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John (Gold x5) Retiresfrom Freedom's Management Team
Steve, we'd always intended to update this thread as although it shows how we got our start, and Joel's arrival, it does little to document the ongoing early evolution of this most amazing forum. There were a few rather challenging steps along the way, some that many of us would really rather forget.
As part of the forum's history, I'm going to paste part of a message I shared in Joseph's brain parade yesterday, the announcement that I'm no longer serving as a manager here at Freedom. Out of respect for our mission in maintaining the group's focus I'd ask that there be no new threads, as Freedom doesn't do birthdays nor retired manager days. I'd hate to think that we lost a smoker searching for serious help simply because she clicked upon a thread that had absolutely nothing to do with quitting. Thanks for respecting this request. John (Gold x5)
I guess this is as good a place as any to announce my retirement as an active manager here at Freedom. As some of our older members may have noticed I've become rather active in youth smoking prevention this past year. Yes, I've fallen in love with the thought of helping even one child or teen avoid going through what each of us endured - the stuff of Joseph's insightful post.
I look forward to spending more time attempting to build WhyQuit into a higher caliber resource, addressing both prevention and cessation. Oh, I'll still be an active poster here at Freedom but I'll no longer have management responsibilities or be trading so many daily e-mails with new arrivals. It should free up a couple of hours each day, hours needed to begin putting a small dent in my growing WhyQuit "to-do" list. For example, today The Smoker's Memorial finally got off the ground, with a dedication to Kim. As some of you may know, it had been on the list for more than a year.
I've had a wonderful time watching this place evolve into the amazingly focused tool it has become and leave its management in highly skilled hands. I look forward to watching it evolve even further as Joel has some solid policy ideas about where he'd like to take things (see A message to our prospective members Message 94 )
Millions of words in Freedom's 265,000 archived member posts but just one guiding principle determining the outcome for all, a principle that will always be our common bond ... no nicotine just one day at a time, Never Take Another Puff, Dip or Chew! John (Gold x5)
Joel, Joanne and Linda
Thank you for six years of volunteer service to Freedom!
Thanks Gitte. Today Joel starts another live two-week six-session clinic during which he'll spend roughly 13 hours standing before a new group of dreamers, and countless hours on the phone between sessions and after the program trying to help each of them realize that dream.
As most of you know, on December 2, 2005 Ask Joel was born (http://www.msnusers.com/AskJoel) and on December 29, 2005 Joel, Linda and Joanne joined me in retirement from active management as we introduced two new manangers Rick and Kristen.
But the heart, soul and message of this site will always reflect the work and giving of Joel Spitzer of Chicago, whose life's work has now touched hundreds of thousands of lives. It was January 20, 2000 when Joel arrived here freely offering insights. It is a day I'll never forget! Thank you Joel.
Kristen and Rick, we thank you for the countless hours you've devoted in trying to ensure that high quality lessons and support continue. Below is the first GIF Joel shared here at Freedom. It's part of our history. Still just one rule ... no nicotine just one day at a time, Never Take Another Puff!
John (Gold x6)
Freedom Staff ChangesThis rather old thread is pretty beat up and I see I've done a pretty lousy job of collecting all prior staff change announcements and sharing them here. Let me see if we can't bring this thread a bit more current.Kristen, Rick and Sallie Join StaffKristen & Rick accepted management offers on December 24 and 26, 2005 respectively, and Sallie joined them on January 21, 2006. Although we did not achieve the expressed goal of spreading management out in time zones around the globe (in that all three were from here the U.S.) with Linda, Joanne and Joel joining me in retirement, more important than planet location was selecting a team with the extra time needed to keep the forum on even keel. I sure those of you who've followed this forum's history would agree, Kristen, Rick and Sallie have served this forum well.Backed by Rick, Kristen took the lead in handling new member admissions and Sallie was a natural out on the boards. Together they allowed Freedom to smoothly transition from a seasoned staff of long-term givers, that collectively had nearly 20 years of board management experience, to where we are today. Although each agreed to serve 6 month terms, they each served two terms longer than asked, and this forum is deeply indebted to each of them for their selfless service.Rick's Retires and Robin Joins StaffIt has always been a dream here at Freedom to have staff members in time zones around the globe, so as to nearly always have eyes out on the board, with someone awake and available to reply to incoming manager emails or hand other pressing concerns. On July 14, 2007, after serving a year longer than asked, Rick joined the four of us in retirement. Thank you, Rick, again, for giving so much of yourself to others!Robin had just turned Gold, was on the other side of the globe in India and it was hard to ignore his support of new arrivals and, like so many others here, his skill in sharing appropriate thread lessons. On August 19, 2007, Robin accepted our offer to join Freedom's staff and we welcome him to the team! Welcome Robin!An International StaffAlthough taking our time, our goal is to add one additional manager in a time zone outside the Americas and that should occur within the next couple of months. It'll allow staff a bit more mental comfort in taking time off or going on vacation/holiday. As you know, all these folks are 100% volunteers. In fact, no one associated with Freedom has ever received any compensation of any kind for their time, energy and dedication. We thank each of you for being patient with us through the years! We're human, we make mistakes but we strive to improve.But together, with a couple of hundred natural board managers, those of you who are this site's giving glue, that reach out to new arrivals as time permits, together we're making a massive difference.Breathe deep, hug hard, live long Freedom!John (Gold x8)
Kristen Retires from ManagementToday Kristen Dittman of
Binghamton, N.Y announced her retirment as one of Freedom's managers, after having served since December 2005. During her term Kristen processed countless Freedom membership applications where she served as the forum's initial contact for new arrivals.Somehow thanks just doesn't seem enough, Kristen, but thank you for giving so much of yourself to so many. Like all former managers, your selfless giving is now part of the history of why this all volunteer forum endures.
Denny (dennyb2) Joins Freedom's StaffIt's with great pleasure that Freedom announces that Denny (dennyb2) has become Freedom's newest manager. Denny resides in Schenectady, NY, USA and has enjoyed nearly 2.5 years of freedom, during which he has remained and continued offering new arrivals quality support. Welcome to our all volunteer staff Denny! As with all of Freedom's dedicated long-term givers, our sincere thanks for the continuing gift you so freely give!
Freedom will be moving to a new home!
You may have already read news that MSN is closing down MSN Groups in February 2009. If so, please don't panic. Everything will be fine. We are now in the process of investigating our options. We will do all we can to make the move as easy as possible. As you may know, New Years is our busiest time of the year. Our goal is to have Freedom's move complete by then.
Our primary concern right now is finding a way to migrate Freedom's more than 359,000 archived member posts to a new home. While MSN is providing the ability to move (migrate) MSN Group threads and posts to a new host website that it has chosen, we are hoping to locate a message board hosting platform that offers features and functions closer to those provided here at MSN Groups.
We would love to hear from you if you have the knowledge and skills necessary to migrate message threads between differently formatted message board platforms. Also, drop us a line if you know of a message board hosting platform or site that you think fits nicely with Freedom's needs. We'll see it gets considered.
We'll keep you posted on developments. Our deep and sincere thanks to MSN for giving us a free home since September 1999. Thank you! Still just one rule ... no nicotine today!
Freedom's Management Team
This message is located on the Getting Around message board