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.


Medical Staff

  • Craig Smith M.D.
    Craig Smith M.D.
    Board certified in Addiction Medicine
  • Lisa Benya D.O.
    Lisa Benya D.O.
    Internal Medicine
  • Wiliam D. Stanley M.D.
    Wiliam D. Stanley M.D.
    Detox Medical Director
  • Aneta Lotakov Prince, MD
    Aneta Lotakov Prince, MD
    Board Certified Psychiatrist

Clinical Staff

  • Stacy Ana Simone, M.A., M.A., LMFT
    Stacy Ana Simone, M.A., M.A., LMFT
    Clinical Director
  • Naira Chehras, LMFT
    Naira Chehras, LMFT
    Licensed Therapist
  • Arpine Varikyan, ACSW
    Arpine Varikyan, ACSW
    Therapist
  • Jahala Wilcox – PN
    Jahala Wilcox – PN
    Licensed Nurse
  • Natasha Noghli, CADC-1
    Natasha Noghli, CADC-1
    Case Manager
  • Leslie (Les) Harris, CCAPP
    Leslie (Les) Harris, CCAPP
    Case Manager
  • Kat Mazzucca – RADT-I
    Kat Mazzucca – RADT-I
    Case Manager

Management

  • 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
  • Michael Parsons
    Michael Parsons
    Head of Admissions

Research

  • Dr. Edward Selby
    Dr. Edward Selby
    Data Analyst and Researcher

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Still have questions? Give us a call today.

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  • All Contact Is Completely Confidential
  • Expert and Caring Staff Ready For You

Call Today: 866-317-8395

Accreditations & Memberships


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Craig Smith M.D.
Board certified in Addiction Medicine

Dr. Craig V. Smith, M.D. is a former organ transplant surgeon, who now dedicates his practice to addiction medicine. He received his M.D. degree from the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Smith then completed his general surgical residency at Harbor-UCLA medical center and his multi-organ transplant surgical fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh medical center. He returned to UCLA medical center to start his career in academic transplant surgery, performing transplants, teaching students and residents while also conducting research on transplantation for the treatment of diabetes.

Since alcohol and drug use are leading causes of organ damage, Dr. Smith learned about addiction by listening to his patients. More importantly, since a requirement to receive an organ transplant is abstinence from using alcohol and drugs, Dr. Smith learned about recovery from listening to his patients. In 2009 Dr. Smith decided to dedicate his career to addiction medicine.

Dr. Smith is board certified in Addiction Medicine by both the American Board of Preventive Medicine and the American Board of Addiction Medicine.

Lisa Benya D.O.
Internal Medicine

Dr. Lisa Benya is an internal medicine doctor servicing the Malibu community for many years. Her caring and compassionate approach has earned her a great reputation for being one of the area’s favorite doctors.

She is a board-certified physician who as an internist broadened her scope to include more serious and chronic conditions including addiction medicine.

Dr. Benya has been in practice for more than 20 years and affiliated with many hospitals. Her undergraduate work began at the Boston University School of Medicine and attended Medical School at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Wiliam D. Stanley M.D.
Detox Medical Director

Dr. William D. Stanley received his Doctorate of Medicine degree from UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, NJ. He did his Residency training at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pa. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md. He did 1 year of a Master’s program in Anatomy at the University of Maryland Baltimore City campus prior to matriculating to medical school that next year.

He has worked in Internal Medicine for the majority of his professional life both inpatient and outpatient. He started Parkside Medical Assoc, PA in Trenton, NJ. He noticed he had an interest in substance abuse and started involvement with ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) in 1998. He completed his Boards in ASAM in 2000 and by ABAM (American Board of Addiction Medicine) in 2010. Since 2013 he has concentrated his time to the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders. Prior, he was Medical Director of both an inpatient detox unit and 2 outpatient treatment programs. He has an active license to practice medicine in both New Jersey and California.

Aneta Lotakov Prince, MD
Board Certified Psychiatrist

Dr. Prince graduated with honors from the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) and completed medical school at the Sackler School of Medicine, NY American Program at Tel Aviv University. She went on to complete her residency training in General Adult Psychiatry at the Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC, where she also acted as Chief Resident for the adult inpatient and dual diagnosis units. Dr. Prince moved back to California shortly after completing her training, and has spent a significant part of her career working with underserved and dually-diagnosed populations.

Dr. Prince has expertise in areas of mood, psychosis, anxiety, addiction, and substance use disorders. She focuses on the whole person, weighing lifestyle variables into treatment planning and utilizing lifestyle modification approaches alongside medication. Dr. Prince feels that “Falling down is still forward motion” and strongly believes in the resiliency of the human mind, body, and spirit.

Stacy Ana Simone, M.A., M.A., LMFT
Clinical Director

Stacy has been working in the behavioral health care industry for over 20 years. Stacy approaches clients from a trauma-informed care perspective and approach, and with the understanding that most individuals need to have the knowledge and tools to be successful. Her practices include a family-centered, trauma informed care approach, prioritizing the need for coordination of care with families of origin and of choice. Prior to BeWell, Stacy worked as a Clinical Director at a variety of adolescent and adult residential treatment facilities. She also worked for Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and with LA County- contracted agencies, overseeing programs that provided services to specialized populations and individuals involved with DCFS, DMH and LA County Department of Probation.

Stacy’s client and family-centered approach embraces attachment, attunement, mindfulness, and an individual’s ability to be the author of their future in every present moment.

Naira Chehras, LMFT
Licensed Therapist

Naira is a licensed marriage and family therapist and has been in the mental health field for the last 5 years. She received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Pepperdine University in 2018. Shortly after graduation, she began her career providing therapeutic services to children and their families at a DMH contracted agency. She found fulfillment through her work with kids and wanted to expand her experience to include working with individuals who struggle with substance abuse. Soon after, she began working at a treatment facility and acute psychiatric hospital providing services to patients in treatment. There, she realized her passion for helping clients heal from their past experiences and pursue a life aimed towards growth and healing. 

Arpine Varikyan, ACSW
Therapist

Arpine has been working in mental health and substance abuse for 9 years, providing psychoeducation, CBT therapy, group therapy, and family therapy to clients. With Masters’ Degrees in Social Work and Forensics Psychology, she has served as a Supervisor, Counselor, Program Director, Social Worker, and Therapist in substance abuse treatment centers.

Arpine believes that people need compassion and empathy to find the confidence to take their life back and her mission is to provide clients the support they need to begin their journey to recovery. She believes in helping clients create a healthy lifestyle mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  

Jahala Wilcox – PN
Licensed Nurse
Natasha Noghli, CADC-1
Case Manager
Leslie (Les) Harris, CCAPP
Case Manager
Kat Mazzucca – RADT-I
Case Manager
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

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 Los Angeles 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.

Dr. Edward Selby
Data Analyst and Researcher

Dr. Edward Selby is a licensed psychologist and an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Rutgers University Department of Psychology. Dr. Selby specializes in the research and treatment of suicidal and self-injurious behavior, personality disorders, and eating disorders, with a particular focus on emotion regulation and harmful behaviors like binge eating, substance use, and self-injury.  Dr. Selby has published extensively in these areas, with over 100 publications appearing in premier outlets such as Clinical Psychological Science, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Clinical Psychology Review, Behaviour Research and Therapy, and Psychological Review.  Dr. Selby’s research has been funded by organizations such as the National Institute of Mental Health, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and Janssen Pharmaceutica, and private philanthropists. His work has been recognized with multiple awards including an International Academy of Suicide Research Young Investigator Award for 2013, NARSAD early investigator award, the Neil S. Jacobson Award for Outstanding and Innovative Clinical Research, and in 2015 Dr. Selby was name a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science. In addition, his ongoing program of research, Dr. Selby serves as the Director of Clinical Training for the Rutgers Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program and regularly teaches graduate level adult psychopathology and applied latent variable modeling and hierarchical linear modeling. Dr. Selby is a Data Analyst and Researcher at the BeWell Network, where he is responsible for clinical service effectiveness evaluation and research dissemination.