SMART Recovery USA is pleased to announce that William (Bill) Greer, a lifelong executive in the nonprofit world, has been elected president of its Board of Directors effective January 1, 2019, the start of the organization’s 25th year. He succeeds Joseph Gerstein, MD, FACP, who was the organization’s founding president in 1994 and reprised this role from 2017-2018.
“As SMART enters a period of tremendous growth and change,” says Gerstein, “we are fortunate to have Bill at our helm with his experience in the nonprofit field, including extensive volunteer work for us.”
“While our 25th anniversary is most certainly a time to celebrate how far we’ve come, we face an addiction crisis of epic proportions. With a quarter century of experience and science on our side, SMART is poised to make an enormous contribution to the individuals, families and communities devastated by this epidemic.”
Greer has a rich history with SMART Recovery. He first used SMART in his own recovery before moving on to co-facilitate a regular SMART meeting. In 2014, he launched the first Family & Friends meeting in Washington, DC, and became regional coordinator for DC-Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
Two years later, he helped create a 12-meeting InsideOut course at the maximum-security Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Boyds, MD. For this effort, he and two SMART colleagues were honored by the correctional system with an award for excellence and by city of Rockville, MD with a public safety award. SMART is publishing a handbook based on this course in 2019.
During his three years as regional coordinator, Greer promoted SMART in treatment centers, public health agencies, schools, military facilities, health fairs and conferences. These efforts, along with support from local facilitators, contributed to significant growth in the region, which now exceeds 100 group meetings, including Virginia.
Since 2014, Greer has provided communications counsel to the SMART national office, drawing upon nearly four decades of experience as a communications executive, first with SmithBucklin, the largest association management firm in North America and then with the Food Marketing Institute, representing the global food retailing industry.
He was elected to the SMART Recovery Board in 2017 and was named chair of its first Communications Committee. That same year he became a founding Board member of SMART Recovery International. He helped write the SMART Recovery Five-Year Strategic Plan: Freedom from Addiction.
“SMART has been instrumental in my life in numerous ways,” says Greer. “First, in overcoming a serious drinking and tobacco addiction, and then again when caring for my terminally ill wife and her subsequent death.
“SMART is extraordinary in many important respects. It stands alone among all recovery support groups as a community of people who have experienced addiction – themselves or through loved ones – supported by scientists and treatment professionals striving to help people overcome it.
“In this way, the SMART community brings together the real-world experience of recovery with what science has taught us about the most effective treatment. No other recovery support model does this. SMART is self-empowered recovery, people helping each other today and going forward to change and improve our lives.
This orientation is very appealing to millennials, to women and to anyone who wants to seize control of their lives and regain the respect and human dignity that addiction and its insidious stigma have taken from them.”
Greer earned a master’s in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a B.A. with cum laude from Lawrence University.
About SMART Recovery
Founded in 1994, SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) uses science-based techniques that have proven to be effective in helping people recover from addiction problems involving any substance or behavior, including such things as alcohol, drugs, gambling, over-eating, shopping and internet use.
Each week, many thousands of people discuss recovery progress and challenges at more than 3,000 meetings in 23 countries, 25 online gatherings and 24/7/365 internet message board forums and chat rooms.
Participants use SMART to assume responsibility for their own recovery and become empowered using its 4-Point Program®: building motivation; coping with urges; managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and living a balanced life.
For more information, please visit www.smartrecovery.org.