Board of Directors

LifeRing has a democratically elected Board of Directors. LifeRing Bylaws require a minimum of two years clean and sober to serve on the Board of Directors and a minimum of two years clean and sober to serve as an officer. Directors and officers must be people in recovery from substance addiction. The board meets by video conferencing at the annual LifeRing Congress, and it meets monthly between Congresses by video conferencing.

LifeRing Board of Directors

Sue Betts <sue@lifering.org> is a San Francisco transplant enjoying her fourth year of sobriety. She joined LifeRing in 2019 and was tapped shortly thereafter to convene the Saturday Chat Meeting. Sue created and co-convenes The Liver Spot started in 2020. When Sue began volunteering on LifeRing committees in 2020, she helped establish the Fundraising Marketing Communications Committee affectionately known as FunMarCom and now coordinates fundraising efforts. She is also active in the Meetings and Convenor Support Committee (MCC), the Outreach Committee and the Website Committee. Sue was invited to serve on the LifeRing Board of Directors in 2021 and now serves as the Chair. Her term ends in 2024.

Casey Cannizzaro (He/They) <casey@lifering.org> is a substance use disorder counselor and writer living in San Diego, California. Casey has 2.5 years of continuous sobriety and a lifetime navigating recovery. Casey credits LifeRing’s 3-s approach, and a deep, intellectual, and spiritual awareness of what didn’t work for him, for helping to build the solid foundation he has now. Casey’s approach to recovery is one of compassion and he feels like shame has no place in his recovery. Casey convened HWYW San Diego on Friday nights for six months and helped launch LifeRing’s first meeting for queer folx, LGBTQIA+ and Friends: Come Out and Recover in 2021. Casey is passionate about diversity and compassion in recovery spaces. Casey believes no two paths to recovery look the same. Casey speaks regularly about their story and is currently working on a memoir about their journey with sexual and gender identity, and addiction and recovery. Casey was appointed to the Board of Directors to fill an open seat vacated in December 2021. Casey's appointment ends in 2022.

George Gidora <george@lifering.org> is a retired transit operator living in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada. He currently has 11 years of sobriety and first got involved in getting the first LifeRing meeting started in Vancouver, BC, in 2005. He is currently the president of LifeRing Canada and convenes several online and face-to-face meetings. George is elected for a one-year term on the BOD. His term ends in 2022.

Paula Gillen <paula@lifering.org> is an artist and photographer. She currently works multiple freelance jobs including doing book design and photography. Before moving to Boulder in 2008 she worked in publishing as a photo editor/photo researcher in NYC for 20 years. Her strong visual communication and research skills will be put to good use on the board of LifeRing. She manages the CO LifeRing website and has convened online and in-person meetings for over four years. Her term ends in 2024.

Steve Gonzales <steve@lifering.org> lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been involved with LifeRing since 2017. He is a regular convenor and chairs the Finance Committee on the Board. His term ends in 2023.

Lorraine Hull <lorraine@lifering.org> lives in the Mile High City, Denver, CO. She has been involved with convening LifeRing meetings in Colorado since 2013. Lorraine currently convenes the Sunday evening online meeting that is open to all. She loves spending time on WhatsApp with her two granddaughters and playing at parks with her grandson. Lorraine is on her second term with the board that started in 2020 and will end in 2023. She was the board co-chair for three years and now serves as the board secretary.

Mary Beth O'Connor <marybeth@lifering.org> resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she convenes a LifeRing meeting. She was first elected to the Board in 2017, and her current term will end in 2023. Mary Beth speaks regularly about her personal story, LifeRing, and multiple paths to recovery. Her essay "I Beat Addiction without God" appeared in the Wall Street Journal in August 2020. Her memoir, "From Junkie to Judge: Recovery without God," will be published in January 2023. Her term ends in 2023.

Christopher Smith <chris@lifering.org> is a longtime resident of Los Angeles and has been sober since November 2012.  He came to LifeRing in 2018, at which time he became the first LifeRing convenor in Los Angeles County.  In 2021, he was invited to fill a vacancy on the Board.  At present, he serves on the Meetings and Convenors Committee, and as Regional Representative for California.  His term ends in 2022.

Lisa Swing-Corney <lisas@lifering.org> joined the LifeRing Community in late 2012 and has celebrated continuous sobriety since 2001.  She is a LifeRing in-person meeting convenor in Akron, Ohio, and serves as the LifeRing Frontier Regions Coordinator.  Lisa is passionate about choosing her own path in recovery and helping others to bring LifeRing to their communities.  In 2021, Lisa was nominated with unanimous consent to fill a vacancy on the LifeRing Board of Directors.  In her free time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her dog Audrey and consuming all things Star Trek. Her term ends in 2022.

Qualifications needed for the Board of Directors

Current LifeRing Officers

Sue Betts, Interim Executive Director
Sue Betts, Chair
Lorraine Hull, Secretary
Steve Gonzales, Treasurer

Board Meetings

A Board Meeting is scheduled every month on the second Sunday of the month at 9:00 AM, Pacific Time via a Zoom meeting.
This meeting is open to the public.
Meeting URL:   https://zoom.us/j/88907758083?pwd=YTVDMStaY0hVdnhHOTlqcnM1MEpYdz09
Meeting ID: 889 0775 8083
Passcode: lifering
Call-in numbers: https://www.lifering.org/zoom-phone-numbers
Additional help joining a  Zoom Meeting: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-Meeting
Current Board Agenda

Current Regional Representatives

Regional Reps Map

Co-founder and CEO 1997-2010:

Martin Nicolaus

LifeRing Documents

Current LifeRing Bylaws.
LifeRing’s 501(c)(3) IRS Determination Document
California Articles of Incorporation (1997)|
2022 Annual Report

Legal Notice

LifeRing Press, LifeRing Recovery, LifeRing Secular Recovery, and the LifeRing graphic design are registered trademarks/servicemarks of LifeRing Inc.  All rights reserved.  The LifeRing meeting charter and Bylaws are official publications of LifeRing Inc., approved by the LifeRing Congress.  All other publications, including, without limitation, the content of posts, blog items, comments, books, brochures, flyers, other publications, and linked sites on this website, represent the opinions of their authors.