I had another blog post written and already to go when I saw this post from Tony Oliver on Linked In—it’s about a week old. Tony gives an update on the situation at BAC O’Connor since the passing of his beloved wife Noreen Oliver in December 2023:
‘In the wake of Noreen Oliver’s passing, we are faced with the challenge of navigating through this difficult time both personally and as an organization. As Noreen would say, “the show must go on,” and with this in mind, organisational decisions must be made to continue the vital work we do.
I am pleased to announce that Kendra Gray, our dedicated Strategic Director and Deputy CEO for over 12 years, has stepped into the role of CEO at BAC O’Connor, effective immediately. Kendra’s unwavering commitment to our mission and her significant contributions to the organisation make her a natural choice for this leadership position.
Vanessa White, a steadfast member of our team, will now take on the role of Kendra’s PA, ensuring seamless support for our leadership team.
This transition comes at a time when we are collectively reflecting on Noreen’s legacy and the impact she made on the organisation. Noreen entrusted Kendra with immense responsibility, and we are confident that Kendra’s leadership will honour Noreen’s vision and values.
As we move forward, we are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our team. As we make these changes and move forward we will continue to talk about Noreen whenever we can and remember her with fondness. Noreen was the reason that BAC exists today and she will continue to be a presence in all that we do here, we won’t forget her and will carry on with her always in our thoughts and hearts.
Noreen’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of those affected by drugs and alcohol will continue to guide us. We encourage everyone to extend their support to Kendra in her new role.
We appreciate your understanding during this period of transition.
BAC O’Connor Centre
“Whilst this is bittersweet, I would like to thank Tony for giving me this opportunity, I am truly honoured to be able to carry on Noreen’s legacy as CEO of BAC. I’m so proud to have worked for Noreen for the past 18 years and I look forward to working alongside Tony and the rest of the team, together we will take Noreen’s passion and vision for BAC forward into the future while keeping her light burning brightly”.
CEO, BAC O’Connor Centre’
I’d like to take this opportunity of wishing Kendra the very best in her new role. And to Tony as well, in his role as Director of BAC O’Connor. They are both very special people. I look forward to seeing them and other members of BAC O’Connor when I next visit the UK in April/May.
For those of you who want to read more about Noreen Oliver and her work at BAC O’Connor and beyond, please read my two blog posts from December: