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2022 Pioneer Award: Dr. John Gaal

PreventEd is honored to present the 2022 Pioneer Award to Dr. John Gaal in appreciation of his innovative and transformational impact in the field of substance use disorders.

Dr. Gaal recently accepted the newly created position of director for the Mo AFL-CIO’s Missouri Works Initiative’s Worker Wellness Program. (At the end of January 2019, after 40 years of service, John retired as the Director of Training and Workforce Development for the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council.) As a labor representative, he continues to serve on the St. Louis County Workforce Development Board and International Vocational Education and Training Association’s Board of Directors (president).

John completed a union apprenticeship in carpentry nearly 40 years ago and has since earned an associate’s degree in construction management, a bachelor’s degree in architecture, a master’s degree in international business, and a doctorate in organizational leadership. In addition, he completed post-doctoral projects at Harvard University (Trade Union Leadership: 2009) and the University of Florida (Marketing & Management: 2014). John was honored with two Fulbright (Specialist) Scholarships in Labor and Industrial Relations (Tokyo, Japan: 2010 and Toronto, Canada: 2015).

He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed and professional journals on issues related to various aspects of workforce development. Since 2018, John completed the Mental Health First Aid Train-The-Trainer course, NAMI Family-to-Family Teacher Training course, Missouri Certified Peer Specialist certification, NWI’s Certified Wellness Practitioner certification, QPR Train-the-Trainer certification course, and Missouri Community Health Worker credential course.

Dr. Gaal has been married for 37 years, has four children, and is in his 26th year as an adjunct professor at Webster University.

Learn even more about Dr. Gaal on the PrevenTable Season 1 episode, “100 lb Sack of Potatoes.”

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