There was a distinct moment in 2015 when I knew my world had changed. I’d just been appointed the new Executive Director of Caron Florida and was visiting Caron Pennsylvania for the first time since my family dropped me off as a patient nine years earlier. As I came over the hill and approached the bend in the curve that opens onto Caron’s Pennsylvania’s pastoral campus, it struck me how vastly different the circumstances of these trips were – and how significantly recovery can transform your life. Now, as I make this trip nearly every day as Caron’s new President and CEO, I think about my own wife and children and all the families I hope will find peace on this mountain.
People come to Caron during some of the darkest days of their lives. To see them begin to come alive, creating new support systems and reconnecting with family and loved ones, inspires me greatly. The reality is that substance use disorder left untreated can be deadly. The work we do saves lives.
I've spent the majority of my career in the substance use disorder treatment sector, starting in 2007 as an overnight tech at a different treatment center. From there, I went back to graduate school to get my master’s in social work.
My aspiration after graduating was always to work for Caron. It was, and still is, the best treatment continuum. It is considered a preeminent place to work, not just for the environment, but because of the expertise of our staff and how they go above and beyond to help patients and their families achieve recovery.
After I was hired by Caron, I went on to serve as a family therapist at Caron Florida. Concurrent with that, I'd gone back to business school to get my MBA. I observed a need in the treatment sector for someone who had both clinical acumen and the knowledge of how to run a business. I wanted to have the best combination of skills in place to make a significant impact as a leader in the treatment sector.
I continued to enhance my experience shortly thereafter in 2015 when I became Executive Director of Caron Florida. I learned a lot in that position, which I held for several years before relocating to Pennsylvania as the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Chief Growth Officer for Caron.
Looking back, I was 24 years old when my family sought treatment for me at Caron for my alcohol use disorder. At the time, I expected to stay at Caron Pennsylvania for 30 days. Instead, I transitioned to Caron Renaissance in Florida for another four months, ultimately making my home in the area for many years.
My time as a patient remains an important part of my connection to Caron. In fact, I strongly believe I am where I am today because of the impact Caron had on my life and I feel passionately about making a difference in the lives of other families. My subsequent range of experiences and roles, especially as a family therapist, over the years lends perspective that informs my leadership approach.
It holds tremendous meaning for me to step into this leadership role at an organization with a substantial 60-year track record of putting patient care and recovery at the center of everything we do. We are still emerging from a time when the COVID-19 pandemic put a tremendous strain on everyone. However, the dedication and resilience of the Caron team has positioned us to continue our amazing work in the areas of education, prevention, research, and treatment.
I am thrilled to be Caron’s new CEO. Together, we can help families create a life beyond their wildest dreams.
By Caron Staff