|Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire|
|08/062012 – ATIN – Phoenix House is increasingly looking outside the addiction treatment, drug rehab and alcohol rehab industry for its top executive talent, a trend throughout the business as a raft of charismatic non-profit institution founders, most in recovery themselves, pass the leadership baton to a new generation. An example of the trend toward a new technocratic addictions elite is the appointment earlier this summer of a conventions and entertainment industry executive to the post of senior vice president. Stepping down from his job running the Los Angeles Convention Center, Pourria Abbassi, pictured below, is now managing Phoenix House’s sprawling California operations, which treat over 1,200 people daily with addictions assets concentrated in the central and southern parts of the state. And when Mitch Rosenthal, who founded Phoenix House and built it into the nation’s largest non-profit addictions center with over $100M a year in revenues, moved aside as CEO several years ago, the Phoenix House board turned to Howard Meitiner. Meitiner worked in addictions on a volunteer basis for years but his previous work experience was in the retail business. Rosenthal told Treatment Magazine that the complexity of running Phoenix House was daunting, with its many different programs operating under myriad regulatory reporting environments, and that professional managers were going to be increasingly required if the multi-state center was to thrive. Probably the first major addictions player to look outside the recovery arena for leadership was Hazelden, which about 10 years ago hired former Campbell Soup executive Ellen Breyer, who, after five years, left the CEO post under a cloud amidst a senior management rebellion over her management style. Bucking the technocratic trend, to some extent, is fast growing Caron, which over the last decade has emerged as by far the most successful and best managed of the high end private non-profits. Caron CEO Doug Tieman, whose first industry job was to help found the South Florida Hanley Center asset that Caron acquired last year, has vast addictions industry experience.
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