Restart. Recover. Redeem.

Rob Perez and his wife Diane have taken on an incredible venture. Their restaurant, Dv8 Kitchen gives second chance employment to former addicts, in a state where opioid addiction is among the worst in the country. A former addict himself, in his talk, Rob tells a deeply personal and courageous story about his path toward bringing Dv8 to life, finding a powerful source of purpose. Rob reflects on what it means to be an addict, how we treat addicts as a society, and ultimately what we can all do on a personal level to impact change and help others restart. *This talk contains some graphic descriptions and language.

About the speaker

Rob Perez and his wife Diane founded Dv8 Kitchen as a social enterprise focused on giving second chance employment opportunities to people in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Dv8 Kitchen focuses on providing top-quality food, service and atmosphere for every guest. By providing “a better-than-expected” dining experience, the hope is to build a new standard for the second chance employee to live by and to change the way the guests perceive people in addiction recovery.

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When my hands are dirty, when my schedule's messed up, when I'm helping someone else...I'm surprised, sometimes by how crazy my life can be, and it's hard. But because we're really working for each other, and it's not just for me, it's not just for my gain...it's really strong. — Rob Perez

Jobs are critical, but the relationships that we gain in the jobs that we have are huge. Do you recognize how many of your closest friends you met at work? Can you imagine? I bet over half of you would be happy to leave your job now, if you could take all of your friends with you at work...we cultivate so many wonderful relationships that are so integral to who we are, and what we become, at work. — Rob Perez

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