Executive Corner – Sabrina Acatrinei

Executive Corner

March 26, 2019
The Executive Corner is a new weekly feature of the Addiction/Recovery eBulletin. We send our participants forty questions and ask them to choose twenty they would like to answer. It includes a short profile and a link to their website. We hope you enjoy it.



Sabrina Acatrinei has 13 years experience in case management and medical insurance. She holds a Bachelors degree in Social Work and CADC-I. Sabrina’s background includes work with the autistic population and adolescents that suffer with both developmental disabilities as well as substance abuse issues. Having a strong background in both clinical and administrative roles, Sabrina is able to approach each individual from a place of compassion, professionalism, fluidity and objectivity. Sabrina has a passion for helping others as a result of direct impact from drug addiction and overdose. After the death of a close friend, she dedicated her life to helping others find solace in sobriety. As the CEO and owner of The Giving Tree, she enjoys the dedication of her team and the shared commitment to help clients begin a future free of addiction.

Giving Tree Treatment Center




Q. At which of the schools you attended did you learn the most?

A. I believe that Cal State LA is where I learned the most. I had to “grow up” and enter adulthood. With a Major in Social Work and a minor in Gerontology, I was exposed to all walks of life. I came from an upper middle class home in Burbank,CA and went to a school filled with all scopes of life. I wasn’t in my little bubble anymore. This is where I learned first-hand what it meant to  work with battered women, people that suffer from addiction and death.

Q. Do you believe leaders are made or born?

A. I believe leaders are made. You can be born in a well to do family and still hide behind mommy’s skirt. Perseverance, ambition and thick skin is what really makes a leader.

Q. Which film have you watched the most?

A. I’m a big “Gone with the Wind” fan — I must have seen it 17 times and know most of the words by heart. I still find myself saying, “After all, tomorrow is another day” each time I have an issue.

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity in recovery?

A. I must confess John Stamos has (and always will be) one of my favorite celebrities. Not only was I fortunate enough to meet him and pose in a picture with this stud, but I got to hear firsthand of his struggles. He’s a real person just like everyone else and suffered just like everyone else.

Q. If you ever retire, would you prefer to live by the ocean, lake, river, or mountaintop, or penthouse?

A. If I ever retire, it will be by the Amalfi coast in a cottage right by the water. The sunsets there, on one of the western tips of Italy, are pure poetry. I would buy some cheese and bread and sit in the sprawling courtyard of a mustard-colored church for part of the day, eat at a Trattoria for a good meal at night, and end the evening with a walk along the beach.

Q. What is your favorite hotel or resort?

A. My all-time favorite hotel would have to be Hotel Negresco in Nice, France. I was there as a teenager with my parents and I will never forget the artwork, the furniture, the colors and the history. This hotel was built in 1913 and from what I know only the crème de la crème stay there. It was right across from the beach and had a beautiful boardwalk with French artists on the street, patisseries all around and it just had a magical air! It was one of my most memorable vacations with my family.

Q. What is your biggest or littlest pet peeve?

A. My biggest pet peeve is people who are not on time! I’m always 10-15 minutes early wherever I go. I can’t stand it when I need to wait for people.

Q. How do you measure success?

A. True success is attained only through the satisfaction of knowing you did everything within the limits of your ability to become the very best that you are capable of being.

Q. If you had an extra million dollars, which charity would you donate it to?

A. I would donate to SOS Children’s Villages International — specifically for the orphans in Romania.They are a global federation working to protect and care for children who have lost parental care, or who stand at risk of losing it.They work with communities, partners and states to ensure that the rights of all children, in every society, are fulfilled.

Q. Who was your biggest influence throughout your life?

A. My father. As an immigrant of Romania he came to this country in the 70’s. He was a pizza delivery boy, a shoe salesman, you name it, he did it. Despite the cultural differences and the language barrier and the accent he rose up and went to school. He was a graduate of UCLA and ended his corporate career as a Senior Vice President of a well known bank in Los Angeles not too long ago.  I wasn’t the best in school growing up and had to hear constantly that he and my mother were straight A students, immigrants who came to this country for a better life who slowly rose to the top. It was expected of me not to mess up and to get straight A’s because I was American born.  I struggled in school but I did excel and rise myself. Honestly, it was my ego and my drive which wouldn’t  let me fall. Now, at the young age of 38, I still yearn to hear: “ I’m proud of you”.

Q. If you were giving a dinner party for your 3 favorite authors, Living or dead, who would they be? (choose 4 if you think one might be too drunk or stoned to attend.)

A. If I were giving a dinner party for 3 of my favorite authors they would be: Alexandre Dumas, Jane Austen and Edgar Allen Poe. I think it would be interesting to listen to them discuss “The Raven”leading to deep convo about “Pride and Prejudice” and close with “All for One and One for All.”

Q. What books are you reading now?

A. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

Q. Do you take work home with you?

A. Always. I haven’t grasped the art of ‘letting go” for a bit to relax. I swear I will at some point!

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

A. “ Never have any regrets, because what you did was what you wanted at the time and led you to where you are today.”

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve given?

A. “The worst thing you can do for yourself is become complacent. You can’t wait for things to happen to you — if you want something badly enough, you have to make it happen. And if you find that sounds too difficult, it probably means you don’t want it enough.”

Q. Do you think addiction is an illness, a disease, a choice, or a wicked twist of fate?

A. I feel addiction follows a similar pattern to other chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes. The patient will go into remission, but may have several relapses before beating the disease entirely. And like these diseases, addiction too can be treated and managed. Addiction is also considered a disease because it can cause changes to the brain. Not only does it create a physical dependency in which the individual cannot stop taking the substance without experiencing withdrawals, but it also affects the individual’s ability to make reasonable decisions.

Q. What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?

A. Buying The Giving Tree Treatment Center.

Q. What is the proudest moment in your life?

A. Proudest moment in my life was the birth of my son. I’ve wanted to be a mother for as long as I could remember and when my son was born, I was no longer number one. I remember sitting on the OR table cut open from a C-Section and all I could think about was how this 19 inch baby came out of me and how “ I made that”. He is my greatest accomplishment.

Q. Is there a favorite “Quote” you would like to share?

A. “Dance like there’s nobody watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening, and live like it’s heaven on earth.”

Q. What is your favorite Weekly News Bulletin?

A. Addiction/Recovery eBulletin!