Guest Speakers


An extraordinary basketball player, Chris Herren was a celebrated star in his native Fall River, MA before graduating high school. He went on to play at Boston College and Fresno State, two seasons in the NBA – including one with his hometown team, the Boston Celtics – and seven seasons overseas before losing it all to the disease of addiction. With the unwavering support of his family and friends, Chris has been sober since August 1, 2008, and he now shares his story with the goal of making a positive difference in the lives of others.


Martin J. Walsh, a lifelong champion of working people and a proud product of the City of Boston, is the City’s 54th mayor. Mayor Walsh was sworn in to serve a second term on January 1, 2018. Mayor Walsh’s vision is of a thriving, healthy, and innovative Boston — a City with equality and opportunity for all. Mayor Walsh has been in recovery for 24 years and has always been a strong supporter of health and human services, opening the Nation’s first municipal Office of Recovery Services to prevent and treat substance use.


Gregory Acampora is a member of the MGH/Harvard Center for Addiction Medicine. His clinical interests include Addiction Salience, Central Autonomic Network (CAN), Cortico-Striato(Cerebello)-Thalamo-Cortical Circuits, Pharmacodynamics/Pharmacokinetics and TSF (12-Step Facilitation) mechanisms. Dr. Acampora has certifications in Anesthesiology, Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry and he is fluent in three languages. He received his MD from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and completed his Residency at Boston Medical Center and the University of Virginia Health System.


John Christian is currently President and CEO of the Modern Assistance Programs, Inc. He is a licensed substance abuse and mental health counselor, criminal justice specialist, and is an expert witness for clients in the Massachusetts court system. He was formerly the Director of Social Services for the Homeless Services bureau of the Boston Public Health Commission, where he oversaw vocational rehabilitation programs, adult education, and prisoner reentry services at the Long Island Shelter. He has been in the human services field since 1993. Mr. Christian holds Masters degrees in Human Development and Psychology and Mental Health Counseling, is a substance abuse professional for the DOT, and is a certified clinical forensics counselor. He is an instructor for continuing education classes for the Addiction Counselor Education Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and a course assistant at the Harvard Kennedy School. Mr. Christian holds a Bachelors degree from Harvard University and a Masters degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Frank Callahan is the President of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council AFL-CIO representing 75,000 skilled crafts men and women. He is a member of the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades Local 939. He is also an Executive Vice-President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, Delegate to the Greater Boston Central Labor Council, a faculty and board member of the Boston Labor Guild School of Labor Management Relations, a member of the Massachusetts School Building Authority Advisory Board, a member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Board of Directors and a member of the Friends For Children Board of Directors. He received a B.A. in Economics/Political Science from Providence College, and a M.S. in Labor Studies from the Labor Relations Research Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Congressman Stephen Lynch

Congressman Stephen Lynch is an American politician who has served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts since 2001. He is a Democrat representing Massachusetts's 8th congressional district, which includes the southern fourth of Boston and many of its southern suburbs. He worked as a structural ironworker for 18 years and was eventually elected to serve as president of The Iron Workers Union, the youngest president in the history of the 2000 member union. Congressman Lynch continued his education at Wentworth Institute of Technology on nights and weekends, earning a Bachelor's degree in Construction Management. He later received a law degree from Boston College Law School

Jim Wahlberg

Jim Wahlberg is Executive Director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. In addition to his work at the Foundation, Jim has also produced a number of films centered around the issue of substance use disorder. His company Wahl St. Productions released “If Only” in 2015, and since then, the film has been shown to hundreds of thousands of people in communities across the country. He is currently working with the DEA to bring “If Only”, through a series of youth opioid summits, to the areas of the country most devastated by this epidemic. Wahl St. Productions continues to produce films designed to keep the focus on this issue, and released their latest film “The Circle of Addiction: A Different Kind of Tears” last summer.


John McGahan has over 25 years substance abuse treatment experience and is President/CEO of Gavin Foundation which operates the following programs: Charlestown, Gavin & Hamilton House, Cushing House Boys & Girls, Total Immersion Program, AAWOL Program, Speakers for Hope Prevention Program and counseling services at Ostiguy Recovery High School. John is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC I), Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS), and a Certified Domestic Violence Counselor (CDVC).


Tim Irving is the Assistant Regional Administrator (ARA) working in the OSHA Boston Region I Office working with the Cooperative and State Programs (CSP) team. Previously Tim worked as a Compliance Assistance Specialist and a Compliance Safety and Health Officer on the construction strategic team in the Boston South Area Office. Tim holds both journeyman and master electrician licenses, he has his degree in management from the University of Massachusetts and has earned professional designations in risk management, construction safety and is a Certified Safety Professional.


Tom Gunning is the Director of Labor Relations for the Building Trade Employers Association (BTEA). As a voice for union building trades contractors throughout New England, his efforts focus on developing and maintaining prosperous relationships with seven trade groups in order to negotiate with 13 different trades covering over 85 different local unions in the northeast region. Gunning acts as an advocate for planning and development issues to efficiently generate and sustain business for the association’s members and drive partnerships for economic development. He serves as a trustee on several joint apprentice and training committees. Prior to joining BTEA, Gunning was a member of Laborers Local 223. Gunning is a graduate of Bridgton Academy and St. Anselm College. Currently in recovery himself, Tom Gunning is an advocate for mental health wellness in the building trades and regularly acts as a Substance Abuse Counselor through Modern Assistance Programs, Inc.