September 11, 2007
The Hon. Rogelio R. Flores, L.L.D., J.D., a Superior Court judge in Santa Barbara, Calif., has been elected a Class A (nonalcoholic) trustee of the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous. “For several years now,” he says, “courts throughout the country have relied on a unique collaboration with A.A. to help individuals free themselves from the chains of the fatal disease of alcoholism. Some estimate that more than 80 percent of the 2 million prisoners in the United States are either alcoholics or were raised by alcoholic families. Like what came first, the chicken or the egg, what made them the way they are is often uncertain. But what is clear is that A.A. shines a light on the path to sobriety—and helps them to find freedom from fear and hopelessness in a whole new way of living.”
Adds Judge Flores: “I am honored to be a trustee of the Fellowship. Thanks to the vision of cofounders Bill W., Dr. Bob S. and others, A.A.’s Twelve Steps to recovery from alcoholism, along with its Traditions and Concepts, all ensure that the Fellowship will continue strong. I am committed to serving A.A. in any way I can.”
Judge Flores, who has lived in California since age 8, received his law degree from the UCLA School of Law. He began his legal career at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, then spent several years in private practice in his hometown of Santa Maria, Calif. He joined the Public Defender’s Office in 1986 and within a year was appointed as the first court commissioner for the North Santa Barbara County Municipal Court. In 1998 he was elevated to the superior court, where, he says, “it is not uncommon to see an alcoholic crying for help in front of the judge.”
Looking back on his trailblazing work in the field of alcoholism and substance abuse, Judge Flores recalls, “I hit the ground running. My interest was partly personal—shake any family tree, including mine, and I think you’ll find a alcoholic or two. But the more involved I became with alcoholics and other substance abusers in my work, the more interested and concerned I became.”
Today Judge Flores is assigned to various specialty courts, including the Substance Abuse Treatment Court in Santa Maria, and is a facilitator for the National Drug Court Institute. A past president of the Latino Judges of California, he is a faculty member of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nev., where he has taught a course on domestic violence for the past seven years. Additionally, he served as a panelist at the national conferences of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals from 2004 through 2006, and in 2005 was a panelist at the A.A. International convention in Toronto, Canada, where he presented a workshop on how A.A. and the therapeutic courts cooperate. He belongs to both the National and California Associations of Drug Court Professionals. He and his wife, Arleen, a kindergarten teacher, have two grown children, Rogelio Jr., and Christina.
A.A.’s general service board is comprised of 14 alcoholic (Class B) trustees; and seven nonalcoholic (Class A) trustees—all of them highly respected professionals. From philosophy, organization and finance to public information, education and health care, their experience touches on vital aspects of A.A. world service.
…. Besides Judge Flores, the Class A board members include: Leonard M. Blumenthal, L.L.D. (chairman), retired CEO of the Alberta, Canada, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission; William D. Clark, M.D., retired medical director of the Addiction Resource Center in Brunswick, Maine; Ward B. Ewing, D.D., dean and president of The General Theological Seminary, New York City; Herbert I. Goodman, CEO of a Houston-based international corporation involved with petroleum products and conservation saving; Vincent E. Keefe, of Chicago, retired CEO of a large packaging corporation who presently serves on the boards of seven companies; and Jeanne S. Woodford, of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Sacramento.
Over the years, as Bill W. gratefully acknowledged, "our nonalcoholic trustees have given an incredible amount of time and effort; theirs has been a true labor of love.” *
*The A.A. Service Manual, p. S17
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