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Social Impact Heroes: Why Daniela Luzi Tudor created an app to support people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction

I advise young people to put their recovery first, which will intuitively lead them to find the things they are passionate about. Once you pursue what you are passionate about and you also share your story about being in recovery it will allow people in your community to be open and seek help quicker because […]


I advise young people to put their recovery first, which will intuitively lead them to find the things they are passionate about. Once you pursue what you are passionate about and you also share your story about being in recovery it will allow people in your community to be open and seek help quicker because they will see that there are folks right in their circle that has done the same. Lead by example, and pursue your dreams!


As a part of our series about stars who are making an important social impact, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Daniela Luzi Tudor. Daniela is a serial entrepreneur. Ms. Tudor is the co-founder and CEO of WEconnect Recovery and creator of WEconnect mobile app and the WEconnect outcomes data platform, an on-the-go custom support and connection system for those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. This venture is guided by Ms. Tudor’s core mission: Using the vast potential of technology to connect people and communities for physical and spiritual health. Ms. Tudor’s belief in the combined power of art, music, and technology to build communities and solve problems stems from her own experience with overcoming adversity. Ms. Tudor’s career has had a dual focus on entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. She has founded or been instrumental in three start-ups: WEconnect, The Beats Running Events, and SoundStrokes. She has a strong track record as an intrapreneur/tech. evangelist in the technology world. Her career also had a heavy focus on building successful engineering and development teams on a consulting basis for major enterprises such as Microsoft. The story behind Ms. Tudor’s inspiration for WEconnect and work on the WEconnect mobile app has been featured in Techstars Blog, Forbes, TechCrunch, Geekwire, Seattle Times and more.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share with us the “backstory” that led you to this mission of spreading awareness about recovery and wellness and how it relates to the Unity Recovery Benefit?

I am in long-term recovery and I come from a technology background. Through my journey, I realized that only 3.1M people out of 22M that need recovery services actually receive them, and moreover 80% of those that do relapse within the first year. My life’s mission became to address these issues, by creating services and products that enhance human connection and support for those seeking or in recovery from substance use disorder. My mission led me to create WEconnect Health, a technology platform that keeps people accountable for their recovery activities and in return provides rewards that improve their quality of life. Through that work, I was approached by Robert Ashford, Executive Director at Unity Recovery to join the board. I immediately agreed because Unity offers something unique and much needed across the nation: free walk-in recovery coaching services, mutual aid meetings of all types and free yoga. The Unity RCO (Recovery Community Organization) not for profit lowers the barrier for access to care and provides accountability which ultimately solves a huge gap for the 22M seeking recovery services annually.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your last six years of sobriety? What was the lesson or takeaway that you took out of that story?

The most interesting (and funny) story of my sobriety was when I won a contest to go to Richard Branson’s island through Buckitdreamer. The contest required me to submit my top 3 bucket list items, and out of all the entries, they would pick a winner to go to Necker Cup and meet him. I won the contest and the night before I am supposed to meet Mr.Branson, a mosquito bit my eyelid; which for most would be mortifying but for me it washed away all doubts that I was right were I was supposed to be, and laughed it off enough that I was able to meet him and have a really nice enjoyable conversation. This was also a pivotal time for me, as I got to meet my co-founder for WEconnect Health (former tennis champion Murphy Jensen).

What would you advise a young person who wants to become an advocate for the sober community and help others?

I advise young people to put their recovery first, which will intuitively lead them to find the things they are passionate about. Once you pursue what you are passionate about and you also share your story about being in recovery it will allow people in your community to be open and seek help quicker because they will see that there are folks right in their circle that has done the same. Lead by example, and pursue your dreams!

Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?

I have 3 people that have made a profound impact on my life: my parents and my best friend and pop artist Trew Love. My parents and I were born during communism in Romania, and through their perseverance and work ethic we were able to come to America. My best friend Trew Love, approached me in the most unconditional loving way about my addiction and allowed me to recognize that I needed help. Without them, I wouldn’t be here today.

Can you share with us the story behind why you chose to take up this particular cause?

I took up Unity Recovery as the cause because this model can be replicated all over the country, particularly rural areas where access to any care ban be 50 miles way and cost too much. With Unity Recovery, individuals can get free services and get the support they need to get into recovery and maintain their unique program of recovery for the long term.

Are there three things that individuals, society or the government can do to support you in this effort?

The three things that individuals in society or government can do to support this cause are:

  1. Spread the word about unityrecovery.org
  2. Donate by texting “UNITYRECOVERY” to 44–321 and
  3. Funnel funding towards digital technologies that are scalable to support the underserved and grants for RCOs like Unity Recovery

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started my mission” and why. Please share a story or an example for each.

There’s only 1 thing, not 5 that I wish someone had told me when I started my mission and that is to not be so hard on myself. The path to success is not linear but it happens the way it is supposed to. When something did not work out exactly the way I envisioned it, better things came about as a result. Keep the mission at the forefront and you will get to that next step just may not be the way you exactly planned it. This has been the case with deals early on we pursued, we now at WEconnect Health work with amazing organizations that are making an impact, and the others that did not go as planned turned out they wouldn’t have been the best path for us.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you explain how that was relevant in your life?

My favorite life lesson that quote is: “No one actually knows what they’re doing”. This is important because in order to be successful you have to be adaptable, learn quickly and always ask questions to get to the next growth point. There isn’t a play by play manual that successful people are hoarding somewhere. Keep going, and when the going gets tough and you will reach your goals.

We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, Politics, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

One person I would enjoy having breakfast with is Marianne Williamson; she is passionate about education in schools and if we can bring trauma-informed services to all schools we can prevent the impact of addiction in adult lives and teach emotional social health which would empower kids to reach their full potential, improve mental health and thrive in their lives.

Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring, and we wish you continued success!

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