WAAT: Women's Association for Addiction Treatment

About Us

The Women's Association of Addiction Treatment (WAAT) is a unique membership organization of professional women who work in the field of recovery. WAAT is committed to advancing and supporting women in the field. Our membership is comprised of therapists, counselors, treatment center owners, frontline staff, nutritionists, business development, yoga instructors, and more.


In 2001 founder Victoria Smart gathered six women who worked in recovery for a monthly lunch meeting to share their experience, support and knowledge with each other. As more women were invited the lunch meeting became a breakfast meeting and a few months later, in early 2002, the meeting had grown so large it was moved to conference room to accommodate everyone. The original six women formed the first Board of Directors and began to organize WAAT into a membership organization of diverse and dynamic women.

Under the leadership and vision of the founding Board, WAAT became more than a supportive networking group. Members and other leaders in the field were invited to give presentations every other month, and eventually WAAT began offering CEs. An extensive resource directory was created for members, by members, based on their direct experiences. Chapter expansion began a few years later.

At the core of every WAAT Chapter meeting is the same central purpose born from the first gathering of six women. Today with Chapters all across California and other states, WAAT members continue to uphold the mission and values established by its founders.


Victoria Smart
Annie Behringer, LCSW
Elizabeth Suti, LMFT
Chanda Rankin, PhD
Linda Gingras, LMFT, CADC II
Joanne Barron, PsyD


Chapter meetings (currently online or with safe social distancing)

Chapter meetings are held monthly and typically alternate between Speaker Presentations and Networking/Roundtable Discussions. Each chapter is run by chapter elected Chairwomen (volunteer WAAT members) responsible for the Chapter's operation and programming during their term. As a member driven and chapter-based organization, each chapter is guided by the mission and vision of WAAT while having its own unique style. Members choose a home chapter to be affiliated with but can attend any WAAT meeting.

A list of chapters, online meeting dates and times can be found on the Chapter page.

Online Meetings

At this time, due to current health concerns, most chapters are hosting meetings online. In-person meetings will resume on a chapter by chapter basis as safety permits. Meeting locations will be available on the chapter page at that time.


Linda Gingras, LMFT, CADCII President/Co-Founder


Natanya Ross Vice President


Chanda Rankin, PhD Operations/N.California Liaison/Co-Founder


Amna Butler Treasurer


Marie Hills Secretary


Angela Carrillo, CIP Membership Outreach/Social Media


Jillian Greene, PsyD Membership Services/Continuing Education


Colleen Capistrano Marketing/S.California and Mid-West Liaison


Joni Lavick, LCSW Chapter Expansion


Marie Hills, Administrative Assistant

Member Spotlight

Colleen Capistrano


Colleen has been working in the field of mental health and addiction for over 15 years, and has devoted her professional life to helping individuals support their hopes for a sober, fulfilling lifestyle.

She received her Bachelor of Arts from Mount St. Mary's University in Psychology and Child Development. She is currently the Marketing Director at Ocean Recovery, a residential program that specializes in substance abuse and interactive disorders.

Colleen has worked inpatient care, as well as an Assistant Director of Intake/Admissions and Business Development both within the country and abroad.

Colleen also serves as a board member for the Women's Association of Addiction Treatment as the Marketing Director, as well as the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals Chapter of Orange County.