A Letter from the CEO

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February 8, 2017

Colleen Delaney Eubanks, CAE

I am thrilled to be writing for the inaugural issue of PRA’s new monthly communication to our members, chapters and affiliates.  We hope you will find this brief newsletter informative, useful, and even, at times, inspiring.   In addition to an opening message from one of the PRA/F Board members every month we will be regularly highlighting one of our Academy offerings, profiling a member organization and introducing you to one of our chapters or affiliates and the work and programs in which they are participating.

I’d like to kick off by providing a brief overview of the PRA/F staff team.  You must be aware there have been a number of changes over the past nine months and I am sure you would like to know a little more about the headquarters staff.

I was introduced to the membership at the Summit in Boston last summer.  I was named as PRA/F’s CEO at that meeting and have spent the interim months working with the board to get up to speed on the challenges and issues facing our association.   In an effort to more strategically manage the association and its work the PRA/F Executive Committee spent the last quarter of the year negotiating with MCI|USA our management company to set up our staff team and budget for strategic success over 2017.  To that end I would like to introduce you to the staff team that is currently focused on PRA/F.

For any of you that might have missed the announcement about my appointment, I succeed Tom Gibson who served as PRA’s acting CEO for the past five years.  I have been involved in nonprofit and association management for over 25 years and I have served as the staff leader of a variety of organizations; most recently the American Health Quality Association.   I have a strong passion for organizations that serve vulnerable people and as the mother of young adults with lived experience of mental illness I am especially proud of the work of the PRA membership.  My goals for this year are to help the association become financially sustainable, to work with our coalition partners against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act  and to work with our chapters and affiliates to increase the profile of recovery and its impact on so many lives, families and communities.

I am sure many of you are familiar with Casey Ward Goldberg who has been with PRA for over 9 years – mostly heading up the certification program.  Casey has taken on expanded responsibilities over the past year and now also manages our Academy programs (including the Wellness and Recovery Summit).  

In addition, LaTrese Wallace, Manager of Association Services remains in her critical role supporting membership, the certification process and assisting members and applicants.

We are excited to introduce Ignatzia Kalhdal, Coordinator, Association Services who will be working with us to promote Academy programs and offerings, developing communications and expanding our social media presence. In addition, Ignatzia will be managing our Approved Provider program.  

The PRA and Foundation Board spent two days back in the fall at our headquarters office working on strategic planning.    A task force from that session reviewed PRA/F’s mission and vision statements and I am pleased to report that the Board of Directors approved the new mission and vision at its December Board member.   The slightly revised statements are:

The PRA mission is to:

Advocate for ethical and effective resiliency, wellness and recovery oriented services and supports.
Improve the qualifications of our workforce through the highest standards of certification and professional education to ensure that children and adults with behavioral health conditions thrive in their roles and communities as full citizens.

PRA envisions a world where children and adults living with behavioral health conditions thrive and find purpose and meaning in their chosen communities.

We believe this more thoroughly explains the role of PRA/F and our commitment to recovery and the workforce than our previous mission.

Another immediate result of the strategic session is a focus on membership and membership value.  We are excited about some of the offerings and opportunities that will be coming to our membership in 2017.  I’m happy to start by announcing that we have decided to offer our ethics webinars to all of our organizational members as one of the benefits of membership.  We will be sending out some information to the membership about the added benefits and how you can access them over the next several weeks.

We hope you are making plans to join us for the Wellness and Recovery Summit in Atlanta later this year.  We are excited about the venue and the Georgia chapter is getting ready to provide you with the famous southern hospitality for which the state is renowned.

Despite the challenging political environment I hope your 2017 is off to a good start.  I look forward to continue working in partnership with our members, chapters, and affiliates to continue advocating for a world in which our vision is a reality.

I welcome feedback, comments and suggestions from you about what will make this communication more useful, what PRA can do to help you and your teams do their work better and how we can continue to communicate the story of recovery and its impact in our world.