|In December 2020, the infamous Sallie Mclaughlin, one of Gateway’s founding members and CEO of 35 years, passed the torch of hope and healing to Jon Greenwood. In this article, Jon answers questions that speak to his values, work experience, and vision for Gateway’s future.|
Q. What are some of the defining experiences that have made you who you are today?
- Growing up in Guatemala. This allowed me to experience and live a different culture. As a child growing up there, I didn’t realize what an incredible opportunity this was and how it would impact my adult life. The many experiences have helped mold how I view other people and cultures. I can appreciate and learn from others and not be afraid of something that looks, sounds, or feels different than what I am “comfortable” with.
- Family. I am very fortunate to have parents and siblings that have always been willing to show love and encouragement. They have challenged and supported me, and also provided accountability for my actions. The values and faith that my parents raised me with continue to help guide me today. My wife loves, challenges, supports, encourages, and stretches me daily. She helps me to be realistic, but also continues to foster and encourage my ideas. My two boys have helped me to learn what it means to really love others. Watching them treat others with respect and kindness, sticking up for the underdog, being willing to share and give what they have to others, and doing all this from a place of genuine care and love, is humbling. I learn from them daily!
- Community. No matter where I have lived, I have been fortunate enough to have people, in addition to family, be willing to invest in me. As a child there were teachers, neighbors, church members, and others who were committed to my growth and development. As an adult, it is very humbling and empowering to experience my community investing in the Greenwood family.
Q. Describe your work experience in the prevention field.
- From January 2001-2004, Gateway hired me as the Community Youth Coordinator. When the grant ended, I moved to the Regional Prevention Coordinator (RPC) Program as a Prevention Specialist. Finally, in 2015 I became the Director of Prevention where I served until December 2020.
- We live in a society where many of our resources go to addressing the symptoms and consequences of certain behaviors rather than the root issues associated with those behaviors. Prevention work maintains a proactive approach and collaborates with individuals and community partners to find solutions that prevent health disparities from occurring in the first place.
- I believe that my experience in Prevention serves as a firm foundation and guide for the impact I hope to have as CEO. I am committed and practiced in building relationships with national, state and local community partners. I have also seen the necessity of making sure that local people are involved in solving local problems and that continued buy-in and support is fostered by giving space to participation and collaboration.
Q. What excites you most about Gateway’s future?
- The need for our services is greater now than it has ever been. The purchase of our beautiful new property on West 45th Street and our Capital Campaign to complete the new facility and expand our programs will enable Gateway to provide more innovative, impactful, inclusive, and invaluable prevention, treatment, and wellness services to more people in our Pottawatomie, Seminole, and Lincoln Counties as well as our other partnering communities! How amazing that we get to be a piece of extending hope and healing!
If you would like to connect with Jon Greenwood, you are welcome to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to learn more about how you can support these exciting next steps, please visit our website at gatewaytoprevention.org and click the link entitled DONATE. If you or someone you know needs additional support and treatment for their substance use, please call 273-1170 x0.