Staff Bios

Mike Bayer CADAC II: A4002807
Executive Director

Mike Bayer is the President and Founder of CAST Recovery Services. Mr. Bayer attended Fordham University in New York and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling from Metropolitan State University in Minnesota. He is a California Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC II). Mike began his career in Minnesota at Twin Town Treatment Center, and also worked at The Retreat in Wayzata, Minnesota where the program focused on helping clients find a spiritual solution to seemingly unsolvable problems. Mike did his first clinical residency at Hazelden Center for Youth and Families and also served as a consultant. Mr. Bayer worked as the Western Regional Director for Addiction Intervention Resources (AIR). Mike's knowledge and experience of addiction intervention and treatment is not limited to theoretical classroom studies or purely intellectual pursuits -- prior to his decision to begin his counseling career, Mike himself suffered through years of drug addiction before making the obvious yet difficult decision to enter treatment.

Jose Hernandez Jr.
Director of Recovery Services

Jose Hernandez Jr. has been working in recovery for four years. Working at the Malibu Ranch, he began doing service work, taking clients to meetings and mentoring 'newcomers'. In 2005, he managed Victoria's House sober living in Santa Monica. Mr. Hernandez entered Loyola Marymount University in 2007 for his Drug and Alcohol Counseling Certification. Jose worked for an interventionist in Orange County as a recovery assistant. He worked at The Canyon at Peace Park in Malibu as a resident counselor for three years. Through professional experiences, he developed a unique plan for case management- something clients are not usually offered-which helps to bridge the gap between a clients past and healthy future. Long-term case management is essential in order to attain long-term sobriety. Jose teamed up with Mike Bayer and developed CAST.

Melissa DeSantis MSW
Manager of Recovery Services

Melissa DeSantis, MSW, received her BA in Psychology from Fairfield University in Connecticut in 2005, and Master of Social Work with a mental health emphasis from the University of Southern California in 2007. Ms. DeSantis began working in the field of addiction and recovery 6 years ago, and has worked with the dual diagnosis population as a case manager in downtown Los Angeles, child & family therapist at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and as a residential counselor, intake coordinator, and group leader in various treatment centers in Malibu, as well as in Sausalito, CA. Ms. DeSantis completed one year of a Ph.D. program in Clinical Neuropsychology in San Francisco, then listened to her heart and returned to Los Angeles to continue to do the work that she loves. Melissa is very excited to be a part of the team at CAST and to be helping others continue to be in the solution.

Norman Lavintman
Director of Communications

Norman Lavintman studied psychology at the University of Minnesota. He has been working in the recovery field for over four years. Mr. Lavintman started as a Program Aid at Beit T'Shuvah Residential Treatment Center and quickly became a primary care counselor. From there he worked as a Program Aid at Clearview Treatment Centers. Norman is the founder of Transitions House Sober Living for Men in Culver City, CA. Norman is the Director of Communications for CAST; his administrative skills, education and personal experience, bring perspective to the team. Mr. Lavintman's engaging personality is a comfort to clients and their families.

Chris Rohloff
Client Advocate for Recovery Services

Chris Rohloff carries the message of sobriety and helps others as a client advocate with CAST Recovery. His past experience in this field started from his early days of working at Santa Monica Hospital in the Kariokas Institute of Rehabilitation as a clinical technician. Chris worked with CPC Westwood Hospital in West Los Angeles. He also worked at Seasons Recovery Rehab as a client advocate in Calabasas before joining CAST.

Joadi Oglesby
Client Advocate for Recovery Services

Joadi Oglesby has been involved in recovery since 1995. Ms. Oglesby attends the University of Southern California studying at the Marshall School of Business. Over the course of Joadi's life, her numerous experiences have enabled her to reach out with compassion and understanding to others suffering from the disease of addiction. Ms. Oglesby also offers a unique ability to assist and relate to clients with difficult legal issues.

Clinical Consultants

Michelle Hirschman, LCSW, CSAT
Clinical Consultant

Michelle is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Sex and Love Addiction Specialist. She received her Master in Social Work at Washington University in '99. Michelle has a diverse background in a multitude of areas, however her specialties lie in clients whom have challenges in the following areas; addictions, codependency, unhealthy relationships with themselves and/or others, and severe mental health issues. Michelle's clinical expertise has led her to do mental health/addiction work in Ghana and most recently Vietnam. She integrates her worldly experiences into her coaching and therapy practice. She has a psychotherapy practice and sober coaching practice in West Los Angeles.

Nancy Swanson, LMFT
Director of Family Services

Nancy is a licensed family therapist who has helped countless families in crisis over the past twenty years. With prior work as an investigator with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, she has extensive knowledge of the difficult challenges facing families today. She has specialized in working with families devastated by addiction, mental illness, and co-occurring disorders. In addition to her work with CAST, Nancy is currently the Family Services Coordinator at The Canyon - an integrated treatment program for co-occurring disorders in Malibu. With her authentic personality and unique sense of humor - Nancy's presentations are entertaining and informational.

Free Friends and Family Support Group: Thursdays, 7 - 8:30pm. Learn More
Jose and Melissa Talk About CAST Recovery on

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