After last week’s announcement regarding leadership changes on the IOCDF’s board of directors, we’re excited to “formally” introduce incoming Board President Shannon Shy, Esq., on today’s blog! Shannon has been a welcome face at past IOCDF events, and previously served as the Board’s secretary. Below is his story and more on what he hopes to accomplish during his tenure as president. Shannon is an attorney for the U.S. Navy, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, and the author of two books about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), “It’ll be Okay”: How I Kept OCD from Ruining My Life, and Hope Is on Your Side: A Motivational Journal for Those Affected OCD. He joined the board in 2011 and previously served as the board’s secretary. As someone who has dealt with OCD himself, he is also uniquely positioned to bring insight and compassion to the role.
It is with a deep and genuine sense of honor and humility that I transition from service as secretary of the IOCDF Board of Directors to begin my term as the board’s newly elected president. When outgoing president Denise Egan Stack, LMHC, asked me if I might be interested in the position, I told her I would serve in whatever role the other board members thought would best benefit the Foundation. I am grateful and again, honored and humbled, that the members of the board have placed their faith and trust in me. And while I am extremely excited about leading the board and working with staff to take the Foundation into the future, I am quite aware of the magnitude of what is at stake. Every aspect of the IOCDF has grown and matured in unparalleled ways over the past four years through the incredible work of a very dedicated staff, Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board (SCB) and Board of Directors, under the outstanding leadership of IOCDF Executive Director Dr. Jeff Szymanski, SCB Chair Dr. Michael Jenike, and outgoing Board President Denise Egan Stack, LMHC. Those who have been associated with the IOCDF for many years will tell you the Foundation is operating at its highest and best level ever and continuing to change lives for the better every day. I am succeeding a wonderfully talented, dedicated, devoted, and effective president. I know I have big shoes to fill. On behalf of all of the amazing people associated with the IOCDF I say, “Thank you, Denise, for your outstanding service to the IOCDF. You will be missed as president.”
What are my goals for the future? They’re fairly straightforward. The board just finished its strategic plan for 2016–2020. These goals and objectives will chart our course forward. My job is to ensure we stay laser-focused on the IOCDF mission and ensure the board and IOCDF staff have the resources needed to execute those goals and objectives. My second goal is to keep an eye on the human side to all of this. I want to really focus on developing relationships with everyone in our community — those who suffer, their loved ones, those who treat them, and those who support the IOCDF. Our community (the entire IOCDF community) is caring, compassionate, eager to share and learn, and mutually supportive. When I decided to go public with my story in 2009, my objective was rather simple — I wanted to provide those who suffer and their families and friends a sense of hope that it is possible to get better. That objective remains the same. I told myself then that if my story helps just one person, I would consider it a success. It gives me great comfort and positive energy to know that the IOCDF helps millions across the world. I am truly honored to be even just a small part of that.
In closing, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Foundation, let us all recommit ourselves to helping others, advancing the discussion, reducing stigma, and letting those whose lives are being ripped apart by this debilitating disorder know that there is hope. To those of you who provide financial support to the Foundation, let me also say “thank you.” It would be impossible to do what the Foundation does without you. We are all stronger together. So happy 30th birthday, IOCDF! There is no time to become complacent. Let’s get on with doing what we do best — helping people.
Please feel free to reach out and communicate with me. My email is ShannonShy@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
All the best,
Welcome to your new board role, Shannon! We’re excited to see what lies ahead for you, the IOCDF, and the entire OCD and related disorders community.