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Meet Your Thrive Team

It is our aim to empower people of all lifestyles to be proactive with their health and live a balanced, resilient life.

We are a locally-owned, premier health and wellness clinic with two offices in Virginia Beach. We offer science-based, integrative treatments and are devoted to personalized care.

Thrive is a team of committed and hard-working professionals devoted to the healing, performance, and empowerment of our clients supplied by our dedication to proactive health, personalized services, and a conviction towards delivering the results they need to thrive at home, at work, and in competition.

We strive for excellence. We hold high standards for ourselves and focus on the constant improvement of our practice. It is our promise to strive to understand and satisfy the needs of your health. We deliver what we promise.

We provide innovative care. We develop strategic and creative solutions for all of clients. Healthcare and technology are ever-changing and advancing and we are continuously deepening our knowledge and embrace innovative approaches.

We believe in the power of teamwork. We’ve created a culture that encourages and thrives off of ‘togetherness.’ We believe that when our team works together, you receive the best care and most successful results. Support, respect, and trust within our team ensures that we’re working with a common purpose for your needs.

Julie Blandin

Julie Blandin

PT + ATC + CSCS + PRC • Provider

Biomechanical Specialist and Movement Expert

Giselle Vermilyea

Giselle Vermilyea

DPT + RYT • Provider

PT Clinical Director + Educational Coordinator

Savanna Cowling

Savanna Cowling

LPTA • Provider

Physical Therapist Assistant

Jenessa Wright

Jenessa Wright

LMT • Provider

Lead Massage Therapist

Chantal Owen

Chantal Owen

CMT + CR + CCA • Provider

Massage Therapist + Aromatherapist

Derica Owens

Derica Owens

LMT • Provider

Massage Therapist

McKenzie Makar

McKenzie Makar

Certified Athletic Trainer + Fitness Coach + Exercise Specialist

Jake Freeman

Jake Freeman

CSCS

Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist + Sports Performance + Fitness Coach + Exercise Specialist

Kim Scholl

Kim Scholl

Fitness Coach + Exercise Specialist

Karyn Pereira

Karyn Pereira

Back End Manager + Exercise Specialist
Olivia Hanawalt

Olivia Hanawalt

Exercise Specialist + Rehab Aide

Lada Alger

Lada Alger

Lic.Ac, Dipl. NCCAOM + MSA • Provider

Acupuncturist

Jen Fedorowicz

Jen Fedorowicz

Reiki Master + B.E.S.T. Practitioner + E-YRT

Energy Medicine Specialist + Yoga Instructor
Michelle Hilliard

Michelle Hilliard

IINHC + OTR|L • Provider

Certified Nutritionist

Bryanna Baca

Bryanna Baca

Lead Front End Representative + Sales Associate

Marie Stephanie O'Neil

Marie Stephanie O'Neil

Marketing Coordinator

Rachel Ragan

Rachel Ragan

Sales Associate

Jamie Lockard

Jamie Lockard

Billing Specialist

Julie Blandin

PT, ATC, CSCS, PRC, DipACLM • Provider 

Biomechanical Specialist & Movement Expert and Physical Therapist

Julie is an industry leading Sports Rehab and Postural Restoration® Specialist with over 17 years of experience in the Fitness and Sports Medicine industry. She is the only Hampton Roads Therapist Certified Provider in Postural Restoration®.

Through her diverse educational background and willingness to explore the unknown, Julie has developed an extensive and unique postgraduate skillset to offer you a holistic perspective on injury rehabilitation, prevention, and maintenance. Julie’s expertise bridges the gap between rehabilitation and performance. She highly values and understands the integration involved in the continuum of care associated with treating athletes and patients of all ages.

She has aborted many traditional therapy techniques in the quest to learn an advanced science that offers even the toughest patients some if not complete relief.

“I love purpose, passion, and serving others. Helping people achieve their goals and the health of our team is extremely important to me. I liberate and amplify the strengths and talents of others and facilitate teamwork so that we together can exceed expectations.”
– Julie

Julie’s Experience

  • Licensed Direct Access Physical Therapist
    advanced training in: 
    • Movement Impairments
    • Functional Movement
    • Osteopathic Manual Medicine
    • Pain Science
    • Dry Needling
    • Vacuum Cupping Therapy
    • Anatomy Trains
    • Various Manual Therapies
    • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
    • Certified Provider in Postural Restoration
  • Certified Athletic Trainer: experienced working with athletes of all levels, including: 
    • Weekend warriors
    • Elite collegiate
    • Professional
    • Tactical
  • Certified Strength & Conditioning Coach
  • Extensive Post-Graduate Study in the Postural Restoration Science
  • Faculty Member of the Postural Restoration Institute: teaching nationally to: 
    • Health Care Practitioners
    • Strength Coaches
    • Athletic Trainers
    • Fitness Professionals

On a personal note…

  • Loves boating, beach days, and country concerts
  • A proud military wife
  • Loves to eat anything Italian
  • Favorite movie – Fast & Furious
  • Favorite music – Country

Giselle, Physical Therapist at Thrive Proactive Health

Giselle Vermilyea

DPT, RYT • Provider

PT Clinical Director + Educational Coordinator

For Giselle, yoga has been an excellent way to balance mind and body while promoting healthy movement patterns. She aims to integrate principles of yoga with her physical therapy practice and as it ties into postural restoration. She believes that movement is medicine and everyone is capable of changing and optimizing their personal journey with health and wellness.

Giselle’s Experience

Giselle’s clinical experience has been largely in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy. Throughout her education and training, Giselle has aimed to dissect what motivates others to pursue healthier, holistic, and more sustainable outcomes rather than chasing symptoms.

She has had the opportunity to work with individuals of all ages and functional capacities – from military members to weekend warriors – and enjoys the challenge of creating an individualized treatment plan to optimize one’s movement.

Education / Certifications / Training Courses

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy from Samford University in Birmingham, AL
  • Certified in Dry Needling
  • Registered yoga teacher, certified in hatha-vinyasa yoga instruction
  • Further education in Nutrition and Healthy Living from Cornell University

On a personal note…

Giselle has been fortunate to be well-traveled from trips with her family growing up, but would love to visit more of Europe with her husband and son! She lived in Japan for three years before moving to Virginia Beach and loved the opportunity to live abroad. She finds cultural immersion eye-opening and fascinating.

  • Giselle is a proud mother and military wife. She values time with her family and creating experiences with her baby boy and husband.
  • Hobbies include going to the beach, cooking and trying new foods, yoga, hiking, and cycling

Savanna Dowling, Physical Therapist Assistant, Thrive Proactive Health

Savanna Cowling

LPTA • Provider

Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant

Born and raised in Chesapeake, Virgina, where she currently lives with her boyfriend, Savanna finds enjoyment in helping people return to a higher quality of life. She is excited to incorporate postural restoration into her clinical treatment along with the skills that she has gained in outpatient orthopedic practice.

 

Savanna’s Experience

Savanna has spent most of her career as an LPTA working in outpatient clinics, primarily helping athletes, post-surgical patients, geriatrics and military members.

On a personal note…

  • Savanna enjoys going to the beach, playing the piano (she learned to play at 11), and watching Buffalo Bills football
  • Sushi is her favorite food
  • She loves country music and The Office

Karyn Pereira

Back End Manager + Exercise Specialist

Karyn is an energetic, motivated professional who thrives within a team environment. Her passion for physical therapy is seen daily as she prepares treatment areas, equipment, and materials, along with performing procedures under the supervision of our physical therapists.

She is currently enrolled in a physically therapy assistant program and will graduate in 2018, which will lead her to continuing her passion as a licensed PTA. Working at Thrive has allowed her to focus on her education and gain hands-on experience as she finishes schooling. She also has 20 years worth of customer service experience, and understands the great importance of building and maintaining client relationships.

 

On a personal note…

  • Loves going to the gym, being outdoors, and spending time with her children
  • Loves to eat pizza
  • Favorite Movie – Lego Batman Movie
  • Favorite Music – Anything that keeps her motivated while she runs

Jenessa Wright, Massage Therapist at Thrive Proactive Health in Virginia Beach, VA

Jenessa Wright

LMT • Provider

Lead Massage Therapist

Jenessa is passionate about the human body and coaching clients on how they can effectively maintain their results from their massage. She has spent most of her career working with a athletes, veterans, expecting mothers, and teenagers and enjoys helping them better understand their problem areas and encouraging self-care. Jenessa’s bubbly attitude and excitement for rehabilitation is contagious!

Jenessa entered the world of rehabilitation over 14 years ago in Pensacola, FL, after a car accident required her to receive therapeutic massage therapy.  Jenessa graduated from Massage Therapy school from Pensacola State College in 2019 and has worked in a variety of clinical settings from Washington State to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

 

Certifications / Licenses

  • Licensed Massage Therapist in Virginia and Florida
  • Functional Movement Specialist
  • Therapeutic Cupping
  • Spa Specialist

On a personal note…

Outside of the clinic, Jenessa enjoys spending time with her Saint Bernard, Captain and Bernese Mountain Dog, Smores, along with her two cats Cookie and Chloe. Some of Jenessa’s favorite hobbies include cooking, gardening, home improvement projects, and watching Dateline Mysteries.

Chantal Owen

CMT + CR + CCA + HT level 4 student • Provider

Massage Therapist + Aromatherapist: Pain Relief, Pain Management and Relaxation Specialist

Chantal specializes in providing pain relief, pain management and relaxation to individuals seeking to optimize their personal and professional potential, well-being, and quality of life. She has over 15 years of experience working holistically and intuitively with people challenged with acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain and dysfunctions, hormonal, digestive, autoimmune disorders and traumas. Chantal has a particular interest and proficiency working on cranium, jaw, neck, shoulders, back, hips and feet to promote individual homeostasis while addressing specific needs.

Through her own life challenges and needs for physical, emotional and mental balance, Chantal has developed a unique set of skills and a keen sense of empathy for people eager to restore, improve and maintain their health and well-being. Her mission is to support her team’s work in providing peace, comfort, connection, meaning, and purpose during time of struggle, as well as physical demand and need for superior athletic performances. Chantal is a blue belt Jiu-Jitsu and kickboxing student familiar with injuries occurring during combat sports and always dedicated to provide pain relief and solutions to address this type of injuries.

Chantal has learned and mastered effective and non-invasive massage techniques that focus on the medical benefits of soft tissue manipulation, mobilization, alternative pressure and essential oils to provide superior and cumulative customized results.

“As Paulo Coelho said ‘I bear many scars, but I also carry with me moments that would not have happened if I had not dared to go beyond my limits.‘ I embrace the belief that, in the pursuit of balance and well-being, there is no such thing that shortcut or easy fix; it requires dependability, discipline, determination and commitment.”
– Chantal

Chantal’s Experience

  • Certified Massage Therapist
  • Certified Reflexologist
  • Certified Provider in Postural Restoration®
  • Certified Clinical Aromatherapist
  • Trained Massage Cupping Practitioner
  • Trained In Medical, Sport, Myofascial Release, Neuromuscular, Hot Stones, And Massage For Cancer, Mastectomy, And Breast Surgeries

On a personal note…

  • Loves to garden, read books, and walk through beautiful parks
  • A French native who moved to the U.S. with her cats
  • Loves all things chocolate
  • Favorite TV Show – The Big Bang Theory
  • Favorite Music – Michael Bublé

Derica Owens, Massage Therapist, Thrive Proactive Health

Derica Owens

LMT • Provider

Massage Therapist

As a massage therapist, Derica loves making connections and uplifting others in a physical and spiritual way while releasing tension from the body. 

On a personal note…

When Derica is not working, she enjoys R&B music, watching Criminal Minds, writing, spending time with her family and practicing yoga.

McKenzie Makar

Certified Athletic Trainer + Fitness Coach + Exercise Specialist

McKenzie is a Certified Athletic Trainer having spent most of her career assisting athletes in wellness and prevention, emergency care, injury evaluation, and rehabilitative care. She made her way to THRIVE inspired to approach personalized care more holistically and proactively.

McKenzie values progressing her patients physical and mental strength, as well as her own. She believes everyone should be able to move efficiently and pain free, whether that is in the gym, your job, sport, or home. “We are all in this health and wellness journey together for the long run. Approach everyday with the goal to become 1% better.”

 

Education / Certifications / Training Courses

  • Master’s of Athletic Training, Old Dominion University
  • Bachelors of Athletic Training, University of Tampa
  • Certified Personal Trainer, NASM

On a personal note…

  • Moved to VB from Fort Myers, FL in 2018.
  • Happy dog mom to two rottweilers
  • Hobbies: Strength training, reading, going to the beach
  • Favorite Music: Country

Jake Freeman, Fitness Coach

Jake Freeman

CSCS

Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist + Sports Performance + Fitness Coach + Exercise Specialist

As a Thriver, Jake experienced first-hand the value and results of our Postural Restoration therapy. That excellent experience led to him joining the Thrive team as one of our fitness coaches, passionate about helping others with the same level of care and skill he received.

Jake has experience creating and implementing training programs for firefighters and police cadets as well for all levels of athletes.

I love helping others reach their health, fitness, and performance goals — whether they are looking to improve the performance of their sport, move pain free, or improve their quality of life. Having been both an athlete looking to improve my performance, and as someone who was stuck in chronic pain over a period of years and unable to participate in many forms of movement, I understand the frustrations that can come with both. My goal is to help others avoid those frustrations and provide a path that will allow them to achieve their goals.

 

Education / Certifications / Training Courses

  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Health Science
  • Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

 

On a personal note…

Outside of helping our Thrivers, Jake enjoys playing basketball, lifting weights, reading and spending time with his family.

Kim Scholl

Provider

Exercise Specialist + Fitness Coach

Kim developed an appreciation for strength and efficient movement at an early age, growing up on a farm in Michigan. After a family move to Florida, she kept moving via dance, running, and group exercise. She completed BS and MS at the University of Florida, teaching as a graduate student in the Dept. of Health and Human Performance. She realized during that time that she absolutely loved being able to educate people about fitness and how to make it a fun and enjoyable journey. She continued to be curious about the body, graduating from massage school in Pensacola, FL. She has also completed a 200hr yoga instructor course in Virginia Beach.

Kim has trained clients in California, Texas, Florida, Rhode Island, and Virginia while her husband has been deployed for up to a year at a time. She is constantly seeking new opportunities for education in order to find ways to inspire and motivate folks to enjoy the art and science of physical fitness.

On a personal note…

Long, long ago, in a bar in Pensacola, Kim met a handsome Naval Aviator.  They eloped and the Navy moved them many times, but when hubby’a military service landed the two in Virginia Beach, Kim (at 7 months pregnant at the time), announced, “I’m home!”  They now have two grown children, one son who graduated from JMU and a daughter still in college. They recently added two English Labs to the mix, who love going to the beach and playing fetch.  In her spare time, Kim enjoys reading, hiking and biking. She and her husband recently rode the Capital Trail, from Jamestown to Richmond, spent the night and rode back the next day. Over 100 miles round trip…on a 3 speed beach cruiser. And loved every second of it!

Olivia Hanawalt, Physical Therapy Exercise Specialist at Thrive Proactive Health

Olivia Hanawalt

Exercise Specialist + Rehab Aide

Olivia is a recent graduate from Radford University who has had a passion for all things encompassing Physical Therapy. She plans to continue her education with an advanced degree in Physical therapy and further pursue her dreams of assisting people live a pain-free life. She loves connecting with each and every patient in order to provide the best care possible. She has a potential interest to work with the Pediatric population in the future.

 

On a personal note…

  • Born in Hawaii but grew up in Virginia Beach
  • She is a Radford University Alumni with a Bachelors of Science
  • Loves spending time with her goldendoodle, Pepper, and eating Italian food
  • Hobbies include knitting and reading

Lada Alger, Acupuncturist, Thrive Proactive Health

Lada Alger

Lic.Ac, Dipl. NCCAOM + MSA • Provider

Acupuncturist

Lada is passionate about helping people of all ages to heal, enhancing their health and wellness to live a harmonious and balanced life to the fullest. She comes to Thrive experienced in acupuncture, cupping, guasha, e-stimulation, moxibustion and tuina massage. Prior to joining Thrive, she worked at the clinic of the China Beijing Academy, and in various hospital and health care settings.

Education / Certifications / Training Courses

  • Masters in Acupuncture
  • Training at the Beijing International Center of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

 

On a personal note…

Lada enjoys walking on the beach all year round, hiking the Shenandoah mountains trails and visiting their magnificent waterfalls. She’s an avid practitioner of Yoga, TaiChi, and Qigong.

Jen Fedorowicz

Reiki Master + B.E.S.T. Practitioner + E-YRT

Energy Medicine Specialist + Yoga Instructor

Jen Fedorowicz is a Reiki Master,  B.E.S.T. (Bio-energetic Synchronization Technique) practitioner and E-YRT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) as well as the founder of jEnergy.  Jen works with clients to get energy moving through the body for physical + emotional healing.

All of life is a reflection of your energy flow. Whether you have blocks causing physical disease or blocks keeping you stuck in life.

Jen’s signature service, “jEnergy”, is a fusion of ancient yoga practices along with energy medicine as a certified Energy Codes Facilitator. jEnergy infuses Energy Codes into her teachings to help you activate untapped energy and neurocircuitry in your body and empower your hidden potential to become one with your true, essential self. Her work is grounded in practical, accessible movement patterns, breathwork, and meditations.

Jen is a teacher at heart and equips every client she encounters with easy tools to use and incorporate into your life to keep your energy flowing and help you access the healer within you.

Michelle Hilliard

IINHC + OTR|L • Provider

Certified Nutritionist

Shelly’s holistic approach to nutrition will help you to find the nourishment that feeds your body and your soul to help you maximize each day. Her goal as a health coach is to mentor and empower you to take control of your health by implementing proper nutrition, behavior changes, and better lifestyle choices that will contribute to the achievements of your personal wellness goals. Shelly believes in a bio-individual perspective, there is no one size fits all approach to help people reach their goals. She also believes in finding the balance in our lifestyle choices that nourish our bodies off the plate (career, relationships, physical activity, spirituality, finances, etc) and what nourishes us on our plate through our diet. Her goal is to help you find the balance between these two areas. Shelly’s love and passion for people and wellness help her to continue growing her knowledge base to help bless the people around her with the tools to assist them in living their best life on and off the plate. Shelly has been in the health care arena for 13 years.

Certifications

  • Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy
  • Bachelor’s Degrees in Health Science and Psychology
  • Certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

On a personal note…

Her life outside of work consists of chasing after her two children, enjoying the beauty of nature, and a love for reading.

Bryanna Baca

Bryanna Baca

Lead Front End Representative + Sales Associate

Bryanna has always had an appreciation and deep understanding that people should be treated as a whole. She was so inspired that she made her way to Thrive after working as a home health aid for two years as well as going through nursing school. The Western medicine world proved to have too many holes to fulfill her holistic desire to be a part of someone’s healing journey.

On a personal note…

Bryanna is originally from Hawaii and moved to Virginia after high school. She is the eldest of four children and has two cats that are beyond spoiled. She enjoys listening to various types of music, being outdoors, watching old horror movies, and trying new foods. She loves sushi and painting.

Marie O'Neil, Marketing Manager, Thrive Proactive Health

Marie Stephanie O’Neil

Marketing Coordinator

Marie specializes in digital marketing, event planning, and program development for higher education institutions and small businesses. Early in her career, she was a UX/UI designer and graphic designer for music executives, investment banks, and small businesses in Malibu. Soon after, she realized her love for event planning and social media/influencer marketing, which led to her to focus on those fields for most of her career.

Marie previously managed marketing and events for the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Program at University of Southern California. To increase women representation and retention in STEM, she hosted professional development workshops, research seminars, symposiums, and alumni talks for undergraduate/graduate students and faculty. Marie has always been interested in health and wellness and is excited to contribute her marketing skills to Thrive.

 

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in Advertising from Pepperdine University
  • Further education in Project Leadership and Digital Marketing from Cornell University

On a personal note…

  • Raised in Ventura County in Southern California
  • Loves to travel the world (recently fell in love with Bali) and learn languages
  • Former military brat who calls Sasebo, Japan a second home
  • Big fan of spa days, trampoline workouts, and game nights
  • Hobbies include stand up paddleboarding, pottery, hiking, reading/listening to audiobooks, and shopping at local boutiques

Rachel Ragan, Sales Associate at Thrive Proactive Health

Rachel Ragan

Sales Associate

After graduating in 2019 with a major in Sports Management and minor in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina, Rachel went on to work in premium ticket sales with two teams in the NHL. This gave me a lot of experience working with different types of clients on the sales side as well as keeping me connected to the world of sports. After deciding to leave this career, I became

Rachel is a big believer in everything happening for a reason. After almost four years working in premium ticket sales with two teams in the NHL, she left the corporate world to turn a passion for fitness into a lifestyle and became a certified personal trainer. She worked as a trainer in Arlington, Virginia, before moving to Virginia Beach, where she also worked as a physical therapy aide before joining our team.

Rachel’s happy she’s able to help others experience all of the positive changes that come with taking care of both physical and mental health. In addition, she’s excited to tap into her previous experience to help grow an already amazing business. And we’re glad the universe brought her to Thrive!

 

Education / Certifications

  • Majored in Sports Management + minored in Business Administration from University of South Carolina
  • ISSA Certified Personal Trainer

On a personal note…

  • Fave music is folksy country and, of course, Tay Tay Swift
  • Fave movies are Remember the Titans, all Marvel, all of the Harry Potters
  • Bald Head Island is her fave location to visit
  • The only hobby she has time for is being a dog-mom to her sweet, amazing, perfect, and adorable three-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Murphy

Jamie Lockard, Billing Specialist at Thrive Proactive Health

Jamie Lockard

Billing Specialist

Jamie has worked in the Insurance and Healthcare field for over 25 years and is adept at navigating the challenges of working with insurance providers. Having someone with Jamie’s experience and her ability to “read between the lines” is truly a benefit to our Thrivers.

 

On a personal note…

  • Her favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption
  • Aruba is her favorite place to visit, and she’s traveled to a large number of U.S. states and as far as Valencia, Spain
  • Jamie’s hobbie include beaches, boats, and grandbabies (she has two grandsons with a third on their way)