Meet the Banyan Team: Eric Oakes - Banyan Treatment Center Pompano

Meet the Banyan Team: Eric Oakes


We fired out some questions, Eric Oakes, Chief Operations Officer at Banyan Answered them.

Coffee creamer is a sign of weakness.  If they invented a coffee creamer that was black coffee flavored, I might try it.

What’s your average day like at Banyan?

My average day is ABOVE AVERAGE, because I get to do this with these people.  Thats what makes it great.  I write lists everyday that I never get to, because my day is filled with "just one more thing"

What’s your favorite thing about working at Banyan?

The open excitement to grow and change.  I feel like if you are not living you are dying, and I am not ready to die just yet.  So I want to keep gently pushing, never sitting still, never being satisfied.  I am no great prophet, I just know  that if you are sitting still you are actually moving backward.  Banyan gets that.  Everyone here wants "new," and "different," and "better."

If you could describe working at Banyan in one word, what would it be?

Honorable.  In a questionable world and a heavily scrutinized industry, we constantly try to follow one simple rule--Do the right thing, and do the right thing right, and the right things will happen.  And the people I work with work 10 times harder, and longer, and more fiercely than I ever could.  They never stop.

How do you describe your job at Banyan Treatment Center to other people?

I dont even try.  First, no one but us and our significant others knows what we do, how much we eat breathe and sleep this stuff.  Second, everything describing it trivializes it.  For those of us who love it,  nothing else describes it.   People think we work with people with drug problems.   We work against poisonous drugs and poisonous attitudes and poisonous thinking.  And the poison kills people.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I have a wife, four kids, a house, and a dog so what I like to do has very little to do with what I actually do.   But in all seriousness, I am an introverted guy who likes to fish, read, run, eat and fix stuff.  What I do not like to do is what I am being asked to do, which is talk about myself.

What’s your favorite band, singer, or artist?

Bands that jump out are Black Flag, Proletariat, Jerks, Metallica, X, Warren Zevon, Rush, Husker du, Violent Femmes, Elton John and AC/DC.

What sparked your interest in helping people to recover from drug and alcohol addiction?

I started as a behavioral health tech in 1987.  Never looked back.  Along the way I met my own problems, in my own friends, my family and myself.  Just right place, right time, or something like that.

What’s your favorite flavor of coffee creamer?

Coffee creamer is a sign of weakness.  If they invented a coffee creamer that was black coffee flavored, I might try it.

You have three wishes, anything you want… what are they?

Give my kids a world free of drugs and climate change.  Have my family stay connected and loving.  More cake.

Click here to learn more about the Banyan Difference.

Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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