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A Tribute to 23 Years of Dedication

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After 23 years of service at Cazenovia Recovery Systems, Al Halley, our Chief Operations Officer, will retire at the end of this year. Al’s career with our agency has been a storied one, filled with success and compassion.

He started as an intern on the weekends at Turning Point House , our Intensive Residential Rehabilitation program for men in Eden. He also served as a Van Driver, an Assistant Resident Manager at Cazenovia Manor, and an Alcoholism Counselor at Supportive Living after he obtained his CASAC in 1999. He later became Supportive Living’s Program Director. In 2006, he began serving as the Director of Housing and Operations before assuming his current role of Chief Operations Officer. “I didn’t expect this,” Al said about his remarkable advancement. “I just wanted to be here and work.”

Al considers his service “a privilege and honor” and he gladly notes that working for our agency has made him “a better person.”

Above all else, Al has always appreciated working with the residents. He is particularly proud of what our residents accomplish after successfully completing treatment. Inspiring examples include a former resident who teaches at Buff State, while another is a business owner, and yet another rose through the ranks at General Motors and is now working for the company in Germany.

Lately, though, Al has wanted to share his experience as someone in recovery in order to inspire and motivate others. He also hopes to remove the stigma attached to the disease. For this year’s Recovery Day, he went on Channel 7’s AM Buffalo and was very open about his journey. “I want to make sure that people understand that people do get better,” he said. “I hope that people looking to recover see that they have opportunities.”

He feels very proud of what the agency has accomplished throughout his career. By expanding our continuum of care, we have provided residents with “an opportunity to avoid returning to bad situations,” according to Al.

Without a doubt, his presence will be missed. Sue Bissonette, our Executive Director, stated, “It is always nice to see Al’s smiling face and I enjoy his sense of humor in a very challenging field. The entire agency feels an overwhelming sense of gratitude and appreciation for his work. Our Leadership Team will not be the same when Al retires.”

As for goals during his retirement, Al is planning on finishing his master’s thesis. Once he has his MSW, Al hopes to teach classes in social work that focus on substance use. “Professor Halley has a nice ring to it,” he said with his typical smile. We couldn’t agree more.

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