Recovery Vermont is the hub for all things recovery in the state of Vermont

Our History

Recovery Vermont was founded in 1997 as a signature program of the Vermont Association of Mental Health and Addiction Recovery (VAMHAR). Over the past 22 years, we have served as the hub for all things recovery in Vermont, from establishing the Nationally Renowned State Wide Network of Recovery Centers, to creating one of the country’s first Recovery Coach Training and Certification programs, to our most recent partnership, working with Vermont’s Leadership Community on establishing the Vermont Alliance for Recovery Residency. 

People Recover

All of Recovery Vermont’s programs are rooted in the joyous fact that people recover. Addiction is simply a health condition. Our evidence based programs, trainings, and advocacy work bring Vermonters best-practice recovery resources. 
Historically, addiction and recovery have been stigmatized and in the past, recovery services were often conducted underground.  Now that recovery has come to light as a health condition, we have an opportunity to inspire change and get evidence based practices out to Vermonters.

Our Belief

Over 5,000 Vermonters a year graduate from addiction treatment centers. But what about the lifetime that comes after? Shouldn’t there be recovery supports for the thousands of Vermonters who will hopefully be in a lifetime of recovery? We say, YES!
Our Mission 
  • We train Vermont’s Recovery workforce through out Vermont Certified Recovery Coach Academy.
  • We are the home to some of the most innovative Recovery supports in the country, including our Recovery Coaches in Emergency Departments.
  • We are loud and proud advocates for the fact that people recover. We overcome the stigma and shame that used to surround addiction and recovery. We advocate everywhere from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to local parades and rallies to celebrate recovery. 

Meet the Team

Peter Espenshade, President & CEO
Peter Espenshade is super proud of his long-term recovery and has been the president of Recovery Vermont and VAMHAR since 2013.  Prior to his work here, Peter worked in philanthropy as a VP at the Vermont Community Foundation and as the Executive Director of the Lake Champlain Land Trust.  He is an active supporter of the arts and currently serves as the board chair of Vermont Stage.  

Melissa is a person in recovery and you will find her shouting this from the rooftops! Melissa first discovered Recovery Vermont when she attended the Vermont Recovery Coach Academy in 2017.  For years prior to the Academy, Melissa had her own business as a Wellness Coach, specializing in disordered eating. She felt called to change the course of her career after witnessing the power of Recovery Coaching. Today, Melissa wears many hats in her role at Recovery Vermont including overseeing the Certification process, connecting Recovery Coaches to opportunities, and operations for the Academy. She has a personal mission to end the stigma around substance abuse, and is always looking for like-minded people to collaborate with on outreach and awareness projects.  
Peter Mallary, Vice President for Policy and Outreach
Peter Mallary serves as Vice President in charge of Government Relations and Community Outreach for the Vermont Association for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery. Mallary has a long and celebrated history of service to the State of Vermont. He is a former Member of the House of Representatives and is the owner of a successful Vermont small business. In recent years he has worked for Governor Peter Shumlin on special projects related to addiction and treatment. He has also had a long career as a journalist. Mallary has played an active role on numerous statewide boards. These include President of The Vermont Historical Society, President of the Vermont Community Loan Fund, Chair of the Snelling Center for Government, Chair of the Capitol Complex Commission, and Chair of the Vermont Advisory Council for Historic Preservation. He has also served on the boards of the Vermont Association for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery, Marlboro College, the Central Vermont Community Action Council, Friends of the Statehouse, The Fairbanks Museum and Vermont Public Television. Mr. Mallary has a BA from Marlboro College. He lives in Bradford, Vermont.
Danielle Sessler, Director of Marketing and Administration
Danielle is thrilled to be working with Recovery Vermont. You’ll find her doing a lot of behind the scenes action: designing the website, sending out newsletters, and posting on our social channels. Danielle comes from a background of marketing and working alongside mission-driven nonprofits. She moved to Vermont from New York City in 2017, where she worked in video production, producing commercials and social videos. Danielle is inspired by her work with Recovery Vermont and feels honored to help get the message out about the power of recovery to Vermonters. 
Vini EmeryProgram Manager: Recovery Coaches in the Emergency Department
Vini is the Program Manager for the Recovery Coaches in the Emergency Department.  They have 17 years’ experience working with a variety of communities such as pregnant and parenting teenagers, people experience homelessness, people with disabilities, and children and families.  Vini also brings experience working in mental health (both as a peer and as a support person) and as a housing specialist.  Vini has many years of volunteer work with Social Justice movements that address Race, Class, Disability, Immigration, Gender, and Sexuality. Vini strives for equity, accessibility, and respect in the work they do.  Vini is a family member to several people with Substance Use Disorder, and is honored to be part of the wonderful recovery community in Vermont.
Brittany Karkut, Prevention and Education Coordinator 
Brittany’s main priority at VAMHAR is overseeing the Vermont Alcohol and Drug Information Clearinghouse (VADIC). Before becoming a staff member in the spring of 2015, Brittany served on our Board of Directors. Brittany has a strong background in event coordination and represents our organization on various planning committees throughout the year.  Originally from Gloucester, Massachusetts, Brittany moved up to Vermont to attend Champlain College. She earned her B.S. in Mass Communications in 2011. She currently lives on the edge of the Green Mountain National forest with her husband, Matt, and two cats, Bongo and Bramble.  
Jeff Moreau, Executive Director of VTARR
Jeff Moreau is the Founding Executive Director of the Vermont Alliance for Recovery Residences (VTARR).  VTARR is committed to supporting those in recovery from Substance Use Disorders by improving access to Recovery Residences though established standards, a fair and transparent certification process, education, technical assistance, research, and advocacy.  Jeff is also a surveyor and consultant for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) an international accreditation body for health related organization.  As a Certified Fundraising Executive with graduate level education in public administration, Jeff brings over 25 years of experience leading non-profit organizations, developing resources and measuring quality service delivery.
Trista Ringer, Director of Camp Daybreak
Trista Ringer is interim director of Camp Daybreak, a residential summer camp for Vermont kids ages 8-11 with a range of social, emotional and behavioral needs. Trista’s involvement with Camp Daybreak started in 2005, as a high school age volunteer. She climbed the ladder, holding various positions including Big Sibling, Counselor, Rec. Director, and Consultant of Family C. When Trista is not dressing up like a pirate at camp, she can be found behind her sewing machine and is active within the local (modern) quilting community. Trista and her partner also run a small farm on their little slice of earth with the help of their two dogs, Mulligan and Tullamore. 


Recovery Vermont
A program of VAMHAR
100 State Street, Suite 352

Montpelier, VT 05602