Carter Serrett earned his MBA in 2000 and his Master’s Degree in Psychology in 2017, and recently completed coursework toward his PhD. Carter is a highly respected CEO and industry veteran with more than three decades of executive leadership experience. Carter joined the leadership team as Akua's CEO in September of 2023 and brings his passion for delivering service and excellence to provide top-level care to Akua’s clients.
Peter Hilen, LMFT has worked in the field of behavioral health since 2005. After graduating with a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University, Peter began working in the field of adolescent and adult substance abuse case management, family therapy, and individual therapy at Chapman Medical Center. In 2007 Peter joined Saddleback College in the Health and Human Services department teaching the Crisis Intervention and Practicum Site seminar. Peter managed a variety of program types including Inpatient and Residential Substance Abuse, Outpatient Substances Abuse, Inpatient Geriatric and Adult Psychiatric, and Adult Crisis Residential Programs. Peter has participated on several community and privately held corporate boards such as the Salvation Army in Los Angeles, the Orange County Substance Abuse Network, and the A.F. Gilmore Company in Los Angeles. Peter believes in the power of recovery and in creating communities in which individuals and families can attain an empowering experience.
Nichole has over 15 years of experience in healthcare, 10 of which are in the area of neuroscience, acute psychiatric and substance use disorder. As the Director of Business Development at both Southern California Neuroscience & Spine and the Brain & Spine Institute of California, she was part of the clinical study teams for two different surgical methods. Nichole has been on the leadership team at three different acute psych hospitals. At Pacific Grove Hospital, she was both the Director of Admissions and Director of Business Development, at Aurora Charter Oak Hospital, she was the Interim COO and Director of Business Development, and most recently she was the Director of Business Development at Del Amo Behavioral Health Hospital. Nichole is currently working on her doctoral project for her PsyD at Cal Southern University where she will graduate Magna cum laude in September 2024. Nichole's mission is to help people navigate the complexities of the healthcare system and get them the right treatment so that they can continue to live a healthy life.
Kelly Lynne Harris has worked in the Behavioral Health industry for 21 years and is thrilled to be a part of Akua! Kelly Lynne moved to Laguna Beach CA, from New Jersey , in 2002 and started her career as a house mom for adolescents struggling with addiction. From there, she worked her way to positions such as Admissions Director and Utilization Review Director. Kelly Lynne studied at Temple University and went on to become a Nationally Certified Interventionist, doing hundreds of crisis interventions for those struggling with mental health or substance abuse.
Being in recovery herself, Kelly Lynne understands how important a smooth and stress-free transition into treatment is and wants to provide all of our clients with the chance to take their life back!
Pam Calad has over 10 years in healthcare marketing. After earning her BA in Psychology at University of California, Irvine, Pam worked for an Orange County-based IT & Digital Agency running marketing efforts for Assisted Living Facilities across California. As Marketing Director, Pam is responsible for increasing Akua's awareness within the community to help new clients achieve lasting recovery.
Cathy Pare has over eighteen years experience in Finance and Accounts. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Columban College and is responsible for managing Akua’s banking relationships. Cathy works closely with our financial partners and auditors, and utilizes her experience and professional knowledge in the preparation and presentation of Akua’s financial information.
“Focus on being productive instead of Busy” – Tim Ferris
Prior to joining Akua, Kavi worked as an Associate at Plug and Play Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, where he led ten investments in Seed and Series A stage startups. Before that, Kavi held roles as a management consultant on KPMG's corporate finance team, working for clients like GameStop and DocuSign, and as a data analyst for a blockchain startup and a search engine startup. Kavi received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Applied Analytics from the University of Southern California.