Executive Leadership Team

Fabio van der Merwe, M.A., CHC

Chief Executive Officer

Fabio van der Merwe started his career with Claratel Behavioral Health in 2006 and has served in management positions in the departments of Compliance, Quality, and Utilization Management. In 2016 he joined Claratel Behavioral Health’s Leadership Team as the Chief Operating Officer and in June 2020, he was appointed to his current position as Chief Executive Officer.

Prior to his work at Claratel Behavioral Health, Fabio held positions in managed care, substance abuse, and other behavioral health organizations. Fabio has a B.A. in Psychology from Emory University, a M. A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and holds certification in Health Care Compliance.

Renee Dryfoos, LCSW, MBA

Chief Clinical Officer

Renee joined Claratel Behavioral Health in 1999 and has served as Director of DeKalb Addiction Clinic, the Director of Winn Way Mental Health Clinic and the Director of QI/UM and Staff Development prior to her current position of Chief Clinical Officer.

Renee has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Miami, a M.A. in Human Services from Nova Southeastern University, a M.S.W. from the University of Georgia, and an M.B.A. from Mercer University. Renee has over 25 years of experience with a continuum of care in behavioral health and substance abuse organizations including public and private hospitals, not-for-profit substance abuse residential and day programs and Claratel Behavioral Health services.

Jockars Wedlowe

Chief Financial Officer

Jock served as the Controller of Claratel Behavioral Health since January 2018 and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in January 2022. His over 20 years of experience in finance includes serving as the Controller, Accounting Manager and Budget and Reports Analyst for Behavioral healthcare organizations. Jock holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Albany State University.

Chatele' Chester, M.Ed, M.S.Ed, CHC

 Chief Operating Officer

Chatele’ joined Claratel Behavioral Health in June of 2021 as the Chief Quality Officer. Chatele’ has over 15 years of experience in the area of performance and quality improvement in the behavioral health and human service fields, with over 10 years in quality improvement leadership.

Chatele’ holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Education degree from Strayer University, with additional studies in the specialization of Training and Performance Improvement from Capella University.

Carmen Sofia Martinez Villar, MD

Medical Director

Dr. Martinez joined Claratel Behavioral Health in 2012 and has served as psychiatric support for all our addiction programs as well as the Winn Way Clinic. In June 2020, Dr. Martinez was appointed to her current position as Medical Director and since has provided the agency with extensive consultation and direction in relation to our ongoing service delivery.

Dr Martinez completed her Doctor Of Medicine at Instituto Tecnologico de Santo Domingo and her General Psychiatry Residency at Drexel University College Medicine. She is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Larry Fuller, LPC

Vice President of Developmental Disabilities

Larry joined the Claratel Behavioral Health in July of 2022 as the Director of Developmental Disabilities. Larry has over 16 years of experience within Behavioral Health, Substance Abuse, Crisis Call Center Supervision, and Developmental Disabilities. More specifically, Larry has four years of experience with serving as a Program Manager for a Developmental Disability Crisis Home (Out-of-Home Services), Organizing and Leading IDD Intensive-In-Home Support Services, and serving as the Program Manager for a Behavioral Health Intensive Treatment Residence.

Lena Taylor

Director of Human resources

Hailing originally from Newark, NJ, Lena Taylor brings over 16 years of HR leadership experience, particularly in the government sector, making her a seasoned professional known for her people-centric approach and unwavering commitment to HR excellence. Beyond her professional endeavors, Lena is deeply invested in volunteerism and community enrichment. She served as the founding President of the board at a charter school in Newark, demonstrating her dedication to youth empowerment. Additionally, Lena has been an active member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. since 2011, where she has served in various capacities.

Lena's professional philosophy embodies servant leadership, emphasizing her role in serving others, fostering a culture of trust, and promoting understanding. She firmly believes that the HR department serves as the bridge between employers and employees, facilitating effective communication and collaboration. Lena brings a wealth of expertise to her role as an HR Executive, specializing in aligning HR strategies with business objectives to foster a high-performance culture. Lena holds a Master of Business Administration in Human Resources from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) with the Society for Human Resource Management.

Dynamic and influential, Lena is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment that attracts top talent and supports the overall mission and vision of the organization. Notably, at her previous organization, Lena spearheaded initiatives that led to the organization being recognized as a 'Best Place to Work'. She is committed to making a positive impact both within the workplace and in the broader community.