Come and Join Us!
as we honor the 2023 Mac McLester Champions of Recovery, Daniel Sledge and Philip Speer,
and hear from our guest speaker, Alan Graham
May 10, 2023
Austin Country Club
4408 Longchamp Drive, Austin, TX 78746
Event will be ASL interpreted
Mac McLester Champions of Recovery
Daniel Sledge and Philip Speer
Daniel Sledge currently serves as the Paramedic / Medical Provider Supervisor for the newly-formed Round Rock Fire Department Crisis Response Unit. He has over ten years of experience as a paramedic and previously served as the Lead Paramedic for the Williamson County Mobile Outreach Team.
In his role, Daniel responds to behavioral health crisis calls in the field, aiding in pre-arrest jail diversions and emergency department diversions where possible. Additionally, he conducts follow up visits for people who received EMS treatment for overdose. During the visits he provides naloxone kits, trains the people and their loved ones on its administration, and--if wanted--helps connect them to support and evidence-based care that reduces harm and promotes positive change.
Mr. Sledge is appointed to two federal committees: the SAMHSA Interdepartmental Substance Use Disorders Coordinating Committee (ISUDCC) and The National Academy of Medicine's Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic.
His areas of interest include cardiology, pharmacology, substance use, mental health, and harm reduction. He provides training and presentations at different levels, but prefers and enjoys teaching. Daniel earned his paramedic certification from Temple College and worked as a field paramedic with Williamson County EMS. Before venturing into the medical field, Daniel was a working musician and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of North Texas. Daniel lives with his wife, son, and two cats in Austin, Texas and his favorite food is spaghetti.
At the age of 17, Philip Speer entered into the culinary world to begin his career as a chef. Initially working in scratch bakeries, Speer solely focused on his craft of baking at first. With that said, it wasn’t long before he swiftly moved into Pastry Chef positions at Austin’s most innovative restaurants.
Fast forward two and half decades, Philip Speer has built an impressive career. The chef has been nominated for four James Beard Foundation Awards in the esteemed Outstanding Pastry Chef category. In addition, he has received recognition from major publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, GQ Magazine, Texas Monthly, Bon Appetit, and many more.
Part of Speer’s story has included addiction, to which he has made a profound recovery and since gained unexpected purpose. By finding renewed motivation to change his life through sobriety, exercise, and mindful eating, he now helps other restaurant professionals do the same. You can find Philip in copies of every culinary publication throughout the years; however, he is now most excited to influence community change and invent new opportunities for the industry he loves.
Speer is a change advocate in the culinary sphere, creating resources and support for peers and employees to engage in healthier habits. Philip heads the Austin chapter of Ben’s Friends a weekly meeting intended to form a coalition of sober Food and Beverage professionals. In 2019, Philip founded the Comedor Run Club a 501(c)(3) organization which focuses on the importance of a healthy lifestyle
Chef Speer owns and operates Comedor, a Mexican restaurant in downtown Austin. Comedor has received many accolades, including recognition as one of the top new restaurants in America by both Esquire and Robb Report magazines. Additionally, Texas Monthly crowned Comedor the top of the year in 2020.
Keynote Speaker - Alan Graham
For Alan Graham, it is all about his relationships—with God, his family, staff members and certainly the homeless men and women he’s been engaging on the streets of Austin for more than two decades.
Alan is the founder and CEO of Mobile Loaves & Fishes (MLF), a social outreach ministry that provides food and clothing, cultivates community and promotes dignity to homeless men and women in need. Previously a real estate investor and developer, Alan founded Trilogy Development and the Lynxs Group, which developed Austin’s airport cargo facility and similar facilities at airports around the country.
In 1998, the seed for the idea of Mobile Loaves & Fishes had been placed on Alan’s heart. He and four friends boldly answered God’s call to “love your neighbor” by delivering meals to homeless men and women from the back of a green minivan. Alan readily admits that the group’s original approach for serving the homeless had some flaws, but with the help of a formerly homeless man, Houston Flake, they perfected the model that Mobile Loaves & Fishes successfully uses today. Since its founding, MLF volunteers have served more than 5 million meals with a side of hope to homeless men and women living on the streets of Austin, and the organization has spawned similar food truck ministries in other cities across the U.S.
Alan also is the lead visionary behind MLF’s Community First! Village—a 51-acre master planned development in northeast Austin that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness.
Alan and his wife, Tricia, were married in September 1984 and have four children of their own, as well as a niece they’ve been blessed to raise and include in their family. Alan is a published author of the book Welcome Homeless: One Man’s Journey of Discovering the Meaning of Home. He also is the host of the Gospel Con Carne podcast, which explores the woundedness of society through untold stories of individuals who have encountered homelessness.