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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 LindaThank 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)