The Center for Recovery and Wellness is thrilled to announce that John Gordon, Associate Executive Director of Clinical Programs, was recognized as the 2022 Mel Shulstad Professional of the Year! The Mel Shulstad award recognizes an innovative individual who has made outstanding and sustained contributions to the advancement of the addiction counseling profession on a national level. 

“It was a humbling experience to be acknowledged by my peers,” John says. “It is an amazing experience to give back to a field that has given so much to me.” 

John has a deep history with CRW and a strong personal connection to our work. He first came to CRW thirty years ago as a client of Pride Site, our residential program, and went on to become a Junior Counselor, then Senior Counselor, before moving on to other agencies and responsibilities.  

“I always wanted to help others,” John says. “Before my addiction took control, I was a Respiratory Therapist, helping people with breathing problems. During my treatment experience, I realized that I still wanted to help others and met my soon-to-be mentor, who was the director of the program.  I wanted to do what he did, so I made that my goal.  Now I am the Associate Executive Director at the agency that gave me my life back. It doesn’t get any better than that!”  

He adds, “I am most proud of being able to train, teach and mentor new professionals.” 

In closing, John offers some advice to other recovery professionals seeking to make an impact: “Define what success means to you. Set your goals with specific time frames for each and make an action plan. Inspire and empower others, and most importantly prepare for your dream to come true. Oftentimes, people dream of success but don’t prepare for it to happen. So do the research, get the training, hone your skills, and find a mentor who is a trusted ally, and provides constructive feedback, words of encouragement, and guidance.”