May 9, 2005
(TORONTO, ON) – Albertan Leonard M. Blumenthal, LL.D, a Class A (non-alcoholic) trustee of Alcoholics Anonymous since 2000, was elected Chairperson of the organization's General Service Board. One of his first official appearances as Chair will be at the 2005 International A.A. Convention being held in Toronto from June 30 to July 3, 2005.
Len Blumenthal has been recognized over the years as one of Canada's most prominent professionals in the field of alcohol and drug abuse counseling and research. A long-time resident of Rolly View, Alberta, he worked for the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC) for almost 30 years, from 1969 to 1998. He served as Chief Executive Officer of the Commission beginning in 1987.
In the course of his work, Blumenthal has acted as a consultant to Grant MacEwan Community College, the Department of the Attorney General and the Government of the Northwest Territories, for which he conducted a series of seminars with Native and non-Native Canadians, with special reference to management and control of alcohol and alcohol-related programs. In 1985, he was a speaker at the International Convention celebrating A.A.'s 50th anniversary in Montreal. In 1993, he was presented with the Eagle Feather, the highest honor of the Nechi Institute on Addictions, “for wisdom and bravery in working with Native Indian addiction problems.”
“We look forward to holding the Alcoholics Anonymous International Convention in Toronto this upcoming summer. The last AA International Convention held in Canada was in 1985 in Montreal and drew over 44,000 people,” Blumenthal said. “We are excited to be holding this celebration in Canada once again and bringing worldwide attention to this fellowship of men and women from across the world.”
After his retirement from the AADAC, Blumenthal was appointed to the board of directors of the Capital Health Authority of Edmonton, which is responsible for 900,000 people. He also volunteered for the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and the Organization of American Stats (OAS) Inter-American Commission of Drug Control.
As a class A trustee, Blumenthal serves as one of a vital group of professionals with various areas of expertise that they share generously for the good of A.A. Unlike A.A. members, who seek to maintain personal anonymity at the public level, class A trustees can face cameras and reporters, and be fully identified in the media.
The immediate Past Chair of the A.A. General Service Board, Elaine McDowell, Ph.D., who passed the gavel to Len Blumenthal in April, worked with the U.S. Federal Government as deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and as director of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP). Chairman Emeritus Gary A. Glynn, New York, is President and Chief Investment Officer of the U.S. Steel and Carnegie Pension funds.
About Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) is a voluntary, worldwide fellowship of men and women from all walks of life who meet together to attain and maintain sobriety. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership. A.A. will be holding its 2005 International Convention in Toronto on from June 30 to July 3. This year marks the 70th anniversary of A.A.
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