Windward Way Recovery is only as good as it’s staff and in an effort to highlight their individual efforts, we interviewed a few of our all star cast of employees in this version of Employee Heartbeat. This interview with John Ryan Bennett illustrates his passions and background in his own words.

First we asked Ryan what his position at Windward Way Recovery is and what his day-to-day is like working at Windward Way.

“I am the Director of Operations for Windward Way. I am responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of the entire operations team, which currently consists of 45 members. I am responsible for the delegation of tasks to make sure everything runs in a safe and efficient manner and, also to communicate effectively to the other departments within the company.”

To get to know Ryan better we wanted to get a little personal and inquired as to what he likes to do in his free time, to which he responded,

“I love sports. Anything involving the game of football, I am a fan of. I participate in both a flag football and softball leagues on the weekends.”

What led you to become a member of the Windward Way team? Each member of the Windward Way team has a unique path in life that led them to joining the family here and Ryan’s story stretches all the back to 2014.

“I was a client at Windward Way back in 2012 and then was offered a position here as the first support staff back in early 2014. I saw great opportunity to grow within a young company and also to be apart of a team whose sole purpose was ultimately to improve struggling addicts/alcoholics lives.”

Ryan is as supportive as any of our members, but each person at Windward Way Recovery has their own perspective on the best ways to go about recovery and their advice–all of which is positive and inspiring–is unique and helpful in its own way. Ryan was very passionate about what he believes is integral to the recovery journey.

“Be patient, it gets better and easier. Getting sober is difficult but as long as you stay willing and open minded you have a chance to construct a life that you never believed you were capable of accomplishing.”

What was the most rewarding experience you have had working with Windward Way?

Working at Windward Way reaps many rewards, benefits and often times heart warming stories. It’s a roller coaster of trying times and triumphs of massive proportion. Ryan, with his long history with the center, has been able to see seeds grow into hulking trees of success. He sees hope where other have a hard time seeing it, because he’s seen broken individuals heal and become the best versions of themselves.

“Roughly half of my operations team were once clients of Windward Way and are now on the other side of the spectrum as staff members. It’s amazing to watch these individuals come in broken and hopeless and then through determination and faith, evolve into these men who I trust to accomplish any task I throw their way.”

Thanksgiving resonates with many as the time of year for good food and good company. Ryan has spent years in the past unable to attain those memories before his sobriety, but since, he has a different outlook on the holiday and what it means to him.

“Being invited to spend time with my family. Prior to me getting sober, I was always a liability especially during the holidays and wasn’t invited to too many events because of the pain I would bring my family. But now, I am able to suit up and show up and be present during these special times.”

What are you thankful for this year?

At the end of the year we are all faced with Thanksgiving blessings, tasked with expressing what we are most thankful for, and moments of reflection in our efforts to better ourselves. It’s important to see the gifts we’ve been given throughout the year and focus on the positive we’ve been blessed with. Ryan says he has a lot to be thankful for.

“I’m thankful for my sobriety. Without it, I would literally having nothing. I’m grateful for all of my friends and family who have stuck with me throughout the years and have been apart of this journey I call life.”

With the continued support of the team at Windward Way Recovery we are all able to overcome the biggest challenges in our lives. Thank you John Ryan Bennett for being such a great part of our family. Join the conversation with our team on Facebook and join our live Twitter Chats every month.