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Board Selects New Chairperson
A medical administrator and longtime friend of Alcoholics Anonymous, Terrance M. Bedient (nonalcoholic), of Albany, New York, has been selected as chairperson of A.A.’s General Service Board, replacing outgoing board chair the Very Rev. Ward Ewing, D.D.
First introduced to A.A. in 1975 while in charge of an E.A.P. program, Terry attended his first open A.A. meeting over 40 years ago. There, he says, he became good friends “with a couple of guys in recovery who swore by A.A.,” thus beginning the long association that first brought him to A.A.’s General Service Board in 2008, where he has been serving as the board’s treasurer.
Terry’s career in medical administration began after his service as an army officer, when he was appointed assistant administrator and risk manager at Beekman Downtown Hospital in Manhattan.
From 1984-1996, Terry headed Myers Community Hospital in the Rochester exurb
of Sodus, New York. Appointed by New York Chief Judge Judith Kaye in 1999 to serve on the Commission on Alcohol and Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession, Terry served for three
years as a charter board member of the Lawyers Assistance Trust, an independent statewide entity overseeing substance abuse programs for attorneys and judges in New York State.
More recently, Terry has also been vice president of the Medical Society of New York and director of the Committee for Physician Health, an organization dedicated to providing confidential assistance to physicians suffering from substance use or other psychiatric disorders.
For Terry, becoming chairperson provides a humbling opportunity,a chance to help spread the particular hope he has witnessed in the eyes of A.A. members as they recover. Asked what he thinks are some of the greatest challenges facing A.A. right now, Terry responds, “The key issue facing A.A. is membership growth and engagement. There are enormous opportunities worldwide to share the lifesaving message of A.A. as the Fellowship engages in the many aspects of service.” Additionally, Terry notes, “Our recent membership surveys show that about two-thirds of new members come to A.A. through non-A.A. sources,” highlighting the importance of A.A.’s ongoing relationship with the professional community, those who work with and treat alcoholics on a daily basis.
Class A trustees (non alcoholic) have been able to do certain things the 14 Class B (alcoholic) trustees cannot do, such as addressing the media head-on or using their last names in connection with A.A. without violating the Traditions and principles of anonymity designed to keep A.A. members out of the public eye.