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By Kelly Farrell | August 18, 2015

NCAD Was Interested

The National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD), along with Behavioral Healthcare Executive Summit, has rapidly established itself as a premier, respected, and trusted national conference that provides a diverse educational curriculum on the prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery management of addictions that affect various genders, generations, and cultures.

Rachel and I recently showed at the NCAD Conference in St. Louis. Branding is a relatively new focus for this industry, we were the only company (out of more than 130 exhibitors) talking about establishing a healthy brand through critical differentiation and strategic positioning. It is not a familiar conversation for this audience.

We set up our cool dRC display and, as usual, attracted way more attention than I anticipated.

Believe it or not, NCAD attendees were very interested in what we do, after we shared that we were not addiction/treatment center interior designers (though I do see a business opportunity there!). The executive audience was interested in why we were there, what can we offer them and how it works.

We explained at a high level how we help them establish their brands, in terms of visual and voice. We explained how we help them dig deep to match their internal brands with outside perceptions and how this work helps them maintain a clearly defined differentiator, so their audiences know what they stand for. And we talked about how this work helps to attracting talent and referrals and funding.


The NCAD crowd, at every level, is an encouraging and engaging group. They help a lot of people who are very hard to help, moving expertly from assessment to diagnosis through care planning and treatment and maintenance for each and every patient. It is an ongoing life-dialogue they maintain, with adjustments made every step of the way. A little like what we do with brands. Like us, they want to do it better, all the time.

Since NCAD is a conference at which vendors can sit in the educational sessions, Rachel and I sat in on a bunch of keynotes, including:

We learned even more about how to help organizations that help people. Rachel and I are building great relationships with strategic partners, resources and (hopefully) clients and we secured our booth space for next year’s NCAD conference in Colorado.

We’re looking forward to it already!


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Kelly Farrell

Kelly has a unique talent for uncovering what's special about her clients. It’s her specialty, and the heart of how designRoom approaches branding.Kelly learned design and branding while working in advertising as an Art Director, Designer, and Account Representative for several national/regional brands; Cellular One/Ohio, Northfield Park, National City Bank, and Mr. Hero. Her future, however, included a more passionate approach to the work and more direct engagement with her clients.In 1990 designRoom was born. One room. One designer. And lots of room to grow.Today, under Kelly’s leadership, designRoom is a national, award-winning branding and design firm. With her innate ability to see the right solution and her passion for helping clients reach their goals, Kelly is a fierce brand advocate for behavioral health organizations across the U.S.Her unique approach makes her a sought after national speaker on the importance of branding in behavioral health. Kelly focuses on how branding can unify an organization internally, amplify their unique market position, and help them move in a positive, sustainable direction.

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