Q&A with Recovery Strategist/Podcast Host, Fay Zenoff
Fay Zenoff holds a MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Business and has a 30 year career in management with experience in a variety of sectors including education, tech, financial services and consulting. One does not need to have a drinking or drugging problem to benefit from recovery solutions. See Fay’s offerings for more details about her programs and services. “My work is focused on ending the shame and stigma of addiction — so that more people can find sustainable recovery. Be it by dismantling the often subtle discriminatory messages and norms in organizations, navigating overt social pressures in community or replacing self-defeating thoughts and behavior, my aim is to empower individuals, families and organization. Fay Zenoff is an addiction recovery wellness strategist, consultant and coach working with individuals, families, treatment centers and businesses to support freedom from addiction and the integration of recovery into all areas of wellness. Fay offers tools, trainings, resources and insights that educate, inspire, motivate and support people and teams to make healthier choices and experience happier outcomes. “My work is focused on ending the shame and stigma of addiction — so that more people can find sustainable recovery. Be it by dismantling the often subtle discriminatory messages and norms in organizations, navigating overt social pressures in community or replacing self-defeating thoughts and behavior, my aim is to empower individuals, families and organizations to be resilient, open, and authentic. By doing so, we can create healthier communities, families, organizations and individuals.”
Fay Zenoff is a nationally respected addiction recovery advocate working to bring recovery solutions into organizations as well as to support individuals to thrice in all areas of their lives. As a recovery coach she offers individuals support to integrate and grow in recovery. As a consultant she offers companies strategies, tools and resources to increase the health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace.
Q. If you are in recovery, what was your Drug of Choice? And when did you stop using? A. Alcohol. 2007.
Q. Do you think addiction is an illness, disease, a choice or a wicked twist of fate? A. Treatable disease of the brain with a wide spectrum of manifestations.
Q. Do you log on to ZOOM 12-step meetings? How often? Do you share? A. During Covid, I attend three meetings a week on-line. Pre-pandemic I attended 4-5 meetings a week in person.
Q. Have you added anything to your Tool-kit to help keep you sober during the pandemic? A. Yes, my partner and I moved in together during the pandemic and we begin each day by writing a shared gratitude list.
Q. Where did you grow up? A. Born in NYC and raised in the SF Bay Area. I began to “grow up” in recovery — starting at age 40.
Q. Do you have any children? A. Yes, two incredible adult daughters.
Q. Have you started any new projects because of the quarantine? A. Yes, during the pandemic I hung up my virtual shingle as a Recovery Strategist and launched my own business. I developed workshops and webinars for alumni and current residential treatment program clients to help them thrive in recovery after rehab. I am soon launching a new podcast called ‘Sum of My Imperfections’ about living our best life in recovery.
Q. If you ever retire would you prefer to live by the ocean, lake, river, mountaintop or penthouse? A. I would love to live by the ocean with proximity to the mountains. Might just stay in Marin County.
Q. What is your favorite hotel or resort? A. Rancho la Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. First visit to this incredible family-owned wellness resort was when I was 18. I have been blessed to go many times throughout the years. Met my life partner there. Celebrated my 50th there. Took my mother there for her 80th birthday. Have also presented there about recovery as a wellness modality. It is a very special place.
Q. What is your biggest or littlest pet peeve? A. Wasting water.
Q. Who has had the biggest influence on you throughout your life? A. My mother. She has taught me about resilience, and appreciating every moment.
Q. If you were giving a dinner party for your 3 favorite authors, living or dead, who would they be? (choose 4 if you think one might be too drunk or stoned to attend.) A. David Richo, Bill W., Brene Brown and Byron Katie.
Q. What book(s) have you read more than once? A. The Big Book. The Power of Now. Radical Acceptance.
Q. Who is your favorite poet? A. Rumi
Q. Are you bingeing on any TV series? If so which ones.? A. Ramy on Hulu. Just started.
Q. Who is your favorite sober celebrity? A. Jamie Lee Curtis, the real deal.
Q. What is your FAVORITE Broadway musical/play? A. Hamilton!!
Q. What is your FAVORITE City? A. San Francisco.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given? A. You can borrow others’ faith when you have lost your own. Keep coming back.
Q. What is the best piece of advice YOU’VE given? A. Create the life you want to lead now — BEFORE ending your marriage.
Q. What is the greatest risk you have ever taken? A. Getting sober. I have backpacked solo through Africa and India; given birth twice without pain meds; gotten a divorce; left a secure high paying job to follow my dreams; came out as a lesbian later in life … and by far the greatest risk was stopping to use alcohol. And by far it has led to the greatest reward … life in recovery!
Q. What is your biggest regret? A. Listening to my father’s suggestion to study economics in college at Sarah Lawrence rather than attending the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.
Q. Have you ever been arrested and if so, for what? A. Nope.
Q. Do you believe in God or a Higher Power? A. Indeed, I do.
Q. If you were putting together a time capsule from 2020 what 5 things would you put in it? A. 1) Untamed by Glennon Doyle; 2) Gratitude notepad (completed); 3) Photo of my partner and me hiking the Double Dipsea; 4) Newspaper headline: Biden won!; 5) An N95 facemask
Q. What is your FAVORITE weekly news bulletin? A. Without a doubt — this one!!!