Join host Angela Kennecke on this week’s episode of Grieving Out Loud as she sits down with Gary Mendell, founder, and CEO of the non-profit Shatterproof.
Gary appeared to have it all. He founded one of the fastest-growing hotel investment firms in the United States that became a multi-billion dollar company. However, Gary was secretly struggling because one of his children was dealing with a substance use disorder. Tragically, Brian died by suicide, leaving behind a note outlining the shame he felt about his addiction.
In this powerful episode, Gary shares his story of loss and his vow to his son to eradicate the stigma surrounding substance use disorders.
MEET THE GUEST
Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national non-profit dedicated to addressing the addiction crisis in the U.S. He founded the organization after his son Brian’s addiction led to his tragic death in 2011. Mendell is a sought-after speaker on ending the stigma surrounding addiction and has received multiple awards for his work reversing the opioid epidemic. He has testified before various committees and has appeared as a guest on major news networks. Mendell has a business background managing multi-billion-dollar companies and holds a B.S. from Cornell University and an MBA with distinction from the Wharton School.
Angela Kennecke is a journalist who lost her 21-year-old daughter Emily to fentanyl poisoning on May 16, 2018. Angela is “grieving out loud” to try to put an end to this epidemic by stopping the stigma and promoting the treatment of substance use disorder as the disease it is. Anyone coping with loss and looking for inspiration can benefit from listening to this podcast.