Meet Our Team
Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, Ph. D., LCSW-R,
Co-CEO, Chief Clinical Officer
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.
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.
Founder and CEO
Michael "Mickey" Whalin
I have been in and out of jail, institutions a couple new death experiences since I was 16. While I hit many bottoms and relapses trying to get sober for the last several years, I finally stopped digging and turned my will and life over to a HP of my own understanding and discovered my calling was to help other addicts who were struggling, which has given me my life back. It is a privilege to serve and see the light come on for others. There is a path for anyone to heal and recover if they have the willingness to surrender, and the 12 steps and fellowship helped me discover that path. I joined BridgeWay as their second resident 2 1/2 years ago, and it is honor to now have this opportunity to serve in this capacity for a place that truly helped me find my way.
Director of Admissions
Gabi has worked in the sober living field since 2012. She was previously the Assistant Director of sober living at Hickory Wind Ranch. She brings her heart and passion to ensure individualized care for every member. She has a strong background in addiction and eating disorders. Gabi has a bachelor’s in English from Colorado College and graduate level coursework in counseling at St. Edward’s University.
John Michael Rather
John Michael has been working in the treatment field since early May of 2017. Starting from the bottom as an overnight tech at an inpatient treatment center, John Michael rose to the position of Recovery Specialist Supervisor as well as Intake Coordinator in a very quick timeframe. During the year and half working at this facility, John Michael earned a reputation for being caring and compassionate towards clients and staff, competent at managing personal case loads of clients and progressing them through a 12-step curriculum, and a willingness to work long hours to ensure high quality treatment.
Inspired by the staff of the facility that treated him for heroin addiction, John Michael admits that there has never been any question as to whether a career in drug and alcohol addiction was worth pursuing. “Honesty, integrity, respect, and patience” are the four most important values for John Michael in regards helping others achieve freedom from the prison of drugs and alcohol.
After growing up in Marlin, Texas, a small country town south of Waco, and living In Dallas for many years, John Michael describes himself as a country boy at heart with city-folk lining. Participating in softball and other athletic events year-round, competing in bass fishing tournaments on a semi-professional level, snow skiing, kayaking, or hiking with his dog Apollo, John Michael lives a very active lifestyle and attributes those opportunities to the gift of sobriety.
Residential Services Manager