Rick Benson, CPGC, ICGC-II (Founder)

Rick Benson, CPGC, ICGC-IIRick founded Algamus Recovery Centers in 1992 and has directed gambling specific, Algamus residential facilities in Florida, South Carolina, Quebec, and Arizona.

A Cornell University graduate, Rick is an Internationally Certified Gambling Counselor (ICGC-II) and a Canadian Problem Gambling Counselor (CPGC). Algamus and Rick were featured on the very first episode of Intervention on the A&E channel.

He currently serves as a clinical supervisor for the Canadian Problem Gambling Counselor Certification Board and as an International Compulsive Gambling Counselor Certification Board member. He has been an advisory board member of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, and a founding executive board member of both the North Carolina Council on Problem Gambling and the South Carolina Council on Compulsive gambling.

For more than 20 years he has been both a student and a facilitator in Bonding Psychotherapy, Holiotropic Breathwork, Primal Therapy, and the Enneagram. He is presently a member of both the Arizona Enneagram Association and the International Enneagram Association and is deeply involved in the Enneagram Prison Project. He is an executive board member of the International Primal Association. 

Rick now provides consulting services including admissions and network/marketing to Algamus Gambling Treatment Services. Contact Rick at 888-527-2213.  

Jody Pegram, ICGC-II (CEO)

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Jody is an International Certified Gambling Counselor (ICGC-II) and, in 2007, he co-founded the Algamus Recovery Center of Arizona after serving as the program director of Algamus of North Palm Beach, Florida. Jody entered into the addiction recovery field in the late nineties. Beginning in Palm Beach, FL, he was integral in the development of C.A.R.E. in southern Florida and was appointed associate director/founder in 1999.

His insight and creative ability have also earned him position in a broad range of capacities in the Behavioral Health field: Consultant/Therapist, Director, Executive Director of Addiction Management, and is responsible for developing and instituting extended care planning at notable addiction treatment centers around the country.

Scott Melissa (Counselor/Aftercare Coordinator)

scottScott is a holder of a BA from the University of Massachusetts. Prior to joining Algamus, He was an expert trainer in MA with the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling where he focused on problem gambling in the criminal justice, mental health and substance abuse communities. In this capacity as Director of Outreach and Training, Scott’s primary goals were to develop, enhance, and support partnerships with stakeholders in the problem gambling field.

He was also part of the leadership committee which managed the operation of state-wide helpline as well as coordination of supportive referrals and resources. Scott’s dedication has lead to the capacity building that has enabled more clinicians throughout the state to identify, screen, assess and treat disordered gambling.

As Algamus’ Chief Operating Officer, Scott’s mandate is to establish a network of aftercare resources for when clients graduate from our program. He  brings positive energy, and is held in the highest regard by those who have encountered him in the problem gambling community. The MA Council on Compulsive Gambling has a long tradition of being proactive, innovative and is a leader in the area of problem gambling support, advocacy and education. Part of their success is attributable to Scott’s hard work and dedication. He is warm-hearted, caring and empathic.

Victoria Stallings, ICGC-I (Primary Therapist)

Victoria StallingsVictoria has been a Primary Therapist and Case Manager at Algamus for the past two years. She facilitates individual sessions and group therapy on psycho-education with a focus on recovery and family systems.

For three years prior to joining the Algamus team, she managed the Neuro-Feedback Center and was a group leader at A Sober Way Home.

She earned her Bachelor's degree in psychology and is presently completing her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. 

Dr. Brittany Pierce, (Clinical Psychologist)

Brittany-Pierce-webDr. Brittany Pierce is a licensed clinical psychologist. Dr. Pierce earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with minors in Addiction Counseling and Philosophy. She pursued her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and her Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology at Argosy University in Phoenix. Dr. Pierce has experience working in corrections, private practice, and inpatient psychiatric facilities assessing and treating a plethora of psychiatric illness including: Addiction, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, neurocognitive disorders, personality disorders, and trauma.  She also teaches a class in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Creighton University psychiatry residents and supervises their therapy services in an outpatient clinic. Dr. Pierce oversees all clinical services and ensures the highest standard of care for each client. 

Joseph Trop-Zell, (Executive Director)

JoeJoseph Trop-Zell began working in the field of gambling addiction treatment in 2010 at California's oldest, residential gambling program. Joseph attended Arizona State University studying psychology. As a member of the recovery community himself, he has dedicated his life and work to helping those struggling with addiction. As the executive director, Joseph is responsible for managing the day to day operations at Algamus Gambling Treatment Services.  

Jacquie Arcand (Primary Therapist)

Jacquie Arcand Jacquie began working in the behavioral health field in 2002 in a variety of roles including program development, leadership, training, retreat facilitation and as a primary therapist. A master’s level Clinical Social Worker (New Mexico Highlands University), Jacquie specializes in the treatment of addiction, substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, trauma (adoption, rape, incest, violence, military) and family systems issues.

She has experienced first-hand the impact addiction has on both the individual and the family. Her deep understanding and experience integrates into her approach to therapy with clients; populations ranging from adolescent to adult clients in both residential and outpatient settings. She is a trained EMDR therapist.

As a contract provider, Jacquie brings her knowledge, enthusiasm and refreshing approach to psychoeducational and experiential group facilitation. “Witnessing individuals and families rise above seemingly insurmountable circumstances, embark on a journey of recovery, experiencing growth and renewal is the greatest gift and privilege of working in this field”.