Meet Our Staff
Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, PH. D., LCSW-R
Co-Founder, Chief Clinical Officer
Dr. Kardaras is an Ivy-League educated psychologist, an internationally renowned speaker, and one of the country’s foremost addiction experts. A former Clinical Professor at Stony Brook Medicine where he specialized in teaching the neurophysiology and recovery techniques for addiction, he has also taught neuropsychology at the doctoral-level and has worked closely in developing clinical protocols with Dr. Howard Shaffer, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of their Division of Addiction.
He has appeared on ABC’s 20/20, Good Morning America, the CBS Evening News, FOX & Friends, NPR, Good Day New York and has written about addiction for TIME Magazine, Scientific American, Psychology Today, Salon, The NY Daily News, and FOX News, and has been featured in Esquire, New York Magazine, VICE, and Vanity Fair.
Considered a leading expert on young people and digital addiction, he is the author of “Glow Kids” (St. Martin’s Press, 2016), the seminal book on the clinical, neurological and sociological aspects of Technology Addiction (Smart Phones, Video Games, Social Media, etc.) and has clinically worked with over 1,000 teens and young people during the last 15 years. He has been active in advocating that screen addiction be recognized as a clinical disorder akin to substance addiction and has developed the most comprehensive recovery protocols to treat this emerging global problem.
Dr. Kardaras is also the creator of Seahab, an intensive experiential form of nature immersion therapy. Based on the very successful evidence-based principles of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH), Seahab has proven to be very effective as an intensive intervention to help addicts shift out of self-destructive and toxic lifestyle patterns.
Dr. Kardaras has also, admittedly, lived a colorful life: he’s a former AAU National Karate champion, a recovering NYC nightclub owner and a coma survivor. Having once owned high-profile NY nightclubs where he had mingled with the likes of JFK, Jr., Uma Thurman and Tom Cruise, Dr. Kardaras emerged from that glamorous-yet-self-destructive world and discovered a healing path to his own recovery from addiction. Dr. Kardaras is also the author of “How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life” (Conari, 2011) and devotes his life to helping others find their path to recovery, healing and a life of meaning and purpose.
He lives with his wife and twin sons between Austin, TX and Sag Harbor NY and is a frequent presenter and lecturer on the subjects of mental health, philosophy, and both substance and screen addictions.
Scott’s exemplary financial background brings more than 25 years of senior leadership expertise with a proven ability to raise equity from financial institutions and investors, as well as operating as the COO of 40 Physical Therapy clinics and electronic medical software company managing 600 employees. His drive and dedication, together with the highest level of integrity and values , bring a literal wealth of experience and knowledge to the business.
Scott attended the Hazelden Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has maintained sobriety for 30 years. Since then, his recovery can be mostly attributed to regular attendance at AA meetings, working the 12 steps, working with a sponsor, plus assisting and working with sponsees and others.
His personal commitment to the health and wellness of others is unparalleled. His passion to operate a Recovery Retreat Center where he can demonstrate to others that recovery is not only possible, but sustainable, and is a lifelong dream.
Scott was largely responsible for starting the Association for Substance Abuse Student (ASAS) Program with Dr Carl Anderson at Texas Tech University in 1988, as well as forming the first Celebrate Recovery program, in West Los Angeles, which continues successfully today.
Jemma Cannon, LMFT, ICADC
Jemma earned a Masters in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara in 2011. She is also an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC) and CADC-II.
Jemma has a diverse cultural background, being born in Cape Town, South Africa, living predominantly in Canada and spending a large part of her youth traveling as well as residing the last five years in Hawaii. These experiences have given her an in depth appreciation of cultural diversity and the various societal forces impacting the family unit.
Jemma began her career at the young age of 21, helping addicts on the streets of Vancouver, Canada to access harm reduction supplies, counseling and housing resources. She then went on to help foster youth gain independence and began working in the school system as a family therapist in Los Angeles. She followed her heart to Hawaii in 2012 and began teaching Cognitive Behavioral
Therapy classes and counseling clients at Hina Mauka, a 50 bed residential addiction recovery retreat center. She was blessed to work with an amazing team at the Marimed Foundation to incorporate land and ocean based healing practices with Hawaiian youth exiting juvenile detention centers. Jemma founded The North Star Center for Marriage and Family Therapy in Long Beach and was the Program Director at Faith Recovery before relocating to Maui to join the team as the primary therapist.
Jemma is a member of both the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. She has a special interest in adolescents, addiction recovery and couples therapy and works from an interactive psychodynamic perspective with an eclectic approach including: cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, narrative, client centered and solution focused therapy.
Dr. Reza Danesh, MD
Dr. Reza Danesh is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine physician with extensive training in treating patients going through acute withdrawals from alcohol and drugs. Dr. Danesh completed his residency at UCLA and has worked at world class hospitals including Cedars-Sinai and Seattle’s UW Harbor View Medical Center. Dr. Danesh has experience working in level 1 trauma centers, medical intensive care units, and is the founder of MODO MD, the Mobile Doctor service that oversees the initial medical screening upon your arrival at Maui Recovery. Team MODO makes on site calls 24/7 for a variety of medical needs. These include symptom management, not only related to detoxing, but for a variety of other medical illnesses such as UTI, respiratory infections, or lacerations requiring stitches. MODO also offers IV hydration and IV vitamin administration to help fuel your recovery. We are fortunate to have Dr. Danesh as part of the Maui Recovery team as he provides services that create a safe space for patients to move through the difficult process of
Loren Lapow, MSW
Loren Lapow has a master’s degree in Social Work and founded The Hero Project in 1996, which has since gone on to become a national best practice program. He has been counseling adults, youth and families, as well as consulting with communities, tribes and school districts across the country ever since. Using the power of myth and the archetype of the Hero’s Journey, Loren connects clients to the natural beauty and magic of Maui. He has a unique capacity to guide people through crisis and has helped thousands to transform their lives and go from victim/villain to hero. He has lived on Maui since 2000 and is also a Red Cross volunteer and certified lifeguard. He enjoys surfing, kiting, hiking, kayaking, yoga and cultural activities.
Geri Urquidez, BA
Director of Operations and Case Management
Geri studied Human Services/Substance Abuse Counseling and holds her degrees from the University of Hawaii Maui College as well as a Certificate in Substance Abuse & Addiction Studies through the University of Hawaii–West Oahu (UHWO) . She is currently working toward another BA degree in Social Sciences at UHWO . Before coming to Maui Recovery, she has worked extensively in the substance abuse field as a Program Assistant and Case Manager, with years of experience. Her personal story and journey is what eventually led her into this field and in the direction of helping others overcome a variety of difficult life challenges. She is very passionate about her work in this field and continues to be committed to her studies, learning and ongoing growth, to be the best version of herself so that she can be effective at working with and inspiring others on their path.
Director of Admission and Certified Recovery Addiction Coach
Nick has lived on Maui for most of his adult life. He grew up in the North West, Seattle Washington and Eugene Oregon. He moved to Maui when he was 19 to get away from substance abuse, toxic family dynamics, and the lifestyle that follows drugs addiction and alcoholism. Unfortunately you can’t run from yourself, the disease of addiction and alcoholism follow you everywhere you go, even to paradise. Nick struggled with substance abuse throughout his adolescence and young adult life never feeling he fit in, no matter the situation or circumstances. He lost several promising jobs and relationships due to poor choices around drugs and alcohol. In 2007 he had his daughter Nikole and hoped fatherhood would temper his addictions but even the birth of a beautiful little baby girl couldn’t combat the power of addiction. Ultimately Nick lost all things that mattered the most to him, his daughters, careers, vehicles, friends, relationships, and self-respect. In January 25th 2014 he checked into his 4th residential impatiencerecovery program and this time he was homeless, unemployable, broken physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially, and mentally.
That date is his sobriety date 01-25-2014 the most important date in his life. Something shifted in his last recovery and sober-living. He finally surrendered his self-will and completely abandoned himself to the program of recovery. At that time in 2014 he didn’t have a job, bank account, drivers license, visitation of his daughters, but what he did have for the 1st time in his life was hope and faith. After recovery and sober living Nick started working in the center he had graduated from. He became extremely passionate and involved in the recovery community on Hawaii. In late 2015 he moved back to Maui to be closer to his daughters and help open Maui Recovery. Today Nick has full custody of his 10 year old daughter Nikole and is very involved in his Hanai daughter Steishas life. He recently purchased a condo for himself and his daughter in Kihei, Maui. Nick went back to school on Maui and studied Human Services at UH Maui campus. He is the Director of Admissions with Maui Recovery. He has dedicated his life to staying clean and sober and carrying a message of recovery to those who are still suffering. “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness “ ~
Davida Moore, BS, MS(c)
Therapist, Yoga Instructor
Davida is an intuitive holistic yoga instructor, therapist, and founder of Divine Alignment. Divine Alignment’s mission is to combine the dynamic facets of self to create oneness within, through the physical wellness of yoga, the internal wellness of healthy food and meditation, and the mental wellness of self-love, confidence, and self-acceptance. Linking all of these aspects together creates dynamic wellness. If we allow ourselves to interconnect mind, body, and spirit, create balance, create peace of mind, listen to our intuition, remove fear, and live the life we deserve; that is Divine Alignment.
Davida Moore received her BS in biology with a minor in neuroscience at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
She completed her registered yoga teacher training program (RYT 200) with Yoga on Main in Philadelphia, PA. She completed her training as a crisis advocate at Coastal Horizons Rape Crisis Center in Wilmington,
NC, which gave her extensive knowledge working with women in need of psychological support.
She relocated to Maui two years ago and currently serves the community focusing on effective communication, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, sexual wellness, and personal empowerment.
She is currently pursuing her MS in clinical psychology in hopes of receiving her Psy D to continue to research and understand the human psyche.
Maui Recovery yoga description for clients:
The yoga that Davida provides for Maui Recovery is based specifically on the client’s needs. With a deep understanding and respect for clients that are currently in the withdrawal process, the yoga that is provided is slow, intentional, and focused on the breath. The focus is not on how much you move, but rather how much you’re breathing and allowing the body to release tension, stress, and expectations. At the end of each session, there is a short meditation to help client’s tune inward and allow stress to dissipate. Davida not only provides props (straps, blocks, etc.), but also calming essential oils to provide aromatherapy. During the session if pain arises, the clients are more than welcome to lay in child’s pose for as long as they need to regroup.