Michael W. Barry

Mike W. Barry has had his share of broad life experiences from which to draw. By age 40 he had reached the peak of his profession as a TV News Anchor, reporter, and producer. But behind the polished image of success was a man already overwhelmed by the disease of alcoholism.

His story is more common than you think, which is why the driving passion of his life today is to help others in need of a new life, free from addiction and in long-term recovery, he himself found.

His calling as an advocate for the recovery movement is enhanced by his training and experience in broadcasting and technology. His unique combination of talent, energy and devotion to the cause has placed Mike Barry at the heart of this movement.

He travels the country seeking to educate others about addiction, to remove barriers and discrimination, and thus enable those in long-term recovery and no longer using alcohol or other drugs to become productive members of society.

Press Release 07/19/2005
Mike Barry: Advocate of the Year

Mike Barry was awarded the Kentucky School’s 2005 Advocate of the Year Award. Barry is the former coordinator of The Healing Place Angel Programs (volunteers that work with individuals needing to begin recovery and their families); the program also has a very successful prison outreach.

He serves on the board of directors of Faces & Voices of Recovery in Washington, D.C. as the regional representative for its Mid-Atlantic region which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Virginia. He is President of People Advocating Recovery (PAR), a statewide organization in Kentucky with over 4000 members and six chapters. Barry is also a founding board member of Addiction Recovery Advocates of Kentuckiana (ARAK), a local organization serving Metro Louisville and Southern Indiana. Barry is also the Executive Director of the Beacon House…a transitional living recovery program for 45 men. Congratulations Mike!

2011 Vernon Johnson Award Honorees
America Honors Recovery is the recovery community’s annual awards event to recognize the over 20 million Americans in recovery and recovery community organizations.

Sponsored by Faces & Voices of Recovery and the Hazelden Foundation’s Center for Public Advocacy, the event features the extraordinary contributions of the country’s most influential recovery community leaders to the nationwide effort to promote the reality of recovery from addiction. Leaders in business, government, and the media will also participate.

Mike Barry-CEO, People Advocating Recovery (PAR), Kentucky
Mike Barry is a person in long-term recovery whose dynamic leadership has helped Kentucky’s statewide recovery community organization, People Advocating Recovery; grow from a group of five hard-working individuals to a 5,000 member statewide organization. PAR’s mission is to reduce discrimination for those in recovery from addiction and help those still seeking recovery.

Mike has been a passionate advocate for PAR’s mission, mobilizing, organizing, training and rallying thousands of recovering people, their families, friends and allies to the cause.  He has forged strategic partnerships, resulting in a new statewide People Advocating Recovery-Advocacy Training Center to help spread the message of recovery.  He is a knowledgeable and dynamic speaker at conferences and is frequently called upon to give expert testimony before the Kentucky Legislature.

Mike is on the Executive Committee of the Voting Rights Coalition in KY, a member of the KY Co-Occurring Advisory Council, the Substance Use Disorder Advisory Group of the Greater Cincinnati Health Foundation, founding Board Member of Addiction Recovery Advocates of Kentucky (ARAK) and founding Board Member and past Vice-President of Faces & Voices of Recovery.

Before his work as a recovery advocate, Mike enjoyed a distinguished career in broadcast news and has brought those talents to his current job with frequent radio and TV interviews about his personal and professional journey in recovery.

America Honors Recovery
Watch the America Honors Recovery event and interviews with the awardees online (PAR) by clicking here and selecting America Honors Recovery as the category.  Thanks to keepsober.org and ICF Macro for their help in filming and streaming the event. 

Current Activities

• CEO, People Advocating Recovery (PAR), a statewide advocacy organization in Kentucky, with 6 chapters and 7000+ members
• Past Chair and Founding Board Member, Faces & Voices of Recovery. Faces & Voices is a national advocacy organization concerned with long-term recovery
• Past Director of Advocacy & Outreach, The Healing Place, Louisville, KY
• Past Coordinator, Angel Programs in Louisville, a group of volunteers working with individuals needing to begin recovery along with their families; The program also has a very successful prison outreach
• Founding board member, Addiction Recovery Advocates of Kentuckiana (ARAK), a local organization serving Metro Louisville and Southern Indiana
• Vice-President and founding board member, Faith Partners for Recovery serving the Louisville, KY community
• Serves as an advocacy speaker for the recovery movement; and as a speaker for various conferences and workshops related to addiction and recovery across the country
• Testified before the Kentucky state legislature; instrumental in passing new laws regarding mandatory treatment and recognition of addiction as a primary healthcare issue
• Past Executive Director, Beacon House, Louisville, KY. A 45 bed transitional living recovery program
• Member, Executive Committee of the Kentucky Voting Rights Coalition
• Member, Kentucky Co-occurring Advisory Council
• Member, Kentucky Behavioral Health Planning and Advisory Council
• Member, Kentucky Behavioral Health Technical Advisory Committee
• Member, Substance Use Disorder Advisory Group, Greater Cincinnati Health Foundation
• Owner, mwb design solutions, LLC, Network design and web site hosting and design

Professional Experience/Associations

• More than 45 years experience in radio and television broadcasting, production, instruction and sales
• News anchor and producer in Lexington, KY, Nashville, TN, and Cape Girardeau, MO
• Journalism instructor at the University of Kentucky
• Published author of magazine articles on information technology, and alcohol and drug abuse recovery
• Served on boards for the Better Business Bureau of the Bluegrass, and the University of Kentucky Family Medical Practice
• Graduate of Leadership Lexington (Kentucky)

Educational & Personal

B. S. in Business Administration, Southeast Missouri State University, 1976
Nominated for the University’s 2002 Alumni Merit Award
Married to wife Dona; they reside in Southern Indiana
Long-time volunteer for the March of Dimes and the Leukemia Society
Mike enjoys basketball, woodworking, traveling, and gardening

E-Mail Mike Barry