Dallas 24 Hour Club, a nonprofit providing transitional living, support services and essential life skills for homeless alcoholics and addicts, so they can embrace long-term sobriety and become contributing and self-supporting members of the community, recently announced the retirement of CEO Marsha Williamson after almost 10 years at the helm.
Williamson’s retirement was announced at The 24’s monthly Steak Night on June 3, when it was also revealed that current COO Tim Grigsby will succeed Williamson as CEO and current program manager Joseph Sapienza has been promoted to operations director. Grigsby will take the reins this fall, and Williamson will assume the title of CEO Emeritus, allowing her to remain involved through 2025 as a consultant during the transition and with ongoing development and fundraising events.
When Williamson originally arrived at Dallas 24 Hour Club in 2013, the organization was at a critical juncture. The long-term future of The 24 was in jeopardy due to a dilapidated building, which was siphoning off critical resources to cover demanding maintenance issues. Through Williamson’s efforts and leadership in 2016, HKS granted Dallas 24 Hour Club the Citizen HKS Award for $250,000 in architectural services to design a new facility for The 24.
Williamson then enlisted Steve Van Amburgh, CEO of KDC, to galvanize the Dallas construction community to build a new $5.3 million, 14,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility on a 95 percent pro bono basis, as well as spearheaded a fundraising team led by Michael Young that raised more than $1 million. The new 75-bed facility opened in February 2018 and has served more than 3,000 Residents since its opening.
“I speak for all of the staff at The 24 when I say that we are immensely grateful for Marsha’s guidance and leadership over the past decade. Marsha has led The 24 through years of great transformation – securing a new, state-of-the-art building 95 percent pro bono from the construction community, providing The 24 with financial security, implementing programs to help Residents not only with sobriety but with life skills and education, and leading the staff to excel in each of their individual positions. And she did it all with grace and care. Marsha has not only left her stamp on The 24, along with its Residents and Alumni, she has ensured The 24 will be here for many years to come,” said Adrienne Santaularia, development director for Dallas 24 Hour Club. “I feel blessed to have worked alongside and been mentored by Marsha for the past six years, and as I continue to grow in my work, Marsha’s guidance and expertise will stick with me every step of the way.”
Each year, The 24 helps more than 600 people get off the streets, find employment, reconnect with their families, learn to live independently, and most importantly, recover from drugs and alcohol. For those who have gone through the program, The 24 is a special place where graduates are encouraged to earn higher education or trade certifications, receive job training, and for some, employment at The 24 or at Tillman House, an 18-unit apartment complex for successful Graduates of The 24 with 41 beds.
One such Graduate is incoming CEO Tim Grigsby, who checked in as a Resident at The 24 in 2012 after several stops at treatment centers and sober living facilities. Grigsby started working at The 24, first as a Resident Staff Liaison and then as Program Manager. He works hard every day to ensure every person checking in to The 24 has an opportunity to rebuild their lives. As an alum, Dallas 24 Hour Club holds a special place in his heart, and he often refers to The 24 as “his favorite place on God’s green earth.”
“After a brief absence, Tim rejoined the staff in 2018 as COO, simultaneously with the opening of the new facility. Tim has done an excellent job of establishing The 24 as an organization that serves hundreds of homeless alcoholics and addicts every year. Over the past five and a half years, Tim has demonstrated leadership skills and mentored the staff and residents. The Board of Directors is very pleased that Tim will lead The 24 into the future,” said Dallas 24 Hour Club Board Chairman Michael Young.
Born and raised in Queens, New York, Joseph Sapienza is the son of a World War II Veteran. After graduating from Baruch College, he helped grow a small business into a very successful family company while starting his own family and helping raise his two beautiful children. In 2015, Sapienza found himself homeless and out of ideas in Terrell, Texas, a direct result of alcoholism, which had gripped him for decades. Today, Sapienza is happy, healthy and since 2018 has been serving as a Program Manager for Dallas 24 Hour Club, the place that got him back on his feet and helped pave the way to a brand new life. He is thrilled to take on his new role as director of operations. When asked about the new team, Williamson said, “Having worked closely with Tim and Joseph for the last five and a half years, I can think of no better people to transition The 24 to its next big chapter because of their love and passion for our Residents and Community Members who come seeking recovery and help.”