Staff Biographies

Elaine Hickey M.Ed.

Elaine Hickey, M.Ed was educated first at the University of Georgia for her Bachelors Degree, and then at the University of Boston, where she received a Masters and taught while working on her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology.  She began her own private practice of counseling in 1965.  Mrs. Hickey has continued to work in the addiction treatment field both with the Hickey House and one to one counseling of others in the local Helen community for the past 30 years.  She is the co-founder of Hickey House, Inc. and currently holds the position of Director.  She loves spending time with her grandchildren and her Bassett Hound named Butters.




Star Bridges has been with the Hickey House since 2002.  He began as a Resident, finished the one-year program and then was asked to stay on as a Resident Staff of the Green House facility.   He was promoted to the position of Program Director in 2005.  Tom Hickey mentored Star closely in 2005-06 before his passing from Cancer in late 2006.

Star gained his certification as a Certified Addictions Counselor (CACI) through the Georgia Addictions Counselors Association (GACA) in 2009.  He received the Certified Anger Management Specialist (CAMS) credential in 2010.  He finished a lifelong goal of graduating from the University of Georgia in 2011.  Star advanced his certifications with the Certified Addictions Counselor Level Two (CACII) and the Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) credentials in 2012. He is an elected member of the GACA Board of Directors. Star was awarded the Georgia Addiction Counselors Association’s, ‘Counselor of the Year Award’ for 2017. In 2018, Star completed his Master's degree in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University and gained his licensure for professional counseling (LAPC). 

Star has a love of the outdoors and is an avid road and off-road cyclist.  He enjoys getaways to the Atlantic Coast to surf and unwind.  He is an Eagle Scout, and possesses an extensive knowledge of camping and hiking in the North Georgia Mountains.  Star leads overnight trips for the Hickey House on the Appalachian Trail and into the Chattahoochee National Forest whenever possible.


Joel Odegard CACI

Joel is originally from Minnesota and came to the Hickey House as a resident in 2013. After completing the program, he was asked to be resident staff at the Blue House. He served as staff for 18 months. Joel was then asked to be Director of Residents, a position which he held efficiently. He was recently promoted to assist with day-to-day operations. Joel has finished his requirements for certified addictions counselor, and gained his CACI in 2018. In his free time Joel enjoys kayaking, hiking, and trail running. Joel is also an advocate for helping the local community.