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Organization Update – 1/11/19

Hello Competent Women!

I want to extend a BIG thank you to all the 4C women who attended the Management Team meetings this week! I was in the office late 2 nights but it was definitely worth it to feel the enthusiasm and collaborative energy.

Over the weekend, the Conference Planning Workgroup has another fun online planning session. We decided on a theme! It is Hello Happiness!, which emphasizes the joy and enthusiasm that waits for us in sobriety. Each year we like to link our theme to the New Life Program, and it’s not hard to see how this relates to our 4th Level of Recovery: Using new attitudes to enforce new behavior patterns. This Level includes Acceptance Statements 3 (Happiness is a habit I developing), 6 (Life can be ordinary or it can be great), and 11 (Enthusiasm is my daily exercise). We also had a WFS Online member reach out to a prominent recovery blogger and invite her to join us and she has agreed! She and I had a great meeting on Wednesday and she will be joining us for the entire weekend, giving a keynote address, leading workshops, and being a part of our Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Keep an eye out for your next Call for Presentations email to find out who it is!

Next is getting an icon/image ready for marketing materials. We are soliciting submissions from competent women like you! Have an image in mind that says “Hello Happiness!” to you? We need two versions: one color (for marketing materials) and one black & white (for printing). Images should be at least 5” x 4” with a minimum of 300 dpi. If you use the works of others, please be sure to use royalty free/creative commons images only – nothing that is copyrighted or trademarked. Images may include the theme statement and/or the WFS logo, but should not include the words “recovery,” “sobriety,” or similar. I’ve created the above collage of previous logos to help inspire you! Simply email your submissions by January 31st to volunteer@womenforsobriety.org.

First off was my weekly meeting with our amazing Volunteer Management Team Peer Coordinator, who graciously sets aside an hour each week to meet with me and help me keep everyone straight! Wednesday was Outreach & Events and Materials & Literature open team meetings. These are two groups that have had a difficult time taking off, but are so important to getting WFS into the hands of more women in need! We started off with some brainstorming and a few people even signed up for tasks. I posted the list of ideas and projects on the Everyday Living forum on WFS Online and I’m hoping that we can inspire even more women to get involved. Members of WFS Online can find those lists and a link to the next scheduled meetings of these two groups online.

On Thursday night, our Face-to-Face Management Team met, which is our strongest team right now, operating a high strategic-planning level. We welcomed two new team members, updated each other on current projects, and also discussed the upcoming revision of the Moderator’s Manual. We have a couple of field professionals that I met on my trip to the Houston NAADAC conference last October, and I am very excited to be branching into this type of collaboration for WFS programming!

Next week is our Fundraising Management Team meeting, so make sure to join us if you are enthusiastic about making sure that WFS will have the funding to keep providing services for years to come. Log in information is on the forum or email me at admin@womenforsobriety.org. That’s it for this week! Have a great weekend everybody!

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update – 1/4/2019

Hello Competent Women!

It’s an exciting new year here at Women for Sobriety! We are busy here at the office with year-end tasks – taking inventory, double-checking the financial records in preparation for year-end reporting, and processing all those fantastic donations by our generous 4C women! Our CMs and CCMs really stepped up and sent in so many of their group donations so that we could get them into the books under the appropriate year – thanks so much to all of them for their diligence and of course their continuing dedication to bringing this life-saving program to their local communities!

Our volunteer Management Teams are gearing up for the new year, too. The Volunteer Team is busy as always recruiting and screening 4C women to help with tasks. The Face-to-Face Management Team has prepared a new special item to support our weekly meetings (more details soon) and distributed a survey for the upcoming CM Support Circle, and I launched a new CM Tools & Resources web page just for CMs, CCMs, and their helpers. The Internet Services Management Team has met several times and is busy with implementing a new chat room for the WFS Online support community. The Outreach & Events, Fundraising, and Materials & Literature Management Teams will all be holding open meetings for interested volunteers over the next 2 Wednesdays. Check in on the forum or email me at admin@womenforsobriety.org if you’d like to attend – anyone willing to help is welcome!

The Conference Planning Workgroup is hard at work – planning is going great and we are working on organizing some smaller sub-groups to work on specific tasks like coordinating the informal activities, fundraising auction, etc. One of our online participants reached out to a prominent online recovery coach/blogger and I’ll be meeting with her next week to further discuss arrangements. I just love the women in this program – such take-charge women! Now while the professionals are great, I will take a moment to say how much our conference attendees love workshops facilitated by bona fide 4C women, so please consider filling out a Call for Presentations form and sharing your competence with your Sisters by developing an engaging new breakout session. Workshop presenters will again be receiving a waiver of their base registration fee ($300 value) for the weekend!

Of course, the most exciting news for us in the office this week is the new window dressings, thanks to our online Bloomers group! You can see in the photo above that we went for a solar filter film on the top window panels, wide-slat blinds for the side windows, and a roller shade on the door. I know it doesn’t look like much, but if you check out the photo from 11/16, you can see what an improvement this is! I am still amazed that the Bloomers raised the money for this restricted fund in less than 24 hours. Thank you, Bloomers!!!

Enthusiastically Yours,
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update 11/30/18

Hello Competent Women!

Running a little late tonight and I have a 4C holiday open house to get to so I will make this brief. Lots of exciting things happening here at Women for Sobriety as usual. We had a very successful Giving Tuesday, bringing in $8,000 in direct donations! We are still waiting to hear from Facebook, which was running a donation matching campaign with PayPal. Many 4C women logged on right at 8 a.m. EST to claim our piece of that pie. I keep checking my inbox like a kid on Christmas morning!

One of our online groups, the Bloomers, also ran a quick restricted fund campaign to help brighten up the office a little. In under 24 hours, they raised $890 to replace the old, dirty blinds in the office. A local volunteer has coordinated the whole effort, obtaining the bids from the blinds folks, running the campaign, and she’s now even scheduling all the work herself. We office gals are super appreciative and looking forward to having a fresh, clean face to the world. I’ll be sure to post pictures once the facelift is complete!

The Board of Directors met this week and we got the 2019 budget finalized. What a relief, and the meeting only ran 3 hours! I tell you, it is such an honor to serve with this dedicated bunch of women. The time and energy they put into governing WFS – on a volunteer basis, no less – is truly astounding! We are very excited to be able to direct thousands of donor dollars to outreach next year. This has been the result of many years of hard work reducing administrative costs so we can spend the money where it is needed most – getting this life-saving program into the hands of the women out there who are literally dying from their life-threatening problems, including alcohol, methamphetamine, opioids, benzodiazepines, and other drugs. I hope to return to the national NAADAC conference next year and increase our repertoire even more. Moderators are encouraged to let me know if there is an event in their local communities that they could use a few dollars for! Let’s fill those rooms!

We also got two new corporate officers this week. I am proud to welcome Britt Rodriguez as Treasurer and Lisa Lerner as Secretary. Britt has served on the Finance Committee for many years and so is very familiar with our books, and also has a sharp mind and experience with accounts that will serve WFS well. Lisa has been a Certified Moderator for over a decade and will do a great job keeping all of our corporate documentation in tip-top shape. Please join me in thanking these dedicated women for extending their commitment to WFS in these vital roles!

Okay, I better get off to this wonderful sober holiday party that has already started without me. I have been so grateful this holiday season to be surrounded by the love and support of my Sisters, even though I am far away from home. I couldn’t ask for anything better in my life!

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update – 11/16/18

Hello Competent Women!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, as usual. Lots of exciting things happening in the organization and lots of great volunteer opportunities, and lots of volunteers stepping up to the plate to help grow this program!

We got a really enthusiastic volunteer to partner with a member of the Face-to-Face Management Team on starting a monthly support circle for our Certified Moderators (CMs) and Certified Co-Moderators (CCMs). They are looking at videoconferencing and audio conferencing options to bring our in-person group leaders from across the US & Canada together to share ideas, support, and encouragement for themselves and their group facilitation. What a great resource this will be for the 4C women who dedicate themselves to bringing the New Life Program to their local communities!

The Conference Planning Workgroup met last Saturday night and I will be honest, it was the most fun I’ve ever had working on a Saturday night! So many wonderful new ideas were being generated and pragmatic solutions to actually make them happen. With big names like Karen Drucker and Annie Grace on the schedule already, this year’s conference promises to be one of the best yet! Have an idea for an informal activity or a full workshop/breakout session for the 2019 conference? Let us know! Use the Call for Presentations form for formal workshop and breakout sessions, or email volunteer@womenforsobriety.org if you have an idea for an informal group activity you would like to lead.

On the outreach front, we’ve been invited to participate in another project with Choice in Recovery. Many will remember that we participated in this video project to help educate the public about the many options that are available to people in recovery from Substance Use Disorders. Choice is creating an online course for treatment professionals to learn more about the many pathways available to their clients and has asked us to participate. Some folks may also remember the webinar I did in July 2017 for the Cigna Drug & Alcohol Awareness Series. I blushed when I heard that it was their most often replayed webinar from 2017! I am preparing another webinar for them, tentatively scheduled for March 2019, where I will focus on the closing gender gap in addiction demographics.

Other new volunteers include a new Peer Leader for the CCL Workgroup, bravely coordinating our Certified Chat Leaders as they bring online meetings to our WFS Online community, and a couple of women who may be taking on some blog editor work… I have lots of ideas on how to expand this blog to make it even more helpful to the women of the New Life Program and others who are interested in the organization, but not nearly enough time to do it all. Hopefully, these 4C gals will be able to help with this exciting expansion of this public resource!

I was also reminded that in one of my previous posts, I promised a picture of the new heaters in the office, so I’m making it my pic of the week this time. Compare it to the pics in the 10/27/18 Organization Update post and you can see how much smaller and unobtrusive they are. And so warm during our first big snowfall of year this week!

Alright, folks, that’s all I have for tonight. Thanks to all of you for reading and especially to our fantastic volunteers who are stepping up and helping make change happen. We have a lot of women in addiction and recovery to help, and we can do so much more together!

Enthusiastically Yours,
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update 11/2/18

Hello Competent Women!

I realized that I forgot to introduce you to the newest member of the WFS office team! Amanda joined the team in October as our new Office Clerk. A local young woman in recovery, Amanda is excited to get to share her enthusiasm for sobriety through her work for WFS. Amanda will be helping with picking and packing bookstore orders, sending literature to groups, filing, scanning, cleaning, answering the phones, and general office assistance. Please join me in welcoming Amanda to the office!

The Face-to-Face Management Team met this week. We had a great discussion looking at our requirements for Certified Moderators and Certified Co-Moderators, which lead to a suggestion that we create a Moderator’s Support Circle – a regular meeting where our community group leaders can come together to share support encouragement. What a great idea! We have one member of the F2F team willing to contribute, but she will definitely need another volunteer to help make it a reality. CM/CCMs with experience with conference call meetings and/or webinar software strongly encouraged to apply! We also talked about the idea of inviting professionals with education and experience in group dynamics to participate in an update of our Moderator’s Manual. I have a few people to invite, but I would love to hear from you have this type of experience and are willing to lend your expertise!

We are also looking for a Peer Coordinator for our Fundraising Management Team. Peer Coordinators are the people responsible for helping keep the management teams active, productive, and on track. They help schedule and lead team meetings, follow up with the workgroups working on specific tasks, and make sure that everyone knows what they’re doing. Our fundraising team has not quite taken off yet, so this is a fabulous opportunity for someone who wants to step up, take charge, and build the team of their dreams! Experience in fundraising, grant writing, corporate sponsorships, and other non-profit funding strategies are strongly encouraged to email volunteer@womenforsobriety.org to volunteer.

I also finally got the Organizational Chart updated – you can find it in the Governance section of the About page, too. It’s really important to me that we are as transparent as possible right now, so I’m glad to be able to share this. You’ll also see the 2017 IRS Form 990 uploaded there. As with all non-profit organizations, we are required to make the past 3 years of 990’s available for public review. If you’d like to request copies of 2015 and 2016, just send me an email and I’ll get them sent directly to your inbox! We also decided to do a regular annual report rather than another mid-year report for 2018, so keep your eye out there for that.

Now I know what all of the forum participants are thinking – what ever happened to the feedback/ideas report that was promised? Well I haven’t forgotten, I’ve just been very very busy, but it looks to be a rainy weekend, so I plan to cozy up with some hot tea and my copy and paste buttons and get that posted as soon as I’m done with my new tap dance class on Saturday afternoon! (#statement6)

Physically speaking, I’m continuing the great office cleanout. I’ve recouped some good money selling off surplus equipment and supplies and I’m so happy to announce that the new heaters are installed! Just in time for winter!

Well, folks, that’s about it for this week. I’m very excited to see that people are starting to leave comments – please feel free to post any questions you have about all the exciting changes at WFS. I want everyone to feel like they are an important part of the changes going on organizationally and programmatically here at WFS – since of course, everyone is! Together, we can reach so many more women and do so much more! Thanks for helping!

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update – 10/27/18

Hello Competent Women!

Sorry for the lag between updates (I did warn you that I might miss some, right?). I have come to realize that, in relation to this new job, I haven’t been practicing Statement 1 very well. I have very much been letting the job run me, and it is time to take my power back and take charge of this job! I will admit, this is a bit par for the course for me. Like many of you, I am a woman who is comforted by routines and finds that there is always a period of adjustment when my schedule is changed, for better or worse. But the New Life Program has taught me to not permit myself to become overwhelmed, and to use the adjustment period as an opportunity for growth, exploring and applying new ways to prioritize my emotional and spiritual health.

Anyone who’s friends with me on Facebook may have noticed that I have been listing an awful lot of surplus equipment in the last 2 weeks. One of the Board’s strategic goals is to get all of our printing and AV production outsourced. When Jean started WFS back in the 1970’s, on-site printing and distribution was definitely the more economical option. However, the tides in this area have changed, and it is now more fiscally logical to contract out these needs. We are still reducing our sale item inventory in order to make storage and distribution outsourcing more viable, but have already been successfully contracting out production. Therefore, I have been recouping some of our funds invested in equipment and supplies by selling surplus that is no longer needed. This has been quite successful and has also opened up a lot of space in the office – just in time for the new heaters (see below). Speaking of which, another part of this goal is increasing the availability of WFS materials through downloadable and electronic content. We have already made the Program Booklet available through Kindle. We need your help researching the ins and outs of this new frontier, and volunteers who are either familiar with or willing to learn formatting written and AV content for secure and professional electronic distribution. Any takers?

We had another work party today with some enthusiastic volunteers who helped continue the cleaning and organization effort in the office. The most crucial accomplishment of the day was clearing out the spaces beneath the hanging unit heaters that are being replaced on Monday. This was no small feat, as you can see from the pictures. Bookshelves, filing cabinets, and even our mini-fridge had to be moved so a special lift can be used. My most sincere gratitude and appreciation for these volunteers and for the many women (and one dad!) who donated funds to help pay for the new heaters. It has been quite frustrating that the landlords have refused to help with this cost, but such a wonderful opportunity for me to see how 4C women will always come through!

I met last week with a focus group that helped me evaluate a popular evidence-based recovery app. The company had approached WFS after finding that many of its users are women. In today’s “mommy needs wine” culture, I can’t say that I’m surprised, unfortunately. As PerditaX taught us in our Science of Addiction and Recovery workshop at the WFS Annual Weekend Conference 2018, this is one area in which the gender gap has, unfortunately, almost completely closed. In 1900, men were 3.6 times more likely than women to experience harm as a result of their drinking; by 2000, the ratio was reduced to 1.3 (Slade et al, 2016). It sounds like we may be moving forward on adapting the app to the WFS New Life Program, but I will need a solid commitment from a few volunteers in order to be able to do it. I need women who are very familiar with our New Life philosophy to help comb through the app and make detailed suggestions/edits to make it a true representation of the WFS program. Please let me know if you can commit around 5 hours/week for the next few weeks to help with this!

I also promised you a follow up on the NAADAC conference that I attended earlier this month. It was wonderful to be there sharing our program with so many addiction professionals. A few of them said, “Oh, Women for Sobriety! I didn’t know you guys were still around!” and I assured them that I am determined to change that! Most of them were pleased to hear of our viable option for their women clients for the first time. I’ve often said that I am an amateur neuroscience nerd, and I had some real addiction-counselor-fan-girl moments when I got to see Darryl S. Inaba, PharmD (co-author of Uppers, Downers, All-Arounders) give a keynote address about the neuroscience of addiction (swoon) and when Carlo DiClemente, PhD (co-creator of the Transtheoretical model – or Stages of Change, as it’s more commonly known) stopped by our table and tell me how he always makes sure to include WFS in his counseling textbooks! I was also interviewed for this episode of the Rebellion Dogs Radio podcast. It was a very crowded room and you can hear a little nervous laughter on my part (blush), but I’ll still share it with you anyway. Also interviewed is Branislav Jankic, whose photography exhibit, Letter to my Mother, was on display. (Teaser: I’ve been talking to his Producer about how to share some of this touching work with the 4C women of WFS at our 2019 conference!)

Speaking of conference, the Conference Workgroup continues to be hard at work planning the WFS Annual Weekend Conference 2019. Please let us know if you’d like to help – we’ll soon be releasing the Call for Presentations application for presenters. We’ll again be offering to waive the base registration fee for women choosing to “work” over the weekend by presenting a workshop, so this is a great way to help offset those travel expenses. Local WFS groups are also encouraged to consider volunteering to help host conference in their city in 2020 – you heard that right! WFS is looking to branch out and bring the conference experience to different areas of the country in order to make it more accessible to our Sisters nationwide. Of course, we can’t do it alone, so if you know of a great venue near you, please let us know!

I also took some time to ask for ideas and feedback about our online peer-support forum from current participants. I know I shouldn’t be the one to make those rules, since I don’t get logged in very often anymore. I believe the decisions really belong with the user community. I have received lots of great ideas, which I’m still in the process of cutting and pasting into a report to share. We’ll then discuss as a community which ideas we want to pursue and what changes, if any, to make. It has so far been a very collaborative process, and I’m optimistic that we will all be able to continue to work together to strengthen this great 4C resource. Development of the new chat room has continued, with a new direction being pursued by our Internet Services Team since user testing exposed a number of problems with the program we had been trying to implement. Great group effort, everyone!

Okay, I think that’s most of the happenings around here… I know I am forgetting stuff but it is time for me to start my “weekend.” Thank you for reading and thank you for all that you do to help strengthen and grow this New Life Program!

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update 10/5/18

WFS booth at NAADAC conference

Hello Friends!

Sorry so late tonight – I have been busy with travel and the NAADAC conference today. Here’s a picture of the booth – sorry, it’s not a great shot and the color is a little off (I’ve been go-go-going since 3 am, what can I say). The beautiful runners were designed by WFS Online member nanserz – thanks nanserz! They look great!

It has been so wonderful to spread the word about the New Life Program with so many treatment professionals – and we only had a 3-hour reception tonight! When I asked one woman if she had heard of WFS, she replied with, “Yes! I follow you on social media and I share your posts all the time!” For those of you who may not be aware, a WFS volunteer posts an inspirational image and a statement every day – even when she is convalescing from surgery. A great big thank you to SereneBritt for her excellent work on our social media outreach.

There are still 2 full days of exhibiting left. Luckily, I have a long-time 4C woman and Certified Moderator with me to help answer questions and hand out literature.

This week’s entry is going to be a bit lean, I’m afraid. It’s been a very long day. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you back here next week!

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update 9/28/2018

"Before" and "After" photos of a cluttered and slightly-less-cluttered office, as well as a photo of the back of a minivan filled with electronic devices.

Wow! What a difference a day makes! Four competent women converged on the office last Saturday and helped with a major reorganization and cleaning effort. As Chaos33, our intrepid organizer, said, “You can get a lot more done with 5 women in 1 day than 1 woman could get done in 5 days.” And how! I was basically the air traffic controller all day, directing our generous volunteers on what to move and where. By the end of the day, we had collected most of the old equipment that is getting sold or listed for free online to the front by the door, a plethora of defunct electronics piled up in Chaos33’s minivan for the electronics recyclers, unused shipping boxes in someone else’s car ready to be returned to the post office, and all of our conference supplies and sale inventory in one place. Oh, yes, and we also rearranged a bunch of old steel desks! Sisters doing it for themselves!

Everyone had a great time – I know that sounds unbelievable, but it was very rewarding to feel like so much was accomplished, and we had amazing Sister company the entire time, too, including an impromptu office picnic on folding tables with tacos from the authentic Mexican place across the street and homemade orzo salad and fruit salad brought by a volunteer. (Sorry, I forgot to get permission from the other 3 women to use their screen names in this post.) Now don’t be jealous if you missed out on all the fun… Chaos33 is organizing another work party on October 20th, and you are welcome to join us!

In other organizational developments, we moved forward on a couple of projects to help incarcerated women access the New Life Program. Did you know that in 2015 (the most recent year such data was available), 59% of federal female prisoners were sentenced for drug offenses?* In fact, the WFS office receives 5-10 letters per week from incarcerated individuals seeking information about the New Life Program. Now, we are happy to be able to inform them that their prison librarians can write to us and we will send the institution a free copy of Goodbye Hangovers, Hello Life and the Program Booklet for their library. We’re also making it possible for women in controlled environments to run WFS meetings, provided that they meet the same requirements of our other Certified Moderators and Certified Co-Moderator.

I did fall ill with a nasty cold and was out of the office a bit for some much-needed self-care, but I am back and continuing to prepare for my upcoming trip to Houston to do outreach to drug and alcohol counselors from across the country. I received new WFS pens today and expect to have pictures of them and some other goodies for you on next week’s post, so check back next Friday!

Thanks for your interest in WFS – together, we can do this!
Adrienne

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Organization Update 9/21/18

Where has the week gone? It has been very busy doing the normal business of the organization: updating meeting information and the online Meeting Finder, following up with inquiries about our program and outreach opportunities, and with one of the staff members out sick, picking and packing bookstore orders! We also had a meeting of the Board of Directors on Thursday evening. The new board members are really such a great addition to the team, I have high hopes for this group of driven women. This in addition to continuing to support – and receive support in – the collective grief process as we work together at being present for each other in this time of change. Truly, being witness to the growth is awe-inspiring for me.

I’ve been busy supporting the face-to-face program this week, too. I sent out 4 Starter Kits to newly-certified Moderators and Co-Moderators! Also a Professional Starter Kit for a treatment center that is considering adding the New Life Program to its treatment offerings. Having worked as an addictions counselor myself, I know how rare it is (unfortunately) for facilities to offer choices for mutual aid groups, so I really applaud this center for exploring this great option for their female participants. I also heartily thank our new CMs and CCMs for their commitment to making sure that WFS is available in their local communities! Two new meetings in Florida have been announced recently, I have one more in California to post, and another one in Arizona is starting soon.

Our other volunteer numbers continue to grow, as well, although there’s nothing very specific to report this week (unless you count the 90-minute Skype meeting with the Board Ambassador for the new Conference Planning Workgroup – what a trooper she is!). If you have applied for our volunteer list and don’t have a job yet, don’t worry, I will find something for you to do! And I appreciate your patience as we continue to work on our new routines.

Some of you may remember last week when I mentioned negotiating with the landlord about our heaters in the office. Well, they are 50 years old and have been shut off due to gas leaks. Making matters worse, because of their age, no replacement parts are available! Well, the landlord has said a flat no to helping replace them and unfortunately we have no recourse under our lease, plus the air conditioner broke on Monday, too! This could mean that thousands of dollars that we have collected for New Life Program outreach and program services would have to be spent on a new HVAC system which we couldn’t even take with us if we move out of this building at the end of our lease in 2 years. Luckily, a sympathetic reporter got wind of the story and came to Quakertown to interview me! After I finished panicking, I actually had a lovely conversation with him and he put together a beautiful segment for the morning news – you can watch it here. We are hopeful that a local HVAC technician or manufacturer will see the story and be willing to donate their labor or a heater to us before it gets too cold! If you are on facebook, please help us boost the signal by liking, commenting on, and sharing our post about it.

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Organization Update 9/14/18

Two stacks of flyers overlapping slightly

Hello Competent Women!

As many of you know, I have recently been appointed to the position of President/CEO here at Women for Sobriety. What an honor to serve the women (and future women) of the New Life Program in this way! Thank you for all the congratulations and well wishes that have been sent my way – I am privileged to know so many caring and compassionate women!

I have been involved with many of the changes to the organization in the last few years, first in my role as member of the Board of Directors, then in my role as Project Manager, and I am happy to say that we are just getting started! I’ve also heard that sometimes women feel a bit left out and confused by everything that’s happening, and would like a little more information about what’s changing, what’s being planned, and how they can be involved. I want you to know that I hear you, and this new blog series is my attempt to help everyone feel a part of this exciting change process.

My goal is to make a blog entry every Friday to summarize all the good work we have done together in the past week. Now this is my goal, mind you, and I will ask in advance for your future understanding if I miss a week, post late, or if my post is very brief periodically! I encourage you to share your questions or comments, and I will do my best to respond when my time and energy permit.

So what has the organization been up to this week? Many women have reached out to the office to process the news of our Tuesday announcement. What gratitude I have to be witness to women competently talking through their feelings around the recent changes, using this as an opportunity for reflection and growth. We’ve experienced even more change in the office as our temporary employee, Ann Marie, who many of you met at conference, transitioned out of her position here, and two new part-time employees have been hired. Mindi will be here 3 days a week helping ship off all your bookstore orders, and Carol will be here one day a week to keep the other type of books in tip-top shape. Please help me welcome them to the office team!

One of my highest priorities as President is increasing outreach activities and making sure that the New Life Program gets into the hands of the women who need it. I’ve been working with 2 volunteers on designing attractive new marketing items – I’ll post pics as they come in – and we just received some great new full-color flyers to hand out, which for the first time ever feature some real-life 4C women (I’ll let you guess which ones in the photos above). A big thank you to online member PerditaX for organizing the photo shoot at the 2018 Annual Weekend Conference! Much of this work is in preparation for a large event that WFS will be exhibiting at in early October, the NAADAC conference in Houston, TX. One of the local Certified Moderators and I will be manning an outreach booth, telling the over 1,000 expected addiction-focused professionals in attendance all about the WFS New Life Program!

I am also happy to announce the formation of a new volunteer team, the Conference Planning Workgroup, which has stepped up to help plan the 2019 Annual Weekend Conference! If you have great ideas about how to make our annual conference even better, or you’re just super organized and want to help with logistics, please consider emailing volunteer@womenforsobriety.org for more information about how to become involved. I was hoping to attend the NIAAA Advisory Council meeting and meet some of our Maryland participants on Thursday, but the meeting was unfortunately cancelled due to inclement weather. Other than that, the week was full of the unappealing work of filling out legal compliance paperwork and negotiating with the landlords to get the heaters in the office fixed (it’s going to get cold soon!), but nobody wants to hear about that kind of boring stuff!

Thank you for taking the time to read about the exciting things happening in the New Life Program! I wish all of you a safe and sober weekend, especially our friends in the south affected by Hurricane Florence.

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.