Being a recovery guy, I was motivated to meet and build a recovery network for support, once I landed here in NC. Being a treatment counselor, people invariably said to me, “Well you have similar experience, you need to meet Worth.” “Worth?” I said, “His name’s Worth?” “Son, they said, you’re in the South now.” A wonderful name for a magnificent fellow, L. Worth Bolton, who said to me (after I mentioned I was looking for work), “Well, you might need to meet my Wife-Flo Stein.”

Eventually I met an acolyte of Flo’s (who hired me) and eventually met Flo-going to work here at the Governor’s Institute, striving to bring visibility to recovery.

From APNC, (their good-bye essay):

Flo Stein Retires: An End of an Era – At the end of June, Flo Stein retired after more than 30 years of service to North Carolina.

As Chief of Community Policy Management in the NC Division of MH/DD/SAS, Flo was not only the state’s leading authority on substance use disorder treatment and prevention in North Carolina but she was also a leader, an advocate, and a champion for our field and the people we serve both in our state and across the country. During her time with the state, she developed and nurtured invaluable partnerships and policies which contribute to an irreplaceable legacy on our state as she impacted treatment and prevention systems, policies, and integration of our work into other fields.

During Flo’s 32-year career with the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services, she has worked tirelessly to promote the adoption and implementation of evidence-based practices in the field.  Flo has been an advocate for individuals affected by substance use disorder and has paid particular attention to the needs of Veterans and their families. The NC Practice Improvement Collaborative thanks her for her vision and leadership in improving the lives of North Carolinians.

What I would add:

Flo Stein is the iconic lodestone for All Things Recovery in North Carolina. More introvert working behind the scenes than extrovert grabbing headlines she brings kindness coupled with candor to all she surveyed.  I realized that long before my time here she had been patiently championing a vision of recovery that NC could be proud of.  Her desire for service goes all the way back to the Haigh-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic days!! Flo’s vast experience, dedication and grasp of recovery led her to the role of ultimate resource, historian, archivist, visionary, leader and source of strength for the work that we do.
She championed Peer Support (and numerous other issues, events and visions) which I saw up close working on the Peer Curriculum Council still going strong.

In this patriarchal world of work and achievement it’s different strokes for different folks when it comes to retirement. As we say goodbye, I may be sad for the state but I am happy for her and trust she is looking forward to real time off because Flo (and Worth) have truly earned it.

“Congratulations Flo! Every citizen of North Carolina owes you a debt of gratitude.”