Management Team

Westport House is led by an experienced team of transitional living and addiction treatment professionals; passionate about improving the lives of our residents.

Albert Samaras | Executive Director & Founder

Al has close to 25 years of experience building and growing organizations with a focus on healthcare services. He excels at managing complex environments and is a recognized leader in developing innovative and effective addiction recovery programs.

Under his stewardship, Westport House has grown from one location to three and is recognized as the standard for structured sober living in the northeast United States. Prior to founding Westport House, he served for five years as Vice President of a long-term addiction treatment program where he was instrumental in its transition from a local residential recovery program to a nationally recognized provider of addiction treatment services. Read more about his story here.

Before his own experience with addiction and recovery, Al spent over 15 years in executive leadership and business development positions at HealthSouth Corporation and SourceMed, Inc. He studied Marketing at the University of Maine Orono and majored in Management Information Systems at Central Connecticut State University.

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Danielle Meldon, RCP | Program Director

Passionate about her purpose in life, Danielle oversees all aspects of day-to-day operations of our sober living facilities, including staff management and client programming. She continually seeks opportunities to improve our services to ensure that clients receive a high quality, individualized experience during their time at Westport House.

Danielle is a dynamic leader, both in the local recovery community and at Westport House. Her incredible passion stems from over a decade of personal recovery and extensive experience working with individuals suffering from addiction and co-occurring disorders.

Before joining Westport House, Danielle spent over five years at Turnbridge in New Haven, CT, where she served as a Program Director and was instrumental in creating and developing a long-term treatment program serving young adult females. She began her career in addiction services at MCCA in Danbury, CT where she served in several direct care roles in their long-term residential and outpatient services departments.

Danielle is a CCAR-trained Recovery Coach Professional and will complete her Certified Addiction Counselor training program in 2018.

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Cameron O’Connor, MSW | Dir, Case Management

A native of Bedford, NY, Cameron graduated from Dickinson College with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and later earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. His professional career includes clinical research and direct care roles at Montefiore Medical Center and Mirmont Treatment Center.

As a Case Manager at Westport House, Cameron supports clients in early recovery and helps facilitate their integration into a recovery-focused lifestyle. He is passionate about empowering clients to regain control and mastery over their lives, firmly believing that everyone is entitled to live a productive, positive and healthy life in recovery.

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Roger Ayers, MD | Psychiatrist

Dr. Roger Ayres is board-certified in general psychiatry and child & adolescent psychiatry. He received his training for adult psychiatry at Yale University and his training for child & adolescent psychiatry at NY Weill Cornell Hospital.

Dr. Ayres uses both therapy and medications to treat a spectrum of disorders, including anxiety, mood, autism, addiction, trauma/stress, neurodevelopmental, and disruptive behavioral disorders. He employs a holistic, integrated, and individualized approach with each client to help them become happier and healthier by motivating them to become more self-aware and make positive changes in their lives.

Dr. Ayres concurrently has a private practice in Westport, where he has been since 2006. In his free time, Dr. Ayres enjoys martial arts, painting, traveling, and learning new languages.

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Amynah Dharani, MA, MBA, LMFT | Clinical Director

Amynah is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist; she received her Master’s from Southern Connecticut State University, including education in Brain and Behavior and Psychopharmacology. In addition, Amynah has a certificate in Contemplative Psychotherapy from the Nalanda Institute that features the Eastern philosophies of Mindfulness and Compassion.

Prior to opening her private practice in Greenwich, CT, Amynah worked at the APT Foundation in New Haven with clients suffering from substance use and co-occurring disorders. She conceptualizes treatment for her client’s need for change from family systems, developmental, biological, neuroscientific, and Eastern contemplative perspectives.

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Lori Pelosi, APRN | Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Lori is an advanced practice registered nurse and has spent many years treating individuals with mental health and addiction disorders. Her career includes experience at various nonprofit organizations and most recently, as a Nurse Practitioner at Mountainside Treatment Center in Canaan, Connecticut.

Lori received her Master of Science in Nursing at Sacred Heart University, and among her many interests outside of work, Lori truly enjoys teaching others the practice of nursing. She currently works part-time as an adjunct professor at Western Connecticut State University and Wilkes University.

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Sam Smyth | Operations Manager

In his role as Operations Manager for Westport House, Sam oversee the daily operational activities, and coordinates the human and material resources of Westport House. He serves as a liaison between the residential and clinical staff and clients – ensuring the efficient, effective, and high-quality delivery of Westport House services through process management, problem-solving and strategic planning.

Sam studied Business Administration and English at American University in Washington, DC and is currently finishing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Connecticut in Stamford.

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Kristin Frank, MEd | Director, Community Relations

As Director of Community Relations, Kristin is the liaison to other addiction and mental health professionals, schools, organizations and the community. She also oversees the strategic marketing functions which includes brand strategy, B2B and B2C marketing campaigns, digital strategy, thought leadership, marketing operations and customer relationship management.

Prior to joining Westport House, Kristin spent over 19 years in corporate sales. She takes pride in developing meaningful relationships and brings that passion for others to Westport House. Kristin has a Bachelors Degree in English from Marist College, and a Masters in Secondary Education from Sacred Heart University.

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Debbie Cambareri | Director, Finance & HR

As the Director of Finance & Human Resources, Debbie is responsible for the organization’s financial activities, human resources, and various other administrative operations. She maintains financial and accounting policies, plans, systems, and provides overall management for the budgeting, contract management and audit/tax reporting functions.

Debbie is CBCS and CPC certified and received her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Connecticut, with a concentration in Health Care Administration.

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Connect with us today: 888.302.6790