Banyan Treatment Centers' Speakers Bureau
Banyan Treatment Centers stands as a leader in the addiction and mental health treatment industry. Our team is comprised of experts and we believe in employing only the best and brightest in the field.
We value community involvement and strive to promote education, action, and fight to break the stigma that is often associated with addiction and mental health disorders. Our experts have spoken at a wide variety of events, ranging from industry conferences, local and regional events, and have appeared on prominent news outlets. Learn more about our speakers below and complete the form to request a speaker at your next event.
Mike & Lauren Sorrentino
TV Star and Recovery Speaker
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino made a name for himself on the popular MTV show Jersey Shore that initially aired in 2009. The show followed a group of Italian American fist-pumping partygoers from New Jersey and their misadventures with alcohol, drama, and relationships.
Mike “The Situation’s” rising fame landed him a spot-on the show “Dancing with The Stars,” but an injury started a downward spiral for the star. Like many others, The Situation became addicted to the painkillers he had been prescribed. What viewers didn’t see off camera was that Mike was battling a drug addiction from opiates. Add cameras, alcohol, and the party scene, and Mike’s already growing addiction was exacerbated in the spotlight.
After hitting his rock bottom, Mike “The Situation” got sober with the help of an opioid detox, treatment, and his wife, Lauren Sorrentino’s support. Even after a trying time, including eight-months in federal prison for tax evasion in 2019, The Situation’s addiction is now a thing of the past. He admits to not having the oversight of his finances as he should have and letting his addiction get out of control, but these experiences have opened his eyes and prompted The Situation to help others get sober as well.
Mike’s wife, Lauren, lost her brother Christopher to a drug overdose and understands addiction from the family side experiencing the loss of a loved one. They frequently travel and speak at various colleges, conferences, and events surrounding the Opioid Epidemic.
Film & TV Star, Pro Skateboarder, NY Times Bestselling Author, and Recovery Speaker
From the highest highs, including sponsorship deals, hit movies and a best-selling autobiography, to the lowest lows, including prison, rehab, and homelessness, Brandon Novak has lived a life that defies easy description. Recruited in his early teens as the nation’s next top professional skateboarder, Brandon traveled the world with Tony Hawk and was the first pro-skater to ever be sponsored by Gatorade. He then went on to gain international fame as a cast member of the hit MTV “Jackass” movie series and infamous show “Viva La Bam.” He traveled the world, appearing in mainstream media, famous for his outrageous antics and on-screen personality. Brandon signed a multi-book publishing deal based on his best-selling debut autobiography “Dreamseller.” All the while, however, he was battling a crippling addiction to heroin.
Today, Brandon celebrates five and half years sober as a Business Development Representative for Banyan Treatment Centers, and a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP). Recently, he was the keynote speaker for the DEA’s Heroin and Opioid Youth Summits. Brandon released the first ever addiction graphic novel in 2019. His third book, "The Streets of Baltimore,” was released in 2020. Brandon travels the country sharing his message of inspiration and recovery.
Mental Health and Addiction Advocate for First Responders
Jason Patton is a career Firefighter and Paramedic who has worked for Riviera Beach Florida Fire Rescue for 11 years. Known for his Fire Department Chronicles, Jason Patton is a Social Media Influencer with a combined following of over 800,000 followers across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.
Jason is also the Vice President of Fire Department Coffee, a Firefighter run company that has been featured on Fox News, Fox Business, Google and multiple other major news outlets. Jason is a board member, emcee, and spokesperson for the Heroes Cup which works with NHL teams such as the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lighting. Recently, Jason has become an experienced keynote speaker after performing keynote speeches for various Fire and EMS colleges all across the United States. As a mental health and addiction advocate, Jason hopes to help people struggling with these problems step forward and get help.
Celebrity Recovery Speaker
Revered as one of Boston’s greatest wordsmiths and performing artists, Slaine’s music career spans over a decade. Slaine has released a collection of albums both solo and with La Coka Nostra that are widely regarded as indie hip hop staples. He quit drinking and using drugs when he realized he was slipping, losing his edge as a live performer.
He has worked with icons such as B Real, Everlast, ILL BILL, DJ Premier, Sean Price, Bun B, Sick Jacken, Raekwon, U God, DJ Muggs, Tech N9ne, Swollen Members, Action Bronson, and Statik Selektah among others.
When Ben Affleck was in Boston preparing to shoot “Gone Baby Gone,” he read a story on Slaine in the Boston Herald, and he tracked him down to read for a minor role. Slaine was so impressive that he ended up with a much bigger role, as Bubba Rogowsky in the 2007 film. When Affleck returned to shoot The Town, he also cast Slaine in that 2010 movie, as “Gloansy” MacGloan. In 2012 Slaine appeared in Killing Them Softly with Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini. He has acted alongside the likes of Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Renner and Harvey Keitel.
His YouTube channel, SlaineHipHop and La Coka Nostra, has received a combined 40 million views and counting. Saline’s writing and the lyrics to his rap songs stem from the personal experiences he had growing up in his hometown, street life, drug use and crime. Now, Slaine performs across the country and his biggest achievements are being a sober father and living a healthier lifestyle free from the bonds of drug abuse.
Slaine travels from Boston, MA
Executive Vice President and COO
950 N Federal Highway, Pompano Beach, FL 33062
Eric Oakes has been working with populations in need for more than 25 years. He got his start working with children and adolescents in schools and therapeutic communities in New England, and has been drawn toward those battling addiction ever since. Along the way, Eric has worked throughout the Eastern United States. He has treated persons with severe and persistent mental illness, advocating from the community and in their homes. He has worked with persons with developmental disabilities and women with young children. Eric has worked in the field of addiction treatment throughout South Florida for more than 15 years now, successfully managing and directing several prominent treatment programs. In both public and privately funded settings the theme throughout has been a commitment to serving those in need. Eric Oakes is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Master in Social Work, is certified by the State of Florida, and has a Master in Business Administration in Health Care Management.
Areas of Expertise
Business Administration in Healthcare
Mergers & Acquisitions
Kahlia Bersson, LCSW
National Director of Telehealth Services
National Director of Telehealth Services at Banyan
1000 NW 15th St, Boca Raton, FL 33486
Kahlia Bersson comes to Banyan's Telehealth Program with extensive experience in substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Florida International University and her Master’s degree in Social Work from Barry University, Kahlia honed her expertise working in both the mental health and substance abuse realms. Kahlia promotes a client-centered, holistic approach to treatment that utilizes relevant and effective interventions to meet the client where they are at in the change process and empower clients to meet and surpass their goals.
Areas of Expertise
Treatment Methods & Approach
12 Step Programs
Ryan Steinberg, LMHC, MBA
Clinical Director at Banyan Treatment Center, Pompano Beach, FL
Ryan Steinberg, a South Florida native, was inspired to enter the substance abuse treatment field through his personal experience with addiction. Ryan has been sober for more than ten years, and holds his Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling. He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and has served as a Primary Therapist, Clinical Supervisor, and Clinical Director at Banyan Treatment Center in Pompano Beach, FL. Additionally, Ryan has served as the Clinical Director at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, also a Banyan facility. He has worked extensively with adult and adolescent client populations at the Detox, Residential, PHP, and IOP levels of care, where he has treated patients diagnosed with Substance Use Disorders and Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders. Ryan adopts a patient-centered approach and implements evidence-based practices when treating patients. In 2018, Ryan pursued his Healthcare MBA at Florida International University, where he became certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. He lends both his clinical training and his business mastery to effectively lead a growing behavioral healthcare agency. He is an advocate for the LGBTQ community and he has received advanced clinical training in sexuality/gender related issues.
Areas of exerptise
Substance Use Disorders
Mental Health Disorders
Business Administration in Healthcare
Director of Operations at Seaside Palm Beach, Former NFL Player
Former NFL player for the Philadelphia Eagles & Oakland Raiders, Recovery Speaker & Program Director at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches
Chris Jones is a former NFL player for the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders. He was offered a five year, $15 million contact with the Eagles, and with receiver Irving Fryer combined for 158 catches which remains top in Eagles history for a receiving team. However, with a promising NFL career ahead of him, a tragic knee injury cut his career short. Ultimately Chris entered a downward spiral of addiction, going into a deep depression that led him to heavy drinking and prescription medication abuse. Now years sober, Chris works at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches (part of the Banyan Treatment Center family) as a Program Director, where he helps others to overcome the same demons that he once faced.
Celebrity Agent, International Bestselling Author
A New Jersey native, Darren Michael Prince is a sports and celebrity agent. With more than ten years sober, Darren is also a public recovery speaker. He has been featured in outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, USA Today, and has appeared on ESPN, CNBC, The Dr. OZ Show, and Anderson Cooper 360, among many others. Additionally, Darren was invited to the 2018 Opiate Epidemic Summit at the White House by the Trump administration. He has authored the riveting memoir Aiming High, depicting his battle with addiction as he represented some of the most iconic figures in the world. Darren shares his inspirational story of addiction and recovery, speaking at schools across the country to inform students on how to avoid the pitfalls of addiction and how to build a healthy sense of self-esteem.
Darren founded Prince Marketing Group in 1995 and has gone on to represent many star actors and athletes, including Magic Johnson (who authored the forward to Aiming High), Hulk Hogan, Pamela Anderson, Chevy Chase, Dennis Rodman, Mickey Rourke, and Charlie Sheen. It is currently a multi-million dollar organization, having negotiated over $200M in deals.
Darren joined the Banyan Treatment Center family as a representative in 2018. His mission is simple: to help those who are in need of addiction recovery resources as he shares his message of hope.
Former Free Agent Signee to the NFL New Orleans Saints, Professional Model, Recovery Speaker
Former Kent State Football Star, signed to the New Orleans Saints following the 2014 NFL Draft, Recovery Speaker
Luke Wollet was a Kent State all-conference safety who made it to the 2014 NFL draft. Picked up by the New Orleans Saints, Luke made it to training camp with the team, where he had the opportunity of a lifetime to follow his dreams. Luke’s story, however, is all too common in America today. He suffered two major injuries playing ball, leading to surgery and a prescription to opioid pain medication. Luke became dependent on the pills, eventually turning to heroin once the prescriptions were gone. By the time he made it to training camp with the Saints he was a full-blown addict. As a result of his addiction Luke lost the chance at making it to the NFL, something he had worked for his entire life. By 2016 he was homeless. Today, Luke has two years sober and now works in the field of addiction treatment. His goal is to help those who are still suffering to find recovery and begin new lives in recovery. Luke has appeared on news outlets including WKBN-TV, WKYC-TV, WOIO-TV, and WFMJ-TV. He is available for interviews and speaking engagements.
National Director of Faith Based Services, Christian Author, & Radio Show Host
Radio and Television Personality
Radio Host of “Faith in Recovery” on stations “Faith Talk” Atlanta, GA and “The Word” in Orlando, FL
Anthony is an Ordained Minister and published Christian Author, He graduated from Vision International University with a Bachelor’s degree in Ministry. He earned an advanced diploma in Biblical Studies from the International School of Ministry. He has successfully completed specialized training with the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC).
Anthony’s Ministry experience includes Faith Program Director, Chaplain Community Liaison, Director of Ministries, Director of Community Outreach, and Biblical Counselor. He is also the Director of the Faith-Net Programs with the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI).
Most recently, Anthony was awarded the 2019 Professional of the Year by Broward National Recovery. In 2018 Anthony was selected as a Global Goodwill Ambassador representing the USA with the GGA. In 2015, the National Alliance of Mental Illness, Broward Country awarded Anthony it's volunteer Recognition Award. In 2014, the National Association of Social Workers, Broward County awarded Anthony it's Public Citizen of the Year.
Anthony is also the host of The Faith in Recovery Radio Show :
Faith in Recovery airs on Saturdays at 9:30am in the Atlanta area on “FaithTalk Atlanta “AM 970 and Online: faithtalkatlanta.com - 1:30pm in the Orlando area on Orlando’s “The Word “94.9FM & AM 950. Online: thewordorlando.com
Amazing staff. Top notch food. Great scenery. High quality of care and treatment.Trevor S.
Banyan and the amazing staff go all out to help those hurting in the community. They make an impact on lives for sure! A blessing to so many!Tuula L.
This place helped saved my lifeJohn M.
Wonderful staff. Amazing chefs who went out of their way to make sure my meals were vegan and tasty.Austin B.
I had a great experience at Banyan in Naperville the staff are awesome there and housing is good we can cook and eat whatever we want which is nice it helped me be accountable and clean up after myself they encourage us to go to meetings and provide a list of meetings and sponsors but don’t force anyone to go which is nice it’s a choice but if you want recovery you will get it no matter where you go you just have to be 100% done with the drugs or drinksMiles J.
Banyan boca is one of the best places. They are extremely clean and have your best interest at heart. You guys are doing an amazing job.Xxgacha h.
It's a great place !!!Lilian R.
This is the greatest thing I have ever done for myself. I learned so much and felt like I could face the world as a sober person.Jo Ann T Stanton P.