Aleksa Bembnista: Person of The Week

Aleksandra M. Bembnista is the founder of Glorious Recovery, a non-profit that unites, encourages, and empowers people impacted by alcohol and drug addiction. It helps them find their way to a happy, joyous, and healthy life by organizing events full of love, compassion, and support. The organization has one goal in mind, and that is to inspire people recovering from addiction to stay in recovery and go all-out for long-term recovery.

Aleksa also founded the Lockheed Martin Recovery Network in 2020, creating an open employee community, the first of its kind ever, peer support, education, and advocacy opportunities, assisting employees and their families who may have been impacted directly by SUD find help and to provide recent prevention strategies for anyone interested. Due to some painful memories and struggles, she developed a sense of blind duty for helping others.

Aleksa was born and raised in Poland, moved to United States as a wild teenager at the age of 15, happily leaving the communistic Poland behind. But without being able to speak English, she struggled quite a bit in the first year, since being a teenager without friends is like a fish out of water. As time passed, she learned the language, adopted, completed Wheaton college, and received master’s degree from NYU.

Currently, Aleksa resides in Trumbull CT, she lives with her 3 incredible teen children, and she also takes care of her 91 year old mom. Aleksa’s oldest child is her beautiful, intelligent, unbelievably caring, and 17-year-old most courageous ever transgender girl Molli. Being a person in recovery, Aleksa experienced her own challenges and struggles of being judged, misunderstood, and rejected. Knowing how brutal the stigma can be, she’s always on alert, ready to protect Molli as her “Mommy-Nator,” and fully charged to provide guidance, offer support, and educate everyone who will listen.

Q. If you are in recovery, what was your DOC and when did you discontinue its use?
A. I have been alcohol and drug-free since Jul 19th 2015. My DOC was alcohol and benzos.

Q. At which of the schools you attended did you learn the most?
A. Wheaton College – BA – Mathematics & Chemistry double major. NYU – MS – Biochemistry

Q. Do you believe leaders or artists are made or born?
A. Both

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity in recovery?
A. Macklemore

Q. If you ever retire, would you prefer to live by the ocean, lake, river, or mountaintop, or penthouse?
A. On a lake with a view of mountaintops and driving distance to the ocean.

Q. What is your favorite hotel or resort?
A. Hyatt Regency in Maui

Q. How do you measure success?
A. Daily learning with actions to follow

Q. What is your biggest or littlest pet peeve?
A. When people judge/reject others while they have no idea what someone has or is going through.

Q. If you had an extra million dollars, which charity would you donate it to?
A. Glorious Recovery and Mobilize Recovery.

Q. Who was your biggest influence throughout your life?
A. My sister Barbara. If there are Angels on earth, she’s definitely one of them.

Q. What is your current hobby?
A. Watching documentaries, skiing, data analytics.

Q. What prominent individual would you most like to date or marry?
A. Tim Robbins

Q. If you were giving a dinner party for your 3 favorite authors, Living or dead, who would they be? (you can choose 4 if you think one might be too drunk or stoned to attend.)
A. Ryan Hampton, Andre Agassi, John Grisham

Q. What is your favorite Radio show, news show, podcast?
A. NPR – car talk, MSNBC morning market updates.

Q. What is your favorite TV series?
A. Ozark

Q. What is your favorite movie?
A. Shawshank Redemption

Q. Who is your favorite film director?
A. Scorsese

Q. What is your favorite non-fiction book?
A. American Fix by Ryan Hampton

Q. What is your favorite book of fiction?
A. Any John Grisham, but my fav has to be The Testament.

Q. What is your favorite museum?
A. Guggenheim

Q. What is your favorite play or musical?
A. Rent or Hamilton is close 2nd.

Q. Who is your favorite performer?
A. Macklemore

Q. What is your favorite band?
A. Shinedown

Q. Who is your favorite composer?
A. Rachmaninoff

Q. What is your favorite sport to play?
A. Volleyball

Q. What is your favorite sport to watch?
A. Football and Tennis

Q. What is your favorite city?
A. New York City and in Europe Barcelona.

Q. What is your favorite restaurant?
A. Oceana in NYC.

Q. What is your favorite cuisine?
A. Any with good Seafood.

Q. Who is your favorite author?
A. John Grisham

Q. Who is your favorite spiritual teacher, sansei, guru, saint, or wisdom keeper?
A. Greg Williams – filmmaker of Anonymous People.

Q. Who is your favorite poet?
A. My transgender daughter Molli.

Q. Have you ever been arrested and, if so, what for?
A. Yes – DUIs.

Q. Do you have any children? Grandchildren?
A. 3 teenagers – 16 yr old daughter Naomi, 17 yr old son Austin and 18 yrs old transgender daughter Molli.

Q. Do you think addiction is an illness, a disease, a choice, or a wicked twist of fate?
A. Illness, disease of the brain and definitely wicked!

Q. Do you think the U.S. should adopt the Portuguese Decriminalization Model?
A. Yes! After a short stint in state prison in CT, there is no rehabilitation.

Q. Do you take work home with you?
A. Sometimes – but after almost losing my life to addiction, I have different priorities and living life outside of work is very important to me today.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A. If not me then who, if not now then when?

Q. What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
A. Opened about my recovery from SUD at my current employer Lockheed Martin and initiated work to transform the company into a Recovery Friendly Workplace.

Q. What are five things you always carry with you?
A. Having an open mind, the more I know – the less I know, choose your battles, be endlessly curious, nothing is impossible.

Q. What is the proudest moment in your life?
A. When I Receiving an award of the highest level of recognition at Lockheed Martin for creating an open employee community, called Recovery Network.