My last day at El Centro is May 1 (May Day, how appropriate) and Mr. Jeff Essex has been selected by the Board of Directors as Executive Director.
I have been involved with El Centro since around 2005 or so, and assumed the top leadership role in 2015. I leave a 2020 El Centro a somewhat different place than when I found it, but yet we have stayed true to George Borg’s vision: abstinence-based individual and group counseling services are still the core foundation of the agency, we still use the Steps as tools towards recovery, and we still make sure nobody is refused services because of inability to pay.
Supporting county and agency partners and still providing services during any emergency is part of the job, but it becomes (and will continue to be) a bit tricky during a pandemic; however, even now, new opportunities are emerging and relationships are being forged.
El Centro’s robust management infrastructure has become the pillar on which the entire agency stands. When SIP standards are eased, our unique and popular Prevention Education program will still be offered in 6 schools, our Motivation Presentations and Navigation Assistance will still help in-shelter homeless with substance use issues, and our Monthly Family Fun Nights will continue to offer family activities
It has not ever been my intention to change the world, but I never wanted to leave it the same either. I think my time at El Centro has made a difference in that regard.
So, my time is done. It is time to drift. I leave an agency that, while still keeping true to early beginnings, now provides San Mateo County with more opportunities than ever before to serve those who are in need.
It should be interesting to see where El Centro goes from here.
Have a good road….