Every two years, NAADAC members have the opportunity to select a Regional Vice President who will represent their state affiliate on the NAADAC Executive Committee, with four of NAADAC’s eight regional positions being up for election each year. All 2021-2023 terms begin in September 2021, immediately following the Annual Board of Directors Meeting.
This year, the Mid-Central, North Central, Southeast, and Southwest Regional Vice President positions came up for election. NAADAC only received one nominee each for the positions of Mid-Central, North Central, and Southwest Regional Vice President, and these three nominees have been seated in their nominated roles for the 2021-2023 term without an election. NAADAC received two nominations for Southeast Regional Vice President. Voting for the Southeast Regional Vice President Candidates took place in May, and a winner was selected.
The Mid-Central Regional Vice President Elect, representing Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Wisconsin, is Raynard Packard, MAEd, LICDC-CS, PsyD Candidate. Packard has been a NAADAC member since the 1990s. He is a former NAADAC Public Policy Committee member, the former OAADAC (Ohio Association of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Counselors) Vice President, and the current OAADAC President. He was a previous military leader, and he spearheaded Ohio's Recovery Oriented Systems of Care revolution dating back to the 1990s.
Packard’s philosophy is for addiction professionals to move towards inclusivity. He feels as though current needs require many more skilled providers to focus on the fight to end the addiction epidemic. The addiction workforce must recruit, provide continuing guidance, and retain those who bring their passion to the field at all levels. "My vision is to bring all addiction professionals together under the big tent, where we can learn from – and strengthen – each other,” stated Packard.
The North Central Regional Vice President Elect, representing Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, is Mark Young, LAC, MA. Young is currently President of the South Dakota Association of Addiction and Prevention Professionals (SDAAPP), NAADAC’s South Dakota affiliate, and is the SDAAPP East River Representative as well as an SDAAPP By-Laws Revision Workgroup Member. Young has held a position on the NAADAC Board of Directors since 2017 and has been a delegate at several NAADAC Annual Conferences.
Young’s vision is for NAADAC to stand on pillars of teamwork, advocacy, training, and service. He sees NAADAC becoming a louder voice of advocacy by continuing its growth in membership, pursuing the ongoing work for state-to-state standards seeking consistency in professional practice, and continuing to grow its international presence.
“The very things I emphasize as principles of recovery are the same things [that] I will endeavor to do for the members of NAADAC,” Young remarks. “Building on the hard work and leadership of outgoing North Central Regional Vice President James “JJ” Johnson will be a challenge. He has been a tireless NAADAC advocate, and I hope to continue the level of success he has set.” Young feels as though he has been called to use his voice to promote the services NAADAC offers its members and to get more people to utilize those services. Young pledges to contribute to the mission of expanding NAADAC’s credibility and membership in every state in the North Central region.
The Southeast Regional Vice President Elect, representing Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, is Mat Sandifer, LCSW, LCAS, CSI. Sandifer is serving his second term in office as the Southeast Regional Vice President and has been working in the field of addiction for almost 30 years. Sandifer views the position of Southeast Regional Vice President as instrumental in the communication between NAADAC and its affiliates, and is committed to supporting the affiliates in their unique challenges. He has served on the Board of the Addiction Professionals of North Carolina (APNC), NAADAC’s North Carolina affiliate, for six years and is the co-Chair of the Social Justice Committee. He has also served on NAADAC’s Membership Committee, which allowed him to understand the substance use disorder (SUD) field’s broader challenges of engaging and retaining new NAADAC members, and to cultivating new professionals while keeping NAADAC and the SUD profession invigorated and growing.
Sandifer strongly feels that NAADAC is an essential voice for professionals, locally and nationally. “Over the next two years of service as Southeast Regional Vice President, I will provide a conduit between each state affiliate and the NAADAC Executive Committee,” Sandifer states. “The Southeast is facing uniquely difficult times with various political and regional cultural differences. With these differences, the NAADAC Executive Committee must remain informed on the successes and challenges of our region to best support SUD professionals with service delivery and advocacy. I look forward to serving the Southeast as Regional Vice President.”
The Southwest Regional Vice President Elect, representing Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah, is Thomas Gorham, LMFT, SUDCC IV. This will be Gorham’s second term as Southwest Regional Vice President. He has been a NAADAC member since 2001. He was the founding president of the Addiction Professional Association of California (APAC), NAADAC’s California affiliate, and spent over eight years organizing the California affiliate. He has organized the addiction workforce by collaborating with existing certifying and credentialing entities, including NAADAC/NCC AP, to give addiction professionals a voice in California.
Gorham’s vision for the future of NAADAC is to continue to support the addiction workforce by training the workforce in the science of effective treatment, to advocate for and affect change in government policy and law, and to address the many social justice issues present in our society. He feels it is necessary to be the voice of reason concerning how those challenges influence the population that we serve. "I look forward to another two years of service as Southwest Regional Vice President of NAADAC! I am honored to work with the dedicated individuals in each affiliate to strengthen each affiliate and support our workforce," Gorham states.