Spirit of Recovery Award Honorees


 

2014 - Nancy Waite-O'Brien, PH.D.

Nancy Waite-O'BrienNANCY WAITE-O'BRIEN, PH.D., OF WIND HORSE CROSSING, INC., has been named the 2014 Joseph L. Galletta “Spirit of Recovery” Award winner.Nancy received multiple, heartfelt nominations for the esteemed, fifth annual award.

Formerly Vice President of Clinical Services at the Betty Ford Center, Nancy directed inpatient, residential, day treatment, outpatient, and family programs - as well as training programs for professionals and medical students countrywide. She currently owns and oversees Wind Horse Crossing, Inc., devoted to providing training and therapeutic experience to individuals and groups wanting to increase self-awareness through the practice of equine-assisted psychotherapy.

Dr. O'Brien is also a founding director of Shaky Acres; a half-way house in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, and former faculty member of Prescott College’s Master’s Degree program in Equine Assisted Therapy. Currently, along with operating Wind Horse Crossing, she has a private practice in Palm Desert, CA and is a consulting psychologist at the Betty Ford Center, a part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Waite-O'Brien began her association with the Betty Ford Center in 1989 and played a pivotal role in the design of the center's unique women's program. She is a frequent lecturer on issues related to women's recovery.

"Nancy's willingness to help, no matter the situation or capacity, reflects her professionalism and genuine interest in the field. She is a champion for women, showing great compassion and insight," explains Joan Connor Clark, editor, Betty Ford Center. "I have known Nancy since her internship at Betty Ford Center over 20 years ago, and she still radiates the same aura of comfort and willingness to help."

Waite-O'Brien has more than 20 years of experience in addiction treatment both in the United States and in the Caribbean. She has co-authored articles on adolescent treatment and women's treatment issues, taught at Chapman University and published research on shame and depression in early recovery.

"Nancy is one of the most honored and respected women in the field of addiction and recovery, " said Juliana Weed, Director of Operations, Desert Palms. "Nancy has an impeccable reputation. She personally and professionally appears from a place of integrity and honesty and upholds high ethics and standards."

Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat named Nancy Waite O'Brien, Ph. D., as its recipient of the 2014 Spirit of Recovery Award because she embodies the spirit of the award’s namesake, the late Dr. Joseph Galletta. Like Dr. Joe, Nancy is a noted, respected, trained professional in the field of addiction and has assisted and touched thousands of people over the years, helping them find the courage to recover.


 

2013 - Ed Storti, B.A., C.A.D.C. II, B.R.I. II

Ed StortiEd Storti has been named the 2013 Joseph L. Galletta “Spirit of Recovery” Award winner. Ed's multiple nominations describe him as a benevolent man, providing no cost or low cost care to those in need.

Ed is an Author, Lecturer and Intervention Specialist, is an International and California Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor and Board Registered Interventionist. He has choreographed over 3,600 motivational interventions throughout the world.

"Ed exemplifies Dr. Galletta's spirit and dedication to the field of recovery. He is a man of outstanding character, a fount of wisdom, and very passionate about helping people. He knew and admired Dr. Galletta and emulated his devotion to helping others achieve sobriety," exclaims Ed Spatola, the first Galletta Award recipient. "We are blessed to know him and he is fully deserving of this very special award."

Ed’s educational lectures and presentations on Motivational Intervention, Professionalism in the Workplace, The Disease of Appetite and Professionalism for Intervention Specialists are requested by medical centers, chemical dependency facilities, universities and national conferences.

Ed is a member of the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors and the Association of Intervention Specialists. He is on the Board of Directors for the House of Hope Foundation, San Pedro, California. Ed and his wife are weekly volunteers for Meals on Wheels. He is the recipient of the 2009 Spirit Award from the Gooden Center, Pasadena, California and the 2011 Pillar of the Community Recognition Award from Sierra Tucson Treatment Center, Tucson, Arizona.

His authored books include Crisis Intervention: Acting Against Addiction (Crown Publishing Company, 1988) and Heart to Heart: The Honorable Approach to Motivational Intervention (Carlton Press, 1995, republished in 2001).

"I admire Ed, not only as a truly gifted Interventionist, but also as a dedicated husband and father of two," said Jerry McDonald, the 2011 Galletta Award recipient.

Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat named Ed Storti as its recipient of the 2013 Spirit of Recovery Award because he embodies the spirit of the award’s namesake, the late Dr. Joseph Galletta. Like Dr. Joe, Ed is a noted, respected, trained professional in the field of addiction and has assisted and touched thousands of people over the years, helping them find the courage to recover.


 

2012 - Jerry Moe, MA

Jerry MoeJerry Moe, MA, has been named the 2012 Joseph L. Galletta “Spirit of Recovery” Award winner. Jerry received multiple nominations citing his professionalism and dedication in working with children of alcoholic families.

Jerry is currently Vice President, National Director of Children’s Programs at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California; Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas and Denver, Colorado.

"Jerry is an expert in working with children of alcoholic families. He founded 'The Children's Place' in 1978 and has been running the Childrens' Program for The Betty Ford Center for nearly 14 years," said Joe Capela, Interventionist.

An Advisory Board Member of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, Jerry is internationally known as an author, lecturer, and trainer on issues for young children from addicted families.

"Jerry's compassion for the kids he helps is a gift. He is an educator, an innovator and a pioneer for childrens' counselors everywhere," said Joan Clark, Betty Ford Center Website and Social Media Editor. "His skill has made a difference in thousands of lives. He is a very special person."

Jerry received the 2005 America Honors Recovery Award from the Johnson Institute, the 2000 Ackerman/Black Award from NACoA for his outstanding work on behalf of children of alcoholics, and in 1993, he was awarded the Marty Mann Award for outstanding communication in the alcoholism and addiction field.

"He is so dedicated to educating the children about the disease and making sure these kids know that they have a safe haven in life," explained Eloise Gene Black, Betty Ford Center Business Development Associate.

Jerry is featured in the documentary Lost Childhood: Growing Up in an Alcoholic Family, currently showing on PBS stations across the United States. His books include: Kids’ Power: Healing Games for Children of Alcoholics; Conducting Support Groups for Elementary Children; Discovery… Finding the Buried Treasure; Kids’ Power Too: Words to Grow By; The Children’s Place… At the Heart of Recovery; the Beamer Series for Kids, and Understanding Addiction and Recovery Through a Child’s Eyes.

Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat named Jerry Moe as its recipient of the 2012 Spirit of Recovery Award because he embodies the spirit of the award’s namesake, the late Dr. Joseph Galletta. Like Dr. Joe, Jerry is a noted, respected, trained professional in the field of addiction and has assisted and touched thousands of people over the years, helping them find the courage to recover.


 

2011 - Jerry McDonald, ACTA

Jerry McDonaldJerry McDonald has been named the Joseph L. Galletta “Spirit of Recovery” Award winner of 2011. Jerry has recently retired after 18 years of service at The Betty Ford Center with over 32 years in the addiction field. He personally, has over 34 years of sobriety.

“On February 13th 1977, my illness was flat lined by AA and I haven’t had a drink since four o’clock that afternoon,” explains McDonald. “This award presentation is remarkable because I am someone who should be thanking and honoring AA.”

Jerry’s career began as the Program Director for the country’s first inpatient program for the treatment of eating disorders at San Pedro Peninsula Hospital in San Pedro, CA in 1978. Jerry then moved to South Bay Hospital in Redondo Beach, CA in 1980 to establish its chemical dependency and eating disorder program while working under Dr. William Rader. Not long after, Jerry became Executive Vice President for the Rader Institute, a national healthcare corporation for the treatment of eating disorders. In his time there, Jerry opened the organization’s first six centers in California. Throughout his more than three decades in the field, Jerry has held director-level and VP positions at several California-based chemical dependency centers, and in 1995 joined The Betty Ford Center, where he was the National Business Development Representative. He retired in March of this year. Prior to his work in the addiction field, Jerry was an accomplished volleyball player and has remained highly involved in the sport. He served as the Vice President of Operations and Chairman to the USA Women’s Olympic Volleyball Committee and later was Assistant Coach for the 1972 Olympic Women’s Team. Jerry earned a spot in the YMCA’s Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1988. 

Those who know Jerry professionally, describe him as someone who has fulfilled each and every position in his career with energy, compassion and skill – and personally, a generous and popular fellow, and a master story teller.  

“If you’ve heard his stories you may agree that it seems like an episode of Happy Days, complete with his own nostalgic cast of characters, which are just legendary,” said Michela Sands, Corporate Director of Business Development and Admissions at the BFC.

Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat named Jerry McDonald as its recipient of the 2011 Spirit of Recovery Award because he embodies the spirit of the award’s namesake, the late Dr. Joseph Galletta. Like Dr. Joe, Jerry is a noted, respected, trained professional in the field of addiction and has assisted and touched thousands of people over the years, helping them find the courage to recover.

As last year’s award recipient Ed Spatola, Founder and CEO of NFL puts it: “There is no way to count the contributions he has made, like the ripples in a pond, they keep spreading out. So do his efforts and words.  He is the finest example of the twelve step program that I have seen and I am proud to know him. He demonstrates the ‘Spirit of Recovery’ every day.”


 

2010 - Ed Spatola

Founder and CEO, New Found Life

Ed SpatolaEd Spatola is a New Jersey native and has over 20 years of Recovery. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a MS degree in Communications. He has been married forty-seven years and has four children, six grandchildren, one great granddaughter and another blessed event on the way. He is active in the community and participates in many humanitarian efforts.

Ed has extensive business experience. After 30 years of service, Ed took early retirement from First Fidelity Bank (now Wachovia) where he was a senior vice president of Product Development, Branch Administration and sales.  Over the next three years, he established and cultivated a marketing and promotion business with ties to the National Football League. He later sold his interest in 1993 in order to start New Found Life, an endeavor that captivated his imagination and energy because it focused on saving the lives of individuals and helping families who suffer from the devastation of alcoholism and addiction. 
 
Ed and the clinical staff are supported by employees who have worked for many years at NFL and in the field of recovery. Ed has continued to serve the community and the interests of New Found Life residents and alumni. He has mentored and employed many of the NFL Alumni and is constantly working to help others.

new found lifeAfter eighteen years of growth, New Found Life, its dedicated management team, coupled with a sound clinical staff and devoted employees have turned a simple idea of helping others into a quality company with an outstanding reputation. 

Ed is always promoting the principles of twelve step recovery. He truly believes in this life changing program and is constantly telling others “go help someone”. His forte is to evaluate and place people who need help in the facility that fits their needs. As he says, “It’s a beautiful thing!”

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