisors

Kenny DewanKenny Dewan, Founder & Number 1 Fan of the Best Clinical Team in California Kenny Dewan, is the founder of Akua Mind & Body and of MondayOne. Kenny is an accomplished leader, motivational speaker, and a business executive. With over 27 years of business experience, Kenny brings a vast array of knowledge, passion, and leadership skills to Akua. He is also a popular motivational speaker who has been interviewed by Forbes and Builder & Developer in regards to his philosophy and business acumen. With the assistance of the best clinical team in California, Kenny has created an open, collaborative culture at Akua, which has directly translated into an environment of health and healing for all clients. With an unparalleled commitment to excellent and active fostering of ownership across all levels of the company, Kenny has helped Akua become a Leader in Mental Health & addiction Treatment.
Raj TakharRaj Takhar, Board Member & Senior Vice President Strategy Provider Integration His Role at Huntington to lead Corporate Strategy including Joint Ventures, Alliances, Payer Strategy including Network Affiliation(s), and to oversee relationships with Aligned Physician Networks who operate in San Gabriel Valley on a Global Risk basis. In addition, he is responsible for Physician Integration which includes directing and leading the Strategy and Operations of Huntington’s Foundation Model: 1206(L). He has over Twenty Five (25) years experience in Physician Delivery Operations, including Medical Group Model and IPAs, mergers and acquisitions of Delivery, network development and management of Physician Networks assuming Global Risk.