SMART Recovery USA is pleased to announce and welcome Mark Ruth as executive director. In this role, he will oversee all operational, fund raising, financial, technology and other supportive responsibilities for the organization.
“We are pleased to welcome Mark to our executive team,” said Joe Gerstein, president, SMART Board of Directors. “SMART Recovery USA is experiencing unprecedented growth and demand across the country. It is critical that we have someone with Mark’s drive and knowledge in this role so that we can continue reaching more people who need science-based, self-empowering recovery meetings and/or educational services.”
On a Professional Level
Ruth has extensive leadership experience with non-profits both as a member of staff and as a volunteer. Most recently, he served as Executive Director of Western Reserve Counseling Service (WRCS) overseeing a professional counseling staff. WRCS provided general counseling to support various forms of addiction including sex, drugs, alcohol and others, family and children behavior and parenting problems, divorce and relationship problems, domestic violence and sexual abuse and many other mental and behavioral health issues.
Ruth also served as Director of Fund Raising & Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Ohio to help them expand their donor base, increase their corporate sponsorships, and increase the volunteer base of adult Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Prior to working as a staff person for BBBS, Ruth also served many community organizations and Boards as a volunteer in Lake County Ohio, including as President of the Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce; Campaign Chair of United Way of Lake County; the Lakeland Community College Foundation Board, and Leadership Lake County.
“I am looking forward to working closely with the SMART Board of Directors to achieve its 5 Year Strategic Plan, the Central Office staff to support the organization and the many committed and passionate volunteers and participants that are critical to SMART’s services,” Ruth said.
Before he transitioned to serve the non-profit industry, Ruth had extensive business and entrepreneurial experience as the owner of several management consulting companies, which focused on helping other for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations to improve profitability by streamlining operational inefficiencies, leveraging technology, and building effective staff and team members. Ultimately, his management consulting experience was designed to help organizations to grow both financially and in impact to the community.
On a Personal Level
Ruth was born in Bradford, PA but was immediately put into St, Joseph’s Home for Children in Erie PA, along with his 7 other siblings. At their peak, the orphanage housed over 60 children. In 6thgrade, he moved back with his father and younger brothers and sisters. Despite his difficult childhood, Ruth successfully graduated from both high school and college. He eventually raised a family of three children who are now living independently and with successful jobs and personal lives. After graduating from college, Ruth developed his professional career as cited above. He believes his life journey – that includes support by many individuals, organizations and friends – has helped him appreciate the simple things in life, be more empathetic to others going through various life journeys and be willing to help other organizations and individuals in need of support.
Getting Started with SMART
Ruth began his SMART leadership role by attending the 2018 SMART Conference in Tempe, AZ where he was able to meet, shake hands and talk with many of the SMART facilitators, volunteers and the Board of Directors. With his for-profit and non-profit leadership background, and his own life changing experiences, he is uniquely positioned to hit the ground running in this role and have a meaningful impact on the organization and its mission.
“For more than 24 years, the collective efforts of many individuals are at the core of a truly awesome story about an organization that has grown steadily and made a huge impact,” said Ruth. “And yet, despite clear evidence of success, SMART is still somewhat a secret! I am truly honored to be joining this team and its mission to better share its resources with the world at a time when our society is facing so many life changing and ending crises.”
Please help us welcome Mark in his new role by leaving a comment below.
SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program® helps people recover from all types of addictive behaviors, including: alcohol addiction, drug abuse, substance abuse, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, cocaine addiction, and addiction to other substances and activities.
SMART Recovery sponsors face-to-face meetings around the world, and daily online meetings. In addition, our online message board and 24/7 chat room provide forums to learn about SMART Recovery and obtain addiction recovery support.
For more information, please visit www.smartrecovery.org.