Executive Director

David van der Velde




Having gotten clean and sober when he was 19, David has since been active in the recovery community for over 28 years and has devoted his life to being of service to youth in recovery.  


Service Work, Including:

  • 1990-1992 / AIDS Project Los Angeles Development Volunteer/Development Associate - Events 
  • 2005 – 2010 / Board of Directors of LifeWorks, a non-profit mentoring program for LGBTQ youth 18-24 years old, since acquired by Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
  • 2013- Present / Executive Board of Directors of the West Hollywood Recovery Center


Over David’s years of being of service in recovery he has served on panels at institutions speaking about addiction from his own experience, and volunteered at many drug and alcohol treatment centers and sober living homes serving as a mentor, taking residents to meetings, attending groups, family dinners, and other recovery activities.    David, through his experiences during these years of service, saw the value and increasing need for a quality structured recovery home serving LA’s male youth community, and as a result founded Awakening Recovery.


David has been producing corporate and non-profit events for the last 25 years and is currently COO of Silver Birches, a corporate event production and design company where he has worked for the past 11 years.  


As a founding member of the Board of Directors of Awakening Recovery and Executive Director of the house, David will lead the way with fundraising, developing the operations of the recovery home, managing the operating budget, interviewing, hiring and managing staff, recruiting residents, and overseeing fundraising events. 


David has been donating his time since July 2015 to develop Awakening Recovery and will continue donating his time through mid-June 2016.  A House Manager begins in April to assist with the startup and a Weekend Manager begins in July once the house is open to residents.  Additional staff will be brought on as needed for safe and effective house operations.



 House Manager

Greg Gelber




Recovery work is both personal and professional for Greg.  He graduated from another structured sober living 2+ years ago and has been working in the field of recovery since then.


Awakening Recovery hired Greg to manage the house after a year and a half of managing operations for the Intensive Outpatient Program at The Discovery House.


Greg brings a unique skill set to Awakening Recovery.  Having gone through a structured sober living himself he can speak from his own experience to the residents about how to walk through the day to day issues that come up in the first year of recovery from drugs.  Additionally, Greg brings his formidable operational knowledge gained during his employment at The Discovery House.  This combination of personal and professional operational experience perfectly positions Greg to be a great manager at Awakening Recovery, and we look forward to the connection and impact he will have on the residents through the phases of our process towards graduation. 


Linda Daly


Linda is an extraordinary resource to Awakening Recovery as a family member who watched her two brothers suffer from the fatal and progressive disease of addiction and alcoholism, go through a similar year long structured recovery home and return to her after graduating as successful, productive, responsible and loving members of her family. Both of her brothers have each maintained over 10 years of continuous sobriety. Linda has made herself available to talk to parents and other family members about issues related to their loved ones while at Awakening Recovery to help them through the ups and downs of early recovery.