After almost 8 years as President and CEO of NCADD and as a result of having accomplished much of what I came here to do, I have made the decision to retire from NCADD and to move on to the next adventure in my life.
I am very proud of what we have done, and believe that we have built a strong foundation from which NCADD will continue to grow and expand its' capacity to achieve our mission.
Since my first day on February 1, 2006, I have thoroughly enjoyed the privilege and the opportunity to work with all of you- Board members, NCADD staff, volunteers, donors, Affiliate staff and volunteers as well as all of our friends who are dedicated to the millions of individuals and families struggling with alcoholism and addiction or living life in recovery. I have enormous respect for each and every one of you and what you do, day in and day out, to make NCADD's mission come to life!
Throughout my affiliation with NCADD, starting in 1976 as Executive Director of a local Affiliate, then Executive Director of the New York State Affiliate and now, as President/CEO of NCADD nationally, I have seen firsthand how NCADD and our National Network of Affiliates have literally changed the culture of our nation and local communities in their response to alcoholism, addiction and recovery. Although stigma still prevents millions of individuals and families from seeking help and discrimination in health care access, education and jobs still persists, we have come a long way! There are over 20 million individuals and family members living life in recovery!
Over the past 70 years, no other organization has done more to change the public response to alcoholism, addiction and recovery than NCADD. Since NCADD was founded in 1944 by Marty Mann, millions of individuals and family members have begun their journey in recovery through NCADD! Last year alone, over 713,000 people contacted NCADD seeking help for themselves a friend or a family member!
For 8 years I have had the opportunity to learn so much from everyone I have worked with and I have been inspired by their passionate commitment to NCADD's Mission to fight our Nation's #1 health problem through prevention, treatment and recovery. In particular, I am incredibly grateful to the NCADD Board of Directors, staff, donors and to all the NCADD Affiliates who do remarkable work in their communities! I have had the honor of making hundreds of visits to local NCADD Affiliates across the country and I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of their innovation, creativity, dedication and their accomplishments!
Over the past four weeks, I have received countless phone calls and e-mails from people and organizations all over the country that tell the incredible story of NCADD and my experience here far better than I can. Together, we have made a remarkable difference! Let me share some of these comments with you:
- "Bob's address on stigma and its effect on the accessibility of care was enlightening and inspiring. Delivered without notes and obvious passion for the subject matter, Bob's remarks left a lasting impact on attendees, and the consensus afterward was that this was the best Awards Luncheon in the 21 year history of the event."
- "I have valued my time working with you and will carry a lot of the lessons I learned with me going forth in my life and in my career."
- "Thank you and NCADD for the advice, guidance and support concerning my son. It has been extremely helpful. Until we found NCADD, we were so lost."
- "Your drive and creativity have been an inspiration to me, and I will miss your strong and consistent presence."
- "You have been a critical force for prevention, treatment and recovery."
- "This year, the NCADD website will reach 2 million unique visitors, we have 10,000 Twitter Followers and NCADD has brought Hope, Help and Healing to millions.......thank you."
- "Thank you NCADD for your kindness to this "stranger" and please know that your kindness and professionalism are appreciated. Please let your donors and supporters know how grateful we are for their support of NCADD- it helped save my son and my family!"
- "You have been a tremendous leader and tireless advocate."
- "Thank You from one of those colleagues who has always admired the work you did for those who could not help themselves or didn't know how!"
- "You have given incredible energy and devotion to NCADD and helped us in a way that was truly remarkable. All of us who have worked with you owe you an enormous debt of gratitude."
- "You should be extremely proud of what you have accomplished at NCADD over the past 7 years. You have made a profound difference with the affiliates, financial strength, outreach, and public policy. The stability of today will provide us with a solid foundation for moving forward."
- "Together, you and I have been able to carry the message of recovery to millions all over the world. Wow! What a great privilege!"
- "I had tried everything- desperately – in vain – to get my husband help. Nothing worked. A friend of ours saw the article about a play sponsored by NCADD and we went. After the play, we went home that night and talked and cried– and he found out for the first time that he was suffering from a disease. The following morning he got up early and went to his first A.A. meeting. I am so grateful to NCADD for bringing this play and message to our town, our family and my husband.......thank you NCADD!"
- "Bob led NCADD for seven years, positioning the organization on a national stage as the go-to agency on addiction. His commitment to effective prevention, access to care and the recovery community has been an inspiration to us here at LICADD and to the 100+ other councils nationwide."
- "As one of the members of the committee that recommended you for the position, I have always had a sense of pride that we made the right pick. I appreciate all that you did for NCADD, the Affiliates and for the cause."
- "On a personal note, last Wednesday was one year in sobriety for me. I believe that my work with you, NCADD and others on the issue of addiction has given me the focus and energy to stay sober."
- "I just want to personally thank you for everything you have done for McShin and the recovery movement all over the country! You are a truly amazing person and I have learned a lot from you."
And, possibly the most rewarding comment of all.......
- "NCADD's Founder, Marty Mann would be so pleased with what you have done."
During the last month I have the opportunity to work with my successor, William H. Foster, PhD in managing the transition to his leadership as Interim President and CEO of NCADD. I am confident that you will provide him the same support that you have provided my over the last 8 years.
Please join me in renewing your commitment to supporting NCADD, as a donor, volunteer or as a colleague!
I want to thank my wife Cassandra and our son John for their unrelenting love and support for my passion and commitment to NCADD's mission and their tolerance of too many days and nights away from home and family....they have been truly amazing!
Lastly, many of you have asked where I am going.
I virtually never leave a job knowing where I am going next, feeling that my primary responsibility is to provide the best possible service and transition to the organization and then figure out what's next! It makes my wife crazy but it fits me perfectly! I look forward to staying in touch and doing all that I can to continue to support NCADD and our mission.
To close, two final quotes........
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead
"Never forget that we deal with human beings, that our first responsibility is to help each of them, individually –
We must not become so fascinated with long range goals that we forget our prime and immediate obligation is to people."
- NCADD Founder, Marty Mann
"Believe in Recovery".......
In grateful appreciation for your support of NCADD,
Robert J. Lindsey