Recovery Acres Society has recently had a leadership change. Meet Dan Agapi, our new Executive Director. To help our community get to know him we sat him down for a quick interview. Here is what he had to say:
Tell us about yourself.
First and foremost – I’m a guy in recovery. I came through 1835 House almost 30 years ago – and I never left. I am from the school where giving back is part of working my recovery on a day to day basis. I have a lot of passion for this place and ensuring it continues to help people the way it helped me.
Second, I’m a businessman who believes in hard work. I started and built my own massage therapy company while I was still working as a letter carrier at Canada Post. I could see that my colleagues had a big need for that service so I set out to fill that need. I spent 21 years working two jobs. I’d finish my mail route and head to my clinic to work with clients. I grew the business to include other therapists and made it a success for 23 years.
What did you learn from building a successful business?
Running a business has taught me so much. First, service is key. When you get that right – people show up and engage. That energy and enthusiasm feeds an organization and lifts it up. People want to be part of that dynamic. Meaningful community and relationships develop naturally. Resources flow towards that kind of environment. I’ve seen it happen with my business, and I’ve seen it happen in my recovery community.
Second, good business leaders know how to bring all the pieces together. They listen to the needs of the individual, focus on efficiencies, and have a knack for drawing resources from community. That can look like facilitating good communication between subcontractors, building a strong team, and knocking on the right doors to uncover new funding sources. Every piece relates back to the people we serve and the big picture vision of how we help people recover from addiction.
What do you want the Recovery Acres community to know about you?
People and their recovery are very important to me. Many of you know me as an active 1835 Alumni. You may not know that I have been supporting adolescent recovery for 20 years. My recovery relationships span teenage years into adulthood and through the process of my sponsees getting jobs and starting families. Giving back in recovery gives me the juice to do this job, and to do life.
How do you see the current addiction treatment landscape?
So much has changed when it comes to addiction treatment over the past ten years. There has been a massive shift in our health system toward harm reduction and medication-assisted treatment. It is important for us to be clear about where we stand within this greater continuum of care. I believe in building synergy with other treatment centers, non-profit service providers, and the health care system. We can accomplish more by working together than independently.
We have over 40 years of history at 1835 House that is very special. With that comes knowledge and experience that is vital to both men and women who are in need of recovery. We will continue to make these programs available. We will also take on the work that needs to be done to educate people about the importance of our programs within the context of the larger system.
A few final thoughts…
I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Over the past couple of weeks so many people have reached out to me. Your kind words, encouragement, trust, and desire to be part of an active Recovery Acres community have deeply touched me. I can’t say enough about how much it means to have your support.
Over the years I have built strong relationships with people from two worlds – my business network, and our recovery community. I am excited to work with all of you. When I think about the direction Recovery Acres is headed, I am very optimistic knowing we are all in this together.