COR Retreat Founder & Author
The very qualities that defined Burt Nordstrand as an addict also made him an entrepreneur extraordinaire. Burt Nordstrand was the founder and president of SSG Corporation prior to the sale of the company, and owned other businesses in Western Wisconsin. He hit “bottom” when, for all appearances, he was fit and happy. No longer willing to live a double life of outward success and inward devastation caused by multiple addictions – compulsive overeating, diet pills, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, irresponsible sex, gambling, over-exercising, etc. – Nordstrand pursued recovery at age forty and his personal life began to turn around.
At age seventy, he reflected back on the distance he traveled in pursuit of serenity and peace of mind in his autobiography, Living with the Enemy. The journey of self-discovery that he recounted in his book formed the basis for his commitment to helping others in a residential retreat setting through COR.
“Everything that’s important to me in my life today, is directly related to that wonderful step I made 30 years ago,” said Nordstrand. The step he refers to is the decision to ask for help. Nordstrand follows the 12-step program and practices its virtues to this day. Of addiction he says, “It’s a cunning, baffling, powerful disease and recovery from it is abstinence.”
Since its beginning two decades ago, Nordstrand has supported The Retreat and its mission to help alcoholics and addicts achieve recovery using the 12 Steps. More recently, the McIver Center at The Retreat was established as a center for spiritual renewal and growth, emphasizing the devastating impact of addiction on families and how the 12 Steps could offer a way out for them as well.
As the mission of the McIver Center grew, Nordstrand developed the vision of a 12 Step seminar for those suffering from food addiction. He recognized that this premier meeting facility was not always in use and could provide the perfect venue for COR retreats. So COR Retreat found a home at the McIver Center and those seeking a spiritual way of life at The Retreat have grown to include men and women suffering from food addiction.
Living With the Enemy
"As America faces an epidemic of overweight, addicted, and compulsive children and young adults, I recommend this book to families, teachers, and therapists. Burt Nordstrand offers solid help and insight into the nature and complexity of addiction."
MD, Chairman and co-founder of The Retreat, founder and former director of St. Mary's Treatment Program, and pioneer developer of hospital-based Minnesota-model programs throughout the U.S. and abroad.