Board of Together Place in Bangor hires new executive director

Published: Jun. 28, 2023 at 9:31 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A new era of leadership is set to begin later this week at a Bangor nonprofit.

“I always told members and individuals I work with, ‘When you’re in hell, keep going. Whether that is walking, crawling, just keep going,” said Abby D’Alessio, incoming executive director, Together Place Peer Run Recovery Center.

Abby D’Alessio is a walking testament to perseverance.

She’s overcome homelessness and a dual diagnosis, meaning both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, to be where she is today. She’s open with her struggles in the hopes of breaking down stigma.

“I’m a person in recovery,” D’Alessio said. “It’s been 13 years of being able to live a life where I want to just, you know, be a part of someone else’s process.”

Her lived experiences, coupled with her education and professional training, have led D’Alessio to her latest role. She officially takes over for Sean Faircloth this week.

“I felt like for me, for my own development, it’s maybe time for me to move on and allow some fresh ideas and fresh breath to come in,” said outgoing executive director Sean Faircloth.

Faircloth started at the Together Place in 2015. It was the latest chapter in decades of nonprofit experience including the founding of the Maine Discovery Museum in Downtown Bangor.

When it comes to his time on Second Street, Faircloth feels as though he completed the tasks he was hired to do: fundraise, increase community awareness, and improve the physical infrastructure.

“I’m really proud of this building and this facility. I feel like it is contributing with arts and culture, and people in recovery participating in arts and culture in a way that adds to our community, in a way that maybe it did not in the past,” Faircloth said.

Now it’s up to D’Alessio to lead Together Place into the future.

“The executive director position has not in the past been someone who’s come from training in a recovery world, so I think that’s an additional value that’s going to be very positive,” said Faircloth of D’Alessio.

She has big plans to bring more community partners and community members into these four walls.

“My biggest thing is literally having people know that they’re loved and valued, knowing that their voice is important, knowing that they are an equal to from admin all the way down to the janitors here,” said D’Alessio.

As for what’s next for Faircloth, he says he’s going to focus on a project of personal importance to him.