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Our Team

Our staff is completely invested in the positive outcomes of our clients. No matter what their area of expertise, the BeWell Recovery Centers team works with you and your family to develop an individualized treatment plan specially designed for your needs.

The goal of each team member is to compassionately and professionally guide you through every phase of your recovery. Our goal is to provide an unparalleled recovery experience.

While members of our staff may indeed have their own success with overcoming addiction, that in and of itself does not qualify them to work in treatment. We require our clinical team to be certified in addiction treatment and have extensive hands on experience in the field.

  • Theodore (Ted) Bender, PhD, MBA, LCDC
    Theodore (Ted) Bender, PhD, MBA, LCDC
    Chief Executive Officer
  • Scott Ward
    Scott Ward
    Chief Operating Officer
  • Bruce Berman
    Bruce Berman
    Vice President Marketing
  • Michael Parsons
    Michael Parsons
    Head of Admissions
  • Dane Coates
    Dane Coates
    National Director Marketing
  • Regina Hulten
    Regina Hulten
    Corporate Controller
  • Desiree Papadimitriou
    Desiree Papadimitriou
    HR Director
  • Lisa Merry, LMFT
    Lisa Merry, LMFT
    Program Director - Southern California Region
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Still have questions? Give us a call today.

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  • Expert and Caring Staff Ready For You

Call Today: 866-317-8395

Accreditations & Memberships


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Theodore (Ted) Bender, PhD, MBA, LCDC
Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Ted Bender earned his doctorate in clinical psychology at Florida State University. He then went on to complete his residency at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine – Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Later in his career, he earned a Master’s in Business Administration at Texas A&M, and recently completed the Harvard Business Analytics Program in order to gain a solid position in the evolving field of predictive algorithms and machine learning.

Dr. Bender’s career began in 2011 in southern Florida working in the addiction field. He has served over the years as a clinician and in administrative leadership roles. Early in his career, Dr. Bender was an integral part of a large military grant designed to fund research surrounding military suicide which led to his help in starting the Military Suicide Research Consortium. He then went on within the consortium to complete a four-year post-doc. Treating veterans and improving access to care for veterans has always been a central point of focus for Dr. Bender, one which he hopes to continue to develop.

Dr. Bender recently moved to the Southern California area to lead the newly formed BeWell Network in June of 2021. He is most proud of his wonderful family including his wife, Thy (pronounced Tee), and two children, Dominic and Maia.

Scott Ward
Chief Operating Officer

Scott brings 25 years of well-rounded and diverse executive management experience. He is passionate about helping individuals and families achieve a myriad of personal goals, no matter the scale. He has worked with many senior executives with Miramax Films, DreamWorks Pictures, Universal Pictures, and television network associates. His dedicated work with Sunspire Health and his years with Foundations Recovery Network has ideally positioned him for BeWell’s role as Chief Operating Officer.

He graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Art and holds a degree in business. Scott is a Certified Anger Management Facilitator and is a Certified Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Recovery Specialist.

Bruce Berman
Vice President Marketing

Bruce is a recognized expert in substance abuse treatment marketing and call center management. With his 30 years’ experience in substance abuse recovery, his knowledge regarding how the treatment process works cannot be overstated. Bruce has assisted thousands of people who were seeking treatment for alcohol, substance abuse, and dual diagnosis. He has maintained continuous recovery from various addictions since September 1989. Besides himself, he has placed his own children, employees, family members, friends and other loved ones into various treatment programs.

Bruce was the Assistant Vice President of Admissions for American Addiction Centers “AAC”, a nationwide dual diagnosis treatment center with over 1,000 beds. Since 2014, he has built and operated many call centers in Nevada and Texas. Prior, Bruce built over 20 years of Direct Response Marketing “DRM” experience, marketing products on the internet, radio, TV, and print. Bruce is considered a pioneer of “direct to web only” marketing. He is also an early pioneer of using numbers in web URLs on those mediums.

Michael Parsons
Head of Admissions

Michael started in the healthcare field as a resident advisor in an industry leading substance use program eventually working his way into admissions. He later served as Director of Admissions for a Southern California based outpatient center. Michael is driven by a passion for assisting families and individuals in their efforts to obtain quality treatment with an eye on positive long-term results. Michael brings a unique background to admissions having worked in middle market healthcare investment banking where he was staffed on numerous behavioral health care deal flows and brings a wealth of knowledge in appropriately leveraging data to inform client care and proper admissions processes.

Michael earned his Bachelors in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance with honors from California Lutheran University. In his free time Michael is an avid PC builder and guitar/gear enthusiast.

Dane Coates
National Director Marketing

For over 12 years, Dane Coates has been an accomplished leader in both the Addiction and Behavioral Health industry. He has extensive experience with Admissions, Marketing, Business Development, Counseling, and Crisis Intervention. Early in life, Dane witnessed the devastating impact of addiction first-hand. Several of his relatives struggled with untreated addiction and mental health issues. This motivated Dane to dedicate his career, which began 20 years ago, to serving this community. Dane holds a Master of Science in Counseling from Longwood University. Driven by the desire to instill hope in the hopeless, he takes pride in his ability to help individuals find evidence-based, accredited treatment. Dane has built-out several integral departments, supervised hundreds of licensed clinicians and sales coordinators, and has served on several executive leadership teams. Most importantly, he has successfully connected over 10,000 individuals with first-class treatment. As the National Director of Marketing, Dane’s primary goal is to successfully expand Be Well’s marketing initiatives to increase awareness of Be Well Recovery and all of its unique and esteemed program offerings. His personal goal is to help Be Well expand its footprint so that more individuals have access to the care that they desperately need and deserve.

Regina Hulten
Corporate Controller

Regina is responsible for overseeing accounting and finances for BeWell Network and its centers. She brings over 15 years of experience in accounting for a variety of public and private companies, where she developed controls and established policies and procedures to optimize efficiency, reduce costs and maximize productivity.

Regina graduated in 2005 from California State University San Marcos, earning a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She moved to San Diego, California from Tashkent, Uzbekistan with her family to achieve a better life. Regina is a wife and a mother of two boys who keep her active every day. She loves traveling and seeing the world through her kid’s eyes.

Desiree Papadimitriou
HR Director

Desiree is the HR Director at BeWell Network and has over 15 years of human resources experience in the healthcare field. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Florida Atlantic University in Human Resources Management and has earned the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification. Desiree enjoys utilizing her extensive experience to help BeWell Network run smoothly and efficiently by offering support to employees and working with the leadership team to create a welcoming, engaging, and rewarding work environment for everyone.

Lisa Merry, LMFT
Program Director - Southern California Region

Lisa Merry is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years in the treatment industry and 26 years of personal recovery. Her professional career has given her unique experiences to assist in creating treatment programs that are based on ethical and evidence-based modalities, for both substance abuse and mental health programs. She has been a leader in the Christ-Centered recovery program at Saddleback Church, called Celebrate Recovery, for over 25 years. Lisa has a passion for helping people overcome addiction and mental health issues through compassion, education, and finding purpose in their lives. Lisa is thrilled to be part of the Sheer Recovery Team and helping to encourage, motivate, and develop our family of staff.