Holistic Residential Recovery
(804) 442-7968 Richmond, VA

Meet Our Team

Starfish Recovery & Wellness
Frank Bellanger

Frank R. Bellanger, III

Founder & CEO

Frank founded Starfish Recovery & Wellness after multiple attempts at sustained recovery using multiple pathways. After receiving treatment using the “whole person approach” model, he was determined to introduce holistic wellness practices to the residential recovery setting. Frank developed the evidence based 5-pronged approach, represented by the five arms of a starfish, to address the emotional, social, mental, physical, and educational needs of our residents. This model is appropriate for a full spectrum of individuals, including those seeking recovery for the first time, those seeking step down from treatment, as well as the recently incarcerated.


As both a person in sustained recovery from Substance Use Disorder and a formerly incarcerated individual, Frank understands the challenges facing those attempting to recover from SUD while also attempting to re-enter society. He previously served one of our most vulnerable populations in the recovery community, the incarcerated, as the Director of Recovery Programs for a tri-county regional jail. He also served as Director of the Medication and Drug Screening Program at an 80+ bed Recovery Community Organization in Richmond, VA. He holds multiple certifications in the Substance Use Disorder/Recovery profession, including NADAAC-approved Certified Recovery Coach Trainer, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, and Forensic Peer Support Specialist. Prior to working in the recovery space, his educational and professional background was in meeting Federal and local quality assurance standards for the provision of Heavy Highway Construction.

Stephanie Bellanger

Chief Wellness Officer


As the Chief Wellness Officer, Stephanie is responsible for the development and implementation of Starfish’s world class programming. Stephanie is committed to ensuring that Starfish’s programs, education, and activities support the overall wellness of each participant. Stephanie has achieved Level I Certification in the Invitation to Change Approach and assists families struggling with their loved ones’ past or current use.  When faced with her own loved one’s addiction, Stephanie found peace through practicing CRAFT and continues to use a variety of spiritual, therapeutic and wellness practices. Prior to co-founding Starfish, Stephanie had a 20+ year distinguished career, earning recognition from multiple Federal agencies for her innovation and leadership. Her own wellness journey combined with her family legacy of service led to her desire to open residences for persons seeking recovery.  

Jerry Wilson

Jerry Wilson

Program Director


Jerry is responsible for the successful day-to-day operation of our entire program, having oversight of all operations, from Day 1 of a resident’s intake through program completion.  Jerry is also responsible for training our Recovery & Wellness Peer Leaders, and for ensuring that all staff are in adherence with our policies and procedures.  Jerry has overseen Starfish’s expansion and is looking forward to its continued growth.  “Working in recovery gives me the opportunity to witness the remarkable resilience of individuals as they overcome addiction, rebuild their lives, and rediscover their true potential. Every day, I am inspired by their strength and determination, and it is a privilege to be a part of their journey towards healing and transformation”, Jerry says. Jerry holds degrees in Culinary Arts and Business & Restaurant Management.  Jerry is a person in sustained recovery from Substance Use Disorder.

Penny Jones

Penny Jones

Quality Assurance Director


Penny graduated magna cum laude from Radford University with a Bachelor’s in Art. After 10 years of working in corporate America, Penny sought a more rewarding and meaningful career. As a person in long-term recovery, she decided to become a Peer Recovery Support Specialist. Penny also holds certifications in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and in Diversity and Inclusion in recovery housing. Penny is also a SMART recovery facilitator.


Penny began working for Frank at another recovery organization, holding recovery meetings for inmates at a regional jail. When Frank opened Starfish, she followed him there because she knew it was going to be something special and vastly different from other recovery housing. In addition to leading the Quality Assurance Department, Penny is responsible for full oversight of Starfish Recovery & Wellness’ iteration of the Recovery Capital (RecCap) platform.

Evelyn Swift

Evelyn Swift

Education and Curriculum Officer

The developer of WellBeing : a Recovery Curriculum, Evelyn is a nationally recognized, award-winning educator. Over the course of her nearly 30-year career, Evelyn has been a teacher, vice principal, educational presenter and now, a principal. Her accomplishments include being named NJ Governor’s Educator of the Year, leading her school to recognition as a Sustainable NJ School, and pioneering the “outdoor classroom”. Her innovative approach to childhood development has been featured in national publications including USA Today. Evelyn holds a BA in Communications from Monmouth University and an MA in Educational Leadership from Kean University. She is the proud mom of two adult children.

Nancy Jean

Assistant Program Director

Nancy is responsible for the assisting in ensuring the successful day-to-day operation of our program, with a focus on coordination of care and our women’s program.  Nancy is known for her calm demeanor and her ability to relate to a wide variety of people. 


“Everyday I enter a community of peers looking to find a way to help the next person succeed…No matter the cost, the people always come first”, Nancy says. Nancy studied Social Science at J Sargent Reynolds College and leverages both her lived experience and her education in this position. Nancy is a person in sustained recovery from Substance Use Disorder.

Michael Fry

Outreach Director


Michael is responsible for coordinating all public outreach and events, conducting peer education classes, completing resident intakes and evaluations, and connecting residents with resources to meet basic needs. 

Like many of our current residents and alumni, Michael came to Starfish after suffering a series of tragedies. Michael didn’t give up hope and sought a place that would help him process his pain. Through Starfish’s trauma-informed and person centered approach, Michael found first solace, then joy!  Michael is a person in sustained recovery from Substance Use Disorder.

James Mimms


Ross Thompson